K Stands for Kings

Dear earthling, this is a series called the Dragon Ball ABC. Every week we take a letter of the alphabet and take a look at a character or a thing with the biggest influence on the Dragon Ball universe we all love. So if you’re into Dragon Ball you better buckle up, because we’re bringing you 26 weeks with peeks into the amazing world of Dragon Ball! Since we’re diving into some of the nitty gritty of Dragon Ball, an obvious spoiler warning applies

This week will be spend looking at Dragon Ball's royalty. Weare not just going to cover one character, but a whole category of them. This week is all about Dragon Ball's kings! There is a whole bunch of them, so we are not going to talk about them all, but we will discuss the most influential kings.

First on the list is perhaps the most famous to most Dragon Ball fans as he was one of Goku's biggest enemies early on. I am, of course, talking about King Piccolo. King Piccolo, also known as the Great Demon King Piccolo, is the kind of ruthless ruler we know from classic fairy tales. Evil, power hungry and self absorbed, King Piccolo's only aim is to rule forever. Since King Piccolo is the evil part of the Nameless Namekian, with Kami being the good part. The Great Demon King Piccolo is used as a classic villain that must be beaten by the valiant knight, Goku. Besides being a main villain there is one other event that was perhaps even more influential on the Dragon Ball series. After summoning Shenron and wishing for eternal youth, King Piccolo killed Shenron. At the time it may have seen like a fairly big deal but nothing too big. But when you look at the sagas that followed, King Piccolo's act had a huge impact. With earth's Dragon Balls rendered useless, our protagonists were forced to go look for another set of Dragon Balls on Namek and we all know how that ended.

The next king on the list is a bit more noble, albeit also very proud. Vegeta, king of all Saiyans, is the father of Vegeta, prince of all Saiyans, and ruler of the Saiyan race until he was executed by Frieza. Although Vegeta was dead when we first learned about him, he has a big role in the history of the Dragon Ball universe. Most notably he raised his son, Vegeta, to be a proud Saiyan and to be a leader of the Saiyan people. This has indirectly had a great impact on many sagas throughout the different Dragon Ball series and of course on the relationship between Goku and prince Vegeta. Another young Saiyan's life heavily impacted by King Vegeta was Broly. Having sensed his power level and decided he could be a danger to his reign, Vegeta ordered to have Broly executed as an infant. This is likely to have had its influence on Broly's unstable personality and all the trouble he has caused as Legendary Super Saiyan. Last but not least, when King Vegeta recognises Frieza is planning to destroy the Saiyan race and planet Vegeta, he rebels against Frieza. This ends up with Frieza killing Vegeta and destroying planet Vegeta. More importantly, King Vegeta's actions also caused Bardock to send his son Goku to planet earth. So while we may have never seen King Vegeta alive in the Dragon Ball series, he certainly has had a great influence in creating the playing field.

Next to King Piccolo and King Vegeta, there are also a whole lot of kings with a more questionable status of royalty.

There is King Furry, king of planet earth and a very good king though he never really gets much attention. There is King Yemma, the clerk of the afterlife who administers the deceased to either heaven or hell. Why exactly Yemma is a king, nobody knows, but nobody really seems to care about his royal status as the series progresses. There is King Chappa, who really isn't a king whatsoever. There is King Cold, the father of Frieza who supposedly ruled the universe once but is now a 'somewhere-in-command' in Frieza's empire. While it seems that Cold was once truly a king, it is fairly unclear what his role is when he appears in the series. There is Demon King Dabura, who, before becoming Babidi's henchman used to be the king of the Demon Realm. Not much else is known about Dabura and it makes you wonder how a demon king let himself be put under a spell by a wizard. There is Ox-King, the father of Chi-Chi and ruler of Fire Mountain. Technically he could be seen as a king, but considering he only rules a mountain and a limited amount of subjects the title might be a bit extravagant. There is the Galactic King, who rules over Universe 7's Milky Way Galaxy. While we never see him fight and thus have no idea about his power, it is known that he was easily defeated by Frieza which renders his status as king questionable.

This list could be even longer. However, this series mainly focuses on characters from the Dragon Ball anime series and most remaining kings either appear in movies or are simply irrelevant whatsoever.

Last on the list is a rather interesting king. While his status as king is a bit uncertain, his impact on the Dragon Ball series is undeniable. I am talking about the North Kai, the king who always wears shades, King Kai.

Interestingly, as far as being a ruler is concerned, King Kai doesn't really do much ruling. He does however, seem to deeply care about the people on the planets that are his responsbility. This can be seen plenty of times when he advises Goku on how to defeat a new threat. But he also provides advice to stop destruction in general and often tries to convince Goku to not rush into more trouble. As King Kai has been dead since the Cell Saga, it does not appear that being dead really means much to Shinjin. That implies that King Kai does not look to preserve and save planets just to protect himself, but that he's really looking out for the people living on those planets.

So while King Kai might not appear to really be a king, despite his name, he comes very close to being a noble ruler looking out for all his subjects. Sure, he might not always be happy to see Goku, but can you blame him. The guy used his planet as an escape route for Cell's self destruction. Blowing up King Kai, Bubbles and Gregory in the process. Over the years however, King Kai has proven to be a voice of reason and advice and that is why he is arguably the true king of the Dragon Ball series!

Real quick, if you are wondering why we did not cover Zeno, the Omni-King, here is our explanation: Seeing as Zeno is an entity that rules all the universes, it is hard to really consider him a king in the classic sense of the word. While being called a king, Zeno is most likely the closest to an equivalent of a god as we know it in our real life monotheist religions. Hence we prefer to classify him as a god and not as a king.

That's it for this week! We hope you have a royal weekend and we'll see you next week!

What do you think about the kings and their role in the Dragon Ball universe? Leave a comment or check out the other parts of PlanetGoku's Dragon Ball ABC.

We'll leave you with King Kai's greatest sacrifice.

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