|Yamcha is not a valid Choice|
If you ask anyone who the main character in DBZ is the answer will be Goku.
It is unthinkable to say anyone else is the main character. Dragon Ball is Goku’s story.
At the same, he is not really around much, is he?
Dragon Ball revolves around Goku. The first quest for the Dragon Balls. The fight against the Red Ribbon army. King Piccolo.
These are very much Goku’s stories.
However, things change once Z begins. Goku is the main character, but often times the story is not really about him. Hell, Goku dies for the first time in Z, which takes him away from the spotlight for quite a while.
So, who are these stories about?
If you’re an anime watcher there is no doubt as to where most of the focus was on the episodes where everyone was preparing for the Saiyans.
|Strongest in the Universe... until Battle of Gods|
It was all about Gohan.
These early parts were about Gohan’s growth into a fighter and Piccolo slowly becoming a kinder person and father-figure for Gohan. In the manga these parts were considerable shorter, but the main focus is still on Gohan and Piccolo. It’s their story.
Goku will only appear at the end of the arc, when it’s time for a good old-fashioned showdown (and what better than Goku vs Vegeta?).
Something happens in Namek.
Let’s face it, Namek is Vegeta’s Big Adventure.
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Gohan and Krillin get important parts, but the main guy here is Vegeta. He’s the one getting the big fights. He’s also the one with the biggest connection to Frieza.
He’s still a villain. He has no problem slaughtering an entire village. He’s an egomaniac.
He’s also our focus character. Think about it. Namek Saga could be called Vegeta’s Rebellion.
Namek is the story of Vegeta facing off against the tyrannical overlord who has had a pretty big influence on his life. Vegeta has lived his whole life being Frieza's flunky and his pride cannot stand it.
Meanwhile, Goku’s involvement in Namek is minimal. I mean, yeah, there is a big and awesome fight with Frieza but that’s pretty much it. Goku arrives to beat the Ginyu Force, then is quickly taken out of the picture again, which gives enough to for Vegeta to try his luck against Frieza.
Sure, Vegeta’s Rebellion ends up in personal failure, but it’s still the guy’s story.
The pattern repeats itself in the Android Saga. The spotlight shines on different characters here but the important ones are Vegeta and Trunks with a dash of Piccolo.
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Trunks is the new kid in town. He’s strong, smart, and won’t give the villains a chance to power up.
He’s also Vegeta’s kid.
For his part, Vegeta is at his worst in this Saga. You thought Vegeta was arrogant before? You ain’t seen anything yet.
This is the Vegeta that gleefully lets Cell get to his Final Form.
The father-son relationship is… rocky to the say the least. Trunks can’t believe this guy is his dad. Vegeta… can’t believe he is not the awesomest thing ever.
Trunks is the kid trying to stop a nightmare future and Vegeta is the guy who will through, sheer ego, put them all in even worst danger.
If it wasn't so sad, you could make a sitcom out of it.
|Why would you make him angry? Why?|
By the time the Cell Saga rolls around we do get a storyline with personal relevance to Goku. He’s the idea guy. Granted the Cell Games are more about Gohan, but Goku is the guy with the big plan. He and Gohan have the spotlight roles this time.
I could go into the Buu Saga but that has Gotenks.
Let’s not talk about him, shall we?
Point is, despite Goku being the hero of the story by the time Z rolls around he appears less and less.
He’s the big hero who will save everyone, but before all that epic fighting happens the actual story is about plenty of other people.