Piccolo is my favorite character in Dragon Ball Z. This is very important information to have handy should I ever be challenged on the streets by an errant Dragon Ball Z fan. The Super Namekian is an obvious prototype for other characters to come in the series, specifically Prince Vegeta who is a serious contender for favorite character for almost everyone I suspect.
Piccolo’s backstory is as convoluted as backstories can get. A long time ago the Nameless Namek arrived on Earth in a space ship. Nameless spent his early years wandering the Earth, and eventually found himself applying for the position of Guardian of the Earth.
It’s worth noting at this point apparently the Nameless Namek was stronger than the iconic Dragon Ball Z villain, Frieza. That information will probably be useless to you.
To become Guardian, Nameless had to be pure of heart, so he split himself into two beings, one pure good and the other pure evil. The evil being, named King Piccolo, left to wreak havoc on the world, while Kami, the good being, became the Guardian of Earth.
Fast forward a few thousand years or something.
King Piccolo is killed by a boy named Son Goku, the protagonist of Dragon Ball Z, and reincarnates himself (by spitting out an egg) as a young Namekian that was just named Piccolo Jr. And that’s where Piccolo comes from.
Let’s take a look at my top 3 Piccolo moments.
#3. Every time Piccolo Tuxedo Masks Gohan.
Piccolo and Gohan share a special bond and that bond manifests through the show’s run through Piccolo’s dramatic last minute saves of Gohan. Usually Gohan will be just about to bite the bullet when something will interfere and then there’s a dramatic pan to a caped figure.
The reason for the bond is the reason why Piccolo gets redeemed. After Gohan’s father is killed (ironically by Piccolo), Piccolo takes the boy into the wilderness and trains him to be a fighter. It’s a pretty messed up thing to do, but bear in mind that Piccolo is only four years old by the time of those events (Namekians grow quickly), and the situation was so dire that training Gohan was the only viable option. Through the training, Piccolo bonds to the boy as the first person who Piccolo could ever consider a friend. Prior to this point Piccolo was literally a demon out for world domination.
After this point he grows progressively more heroic.
#2. Piccolo trains by destroying wonders of the world.
Piccolo’s training method consists of meditating so hard the Pyramids blow up. I’ve always loved that Piccolo spent most of his time angrily meditating and getting better and picking things up with his brain as a result.
#1. Piccolo blows up the Moon.
Showing some lateral thinking here, when the full moon turns Gohan into a Godzilla-level threat what does Piccolo do? Does he cut off Gohan’s tail and thus neutralizing the threat (that’s the usual method used in the show)? No, too easy. Instead, Piccolo blows up the moon. It’s such a comically crazy plot twist that it’s one of the fews things I can reference about Dragon Ball Z that even the less hardcore fans recognize. Bear in mind that Piccolo is practically the weakest he will ever be in the show at that moment.
Dragon Ball Z is a weird place where a weakling can destroy the moon as a trivial action. I guess I could look up some calculations to hypothetically see how much power that would require.
It’s easy to see why I liked Piccolo. He was a dark brooding hero who spent all his time alone meditating. That’s basically who I wanted to be until I was 27.