Top 10 Underrated Dragon Ball Fights

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Top 10 Underrated Dragon Ball Fights

VOICE OVER: Ashley Bowman WRITTEN BY: Jonathan Alexander
Just because they aren't deciding the fate of the universe doesn't mean these battles aren't epic! Join Ashley as we count down our picks for the most underrated fights across the Dragon Ball franchise, including "Goten vs. Baby", "Roshi vs. Frost", "Buu vs. Basil", and more!
Transcript
Scritp written by Jonathan Alexander

Top 10 Underrated Dragon Ball Fights


Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Underrated Dragon Ball Fights.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the coolest battles across the original series, “Z”, “GT” and “Super” that don’t get nearly the recognition they deserve.

What are your favorite overlooked fights in “Dragon Ball?” Be sure to let us know in the comments!

#10: Krillin vs. Chiaotzu

“Dragon Ball” (1986-89)

In a franchise where fights often come down to dramatic beam struggles or flashy new transformations, it’s delightfully refreshing to have one decided by math, and not the power-level kind. In fact, strength doesn’t really play a part in this brawl at all. Krillin’s raw power is useless in the face of Chiaotzu's tricky techniques, and even the bald-headed hero’s first Kamehameha can’t seal the deal. This leads to some suitably creative and hilarious strategies, culminating in Krillin’s realization that his mime-looking opponent needs his fingers to count, making math questions a silver bullet. There’s plenty of great fights to choose from in 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament, but the inventive movesets and zany conclusion make this duel one to remember.

#9: Krillin, Gohan & Vegeta vs. Recoome

“Dragon Ball Z” (1989-96)

The Ginyu Force’s arrival on Namek pressured Krillin and Gohan to lend a hand to the same saiyan that helped massacre their friends, and the outcome is one of the standout team-ups in the whole series. As the first time Vegeta fights on the same side as our heros, it’s wonderful to see the three navigate their differences all the while outmaneuvering an opponent way out of their league. The novelty of the rare 3-on-1 fight is emphasized with some great animation that serves to showcase Recoome’s immense power. It’s a brutal beatdown, but one that we can’t take our eyes off of.

#8: Goten vs. Trunks

“Dragon Ball Z” (1989-96)

As the offspring of iconic adversaries Goku and Vegeta, Goten and Trunks are natural rivals, but this isn’t put to the test until their match in the 25th World Martial Arts Tournament. Sandwiched right before one of the bleakest story arcs in “Z,” the junior-division finals saw the series provide some refreshingly light-hearted fare. Trunks’ overconfidence paired against Goten’s inexperience lends itself to a fun, hijinx-filled brawl with plenty of spectacle and humor. Sure, they’re strong enough to go Super Saiyan, but they’re also just kids who can’t always resist their urge to do something cool. It may raise Chi-Chi and Bulma’s blood pressure, but it also serves as a well-needed breather before the series returns to its classic world-ending threats.

#7: Roshi vs. Frost

“Dragon Ball Super” (2015-18)

With the likes of Goku, Vegeta and Frieza on the Universe 7’s team, no one expected one of the best scuffles of the “Tournament of Power” to come from Master Roshi. Even alongside some of the hypest brawls in the series, this interaction stands out thanks to a brilliant storyboard that emphasizes atmosphere and choreography. Universe 6’s Frost is genuinely menacing here, but that makes it all the more satisfying to see him finally get his comeuppance from a Roshi that hasn’t been this impressive since his Jackie Chun days. It’s not the old geezer’s strength that wins the fight, but his strategic mindset and unwavering confidence, two themes that sum up why the Turtle Hermit more than earned his spot in the multiverse tournament.

#6: Nappa vs. Z Warriors

“Dragon Ball Z” (1989-96)

Brutal doesn’t even begin to describe this. Before Goku even sets foot back on Earth, the Saiyan Saga had already offered a merciless clash the likes of which we’d never seen in the series before. The stakes continue to rise to unbearable heights as our heroes fall, one by one, all for mere scratches on the invading Saiyan. It’s a harrowing affair, but one that also delivers some of the most emotional moments in all of “Z,” like Chiaotzu’s sacrifice or Piccolo’s death. With its protagonist waiting in the wings, this vicious stretch managed to encapsulate all of Z’s strengths into a confrontation that’s as dramatic as it is devastating.

#5: Goten vs. Baby

“Dragon Ball GT” (1996-97)

When the parasitic villain invades Earth, Goten is the first line of defense - as long as it doesn’t interfere with his date. It’s as comical as it is completely in character to see Goku’s youngest try to end the altercation without hanging up on his girlfriend. His priorities may not be in the right place, but it certainly adds an entertaining framework to the proceedings. When he does get serious, we get treated to the classic “Dragon Ball” beam carnage that’s the cherry on top of an already memorable exchange. It also gets points for allowing Goten to be cool again outside of fusion, since he’s a character who is often overlooked outside of his relationship with Kid Trunks.

#4: Master Roshi vs. Tien


“Dragon Ball” (1986-89)

In a series no stranger to tournament arcs, few encounters check as many boxes as this. When you mix unique new techniques like the Solar Flare, exciting hand-to-hand combat, and clear character arcs for both competitors, you have the recipe for an unforgettable match. It’s a marvel to behold on a purely technical level, with an abundance of great choreography and exciting exchanges until both are completely exhausted but too stubborn to budge. Beyond the action-packed spectacle lies a surprisingly deep emotional throughline that concludes when Roshi, under the guise of Jackie Chun, willingly concedes to prove a point to the conflicted student. It’s a skirmish with plenty of cool moments, but also one that never loses sight of its character’s journeys.

#3: Majin Buu vs. Basil

“Dragon Ball Super” (2015-18)

Our favorite candy-loving Z Warrior has always boasted one of the most unique movesets in the “Dragon Ball” universe, but nothing has utilized it as well as his round in the Zeno Expo. Buu’s childlike demeanor and gelatinous consistency is a perfect foil for Basil’s kicking prowess and slimy personality, making for a fight that’s brimming with imaginative interactions. Buu isn’t all gimmicks, though, and Basil soon learns that all the kicks in the world won’t protect you if you’ve made him mad. It’s a fight that makes remarkable use of Buu’s unusual abilities, and after a remarkable showing like this, we’re just sad we didn't have more of him in this arc.

#2: Goku vs. Spike the Devil Man

“Dragon Ball” (1986-89)

The persistent saiyan star of this series is known for his world-deciding battles, but that doesn’t mean the lower-scale fights aren’t any less enjoyable. Criminally underrated yet wildly entertaining is his spat with this devillike warrior, which, in true “Dragon Ball” fashion, brings with it a slew of wacky techniques to test our hero with. However, Goku doesn’t have to do anything to avoid Spike’s signature Devilmite beam, since it doesn’t work on someone with a pure heart. It’s an excellent showing for the series’ lead, as even when Spike cheats by summoning a weapon, he stays vigilant on the laurels of his own strength. It’s classic “Dragon Ball” through and through, and you can’t ask for anything better than that.

#1: Android 16 vs. Cell

“Dragon Ball Z” (1989-96)

In an entire arc focusing on androids, none display any cynbertics or battle prowess as wickedly cool as 16. The animation takes a noticeable step up as the ginger cyborg finally lets loose, tearing off Cell’s tail and using a literal rocket arm. Then, if it weren’t awesome enough to see him dunk the cicada-inspired evildoer into the ground, 16 removes his hands to let loose an Earth-shattering blast. You can’t get more epic than that. As the only true fight this bird-loving drone got in the whole series, it leaves an incredible impression. Sure, he may lose to Cell’s evolved form in the end, but for our money, 16 more than won this fight in every way it counts.
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