Dragon Ball will always remain one of, if not the, most iconic shonen anime of all time. With the conclusion of the first season of the new Dragon Ball Super anime and the recent Super Hero movie, it’s only a matter of time before the recently announced second season makes its way to North America. In the meantime, what better way to get reacquainted with the cast and prepare for an awesome new season than by ranking the top 15 characters in the Dragon Ball Super anime, ranked from androids to ultra?
Honorable Mention: Future Trunks
Always a fan favorite and one of the most popular anime characters of all time, the grown up Trunks from one of Dragon Ball’s future realities has been a long time in the making. He’s had moments to shine, but throughout most of Dragon Ball Z, he’s been overshadowed by kid Gohan. However, Trunks has always had appealing style and a mix of stoic mysteriousness to him.
As a kid, he’s more fun-loving and has an endearing back story about how he claimed his sword from the hero Tapion, who he saw as the older brother he always wished he had. With Vegeta as his father, he’s only experienced a combination of neglect and tough-love, but continues to maintain an optimistic attitude and managed to be the last surviving Saiyan of his future, doing all he can to protect his loved ones and earth. In the first season of Super, he’s once again given an arc that concludes with him defeating an immortal and corrupted Zamasu + Goku black that even SSB Vegito could not defeat.
15. Gamma Brothers
Gamma 1 and 2 were introduced in the Super Hero movie and were nearly equal to Goku and Vegeta in power. This pair of new androids battled Gohan and Piccolo (pushing Piccolo to his limits), and took on the new Cell Max more than proving their battle capabilities.
These guys have slick-looking aesthetics that blend elements from retro 70’s giant robots and military uniforms with Jodhpurs or flared-hip breeches. They also have humorous personalities, slick capes, and snazzy space-blaster pistols. How can these guys not be fantastic?
Beerus is the destroyer assigned to Universe 7, the home of our beloved cast of Goku and friends. For the first time, Goku and Vegeta met an opponent they could not defeat outright in combat and thought they’d have to carry the burden of not being able to save their new home planet of earth and the lives of their loved ones.
The introduction of Beerus added a new dimension to the lore of Dragon Ball, both figuratively and literally, and expanded the mythos in new refreshing ways. Suddenly, the power levels reachable became unknown and the story hinged on a foe-turned-ally that’s currently unbeatable.
Whis is introduced as the assistant of Beerus but is later revealed to be his training mentor. With an unknown amount of power, Whis must keep Beerus in check and he also contributes to the rescue of earth and universe 7.
To keep things entertaining, Whis is also responsible for helping to train both Goku and Vegeta so they can finally surpass their once-known limits from the Dragon Ball Z series. Another standout quality is Whis’ flamboyant and charming personality along with his stylish looks.
Cabba was a surprising revelation when a tournament between Beerus and fellow destroyer Champa manifest after the two got into a heated debate. With the champions of universe 6 brought together, Saiyans outside of universe 7 were unveiled for the first time.
Kind and honorable, Cabba is a special character in the race of Saiyans as he hunts down criminals on his home planet Sadala. Still a young kid, he may not be powerful, but he has the same heroic instinct as Goku and Saiyan pride as Vegeta. As a result, he emotionally expresses his love for his race to Vegeta to become his newfound mentor and learns how to unleash his super Saiyan mode for the first time.
Frieza is arguably Goku’s true archenemy, the Joker to Batman or Green Goblin to Spider-Man. Responsible for killing Goku’s dad, Bardock, and committing genocide against the Saiyan race, there is none eviler than this monster. Now in his most powerful golden form, Frieza has come a long way and never stops his diabolical scheming.
The craziest plot point in the Dragon Ball Super anime is how Goku foolishly decides to bring Frieza back to life to participate in the Tournament of Power in hopes to keep their universe 7 alive. Frieza does help Goku defeat Jiren but later returns to unleash Broly in hopes of indirectly slaying Goku.
One of the main headliners of Universe 11 in the Tournament of Power, Toppo is one of the most powerful aliens in the universe. Alongside Jiren, universe 11 is the only universe powerful enough to stand up to Goku and Universe 7. And to try and defeat Goku and Vegeta, Toppo proved that he can access the power of a destroyer making him a force to be feared always.
Another fun aspect of Toppo is how he leads and organizes the strongest warriors of universe 11 and names them the Pride Troopers. Akin to the Ginyu force, fans are treated to a band of heroes who have superhero outfits and quirky fun personalities and dance moves.
9. Android 17
Little was known about what happened to Android 17 or his whereabouts after Dragon Ball Z concluded, but to everyone’s surprise, it was revealed in Dragon Ball Super that 17 had decided to live alone on a recluse island taking care of nature and animals. His compassionate soft spot cemented him as a hero and an android with a caring human side.
In terms of power, Android 17 also proved he could still take on Goku and helped defeat Jiren in the Tournament of Power. Even with only limited training, Android 17 is a force to be reckoned with, and this only hints at what he still might be capable of.
The assassin who’s never failed to eliminate his target, Hit is one of the most powerful opponents Goku and Vegeta ever faced. As the primary contender of universe 6, the first time he met Goku, Hit was nearly unbeatable with his time skip powers and precise striking style.
Hit is also appealing due to his clean style, cool personality, and smooth demeanor. Goku enjoys fighting Hit so much that he even hired Hit to assassinate him just so the two of them could duke it out. Since Hit is still around, it’ll be fascinating to see him hopefully explored more as he trains and possibly helps Goku against opponents like Broly and Jiren.
Everyone’s favorite Namek, fans often feel like Piccolo is under-appreciated and not given enough time in the limelight (he is green after all). It was a great change of pace to see Piccolo go from a ferocious alien fighter to a caring father-like figure, trainer, and mentor to Gohan and now to Pan, proving he has a good heart and loving instincts.
Always ready to sacrifice himself to save the earth or protect Gohan, Piccolo remained side-by-side with Gohan in the Super Hero movie. Finally being forced to go beyond his limits, he achieved a new form, and although it wasn’t able to get to the same level as the Saiyans, he now at least has made progress after remaining docile for so long. Hopefully, creators will continue to power up Piccolo so he can be more of a help in the combat against more powerful foes.
6. Kefla (Caulifla + Kale)
The fusion between two fantastic female characters, Kale combines the two other youthful Saiyans from universe 6, Caulifla and Kale. It also turns out that Kale is the legendary Saiyan (or the Broly) of universe 6; however, she’s still young and her full potential is not yet realized.
Caulifla and Kale also have distinct personalities that make them the perfect pair of friends. Caulifla is rowdy, rambunctious, and self-absorbed as the leader of a gang of Saiyans on her home planet of Sadala. Meanwhile, Kale is loyal to a fault for Caulifla and sees her as a best friend and sister. Kale is also meek and timid which is rare and unique in the world of Dragon Ball, especially for a Saiyan. This perfectly compliments Caulifla’s personality and makes them an interesting team.
The most powerful fighter from universe 11 turns out to be an obscure alien named Jiren. Surpassing even the likes of Toppo, Jiren is the one responsible for pushing Goku into his ultra-instinct form, so you know he can never be taken lightly. His appearance is clean and simple, but don’t let that fool you- he possesses a tragic backstory that many can relate to.
Another surprise about Jiren was the deep and complex backstory of Jiren’s past that fueled his emotions and strength. During the tournament of power, he appears as a seemingly one-sided powerhouse that confidently dispatches any opponent before him without so much as breaking a sweat. But as his battle with Goku rages on, he reveals his true self and evolves into more than just one of the most powerful beings in existence. Seeing characters with increased depth only enhances their appeal and proves that Dragon Ball’s story is evolving into more than just fighting action.
The legendary Saiyan that struck fear in King Vegeta is none other than Broly, son of Paragus. While the Dragon Ball Z iteration created the unbeatable monster and maniac that was made of entertaining action, the Akira Toriyama Broly embraced a misunderstood character full of tragedy and in need of empathy.
After surviving on Planet Vampa, Broly is brought to earth by Frieza and is tricked into fighting Goku and Vegeta. The battle that ensues is easily one of, if not the best, anime fight scene of all time. What makes Broly so special is not his berserker rage and nearly limitless strength, but his childlike innocence and pure feelings of love and loss brought about by a sorrowful past and upbringing.
Once the championing character of Dragon Ball Z, Gohan had all the elements of making him the most powerful Saiyan after surpassing his father Goku. He harnessed more power and super Saiyan stage 2 at a young age, which already put him a class above Goku.
But as Gohan grew up, he left the spotlight, and instead of training like his father, he fell in love with a human named Videl, and the two of them became superhero crimefighters protecting their city from human criminals. Soon, they started a family, and Gohan became a dad and prioritized being a family man over being a fighter. Now, his power has been awakened and he unleashed a power that no other Saiyan has seen before.
The only true rival to Goku, Vegeta would be the prince of Saiyans if Frieza hadn’t decimated his world. Even with his royal blood, Vegeta has learned to respect those of a “lower class” and even the “lowly” human race. As Goku trains to become stronger, Vegeta does the same so he does not fall behind, and the two of them are responsible for keeping each other at their strongest.
After Goku reached super Saiyan level 3, Vegeta studied the form’s strengths and weaknesses and instead opted to improve upon super Saiyan 2 proving his natural ability. And although it has not yet been shown in the anime, Vegeta now has a new form to rival Goku’s ultra instinct. His personality is also unique; he always acts tough and uncaring, but deep down inside he loves Bulma and everyone else connected throughout the Dragon Ball cast.
As the main character of the series, it’s no surprise Goku would be number one, but he deserves it in many ways. He’s always stayed true to his childlike innocence and pure heart mixed with only one simple drive: to be the strongest fighting warrior in existence.
He always brings a mix of humor, fun, and serious raw power with him. With no hesitation, he does what is overwhelmingly right in order to protect and save others, especially those who are innocent and good. In the overall meta of anime and shonen stories, Goku is one of the original protagonists who embody virtue, silliness, honor, justice, and a big appetite altogether. All future anime will be inspired by him and his story forever.
That wraps up our top 15 characters in the Dragon Ball Super anime, ranked from androids to ultra. With the arrival of the second season, I hope we see more of all the aforementioned characters, and with the now teenager Trunks and Goten, things should continue to get funner and more entertaining. Goku and Vegeta are sure to face deadlier enemies and grow stronger, and I’m sure the fans will want to see more Gohan, Broly, Piccolo, Kefla, Cabba, and Hit. While you’re waiting, make sure to check out the new Zenkai Series from the Dragon Ball Super Trading Card Game, it’s one of the best anime games you can collect and play!