May 27, 2023

The Dragon Ball series is known for being saturated with high-stakes matches, but the series still manages to keep the battles fresh and unique.

It’s not easy to get legendary fame like Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Balls. There are countless shonen action series out there, but Dragon Ball has helped push shonen storytelling forward in major ways and become a fundamental part of the industry. Dragon Ball’s mission statement remains the same, but the story stretches to understand when to adapt to modern sensibilities and try to do something different.

The chaotic battles that consume Dragon Ball usually get the most attention, but can be highly repetitive in terms of anime battles, especially when so many of them revolve around duels with Saiyan. Fortunately, there are many battles in Dragon Ball that are out of the norm and are intended to surprise audiences as much as they want to keep them entertained.

The 10 most unique battles in the Dragon Balls, ranked

10-Gohan Blinded In The Fair Fight Against Lavender

The Zeno duo fanned the flames of everyone’s competition with a showdown before the proper Tournament of Power. Gohan confronts Lavender of Universe 9, one of the three members of the Dangerous Trio. This fight is memorable as Lavender quickly poisons Gohan leaving him unable to see and having to rely on his other senses.

Even then, Lavender caught up and took a flight so Gohan couldn’t hear him. There aren’t enough battles that deplete the characters’ defenses to such an extent and it highlights that Gohan is still a skilled fighter.

9-The War Against Lord Slug Became a Showcase of Namekian Abilities

The Dragon Ball Z movie, Lord Slug, is one of the weaker installments in the series – but there’s something appealing about the villainous, traitorous Namekian. Piccolo has highlighted many unique human skills, such as the flexibility of their limbs as well as their regenerative and gigantic abilities.

Lord Slug uses all of these tricks, which is almost overwhelming for Goku and Piccolo. The big breakthrough in their battle came from the Namekians’ extreme sensitivity to high audio frequencies. The film may be lackluster, but the light of outside thinking used to take down Lord Slug is commendable.

8-Frieza Uses Some Form When Fighting Against Heroes

Dragon Ball tends to fall into certain molds when it comes to the pacing and structure of many of its big final matches. One of these running traditions is that the villain will go through many transformations and take on different forms before they reach their final, most powerful state.

This inevitability has largely lost its appeal with new enemies, but it’s fresh and exciting when first experienced with Frieza. Neither the character nor the audience know how many forms Frieza has, and it represents a whole new level of enemies.

7-Krillin & Gohan Need To Hold On To Captain Ginyu While He’s In Goku’s Body

Each member of the Ginyu Force brings something different to their fighting style. Considering the level of creativity existing among them, it’s a pity they didn’t stick around longer.

Captain Ginyu, the leader and strongest member of the group, possesses a powerful body swap that he successfully performed on Goku. In a short but fraught period of time, there are many messy situations that stem from Ginyu giving orders to Goku’s body. Krillin and Gohan, Goku’s best friend and son, are forced to fight against him until the situation is resolved.

6-Cells Uses All Heroes’ Unique Attacks Against Them

Cell is an extremely dangerous villain for a number of reasons, but Dr. Gero designed him to be especially resilient against Goku and his teammates by infusing him with their DNA. The heroes learn the hard way that the unique genetic cocktail that exists inside Cell means he can pull off all of their best moves to use them against them.

It was a huge shock when Cell used Kamehameha, Destruction Disc, Special Beam Cannon, or Solar Flame, depending on the current situation. The heroes are surprised and need to readjust their strategy.

5-Vegeta Using His Words To Humiliate Metalman, Auta Magetta

Dragon Ball Super’s multiverse brings a ton of new species and types of fighters, one of which is the Metalmen. Vegeta confronts Auta Magetta, the Metalman of Universe 6, who is able to keep Vegeta on his feet by filling the arena with smoke, increasing the temperature, and neutralizing his attacks with magma.

However, one interesting detail about Metalmen is that they are extremely sensitive to insults. In the end, it was Vegeta’s acid tongue that brought down Magetta, a tactic Chiaotzu later recreated with another Metalman in Super’s manga.

4-Thousands of Meta-Coolers Launch A Synchro Attack On Goku & Vegeta

The Dragon Ball Z movies offer some compelling villains. One of the more popular additions is Cooler, Frieza’s brother. Cooler appeared in two films, but his second appearance as a cyborg was unique. Goku and Vegeta must take on an army of thousands of Meta-Coolers that the Big Gete Star, a mass of sentient technology, releases on them.

It’s rare for Dragon Ball to feature combat where there are plenty of enemies on this scale for heroes to slay. It makes the challenge Goku and Vegeta face seem impossible.

3-Guldo of the Ginyu Force Freeze Time Against Gohan & Krillin

Guldo was the first member of the prestigious Ginyu Force to be eliminated, but in many ways he is likely the most advantageous of the group. Guldo can freeze time for as long as he can hold his breath, usually enough time for him to attack or initiate a sizable retreat.

Characters in Dragon Ball have never faced any kind of time control ability before, and even now it’s still rare. This adds an interesting element to the battle where Gohan and Krillin are on top of them and Vegeta is the one to intervene in the murder.

2-Moro’s Use of Magic Makes the Heroes Stand

There are all sorts of unique energies that power heroes in different anime series. Dragon Ball mainly deals with ki energy, but there are a few rare cases where characters use magic instead of manipulating ki.

Magic was first introduced through Babidi, but Dragon Ball Super’s Moro impacted just how deadly and unpredictable this alternate form of energy can be. Moro’s magic forces Goku and Vegeta on the defensive and they are forced to learn powerful new techniques, like Forced Force Fission, to survive against this witch.

1-Goku Black Sickle’s Energy Clashes With Trunks’ Sword In The Future

The massive battle against Goku Black, and ultimately Fused Zamasu, is one of the toughest battles the heroes have ever participated in. It was the omnipotence of the Omni King, Zeno, that finally dealt with this threat, but there were many stages of showdown left.

Weapons are uncommon in Dragon Ball, so Goku’s black energy sickle really stands out as a fearsome tool. Future Trunks and his trademark buffed sword temporarily turn this battle into a weapons showdown, which feels very epic for this persistent villain.

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