For many young anime fans coming of age, their first foray into the genre was likely none other than Dragon Ball Z — the pop cultural phenomenon that exploded onto North American screens in the late-1990s and stayed there for nearly two decades.
Part of Dragon Ball Z’s appeal was its innovative storytelling that presented deeper and darker narratives featuring grittier story arcs, and created relatable characters each with their own personality flaws. But let’s not kid ourselves; people also flocked to DBZ for its groundbreaking fight sequences presented in never-before-seen animation techniques. From Gohan’s epic battle with Perfect Cell, to the showdown between Goku and Frieza in perhaps one of the longest fights in all of DBZ, the series was a welcome respite from traditional family-friendly fare that immersed viewers in a vastly different universe than their own.
Spectacular fight scenes and mature themes aside, DBZ was also iconic for some of the outfits its characters wore throughout the show. Who else could make a gi, the traditional uniform for training in martial arts, as memorable as the orange and blue version Goku rocked every time he pummeled a baddie? To celebrate Bandai Namco’s just-launched Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot game, we’re exploring some of our favorite characters from the DBZ series whose fits took fashion to a new power level.
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot isn’t merely just another fighting game — it’s an action-RPG that faithfully reproduces the entire DBZ universe complete with a full roster of iconic characters, locales, and story arcs from the series. Check out our fit analysis below and see if your favorite DBZ character is as drip-worthy as you thought.
It’s only right we begin with the most central character of the series, and he just so happens to wear the most iconic fit in all of Dragon Ball lore. For most of DBZ, Goku’s seen rocking the signature orange and blue gi belonging to the Turtle School, the martial arts institution founded by Master Roshi. To be fair, it’s worn fairly frequently by a handful of other characters in the series, like Gohan and Krillin, but it’s a quintessential look that’s come to define the Dragon Ball universe and has given the traditional martial arts uniform global recognition throughout DBZ’s 30-year history.
This can be divisive, but let’s just agree that Future Trunks is objectively the coolest, most badass version of Trunks there is. Hailing from an alternate timeline where Future Androids 17 and 18 wreak havoc on Earth and wipe out every Z Fighter, Future Trunks is usually spotted rocking a drip-worthy cropped Capsule Corporation biker jacket (way ahead of his time here), a black tank top, and his trusty broadsword slung over his shoulder. While his backstory is likely the most tragic in the series (you’d agree, too, if your father was murdered along with your best friend and mentor), there’s nothing to mourn about this fit.
Once a villainous threat to Goku, the Namekian eventually becomes an important ally in their quest to defeat other more dangerous enemies within the DBZ universe. Piccolo’s signature outfit is a flowing white cape and turban perched atop a dark purple gi. Together, this fearsome ensemble is known as “demon clothes” — a uniform first worn by his father, the evil King Piccolo.
Piccolo’s version omits the demon symbol entirely, and features weights added to his cape and turban after a devastating loss to Goku during the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament. But who can forget his fit from one of the most entertaining filler episodes ever, when Goku and Piccolo take a day off from training to get their driver’s license. Piccolo shows up in a steezy yellow ‘POSTBOY’ tee, blue jeans, and a backwards cap. Granted, the duds were ripped straight from Goku’s closet, we think the Namekian pulled it off quite nicely.
Gohan (The Great Saiyaman)
As the elder son of Goku, it doesn’t come as a surprise that Gohan’s often seen rocking the same orange and blue gi his father wears, but the half-Saiyan also had a few other notable outfits throughout his DBZ tenure. During his teenage years at Orange Star High School, Gohan enlists Bulma to create a costume that would hide his identity while crime-fighting in Satan City, assuming the alias of the Great Saiyaman. It’s a comically nerdy get-up that almost seems like it belongs to a second-rate superhero, and even has its own watch that lets Gohan transform into the suit instantly. An honorable mention goes to his high school outfit — while the the long-sleeve tee and waistcoat combo isn’t part of his uniform, it’s a dapper fit that comes together nicely with those slouchy red trousers.
One of DBZ’s most iconic characters, Vegeta’s spiky black hair and gnarly widow’s peak make him hard to forget, but it’s his Saiyan armor that virtually remains the same throughout the course of the series. While he tends to rock different variations of the armor (he’s often found in RIT armor, the most common), it’s his sartorial choices outside of battle that really caught our eye. Remember that legendary pink button-up shirt he wore back in episode 103 emblazoned with ‘BADMAN’ on the back? That fit alone might give Future Trunks’ badass image a run for his money.