Finding a series as influential on modern anime as Dragon Ball Z is a challenge even for the most ardent otaku. The sequel to Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball, this show ended up setting the blueprint that nearly every other shonen anime followed and expanded upon.
Through a presentable art style that always flexed the muscles on each character, along with an a narrative that kept things simple by focusing on the struggle of good versus evil, Dragon Ball Z has become an institution the world over, entertaining both anime nerds, and casual fans alike.
With a series as long standing as this one, different fans have their own favourite parts of DBZ's overarching story. After all, its produced so many legendary villains and game-changing moments, that it has something to offer every fan. While not everything hit, DBZ at least was able to deliver a consistent level of quality. Even at its worst, it's still better than a lot of shows at their best.
But of the best, what are the best? That's what this list aims to find out. After sifting through entire months of lore, filler, epic fights, and enough screaming to wake the neighbours, Dragon Ball Z can finally be ranked from their worst arc, all the way to their best. Spoilers, of course, are ahead.
20. Garlic Jr.
Well, something had to be done to get Gohan over, but it really shouldn't have been this.
Garlic Jr, the villain from the movie Dragon Ball Z Dead Zone, breaks into the main series, using black water mist to turn the people earth into evil beings. This does allow for some neat match-ups, like where Yamcha, useless as he is, reprises his role as a villain. The arc also had the intrigue of not featuring Goku or Vegeta, instead spotlighting the other Z fighters.
Unfortunately, despite his training, Gohan still isn't up to the task of being a series protagonist, or even having a compelling fight. Almost all of his matches had this feeling that the animators were daring the viewers to change the channel, showing the spice boys and Garlic himself beat down a ten year old kid ad nauseam.
While nobody had questions about Gohan's resolve after this series, fans were wishing that he either stopped getting his butt whopped, or just called out for help.
Thankfully, Piccolo finally added some strength to a depleted cast. Gohan also managed to hulk up and end his fights victoriously, giving into his anger, shouting, and overcoming the odds. Sadly though some depth definitely needed to be added to these remarkably one sided bouts.
Besides, how seriously can you take villains named Garlic, Mustard, Salt, and Vinegar anyway. Is this a legion of doom or the contents of your kitchen cabinet?