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Dragon Ball is a long-running franchise with four series, several spin-offs, and 19 movies, resulting in Loads and Loads of Characters. Many went on to become fan favorites, some popular enough to become Breakout Characters. Expect a lot of Saiyans and action girls in here.

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    Dragon Ball 
  • The announcer for the World Martial Arts Tournament, so much so that when he didn't appear in the Cell Games Saga, with bumbling reporter Jimmy Firecracker taking his role, some fans got quite irate. Fortunately, he makes his return in the Buu Saga.
  • General Blue, for being pretty much the only competent member of the Red Ribbon Army - starting at the point where he strangles an electric eel to death while it's still electrocuting him. There is also the fact that he is the first villain to almost kill Goku in a straight fight. Pity he’s a paedophile in the anime.
  • Similarly, the villain who follows Blue - Mercenary Tao, who kills Blue with his tongue and is the first villain to flat-out defeat Goku, not to mention the first legitimate Knight of Cerebus the series has ever had, before even Piccolo.
  • Akkuman/Devilman for having what could be considered the most powerful attack in all of Dragon Ball/Z. Hell he was even a playable character in Budokai Tenkaichi 3 (where he even gets his own what-if story), Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure, and Dragon Ball: The Revenge of King Piccolo.
  • Yamcha. Ironically, the more he seems to fade away, the larger, or at least more vocal, his fanbase becomes. For whatever reason, Yamcha is easily among the more popular human characters in Dragon Ball, getting his own spin-off manga, having an entire, long-running fan manga dedicated to him (Dragon Ball Z Elsewhere) and is a prominent player in a large number of fanworks (Like his Android 17 analogue in Dragon Ball Multiverse or The Chew Toy from Dragon Ball Z Abridged). People were even disappointed when Yamcha wasn't chosen as a warrior to join the Tournament of Power in Super. According to a poll done by a Japanese magazine, Yamcha was the most requested character who people wanted to see helping Universe 7 (By comparison, Gotenks, Pikkon, Future Trunks, or Cell didn't even reach that high). Dragon Ball Fighter Z also caused a massive boost in Yamcha's popularity, where he sees lots of use as an effect support character, making the once-Memetic Loser a Memetic Badass in the FGC.

    Dragon Ball Z 
  • Raditz, who many thought was wasted potential and was killed off after just one arc. Especially considering his single appearance had huge ramifications for Dragon Ball. He is the first character to have blood-ties to Goku, introducing the concept of Saiyans. He also has a very interesting design, even non-Raditz fans are curious what he looks like as a Super Saiyan or Super Saiyan 3. He is never mentioned again outside of brief filler-exclusive cameos, movies, and games. Speaking of which, Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 straight up makes him an instructor you can learn from. Like Yamcha, he is a popular character in fanfiction, with MasakoX's Dragon Ball R&R fan series being a notable mention.
  • There's Seripa/Fasha, who despite only appearing briefly in the Bardock Special before her death has quite a fan following, due to being the only named full-blooded female Saiyan in the series for over two decades. She's featured in a lot of fanart and fanfiction, and even managed to be popular enough to be featured as a playable fighter in the 3rd Budokai Tenkaichi game.
  • Appule. A weak minion of Frieza who was killed by Vegeta without a fight has nevertheless gained some popularity in the English-speaking fandom. He is almost in every video game as the de facto mook of the Frieza empire.
  • Future Gohan is popular, perhaps even more so than his main timeline counterpart at the same age, and is seen as a highlight of the Trunks special. Future Gohan is seen as more badass with a tearjerking backstory, as opposed to main timeline Gohan who while popular in his own right, is often chided for abandoning his combat prowess on many an occasion.
  • Android 18 is a well-loved character, thanks to being one of the very few Action Girl characters in the series prior to Super and having a dry Manipulative Bitch personality that's a lot of fun to watch.
  • Pikkon, a Filler character from the Otherworld Martial Arts Tournament. He is well known by fans for beating Frieza, King Cold, the Ginyu Force, and Cell, all at the same time. He is also one of the few fighters who overpowered Goku when they fought. He became so popular that he's a major secondary character in the movie Fusion Reborn and has gained a transformation in Dragon Ball Heroes.
  • Despite being a minor villain who was overshadowed by Majin Buu, Dabura. He is liked for his design, his magical abilities, and being a Affably Evil Dragon to Babidi. The fact his sister never tries to revive him in Dragon Ball Xenoverse is considered by many to be a wasted potential, though Dragon Ball Heroes treats him better, making him go again as a villain along Towa and gaining new forms, and Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 finally did right by him with a DLC scenario where he is the Big Bad.
  • The Supreme Kai of the West, the only female Supreme Kai ever shown in the franchise before Super, is quite popular with some fans. She was popular enough that Toyotarō, before working on the Dragon Ball Super manga, used her on his Dragon Ball AF doujinshi as a main villain. This is quite funny considering that, while she is mentioned in the manga, her design is entirely made by Toei. She doesn't even have more lines than Appule!
  • Much like Android 17, Pan was such a minor character in Z, only appearing at the very end, that most fans were either apathetic towards her or they outright hated her due to her depiction in GT. However, her depiction in Super quickly made her beloved in the fanbase, thanks to being one-year-old and already knowing how to fly and use Ki-attacks.
  • In the late '90s and turn of the 2000s, Zarbon was this for Frieza's side. The fact that he is as pretty as he thinks he is accounted for some of his popularity. So, possibly, did the fact that he's the first of Frieza's soldiers to hold his own against Vegeta, after Cui and Dodoria get easily slaughtered.
  • The Namekian healer Dende is remarkably beloved in Japan, frequently ranking in respectable positions in popularity polls taken all throughout the original manga's run since the character's debut. This is likely due to his cute design and his distinctive role as the heroes' 'White Mage'. Despite not being a hugely marketable character thanks to his status as a non-combatant, Dende becomes deceptively influential to the storylines of the later arcs.

    Dragon Ball GT 
  • General Rilldo is a Benevolent Boss of which there are few of in Dragon Ball. He also has unique metallic metamorphoses powers that make him stand out and shows a professional air of competence throughout all of his appearances.
  • Nuova Shenron. Unlike the other Shadow Dragons who are pure evil and somewhat one-dimensional, Nuova is a Noble Demon who was born from the only truly selfish wish from the Dragon Balls (King Piccolo wishing for youth). He is also one of the few Shadow Dragons with fighting skills, he is as hot as the sun, and he is the Four-Star Ball, giving him a personal connection to Goku. He is one of the few Shadow Dragons to appear in video games besides Omega Shenron.
    • Similarly, Eis Shenron, despite being a blue re-skin of Nuova, is also well-liked for his Pragmatic Villainy, his perfect foil to Nuova, and being on the receiving end of one of the best-looking Dragon Fists in the anime. He, too, is often playable in games where Nuova is.

    Dragon Ball Super 
Once Dragon Ball Super got into its new material, it introduced several characters who are shaping up to become quite popular:
  • Universe 6 has a fair share of fan-favorite characters.
    • Vados is well-liked by the fandom, despite mostly being a Distaff Counterpart to her brother. She gets a lot of positive reception for being a classy, polite Beleaguered Assistant and Servile Snarker to Champa, as well as being one of the franchises strongest female characters.
    • Magetta wasn't liked at first, mainly because many thought his design was a bit wonky or at least inferior to the other members of Universe 6. However, when they saw him fight, he quickly became a pretty popular character, in no small part because his fighting style is very unique and tactical in a series that mostly relies on Ki Manipulation and Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs. When the Funimation dub changed the Metal Man's vocals to a text-to-speech format, rather than keeping a human VA, a surprising amount of Super fans were outraged. They argued the decision ruined Magetta's charm and wordplay, despite being a minor mini-boss character among Universe 6's team.
    • Dr. Rota, despite being a glorified fodder, is well-liked by fans due to his hilarious Joke Character status who always gets interrupted before he can show his ability which led fans to jokingly suggest that he is actually strong enough to defeat everyone with his ability.
    • Saonel and Pirina: Not much was seen or known about this pair, as the initial line-up for Universe 6's representatives only showed eight out of ten necessary members. Only the midway point of the Tournament of Power suddenly revealed them to be Universe 6's Namekians. Namekians, besides Piccolo, are rarely involved in modern Dragon Ball stories, so the eagerness to see new ones in the middle of a battle royale peaked fan interest at the chance of them meeting and fighting Piccolo. Not only did they get a focal battle between Gohan and Piccolo, which borrowed new lore about being super Namekians fusions, but they managed to be Universe 6's last stand.
  • Gowasu, for being a GodTuber and the source of a good tonne of memes from the "Future Trunks" Saga. His Memetic Loser status of always receiving the short end of the stick is the source of many jokes, especially him being killed three times onscreen in the space of one saga, with one of them being undone (giving Krillin a run for his money). Fans also felt a lot of pity for him at the end of the Future Trunks Saga, where he considered everything his fault and sin. There is a lot of fan art of him, with either Zamasu, God of Destruction Rumsshi, or Cus the angel. The fanbase was very saddened when he was erased with the rest of Universe 10—and were subsequently overjoyed to see him revived after the tournament.
  • For the Universal Survival arc, out of all the Gods of Destruction and angels involved in the Tournament of Power the most popular ones are:
    • Universe 11 clown God of Destruction resembling Pennywise, Belmod, and Marcarita his angel attendant. The two of them are constantly compared to The Joker and Harley Quinn among western fans and were among the first characters to receive fanart.
    • Universe 10 Elephant God, Rumsshi and his angel Kusu. There's a lot of fanart of these two often with Gowasu or Zamasu. Kusu's excited reactions at seeing the fights also became memetic.
    • The Robot God Mosco from Universe 3. Many fans like him for being a creative concept in the form of a robotic god, but also quite silly as he talks through beeps similar to R2D2 from Star Wars.
    • The Goddess of Destruction from Universe 2, Heles, is also well-liked for being the strongest non-angel Action Girl and her Egyptian theme design. It helps she is a Benevolent Boss to her team during the Tournament of Power, while her habit of referring to everything as "beautiful" (including Goku) provides humorous moments.
    • Sidra, the God of Destruction of Universe 9 didn't have much attention at first, but gained popularity once he was shown to be one of the few kind Gods of Destructions, who doesn't take joy in destroying things and only carries out judgement on evildoers. He's also stuck with the weakest universe despite his benevolence. But what really won supporters over is his Face Death with Dignity, not panicking or crying in fear like everyone else as Universe 9 got erased.
    • Likewise, the Gods of Destruction of the 8th and 12th universe, Liquiir and Giin, have attracted the attention of the fanbase for either having the best design for a god (Liquiir, who is also quite Popular with Furries), or having an interesting backstory (Giin, who after obtaining the second best universe, has grown bored and is interested in watching the Tournament of Power.) Fans were disappointed they, Iwan and Arak, weren't going to be involved in the Universal Survival arc other than as commentators but were pleased when they saw Liquiir have a friendly fight with two fellow GoDs.
  • Some of the fighters from the Tournament of Power managed to gather a lot of popularity. In order of universe:
    • Universe 2:
      • Vikal, the Harpy Fighter, has gathered a group of fans. What with her appearance and implying to be a Dark Action Girl in contrast to the Magical Girl counterparts The Maiden Squadron.
      • Su Roas or Rozie when she's transformed, has proven popular with her Adorkable and cute characteristics as well being a capable fighter holding her own against Goku for a while and possessing a unique fighting style as well.
    • Universe 3:
      • Maji-Kayo, the blob creature. He is most frequently brought up when listing off favorite characters from the Tournament of Power, due to having both creative Blob Monster powers that put Buu to shame, and being one of the few Team Universe 3 members who can give Goku of all people a challenge.
      • Katopesla, the Police officer, has by far the most personality out of his entire universe, is a parody of Kamen Rider, and resembles Pepsiman. What's not to love?
      • Doctor Paparoni, while he caught the attention of the viewers by being a very singular character (Being a very archetypical mad scientist in design), wasn't given much of a thought until episode 120 and 121, where he fused with his machines to turn into a giant monster named Anilaza. Said creature had enough power and skill to challenge the remaining half of Universe 7, and then some, making him one of the most enjoyable opponents in the Tournament of Power.
      • The aforementioned Anilaza for the reasons above as well as for being a Homage to several OVA/movie villains.
    • Universe 4:
      • Ganos of all people is starting to become this as well. A lot of fans really like how he's turning out to be The Ace of Universe 4 (he was able to put up a fight with Base Form Goku) plus they like how handsome he looks and how he smiles, especially in his godPad portrait.
      • Shantsa, for having a goofy design as well as being a Memetic Badass in the Japanese community.
      • In 4chan, at least, Majora, the blind wolf/dog/fox fighter, some translators and generals taking him as an avatar and calling himself Smug Pup. The character managed to win some popularity polls, and has his fair share of fan art. It was eventually revealed that "Smug Pup" is actually a member of Universe 4. The fact that his name is indeed "Majora" hits hard, as a there's already a very popular Zelda game that has to do with masks...
      • Caway for have a really cute design, an interesting fighting style of using Hard Light weapons, and for being an Expy of Ranfan
    • Universe 9:
    • Universe 10:
      • Obuni. He was the only notable Universe 10 fighter in battle as he held his own against Gohan, and showcased a technique that allowed him to cast echoes of his energy around himself. He also had a sense of respect in battle and saw Gohan as a Worthy Opponent, in contrast to many other Tournament of Power warriors who are rogues and have it against Universe 7. Like Gohan, he was also fighting in order to protect his own family.
    • Universe 11:
      • Top/Toppo is well regarded by the Dragon Ball fandom for his awesome introductory fight with Goku, where Goku did pressure him, but Top managed to go even with a Super Saiyan Blue Kaioken Goku. His character focus during the recruitment episodes (Where he shows a more human side to him behind the superheroic persona) his small fights in the tournament, him being able to back up his silly posing and shouting of justice with powernote , and his design, made him stand out heavily amongst the Pride Troopers. Episode 125 made his popularity skyrocket, when it's revealed he can become a literal God of Destruction. His epic and well-deserved beatdown on Golden Frieza, and his fight with Android 17, made many call him one of the best characters in Super period.
      • Out of all the Pride Troopers of Universe 11 that is not the top 3 members, Cocotte is stated to be their favorite among them due not only being the only female member among them but also having a great design and possessing one of the most unique and interesting powers, aka the ability to conjure dimension barriers that allow her to either protect her teammates or trap other fighters in her zone.
  • A hilarious case, but a lot of fans fell in love with the designs of some Supreme Kai and Angels doodles Toyotarō posted on his twitter account. Despite just being concept art and not actual designs for new characters with the series, many fans like to speculate these are how the 6 destroyed universes gods and angels looked like.

    Dragon Ball Movies 
  • Salza, the Pretty Boy of Cooler's elite squad has a minor fan-following and has managed to nag appearances on multiple videogames. It helps that he was the first fighter in the Dragon Ball franchise that thought about doing something else than shooting blasts with his energy manipulation skills - he made a ki energy blade, something that, besides being used briefly by Vegitto, other characters like Goku Black and Zamasu wouldn't do until 20 years later.
  • Zangya from Bojack Unbound. She's a henchman of Bojack who is extremely popular despite her small role, mostly because she's one of the few fighters in the franchise who is a female and extremely powerful.
  • Hatchiyak, a villain exclusive to the OVA Plan to Eradicate the Saiyans, like Broly, proved popular enough to be given a rough canon analog during the Tournament of Power in Aniraza, and to an extent, inspire Baby from Dragon Ball GT, who in turn is considered the best villain from that series.
  • Tapion from Wrath of the Dragon. He is a Bishōnen like Future Trunks and even uses a sword. He is beloved for his friendship with Kid Trunks and gives him his sword at the end the movie, hinting it's the same sword as Future Trunks. Like Janemba, he also comes from one of the most well-received movies in the franchise, which is ironic considering how minor the main cast is compared to him.
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    Spin-Offs 
  • Kuriza, Frieza's son from the Neko Majin Z manga. Just how canon he is is in question, since it's a gag manga, but that hasn't stopped the fans from making never-ending fanart featuring him.
  • Gine from Dragon Ball Minus, despite coming from a controversial story to the fandom, has been well received mostly for the fact she is Goku's mother. Gine got new admiration for her appearance in the Broly Movie since she's just so freaking adorable in the new artstyle. Gine has become so popular that one of the most popular What If? stories among the fandom is her actually escaping to Earth with baby Goku, and seeing how she would affect the series' timeline with her presence.
  • Tiencha, the What If? fusion of Yamcha and Tien introduced in Budokai 2 is fairly popular amongst those who know of him, possibly because of how simultaneously awesome and goofy he is.
    • Gokule is in the same vein in Budokai 2 and thanks Fridge Brilliance has the strongest Spirit Bomb thanks to Hercule gaining more energy from the public as the Fake Ultimate Hero.
  • Chronoa, the Supreme Kai of Time, from the brilliance Dragon Ball Xenoverse games has quite a following, due to her cute design and mannerisms.
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