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Recap / Dragon Ball Piccolo Jr. Arc

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The Piccolo Jr. arc is the seventh and final story arc of the Dragon Ball series.

Short Summary

After Piccolo's defeat, Goku is requested to go to Korin's tower as Kami wishes to see him. After passing his test, Kami reveals that before Piccolo died, he spat out an egg which carries his last offspring and wishes to train Goku for their inevitable confrontation. Three years pass and Goku meets up with his friends for the latest martial arts tournament. Sure enough, Piccolo Jr. is there ready to exact his revenge against Goku. However there are are some other opponents who want a piece of Goku as well.


Main Summary

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Yajirobe takes Goku back to Karin’s sanctuary, and there they discuss on what to do next. While Piccolo is destroyed, his victims are still dead, and no Dragon God to revive them. Yajirobe, while sympathetic, tries to tell Goku that the death of a loved one is just something everyone has to deal with. However, Karin worries that those killed by demons will never pass on to the afterlife.

And then Karin gets an idea. There IS one person who can fix things...God. Goku is confused and Yajirobe skeptical, so Karin explains. God lives in a palace that floats high above the Sanctuary. Kinto’un can’t reach it, and anyone trying to use a rocket would be repelled by a mysterious force. The only way up is...the Nyo’bo, Goku’s extending staff! It had originally belonged to Karin, but he gave it to the Muten Roshi, who in turn passed it down to Gohan, Goku’s adoptive grandfather. After a brief sojourn back to the surface to retrieve it, Goku prepares to ascend to God’s palace. Before leaving, Karin gives Goku two things; first is a bell signifying him as Karin chosen, and second is advice not to be shocked by God’s face. Apparently, it’s one Goku knows quite well...

Goku stretched the pole to its maximum, and reaches God’s floating castle. There, he meets God’s attendent, a genie named Mr. Popo. Mr. Popo acknowledges that Goku has Karin’s approval, but explains that Goku must pass one more test; a match against Mr. Popo in combat. Goku tries his best, but cant overcome Popo’s discipline. Not to be deterred, Goku decides to train until he can become strong enough to prevail. Approving of Goku’s determination, God himself decides to come out and face Goku. When he comes out, Goku is shocked to see none other than Piccolo!

After God rebuffs Goku’s attack, He explains. He was once the student of the previous God, but before he could take the mantle, he had to purify himself of the latent evil lurking within him. Expelling that evil resulted in Demon King Piccolo being born, which is why they look alike. God reveals that while he will restore the Dragon Balls so Piccolo’s victims can be revived, there is a condition; that Goku will stay in the palace and train under him. Before dying, Piccolo created one last spawn, basically a clone of himself, containing all if his memories. This new Piccolo will appear at the next Budokai to kill Goku, and so Goku must prepare himself until then. Goku agrees, and God reenergizes the Dragon Balls so the wish can be used immediately. Down on Earth, Goku’s friends wish the fallen back to life, and learn from the Dragon God that Goku will return at the next tournament.

Everyone begins their training, but God doesn't tell Goku that being two halves of the same whole means that if Piccolo dies, he will die as well...


The Dragon Ball gang reunites at the tournament stadium, now looking more like adults, especially Goku, who has had a visible change in height. But there are unhappy reunions as well. Taopaipai the assassin has returned, rebuilt as a cyborg. After defeating Chaozu in the preliminaries, he declares his intentions to take vengeance on Goku and Tenshinhan. But also appearing is Piccolo’s reincarnation, entering under the name Demon Junior. Ten realizes that Junior is an actual demon, but Goku convinces him not to say anything. With Muten Roshi not entering as Jackie Chun, the finalists are Goku, Kuririn, Yamcha, Tenshinhan, Taopaipai, Junior, and...

An unnamed woman about Goku’s age. She seems to be interested in Goku, but becomes angry when asks for her name.

Shen, a total goofball who apparently won his matches by accident. But Yajirobe, who entered in disguised and lost, wonders just how lucky Shen is...


Son Goku vs Anonymous: The unnamed woman attacks relentlessly, but Goku dodges with ease. When asked why she’s so upset at him, the woman claims that Goku promised to marry her, but never showed up! Everyone is shocked to hear this, and Goku is confused, as he has no idea what marriage is! He defeats her handily, and Anonymous reveals who she is; It’s Chi-Chi, the daughter of the Ox King, who Goku met on the first Dragon Ball hunt! Looking back, Goku realizes that he did make a promise to Chi-Chi, but at the time assumed it was about food. Regardless, Goku decides to keep his word and agrees to marry Chi-Chi, much to the glee if the crowd, and stupefaction of his friends.

Tenshinhan vs Taopaipai: ex-master and ex-pupil duel, and it becomes apparent that Ten has all but surpassed the cyborg. Even with his cybernetics, Taopaipai can’t touch the triclops. Getting impatient, Taopaipai takes off his hand to reveal a hidden cannon in the wrist- the Super Dodon Pa! But even at pointblank, the ray doesn't do anything to Ten. Tenshinhan trounces Taopaipai handily, and sends him and Tsuru Sennin away.

Kuririn vs “Demon Junior”: Although piccolo is confident, Kuririn proves he’s more than a “Nothing” with his skill, clever tactics, and mastery of Buku Jutsu. However, Piccolo’s strength and abilities make him more than a match for the monk. As their fight takes to the air, Kuririn tries to fake Piccolo out with an After Image, Piccolo isnt fooled and hammers him down to the ring. Although he gets back up, Kiririn forfeits the match.

Yamcha vs Shen: Yamcha starts out confident that he can finally get past the quarterfinals, but finds himself unable to overcome Shen’s clumsiness. Soon, Shen drops the act and begins wiping the floor with Yamcha, chiding him for making assumptions. Yamcha tries using s mentally directed Chi ball, but still loses. However, Shen notes that he’s damaged the body he was borrowing...

Goku makes an astonishing connection. As “Shen” is Chinese for “God”, Shen must be God incognito! After the match, Goku confronts “Shen”, and God explains that he came because He feels Goku cannot defeat Piccolo; Mr. Popo told Goku about God and the Demon King’s connected lifespans, and now Goku won’t be able to fight with all his might. Goku insists that he can beat Piccolo without killing them, but God has other plans...


Son Goku vs Tenshinhan: the rematch begins with the two fighters apparently even. But Roshi notes that Goku is barely winded by their clash, while Ten is breathing heavily. Ten concedes that Goku has improved, but still lacks the speed to win. Agreeing, Goku takes off his boots, wrist bands, and undershirt. Much to everyone’s shock, these items are immensely heavy! Now lighter, Goku can easily outrun Tenshinhan, but the triclops is not ready to lose yet. He has one more technique to reveal; Splitting into four bodies! At first, it seems that Goku will be overwhelmed by the numbers, but the fighter reveals that Tenshinhan’s style has two flaws. He demonstrates the first weakness by Performing the Taiyo-ken, blinding Ten four times over- He relied too much on his vision, and those three eyes Are too good. The second weakness is is that the four bodies only have a quarter of Tenshinhan’s original strength. Goku defeats Ten by ring out.

“Shen” vs “Demon Junior”: In disguise, God and the Demon King square off. Although they appear to be equal, God is worried about Piccolo’s strength, even taking in account the limitations of his borrowed body. Piccolo wonders about ‘borrowed’, leading Shen to berate him in a secret language for reading his mind. The audience becomes confused when “Shen” and “Demon Junior” start having a shouting match in code. God declares his intent to Defeat piccolo but piccolo points out that their lives are connected, and in horror wonders if God will kill himself. But God has an alternative. He pulls out a small bottle, and begins to perform the Mafuba! But, Piccolo reverses the move, and begins to seal away God. Before he can be trapped, God frees the human he possessed, and begs Goku to finish Piccolo.

Once he awakens, Shen (or the person God used to create that identity), runs away from the arena, unable to understand how he got there. Meanwhile, Kuririn, Yamcha, Ten, Chi-Chi and Muten Roshi confront Goku over what just happened. Goku fills them in on God, Piccolo, and their history. They determine that Piccolo came to the tournament to confront Goku because the reborn Demon King fears the Goku in some way. Piccolo appears to confirm, in his arrogant way, that Goku DOES pose a threat to his conquest. Goku demands Piccolo hand over the bottle holding God, but Piccolo just swallows it. He gloats that Goku could kill him to retrieve the bottle, but that would kill God as well!


Goku vs “Demon Junior”: at first, both warriors appear equally matched, trading blows out speeds that are almost impossible to keep up with. Goku at one point shoots a Kamehameha out from his feet to speed up his punch. After a near ring-out, Goku decides to use hos trump card- The SUPER Kamehameha! However, wiping out Piccolo will kill God, but Kuririn assures Goku that they can bring God back with the Dragon Balls. One massive beam later, Piccolo is...still there, only his hat and good temper are gone. The people see his antenna, and Piccolo reveals to all his true identity. Everyone except for Goku’s friends and the announcer flees. The fight resumes, and Piccolo enlarges himself to intimidate Goku. However, Goku continues to fight back, and taunts that Piccolo can’t get any bigger.

Piccolo however can and does increase in size, becoming absolutely gigantic. But now he’s big enough for Goku to go into his mouth and retrieve God’s jar! With God free, Goku goes all out on Piccolo, even undeterred when Piccolo tries to unleash an explosion. But when Piccolo nearly lands a punch, God jumps in to block it, wanting to help Goku. Goku, however, insists that God not interfere with the match, and lets Piccolo have a free punch. While a bit shocked that Goku’s still thinking about the tournament, his friends accept that this is just who Son Goku is, and request that God let Goku have his way. The match resumes, and Goku manages to deliver a beat down that knocks Piccolo out. The Announcer does the count, but before he reaches ten, Piccolo blasts Goku with a sneak attack, seriously wounding him! Following up by breaking Goku’s limbs in a deliberate echo of King Piccolo’s actions, Piccolo takes to the sky so as to obliterate his enemy completely. When the dust clears, Goku is nowhere to be found...but before Piccolo can turn his murderous eyes towards the rest, Kuririn notices something heading at them. It’s Goku! Having used Buku Jutsu to pull his battered body away from Piccolo’s blast, the wounded warrior plummets down to ram into the demon. Knocked unconscious, Piccolo lands outside the ring, making Goku the winner of the 23rd Tenka’ichi Budokai!

Yajirobe reveals himself to give Goku a Senzu Bean, allowing the hero to celebrate his win in full health. However, he notices God about to finishes Piccolo off and stops him, citing their linked lives. God insists that he can be revived by the Dragon Balls, but Goku has realized that the Dragon Balls are also linked God’s life, just as Piccolo is. God admits that he feels he doesn’t deserve to live for bringing Piccolo into the world. But Roshi points put that by creating the Dragon Balls, God created the means to defeat Piccolo; Bulma’s original search for the Dragon Balls caused her to meet Goku and set him on his journey to become the hero he is now. As God considers this, Goku unthinkably gives Piccolo a Senzu Bean! While this is in part because of his linked life with God, Goku also wants to have another match with Piccolo someday. Piccolo takes off swearing vengeance, while Goku looks forward to their next encounter. God decides that Goku should become his successor, but Goku declines. God’s palace was too boring for him. Taking Chi-Chi, he boards the Kinto’un and flies off to live happily ever after.

Muten Roshi: No, no, this isn't the end! Not by a long shot!

What will Goku’s next crazy adventure be? Find out next time, on Dragon Ball...Z!

The Piccolo Jr. Arc has the following tropes
  • Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole: Goku forgetting Chi-Chi made some level of sense in the manga since they had only met once almost seven years prior. The anime, however, throws in more Filler scenes of Goku running into Chi-Chi and the Ox King.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Piccolo does this during his fight against Goku but Goku exploits this tactic to retrieve Kami from with his stomach.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Hyper Explosive Demon Wave of Piccolo. Despite looking impressive, being an explosive attack in area means that Goku only directly receives a small part of the impact, in addition to leaving Piccolo almost completely drained.
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  • Awful Wedded Life: When Goku asks him what a bride is, Kuririn simply says that marriage means his life is over. Yamcha interjects to offer the basic definition, but Kuririn insists his definition was more accurate.
  • Berserk Button: Related to The Bus Came Back: Goku, naturally doesn't remember who the young woman who appeared before him in the Tenka'ichi Budokai, and because of this she angrily calls him an idiot and storms off. This young woman is Chi-Chi (who withheld her name from the tournament officials), and it seemed to have pissed her off enough to improve her performance in the matches up until she fought Goku himself.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Taopaipai returns as a cyborg to exact revenge on Goku and Tsuru Sennin's former students, Tenshinhan and Chaozu. But he's easily defeated by Tien.
  • Breather Arc: While it still has some serious moments throughout, it's comparatively more relaxed than the arc before (King Piccolo Arc) and after (Saiyan Saga) it.
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  • Broken Pedestal: Tenshinhan admits to Taopaipai that he no longer wants to follow in his footsteps as an assassin.
  • The Bus Came Back: Chi-Chi hadn't been seen since the Pilaf Arc in the manga and finally shows up again six arcs later, though she did also make appearances during the Red Ribbon Army and King Piccolo arcs in the anime.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Goku genuinely doesn't remember Chi-Chi or his promise to her, due it being a number of years since they last saw each other.
  • Call-Back: Goku starts wearing weighted clothing in the arc. While taking it off, he points out it's basically identical to the turtle shells Kame Sennin had him and Kuririn wear during their training.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: In-between some matches, Piccolo mocks Goku as this. Instead of someone who saved the world in a do-or-die fight against his father, Piccolo says he was just a dumb kid who got lucky. Goku does actually wonder if this is true and if he's up to facing Piccolo. Of course, their fight is not remotely the cakewalk that Piccolo was expecting.
  • Foreshadowing: Piccolo and Kami/Shen begin talking to each other in an unknown language during their fight. This is a major hint toward the revelation that they're both Namekians in the Saiyan arc of Dragon Ball Z.
  • Friendship Moment: Kuririn to Goku for all the effort that went into wishing him back to life.
  • Godzilla Threshold: The reason why Kami resorted to possessing a mortal to enter the tournament. He just doesn't think Goku has what it takes to defeat Piccolo, so he resorted to this scheme.
  • Grand Finale: For the original Dragon Ball series.
  • Grand Theft Me: Kami possesses the body of a nerdy looking fellow and uses him to infiltrate the tournament and try to seal Piccolo.
  • Have We Met?: During their fight, Goku asks this of Chi-Chi. It just makes her even angrier.
  • Kiai: How Goku defeated Chi-Chi. The Announcer noticed that Goku didn't actually hit her with his attack, and asked Muten Roshi for an explanation. Roshi said Goku punched at her hard enough to send a shock wave that struck her as if she were hit.
  • King Incognito: Strange variants from both Good and Bad: Kami posses a human to take part in the World Tournament to seal Piccolo away forever, and Piccolo himself takes his first appearance in what would be his classic outfit - A purple gi covered by a massive cape and a turban, going by the name "Ma Junior". Goku notably picked up both on the spot.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!":
    • When Piccolo reveals himself as the Great Demon King reborn, the crowd panics and flees.
    • Played for laughs when Chi-Chi says Goku broke his promise that she'd be his bride. All of his friends stare with jaws dropped, though Goku is just confused over what a bride is.
  • Meaningful Name: In the original manga, this is how Goku figured out Kami had possessed a human to enter the tournament; the identity of the human was "Shen", which means god."
  • No-Sell: Kami tries the Evil Containment Wave on Piccolo but Piccolo manages to turn it against him.
  • Not Just a Tournament: This is the first tournament of the series that had the fate of the world at stake.
  • Not So Different: Goku notes that Kami's training was similar to Roshi's: wearing heavy weights while doing various tasks.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: While possessing Hero, Kami acts like this, making everyone think he's a clumsy guy...until they see him get serious against Yamcha.
  • Oh, Crap!: Tenshinhan's reaction to learning that Goku has been wearing weighted clothing and boots the entire time without missing a beat.
  • Passing the Torch: Subverted, Kami tries to name Goku the new God of Earth, but Goku refuses; Living in Kami's palace for three years was so boring that he can't stand the idea of living there for the rest of his life.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Averted. After Shenron is restored by Kami, Goku's friends initially ask him to just revive Kuririn, Muten Roshi, and Chaotzu. However, Yamacha requests to change it to all the innocent people killed by Piccolo being brought back to life. Luckily, Shenron agrees to it.
  • Revenge: Twofold: The Tsuru Sennin returns and reveals he's the brother of Taopaipai who likewise is back as a cyborg. Tenshinhan easily bests him however. And of course Piccolo Jr, wants revenge for his father's defeat.
  • Scars Are Forever: Taopaipai detaches his prosthetic hand and reveals a blade he uses to slash Tenshinhan across his torso. This got him disqualified, but Tao insisted on getting his revenge on Tien and Goku. He is easily knocked out soon afterwards.
  • Secret Keeper: Oolong briefly becomes this, as he was the first of the party to remember who Chi-Chi was. He played coy with it, only telling Muten Roshi, Bulma, and Puar that they had met her before as well.
  • She's All Grown Up: Chi-Chi certainly blossomed since her younger days. Likewise a male example for Goku, lampshaded by Bulma when she sees him again.
  • Smug Super: Piccolo Jr. treats everyone he faces with contempt and condescension. Even concerning his Good Counterpart Kami, he doesn't think much of him, especially after hiding his essence in Hero. The only person he takes seriously is Goku, who killed his father/previous incarnation. And even then, he gets increasingly furious when beating him isn't as easily as he thought it'd be.
  • Third Time's the Charm: This is Goku's third attempt at a World Martial Arts Tournament and the first (and only) time he manages to win it.
  • This Cannot Be!: Played for laughs when Kuririn tries out Goku's weighted boots. He can't believe that Goku could walk in these things.
  • Time Skip: Set three years later, made evident by the fact Goku is now in his late teens.
  • Tournament Arc: Which fittingly enough closes out the series.
  • Wacky Marriage Proposal: After Goku defeats Chi-Chi and she reveals who she is. Goku admits he didn't know what marriage meant back then. But, not wanting to break his promise to her, proposes to Chi-Chi right then and there. Dawww.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: Taopaipai is revealed to have survived the grenade blast and was brought back as a cyborg.
  • Wham Line: Chi-Chi both revealing what the promise was and then (after the match is over) her name.

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