Dragon Ball.

The term conjures up so many images to the mind; especially when thinking of all the colorful characters contained in the series and dynamic drawings in the books.

The Dragon Ball (and Dragon Ball Z) series is a popular one that spans 30 plus years of influence. It’s an anime TV series that has had an incredible run in manga book form; it has spawned many volumes in that format, also, its productivity contains trading cards, video games and tons of other memorabilia.

It is the biggest success of all time when talking of Manga. Amazing that it all started with the Chinese novel, Journey To The West, an early work that is said to be the country’s most influential book by author Wu Cheng’en. It’s no doubt that the novel features dozens of great characters that millions of fans have fallen in love with.

One said character is Bardock, father of Goku and a powerful and influential character at that. He first appeared in the 1990 special, Dragon Ball Z: Bardock-The Father of Goku. Early on, he is shown to be an adept fighter, but as his journey moves forward, a lot can be said about this character that goes through much—both good and bad—and inspired millions to read on about beloved Goku’s father.

Yet here are twenty things you may not have known about this legendary character.

20 Frieza Fears Super Saiyans

via imdb.com

Emperor of Universe 7, Frieza controlled his own imperial army. He is feared by his followers because of his ruthlessness and the power he possesses. He is descendent of Chilled, King Cold’s second son. Frieza is one of the series’ main antagonists.

But that doesn’t mean the fearsome, all-powerful villain doesn’t have a few fears causing him to shiver well into the night.

Deep down, he fears Super Saiyans, and here’s why:

When Frieza and Bardock are battling in Episode of Bardock, Frieza thinks he killed his foe, only he sent Bardock back in time … all the way to the time of his ancestor, Chilled. Well, as it turns out, Bardock almost kills Chilled and Chilled tells his descendants to be weary of this blond Saiyan warrior, thus changing the future and leading Frieza to fear Super Saiyans.

Confusing?

A little, but it does make sense.

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19 The Masked Saiyan

via aminoapps.com

The Asian territories had access to Dragon Ball Online. It was created with Akira Toriyama, the creator of the original series, on hand to guide and instruct artists and writers in what directions to go in.

It is still considered a sequel of sorts, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t quirky and odd.

It takes place over 200 years after Dragon Ball Z ended. In this time, the whole world have become martial artists, excluding only small fractions of the population who have not. In this moment in time, there is a villain known as Mira. His powers include the ability to manipulate time and control the minds of enemies. He uses this advantage of his to entrap Bardock.

So it was as Mira’s slave that he was known as "The Masked Saiyan".

18 Siblings?

via stonedassassin69.deviantart.com

Sounds like a Japanese soap opera, but it’s true. As it turns out, he may have had either brothers or sisters somewhere out there in the Dragon Ball Z universe.

The fact that he had hidden or had shown a lack of caring to the fact that he had children, of all things, it isn’t a stretch of the imagination to assume that he had other family members out there.

Any speculation of long lost relatives actually comes from the series creator, Akira Toriyama. In a statement he made with journalists, he stated that it was very likely that Bardock had bros and/or sisters out there, but it is unmentioned … only the reader or viewer should remember that he was even indifferent about his own offspring.

Interesting that such statements would be made by the series creator.

17 Stronger Than SSJ4

via mod db

Once again, Japanese audiences were exclusively privy to a special opportunity when it came to the world of Dragon Ball.

Only in Japan was the arcade game Dragon Ball Heroes available. Now in this game, Bardock, who in Dragon Ball Online had become The Masked Saiyan, as we mentioned earlier, makes an appearance and furthermore makes a most powerful impression.

Now what we must make clear is that a SSJ4—Super Sayan 4 is super-powerful and is a force not to be reckoned with, but in this game, Bardock can not only go up against an SSJ4, but can easily make quick work of defeating one and seemingly without breaking a sweat.

This is no easy feat and to see Bardock defeat such a powerful character was indeed amazing and the event made an impression on Japanese gamers.

16 Becoming SSJ4

via youtube

Well since defeating SSJ4s and quite easily at that, was it any wonder that Bardock would eventually become a Super Saiyan 4 himself?

Not really.

Bardock is an impressive character … in all his forms: on paper, on TV and in games. So to achieve such god-like status is no stretch of the imagination.

So it was in the game Dragon Ball Heroes, that he was able to change into an SSJ4.

It is hard to believe, but the concept of the game itself is taken from Dragon Ball Online, so we can understand how the character is so easily adaptable in the arcade game. What most fans understand though, is that the arcade game is a place where all characters from across the board can get together in one place and what fan can object to that?

15 Soft On The Inside

via quora

You’ve gotta be a pretty tough and cold individual to be uncaring about the fact that you have a kid.

When it comes to this character, fans aren’t very shocked to see that he has kept his distance from his own son. He even stayed away when the kid was brought into the world—now that’s indeed cold!

But it was in book form, in the manga Dragon Ball Minus, that the Dragon Ball world saw a different side of the Bardock character. In this story, he’s in fact a friendlier version of himself. He is approachable and seemingly caring. In this version of his character, he even cares about his child, and that is a far cry from the Bardock that fans have gotten to know.

14 Xenoverse

via amino apps

Of all the Dragon Ball merchandise and gaming products out there, the Dragon Ball Xenoverse game series are considered the best and most popular, by fans of the games, books and series alike.

What’s cool here is the fact that players can create their own player and furthermore, the entire game revolves around that character.

The positives of this aspect are endless, but what’s most impressive is that fans and players can live through the eyes of a Dragon Ball character. For a hard-core fan, what can beat that?

So it’s as The Masked Saiyan that he appears in Xenoverse 2 and in this re-incarnation, he is used as a foe as opposed to a hero.

Furthermore, it’s also in this game that he can transform into an SSJ3.

13 Married Man

Via hirokada.deviantart.com

So it’s obvious that our character in question had children. But these characters, both Goku and Raditz didn’t appear as if from nowhere! They had to have a mom, right?

As it turned out, they did have a mother.

Her name was Gine, and she was Bardock’s wife. Now, not only were Bardock and Gine married for marriage’s sake, but apparently they were actually rather devoted to one another in a strong way.

The character of Gine appears in Dragon Ball Minus, Extreme Butoden, Heroes and Fusions. Her character is in direct contrast with her husband’s … she’s warm and loving, often proclaiming her love for her children.

She was not involved in much of the fighting, if any, but her presence was indeed felt; especially in her influence on Bardock’s strong character.

12 Jimmy Cliff Is His Hero?!

via youtube.com (Sam Sketches)

Now, what’s often amazing doesn’t come without any odd quirks.

Then again, something as prolific as the Dragon Ball series, artists can get bored as well and they need to throw something into the mix that’ll make even them laugh.

Many have wondered if the inclusion of such tid-bits such as this next piece of info isn’t just the writers having fun, but in all seriousness, this may even be character expansion at its best. You be the judge.

What if I told you that Bardock was a fan of singer and Reggae musician Jimmy Cliff? You don’t believe me. Well, as it turns out, he is. In the original dub of The Father of Goku, he quotes the lyrics to Cliff’s The Harder They Come.

“I would rather be a free man in my grave, than living as a puppet or a slave.”

11 An Herb?

via cooktogether

Need a scalp treatment? Bardock can help you there.

You don’t believe me? It’s true, only … maybe we aren’t thinking about the same Bardock.

As it turns out, Bardock the character is named after Burdock, the herb (which by the way is very good for your scalp and other things). Many characters in the series are. Some examples: Kakarrot was named after … you guessed it, carrots. Vegeta and his brother, together make … Vegetable. And we’ll let you figure this one out on your own: Raditz is ….

Catch our drift?

So very much like JK Rowling who loves to come up with interesting names for her characters in Harry Potter, Akira Toriyama loves to do the same, as you can see here.

10 Katsuyoshi Nakatsuru's Design

via deviantart.com (moxie2D)

What might be shocking for some fans to know is that Bardock was not an original Akira Toriyama design.

Let’s take a second to remember … even though this is indeed a big revelation, nothing can be taken away from Akira as he is responsible for creating so many characters and platforms for them to battle in. Sometimes a little … outsourcing is necessary.

Instead he was designed by Toei Animation and designer Katsuyoshi Nakatsuru can take the credit.

In his first incarnation, his hair is spiked—a lot more than it ends up being—and his battle armor is a lighter shade of green. He also has a long scar.

However, even though Akira didn’t have a say in the initial designs, he sure had his fun with Goku’s designs along the way and over the years … as you’ll soon read on.

9 Even The Toughest Guys Have Besties

via dragonball.wikia.com

When you’re in the trenches, and your knee-deep in battle, doesn’t it help to know that you’re not all alone? Doesn’t it make the slow tick of time all that much easier to bear knowing that you’ve got somebody watching your back … no matter how large it is?

Well even a tough, cold as ice character like Bardock can say that he’s got somebody to do that for him.

Tora or Toma is a member of Bardock’s Planet Elite Force and is credited as being Bardock’s best friend and confidant. Tora is also a Saiyan. He is muscular and his hair is slightly shorter than Bardock’s. He debuted in The Father of Goku. The character, although Bardock’s best friend, also has his … colder character traits. He’s been known to kill in cold blood in the name of battle.

But hey, at least he’s there for his friend … right?

8 Many Characterizations

via DBZKai2013 - DeviantArt

The beauty of a character like this is that the designers and writers can have a lot of fun with it, thus giving the fans all that much more to enjoy in a series that is so long and illustrious.

What may not be as obvious when Bardock is looked at: the multitude of characterizations he’s undergone.

This character has enjoyed many incarnations and characterizations over the years. Yes, he’s been always considered Goku’s good old dad, but in many awesome forms that have thrilled audiences, players and readers for many years.

And like other characters who have changed form in one way or another, the beauty of this is the character can gain a legion of fans, and all because of the variations that are presented of the same character. For example, some fans might appreciate the SSJ3 character, or the SSJ4 character more …

7 Like Father, Like Son

via fanpop

Bardock’s design was based on his son’s design.

It isn’t any wonder that things in the Dragon Ball world work a little differently. Although here, it is quite simple to understand. Goku came first … this was his story. Bardock was introduced later, so it’s fair that he was designed after. He premiered in 1990, quite a few years after Goku was introduced to the world in all his glory.

Therefore it’s very natural that his father would look like him, only with a slighter edge and harder look.

As far as depicting relations, the artwork is indeed spot on. The two look so much alike, it’s easy to be mistaken … especially when fishing through artwork for let’s see … an article on the two.

6 Plain As Day

via youtube.com (StyleAMV)

And sometimes, it is the most complex characters—the ones that are multi-layered and aggressive in combat that can actually be the simplest ones at that.

Such is the case for our Bardock here.

As it turns out, he is rather plain. Such is his view on life and other matters that surround him. Even though others praise him for many reasons, he pushes away such adoration, therefore exuding an extremely modest character.

But how can one who is so seemingly so complex be considered plain?

Simple … His views on life are what matter and in the backstory of this character, his life is pretty simple … he’s married, he has kids and he spends his day in battles.

How much simpler can you get?

5 Cognitive Ability

via daisy1991 - DeviantArt

Yet another ability for our Bardock—as if he wasn’t strong enough—is added to the multitude of traits. Precognitive sight is a trait that is exceptionally useful in battle, and let’s face it, in life.

When did he acquire this amazing ability, you ask?

Easy. In case you missed it, it was after he cleared a society on Planet Kanassa. A survivor of the slaughter comes forth and catches our hero in a moment of distraction. It is in that moment that this wayward survivor gives Bardock the precognitive ability.

However, when he receives his first vision, he passes it off as a mere delusion.

Furthermore, after receiving this power it is revealed that his power levels have risen considerably, bringing them to nearly 10 000.

4 Lost In Space?

via amino apps

Japanese melodrama and tough character traits aside, a lot goes into the characters that fans latch onto … especially in something like the Dragon Ball series.

All over the internet, one can find an unlimited amount of facts and anecdotes about the multitude of characters created by Akira, and all those facts and pictures don’t lie. The fan base are the biggest supporters of any series or franchise, and here, the fans don’t disappoint.

For the many reasons to love a character, this remains as one of the quirkiest. It is reported that Bardock is in fact one of the only Saiyans to go into outer space and breathe normally.

A definite advantage; we can’t argue there.

3 End And Return

via amino apps

We’ve thrown out a lot of heavy words so far in this article… words that described this impressive character. Words like god, saiyan, powerful. It’s no wonder we’re talking about a character with abilities and traits that are indeed larger than life. But what we want to convey more than anything here is how impressive this and many other characters like him, truly are.

Probably what is most impressive and often overlooked is the fact that Bardock has returned from the Underside.

Is he a zombie? Hardly.

But Bardock has been ended in battle and yet has come back—sometimes even stronger than he ever was. So much like Superman after the whole Doomsday fiasco, Bardock has indeed resurrected and returned to doing what he does best.

Now, how super is that?

2 Bardock The Seamstress?!

via brawl vault

An oversight?

Today, mistakes in TV are a little more easily spotted than they used to be, especially after having watched a certain something … at least a thousand times. And there is indeed no doubt in our minds that some fans of the Dragon Ball series have indeed watched, read and played Dragon Ball at least that many times if not more.

Which brings us to our next point in the list of things you may have not known or overlooked.

In The Episode of Bardock, Bardock’s armour gets torn on his left shoulder. It is evident and as plain as day in many frames, but a few frames later, it is remarkably repaired.

Now, we know he’s an all-powerful character, but seamstress who can sew in the blink of an eye while battling? We don’t think so.

1 Was There Ever Any Question?

via nguyen619 - DeviantArt

Fans who were in the know—true fans that pawed over the books, footage and who talked on the phone or in the new millennium, talked in the forums until well into the night always knew that great things were in store for this character in the future.

There are specific reasons for this. In a moment of foreshadowing, Bardock stated that he was able to remember everything that happened while he was in ape transformation, but all true fans know that only Super Saiyans are capable of such feats, so it wasn’t any wonder that fans knew that a Super Saiyan 4 incarnation was in the cards for this character.

One thing that’s memorable when thinking of this character is the legions of fans he has, and the belief they have in his story which has led him to become one of the most regarded and respected Dragon Ball characters of all time. So there was no doubt that he would attain great status, both in the Dragon Ball world and for the legions of fans out there.

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