Raditz was the perfect opening for Dragon Ball Z!

Dragon Ball Z
Raditz didn’t mind getting in Goku’s face to intimidate him! Pic credit: Toei Animation

Raditz is often called the weakest Saiyan, but he is strong enough to force Goku and Piccolo to team up against him. And the Japanese version made him into a perfect mini-boss!

He intimidated Piccolo, one-shot Goku, and kidnapped Gohan. And he did it all without breaking a sweat.

Raditz played a massive role in the Saiyan Saga, and his death perfectly portrayed a dark beginning!

Dragon Ball Z
Raditz kidnapping Gohan! Pic credit: Toei Animation

Raditz’s role in Dragon Ball Z!

Even if you binged Dragon Ball or remembered that Goku had a tail, Raditz’s connection to Kakarot was a well-timed secret. Gohan looks like a mini-version of Goku with different hair and personality.

But Raditz’s design shows little resemblance to Goku. And his dialogue sounded/read much better in Japanese.

In the English dub, Raditz called Goku Kakarot and said that’s his name when Goku repeated it in confusion. Which indicates he already knew that Goku had forgotten about his Saiyan heritage.

Except for Raditz still demands to know if Goku hit his head as a child in the dub. In Japanese, Raditz calls him Kakarot and says he looks just like Father.

The big reveal of Goku’s origins and connection to Raditz comes next, and both versions handle it well. But that’s not all he did!

Raditz encountered Piccolo before he found Goku and scared him with little effort. This prompts Piccolo to follow after, hear Raditz take Gohan, and offer to team up with Goku.

This was the strongest team up in Dragon Ball, but it still almost failed. And Gohan almost died twice in the first five episodes!

What if?

What if Raditz turned good, or Goku joined Raditz? These are just two examples of some questions fans wonder about.

Despite Raditz seeming to be happy to see Goku again. He doesn’t hesitate to use force when it becomes clear Goku isn’t interested in joining his fellow Saiyans.

This also prompts Raditz to kidnap Gohan, and we hear Super Saiyan mentioned in the Japanese version. Was Super Saiyan meant to refer to Saiyan offspring with mixed blood, or was this Nappa bringing up the legend?

Vegeta and Nappa would arrive on Earth in one year. But, unfortunately, Goku is dead, and Gohan broke Raditz’s Space Pod.

But Bulma, Krillen, Master Roshi, and Piccolo each play a role in helping prepare for the Saiyan’s arrival. And they wouldn’t have gone to such lengths without witnessing how monstrous Raditz was.

He may not amount to much against other villains in the Dragon Ball franchise. But he was the best way to start a new adventure!

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