The Best Dragon Ball Z Fighter Is The One Nobody Expects

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

When Dragon Ball Z fans debate over which characters are the strongest, there’s really no contest: from the very beginning, it has always been Goku who has gotten stronger and stronger, becoming literally godlike in his devotion to reaching his full potential. However, there’s a big difference between “strongest fighter” and “best fighter,” and someone else deserves the latter title. Hold onto your Senzu beans because I’m about to walk you through why the perennial Goku sidekick Krillin is actually the best fighter in all of Dragon Ball Z.

Krillin Is The Strongest Human

First, Krillin deserves some props because he is, canonically, the strongest human on planet Earth. Dragon Ball Z fans like to give him crap because he can’t hang with characters like Goku, Vegeta, or even Piccolo, but that’s actually a big part of the point that I’m making. Throughout the series, Krillin isn’t as strong as the various aliens and androids he fights alongside and against, but that doesn’t mean he’s not the strongest human fighter on the planet, and that’s worth celebrating.

Never Backs Down

Additionally, even though Krillin may be weak by the standards of Dragon Ball Z, he never backs down from fighting stronger foes. This is the guy who had the Dragon Balls to fight Frieza and even cut off the villain’s tail, and in the show’s first saga, he easily dispatched several Saibamen as strong as Goku’s evil brother Raditz. Even when it’s clear that he’s likely to die in the fight (something that has repeatedly happened!), Krillin is never afraid to step up to face world-class bad guys like Cell. 

Never Gives Up

As a huge Dragon Ball Z fan, I also have to give Krillin props for being a man who literally fights for the people. Characters like Vegeta and even Goku are mostly in this to get stronger and take on the biggest foes, but Krillin is clearly out to save as many people as he possibly can. Arguably, this makes him a better fighter–as in, one who fights for a real cause–than stronger fighters who would put the entire world in danger if it meant getting a better fight out of an opponent.

There When His Friends Need Him

While Dragon Ball Z has always been focused mostly on Goku, we do follow an ensemble (our beloved Z Fighters) as they tackle one huge threat after another. Krillin doesn’t get nearly enough credit for being willing to take on a support role and help the team in any way necessary. Quite frankly, if Krillin were more of a glory hound like some of his teammates, he would have died early in the Saiyan fight instead of being ready to redirect Goku’s Spirit Bomb at Vegeta during a crucial moment.

Fight For His Family

Finally, while some may criticize him for being such a romantic, Dragon Ball Z fans need to give Krillin big ups for fighting so hard for Android 18, the love of his life. Once he realizes he cares so much for her, Krillin risks life and limb to save her, eventually using the Dragon Balls to remove the self-destruct device hidden inside of her. After they get married, he even participates in the Tenka’ichi Budōkai solely to earn some money, quite literally fighting for his wife and their young child.

No One Fights Harder

At the end of the day, Krillin will never be as strong as Dragon Ball Z star Goku, and it’s an open secret that someone like Vegeta could probably knock his head off with no effort whatsoever. However, being a strong fighter isn’t the same as being a good fighter, and no one trains harder, fights fiercer, and even dies for those he loves like Krillin. Take a bow, short king: you’ve earned it.