As a fan of Dragonball Z, I always enjoyed Vegeta’s character. If you’re not familiar with who he is, I suggest you watch some DBZ around the Freiza saga to get a better feel for him. He is one of the most popular anime characters of all time, and has become the model for egotistical and hardcore characters in the genre. He has flaws like any other character, but, personally, he inspires me. From being someone who will not quit until he sees victory, to being one who will push himself to be the best he can be, Vegeta’s personality is an interesting one that I will be dissecting to find some biblical lessons we can all learn from.
Ego is the first thing I think about when I think about Vegeta’s character. He is all about being the best and not caring what anyone else thinks. He will pound anyone into the ground who thinks otherwise, and will do so without hesitation. Throughout the Dragonball Z series, he is a ruthless killer who is someone to be feared… and he enjoys it! When he shows up somewhere and everyone shakes in terror, it brings a smile to his face.
Throughout the series, Son Goku faces him several times and teaches him that there is someone better than him. This is a concept that Vegeta never before had to deal with, since he has blown up entire planets without contest and has never dreamed of anyone being stronger than him. Goku, however, changes all that and makes him realize that there’s more to life than being the best in the world. After the defeat of Frieza, Vegeta settles down (somewhat) and gets married to Bulma and has a son.
Later on, during the Buu Saga of Dragonball Z, there is a fight between Kid Buu and Goku where Vegeta begins to reflect on how he has watched Goku fight various enemies. He realizes how he has always fought with the intention to kill his opponent, while Goku does not and gives mercy to them instead. He has been clouded by rage and his training has always been rooted in it; thus, Vegeta could never surpass his rival because Goku was instead founded on wanting to protect his loved ones. He admits that Goku is the better fighter and the one that will defeat Buu, because Vegeta knows he is not strong enough, even though he tried his hardest.
There are times when I think I’m the best at something, when in reality there are always people out there better than me. No matter what I do, there’s always a challenge around the corner. That’s actually a good thing, though, because I believe that the best way to learn is from others who are better than you. Vegeta always makes the mistake that he is the best and charges at the enemy with all he has without actually analyzing the situation first. We have all made this same mistake, instead of planning ahead and saving ourselves a lot of trouble.
In the Bible, we can find many lessons about pride and what happens if we succumb to it.
Proverbs 16:18 (The Message Translation)
18 First pride, then the crash—
the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.
Romans 12:16 (NLT Translation)
16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!