With the dominance of Saiyans and alien races in Dragon Ball, it’s a shame that the humans who used to be some of the most powerful characters in the series are nothing more than fodder at this point. Krillin is a great example — while he could stand toe-to-toe with Goku early on in Dragon Ball, the Saiyan left him behind after attaining massive boosts of power.
However, that’s not to say that Krillin is completely useless. If anything, he has played a critical role in the series time and time again, helping out his friends in his own way. While he may be a goofball, Krillin has his fair share of iconic quotes in the show that causes fans to smile whenever they hear this Earthling speak with such passion.
6 “18… I’m Going To Charge Majin Buu. And When I Do, I Want You To Try To Get Everyone Else Inside. You Understand?”
Many people misunderstand Krillin as nothing more than a weakling who looks out for himself, which couldn’t be further from the truth. The reality is that Krillin is a loyal friend who would put his own life on the line if it meant that he could save his friends, and he displays this selfless attitude when Super Buu decides to head over to Kami’s Lookout to kill everyone in this area.
However, despite knowing that he had no chance against Buu, Krillin realized that he needed to buy some time for his friends to evacuate the premises. This leads to him sharing a heartfelt moment with his wife before essentially sacrificing himself to save his friends. It’s a shame that this move turns out to be completely wasteful, with all of his friends and family being devoured mercilessly by Super Buu regardless.
5 “C’mon Krillin… Don’t Let Your Feelings Cloud Your Judgment. You Have To Push The Button Krillin!”
The Android Saga sees Krillin play a pretty major role despite not boasting nearly enough power to even put a dent on Cell, especially in his perfect form. So, when Bulma gives him the detonator to kill Android 18, he realizes that he must get over his feelings for this antagonist to save Earth from its imminent destruction.
However, when push came to shove, Krillin realized that he simply didn’t have it in him to end the life of a person he had grown to love, despite sharing little to no meaningful interactions with her aside from an innocuous peck on the cheek. This led to his heart preventing him from doing what’s right, and he emphatically destroys the detonator while imploring Android 18 to escape. However, before this backup plan could be initiated, Cell finally located his target and absorbed 18, leading to him finally achieving his final and most powerful form.
Many people treat Krillin’s death like a source of amusement nowadays, given how weak this character has become in comparison to other characters in Dragon Ball. However, at the time of the Frieza Saga, Krillin was still fairly competent… which made his death one of the most shocking moments in the series.
Watching him helplessly yell out his friend’s name before exploding at the hands of Frieza caused the Saiyan to undergo an iconic transformation that allowed him to finally step up and destroy Frieza once and for all. To this day, most fans of the series get chills whenever they see Krillin yell helplessly, knowing that his death is imminent.
3 “But The Saiyans Killed Yamcha… And Tien, Chiaotzu! I Can’t Let Him Get Away!”
The Saiyan Saga was a huge arc that revealed the threat of Nappa and Vegeta, with the latter becoming one of the most iconic characters in the series after his introduction. With the Spirit Bomb and Gohan’s Great Ape form taking this character out of commission once and for all, Vegeta tried to escape in his shuttle, only for Krillin to stop him as he prepared to stab him with Yajirobe’s blade.
However, Goku advocated for mercy during this moment, and Krillin wondered why his friend was making this request given the sheer number of people killed by the heartless Prince of all Saiyans and his now-deceased comrade. Eventually, he relented, and Krillin let Vegeta escape after much deliberation.
2 “Don’t Know Why I’m Getting Up Again. It’d Be Much Easier To Keel Over… Guess I Only Have Goku And Gohan To Blame. Those Two Guys Really Changed Me For Keeps.”
While Gohan was fighting Cell and getting beat up, the rest of the Z Warriors decided that enough was enough. Piccolo didn’t want to see Gohan brutalized in such a manner, given the strong bond they shared. Meanwhile, Krillin also stood up and decided to fight against Cell, forsaking the rules of the twisted tournament that Cell had orchestrated.
He revealed that there was a time when he would’ve looked out for his own hide, but being friends with the Saiyans helped build up his courage. It didn’t matter if he would die at this point — he wasn’t going sit back and let Gohan die such a meaningless death!
1 “He’s Saved The Entire World Before. Would An Alien Warrior Do That? I Don’t Think So.”
Over the course of Dragon Ball, Krillin and Goku formed a strong bond as they became best friends. They both fought in their fair share of battles, taking out the threat of Demon King Piccolo in both his old and young form.
So, when Raditz revealed that Goku was actually a Saiyan sent her to destroy Planet Earth. Krillin scoffed in the face of this information, showing the utmost loyalty to his friend. While he got a powerful smack as punishment from Goku’s brother, his efforts to defend Goku were still quite admirable.
MORE: Dragon Ball: All Of Krillin’s Deaths, Ranked
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