is a fictional character, and hero in the Dragon Ball franchise created by Akira Toriyama. Vegeta first appeared in the manga chapter #204 first published in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine on December 19, 1988, and in episode 5 of its anime adaptation Dragon Ball Z. Vegeta was originally a dangerous enemy who sought to use the Dragon Balls to gain immortality, but later became an anti-hero as even greater threats were introduced in the series. In the series, Vegeta is a member of the Royal Saiyan linage, the extraterrestrial race that the series' main character Son Goku is from. Even though Vegeta is viewed as a dangerous rival to Son Goku for most of the series, he later becomes a trusted ally to Son Goku with his assistance in the defeat of the powerful enemy Majin Buu.
Following a common name trend that Toriyama developed in Dragon Ball, Vegeta's name is derived from the word for vegetable, being that he is the prince of the Saiyan. In the special Dragon Ball: Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return!!, Vegeta's younger brother named Tarble is introduced. When the two names are combined, they create what would roughly be "vegetable" in English, being that vegetables are the naming theme for all pure Saiyans in the series.
Vegeta's initial appearance in the manga is as a short and stocky character, with upright standing hair and a defined widow's peak. When compared to the main character Son Goku, Vegeta is noticeably shorter. As the series continued, Toriyama's artwork evolved and as a result, Vegeta became more lean and average looking. In the anime adaptation's spin off called Dragon Ball GT, Vegeta's appearance goes through a drastic change, more so than any other previous time. Vegeta is seen to completely abandon his Saiyan style attire, and dress in an Earth dress reminiscent of real life Western cultures and he also appears to be more muscular . When he's first introduced in the series, Vegeta has a tail, which he loses in his initial battle on Earth with Goku and his allies. Over the course of the series, he has worn several variations of the Saiyan suit, but began abandoning the armor after the fight against Cell, even though his gloves and boots still reflect his Saiyan roots throughout the end of the written series. However, beginning in the Dragon Ball GT series, he abandons any indication of Saiyan style clothing for a more Earth-based appearance.
When Vegeta is introduced in the series, he is seen to be sadistic, murdering his long time comrade Nappa, seeing the latter's inability to defeat Goku as an unforgivable weakness. During this time, Vegeta is seen to have a fierce desire for immortality and galactic rule, a facet of his bitter resentment over his long-term employer, Frieza. Vegeta's personality changes from a sadistic killer to a vengeful anti-hero, obsessed with becoming stronger than Goku. After a short time, Vegeta falls in love with Goku's close friend named Bulma, after which she bears him a son named Trunks and later on a daughter named Bra (or Bulla depending where you see the name). As a result of his love for Bulma and the birth of his son, Vegeta soon simply becomes a bitter rival of Goku's, and thinks of Earth as a good place to settle down and live. As a result of this change he sees within himself, Vegeta attempts to return to his old sadistic self in order to defeat Goku, but the devotion that he feels towards his family soon overcomes the evil within him, and he becomes Goku's closest ally, and even a good friend.
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Official Site: Funimation
Links: Vegeta Wikipedia article Absolute Anime / Dragonball Z / Vegeta [Vegeta]