- This article is about the original character. For the character portrayed in live-action by Joon Park, see Yamcha (Joon Park).
|Alternate names||Lord Yamcha|
Zedaki (Harmony Gold dub)
Iamco (Italian Dub)
Jamsza (Polish Dub)
Jamača (Serbian Dub)
|Debut||Manga: "Yamcha and Pu'ar"|
Anime: "Yamcha the Desert Bandit"
|Date of birth||Age 733|
|Date of death||Age 762 (Revived)|
May 12th, Age 767 (Alternate timeline
Age 774 (Revived)
|Height||6'0" (183 cm)|
|Weight||150 lbs. (68kg)|
|Occupation||Bandit, Martial artist, Volunteer fireman, Professional Baseball player|
|Allegiance||Turtle School (Age 750 - 753)|
Z Fighters (Age 761 - 774)
Yamcha (ヤムチャ, Yamucha) is a former desert bandit. He was once an enemy of Goku, but eventually reformed and became a lifelong friend and ally. He was the first of the eventual Z Fighters to meet and team up with Goku. He was once the boyfriend of Bulma, and finds a constant companion in Puar. His name is a play on "Yum cha" (literally "drinking tea"), referring to a gathering to drink tea and eat dim sum. He has the distinction of being the one Z Fighter that has known Goku the longest, even longer than Krillin.
Creation and conceptionEdit
When Akira Toriyama decided to create Dragon Ball, he used Wu Cheng'en's Journey to the West as a prototype for his own series. Yamcha is most likely based on Sha Wujing, also known as Sha Seng, from this novel. Both are powerful bandits (Yamcha from a sandy desert, and Sha from a sand river), who eventually change their ways and help the heroes on their quest.
A likely prototype design for Yamcha was the title character to Akira Toriyama's one-shot Pink. Although Pink was a female, she also was a bandit living in a desert hideout who had an animal companion and rode a flying vehicle similar to Yamcha's vehicle, the Jet Squirrel.
Appearance and PersonalityEdit
Yamcha's appearance changes throughout the series, mainly his clothes and hairstyle. Yamcha started out the series with long hair and bangs. After settling down in the city, he cut his hair to fit in. Later on, he would grow his hair out again. Several of Yamcha's hairstyles are also used by Gohan at various points in his life. Another of Yamcha's most significant appearance changes were the mysterious scars he got sometime during his three years training for the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament. Yamcha enjoys eating hard-baked Soba, a Japanese dish consisting of noodles. According to Android 19's scanner, Yamcha is 183 centimeters tall and weighs 68 kilograms, during the Androids Saga. Series creator Akira Toriyama suggested that Yamcha would be a baseball player in anime filler material for Dragon Ball Z. The first kanji Yamcha has on his clothes 樂 stands for "happy" or "music". After training with Master Roshi, he takes the "turtle" or "Kame" kanji "亀" as a sign of respect. Later, after training with King Kai, he wears both "Kame and "Kai" kanji. He wears them the opposite way Goku did ("Kame" on the back and "Kai" on the chest), except in Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might where he wears the "Kai" kanji on the back and "Kame" on the chest.
Yamcha is originally characterized as a deadly warrior, who fears nothing but talking to women. After befriending Goku and the others, his personality remains mostly the same, but becomes very caring and considerate of the people he protects. He is showcased as a courageous warrior who strives his very best to be the best, but is unable to reach this status, a fact that appears to plague him. He has a great network of information, recognizing Goku's Power Pole as Grandpa Gohan's during their first fight.
Yamcha is a huge fan of the World Martial Arts Tournament and has always wanted to compete and someday win; it is likely this is why he has knowledge of famous fighters like Grandpa Gohan, Monster Carrot, Bacterian, and King Chappa. When ever the tournament date neared, Yamcha would always go through vigorous training and invent a new a technique like the Blinding Wolf Fang Fist, Neo Wolf Fang Fist, and the Spirit Ball. Sometime during his three years of training for the 23rd World Tournament, Yamcha got his face scarred.
In early Dragon Ball Z, he shows great pride in defending Earth from the Saiyans, and is willing to put his life on the line to stop them; which he evidently does. After returning from the dead, he prepares to battle the Androids. During this time he and Bulma break up for good (though they remain friends), and she ends up with Vegeta, which frustrated him. After seeing Vegeta's emotional reaction to Future Trunks' death, Yamcha forgave him and is later seen being friendly with Vegeta. Yamcha is also on good terms with Trunks and tells Future Trunks that his father really loved him. About after being nearly killed by Dr. Gero, he takes more of a comical approach, and becomes all but useless in battle due to the ever growing power of the villains the Z Fighters face. It appears whatever passion for fighting he had disappears with the emergence of the Super Saiyans, who severely outclass him in fighting ability, and he eventually comes to accept this. Despite this fact, he remains a trusted ally and fights on occasion when needed. During the latter half of Dragon Ball Z, he retires from fighting, but continues training and goes off on his own.
Yamcha expressed a strong desire to marry, which was the reason why he wanted to cure his fear of women. He also expressed excitement at the thought of starting a family. The Dragon Ball: Bouken Special book, released during the King Piccolo Saga, says he is nervous around women except for Bulma, and Future Trunks states during the Trunks Saga, in both the manga, anime, and video games, that he fully got over his nervousness around women and that his promiscuity caused Bulma to break up with him. Despite originally saying it was his dream to get married and Trunks saying that he found love again, Yamcha appears to be single in Dragon Ball GT.
In the manga, Future Trunks states that after Bulma and Yamcha broke up, Yamcha found a new girlfriend. Although she never appeared in any Dragon Ball media, Yamcha's new girlfriend is mentioned at the end of the Cell Games Saga, when Shenron asks for a wish and Yamcha jokingly proposes he wish for a necklace for the said girlfriend.
Bandit Life and Meeting GokuEdit
Yamcha is introduced in the Emperor Pilaf Saga as a 16 year old bandit that lives in Diablo Desert along with his companion, an anthropomorphic cat named Puar, and robs travelers who pass through. He ambushed Goku, Bulma and Oolong in order to steal their money and capsules. When challenged by Goku, they fought, with Yamcha using his signature technique, the Wolf Fang Fist, seemingly knocking Goku out. However, it only injured Goku. Then, Goku starts to have the disadvantage when he starts to get hungry, which drains his power. As Yamcha was about to defeat Goku, he spots Bulma and makes his retreat, due to his extreme fear of women. Yamcha returned to their camp that night and, while spying on them, learned of the Dragon Balls and their ability to grant a wish. He then decided to steal their Dragon Balls and make a wish to overcome his phobia, as he dreams of getting married. He and his companion Puar broke into the group's van that night to do so, but were foiled when the orbs under the sheet which Yamcha thought were Dragon Balls were actually the breasts of a nude and sleeping Bulma, causing him to leave in a confused daze. He attacked again the following day, by knocking over the group's van with a panzer faust, but was again challenged by Goku and retreated when Goku damaged his vanity by knocking one of his teeth out. Yamcha's attack to the wagon had still done its damage so Goku's group was forced to leave it behind and walk. As Shu had earlier planted a bomb in the van which exploded shortly after it was abandoned, Yamcha's actions had inadvertently saved Goku.
Realizing that he could not beat Goku, Yamcha instead decided to let the group collect all seven balls and then take the wish. He again came to the group, this time apologizing for his behavior, and gave them a car to make up for damaging their van. The car, of course, had a tracking device in it.
While on the group's trail, Yamcha encounters a mysterious girl who destroyed a T-Rex and was frightened by Yamcha and attacks him, causing him to retaliate and knock her out. Later, when eavesdropping on Goku's conversation with Ox-King, he realizes that the girl is Chi-Chi, Ox-King's daughter. Not wanting to face the wrath of an angry Ox-King, Yamcha races back to the scene and apologizes to Chi-Chi, saying he did what he did because he is crazy with love for her. He quickly hides when he sees Goku coming and, by luck, witnesses Chi-Chi pull Goku's tail, exposing his weak spot. Yamcha returns to Fire Mountain and remains hidden as Goku returns with Chi-Chi and Master Roshi, the legendary martial arts master who trained both Ox-King and Goku's grandfather, Grandpa Gohan. He is awed by Master Roshi's display of the Kamehameha, an energy wave Master Roshi used with the intention of putting out the massive fire at Ox-King's residence, but instead, destroyed the castle and the entire mountain it was on. He also can't help but be somewhat envious after Goku is chosen by Master Roshi to be his disciple.
Yamcha continues to tail the group, letting it slip in front of Puar he thinks Bulma has a beautiful voice, after they recover the sixth Dragon Ball from Ox-King into a remote village. There, he has to intervene and help Goku after Bulma is turned into a carrot by Monster Carrot, leader of the Rabbit Mob. He orders Puar to turn into a bird and rescue the hostage carrot-Bulma while he takes out Monster Carrot's two henchmen. Working with Goku, the two recover carrot Bulma and through Puar's trickery get Monster Carrot to change her back. Yamcha quickly hides again after this, letting Goku deal with the gang without having to worry about Bulma's safety. While watching Bulma's disappointment at his absence, Yamcha silently curses his shyness around her.
When Shu ambushes Goku, Bulma and Oolong, stealing five of their six balls along with destroying their car with his Pilaf Machine, Yamcha has to again intervene, this time joining the group. They track the balls to Pilaf's Castle, but are soon trapped. From a hole blasted in the wall by Goku they witness Emperor Pilaf summoning Shenron and Yamcha orders Puar to go with Oolong and stop it. Emperor Pilaf's wish is interrupted by Oolong and, as punishment, the group is moved into a giant solar-oven like cell to die the next day when the sun comes up; they are not contained long though before Goku transforms into a Great Ape and destroys their cell by the light of the full moon.
To get the group to safety, Yamcha is forced to pick up Bulma despite his girl phobia.Just as Goku is about to crush Bulma, pinned by some rubble, Yamcha comes to the rescue and grabs his tail, stunning him long enough for Puar to transform into a giant pair of scissors and cut the tail off, returning Goku to his normal state. The next morning, with the balls now inert, the gang goes their separate ways. Yamcha and Bulma are satisfied though, as they now have each other and, therefore, no need to make any wishes. They go with Bulma back to the city while Goku goes off to train with Master Roshi.
The World TournamentEdit
Main article: Tournament Saga
Excited about the Martial arts tournament, Yamcha goes to the wildernes to hone his skills. After a month Yamcha returns and saves Bulma from getting hit by a truck. Bulma does not recognize Yamcha at first due to his beard and dishelved appearance. When she does realize its him she is both happy and annoyed that he did not call or contact her during his long absence.
Yamcha next meets up with Goku at the 21st World Martial Arts Tournament where he says he had a haircut at Bulma's request. Yamcha makes it to the quarter-finals, but is eliminated by Jackie Chun, who dodges all of Yamcha's attacks and knocks him out of the ring by creating a powerful wind with a hand chop.
This level of power, along with the physical likeness, causes Yamcha to suspect Jackie Chun is Master Roshi in disguise, before Roshi solicits Nam to wear a fake beard and convince Yamcha that he is not Roshi.
When Goku sees the full moon and turns into a Great Ape during his battle with Jackie Chun, Jackie Chun fires a MAX Power Kamehameha in the ape's direction despite Yamcha's desperate attempt to stop Chun. When the smoke clears, Goku is nowhere to be found, and Yamcha and his friends start to cry. Fortunately, it turns out Goku was just knocked out of the ring and they celebrate by going out to dinner on Roshi's tab after Jackie Chun wins the tournament.
Red Ribbon Army conflictEdit
After the tournament, Yamcha returns to West City with Bulma and the others. Bulma gets angry at him because the other girls in the city are all over him. When Goku was flying on the Nimbus on a tour to West city, he (and Bulma through the Micro Band) comes across Yamcha, Oolong, and Puar. Oolong and Puar tell Goku that Bulma has been treating Yamcha badly. Yamcha says this is true, but he still likes her. Bulma, resizes herself after hearing these comments, gets angry at Yamcha again, and heads alone to the Dream Land amusement park. Yamcha is upset by this, but goes with Goku, Oolong, and Puar to the amusement park anyway. On the way, the two save a fortune teller from thugs. However, it is actually Hasky, a thief hired by the Red Ribbon Army to take the Dragon Balls. Hasky has a bunch of failed attempts to steal the Dragon Balls, but no one catches on.
Eventually Goku leaves the dragon ball with Yamcha. Seeing her chance, Hasky attempts to seduce him, but Yamcha finds out she's a fake by coming across the real fortune teller. Hasky attacks Yamcha with a sword and he fights her off. Unfortunately, Bulma comes across them and in her view it looks like the two are kissing. Bulma hurls a cabinet at Yamcha right as he just beat Hasky and stomps off. This allowed Hasky to tie up Yamcha and take the Dragon Balls, but not before revealing she planted a bomb in the park. Yamcha later helps Goku take care of Hasky, get the Dragon Balls back, and defuse the bomb.
But due to the incident with Bulma, Yamcha's already strained relationship with her was strained even further and she left with Goku to find a new boyfriend with the Dragon Balls.
Later on, after Goku defeats the entire Red Ribbon Army, Yamcha and the rest of the gang rush to help him in a helicopter, but they learned that their help ultimately proved unnecessary because Goku finished them off without them.
Fortuneteller Baba SagaEdit
Main article: Fortuneteller Baba Saga
Yamcha decides to accompany Goku and travels with him to see Fortuneteller Baba at her palace to learn the location of the last Dragon Ball to revive Upa's father, Bora. Fortuneteller Baba does not give readings free though and will only do it after her five warriors are beaten. Yamcha faces her second warrior, See-Through the Invisible Man.
Unable to see his opponent Yamcha can’t land a blow and was losing the match. He tried to locate his opponent by sound which works initially, but is foiled when Fortuneteller Baba starts singing. Krillin thinks quickly though and brings both Bulma and Master Roshi to the ring; he then exposes Bulma's breasts causing Master Roshi to have a nose bleed which covers the Invisible Man. With his opponent now visible, Yamcha uses his Wolf Fang Fist and quickly dispatches him.
Fortuneteller Baba then takes the warriors to a new ring, the Devil's Toilet which has a thin platform over a pool of powerful acid. In this arena Yamcha battles his next opponent, Bandages the Mummy, who is both a fast and strong mummy. Things look bad for Yamcha until he manages a quick sneak attack, tripping Bandages the Mummy off the ledge; though it is proved futile as Bandages the Mummy is able to use his bandages like a rope and climb his way back up. They fight again, and again Yamcha is pummeled until he is held up by his neck before being tossed down towards the acid. Fortunately, Goku intervened and saved him with his Power Pole.
Goku takes over the fighting at this point and defeats Bandages the Mummy with one hit, as well as the rest of Fortuneteller Baba's fighters. It is not in vain for Yamcha though, as Master Roshi accepts him to become one of his students.
Meeting Tien ShinhanEdit
Main article: Tien Shinhan Saga
Three years later, Yamcha competes in the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament. While in the preliminaries he has confrontational words with Tien Shinhan, the prize student of a rival school, who mocks Yamcha and claims to destroy Yamcha in the ring. When the finals are about to begin, Tien has his friend Chiaotzu use his psychic powers to fix the fight schedule numbering so that he and Yamcha face off first in the quarterfinals.
At the start of their fight, they seem to be trading an equal number of blows. Yamcha then attempts his Wolf Fang Blowing Wind, but it is beaten by Tien who parries the assault and counters with a quick punch to Yamcha's gut. Yamcha decides to go all out and utilizes, to everyone's surprise, the Kamehameha; this is stopped by Tien who reflects the attack back at Yamcha with a Kiai, making Yamcha jump into the air. Tien also jumps and kicks Yamcha, knocking him out. However, Tien does not stop at that. Tien then shatters the unconscious Yamcha's leg with a diving knee attack. (Note that this is Yamcha's only tournament match where he is defeated by KO rather than ring-out).
Yamcha is eliminated by KO and goes to the local hospital with Puar turning into a carpet for Yamcha to lie on. In hospital for the rest of the competition, Yamcha listens to the remainder of the fights on the radio, and manages to be there for the fight between Goku and Tien. When Tien wins and decides to turn over a new leaf due to Roshi's advice, Yamcha is one of the first to clap for him. Later, when a reformed Tien apologizes for the unnecessary beating, Yamcha says bones can always grow back and that he awaits their next bout. The two then forge a friendly rivalry and promise to meet again at the next tournament.
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