There are two common arguments that Dragon Ball Z fans have online. The first is who is truly stronger: Goku or Vegeta? The second debate is who is the strongest and best antagonist of the franchise?! Its not secret that one of the ‘secret sauces’ to Dragon Ball Z’s success is that there are many memorable villains! So important are these antagonists that fans of the franchise refer to their favorite episodes based on whom the antagonist of those episodes are. While there is some debate on whether Freeza, Cell, or Vegeta are the ultimate villains in the series, one villain who is largely poo-pooed on is Maijin Buu.

While there are people who enjoy the episode involving Buu, there is little debate that the Buu saga is one of the weaker sagas of the series. The storytelling of the season (as well as how the main character behave in general) are certainly factors for why the final season (at the time) of the show largely falls flat, it can not be overstated how lukewarm fans of the franchise felt about Buu, the supposed ‘ultimate lifeform’ in the Dragon Ball universe. Why is Buu so hated though?

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Who is Maijin Buu?


Majin Buu is a genie-like life form that has the ability to destroy the world. His history is a muddled one, but it is known that he was awakened by the wizard Bibidi, who wanted to use Buu’s powers to destroy the world. Eventually, Bibidi was killed and Buu was sealed away, as he could not be controlled without the wizard. Years later Bibidi’s son Babidi would free Buu to continue his father’s ambitions to rule the world.

What are His Powers?

Super Saiyan 3 Goku vs Buutenks

Buu has the superhuman strength and powers that rival those of the Super Saiyens. Thus, he has the potential to destroy the world. One of his other powers is the ability to turn living creatures into candy and eat them. Yet another power of his is his ability to turn enemies into stone. While all are strong powers, he doesn’t appear to have the ability to perform all of them at once. Buu has several different forms with several different personality traits. Depending on which form he takes will determine the main power Buu is able to perform.

The only consistent power is his ability to regenerate himself, making defeating him extremely difficult. Another universal advantage (save for one form) is his rubbery body, which makes hand-to-hand combat difficult for his opponents to land punches, as many hits and kicks may simply slip around him (or get stuck in Buu’s body). In all forms Buu has a need to destroy things despite not really knowing why he wants to do so. This is why Babidi is so essential, as without him Buu will simply destroy and kill without much thought as to why he is doing this.

Buu’s Lack of Motivation and Personality

Heartless Destruction Buu

While Buu is a powerful figure and worthy fighting opponent, his lack of motivations are the main reason he is constantly frowned upon by Dragon Ball Z fans. While Vegeta, Frieza, and Cell are all antagonists with personal motivations and histories, Buu really seems like a side character that was brought to the forefront. As a tool for Babidi’s ambitions he is an excellent puppet for the sorcerer to use. Given free reign from Babidi he will simply kill without really knowing why. While this ended up being interesting when he meets Mr. Satan and makes his first true friend during his first form, his later forms are even less compelling.

When Buu changes forms after his dog is killed the character still wants to destroy the world but has the bigger disadvantage to not even being able to talk much. The series seemed unable to think of anything interesting to do with him once Babidi is killed, with Buu going through one evil form after the next. In all cases Buu has no motivation for doing anything he is doing, and speaks less and less as the series goes on. When he finally reaches his final form Buu becomes a mindless fighter, trying to destroy the world for no reason anyone can discern. While other Dragon Ball Z villains wanted world conquest and/or destruction as well, they had unique personalities and reasons for their goals.

Maijin Buu does not have the personality or depth to be compelling in his goal. The fact that Mr. Satan gets him to admit that he doesn’t really know why he does what he does significantly lower the stakes, as viewers are left with a feeling that the series didn’t know how to continue the franchise and keep it interesting, so they just threw in a villain with no personality to give the Z Fighters someone to fight. It’s a shame that the final antagonist in the Dragon Ball franchise was such a misguided character, but thankfully fans would get Dragon Ball Super that would introduce proper followup antagonists to the series rich history of antagonists. As for Buu, as a sidekick and friend to Mr. Satan, he is now allowed to be the lovable character most viewers always wanted him to be. After all, just because he was a lousy villain doesn’t mean he wasn’t a lovable side character!

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