Sorry if thread bumping is frowned upon here but I wanted somewhere to discuss Yamcha.
Dragon Ball Z aired in the UK long before Dragon Ball, so I saw that first. I knew nothing about Yamcha's desert bandit past, or Tien's assassin-like past and questionable morals, but for some reason they are just two characters who always fascinated me and I responded really well to. They shouldn't fascinate me really, as in DBZ they don't do very much, but for some reason they just did. After Goku, my two favourite characters are Tien and Yamcha. Unfortunately, especially in DBZ, I've got to rely on filler
Where to start with Yamcha. I've always thought he has cool hairstyles. I know they were added to greater differentiate him with non-Kid Goku, but I always thought that his scars, and the lack of explanation behind them, were pretty cool as well. I liked his early relationship with Bulma and I disliked her running off to Vegeta and producing Trunks (though that is a different discussion). I still don't really understand his relationship with Puar, but it is nice to see. How did they meet? Why are they so dedicated to one another? I suppose it kinda mirrors Tien and Chiaotzu's relationship somewhat. Yet another aspect of their characters I wish was further explored.
He debuted in the series with a pretty good understanding of martial arts, unfortunately never explained, but he also trained under Master Roshi, Korin, Kami and King Kai, so by anyone's standards he was no slouch and was pretty impressive. I found him becoming a baseball player very "realistic" though. With those sorts of powers, why wouldn't you just dominate a sport and earn big money?
Much like Tien, I think he had some cool moves/ techniques as well. I know it was never successful, but I always found Wolf Fang Fist a particularly aesthetically pleasing move, so cool. Spirit Ball/ Sōkidan was another really good looking move, even if it was never successful. That could've been such a useful technique, it is really clever, and showed really impressive ki control on Yamcha's part.
He had a lot of memorable fights/ moments, starting right at the beginning with his first when he fought pretty evenly with Goku. He saved the day against Boss Rabbit. He saved the day when he and Puar cut off Goku's tail. His fight against the Invisible Man was funny, and he fought bravely against that Mummy despite being completely out of his depth and nearly lost his life. His fight with Tien at the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament was great, one of my favourites. He fought bravely against Tambourine despite having a broken leg. His fight with "Hero" was very funny. He was careless in his fight with the Saibaman, had he not been so over confident he'd probably have won that and died later against Nappa. I loved the lesser Z-Fighters getting impressive wins against the Ginyu Force, one of my favourite moments. He got battered by Turles and his gang in The Tree of Might but I was happy to see him involved. He couldn't have done much against Androids 19 and 20 as, again, he was out of his depth, but he later fought bravely to protect Goku from the Cell Jr.'s. He also got battered by Bojack and his gang in Bojack Unbound but again, I was just happy to see him involved.
One of my biggest regrets with Yamcha, and with Tien and Chiaotzu, is the Garlic Jr. saga. I know many dislike it, but personally I quite enjoyed it. It would've been a perfect opportunity to give Yamcha, Tien and Chiaotzu a bit of glory and spotlight. Krillin, Yamcha, Tien and Chiaotzu against the Spice Boys whilst Piccolo and Gohan fought Garlic Jr. for a while could've been good, but unfortunately Yamcha just became a possessed vampire creep and the other two didn't appear. A shame, but ah well...
I've been a fan of this series for nearly 15 years now (man I'm old!), but Yamcha has stood the test of time as one of my top characters still to this day, which must say something about him, given the number of very good characters in this series.
Goku, Yamcha, Krillin, Tien, Chiaotzu, Yajirobe, Gohan, Piccolo, Vegeta, Future Trunks, Android 18, Goten, Trunks and Majin Buu.