Rumor Guide

Our Rumor Guide here at Kanzenshuu is an extensive collection of articles with comprehensive, well-researched, well-documented deep-dives into some of the most prevalent rumors in Dragon Ball fandom. There is always more to every story, so be sure to follow along with any additional links provided throughout the articles!

Akira Toriyama Hates Vegeta

Rumor Status
Once upon a time had hints of truth, but these days it seems to be False.

The Original Interview Quote

In the second round of the “Akira Toriyama Super Interview” included with the second Daizenshuu guide book in Japan, as a contrast to talking about his favorite characters, original manga author Akira Toriyama tossed out the following tidbit:

With Vegeta, well, I don’t like him all that much, but he was extremely helpful to have around.

Alternate translations of this line, along with decades of fan discussion, have warped this into a much harsher “Toriyama Hates Vegeta”, which was/is not necessarily the case. It certainly seemed that Toriyama did not care for Vegeta “all that much” (and to be fair, Vegeta was not a particularly “nice” character…!), but “hate” is an awfully strong word to use here. Indeed, Vegeta was a very convenient character to have around after the Saiyan arc, leading to some incredibly memorable fights during the early chases on Planet Namek, not to mention the ability to introduce even more Saiyans — namely Trunks — into the mix later on.

The Changing Usage of Vegeta

Perhaps the first hint that Toriyama did not harbor such hard feelings for Vegeta came with Neko Majin Z 3 in 2004, where Vegeta becomes wrapped up in the wacky hijinks of the Neko Majin-verse. Throughout the chapter Vegeta somehow never breaks from character and even resents being used in a gag manga. From this it seemed clear that, if nothing else, Toriyama had come to enjoy using the ever-serious Vegeta as a “straight man” where the comedy itself would play off his determination to maintain his own dignity in the face of humiliation and absurdity.

In this post-Battle of Gods world, the writing appears to be on the wall: in the 2013 film (whose story was penned by Toriyama himself), Vegeta plays a substantial supporting role that is equal parts action and comedy, and is even acknowledged as having briefly surpassed Goku in strength.

As a part of the “Super Q&A” within the March 2014 issue of Saikyō Jump in Japan (and more specifically its Episode of Bardock “Super Kanzenban“), Toriyama went on to note:

As for Vegeta, in the event that there’s talk of another animated film, then next time, I’d like him to play the main role. (Of course, this is nothing more than intentions, and I haven’t decided anything at all.)

While it may be tough to single Vegeta out as the sole star of any subsequent theatrical film, he certainly shared the stage fairly equally alongside Goku, and has continued to do so throughout the entire television series and manga run of Dragon Ball Super.

It would be easy to toss out accusations of Toriyama being a “hypocrite” or otherwise flip-flopping on his opinions, but consider the timing and surrounding circumstances. Having taken a well-deserved break after finishing Dragon Ball, Toriyama’s return to the series and its characters so many years later afforded him an opportunity to completely re-evaluate every facet of his creation. Surely it is no surprise to see him find new interest in areas he may have overlooked before!

So What?

Of course, the real question here is: so what? What does it actually matter if Akira Toriyama does or does not like Vegeta?

Fans and detractors alike of certain characters tend to take things to the extremes, using quotes such as the aforementioned Daizenshuu 2 interview to twist things around into… well, some kind of argument.

But it doesn’t matter if Toriyama liked Vegeta then, likes Vegeta now, or changed his mind at any point along the way. You are entitled to like whatever it is you like for whatever reasons you have, and those opinions don’t have to be the same ones the original author has.