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Various Dragon Ball villains (Image via DeviantArt/Zantutzuken)

10 Dragon Ball villians, ranked based on intelligence

The Dragon Ball franchise is primarily based upon intense, high-flying martial arts bouts. Given the emphasis on strength and combat skills rather than pure intelligence, it’s almost no surprise that the series’ villains are somewhat lacking in the smarts department.

While true for most of the series’ villains, not all fall into this category. Inventors such as Dr. Gero prove to be some of the series’ most intelligent characters, though not quite the absolute zenith of smartness.


Here are 10 Dragon Ball villains, ranked from dumbest to smartest.

Dragon Ball villains boast a wide range of intelligence


10) Kid Buu

Kid Buu as seen in the Z anime (Image via Toei Animation)

Whether by being bound by range or the lack of intelligence to do so, Kid Buu doesn’t utter a single word during his appearances in Dragon Ball Z. He instead just grunts and yells, suggesting an extremely low level of intelligence without proof that this was just a choice.

9) Majin Buu

Majin Buu as seen in the series' manga (Image via Shueisha Shonen Jump)

Majin Buu receives the nod over his kid version because he could at least speak somewhat intelligently. That being said, he’s still shown to be extremely unintelligent, speaking only in the third person and having a somewhat limited understanding of his Earthly environment. While definitely not the dumbest Dragon Ball character, he’s far from the smartest.


8) Recoome

Recoome as seen in the Z anime (Image via Toei Animation)

Recoome is portrayed, at least in Dragon Ball Z’s English dub, as a fairly dim-witted character. His mannerisms, way of speaking, and overall appearance just gave off the impression of being unintelligent. While he’s portrayed differently in the Japanese dub in terms of his voice, the animated mannerisms and expressions remain.


7) Broly

Broly as seen in the Dragon Ball Super: Broly movie (Image via Toei Animation)

Both the Dragon Ball Z or Dragon Ball Super versions of Broly are fairly middle of the pack in terms of intelligence. Both are able to speak, and show at least a basic understanding of the technology and situations around them. Their upbringings on isolated, distant planets mean they aren’t exactly book smart, but they impress more than the average character in that regard.


6) Nappa

Nappa as seen in the Z anime (Image via Toei Animation)

Despite being a trained soldier, Nappa’s unawareness of the true circumstances of Planet Vegeta’s destruction makes him appear somewhat dimwitted. While he does mention there are rumors, he doesn’t seem to put much stock in them, whereas even a young Vegeta seems to know them to be true immediately.


5) Jiren

Jiren as seen in the Super anime (Image via Toei Animation)

Jiren, meanwhile, is a trained soldier who seems to show the intuition that Nappa fails to display. His behavior, mannerisms, and serious demeanor all seem to imply a fairly above-average intelligence. While not the smartest Dragon Ball character, he’s far from being the dumbest.


4) Frieza

Frieza as seen in the Super anime (Image via Toei Animation)

Frieza, meanwhile, seems to be of fairly high intelligence as far as the franchise’s villains go. He’s an intergalactic tyrant who seems to come from the celestial equivalent of a royal family, implying a corresponding level of education. He’s also been shown to be a master at manipulating people and emotions, which in and of itself merits a certain level of intelligence.


3) Perfect Cell

Perfect Cell as seen in the Z anime (Image via Toei Animation)

Perfect Cell is a mix of various different genes of Dragon Ball characters, allowing him to take the best qualities of each and take them for his own. He shows Frieza’s cunning, Goku’s battle IQ, and Gohan’s aptitude for book smarts. While he’s more of a jack of all trades than a master of one, he’s nevertheless one of the franchise’s smartest villains.

2) Dr. Gero

Dr. Gero as seen in the Z anime (Image via Toei Animation)

Genius inventor Dr. Gero, creator of Cell and Androids 16, 17, and 18, is undoubtedly the smartest mortal in the series. He’s a well-established genius in many areas of science, from cybernetics to biology. He was even smart enough to turn himself into an Android, a somewhat confusing yet still impressive feat.

1) Fused Zamasu

Fused Zamasu as seen in the Super anime (Image via Toei Animation)

Finally, Fused Zamasu is the franchise’s smartest character yet. His planning and cunning is on a higher level than other characters, matching his godly status and origins. In two separate realities, he’s able to realize two different plans of his, both of which go off without a hitch whatsoever. This remarkable feat makes it almost certain he’s the franchise’s smartest villain.

Note: The article reflects the writer's own views.

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Edited by
R. Elahi
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