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The third instalment in our character guide for Dragon Ball Z

And so we continue filling you in on the heroes and villains to keep an eye on in the latest super-charged volume of the famous action epic!

Dragon Ball Z PorungaShenron and Porunga. Literally putting the ‘dragon’ in Dragon Ball, these legendary serpents will grant the wishes of anyone who gathers all seven of their associated mythic spheres. There are a couple of key differences though – Shenron is the Eternal Dragon of Earth, a fearsome beast resembling the traditional elongated dragons of Chinese and Japanese classical art. However, despite his imposing presence, Shenron is normally only capable of granting one wish at a time, once per year. Porunga is the Namekian counterpart, a continent-sized behemoth known as the Dragon of Dreams. His summoned form is more like a genie of Arabian myth, a hulking upper body with a tail trailing down to a point and, like his inspiration, capable of granting three wishes.

Dragon Ball Z GokuSuper Saiyan Goku. Not so much a new character as a new attitude, new focus and new level of power! Goku is the first modern Saiyan to master this terrifying transformation. Surrounded by a golden aura and his signature spikey hair altered to match, Super Saiyan Goku is almost immeasurably stronger than normal. The prospect of an entire population with the genetic potential to reach the same level scared Frieza – so much so, he destroyed their homeworld rather than risk them rising to challenge him. Even with the Super Saiyan upgrade, Goku will need every move he’s ever learned to face up to the intergalactic criminal!

Dragon Ball Z KamiKami. The Guardian of Earth, which makes him as close as anyone will come to being God – lucky really, since that’s what his name means. Originally born on Namek, he became a being of pure goodness after purging his darker urges, which in turn coalesced into the original King Piccolo. Kami is the original creator of Earth’s Dragon Balls, and oversees their use from his Lookout, floating high above the world. Since meeting Goku as a child, Kami has served as a mentor for the youthful hero.

Mr Popo. Kami’s servant, and that of the Guardian of Earth before him. Popo is an ‘assistant deity’, a seemingly immortal genie with the ability to materialise items out of nowhere, teleport anywhere on Earth, and consume energy – his first confrontation with Goku saw him swallowing his famous Kamehameha attack and only suffer the ignominy of a smokey belch! He rarely fights directly, mainly functioning as caretaker and gardener for Kami’s Lookout, though often serves as advisor to the Z-Fighters in dire times.

Dragon Ball ZOolong. A major figure in the original Dragon Ball, this shape shifting communist pig-man joined Goku and Bulma in their early quests for the wish-granting orbs. Cast early on with a sneering and almost mean personality, he became better known for being a complete pervert. By the time Dragon Ball Z rolls around, Oolong is essentially Master Roshi’s sidekick, the pair both sharing an unhealthy love for girls’ panties.

Dragon Ball Z Box Three is out on UK DVD from Manga Entertainment.

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