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One Dragon Ball Fighter Unlocked an Iconic Ability Before Goku

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  • Posted on 06th Aug, 2022 12:14 PM
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While Goku has consistently been the most powerful Z Fighter throughout Dragon Ball, another fighter unlocked an iconic ability long before him.

Throughout the Dragon Ball mythos, Goku has been the gold standard of fighters as he consistently achieves greater forms of power long before anyone else. However, in the early days of the Dragon Ball manga, one surprising Z Fighter actually unlocked an iconic–and oftentimes overlooked–ability way before Goku.

Goku made his first appearance in Dragon Ball chapter 1 by Akira Toriyama, and from that point on he constantly proves he is the best fighter in the world. During his first mission with Bulma to retrieve the Dragon Balls, Goku easily defeats low-level villains like the Carrotter as well as enemies-turned-allies like Yamcha. Despite beating everyone he comes across, Goku still hadn’t even scratched the surface of his true power, but Goku's training with Master Roshi helped him grow in strength exponentially. Following Roshi’s training, Goku was able to defeat the greatest assassin in the world and even took down the Red Ribbon Army which was a world-wide organization focused on conquering the planet. Basically, Goku just kept growing in power with no one able to match him–that is, until Goku entered his second World Martial Arts Tournament.

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In Dragon Ball chapter 119 by Akira Toriyama, Goku and Krillin have entered their second Tenkaichi Budokai after losing to a mysterious fighter (who was just Master Roshi in disguise) during their first tournament together. While they are better trained and have a better understanding of what to expect, it seems as though their chances of winning this year are less than what they were during the last tournament as the power levels of their opponents are way higher than the last time. One of the fighters who is especially threatening is the future Z Fighter, Tien, who at this point in Dragon Ball history is a hardened villain who is working towards being the greatest assassin on the planet. Not only is Tien perhaps even stronger than Goku himself, but he has an ability the Saiyan warrior wouldn’t be able to attain for some time: the power of flight.

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In the current state of Dragon Ball as shown in Dragon Ball Super, flight may seem like one of the more insignificant powers as it is so common among all of the heroes and villains within the series. While flight is a power that is present during every battle, the main focus is always on the explosive examples of raw power being exhibited by the insanely strong warriors. However, when reading the early chapters of Dragon Ball--during which time hardly anyone has the power of flight--readers get a greater appreciation for the overlooked power and the advantage it gives those who are able to utilize the ability.

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This particular chapter of Dragon Ball is the first time Tien is shown flying independently, but in a later chapter, that ability nearly saves him while fighting Goku in the tournament. When the two blasted each other high into the air during their championship fight, Tien was able to levitate over the ground while Goku was in freefall–which is the perfect example of how useful flight is while also revealing that Tien mastered an iconic Dragon Ball ability long before Goku.

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