Dragon Ball Super’s Moro Arc Does Justice to the Franchise’s Most Panned Fighter

While many of the fighters introduced in the original Dragon Ball series have since been far surpassed by Goku and many of their fellow Z Fighters, including Tien's best friend Chiaotzu, none have been as widely dunked on as Yamcha. Introduced as a formidable desert bandit who bested Goku with his Wolf Fang Fist upon their first meeting, Yamcha has since built up an embarrassing losing streak in the DBZ era,  often opting to remain on the sidelines rather than get in the way. Fortunately, Yamcha finally gets some overdue time to shine in the  Dragon Ball Super manga, where he, at last, puts up a respectable fight.

In the Moro arc, which follows the Tournament of Power, Galactic Prisoner Moro has his fellow inmates attack Earth as the magical villain cuts a path of destruction across the universe. With Goku and Vegeta both off-world following their own bout with Moro, Piccolo and Gohan rally the Z Fighters to defend the planet from the invaders. Among them is Yamcha, who trains diligently for the two months ahead of the Galactic Prisoners' arrival and defeats three of them singlehandedly once the battle begins. Yamcha is later seen fighting valiantly alongside Tien and Chiaotzu, though the trio is ultimately rescued by Goku when he returns to Earth. During the final battle against Moro, Yamcha even contributes his energy to power up Goku so he can defeat Moro for good.

Yamcha's participation in the fight against Moro and his defeat of several of the Galactic Prisoners snaps a losing streak h1e's endured for years. Throughout the original Dragon Ball series, Yamcha would be eliminated during the first round of every World Martial Arts Tournament, often charging into battle overconfident in his own abilities.

This unfortunate trend would continue into Dragon Ball Z, with Yamcha killed by Nappa's Saibamen as soon as he and Vegeta arrive on Earth, before Nappa even joins the fight. At the start of the Android Saga, Yamcha is the first Z Fighter targeted by the Androids, is nearly killed by Dr. Gero later and has his arm easily broken by a Cell, Jr. during the Cell Games Saga.

Following this losing streak, Yamcha would stay on the sidelines during the rise of Majin Buu at the end of DBZ, opting to pilot the non-flying characters around in search of the Dragon Balls before seeking refuge at the Lookout, where he was eventually killed by Buu. At the start of Dragon Ball Super, Yamcha similarly kept a low profile, but would help lead them to victory in a baseball game against a rival team from Universe 6. In the lead-up to the Tournament of Power, Yamcha assumed that the Z Fighters would seek his help to represent Universe 7 in the multiversal martial arts competition, but was ultimately left off the team entirely in favor of Goku recruiting Frieza instead.

Yamcha was introduced as the first fighter capable of giving Goku a run for his money, though the young Saiyan would quickly surpass him and even knock out one of Yamcha's teeth in a rematch. And while Yamcha struggled to keep up with the Z Fighters as they grew progressively stronger, Dragon Ball Super's showdown with the Galactic Prisoners finally let Yamcha remind fans that he is a solid fighter in his own right. And for fans of the former desert bandit's formidable Wolf Fang Fist, the opportunity to see Yamcha back as a serious warrior was welcome, if a bit overdue.

Jujutsu Kaisen Yuji Itadori salutes
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