Namekians have always been one of the more mysterious alien races in Dragon Ball. They were initially thought to be demons but were later revealed as aliens. Although they aren't the strongest species, they still manage to be important in almost every story arc in the franchise. Two Namekians have served as Guardian of Earth, and they able to create and alter Dragon Balls -- along with a host of other unique abilities.
One Reddit user has crafted a theory explaining why they are so special. User u/graybush333 posits that Namekians are actually the lowest level of Kai, providing quite a bit of evidence to back it up. The Namekians and the Kais share some physical similarities and have many of the same abilities. u/graybush333 believes Namekians could have either been created by or evolved from the Kais. How plausible is this?
Who Are The Kais in Dragon Ball?
To fully understand this theory, it's important to remember what the Kais are and the role they play in Dragon Ball. The Kais are a race of deities that rule over and protect the entire universe. There are many different levels of Kais, with the Grand Supreme Kai being the highest. He oversees all the others and watches over the entire universe, including the afterlife.
"Kai" is the lowest official rank for this race of deities. These Kais only control and protect a quadrant of the universe, with King Kai belonging to this rank and guarding the North quadrant. Although he's not the strongest individual, King Kai has proved his usefulness by training the Z Fighters and relaying vital information to them, aiding in saving the Earth and the universe multiple times.
The Kais are a force of good in the universe. They fight off great threats of evil, create life and planets, and are typically friendly toward mortals.
Are Namekians Descended From the Kais?
In their theory, u/graybush333 points out the visual similarities between Namekians and Kais, who both possess pointed ears and antennae. Although the Kais' antennae are longer and thinner than the Namekians', both races use them as sensory organs to gather information about the world. The different levels of Kais also have different appearances, while the Supreme Kais don't have antennae at all.
It's not just physical appearance that connects them, either. They also share magical abilities, as pointed out by u/graybush333. In Dragon Ball Z, both the Namekians and the Kais are shown to be able to create objects. Piccolo manifests brand new clothing for Gohan in a similar way to King Kai restoring Goku's tattered clothing. Both species can also heal others, use telepathy to communicate and can detect powerful events across the universe.
Like the Kais, the Namekians have proved themselves a force of good in the universe and are a peaceful race eager to help those in need. Kami and Dende have served as Guardians of Earth and helped the Z Fighters protect the planet from evil. The Grand Elder Guru unlocked Krillin and Gohan's hidden potential, which greatly helped them fight Frieza's forces on Namek. Like the Kais, the Namekians are protectors of good in the universe.
What is the Namekians' True Purpose in Dragon Ball?
If the Namekians were created by or evolved from the Kais, what is their purpose? U/graybush333 suggests they were created to affect positive change and maintain order in the universe on a planetary level. It makes sense that the two races would serve the same role, just at different levels.
While the Kais watch over the universe as a whole, the Namekians could watch over individual planets. This would make them one step lower than the regular "Kais" like King Kai. After all, Kami did have a close relationship with the deity while he was Guardian of the Earth. Perhaps he was simply King Kai's subordinate in the hierarchy.
If u/graybush333's theory is correct, it would also explain how the Namekian's are able to create and alter the Dragon Balls on individual planets. The ability to manifest Dragon Balls is an incredible ability that would put someone on the level of the gods, and it may be just another one of their divine powers.