Why did Yamcha stop fighting in Dragon Ball? Explained

It is a common question among Dragon Ball fans as to why Yamcha no longer fights in the series. The reason is quite simple: he became overpowered by the continuously rising power levels in the series. This is evident during the Tenkaichi Budokai in the Buu saga when he announces his retirement and refuses to participate in the tournament.

Despite the fact that Yamcha is often mocked within the Dragon Ball community, his choice to retire from fighting serves as a testament to the imbalance of power that developed throughout the series. While Yamcha may not have been a powerhouse in most story arcs, he remains one of Goku’s closest companions and has always been willing to lend a hand, even when facing stronger opponents.

Please note that this article contains spoilers for the series.

The Origins of Yamcha in Dragon Ball

Yamcha has had a torrid time in the series as a fighter (Image via Toei Animation)
Yamcha has had a torrid time in the series as a fighter (Image via Toei Animation)

Yamcha’s past remains largely a mystery, although it is known that he was a desert bandit and had a close friendship with Puar. He crossed paths with Goku and Bulma early on in the series, and although Goku ultimately emerged victorious in their initial fight, the two became close friends. Yamcha even went on to become Bulma’s boyfriend, although their relationship has had its share of challenges over the years.

Despite becoming a student of Master Roshi and taking part in all three main editions of the Tenkaichi Budokai in the series, Yamcha is consistently defeated by formidable opponents like Ten Shin Han and Kami in disguise, making it a recurring joke throughout the series.

In the Z portion of the story, Yamcha’s role in the series is significantly reduced as there is a greater focus on fighting rather than adventure. This is due to the power creep in the franchise, resulting in him not having any significant battles. While his relationship with Bulma ended off-screen, he found success as a baseball player, utilizing the training techniques he learned from Roshi.

Why Other Characters Returned But Yamcha Did Not

Despite his previous experience as a fighter, Yamcha ultimately ceased battling due to the power creep in Dragon Ball. As both enemies and allies grew increasingly formidable, he found himself unable to measure up to their strength. This was evident during the Buu saga, when Yamcha expressed disinterest in the upcoming Tenkaichi Budokai, knowing he would not be able to compete with the likes of Goku, Vegeta, Gohan, or Piccolo.

Even though he is seen in Super aiding his comrades and humanity against a global catastrophe, Yamcha has left behind his martial arts pursuits and now directs his attention towards other aspects of his life, including his successful baseball career. Krillin also followed a similar path, sporting longer hair as he left the martial arts world behind to pursue a career as a police officer and take care of his loved ones. Nevertheless, he made a comeback in the Tournament of Power.

The human characters in Dragon Ball have consistently struggled with losing prominence to the Saiyans, largely due to the Saiyans’ ability to age at a slower rate. This has been an ongoing issue within the series.

Final thoughts

Essentially, Yamcha’s decision to stop fighting in Dragon Ball was due to being overpowered by the main characters and ultimately led to his retirement from martial arts.

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