- Bulma's introduction to the story changed the course of Dragon Ball forever, solidifying herself as Goku's best friend and leading to iconic adventures that continue to this day.
- Bulma's scientific mind and vast resources make her incredibly valuable to the Z-Fighters, as she has created inventions like the Dragon Radar and the time machine.
- Bulma's intellect is so impressive that she has even impressed Angels like Whis, and her inventions have had a major impact on the series, making her one of the most important characters in the franchise.
In most shonen series, non-combatant characters typically do not get much time in the spotlight due to the nature of the genre, which focuses on fights, power systems and transformations. In Dragon Ball, however, one of the most important characters in the main roster of Z-Fighters has never truly been a warrior. Instead, she is someone who relies on her brains and knowledge to make her mark on the series; Bulma.
Bulma is a character who is almost just as important to the overall story of Dragon Ball as Goku is, having been there from the very start and being an invaluable asset at many points in the story. Due to her direct influence on many occasions, she is someone who has had a major hand in how the story unfolds many times in the series, so let's see why Bulma is one of the most indispensable members of the Z-Fighters.
The Entire Reason Why Dragon Ball Kicks Off
In her brave search to find all 7 Dragon Balls to wish for a boyfriend, Bulma eventually comes across Goku at Mount Paozu because this is where the 4-Star Dragon Ball was located. Upon their interaction, Bulma seems to hire Goku as a bodyguard to assist her in her journey to find the Dragon Balls after being surprised at his strength, a decision that started an iconic adventure that is still going strong, 40 years later.
It's no secret that had it not been for Bulma, Goku would likely have never taken the first step out of the door at Mount Paozu. Bulma's introduction to the story is what changed the course of Dragon Ball forever, as she would be with Goku at some of the most pivotal moments in the series, solidifying herself as one of his best friends and, throughout Z and Super, her unparalleled intelligence has made her one of the most important characters in the entire franchise.
Bulma's Intellect and Resources Make Her Just as Valuable as Any Fighter
Bulma's scientific mind is unmatched by any of the other heroes in the series, to the point where she has even impressed Whis, an Angel that has been alive for millions of years and possesses incredible knowledge. Her brilliant mind, coupled with the vast resources at her disposal that have come from being the owner of Capsule Corp, has given birth to some of the most incredible inventions that border more on magic than actual science. However, Bulma connects both of these aspects with ease.
The first, and most recognizable, of her inventions is the Dragon Radar. This was a special kind of radar that could detect the location of the titular Dragon Balls from anywhere on the planet, a feat considered to be incredible due to how the Balls would disperse to random locations across the globe after each usage, often taking centuries before another wish could be made. Bulma, at the tender age of only 16, worked out a method to detect these objects purely through scientific means.
In Dragon Ball Super, the Universe 6 Tournament arc started with the promise of the prize being the Super Dragon Balls, gigantic planet-sized orbs that summoned Super Shenron. These Dragon Balls were different and far stronger than any of the others that had been shown before as they had no limitations or requirements to be met in order to fulfill a wish. Any wish that the person could think of, the Super Dragon Balls could grant.
These Dragon Balls are thought to be the originals created by Zalama himself, with all other planetary ones being imitations. Due to their size and power, they were scattered between Universes 6 and 7, making them almost impossible to locate, even for much stronger beings. However, Bulma was able to take her existing Dragon Radar and tweak it to find these Dragon Balls on a universal scale, showing just how resourceful she is.
Other than that, Bulma was also seen to have successfully decoded information from Radtiz's scouter, despite it being alien technology that she had never seen or used before. After successfully decoding the scouter, she was also able to decipher the language in it. Moreover, she was also responsible for making the various spacecraft that the Z-Fighters have been using for years, such as the one that took them to Namek.
In the Android Saga, she was also able to completely repair an injured Android 16, as well as being credited with creating remotes that could have destroyed Androids 17 and 18 without ever engaging them in battle. The Android and Cell Sagas also showed her most important inventions, as well as further solidifying Bulma as one of the most important characters in the entire series.
When the mysterious Super Saiyan from the Android Saga reveals himself to be Bulma and Vegeta's son from the future, Trunks, he also goes on to reveal the secret of how he came to the past in the first place. In the ravaged future timeline, Bulma was able to use her genius to send her son back into the past by creating a time machine.
This breakthrough achievement allowed Trunks to travel back in time and also deliver the news of Goku's impending death due to heart disease, something which saved Goku and the rest of Earth from ending up in a similar future to his. He was able to return from his timeline again in Super and this time, he brought back the schematics to give to present-day Bulma, so she could make another machine. While this feat is impressive enough on its own, Whis also remarks that for a mortal to make a time machine through purely scientific means should be impossible, showing that Bulma's intellect is enough to impress Angels.
So, without Bulma, Dragon Ball would likely have never even begun, as Goku would probably have stayed on Mount Paozu. Her invention of the Dragon Radar changed the world and her invention of the time machine has effectively changed the course of the story to what fans have today. Bulma has solidified her place as one of the most important characters in the entire franchise, and has done this without ever fighting anyone.
Dragon Ball can be streamed on Crunchyroll and Funimation.