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King Kai (界王 Kaiô, literally, Lord of the Worlds) or North Kai (北の界王 Kita no Kaiô, literally, Lord of the Worlds of the North) is a character in Dragon Ball Z, based on the Dragon Ball manga created by Akira Toriyama. He also appears in Dragon Ball GT by Toei Doga. He is a deity and Goku's final martial arts teacher (Although he taught Yamcha, Tien, Piccolo and Chiaotzu as well), and later mentor. His planet is at the end of a long winding road known as Snake Way, where he teaches new powerful techniques such as the Spirit Bomb and Kaio-ken. Despite the fact that his planet is around 100 feet in diameter, its gravity is ten times greater than Earth's. He has a monkey named Bubbles, a motor-mouth grasshopper named Gregory, and owns a 50's-style red Cheverolet Sedan (A nod to the fact that Akira was born in the 50's). He has a habit of telling corny jokes to visitors, although he possesses great wisdom and knowledge about the universe. He specializes in universal telepathic links. His best fighter, aside from Goku, is Olibu.

Dragon Ball Z

Saiyan Saga

Goku arrives on King Kai's Planet after months of running to train for the coming battle against the Saiyans. Before the training began, King Kai warned Goku that Saiyans approaching Earth were stronger then he was, so Goku would need to surpass him if he wanted to stop them.

As part of Goku's training he tells him to chase his pet monkey Bubbles, who happens to be very fast and has adjusted to the planet's gravity. After three weeks, Goku caught Bubbles. He then instructed him to hit his pet cricket, Gregory on the head with a heavy mallet. In time Goku accomplished this as well. Goku soon found that chasing Bubbles increased his speed greatly, and attempting to hit Gregory increased his strength massively. King Kai also revealed to Goku his Saiyan ancestry. Soon before the Saiyans' arrival on Earth, Goku left for Earth after being revived, with King Kai witnessing the battle.

Frieza Saga

Soon after Vegeta retreated, Yamcha, Tien, Piccolo and Chiaotzu took the journey on Snake Way and arrived on King Kai's Planet faster than Goku for special training if the surviving Earth heroes should succeed in finding the Dragon Balls and assist them in the battle against Vegeta. However, King Kai warned Goku never to encounter Frieza, an intergalactic tyrant and the most powerful being in the universe. Yamucha, Tien and Chiaotzu receive training from King Kai, with Piccolo opting out doing most of the training by himself (believing it to be silly and pointless catching Bubbles in mere seconds, compared to Goku's forty days). However, he was surprised to see improvements in their skills during a sparring match, though this took place only in the anime. As King Kai witnessed the battle against Frieza, The recently-killed Ginyu Force (without Captain Ginyu, who became trapped in a Namekian frog's body), fought the Z Fighters in training (without Piccolo who had been revived and sent to Namek) and were defeated by the Z Fighters and sent to Hell, which is impressive considering King Kai considered them to be most fearsome group in the universe, and at least five times stronger than Goku prior to training. (Although he did actually invite them to his planet to assess their level.) This however happened in the anime only, and when considering that it took Goku over 150 days to improve to a point where he could defeat Nappa, the weaker of the two Saiyans that were considered to be nothing in comparison to even one member of the Ginyu Squad, it seems unlikely that they could have achieved such a dramatic increase in power in such a short time.

He soon noticed that Frieza was not defeated as originally thought, and Frieza injured Piccolo by piercing his chest, then killed Krillin. This heinous action caused Goku to transform into a Super Saiyan. Eventually Goku in his new form, overwhelmed Frieza, leaving him to attempt to destroy Namek. Although not instantly destroyed (due to Frieza's fear of being caught in its explosion), Frieza estimated that the planet would survive only five minutes longer. With Kami now revived, and the Dragon Balls collected, King Kai devised a plan to revive all those who had perished at the hands of Frieza and his minions throughout the past year. This would in turn revive Guru, who died because of the pain of seeing his children die by Frieza's great cruelty. Frieza powered up to full power (half of which he was using prior to Goku's transformation) and began to fight Goku. As Shenron resurrected all those who were killed by Frieza, Guru was brought back and Porunga returned in front of the newly revived Dende. King Kai made telepathic contact with Guru to have Dende ask Porunga to teleport everyone off Namek to Earth, except Frieza. Goku interrupted, and requested that he, too, be left behind in order to ensure Freiza's defeat. King Kai objected, insisting that Goku's transformation had clouded his judgment, but Goku's determination eventually prevailed. With their plan revised, Guru sent Dende to make the final wish to Porunga to transport everyone off Namek to Earth, except Goku and Frieza. After defeating Frieza, Goku flew to Frieza's ship, he found out it was too damaged, and seemingly died with the planet. Yamcha informed Bulma through King Kai of Goku's death. However, Bulma pointed out that with the Namekian Dragon Balls, Goku could be revived, along with Krillin and Chiaotzu, who were both killed twice. King Kai then said that though Chiaotzu could be revived, Goku and Krillin had died on Namek, and as Porunga resurrects people to the location at which they died, they would die again in the vacuum of space if they were wished back.

Trunks Saga

King Kai (as well as everyone else aware of the events transpiring) was shocked when a boy from the future, Trunks arrived and effortlessly defeated Frieza and his father, King Cold, who had traveled to Earth to exact revenge for Frieza's defeat.

Cell Games Saga

Kami's fusion with Piccolo had left the Earth without a guardian, and the Dragon Balls had become inert, so when Goku planned to travel to New Namek to draft a new guardian, he enlisted King Kai's help in locating the planet.

Later, when Cell had been bested by Gohan in battle, he initiated his self-destruction. Having only seconds to react, Goku used Instant Transmission to transport himself and the android to King Kai's planet. Cell's subsequent self-destruction killed Goku and King Kai (as well as King Kai's pets), who soon realized that Cell must have survived the explosion. With the help of King Kai's telepathy, Goku provided spiritual support for Gohan, who had been forced to engage Cell once again. Afterwards, Goku tells everyone after declining revival that King Kai had also declined to be revived so he could guide Goku around Other World.

The Other World Tournament

Being dead doesn't seem to hamper King Kai's affairs, except that it is the source of great embarrassment for him to his fellow Kai's (although he was extremely perturbed at Goku for sacrificing someone as holy as he was for a measly insignificant planet like Earth). On Grand Kai's Planet, a tournament is set up in commemoration of King Kai's death. Gokū and Pikkon, the student of King Kai's rival, West Kai, make it to the finals and Gokū seemingly emerges victorious, until Grand Kai disqualifies them both for touching the ceiling.

Buu Saga

An ancient demon, Majin Buu is revived, thanks to the evil wizard, Babidi, the son of the monster's creator, Bibidi. King Kai witnesses the entire situation. Majin Buu eventually splits into a good and evil personality, with the evil personality winning and absorbing the good one, transforming him into Super Buu. Super Buu exterminates the human race, and several attempts from the Z Fighters to stop him were in vain, absorbing some of the warriors and becoming more powerful. Goku is revived, and merges with Vegeta, who lost his life in an earlier battle with the monster to become, Vegito. Super Buu absorbs the fused warrior, separating them in the inside but not fully integrating them. They from the inside, remove the captives within Buu decreasing his power, and the good Majin Buu inside, and escape while Super Buu is changing. Super Buu, however transforms into Kid Buu and destroys the Earth. Goku and Vegeta escape and battle Kid Buu and the Kai Planet. They are quickly losing energy, and even when Majin Buu emerges from Kid Buu, the situation still looks bad. Vegeta comes up with an idea to create the Spirit Bomb, from the Earthlings to destroy Kid Buu. Dende and the Kibito Kai travel to New Namek to summon Porunga and wish for Earth's restoration and the revival of the innocents killed since Babidi's arrival on Earth. King Kai uses his telepathy for Vegeta, Gokū and Hercule, to talk to the people of Earth and persuade them to give their energy to form the Spirit Bomb. Gokū fires the Spirit Bomb, but Kid Buu is still showing resistance so the last wish is to restore Gokū's strength. Gokū transforms into a Super Saiyan and pushes the Spirit Bomb, vaporizing Kid Buu.

Dragon Ball GT

King Kai seems to have got his special planet back (this not explained but accepted), and warns Gokū in the Super 17 Saga, that the dead are escaping Hell. He then assists Gokū in forming the Spirit Bomb to destroy Omega Shenron, by forming a universal telepathic link for Gokū to asks the beings to give their energy.

King Kai's Planet

King Kai's Planet (before its destruction) is located at the end of Snake Way. The planet itself is tiny (it appears to have a diameter of approximately 100 feet), though its gravity is 10 times that of Earth. In Dragon Ball GT his planet is even bigger than his old one. In order for him to train you, you have to do the following:

Catch Bubbles: Your first task is to catch King Kai's pet monkey Bubbles. It seems an easy task at first, but King Kai's planet has 10x Earth's gravity and Bubbles is very quick.

Smash Gregory: The next task is to whack the cricket Gregory on his head with a mallet, only available in a filler exclusive to the anime. This is actually even harder than catching Bubbles, because Gregory is unbelievably fast and can easily outrun a lightning bolt. On top of that, the mallet weighs at least 10 tons, slowing the user down unbelievably in the considerably high gravity conditions of his planet.

It seems that King Kai also trains people to become comedians. To get into this training, they must pass one test:

Make him laugh: You must first prove to him that you have a sense of humor. It should be noted that his jokes are based on really bad puns. Goku does so by asking what comedians constantly read, and then responding with "comic books." Piccolo and Tien in particular had a rough time with this task, but their training paid off.


The attacks he teaches to his students:

Kaio-ken: This technique is legendary, as the user is able to unlock the ultimate potential of themselves for a heartbeat, going past what their body should be able to handle normally, to the highest point seen in the series of twenty times the user's base power level. When using this technique, the user's body gets a reddish tinge and they get a strong red aura around themselves. Goku is the only person known to master this technique, as King Kai himself could not.

Spirit Bomb: This attack is arguably the most powerful in the series, depending on who is contributing the energy to it. The user puts their hands above their head and draws energy from all living things into one colossal sphere of energy. King Kai himself couldn't fully master this, and is astonished when Goku manages to destroy a speeding giant brick with one formed from his little planet.


Known students:
King Yemma
Olibu
Goku
Piccolo
Yamcha
Tien
Chiaotzu
An unnamed Kanassan

Trivia

  • Gregory says King Kai knows everything. Yet he doesn't seem to know that Nameks only drink water, telling Piccolo "You're gonna need more than just water." He also is unaware of Cell until Goku mentions him, and thinks Frieza is dead after his supposed death by Goku (Both times). He also thought Goku was dead when Namek blew up. Goku even noted this inconsistency in Broly: The Legendary Super Saiyan.
  • King Kai told Goku to avoid Frieza at all cost, as his power level was nowhere near his. However, he wanted Krillin (who was already dead, and could have been erased from existence) to go to Earth and fight Majin Buu (when it seemed Vegito was dead) when their attack difference was greater than that of Goku and Frieza at the moment.
  • King Kai is the only one of the four Kais to die.
  • King Kai wasn't revived with the rest of Cell's victims.

Voice actors

  • Japanese Dub: Joji Yanami
  • Ocean Dub: Don Brown
  • FUNimation Dub: Sean Schemmel


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