The Brains & The Brawn: Bulma From the Dragon Ball Series

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For Women’s History Month, we’re featuring the incredible women of anime, from studios to characters and timeless creators.

Behind every man is a smart, beautiful and powerful woman with blue hair who will literally beat up anyone who stands in her way. Of course we are spotlighting West City’s very own Bulma Brief!

Bulma played the straight woman role to the off-the-wall silliness of Son Goku; she regularly took care of that feral boy while they journeyed through the world searching for the Dragon Balls. 

RELATED: Funimation and Toei Animation Present Dragon Ball Super: Battle of the Battles Fan Event

For decades, the Dragon Ball series has shown off outer space martial arts and godlike world-saving, but Bulma has always been a big part of bringing heart and grounding to the series.

She’s the science researcher and innovator who kept the characters in balance and she didn’t even need to compete in a martial arts tournament.

From the very beginning

When we first met Bulma, she was just a young fashionable teen who was often lovestruck by any boy she saw. There is much to appreciate about Bulma’s character design—the versatility of her hair and outfits has always come to fit her personality at the time.

Throughout Dragon Ball, we watch her grow from a fun, spunky teen into one of Goku’s best friends and one of the most impactful characters in the series. Moreso in Dragon Ball Z, we see her take on a science and research role at Capsule Corporation—the family business. 

Bulma then builds a family with originally-super-evil Vegeta, which was a surprise to us all, but now it somehow makes sense. If we needed that moment of proving that Vegeta has a heart, it’s Bulma. Bulma made him a big softy and kept him in check, reaching that doughy Saiyan center.

They truly care about each other, but she’s not afraid to slap him. Just always remember that no one can slap her. That’s his Bulma.

With their relationship bloomed, they introduce us to one of Dragon Ball’s most powerful characters, Trunks—specifically Future Trunks. Trunks can save the day, but he would not be here without his mother.

The Android Saga was where we fully experienced just how smart Bulma was. As Future Trunks explains his origins, we witness Bulma literally building a time machine and sending him off to save the world.

A galactic hero

We already know that she cares about her friends, but let’s not forget the time in Dragon Ball Super when she ensured her family’s safety by feeding Whis and Beerus (um, literal gods) and blowing their minds with instant ramen. The truest trait of this powerful mother is solving any problem with food.

We could go on and on about how much we appreciate everything she’s done for the series and how much we wish we could play BINGO with her, but the list goes on.

I truly am inspired by Bulma: she does not need to train for thousands of hours to make herself better—she already knows who she is. We witness her growth from young boy-crazy girl into an extremely diverse character with depth and skill.

And she’s been bringing that extra fire to Dragon Ball ever since.

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