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In Dragon Ball, Piccolo and Kami are written as if they are demons from Earth, but in Dragon Ball Z, it is revealed that they are actually aliens from the planet Namek.

Another prominent character who looks like a demon, Emperor Pilaf, is never stated to be a Namekian, but he shares the odd skin tone and pointed ears of one.

Emperor Pilaf

Similarly, Garlic Jr. is Namekian-looking, minus the antenna, and seems to have some connection with Kami that is never fully explained. He also doesn't seem to grow taller at all (Neither does Emperor Pilaf) and has the same approximate skin tone as Pilaf.

They're almost Namekian, but not quite, and don't seem to follow the same character design as other Namekians, and they seem to be permanently short, so I hesitate to call either of them Namekians.

I don't know if they're the same species, but they're very similar.

What exactly are these two characters? An offshoot of Namekians? Actual demons? Or something else entirely?

Garlic Jr.

  • 1
    I suspect they might be Albino Namekians: teamfourstar.wikia.com/wiki/Albino_Namekians – Darth Hunterix Jun 18 '15 at 19:40
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    @DarthHunterix Preposterous. They were all wiped out in the great purge. ;p – Zibbobz Jun 18 '15 at 19:41
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    Well yeah, but is there anyone in DB universe actually competent at great purges? Even Frieza lost his grip at genocide at some point, and for Namekians it was the first time. Who knows, maybe some of them stowed away on Piccolo's ship? – Darth Hunterix Jun 18 '15 at 22:10
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    It's possible the resemblance between Garlic Jr. and Emperor Pilaf is just a coincidence. Emperor Pilaf showed up very early in the Dragon Ball manga, long before we found out everyone was an alien, whereas Garlic Jr. showed up much later in material that was not directly produced by Toriyama. The series did recycle character designs, the most extreme case being Turles from The Tree of Might, who looked exactly like Goku for no reason I can remember. – Torisuda Jun 26 '15 at 18:35
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    @Torisuda That's possible. Which means Pilaf could be an Earth Monster and Garlic Jr. could be an alien from the Makyo star, and they just happen to look similar. – Zibbobz Jun 26 '15 at 18:48
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Garlic Jr. is a Makyan ( natives of the Makyo Star) not a Albino Namekian. Albino Namekian are still presumed all dead. For Emperor Pilaf nothing much is know, we can assume him as earthling like other animal looking people.

Other Known Makyans

  • Cinnamon
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Herb
  • Jasmine
  • Mustard
  • Nicky
  • Salt
  • Sansho
  • Spice
  • Vinegar
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Since this question doesn't have a definitive answer yet, I suppose I'll expand on my comment above.

As Ankit Sharma explains, Garlic Jr. is from the Makyo Star. However, I find it doubtful that Emperor Pilaf is also from the Makyo Star. Emperor Pilaf was the first villain introduced in Dragon Ball, when Goku was still a child, before we even knew that Goku was an alien (let alone Piccolo, who wasn't introduced until much later). All the material involving Garlic Jr. is anime-original and dates to long after the start of the manga, whereas Emperor Pilaf is Akira Toriyama's own creation and was introduced right at the start.

So why do they look alike? I think it's just a coincidence. As Zibbobz mentions in comments, this would make Emperor Pilaf some kind of Earth creature. (Considering all the weird creatures that live on "Earth" in the Dragon Ball universe, this isn't too hard to accept.) The Dragon Ball manga went on for a long time, and Toriyama himself occasionally used slightly tweaked versions of his earlier designs; that's why Emperor Pilaf and Piccolo look so much alike. The animators who designed Garlic Jr. had to come up with their own design, but also make sure it was consistent with Toriyama's art style. They chose to tweak Emperor Pilaf and Piccolo by changing the color and removing the antennae, probably to maintain a recognizable look.

The animators did something similar in the movies: Turles, the villain of The Tree of Might, looks exactly like Goku, for no reason I can remember. Bardock, Goku's blood father, introduced in Bardock - The Father of Goku, is also an exact copy of Goku's appearance (and even shares the same voice actor in the Japanese version). Toriyama's character designs, especially for non-human characters like these two, have a very distinctive look. It's plausible that the animators decided to play it safe and copy his designs, instead of taking their chances and trying to replicate his unique style.

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  • Emperor Pilaf is actually a Monster-Type Earthling as it's stated in Daizenshuu #4.
  • Garlic Jr. might look like Namekian or Demon but it's actually a Makyan. The Makyo Star is their home planet. They share similarities with the Namekians and the Demons like pointy ears and evil heart respectively. But they do have a difference, they can transform into Super Form which causes extreme growth of the body and an increase in strength. This is a bit different from Great Namek Form. Although both are gigantification techniques but the Super Form is smaller in size.

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