(I couldn't find a question like this, if it's been asked before then please remove it.)

There are several known plot holes in the DBZ story, but one that interested me is that in the Buu saga (in DBK it's in ep127) it's said that when a human/alien that killed too many innocent people is dead, in hell they erase his body and his memories and recreate him. Piccolo said that in response to Vegeta's question of whether he could be meet Goku again, but it very clearly that he still won't be revived by the DragonBalls because of that.

enter image description here

The content of Vegeta and Piccolo conversation in DBK ep127 (translated from japanese):

Vegeta: Tell me just one thing first, in the Next World or whatever it is, after I die, will I be able to see Kakarrot again?

Piccolo: At a time like this, it won't do any good to offer consolation, so I won't mince words. That won't be possible.

Vegeta: (blinking in shock)

Piccolo: You'v killed to many innocent people. Once you die, your body will become nonexictense, and your soul will be sent to a world different from Goku's. There, your soul will be cleaned, and your memories erased, and you will be turned into a new life form.

(30.5.2012 EDIT) -

Now, this dialogue between Vegeta and Piccollo, is not DBK exclusive (as some people commented that in the original DBZ they changed it), but manga material as following:

enter image description here

(VIZ release)


Now, in the original DBZ they created a plot hole by including a scene of Frieza, Cell and other villains watching the battle against Buu on earth when they were in Hell, but I'm not talking about that.

During the Frieza arc, Vegeta was clearly evil. Though he joined forces with Gohan, Krillin et al, he still killed a whole village, he's clearly evil, and yet, when Kaio asked Shenron to revive all the people killed by Frieza, Vegeta came back to life (in DBK it's ep51). If we go by the assumption that evil people are recreated in hell, then how was he revived?

enter image description here

Though for a fact that Vegeta asked at the end of Buu saga from Prolunga to bring back all those who died except for any evil people to unrule bringing back Babidi and Dabra, that's not contradict the above, since Piccolo specified specifically that Vegeta killed to many people so he won't have a body, unlike Babidi that was evil but didn't were just evil and didn't killed anyone (not by himself at least) and Dabra who Daio sent to heaven. it's clearly that there's definite different between killing a lot of people to be just evil - killing a lot of people contaminating the soul so it needs to be recreate (like Uub) while being only evil not.

Now, I know it's a fact that Toriyama didn't want to make the Buu Saga, and there could be plot holes and all, but is there still some explanation for that?

Note 1: This question came to me after watching Dragon Ball Kai. If in the original DBZ it's not a question, I would love to be enlightened.

Note 2: I'm reffering only to DBZ manga canon material, so evidences from DBS aren't related.

30.5.2021 EDIT NOTE - After checking the manga, this question is referring only to the DBK version that seems more loyal to the manga than DBZ, do not mix here stuff from DBZ.

  • Your distinction that Babidi was somehow "less evil" or "less cleansable" or whatever simply because he didn't personally twist the knife strikes me as arbitrary and weird, and wholly inconsistent with the conception of evil in every major philosophy I can think of. Also, your Note 2 is bizarre as your entire post considers one of two anime adaptations, yet insists you somehow want Manga stuff (where Hell basically never gets mentioned or shown). Oct 6, 2020 at 21:22
  • i think the difference in evil/crimes i mentioned should satisfy you, killing is more ripping the soul than just being super evil in every culture. and i don't get your note about DBS, it's not toriyama-db original, and references from there are not relevant the question; someone had tried to give reference from DBS to answer and when he realised that the whole hell thing for mass killers are filler he removed his answer.
    – USerNAme
    Oct 6, 2020 at 22:01
  • To be fair, I always assumed that cleansing takes some time, so if someone is resurrected "fast enough" you should still be able to get them. But... let's forget the evil and time requirements for a second. The real question is another: if Vegeta already died once, shouldn't he remember what happened that time? So, why did he asked Piccolo?
    – SPArcheon
    Feb 21, 2023 at 18:54
  • @SPArcheon you might had been on to something. as to Vegeta were able to "return earth" since it hadn't been that long time for him after his death. like in the Namek arc where it hasn't been a day. though presumably, it's been more than few days since his death to his return. and it's just showing how Toriyama didn't thought it through when writing this arc.
    – USerNAme
    Mar 31, 2023 at 11:05

3 Answers 3


I'm not sure if I understand your question, but are you asking why he was revived because he was supposed to be erased? They explicitly mention in the series that Enma Daio Sama decided not to erase Vegeta's soul just in case he needed him for a battle. So what Vegeta said in the screencapture you posted didnt apply to him due to an Enma Daio Sama decision

Enma Daio Sama decides to keep Vegeta soul intact in case he was needed for a battle

(Sorry, I couldnt find an english version for this video, only a spanish one, but you can use the english subtitles feature of Youtube to add them)

  • and again an answer from one who hasn't understood or read the question well, his recreation of him in the buu arc is well explained, but how did he revived in the frieza arc, i will bold it too so no more other people will get it wrong....
    – USerNAme
    Oct 3, 2020 at 17:51
  • Oh, now I get it. May be because they didnt have time to erase him? There is another scene where many people who died were waiting in a row to enter to heaven. Though that doesnt explain why some souls are erased and others evil souls such as Freezer in Dragon Ball Super go to hell, and that scene in Dragon Ball Super isnt filler, it's a main part of the story, if Freezer wasnt in hell, he couldnt be revived for the tournament. May be evil souls have to suffer first in hell and then be erased?
    – Pablo
    Oct 3, 2020 at 21:35
  • i actually thought about the no time theory, but it needs little evidence. and i didn't watched dbs but about freezer, look at those: anime.stackexchange.com/questions/27947/… anime.stackexchange.com/questions/2942/… , i believe it's still manga-material conflicting and my question is still on
    – USerNAme
    Oct 3, 2020 at 22:17
  • 1
    From that link I get that Freezer wasnt canon to be in hell in DBZ, but it was canon that he was in hell in Dragon Ball Super, because he appeared in Dragon Ball Super in hell in both the anime and the manga. So I guess it was an inconsistency in the original DBZ that was retcon and incorporated in Dragon Ball Super (people like Freezer going to hell)
    – Pablo
    Oct 3, 2020 at 22:53
  • that's the reason i pointed in the question the whole hell thing in DBZ it's plothole that toei created
    – USerNAme
    Oct 4, 2020 at 11:27

Since your Note 1 says you're also interested in what happens in the original DBZ series, and if it's a problem there or not, the following is based on the English (Funimation) dub of the original scene. It seems that in the Japanese Kai version, Piccolo has a great deal more specific things to say, which are more problematic, as you indicate. I won't go into trying to work out the why of this apparent change, I'll largely just proceed to operate on the basis of the original Funimation dub, as indicated.

In the Buu saga scene, Vegeta asks Piccolo if he'll get to meet Goku in the afterlife (or in Other World, if you prefer). Piccolo then informs him that Goku earned a body and freedom of movement in the afterlife due to a long life of selflessness and heroics, and that Vegeta should not expect to be granted the same reward, having spent too much of his life being selfish and inflicting pain and misery. It is not stated that anything happens that erases memories or wholly prevents resurrection via Dragon Balls in this version. All he's being told is that he won't be able to run around being rivals with Goku in the afterlife.

What we do know is that elsewhere in the series it is implied that a spirit which is purified of its evil can then be reborn. This is how Uub comes to exist, as the reincarnation of the purified Buu. And in the movie Fusion Reborn, with the villain Janemba, there is even a machine for such purification. However, many villains and other beings are shown in Hell at various points and in various media.* This suggests that purification is not particularly fast or even mandatory, and may not necessarily be applied to the most powerful of entities. This is reinforced by how Fusion Reborn is predicated upon the (single) demon that operates the machine being lazy and not properly doing his job. So even if evil spirits are supposed to be purified quickly, in practice it would seem things are run too inefficiently to achieve this. There is also the fact that Shenron originally had a one year time limit on restoring someone to life. If whatever happens to evil beings upon death prevented resurrection via Shenron (which is who resurrects Vegeta on Namek), then there must be at least a one year delay between death and whatever this process is (purification and being reborn, or otherwise) in order for this time limit to be knowable and meaningful.

Moreover, we are ultimately told that Hell is planet-specific, and so the above purification stuff is for Earth only. So there's no reason at all to think that the rules stated for those who have died on Earth will also apply the same to those who die on Namek or anywhere else. So even if you are right and Vegeta should have been purified upon death, by Earth's rules for Hell, he wasn't by the simple fact that he died on Namek and not Earth.

And in any case, even by Earth's rules his resurrection is not prevented. We know, from Chiatzu receiving a body and Tien a new arm after losing them in their fights against Nappa, that it is possible for bodies to be repaired or reconstructed entirely in the afterlife. Upon being wished back to life, Chiatzu retained his body, and Tien retained his replacement arm. So even if Vegeta, upon his death on Earth, was denied the retention of his body (he wasn't, but by a special exception rather than having earned it), his body can still be reconstructed when something like a wish on the Dragonballs is made.**

Finally, in the Buu saga, we have two wishes that go out of their way to exclude the resurrection of evil people. First, when using Earth's dragon balls to restore those killed in Majin Vegeta's rampage, they specifically exclude the resurrection of evil people. Second, near the end of the Buu saga, when Dende wishes the Earth and then its people back using New Namek's dragon balls, he also specifically excludes evil people from being restored to life. And while we might say in the first case that maybe the Z-team doesn't know the exact ins-and-outs of what the dragon balls can do with regards to reviving evil people, Dende was an expert. Such specific exclusion of evil beings would be completely unnecessary if they were already impossible to resurrect.

*You don't seem to be quite as concerned with why so many decidedly-not-worthy beings have bodies, so I won't put much effort into trying to explain that. Best guess is that anyone of sufficient (will)power can forcibly retain/manifest a body, but they are generally denied freedom of movement and constrained to Hell (or HFIL in the original dub). Though why Piccolo would apparently not know this, and would not predict that Vegeta could probably forcibly retain a body, is less clear. Perhaps he wasn't being as honest as he claimed. But being constrained to Hell alone would be sufficient to keep Goku separated from him in normal circumstances.

**There's apparently a time limit on that, though, which ties into an exception into the 1 year limit for Shenron. In DragonBall Super, Freiza is wished back to life with Earth's dragonballs. When the wish is requested, Shenron says that since it has been more than a year since Freiza's death that he could only be restored to his body in the state it was in upon his death. Which in this case consisted of being sliced into dozens of pieces, thanks to Trunks. So if we accept this bit of Super, the 1-year time limit is more specifically about constructing a body for the being to be resurrected, and not necessarily about the soul becoming irretrievable for whatever reason.

  • I also inserted the conversation of vegeta and piccolo to the question, the eng dub is not far at all from the japanese content. it's still very clearly that shenron or porlunga couldn't revive vegeta. and the fact the frieza came back to life in DBS is surely not dbz-manga-canon.
    – USerNAme
    Oct 5, 2020 at 20:20
  • i just heard the eng dub for DBK (might be different for DBZ?) and piccolo says: "you killed too many innocent people, once you die your body will cease to exist, your soul will sent to a very different world than one goku soul end up, once there you will be clenched and your memories erased, you'll turn into a new life form". saying that earth rules are exaggerating and needs hard evidence, vegeta killed after all entire village on namek.
    – USerNAme
    Oct 5, 2020 at 20:24
  • @USerNAme Which is definitely not in the dub, but it doesn't matter anyway, since Shenron from the start has had a 1 year time limit on resurrection. So either the cleansing can't stop a wished resurrection, or the cleansing and erasure doesn't happen for at least a year, as I said. Oct 5, 2020 at 20:36
  • 1. i don't know what kind of dub you have, mine (funimation) are saying so, and anyway denying the source won't help your answer 2. in DBk ep151 where vegeta were special case of not being recreated emma daio says (translated from japanes): "luckily i thought ahead and just in case i decided to leave his soul intact, i have also given him a body", it haven't been so long from when he died, maybe even not a day, but daio still says that only because he thought ahed he didn't let his soul recreated.
    – USerNAme
    Oct 5, 2020 at 21:11
  • 1
    @zibadawatimmy apparenlty the author stated in a Q&A section that since the bad Boo was pure evil, he was easily purified in the afterlife, and was able to be reincarnated as Oob right away, so apparently the process does indeed take time. Basically, it is simpler to say that DB Hell is more similar to a purgatory.
    – SPArcheon
    Feb 21, 2023 at 19:10

I don't recall this being A Thing in DBZ, nor do I recall the Home For Infinite Losers (or "Hell") being elaborated on during the Namek arc.

In short: Vegeta was revived because the wish to Shenron was for all of the people who were slain by Frieza to be brought back. Because Vegeta was indeed killed by Frieza, he was resurrected by this wish.

Can't say much about the Buu arc here; in between these series, there may have been more than a few plot holes laid since this restriction never came up during Frieza's time.

  • you don't answer nor understand the question, maybe. in buu arc vegeta asking piccolo if he could be revived using the dragon balls and piccolo answers it cannot be done because evil people have been recreated in hell. while to keep this as a plot hole can be logical though.
    – USerNAme
    Sep 25, 2020 at 9:09
  • @USerNAme where in the arc does that happen? I don't remember it ever being said.
    – Joe W
    Sep 27, 2020 at 15:06
  • @Joe W in DBK it's ep127
    – USerNAme
    Sep 28, 2020 at 18:25
  • 1
    @USerNAme That should be put in the question so that it is easier for people to go find it to get a better understanding.
    – Joe W
    Sep 28, 2020 at 18:35
  • 1
    @Joe W edited the question by you recommendation and also mentioned the episode to where Vegeta were revived.
    – USerNAme
    Oct 2, 2020 at 7:36

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