Dragon Ball: Frieza's Most Humiliating Defeat Was Hilariously Relatable

Frieza from Dragon Ball Z may be one of manga's greatest villains, but as it turns out, it doesn't matter how many different transformations he can perform--there's just no getting out of a parking ticket.

This magnificent moment of frustration and failure for Frieza is relayed in a special crossover comic from 2006, celebrating the 30th anniversary of a long-running gag manga referred to as KochiKame for short, or by its English title Tokyo Beat Cops. As the title implies, KochiKame follows a run-of-the-mill police officer named Ryotsu Kankichi as he deals with money-making schemes and weird characters, often to the exclusion of actual policing. KochiKame only came to an end in 2016, meaning the manga ran for 40 years and resulted in over 200 volumes being published.

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The crossover comic is entitled "The Police Station on Planet Namek, Near Dragon Park," playing on the series' full Japanese title. In it, Ryotsu is reassigned to Namek right at the start of the Namek Saga. While out on patrol, he comes across Frieza's spaceship, with Frieza and Appule waiting outside of it for his soldiers to return with the remaining Namekian Dragon Balls. Ryotsu confronts Frieza about his parking violation, offering to overlook it for a bribe, and Frieza handles it as one would expect: by trying to kill the man extorting him. But Ryotsu is utterly unharmed by Frieza's Death Beam, and Appule begins panicking as he realizes what's going on. Frieza tries increasingly more powerful attacks, each one unsuccessful until Ryotsu pulls out a rocket launcher and threatens to retaliate. Appule screams that he's an invincible gag character, and the villains retreat when Ryotsu declares his intent to arrest them, fleeing Planet Namek entirely. Shortly thereafter, Goku arrives in his CapsuleCorp ship and immediately draws Ryotsu's ire, where the chapter ends.

Hilariously, Vegeta watched all of this unfold, so there was at least one witness no matter how much Frieza may wish to deny it. Goku presumably was more amicable about moving his ship than Frieza was, but an utterly invincible opponent does seem like the kind of thing that would get him excited. The crossover chapter is actually a follow-up to a brief joke about Ryotsu's transfer made 15 years prior, in volume 69 of KochiKame, when the Frieza Saga was still ongoing. The use of a gag character as an unbeatable opponent in Dragon Ball eventually came up again in Dragon Ball Super's anime, where Dr. Slump's Arale made an appearance that left Vegeta saying he'd "never battle an 80's gag manga character again." Too bad he couldn't learn from Frieza's mistake.

Accompanying the crossover is a note from Akira Toriyama to KochiKame's creator Osamu Akimoto, which congratulates him on his success compared to Toriyama's own "laziness." Amusingly, Toriyama considered a 30-year record "inconceivable" at the time, while Dragon Ball is now creeping up on its own 40-year anniversary with Toriyama still involved. Akimoto repaid the favor recently, creating special cover artwork to celebrate that landmark. Since Dragon Ball canon is loose at the best of times, it seems that only Vegeta can confirm whether Frieza's most embarrassing defeat really happened, but fans are always free to believe what they wish.

Next: Dragon Ball Super's New Villains are Literally the Opposite of Frieza



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