This page is a discussion about various people who could be considered "The Forgotten". The title of Dragon Ball Z: The Forgotten has significant and multiple meanings behind it, and the cool thing about the word "forgotten" is that it can refer to either one person or multiple people. I won't specifically state which character(s) the name of my story refers to (that would be too easy!), but I will give some commentary on some possibilities and give some evidence for why the below characters could be who the name of the story refers to.
This is the classic, most obvious, most probable answer to the question "Who are the forgotten?". If only one person is "the forgotten", surely it must be Ledas, right? He is forgotten at the end of the first saga when Planet Vegeta is blown up and he is considered dead. There is a later scene where Ledas scrolls through the Planet Trade Organization archives and finds himself to be listed as KIA along with the rest of his family. To the Planet Trade Organization (Frieza's branch), he is considered dead and forgotten. He lives on in Cooler's branch, though he goes missing during the Stomping Grounds Saga, after he is defeated by Cooler and put into stasis by Grif. He is forgotten by that point. Everything thinks he is dead and moves on; they do not remember him because they do not care about him. Ledas reemerges with Grif's death and soon returns to Planet Cooler 92, where he is remembered for a short time before he sets off for Earth. Once on Earth, Ledas realizes that even Vegeta has forgotten him; this sends Ledas' into a sort of depression that almost consumes him. He struggles with Vegeta's forgetting of him for the entirety of the Planet Earth Saga and Reunion Saga. Once Vegeta finally allows himself to believe that Ledas is truly Ledas in the Fulfillment Saga, Ledas is no longer considered a forgotten person, and his story arc comes to its conclusion. Ledas is also briefly forgotten by other characters: Yajirobe forgets him after the boy is sucked into the mind prison; Nepar forgets him after their first battle; Cardinal forgets him after he orders the boy's execution.
The Vegeta that Ledas knew and became friends with in the Prince Vegeta Saga seemed to disappear with Ledas' supposed death. There is a sense of this in Prince Vegeta's last scene of the saga. It is later seen in full in the Planet Earth Saga and the Reunion Saga, where Vegeta does not recognize Ledas at first, then once he does, thinks that Ledas is not who he says he is. Vegeta's personality has grown to a point where it is almost unrecognizable by Ledas, and he doesn't seem to be the same person anymore. Ledas even claims, "The Vegeta I knew is dead!". So, the old Vegeta, the Prince Vegeta Saga Vegeta is gone and forgotten - or could be considered to be. He seems to return to form after he opens up to Ledas at the end of the Fulfillment Saga. So he's probably not forgotten by that point.
King Vegeta's idea to overthrow Frieza in the Prince Vegeta Saga is the backbone plot for the entire saga. There are plenty of scenes where insight into how hard it is for him is shown, even though no other character really knows how hard it is on Vegeta. Vegeta is forgotten in that his heroics to try to free his race and son are not known/not remembered through the story. He is only referred to as a desperate rebel after his death, not a loving father a martyr for his people. Additionally, King Vegeta created the friendship between Prince Vegeta and Ledas (one of the most pivotal aspects of this story), so that is another way in which he lives on through the story but is not remembered for it.
The Benefactor is forgotten by those around him during Outbreak. He makes them (Master Loriphim, the other Iyxan leaders) pay for it by killing all of them. After he is "executed" by Frieza, The Benefactor is forgotten by the Planet Trade Organization. He is thought to be dead. But he lives, and crash-lands on Lauto's planet. He remains forgotten at this point by everyone except Ledas, who has visions and nightmares of the monster while he's on Lauto's planet. Later, as The Benefactor hunts the one who stole his power, he remains in the shadows, forgotten by nearly everyone. This of course ends when he reveals himself in the Reunion Saga and shows how dangerous it can be to forget someone who is not ready to be forgotten. The Benefactor is later forcefully forgotten when he is sealed in Verlate's mind prison.
The Saiyan Race
When Frieza destroyed the Saiyan homeworld, all of their achievements and power were instantly destroyed. Since they were considered rebels, the Saiyans were not remembered fondly, and thus not remembered accurately, so the true Saiyan history was forgotten. There's a feeling throughout the Prince Vegeta Saga that the missions that Prince Vegeta and Ledas are going on are unsustainable and will not continue to take place in the future. It's a feeling that what the two boys are doing is biding time as their species' extinction nears. The insights into Saiyan culture in the first saga (also seen in flashbacks in the fifth saga) help give a brief and tantalizing glimpse into the Saiyans just before they are destroyed. By doing this, I was able to amplify the feeling that when the Saiyan race nearly goes extinct, the universe itself loses something that can never be replaced or truly remembered accurately. There is something lost when the Saiyan homeworld is destroyed and it leaves the Saiyans, as a whole, forgotten, in a way.
Lauto is an interesting character. He was exiled by the other Supreme Kais because of his radical beliefs, and his exile went through just before Majin Buu and Bibidi appeared in Other World and massacred the other Supreme Kais. By being exiled, Lauto was saved from death, but he was also forgotten. If he had been killed by Buu, the Eastern Supreme Kai would have remembered him and relayed this information to others. The Supreme Kais killed or absorbed by Buu were remembered, even though they died. Lauto was not. That's a difficult conundrum, since we are all mortal after all. We will all die. It's only our legacies that live on, and only those which let us stay relevant and seem "alive" even after we are dead. Lauto, like Verlate, is a remnant piece of an older time just barely clinging on. Lauto wants to live at any cost, but he's on a remote planet, with no one around him, no one who knows who he is. When The Benefactor crash-lands on his planet, Lauto sees a way to survive, and he takes his time to tell The Benefactor about his life. During their final duel in the Stomping Grounds Saga, Lauto tries to be remembered; he is bleeding his own history as he dies. But The Benefactor will have none of it. He doesn't take in Lauto's information; he doesn't give the exiled Kai what he wants. The Benefactor killing Lauto symbolically shows him forgetting Lauto, mimicking what the rest of the universe has already done to Lauto. Lauto's mere existence is forgotten by the universe - he tries to live on defiantly, but in the end, his efforts are in vain and he's still forgotten.
Guva is forgotten by the time he gets to Earth and dies. When he dies, Guva is a pathetic old man whom no one knows or cares about. His history as a powerful governor in Cooler's empire is not known by anyone on Earth, and his legacy is forgotten. The Planet Trade Organization doesn't know what happens to him. Guva is of course coerced by The Benefactor to make the trip to Earth, so it's not entirely his fault. Guva's fall from a peerless, legendary governor to a wretched old man who was defeated by Tien (of all people) is an astonishing fall and shows the stark contrast between him at his highest point and him at his lowest point. In another one of my stories, it is mentioned how, if Guva had survived, he would have been a primary candidate to take over the PTO after Cooler died (and sent the entire PTO into a bloody civil war). Guva was extremely important. He was a pivotal character in the Planet Trade Organization empire. And the way he fights and dies in the Reunion Saga speaks to his fall into obscurity. I was playing with the idea of legacies with Guva's character, so that by the time he dies, he is truly forgotten by all around him. What he did in life does little for him in death. Because he is not remembered, like Banas, he is forgotten and receives a "true" death. We all live on through our legacies, and because Guva's death can't be relayed back to the PTO and they can't know what happened to him, he is forgotten by both his own organization and by those who saw him die (who don't know anything about him and don't care about him).
Banas disappeared at the end of the Stomping Grounds Saga, only to quickly reappear in that same chapter. Ledas thought Banas died before the boy left the planet, so Banas' life after that was "forgotten" in a sense. Only Guva and The Benefactor knew about Banas' survival and his subsequent heroic stand against Guva on Lauto's planet. When Banas died, his body was incinerated. This symbolized him being erased from history and forgotten. He may as well have died when he lost to Guva in the final chapter of the Stomping Grounds Saga. That he miraculously survived and challenged his governor to one last epic duel reveals a lot about Banas' character, but it is not remembered. Guva dies soon after, and The Benefactor is soon imprisoned in Verlate's mind prison (and even if he wasn't, The Benefactor didn't care about Banas at all, so he wouldn't tell anyone about the captain's fight against Guva). On another note, Banas could be considered forgotten when he lost the governorship to Guva during the governor trials of Planet Cooler 92. His prowess was "forgotten" by the Planet Trade Organization leaders who chose Guva instead. Then, he became a captain, his legacy obscured, and he never reached his full potential. He likely could have become a very successful governor on Planet Cooler 92 or another planet, but he was chosen to be Guva's captain and his potential in life was never realized.
This is a subtle one, but Cooler could be a candidate as well. He is forgotten after he travels to Earth and dies. He makes his promise to find his father's killer during the Stomping Grounds Saga, and then sets off soon after. He is never heard from again, and this throws what remained of the Planet Trade Organization into chaos. We get echos of this in TF, but it is not the focus. Cooler's own life and legacy are thus purposefully forgotten, though still subtly hinted at several times after his last appearance.
Human prowess isn't a specific character; it refers to many humans. This candidate works for the same reason other human characters (especially the New Red Ribbon Army) could be considered "the forgotten". Basically, humanity is being subverted by stronger forces on Earth. Earth is the human homeworld, and yet its fate is out of their hands. Saiyans and aliens fight on the world with the fate of humanity in their grasps. Various humans try to show their worth - Chiaotzu, Yamcha, Tien, Cardinal, the New Red Ribbon Army - but none of them succeed in saving the world. Cardinal spends much of the Planet Earth Saga trying to find and kill Ledas, as he fears the Saiyan will end humanity. Even after he captures Ledas - an apparent victory - the boy soon escapes and kills the vast majority of his army. We see a really good example of the folly of human prowess with the New Red Ribbon Army attacks Ledas in the Reunion Saga. Ledas is severely wounded at the time and preoccupied with Vegeta and The Benefactor, and still he is able to casually annihilate his human opponents. It's reminiscent of how Nappa took out Earth's military forces during the Saiyan Saga. They just had no chance. Similarly, Chiaotzu, Yamcha, and Tien try to show their worth in the Reunion Saga, though all of them are easily defeated. Chiaotzu and Yamcha are embarrassingly defeated by Guva. Tien requires The Benefactor to defeat him, but he is easily defeated as well. Of course, other humans are shown to be weak. Mr. Kyokatoshi tries to exert his power against Ledas and fails. Shoekki tries to exert his power against Cardinal and fails. At other times, I try to show evidence against the waning of human power, such as when Ryori kills Supreme General Silver or when Yajirobe helps Ledas defeat The Benefactor. But overall, the point is that humanity takes a back seat in TF. A few exceptions to the rule do not make that rule invalid. Human characters try to exert their agency, and for the most part they fail, often spectacularly. This leads to many of them being forgotten or neglected, both literally and in terms of their legacies.
The New Red Ribbon Army
The New Red Ribbon Army is a desperate, pathetic little army that is neither powerful nor notable. They have money and political influence, but as an army, the New Red Ribbon Army is very weak. They were made like this to show how much of a hollow echo they are of the Red Ribbon Army. They desperately try to follow in the image and reputation of the Red Ribbon Army, and though they are successful politically, they are overall unsuccessful. Not many people know or care about them, and they lack any military influence on the world. They are basically a gang, the strongmen of Cardinal's political machine. Throughout TF, the New Red Ribbon Army engages in a few battles, and each time, they are destroyed. Against the Saibamen, they are wrecked. When they challenge Ledas at the end of the Reunion Saga - I purposefully built up the confrontation to make it look like an epic season finale showdown - the Saiyan boy destroys them with little care and extreme ease while he's preoccupied and severely wounded. Their lack of relevance is what makes the New Red Ribbon Army forgotten. They are trying to forge a legacy and a name for themselves, but every time they try this, nothing good happens, and in the end, their organization is destroyed, and very few people know or care about it.
Verlate was forgotten by the universe, not only literally, but in a more figurative manner. Of course, she obviously was put into a mind prison which physically isolated her from the rest of the universe and made her technically forgotten by them. She was the remnant of a long extinct species which few mortal races remembered even existed. In the more figurative way, Verlate was forgotten in that her role in making the Kais the mortal gods of the universe was forgotten. Only her compatriot Sertung knew of her suggestion to have the Kais replace their race as the ruling species of the universe, so Verlate's impact on universal history is thus forgotten. And what are we, but our legacies, after all? By having her legacy forgotten, Verlate's essence is forgotten. When Ledas and The Benefactor find her in the mind prison, she is this sad little fragment of an ancient era, a last look into an time long forgotten. Her state of mind slightly obscures this fact, but it remains important to the development and position of her character in the Fulfillment Saga.
Yajirobe is a former Z-Fighter who has a bit of an inferiority complex in this story. He is bitter when he has to deliver senzu beans to the others at the end of the Reunion Saga, being annoyed that his role has been reduced to little more than that of a delivery boy. In a way, Yajirobe's worth has been forgotten - his humanity has been forgotten. He is only being remembered by the others for what he brings them. Yajirobe struggles with his own worth throughout the story, not wanting to be forgotten, but also not wanting to put himself out there too much. Yajirobe is also very lazy, so he doesn't really try to fix his situation, allowing himself to be a forgotten member of the Z-Fighters, even though he doesn't want that.
Those who are not heroes
This is a theme explored throughout this story, and one that I think has a good possibility of being true. The idea is that if you are not a hero, you are not someone of whom stories are told about. Ledas asks Prince Vegeta about this at the end of the Reunion Saga, in the saga's last flashback, when he says, "Do you really think we’ll be great warriors one day, Vegeta? The kind people tell stories about?". There's an idea that if you are not great, you are not remembered. This comes up in the Fulfillment Saga as well. Ledas is not as strong as Vegeta or Goku. He's a Saiyan like them, but he is not their physical equal. So throughout the story, Ledas struggles with not being the greatest warrior. Additionally, this speaks to Ledas' entire life story as well. If he's not considered the great hero (Ledas doesn't consider himself a hero, and he doesn't act like one anyway), then will people tell stories about him? Probably not. Ledas has a long, incredible story, but the fear is that it's all going to be forgotten once he's gone because he's not the standard Goku-type protagonist hero. Other characters being heroic too, such as Ryori when he kills Silver, and Yajirobe when he helps save the Earth from The Benefactor, are not going to have stories told about what they did because they aren't lead heroes. So this option mainly focuses on characters who are either minor or characters who are not prototypically heroic doing incredible things.
A few other possibilities:
- Layeeck - His heroic last stand against Frieza and The Benefactor is forgotten. Only The Benefactor lives to tell about it, and when he tells Ledas about it, he lies about certain aspects of Layeeck's confrontation with Frieza to psychologically harm Ledas. So Layeeck's redemption at the end of the Prince Vegeta Saga could be considered a great forgotten moment.
- Mrs. Fanshi - It's not stated in the story if Ledas knew she died and if he ever went back to see her. She was revived with the rest of the Earth's population after Buu was defeated. Her entire role was kind of lost in the later sagas and she was forgotten. I'm sure Ledas went to see her and told her that he moved in with some friends and appreciated her taking care of him, though.
- PTO rebels - The conclusion of this arc is never outright stated in the story. The rebels' plan to overthrow the PTO was a major plot point in the Lauto Saga and the beginning of the Stomping Grounds Saga, but it fell off after Ledas escaped from stasis, as 21 years had gone by at that point. The PTO rebels' plot point is forgotten on purpose. It shows that as time goes on, things that were once relevant are no longer relevant. The PTO rebels tried and failed to dismantle the PTO, with them being eradicated while Ledas was in stasis. No one would continue to talk about them afterwards, realistically, but from a plot perspective (as well as from Ledas' perspective), they appear to have been forgotten. Their struggle to end the PTO tyranny being forgotten is telling in and of itself.
- The Benefactor's mother - She goes missing in Outbreak, and The Benefactor spends much of that special trying to find her. So she's forgotten in that way. When The Benefactor goes to Lauto's planet and is capture by Lauto, Lauto studies the alien's mind and causes The Benefactor to see hallucinations of his mother. This pains The Benefactor greatly. He states over and over how he didn't want Lauto to bring his mother back; he didn't want to remember her because of all the pain it caused him when he did. So The Benefactor actively tries to forget his mother in this story.
- Ryori - Building off of the "heroes aren't remembered theme", Ryori is somewhat forgotten in the Reunion Saga and the Fulfillment Saga because he's just a human boy. He doesn't have much worth to Cardinal and isn't considered a threat by anyone. He's forgotten. But then he kills Supreme General Silver because he (mistakenly) believes that Silver killed his brother. So Ryori's plot shows the struggle against being forgotten and the price that is paid for underestimating someone.
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Part 29.11 ---->