King Kai (界王, Kaiô; literally "King of the Worlds") or North Kai(北の界王, Kita no Kaiô; literally "King of the Worlds of the North") is a deity, the ruler of the North Galaxy, and Goku's final martial arts teacher, and later mentor. He also taught Yamcha, Tien Shinhan, Piccolo and Chiaotzu. His planet is at the end of a long winding road known as Snake Way, where he teaches powerful, new techniques such as the Spirit Bomb and Kaio-ken. Despite the fact that his planet is around 100 feet in diameter, its gravity is ten times greater than Earth's. He has a monkey named Bubbles and a motor-mouth grasshopper named Gregory. He wears Teashade sunglasses, and owns a Red 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Hardtop. He has a "strong sense of humor" and tells very bad jokes, although he possesses great wisdom and knowledge about the universe. He specializes in universal telepathic links. During the Other World Tournament, his best fighter, aside from Goku, is Olibu.
Dragon Ball Z
Main article: Saiyan Saga
Goku arrives on King Kai's planet after months of running to train for the coming battle against Nappa and Vegeta. King Kai requires that Goku prove himself by telling a joke. Then he learns Goku is not here to train in comedy. Before the training began, King Kai warned Goku that Nappa and Vegeta were stronger then he was, so Goku would need to surpass him if he wanted to stop them.As part of Goku's training, he tells him to chase his pet monkey Bubbles, who happens to be very fast and has adjusted to the planet's gravity which is similar to the gravity on Planet Vegeta, about 10 times the gravity of earth. After three weeks, Goku caught Bubbles. He then instructed him to hit Gregory on the head with a heavy mallet. In time Goku accomplished this as well. Goku soon found that chasing Bubbles increased his speed greatly, and attempting to hit Gregory increased his strength massively, though it should be noted that the second task of hitting Gregory did not appear in the original manga (Gregory did not even exist in the original manga, with King Kai immediately training Goku directly after catching Bubbles), and was only in the anime. Soon before the Saiyans' arrival on Earth, Goku left for Earth after being revived, with King Kai witnessing the battle. Although Goku completed his physical training, King Kai sensed he still needed to work on his humor.
Frieza SagaSoon after Vegeta retreated, Yamcha, Tien Shinhan, Piccolo and Chiaotzu took the journey on Snake Way and arrived on King Kai's planet faster than Goku for special training. King Kai warned Goku never to encounter Frieza, an intergalactic tyrant and (at the time) the most powerful being in the universe. Yamcha, Tien and Chiaotzu receive training from King Kai, with Piccolo opting out doing most of the training by himself (believing it to be silly and pointless catching Bubbles in mere seconds, compared to Goku's forty days, since the greater gravity is similar to his techinque of wearing weighted clothing, which he frequently does in his training). However, he was surprised to see improvements in the other three's skills during a sparring match, though this took place only in the anime. As King Kai witnessed the battle against Frieza, the recently-deceased Ginyu Force excluding Captain Ginyu, fought the Z Fighters (without Piccolo who had been revived and sent to Namek) in training, and were defeated by the Z Fighters and sent to Hell, which was rather impressive considering King Kai considered them to be most fearsome group in the universe, and at least five times stronger than Goku prior to training. This however happened in the anime only, and when considering that it took Goku over 150 days to improve to a point where he could defeat Nappa, the weaker of the two Saiyans that were considered to be nothing in comparison to even one member of the Ginyu Squad, it seems unlikely that they could have achieved such a dramatic increase in power in such a short time. However it may be worth noting that they were able to spar with each other in addidtion to King Kai's training where as Goku was trained alone. He soon noticed that Frieza was not defeated as originally thought, and Frieza injured Piccolo by piercing his chest, then killed Krillin. This heinous action caused Goku to transform into a Super Saiyan. Eventually Goku, in his new form, overwhelmed Frieza, leaving him to attempt to destroy Namek with a Death Ball. Although not instantly destroyed (due to Frieza's fear of being caught in its explosion), Frieza estimated that the planet would survive only five minutes longer. With Kami now revived, and the Dragon Balls collected, King Kai devised a plan to revive all those who had perished at the hands of Frieza and his minions throughout the past year. This would in turn revive Grand Elder Guru, who died because of the pain of seeing his children die by Frieza's great cruelty. Frieza powered up to full power (half of which he was using prior to Goku's transformation) and began to fight Goku. As Shenron resurrected all those who were killed by Frieza, Guru was brought back and so Porunga returned in front of the newly revived Dende. King Kai made telepathic contact with Guru to have Dende ask Porunga to teleport everyone off Namek to Earth, except Frieza. Goku interrupted, and requested that he, too, be left behind in order to ensure Frieza's defeat. King Kai objected, insisting that Goku's transformation had clouded his judgment, but Goku's determination eventually prevailed. With their plan revised, Guru sent Dende to make the final wish to Porunga to transport everyone off Namek to Earth, except Goku and Frieza. After defeating Frieza, Goku flew to Frieza's spaceship but found it was too heavily damaged, and seemingly died with the planet. Yamcha informed Bulma through King Kai of Goku's death. However, Bulma pointed out that with the Namekian Dragon Balls, Goku could be revived, along with Krillin and Chiaotzu, who were both killed twice. King Kai then said that though Chiaotzu could be revived, Goku and Krillin had died on Namek, and as Porunga resurrects people to the location at which they died, they would die again in the vacuum of space if they were wished back. However, Vegeta suggested voting Krillin and Goku to the Earth's Check-In Station to the spirit world, then wish them back. They attempted this wish, and revived Krillin, but to the shock of everyone, including King Kai, Porunga states that Goku is still alive and refuses to get wished home.
Main article: Trunks Saga
King Kai (as well as everyone else aware of the events transpiring) was shocked when a boy from the future (Future Trunks) arrived and effortlessly defeated Frieza and his father, King Cold, who had traveled to Earth to exact revenge for Frieza's defeat.
Cell Games Saga
Main article: Cell Games SagaLater, when Cell had been bested by Gohan in battle, he initiated his self-destruction. Having only seconds to react, Goku used Instant Transmission to transport himself and the android to King Kai's planet. Cell's subsequent self-destruction killed Goku and King Kai (as well as King Kai's pets), who soon realized that Cell must have survived the explosion. With the help of King Kai's telepathy, Goku provided spiritual support for Gohan, who had been forced to engage Cell once again. Afterwards, Goku tells everyone after declining revival that King Kai had also declined to be revived so he could guide Goku around Other World.
Great Saiyaman Saga
Main article: Great Saiyaman Saga
Being dead doesn't seem to hamper King Kai's affairs, except that it is the source of great embarrassment for him to his fellow Kais (although he was extremely perturbed at Goku for sacrificing someone as holy as he was for a measly insignificant planet like Earth). On Grand Kai's planet, a tournament is set up in commemoration of King Kai's death. Goku and Pikkon, the student of King Kai's rival, West Kai, make it to the finals and Goku seemingly emerges victorious, until Grand Kai disqualifies them both for touching the ceiling.
Majin Buu Saga
Main article: Majin Buu Saga
An ancient demon, Majin Buu is revived, thanks to the evil wizard, Babidi, the son of the monster's creator, Bibidi. King Kai witnesses the entire situation. Majin Buu eventually splits into a good and evil personality, with the evil personality winning and absorbing the good one, transforming him into Super Buu. Super Buu exterminates the human race, and several attempts from the Z Fighters to stop him were in vain, absorbing some of the warriors and becoming more powerful. Goku is revived, and merges with Vegeta, who lost his life in an earlier battle with the monster to become the most powerful fighter in the Dragon Ball Z series, Vegito. Super Buu absorbs the fused warrior, separating them in the inside but not fully integrating them. They from the inside, remove the captives within Buu decreasing his power, and the good Majin Buu inside, and escape while Super Buu is changing. Super Buu, however transforms into Kid Buu and destroys the Earth. Goku and Vegeta escape and battle Kid Buu on the Kai Planet. They are quickly losing energy, and even when Majin Buu emerges from Kid Buu, the situation still looks bad. Vegeta comes up with an idea to create the Spirit Bomb, from the Earthlings to destroy Kid Buu. Dende and Kibito Kai travel to New Namek to summon Porunga and wish for Earth's restoration and the revival of the innocents killed since Babidi's arrival on Earth. King Kai uses his telepathy for Vegeta, Goku and Mr. Satan, to talk to the people of Earth and persuade them to give their energy to form the Spirit Bomb. Goku fires the Spirit Bomb, but Kid Buu is still showing resistance so the last wish is to restore Goku's strength. Goku transforms into a Super Saiyan and pushes the Spirit Bomb, destroying Kid Buu forever.
Dragon Ball GT
Main article: Dragon Ball GT King Kai in Dragon Ball GT
King Kai seems to still be on Grand Kai's planet or he might have got a new planet after winning the challenge he had made with the West Kai (when he they both put their planets in bet in which if Goku wins, King Kai gets the West Kai's planet). During the Super 17 Saga, he warns Goku that the dead are escaping Hell. He then assists Goku in forming the Spirit Bomb to defeatOmega Shenron, by forming a universal telepathic link for Goku to ask the beings of the universe to give their energy.
It is revealed in Weekly Jump that King Kai has a power level of 3,500, which is the same power level as Piccolo in his battle against Nappa.
The attacks he teaches to his students:
- Kaio-ken: This technique is legendary, as the user is able to unlock the ultimate potential of themselves for a heartbeat, going past what their body should be able to handle normally, to the highest point seen in the series of 20 times the user's base power level. When using this technique, the user's body gets a reddish tinge and they get a strong red aura around themselves. Goku is the only person known to master this technique, as King Kai himself could not. He also uses it in combination with his Super Saiyan transformation, that Goku called Super Kaio-ken (though this was only seen in the Grand Kai tournament, which was filler. This may or may not be canon)
- Spirit Bomb: This attack is arguably the most powerful in the series, depending on who is contributing the energy to it. The user puts their hands above their head and draws energy from all living things into one colossal sphere of energy. King Kai himself couldn't fully master this, and is astonished when Goku manages to destroy a speeding giant brick with one formed from his little planet.
- Instant Transmission: King Kai knows this technique and claims he could have taught it to Goku the whole time. (This is stated only in the anime, while in the manga, King Kai was amazed by the existence of such an ability).
- King Yemma
- Tien Shinhan
- Krillin (After being killed by Super Buu he trains along Yamcha under King Kai, However this is only filler.)
- Unnamed Kanassan
- Unnamed Shamoians
- Japanese Dub: Joji Yanami
- Ocean Dub: Don Brown
- FUNimation Dub: Sean Schemmel
- Latin American Dub: Ricardo Hill, César Soto (Episodes 29 and 30), Sergio Castillo (Episode 200 onwards), Leonardo García (DBZ Kai)
- Portuguese Dub: António Semedo
- Brazilian Dub: Walter Breda
- Polish Dub: Andrzej Gawronski (Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn only)
Video game appearances
- Dragon Ball Z: Super Saiya Densetsu
- Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku
- Dragon Ball Z: Buu's Fury
- Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans
- Dragon Ball Kai: Ultimate Butōden
- Gregory says King Kai knows everything. This is likely an overstatement by Gregory, who deeply respects King Kai's abilities. He didn't seem to know that Nameks only drink water, telling Piccolo "You're gonna need more than just water." He also is unaware of Cell until Goku mentions him, and thinks Frieza is dead after his supposed death by Goku. He also thought Goku was dead when Namek blew up. Goku even noted this inconsistency in Dragon Ball Z: Broly - The Legendary Super Saiyan. In the FUNimation dub, after Goku asked about this inconsistency, King Kai responds that it depends on his mood.
- King Kai told Goku to avoid Frieza at all costs as his power level was nowhere near his. However, he wanted Krillin (who was already dead, and could have been erased from existence) to go to Earth and fight Majin Buu (when it seemed Vegito was dead) when their power difference was greater than that of Goku and Frieza at the moment. This could be due to the fact that Frieza's intent was to rule the universe, as opposed to Buu, who would have destroyed not only the physical universe, but the Other World as well, ending all of existence out of his insanity.
- King Kai is the only one of the four Kais to die.
- King Kai wasn't revived with the rest of Cell's victims, presumably because Shenron was instructed to "...revive all those on Earth killed by Cell". Since King Kai lived and died in Other World, he would be exempt from the wish. In the last episode of Dragon Ball Kai, King Kai was revived along with Cell's other victims, unlike the original anime which he did not.
- It is revealed in the Cell Games Saga that King Kai has the ability to use Instant Transmission, but earlier in the Saiyan Saga after Goku had finished his training under King Kai he told Goku he would have to travel back along Snake Way in order to get back to Earth to help defeat the Saiyans in the time instead of simply taking him there himself or at least to the Check In Station like Goku had assumed. (This is stated only in the anime, while in the manga, King Kai was amazed by the existence of Instant Transmission).