Many believe that the concept of Namekians was introduced in Dragon Ball Z, but their history actually dates back as far as the original anime.
Many fans of Dragon Ball Z make the mistaken assumption that the Namekian language was introduced in the “Namek Saga”. That would make sense, since the concept of Planet Namek wasn’t officially introduced until the “Saiyan Saga” an arc before. However, although the planet was not mentioned before this arc, the language and its speakers were both introduced a bit further back.
The first instance of Namekian being spoken is presumed to be Moori talking to Frieza, but is actually a conversation between Piccolo and Kami. They had this conversation an arc before the “Saiyan Saga” during the final arc of the original dragonball lively. Bulma even mentions it at the beginning of the “Namek Saga”. Here’s a look at what happened and what was said in this easily forgettable moment of dragonball the story.
It all started at the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament. At the time, Piccolo was best known as the evil spawn of the Demon King Piccolo. He entered the tournament under the alias Junior so he could get his chance to get revenge on Goku for killing his father. Kami also entered the tournament with the goal of stopping Piccolo’s evil once and for all; he hid his own identity by taking on the body of an unassuming middle-aged man named Hero (Shen in the Japanese version). Naturally, these two mighty warriors passed the preliminaries and faced each other in the second game of the semi-finals.
This fight was where the conversation took place. Contrary to DBZ where Namekian is spoken clearly, the language here has been dubbed with normal human language while Namekian text flashed on the screen. This was probably done for the convenience of both the anime staff and the audience. Unfortunately, no one at the Tournament could figure out what these two were saying; from their point of view, the two fighters spoke a foreign language.
The conversation was brief but meaningful. Piccolo revealed that he realized Hero was Kami disguised as a human, leading Kami to continue their conversation in Namekian. It was probably so he wouldn’t be introduced as the Guardian of the Earth in front of everyone. He told Piccolo how, despite the fact that their fates were linked, he fully intended to stop him however he could. Luckily, he revealed he didn’t have to kill Piccolo to stop him, as he brought a bottle he could use in tandem with the Evil Containment Wave to seal the villain in instead.
The real impact of this conversation is how it’s one of the few warning signs that Piccolo and Kami aren’t from Earth. Prior to this arc, Piccolo was presumed to be a demon while Kami was presumed to be God. It wasn’t until this arc that the two were confirmed to be aliens.
This moment is largely forgotten even in the history of dragonball. The only time he appeared afterward was at the start of the “Namek Saga” as Bulma and Mr. Popo were looking for the ship Kami used to travel to Earth. Even then, it was only mentioned for a moment and it was easy to miss. If anyone forgot that little moment or just never knew it existed, that shouldn’t be blamed on them.
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