Yamcha (ヤムチャ, Yamucha) is a supporting protagonist in the Dragon Ball manga, and in the animes Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, also making a few appearances in Dragon Ball GT. He is a former desert bandit, once being an enemy of Goku, but eventually reformed and became a lifelong friend and ally. He was the first of the eventual Z Fighters to meet and team up with Goku. His best friend is Puar, and he was once Bulma's boyfriend. His name is a play on "Yum cha" (literally "drink tea"), referring to a gathering to drink tea and eat dim sum.
Creation and conceptionEdit
When Akira Toriyama decided to create Dragon Ball, he used Wu Cheng'en's Journey to the West as a prototype for his own series.All about Akira Toriyama Yamcha is most likely based on Sha Wujing, also known as Sha Seng, from this novel. Saiyan Chronicles on Journey to the West] Both are powerful bandits (Yamcha from a sandy desert, and Sha from a sand river), who eventually change their ways and help the heroes on their quest.
A likely prototype design for Yamcha was the title character to Akira Toriyama's one-shot Pink. Although Pink is a female, she also is a bandit living in a desert hideout who has an animal companion and rides a flying vehicle similar to Yamcha's Jet Squirrel. After cutting his long hair for the first time in the series, Yamcha looks very similar to the Dr. Slump character Tsukutsun Tsun, in both appearance and characteristics.
The main character in Akira Toriyama's 1986 manga, Mister Hō, looks exactly like Yamcha. It seems like both characters influenced each other, as Mister Hō was released during the Red Ribbon Army Saga of Dragon Ball and Yamcha does not get a look similar to that of Mister Hō until his hair is long again later in the series. Also, both characters share a similar personality, Mister Hō being very clumsy in the presence of a girl he likes.