Yamcha - A Lesson in Bouncing Back

When Yamcha first appeared, he was a good looking bandit, with a heart of gold and weakness for women. Over time he dropped the bandit act, cleaned up and became a professional athlete. Sometime after that, he turned into a running joke, and he deserves so much more. As I write this, the year is 2020, let this be the last year of Yamcha memes.

I want to get this one out of the way first. Yamcha did get blown up by a Saibaman's suicide attack. What people always leave out, is that moments before Yamcha had killed a Saibaman with a Kamehameha wave. That always gets left out for some reason. The second time Yamcha died he was turned into chocolate and eaten by Buu. Two, that is all. We have to stop the narrative that Yamcha gets killed every week. Goku has died more than Yamcha, even if we count that alternate timeline when they both died.

I'd like to go back to that Kamehameha wave, Yamcha is one of only four humans to learn that technique. Master Roshi, the creator, Grandpa Gohan, Krillin and Yamcha. He's in a very rare class of fighters. That isn't his only devastating attack either. Wolf Fang Fast, a masterful physical attack launching a flurry of fist, feet and maybe even teeth at an opponent has taken him to the late rounds of World Tournaments and taken out some devastating foes. Those aren't his only techniques either. Long before the Spirit Bomb was a thing Yamcha had created a technique called the Spirit Ball. Yamcha channels the spirit energy around him into a ball and controls it fully to attack an opponent.

Yamcha has trained with both Master Roshi, and King Kai, we have to acknowledge that. But, before either of those he was self taught. With just that knowledge he managed to reach the quarter finals every time. The people he lost to were Master Roshi, Tien and Kami. That's not a bad list to lose to especially when he manages to become stronger than two of the people on that list for sure. We can't verify Kami, but Yamcha has beaten Piccolo in a fight. He's also managed to beat Goku before.

People underestimate Yamcha because he went to play baseball when he started losing fights. They assume he stopped training and that isn't true. He kept training and trains still, even if he knows he can't win. Yamcha is similar to Krillin in that he will go great lengths to keep up with the Siayans and Namekians. Yamcha once attempted training at 300x Earth's normal gravity, which would kill a normal human. His logic for this, if Vegeta and Goku could do it, so could he. Even if Yamcha knows he's going to get dusted by Androids, Cell, Buu or whoever, he still shows up to do anything he can to help, unlike Tien and Yajirobi. That might mean being on Senzu Bean duty, or rescuing civilians. Yamcha is proud of that, and he should be.

If you can't respect Yamcha for his strength. Respect him for his mental tenacity. The man has been broken mentally more than anyone else in the show but he keeps going. Bulma left him for Vegeta and Vegeta constantly reminds him of the heartbreak. Still, Yamcha treats Trunks as his own son, basically being the fun dad. He couldn't keep up with the fights, so he found a new passion in baseball that he excelled in, using it as a way to travel the world training again.

Yamcha is not the greatest martial artist ever, he's only top three human martial artists. He considers himself number two, not sure how Roshi and Krillin feel. But this isn't about them right now. Big Sean has a song called Bounce Back in which he states "Last night took an L, but tonight I bounce back." That's been Yamcha's entire career. He finds a way to keep moving forward, for decades. He should have been done when Tien waxed him in the World Martial Arts tournament. Should have been done when that Saibaman blew him up. Should have been done when Bulma left him for Vegeta. Still, he bounced back, every single time.
Yamcha - A Lesson in Bouncing Back Yamcha - A Lesson in Bouncing Back Reviewed by Blerds Online on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 Rating: 5

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