Sometimes, in a sea of Saiyans and transformations, one can forget about some of the truly great and detailed designs of some of the lesser referenced Dragon Ball characters. Such is the case with Tao Pai Pai, or simply Mercenary Tao. First hitting the scene in the original Dragon Ball as one of Goku's first serious physical threats, Tao was defeated in part thanks to a grenade that was kicked back in his direction. Luckily, the mercenary for hire managed to return in a new cybernetic form in Dragon Ball Z and the creator of Bleach just so happened to bring his own interpretation to the deadly villain of Akira Toriyama's epic franchise.
Twitter User GovetaXV shared the amazingly sketched image of Mercenary Tao, premiering in the upcoming 30th Anniversary History book for Dragon Ball, displaying the menace and skill of the character in a way not yet seen before:
Tao Pai Pai (Mercenary Tao) drawn by Tite Kubo (Writer and Illustrator of Bleach) for Dragon Ball 30th Anniversary History BookSeptember 16, 2019
Tao's history with Tenshinhan and Chaotzu certainly engrained him into the history of Dragon Ball, even if these two don't show up nearly as much as Goku and the other much more powerful Z Fighters. The creator of Bleach, who probably has much more time on his hands now with the franchise having ended in both manga and anime, does such a fantastic job here that we'd absolutely love to see his take on other Dragon Ball characters, heroes and villains alike.
This isn't the first time that Tite Kubo has tackled Dragon Ball, so take a look here to see even more characters in his unique style!
What do you think of this brand new take on Dragon Ball's Mercenary Tao from the creator of Bleach? Feel free to let us know in the comments or hit me up directly on Twitter @EVComedy to talk all things comics, anime, Dragon Ball, and Bleach!
Dragon Ball Super currently airs its English dub on Adult Swim during the Toonami programming block on Saturday evenings, and is also available to stream on Funimation and Amazon Video. The Japanese-language release of the series is complete, and available to stream on FunimationNOW and Crunchyroll. The manga has chapters that can currently be read for free thanks to Viz Media, and Dragon Ball Super's big movie, Dragon Ball Super: Broly, is now available on Blu-ray and DVD.
Bleach was first created by Tite Kubo for Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump, running from 2001 to 2016. The series follows the young delinquent Ichigo Kurosaki, who has the ability to see spirits. He soon obtains the power of a Soul Reaper - one meant to usher lost souls to the afterlife - and now has the duty to defend the living world from monstrous dark spirits known as Hollows. It has been adapted into English thanks to VIZ Media, and has sold over 900 million copies in Japan.