Dragon Ball Minus: The Departure of the Fated Child, usually just referred to as Dragon Ball Minus (ドラゴンボール マイナス), which is also spelled as Dragon Ball －, is a special manga featured in the collected volume of Jaco the Galactic Patrolman, which was published in Japan on April 4, 2014, and by Viz Media in the 2014 Shonen Jump #18 digital issue released on April 7, 2014. It ties-in with both Dragon Ball and Jaco the Galactic Patrolman.
The story covers the time period up to Goku being sent to Earth, and marks the first appearance of Goku's mother Gine in the Dragon Ball franchise. Bardock is out conquering a planet when Frieza decides to eradicate the Saiyans and orders all of them back to Planet Vegeta. Bardock returns home, suspicious of Frieza's actions. Vegeta is out conquering a planet with Raditz and decides to ignore the order. Bardock reunites with Gine, and begins to wonder about his three-years-old son, Kakarot. Worried that their planet might be met with a terrible fate, Bardock steals an Attack Ball and launches Kakarot out into space. One month later, Frieza arrives to destroy Planet Vegeta.
The warrior race of the Saiyans, under the evil emperor Frieza, fight day and night to obtain many planets through force.
Bardock and another Saiyan destroy aliens on a planet. They suddenly receive a report on their scouters that all Saiyans have been ordered to return to Planet Vegeta. Bardock has misgivings about this and his partner questions it as well, badmouthing Frieza. Bardock tells him to take off his scouter or they will hear him. The two see Frieza's spaceship hovering over Planet Vegeta, and Bardock thinks they must have a hidden agenda. They land on Planet Vegeta at a settlement with crude houses and many other spaceships. Another Saiyan greets Bardock, but he does not know what the order is about either. However, he has heard that Frieza's forces heard about the "Super Saiyan" and that word of it is has been going around.
On his ship, Frieza mulls over this "Super Saiyan" and "Super Saiyan God" business. His attendant tries to reassure him that it is just a common heroic legend; Frieza says he knows this, but he must not even have a sliver of a doubt. Either way, the Saiyans are too proud and will never be his obedient dogs. It is a good time to destroy the entire planet. His attendant thinks it is a shame since they are excellent fighters. Frieza scoffs, and then asks how much of the Saiyan race has arrived back. It will apparently take one more month for nearly all of the Saiyans to arrive, so Frieza decides to destroy the planet in one month's time. If he is suspected by the remaining ones, he will just say that a giant meteor collided with the planet.
On another planet, Raditz asks Prince Vegeta if they should be getting back home. Vegeta says to leave it be; they will just pretend they did not hear the order.
Back on Planet Vegeta, Bardock makes his way along the settlement as the narration box explains there are only a few thousand Saiyans. As a warrior race, it would be difficult to increase their numbers (presumably, though left unsaid, because they would war with each other). Setting foot in one structure, Bardock greets Gine, who embraces him. She tells Bardock that Raditz is already a fighter and is working with Prince Vegeta. Since they are far away, though, they have not returned yet.
Bardock asks if Kakarot is still in the incubator. He is, but it has been three years, so she will take him out soon. Kakarot has gotten big, and looks just like his father. Bardock looks long and hard at his son, then tells Gine he will steal an Attack Ball in the night. They will send Kakarot to another planet. Gine questions Bardock, who reassures her that it is for Kakarot's sake. Frieza seems to be planning something; he has a premonition of death. Even so, Gine says it is not like a Saiyan to worry about his children. Bardock shoots back that her "softness disease" spread to him too.
Bardock shoulders the pod with a crying Kakarot as they take it to the launch site. Gine suggests they all run away, but Bardock says it is no use since they would immediately be found with scouters. Gine nervously says to her son that if his father is just overthinking this, they will come for him right away. Bardock warns Kakarot not to look for too long at the full moon; they will tell Raditz about this as well. They tell Kakarot "You absolutely have to stay alive… See you around." Kakarot presses his face against the glass as his pod rises up. Bardock says to watch out for the Galactic Patrol as the pod shoots off the planet. Bardock puts his arm around Gine as Kakarot's pod disappears into the sky.
Meanwhile, at Galactic Patrol headquarters, Jaco inquires why the Galactic King has summoned his exceptional self. It must be for an extremely important mission. The king goes along with this and tells Jaco to go to Earth since a flying object was picked up launching from Planet Vegeta and headed there. Earth is a developing world ruled by humans who are still immature and weak, so the Saiyans have probably sent a child. Therefore, the clumsy Jaco can probably exterminate it himself. After researching Earth, Jaco comments that Earthlings are of very poor qualities; if he decides it is not worth protecting them, he will use his extinction bomb. His superiors do not mind, but tell him to research well before doing it. He should arrive a few days before the Saiyan. Jaco is excited about the prospect of extinction, while one Galactic Patrolman asks whether it was all right to let Jaco handle such a task. The other tells him that Earth is not an important world; the Galactic King gave him the mission figuring they had nothing to lose.
And so, Jaco, and later the Saiyan child went to Earth. Some time later, Planet Vegeta, together with many Saiyans, was obliterated by Frieza's hand. Eventually, the destined child grew up right and would, without realizing it, come to face off against his bitter enemy, Frieza.
This story takes place days prior to the events of Jaco the Galactic Patrolman which took place in Age 739, 10 years prior to the start of the Dragon Ball series.
- The manga's depiction of Goku greatly contrasts to the TV special Dragon Ball Z: Bardock - The Father of Goku. In this story, Goku's age at the time of Planet Vegeta's destruction is different than in other media: he is three years old, in contrast to a few days old. In Minus, Goku is also clothed in Saiyan gear, while in other depictions he isn't.
- Presumably this would mean that Dragon Ball Minus is the manga's version of the events leading to Goku being sent to Earth as Bardock encounter with Frieza during the Genocide of the Saiyans only appears in a single panel of the original manga during the Frieza Saga, which was inspired by Bardock's encounter with Frieza in the TV special. Additionally while Bardock has a bad premonition concerning Frieza's order for the Saiyans to return to Planet Vegeta which explains why he decided to send Kakarot off world, there is no indication that this was a result of the foresight he was cursed with by Toolo's Future Punch providing further evidence that the events of Dragon Ball Minus are relegated to the manga storyline.
- Frieza's mention of the "Super Saiyan God" ties Dragon Ball Minus with the 2013 movie, Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods.