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"Giran was just a job. Your father I killed for fun."
— "Terrible Tambourine"

Tambourine (タンバリン, Tanbarin) is a supporting antagonist who appears in the Dragon Ball manga, and the anime Dragon Ball. A Humanoid gargoyle-like mutated Namekian, and one of King Piccolo's sons.



Tambourine's favorite hobby is slaughtering humans, as he considers them inferior to his kind.[1] Tambourine is extremely cold-hearted, killing innocent people just to entertain himself, and has no remorse for any of his victims nor their loved ones. He considers all other races besides his useless, stating humans serve no purpose other than to be killed. Even on a duty, he will kill people not involved in his mission, just for fun.


Dragon Ball

King Piccolo Saga

Main article: King Piccolo Saga


Tambourine after beating down Goku

Tambourine is born offscreen shortly after King Piccolo was released by Emperor Pilaf. Under orders from King Piccolo, Tambourine sets out to assassinate all the competitors of the last three World Martial Arts Tournaments who may pose a threat to Piccolo's return to power, and collect any Dragon Balls that he comes across in the process.

His first victim is Krillin, whom he confronts shortly after the end of the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament, when Krillin goes back to the area to collect Goku's objects that he forgot. Krillin fights with everything he has, but proves no match for Tambourine, who kills him by kicking him on the head, crushing his frontal lobe. Tambourine then steals the Four-Star Dragon Ball and a list of all tournament contestants.


Tambourine is attacked by King Chappa's disciples

While on his way, Tambourine is confronted by Goku, who is determined to avenge Krillin's death. Tambourine gloats over Krillin's death, which only enrages Goku further. Goku and Tambourine engage each other in combat, but, as Goku was still weak from his fight with Tien Shinhan, Tambourine easily outmatches him, and destroys the Flying Nimbus, proceeding to beat Goku senseless and drop him to the ground, leaving him for dead. Tambourine subsequently attacks and murders King Chappa, Pamput, Bacterian, Man-Wolf, Giran, and a few others fighters, facing no problems. He subsequently confronts Yamcha, but before he can kill him, he is telepathically ordered by King Piccolo to track down the one responsible for the death of Cymbal, one of Tambourine's brothers.

Tambourine's death

Tambourine killed by Goku's Kamehameha

‎Tambourine confronts Yajirobe, but is distracted from attacking him when Goku shows himself. Tambourine is surprised Goku is still alive, and starts off this rematch confident that he can quickly beat Goku again, but instead, Goku overpowers him and viciously beats him into the ground. After failing to destroy Goku, Tambourine realizes he cannot win and desperately attempts to escape, but Goku finishes him off once and for all with a Kamehameha. Tambourine's death gives King Piccolo the location of where Goku is, which leads to King Piccolo taking his Dragon Ball and gaining eternal youth.


At the time of his death, Tambourine was the most powerful son of Piccolo. He is shown to effortlessly defeat several martial artists, including Krillin, Goku (albeit tired and hungry), Nam, Giran, and in the anime: King Chappa and Bacterian as well. King Piccolo also references him as being several times more powerful than his younger brother Cymbal. However, Tambourine is far inferior to a prepared and enraged Goku at full power. Goku who defeated him effortlessly when at full power, possessed a power level of around 180.

"Movie Pamphlets" state that his power level is 340.


  • Flight – Tambourine has the ability to fly using his wings.

Tambourine's Ki blast

  • Ki Blast – The most basic form of energy wave. We see him use one to destroy a hay wagon and kill the horse in "Tien's Atonement".
  • Lick Twister – Tambourine wraps the opponent in his tongue and then does a high speed spin.
  • One-Hundred Arms – After mocking King Chappa's eight arm technique, he uses this more advanced version.
  • Wah-Tah Kick – Tambourine leaps and does a stereotypical kung fu movie pose kick. Used on Pamput.
  • Shocker Flatline – Tambourine channels electricity through his palm into his opponent. Used on Bacterian.
  • Sidearm Flamer – His hand glows orange like fire for a second and he then impales his opponent from the side with it. Used on Giran.
Kid goku bound up02

Lick Twister

  • Tommy Gun Tsuki – Similar to Tien's Machine Gun Tsuki, except with kicks.
  • Evil Cannon – Like King Piccolo and most of his offspring, Tambourine has the ability to shoot a beam of energy from his mouth. He uses it to destroy Goku's Flying Nimbus, and later tries it on Goku during their final battle. Tambourine's version was named Evil Cannon in the Dragon Ball Collectible Card Game, and is called Chou Makouhou in Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3.
  • Soumasen – Also like King Piccolo, Tambourine is also capable shooting lasers from his eyes. He is never actually seen using this technique in the anime and manga, but he uses it in Budokai Tenkaichi 3.
  • Super Marengeki – Tambourine's ultimate attack in Budokai Tenkaichi 3. An advanced version of the sidearm flamer (see above). Tambourine kicks his opponent into the air and attacks them with a series of punches, until using his hand to impale his victim. This attack never appears in the anime nor manga, though it is possibly the attack he was about to use on Yamcha before he was interrupted with news of Cymbal's death.
  • Mystic Breath – One of Tambourine's Blast 1 in Budokai Tenkaichi 3.
  • Afterimage – One of Tambourine's Blast 1 in Budokai Tenkaichi 3.

Video games


Tambourine in Budokai Tenkaichi 3

Voice actors

Major Battles

  • Tambourine vs. Krillin
  • Tambourine vs. Goku
  • Tambourine vs. King Chappa and his students (anime only)
  • Tambourine vs Pamput (anime only)
  • Tambourine vs. Bacterian (anime only)
  • Tambourine vs. Man-Wolf (anime only)
  • Tambourine vs. Giran
  • Tambourine vs. Goku


  • Like his siblings, Tambourine is named after a musical instrument, the "Tambourine" in this case.
  • Out of all the henchmen seen in the Dragon Ball series, Tambourine has one of the highest onscreen body counts, killing 50 or more people.
  • In the Japanese dub of Dragon Ball, the young bear Giran was attempting to kill in the Animal Village thought that Tambourine was actually "Kami" (meaning "god" in Japanese). Coincidentally, the guardian of Earth (Kami) and Tambourine are technically related.
  • Out of all of King Piccolo's sons (with the exception of Piccolo), Tambourine is one of the few to come close to resembling a normal Namekian (with the shape of his body and head, as well as his pointy ears, making it easier to compare to a normal Namekian).
  • Another offspring who closely resembles Tambourine with different colored clothes and lighter skin was seen earlier in Master Roshi's flashback, depicting him terrorizing various humans.[2]
  • Nuova Shenron and Eis Shenron, who later appear in Dragon Ball GT, resemble Tambourine. This is somewhat appropriate considering Nuova was born out of King Piccolo's wish to restore his youth, and Tambourine was one of Piccolo's offspring.
  • There is a what-if where Tambourine survives Goku's Kamehameha in Budokai Tenkaichi 3. This is unlocked by pressing the transformation button once in story mode when Goku fights King Piccolo but not the second time. If this happens, Tambourine appears, but Goku is too tired to beat him. Chi-Chi then appears and finishes Tambourine off.
  • In the same game, if the player arranges for a match between Tambourine and Krillin, they will have a special dialogue where Tambourine expresses confusion about Krillin still being alive and then decides just to kill him again, with Krillin stating that he will not let him this time around.
  • Tambourine is the final villain to be killed by Goku's Kamehameha in the original Dragon Ball.
  • Tambourine shares three similarities with Frieza, as both villains are mass murderers, have killed Krillin, and both end up being killed by Goku using a Kamehameha (SSGSS Goku's Dash Kamehameha in Frieza's case). Also they are voiced by the same VA in Japanese - Ryusei Nakao.
  • Also Ryusei Nakao shares another link with Tambourine and Freeza, Tambourine killed Giran and Freeza killed King Vegeta both voiced by Banjō Ginga.


See also


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