Dragon Ball Z's Two Redeemed Villains: Piccolo and Vegeta!
If any two characters from Dragon Ball Z deserves mention it would be two of my favorites namely Piccolo and Vegeta. For some reason, I always have a soft spot for redeemed villains. Now to see how these two former villains were. So let's take a look at what went on.
Picollo Jr. is the offspring of the King Piccolo who was defeated by Goku (at 11 years old). What happened was that after King Piccolo was destroyed, the common link between the previous Piccolo and Kami was transferred to the son via asexual reprdouction. In the first Dragon Ball series, he only has his parent and siblings (who were corrupted Namekians) to think about and he was assigned to avenge them. He was going to try and fulfill what his late parent failed to fulfill... destroy Goku and rule over the world. He entered the tournament and faced against his Uncle Kami who now shares the same link with him.
During the final tournament, Goku and Piccolo fought for the fate of the world. Piccolo after sealing off his Uncle Kami, showed he wasn't so easy to defeat. Stronger and better than his father, he proved to be a challenge. However Goku defeated him but spared him via a senzu bean. He would try to get his revenge on Goku but the arrival of Raditz proved to be an obstacle to his plans. Having no choice, he had to fight with Goku to defeat Raditz. While he was still considerably evil at first, his path in life was going to change.
At first he kidnapped Gohan with the intention of revenge. As the training went on, it cannot be denied he started to soften up. During the arrival of Nappa and Vegeta, he ended up sacrificing himself for Gohan, an irony he always wanted to beat Goku at first. His personality though he remained cold, he started to care about others thanks to Gohan. During the Frieza saga, he proved he was truly an ally to everyone.
While he didn't see Gohan's ability come to full "Omega Level" in the Saiyan saga, he saw it during the Cell Saga. He had proven himself again to be close to Gohan and he also fused with his Uncle Kami thus becoming the "Nameless Being" and appointing Dende as the new guardian of the Dragon Balls. After the Cell Saga, he somehow got distant only to be reunited with Gohan again. However he didn't have that much of a close relationship with Goten although he and Goku did try to "demonstrate" fusion, something that never came to fruition in the series.
In Dragon Ball GT, he ended up sacrificing himself more than once. To save the Earth, he chose not to come back to life so the Black Star Dragon Balls. Later on, he allowed himself to be sent to the Home For Infinite Losers so Goku could return back to Earth.
Born the son of King Vegeta (he should have been called Vegeta Jr.), he was a prideful warrior and he lost his home planet. Unknown to him, Frieza had destroyed his home planet while he was left with only two other Saiyan comrades namely Raditz and Nappa. He was a prideful character and with a very high ego. He was already planning to get rid of Frieza and rule over the Universe which was different from Piccolo's just rule the Earth. What he never dreamed of was his eventual redemption even if he was practically a disturbed child at first. I would dare admit he is my top favorite character in the franchise.
During the time he worked with Frieza, he proved himself a genocidal sadist even destroying a planet just for fun. When he invaded Earth, he took delight in causing trouble. After Nappa failed to defeat Goku, he killed his only trusted bodyguard out of anger. He challenged Goku to a fight which he almost won if it wasn't for Gohan going Ape. Although Krillin wanted to kill him but for some reason, Goku wanted to spare him. Either it's bad writing or Goku's just an idiot considering he wanted a rematch. With Picollo being referenced, he does follow Piccolo's path but not so easily.
At first, Vegeta is returned severely wounded and he was healed by it. When he learned that Frieza was in Namek, he wanted to finally seize the Namekian Dragon Balls for himself. It was during this time he would show how much more power he's gotten over the course. His whole plan was to overthrow Frieza and rule the Universe for himself. However the more he was forced to fight alongside Goku against Frieza's forces, the more his alignment changed. After he experienced his first death and he was resurrected by a wish that all of Frieza's murder victims came back to life, he even showed remorse for the people he killed in cold blood.
His arrogance and ill-temperament was still ever existent as he won't allow Goku (who he keeps referring to as Kakarot) to surpass him. During the Cell Saga, this proved to be his undoing as he always wanted to beat the opponents in their prime than destroy them in their weakest. Not only did it unleash No. 17 and No. 18 but it eventually allowed Cell to reach perfect state. His actions almost caused the end of the world if Gohan's true Earth-shattering potential didn't show up. It's also left unexplained how he and Bulma eventually got along considering that in real life their personalities won't get along plus he actually cares about his son Trunk and later, he had a daughter named Bulla. That pride also continued even to the Majin Buu saga when he allowed himself to become Master Babidi's servant just to become stronger than Goku. Realizing what he did, he sacrificed himself dying a second time only to be resurrected but first, he bade his son Trunks farewell. Later he crushed the Potara earring so he doesn't have to fuse with Goku... bad move actually. In GT, I felt he had matured in some way but still kept the same angry attitude.