But you can’t take all that damage and expect to walk away the same. Some fans think that due to Vegeta’s fight against Android 18, Vegeta has a chronic injury that can be seen in fights following that event, specifically that Vegeta’s left arm was permanently injured.
The evidence for this one is pretty straight forward when Vegeta gets his arm broken during his fight against Android 18, you can very obviously see that it’s put into some pretty bad shape, I mean it seems to be so bad it somehow turns Vegeta’s hand around the wrong way.
Vegeta was hit on the upper arm about halfway from the elbow to his shoulder and begins to favour and protect that limb. Later on, in the series, we can see Vegeta holding this arm in the same place whenever he gets a bad beating, most notably in the Buu arc after fighting Kid Buu and during the Tournament of Power arc in Dragon Ball Super, many years after he received the initial injury.
All this suggests that either Vegeta’s left arm is a big target for his opponents for some reason, or that the fight with Android 18 left some permanent damage.
Argument 1: Senzu Beans
Senzu beans are used to completely heal anyone from any injury and they are known for even bringing people to full health when they are at the brink of death. With the way they are portrayed to basically be magic and heal any physical injury, including that time Yamcha had a hand sized hole in his chest and healed Goku faster than months in the hospital, shouldn’t Vegeta’s arm be fine.
That’s a decent point, as Vegeta did take a Senzu Bean after losing to Android 18 to heal himself and his arm did repair and was useable but did the Senzu bean heal him back to what it was before?
There is definitely a solid argument for saying no as for one, the Dragon Ball wiki states “When eaten, the consumer’s energy and physical health are restored to their fullest” That wording gives a bit of room for chronic injuries to manifest. As I can personally attest to, injuries can be fixed with different types of treatments, but there may be some leftover damage that can appear, like scarring or aches and pains.
Senzu Beans also have their limitations, most notably they aren’t able to heal disease but something a lot of fans don’t seem to bring up is the fact that whenever a Saiyan eats a Senzu bean, their tail doesn’t grow back, which is possible as mentioned by Akira Toriyama.
All this may suggest that while Senzu beans are able to mend injuries, some after-effects may still linger and that they are not perfect healing tools.
Argument 2: Vegeta’s Revival
Let’s take it for granted that Senzu beans aren’t able to fully heal someone to the way they once were, there is the fact that Vegeta was killed and later brought back to life in the Buu Saga.
Death in the Dragon Ball universe is pretty complicated especially if you’re getting revived with the dragon balls. When you die in dragon ball, it’s not a guarantee that you will get to keep your body in the afterlife, only great heroes, like Goku, get to keep their body in the afterlife, with most becoming spirits.
We don’t know much about what happens to Vegeta either time he dies but if we go off the depiction of him in the afterlife from the Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn, which is non-canon, he is a spirit and does not keep his original body and only receives it when he is called upon to help defeat Janemba.
If we assume that the non-canon interpretation is correct, Vegeta does not get to keep his body after he dies until he is brought back to earth to help fight against Buu while he is still dead.
During the fight, Vegeta is revived and fully brought back to life with his Halo disappearing and we see after taking a heavy beating from Kid Buu, he starts to hold that same arm.
This leaves the question, if Vegeta was revived, why does he still have the injury? This can be answered with some context, when a person is revived with the dragon balls, they do not get a new version of their body, they instead get their old body back. Vegeta’s actually a great example of this as when he was first revived on Namek he doesn’t just pop in out of no where, his spirit goes into his body and he has do dig himself out of the grave Goku made for him.
It is also repeatedly stated by characters in the other world that bringing someone back to life puts their soul back into their body, not create a new one for their soul to inhabit.
Argument 3: Vegeta Was Doing This Before
The Argument that probably kills this theory the most is also the most simple and straightforward one. Vegeta’s chronic injury couldn’t have been caused by Android 18 because he was already holding that arm after taking some damage before.
Yeah so if Vegeta does have a chronic injury, it couldn’t have been caused by Android 18. Maybe Vegeta was hurt there during his fight with Goku and we didn’t notice or maybe or it was injured a long time ago, maybe explaining why the Senzu beans couldn’t heal this injury.
It would seem that Vegeta arm was just a look Toriyama liked to draw. It also seems that Toriyama really got into arm injuries during the Cell Saga as Vegeta isn’t the only character to take some damage there.