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Nam (ナム, Namu) is an Indian-looking warrior from a desert village that competes in World Martial Arts Tournaments. He makes appearances in the Dragon Ball manga and the anime Dragon Ball, as well as short cameo appearances in Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball GT. In the episode "The Roaming Lake", it is shown Nam has a pure heart since he is able to ride the Flying Nimbus.
Nam is a fairly tall, dark-skinned man with a long face, small beady eyes, and a small red dot on his forehead known as a bindi. He wears a white turban and an orange and maroon robe similar to the traditional garbs worn by Indian and Thai Buddhist monks. Years later, Nam grows a fully-grown black beard.
Nam makes his first appearance in the Tournament Saga among the finalists. Shortly later, he fights Ranfan in the first rounds. Ranfan's sexy looks make Nam get close to the edge of the ring, but he overcomes by closing his eyes and using his other senses to defeat her. His next fight is against Goku, and while it is an intense fight with him using his ultimate attack, the Cross Arm Dive technique, which knocks somebody out cold for 10 days, he loses in the end. He competed because he needed the money to buy lots of water; where he was from, there was a terrible drought, and he had been sent to find a solution.
Being defeated, however, he is unable to get the money to buy water and decides to leave. Master Roshi reads his mind and gets acquainted with his intentions. He then gives him a capsule so that he can store water from a well, and in return, asks Nam to impersonate Master Roshi in the crowd, as to protect Master Roshi's secret identity from his students, who were suspicious of Jackie Chun being Master Roshi.
Red Ribbon Army Saga
In a filler episode, shortly after the Tournament, Nam returns to the desert to find the source of the drought that has been plaguing his people. He was rescued by Goku after he was grabbed by a pterodactyl. They found out that Giran and other members of his race were blocking the dam with Merry-Go-Round Gums. Goku used the Kamehameha wave to destroy the gums and the drought ended.
Tien Shinhan Saga
Nam makes an appearance in the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament, during an anime only segment, claiming to Goku and Master Roshi that this time he came to enjoy it. He ends up losing to Tien Shinhan on the preliminary rounds, and was left unconscious and nearly killed as Tien wanted to leave a message to Goku and his friends.
King Piccolo Saga
Soon after the 22nd World Tournament, Nam is killed by Tambourine, King Piccolo's most elite son at that point, on the demon king's orders to prevent any and all martial artists from learning the Evil Containment Wave. It is unknown how Tambourine killed him, as Nam is killed offscreen. Nam's picture appears on the television along with fellow tournament fighters King Chappa and Pamput. Later on, Nam is revived by Shenron along with all the other victims of King Piccolo and his sons.
Dragon Ball Z
Majin Buu Saga
Nam is killed by Majin Buu but he is revived by Porunga and contributes to Goku's Super Spirit Bomb to defeat Buu.
Dragon Ball GT
Nam is meditating when Goku is trying to round up the remaining survivors on almost-exploding Earth. He has appeared to age from the original series, now sporting a thick black beard and mustache.
Other Dragon Ball stories
Dragon Ball SD
Nam briefly appears in chapter 14 of the spin-off manga Dragon Ball SD, fulfilling the same role as in the 21st World Tournament storyline (though his fight with Ranfan is offscreen). After Nam's defeat against Goku, Roshi jokes that Nam would later return as King Chappa (due to them wearing the same type of outfit).
- Nam's and his brother's names come from the Buddhist chant "Namuamidabutsu".
- Coincidentally with his signature move making his opponents sleep for ten days, Nam's name means "sleep" in Arabic.
- Nam may be a Buddhist. This is shown in the manga as when using the Heaven Cross he shouts "In the name of Buddha". However, despite his Buddhist faith, Nam seems to wear a bhindi, a Hindu symbol, on his forehead.
- Though darker-skinned in the anime and manga, Nam appears as a light-skinned man in his portrait in the US release of Advanced Adventure for unknown reasons.
- The Mighty-but-compassionate Warrior, a character featured in Master Roshi's story about the Devilmite Beam, looks similar to Nam.
- Nam bears many similarities to Uub, who would be introduced much later in the series. Both come from poor human villages, both entered the World Martial Arts Tournament with the hopes of using the prize money to buy things with which to sustain his people (water for Nam, food for Uub) where they fought against and befriended Goku, and both also have pure hearts.
- Nam's death by Tambourine is not directly shown in either the manga or anime, though it is reported on television where the group at Kame House are watching. He is shown being resurrected after Shenron restores him and the rest of Piccolo's victims, however.
- Nam's hobby is working.
- Nam dislikes lazy people.