‘Dragon Ball’ villain Freeza is based on two things: monsters and Japanese real estate speculators!
What's worse than the monsters under your bed?
Well, if you're Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama, the answer is real estate speculators.
According to Toriyama, while Freeza's aesthetic design was based on the monsters he imagined during childhood, his personality was inspired by Japanese real estate speculators, who he believed to be the "worst kind of people."
In Dragon Ball, Freeza is a broker for the Planet Trade Organization. His job is to take planets by force so his company can resell them. He is a cruel, sadistic villain who revels in causing pain and destruction.
Freeza's work parallels a number of Japanese real estate speculators, specifically those who caused the Japanese asset price bubble of the 1980s. These individuals, in a way eerily similar to Freeza, purchased real estate for as little as possible in hopes of turning over a substantial profit.
Freeza's design and personality has made him one of the series' most popular characters. Many consider him the show's most iconic villain, and he has been featured in many of the series' spin-off games.