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Cell is a major supervillain in the anime and manga Dragon Ball Z, based on Dragon Ball by Akira Toriyama and Dragon Ball GT by Toei Doga. He is the ultimate creation of Dr. Gero, designed to have all the abilities of the greatest fighters to have ever inhabited or visited Earth. The result was a "perfect warrior", possessing numerous genetic traits and special abilities. It should be worth noting that he is the only Red Ribbon Android to not have the Red Ribbon insignia on him at one point or another. It's also worth noting that he is one of the few Androids not directly created by Dr. Gero; the only others are Android 13, and possibly Android 8. Ironically, both Cell and Android 13's conceptions involved a supercomputer.

Like each of the primary antagonists in Dragon Ball Z (with the exception of Vegeta), Cell was originally intended to be the final villain of the Dragon Ball manga.


Cell's personality changes drastically throughout the saga. He is unique among most villains of the series, being that he is quite sophisticated. As his evolution proceeds, he can be observed as having a more patient and calculative approach towards his goals. Because of his genetic composition from other warriors, he is able to psychologically manipulate those warriors and exploit their weaknesses to his advantage.

At first, Cell's desire to complete his evolution and reach perfection is what fueled him. After he reached perfection, the curiosity at the limits of his own "Perfect" power was the major trait of his character. It was his curiosity at the limits of his own power when compared to Gohan's that eventually lead to his defeat.

With each change of form Cell went through, his personality changed as well. Initially, Cell is single-minded, cautious, and sneaky. Upon reaching his first transformation, he becomes brash, impatient, and loses much (though not all) of his strategic tendencies. Upon reaching perfection, Cell displays a number of traits shared by those whose cells he possesses; Frieza's polite demeanor, Vegeta's self-confidence, Goku's laid-back disposition, and the Saiyan desire for battling strong opponents. Cell is also unique among Dragon Ball villains in that he has absolutely no desire for conquest or immortality. Believing he is perfect, he merely desires entertainment, to enjoy his perfection, and after realizing his "true purpose", annihilation of everyone and everything.

In the English manga, Cell is always referred to as an "it" (Piccolo once says: "we may have to defeat Cell itself"), while in the anime (and the Japanese versions of both) he is referred to as "he." He is likely described that way in the English manga to emphasize the fact that he is an artificial being. In the English dub of the anime, Cell's voice changes from a buzzy monotone in Imperfect Form to gruff brutish in Semi-Perfect Form. This then changes to a more arrogant calmer voice in Perfect Form.

Character history

  • Imperfect Cell Saga
  • Perfect Cell Saga
  • Cell Games Saga

Genetic composition and unique abilities

Cell is composed of cells from Goku, Piccolo, Vegeta, Tien, Krillin, Yamcha, Chiaotzu, Frieza, King Cold, Raditz, Nappa, Master Roshi, and Master Roshi's Turtle . His genetic composition is very much a part of his character. In his Imperfect Form, he is clever and calculating, (much like Piccolo) and single-minded about achieving his Perfect Form. In his Semi-Perfect Form, he is a little more arrogant, (like Vegeta), but still single-minded about achieving his Perfect Form. In his Perfect, Super Perfect, and Cellku forms, he is extremely arrogant (Saiyan), he becomes very smug and he believes that every other living creature is inferior to him, and is shown to be very polite unless he loses his temper (all from Frieza). Upon meeting Piccolo for the first time in Ginger Town, Cell tells Piccolo that the computer programmed some genetic traits to be more dominant than others.

Cell was designed to have the ability to absorb any biological mass by stabbing his victims with his tail. This process, called "bio-extraction," drains all the organic mass out of the target from the inside out. This attack increases Cell's power, the exact amount depending on the victim's power level. Cell was designed to absorb Dr. Gero's other androids (Android 17 and Android 18) whole, integrating them into his systems. Each time he absorbs an android, he evolves into a more powerful being, however he cannot absorb a complete Android such as Android 16.

Upon assimilating both Android 17 and Android 18, he gains the ability to asexually reproduce, creating blue, child versions of himself, dubbed "Cell Jr."


Baby Cell


Cell's original, baby form floats in Dr. Gero's basement laboratory. In our present timeline, this "Baby Cell" is

Baby Cell floating in an Incubator.

killed by Trunks and Krillin when they discover the basement (which included some blueprints). In the future timeline, however, it grows to full-size, cracks out of the machine, turns from a larva into its imperfect form, kills Trunks (therefore stealing his time machine), reverts to it's larval form, and travels back to our present timeline in order to absorb Androids #17 & #18.


Cell, in his Larva state.


This is Cell's first evolutionary stage. He burrows deep into the ground where he remains for four years, during which time he undergoes a slow, natural evolution process as he prepares to change into his imperfect form. Once ready, Cell emerges from the ground to shed his skin. This form's effectiveness in combat (if it has any) is never shown.

Mature forms

Special abilities

His absorption abilities aside, Cell does not possess any unique techniques of his own. Instead he has the abilities of those whose cells make up his body from the time when the samples were taken from them. Goku, Gohan, Piccolo, Raditz, Nappa and Vegeta had their cells taken during Vegeta's invasion of Earth, while Frieza and King Cold had theirs taken when they invaded during the Trunks Saga later. While he inherits these techniques from others, he sometimes performs them using his own distinct style.[citation needed]

Among the Abilities Cell demonstrated are:


Cell absorbing Android 17.

  • Absorption - Cell's tail serves one special purpose: to absorb other beings into his body. Cell will gain all of the strength of the person he has absorbed. Cell has two methods of absorption. The first method is to stab the person with the sharp end of his tail. The tail will then suck up all of the organic matter of the victim, leaving the clothing behind. Cell has a second method of absorption, made for people who he wants every bit of strength from. Instead of stabbing the person and draining the person's life force, Cell will instead absorb the person whole. Cell will open up the pointy end of his stinger, and it will become a giant sucker. Cell will bring the sucker down on the person, and the sucker will suck them through Cell's tail into his body. The person will be held unconscious in Cell's body. This method was made for Android 17 and 18, who, due to not being organic, had to be absorbed whole. This is Cell's preferred method, as it gives him full power. Even though Cell's tail retracted after becoming Perfect Cell, it is shown that Cell can still bring his stinger out and absorb other people using this technique. The tail can also be used for strangulation, a move likely copied from Frieza.
  • Perfect Barrier - An impenetrable shield Cell places around himself to protect him from attacks. It was most likely taken from Android 17 after Cell absorbed him, though his special barrier could be a technique programmed directly by Dr. Gero. It can also cause damage to anyone unfortunate enough to collide with it.
  • Levitate - The ability to fly, taken from any of the cell samples.
  • Telekinesis - Cell can lift objects of large proportionate sizes into the air with his mind and controlling the use of his hand(s). Likely taken from Frieza.
  • Death Beam (Frieza Beam) - A laser-like projectile which travels very quickly. Also known as Death Beam/Finger Beam. Taken from Frieza.
  • Spirit Bomb - Cell never uses this technique, though he states that he can use it if he wished. This is likely a bluff, as one must be pure of heart to perform the attack (Cell is pure evil, however, that is a "purity of heart" in and of itself). This is Cell's ultimate attack in the Budokai video game series ("Okay, planet! Give me that stupid energy!") and in the Budokai Tenkaichi 2 game ("You won't survive this time.").
  • Kamehameha - A powerful ki wave attack and trademark technique of the Dragon Ball series. Taken from Goku.
  • Warp Kamehameha - Cell's ultimate technique in Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai. (When using it, he utters the words, "Farewell... NOW!").
  • Solar Kamehameha -
    File:Cell Kamehameha.jpg

    Super Perfect Cell prepares his Solar Kamehameha

    Cell's Ultimate-Final attack. Cell stores enough energy to destroy the Earth along with the entire Solar System and fires it in the form of a large Kamehameha. It was created & used by Super Perfect Cell as a final bid to destroy SSJ2 Gohan, but was countered by the Father-Son Kamehameha. Its name comes from Budokai Tenkaichi 3, where it is Super Perfect Cell's Ultimate Blast technique ("The Earth will be destroyed. SAYONARA!").
  • Masenko - A powerful yellow energy blast. Though Cell never uses the ability, it is presumed he knows it. Taken from Gohan or Piccolo.
  • Tri-beam (Kikôhô) - A blast of rectangle shaped energy. Taken from Tien (Anime only).
  • Regeneration - The Namekian ability to regenerate damage to the body. Cell can regenerate only if the core inside his head is not damaged. Taken from Piccolo.
  • Instant Transmission - The ability to instantly teleport virtually anywhere (by homing in on a Ki signature). Taken from Goku after Cell's self destruction.
  • Solar Flare - An extremely bright light which can temporarily blind opponents in near proximity. Taken from Tien.
  • Homing Destructo Disk - A variant of the Destructo Disk, this energy disk can be controlled by the creator to change direction. Taken from Frieza (Anime only) (note: Krillin thought it was taken from him but he can't remotely control his like Cell or Frieza can).
  • After Image Technique - The ability to move extremely fast over short distances, leaving an image behind. Taken from of Goku.
  • Multi-Form (12 Eyes) Technique - Used by Cell during the fight with Goku, this technique is one of Tien's. The technique creates three fighting copies of the user with 1/4th of the user's power. Unlike Tien's technique, however, when used by Cell each copy retained full power.
  • Android's Bomb - Like all other androids, Cell can initiate a self-destruction through a bomb planted inside his body. Cell, however, has a special technique to do so, rather than just a device. When Cell uses it, he swells up like a giant balloon and begins a 1 minute countdown, which when it ends, he will explode with enough power to destroy an entire planet. Should he be attacked before the countdown ends, he will explode instantly. Once activated, this technique cannot be stopped.
  • From his Saiyan samples, Cell has the ability to become more powerful after recovering from severe injuries. He also takes on many personality traits that are true to Saiyans, like the desire to fight and test his power. Even though Cell is not categorized as a Super Saiyan, his aura perfectly mimics that of a Super Saiyan; this is connected to his Saiyan heritage.
  • Cell has Frieza's capability of surviving in outer space, and to revert his form (demonstrated when he reverted to an egg and potentially by his evolving body). He also gained Frieza's telekinesis, and his ability to survive any injury. After Cell achieves his Super Perfect Form due to his brush with death when he self destructed, he explains that this is because each individual cell in his body has a life-force of their own. This could in part explain how Frieza can do this.
  • Though he has Piccolo's regenerative ability, Cell is never shown to use Piccolo's demonstrated body distorting abilities, such as extending his limbs to great lengths or growing his entire body to massive proportions. He also never shows any of the more mystical abilities of Piccolo, such as creating objects out of thin air. It is likely that Cell's asexual reproductive capability in spawning the Cell Jr.'s is taken from Piccolo's Namekian physiology.
  • Hell Bazooka (Almighty Light Cage Funimation dub) - A technique that Cell and Frieza developed together while in Hell. Both Cell and Frieza begins to glow, then a yellow ki emits from both of their bodies, which then envelops their opponent, trapping him/her in an inescapable ki orb. Then both the users throws the orb prison down into the deepest part of Hell, with the prisoner in it. This is where the prisoner will suffer the four stages of Hell:
    • Soup Bath of Hell: The victim bathes in a huge pot of soup. This is mainly to embarrass the victim.
    • Ticklish Hands of Hell: The victim is strapped to a chair and is tickled by a group of hands, making him/her to laugh to tears.
    • Boiling Sauna of Hell: The victim is placed in a very hot sauna, boiling him/her alive.
    • Freezing Thundra of Hell: The last stage of Hell. This is where the victim is placed in the middle of a frozen wasteland to freeze. Along with that is a huge machine that encases the victim in soul-laced ice crystals, which gets stronger is struggled against. If the victim is a resident of Hell, then the frozen body can be shattered (but later repaired). If the victim is of the living realm (or maybe of Heaven), then the ice would melt due to the living heat energy, and the victim would break free.


Anime filler

Though Cell was gone, he still caused trouble in the Other World after being sent to Hell by King Yemma and striking up a partnership with Frieza, King Cold and the deceased Ginyu Force soldiers Guldo, Recoome, Burter, and Jeice. Here, he was defeated along with his friends by Goku and Pikkon, and ultimately sentenced to the Other World Prison. He and the others are later shown watching Goku's battle with Kid Buu on a huge crystal ball in Hell.

Dragon Ball GT

In Dragon Ball GT, Cell makes another brief appearance in Hell. He and Frieza team up to try and kill Goku, but Goku is far too strong for them, eventually defeating them and escaping. He was last seen frozen by the coldest ice from Hell, broken in pieces by Goku and arrested by the Oni. An interesting note is during the time Cell for a short time became the most powerful being in the universe by absorbing Goku, although Goku moments later manages to escape, much like how 18 pushed out of his body.

Voice actors

  • Japanese: Norio Wakamoto
  • Ocean Dub: Dale Wilson
  • FUNimation Dub: Dameon Clarke

Video games

File:Cell kuririn 2.jpg

Cell after absorbing Krillin.

Cell has made an impact in many Dragon Ball Z video games, mostly as a boss or high-end playable character. Though sometimes featured in only his Perfect Form, the more recent games in the Budokai series see Cell in his Imperfect, Semi-Perfect, Perfect and Super Perfect (after exploding and then gaining a power boost due to his Saiyan cells) states as well. In addition, in the original game his bulky form from when he battled Gohan was accessible as a boss fight only.

In Dragon Ball Z: Budokai, Cell also has a nightmare during his wait for the Cell Games to start. In this nightmare, Cell succeeds in absorbing Android 17, but accidentally absorbs Krillin who pushes Android 18 out of the way in time, resulting in what would look like a fusion between a Cell Jr. and Krillin: Cellin, now with a diminutive body with Krillin's characteristics and orange colors. With his power level taking a drastic drop, Cell is barely able to defeat Yamcha before being destroyed by Tien's Tri-beam. Then Cell wakes up in a start, seeing that he is still standing in his Cell Games Ring during the middle of the night. Relieved, Cell mutters "I guess ten days is just too long to wait for the tournament," referring to the Cell Games. Ironically, although Cell is not the final villain in the series, he is often the final boss in many games, including Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit, Dragon Ball Z: Sagas, and the Dragon Ball Z collectible card game.

In the game, Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2, Cell and Frieza can be put under Babidi's influence á la Vegeta or Dabura, becoming Majins. Later Cell can also be absorbed by Super Buu.

In Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2, Cell makes an appearance along side Frieza in the Fusion Reborn movie saga, even though he was absent in the movie itself.

Interestingly, Cell is the only evil character to get his wish fulfilled in Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai's Arcade Mode. (Broly doesn't count because he didn't have a real "wish".)

Cell has appeared as a playable character in:

  • Super Butôden 2 (Super Famicom)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Hyper Dimension (Super Famicom)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Buyuu Retsuden (Sega Mega Drive)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Legendary Super Warriors (GBC)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Collectible Card Game (GBA)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Super Sonic Warriors (GBA)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Taiketsu (GBA)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Super Sonic Warriors 2 (DS)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai (PSP)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai - Another Road (PSP)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Battle 22 (PS1)
  • Dragon Ball GT: Final Bout (PS1)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Budokai (PS2 & GCN)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2 (PS2 & GCN)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 (PS2)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi (PS2)
  • Battle Stadium D.O.N (PS2 & GCN)
  • Super Dragon Ball Z (PS2 & arcade)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 (PS2 & WII)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 (PS2 & WII)

Cell appears as an enemy in:

  • Dragon Ball Z: Sagas (PS2, GCN, and Xbox)
  • Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku II (GBA)


  • Cell's appearance is somewhat cat-like, as he has a "helmet" that looks like cat ears, his tail is often used for balance, and he is often able to walk on four legs in his first form, as well as descend like a cat. This is ironic seeing as the phrase "curiosity killed the cat" can be applied to Cell; his curiosity of Gohan's true power led to his downfall and ultimately his death.
  • Cell is the only villain to succeed in killing Goku, as well as King Kai, Bubbles, and Gregory, all of whom he killed at once.
  • Cell is the second saga villain to not be defeated by Goku in the manga, after Vegeta (who was technically also defeated by Gohan). In the anime, he is the third, if one counts Garlic Jr. as a saga villain.
  • Cell, despite not being the last villain in the show, is often the final boss in Dragon Ball Z video games.
  • Having Frieza's cells, Cell can survive some of the strongest attacks, along with Piccolo's regeneration. Also his Saiyan cells make him stronger from every near-death injury he survives.
  • Cell is the only known character that can asexually reproduce other than King Piccolo.
  • Cell is the only villain to be rooted for by a Z-Fighter. (Krillin admitted that he was hoping that Cell would win against Mr. Satan, as he felt Mr. Satan was an embarrassment.)
  • In all of the Budokai and Budokai Tenkaichi games, all of Cell's forms have the Imperfect Cell voice when they fight (unless he is calling out an attack).
  • There are three Cells seen in Dragon Ball Z. The first is the main Cell from his own timeline who is killed by Gohan; the second is the one from the present who is killed by Trunks and Krillin while in his larval state; the third is the one in Trunks' timeline who is easily killed by Trunks.
  • Out of the three main villains, Cell is the only one who doesn't kill Krillin (ironically one of his other selves is killed by Krillin), and the only one who is killed in a beam struggle. He is also the only one of the three to not be bitten by Goku (Goku bites Frieza's tail and Kid Buu's head).
  • Though his second form is an in-between form of his first and third forms, his second form is the only form without wings.
  • Cell's second form is obviously weaker than the Cell Juniors, as Vegeta, who easily beat up Cell in his second form, was unable to defeat a Cell Junior. Gohan was able to destroy most of the Cell Juniors with a single blow each, but Cell survived all of Gohan's attacks when he faced him in his second form. However, this may have been due to the fact that Gohan wanted to torture Cell for a while before killing him.
Dragon Ball Emperor PilafRed Ribbon ArmyKing PiccoloPiccolo Jr.
Dragon Ball Z RaditzVegetaFriezaDr. Gero • Androids 17 and 18CellBabidiMajin Buu
Dragon Ball GT Dr. MyuuBabySuper 17Shadow Dragons (Syn, Haze, Eis, Nuova, Rage, Oceanus, Naturon)
Dragon Ball AF ??? • MacezaBrolyHaifeiruNetashin
Android characters Android 21Android 22Android 23Android 4Android 5Android 6Android 7Android 8Android 9Android 10Android 11Android 12Android 13Android 14Android 15Android 16Android 17Android 18Android 19Arale NorimakiRagnarok (Imperfect CellSemi-Perfect CellPerfect CellBuff CellSuper Perfect CellUltra Perfect CellUltimate Cell)• Dr. GeroDr. Vile
Related articles Dr. FlappeArmed ResurrectionRagnarok ArmySenbei NorimakiSuper 17



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