Dragon Ball character
Perfect Cell Mugshot
Cell by Akira Toriyama
First appearance Issue #30
(DBZ issue #14)
Created by Akira Toriyama
Voiced by Norio Wakamoto
Dale Wilson (English, Vancouver dub)
Dameon Clarke (Funimation dub)
Alias Imperfect Cell
Semi-Perfect Cell
Perfect Cell
Super Perfect Cell
Species Android
Gender Male
Relatives Dr. Gero (creator)[1]
Cell Juniors (offsprings)[2]
Son Goku (cloned from cells)[1]
Vegeta (cloned from cells)[1]
Piccolo (cloned from cells)[1]
Frieza (cloned from cells)[1]
King Cold (cloned from cells)[1]

Cell (セル Seru?) is a fictional supervillain from the Dragon Ball universe created by Akira Toriyama as an antagonist for the media franchise, which consists of a series of manga, anime, soundtracks, movies, television specials, video games, and other collectibles.

His seiyū is Norio Wakamoto, and he is voiced by Dameon Clarke in the Funimation dub and by Dale Wilson in the Canadian dub.

Creation and conception[]


Early concept art of Cell

Toriyama went through many different drawings before settling on the design he used in the Dragon Ball manga.[4] Cell’s appearance varies depending on which form it is in. It evolved from a cocoon-like form, and his first form is insect-like in appearance. Both Cell’s first and second forms have a tail that ends in a stinger-like appendage and allows it to absorb other organisms.[5] His final form has a tail, although it is unclear whether it is able to absorb organisms; all forms have spots.


Cell’s demeanor changes substantially throughout his appearances in the series; initially Cell is single-minded in achieving his perfect form, even going as far to travel back in time.[1] After absorbing #17, Cell’s personality remains mostly the same save for the presence of a slightly more cocky behavior.

Plot overview[]

Cell is the ultimate creation of a scientist named Dr. Gero. Cell is an artificial lifeform created from the cells of several characters from the series[1] and has genetic traits from characters like Piccolo and Frieza.[1] Cell could not locate the androids of his timeline which were deactivated by Trunks. Cell then killed the Trunks of that timeline and stole his time machine.[1] His existence is first hinted at when Future Trunks, Son Gohan and Bulma discover a time machine and Cell’s shed skin. He is first seen when confronted by Piccolo, who learns of the creature’s history, as well his goal of absorbing #17 and #18.[1]

After absorbing a sufficient amount of Earthlings, Cell then finds #17 and #18 and nearly absorbed #17, if not for #16 who was able to fight Cell one on one.[6] Cell eventually manages to absorb #17 and transforms into his second form.[7] This second form would have absorbed #18 as well if Tien Shinhan did not intervene. Tien is able to stall Cell long enough for #18 and #16 to escape. Cell chases the two androids and tries to flush them out of an island they were hiding in until Vegeta arrives to challenge Cell.[8] Vegeta easily defeats Cell by utilizing his new advanced Super Saiyan abilities. However, Vegeta, wanting to battle a more challenging opponent, assisted Cell in absorbing #18.[9] In this new form Cell easily defeats Vegeta and Trunks (who comes to assist Vegeta).[10] Instead of killing the pair, Cell abandons the battle and announces that it would revive the Tenkaichi Budokai, a martial arts tournament not held since the end of Dragon Ball.[11]

Cell begins the “Cell Games,” a tournament which would pit any fighters Earth could muster against him. Many of Earth’s heroes enter the competition. The so-called “World Champion Martial Artist” Hercule and his students are the first to fight Cell and the first to lose. Son Goku battles after Hercule. Though he has become very powerful from training in the Room of Spirit and Time, Goku is not powerful enough to defeat Cell and he forfeits the battle. However, Gohan is thought to have latent abilities that will unlock powers greater than Cell’s.[12] But Gohan appears to have no chance at defeating Cell until Cell destroys #16, filling Gohan with rage that transforms him into a Super Saiyan 2. Instead of losing gracefully, Cell decides to blow himself up, a feature that many of Dr. Gero’s creations possessed, though Cell’s self-destruct feature is powerful enough to destroy an entire planet.[13] Before Cell can kill himself, Goku uses his Instant Transmission to transport Cell and himself to the planet of King Kai, saving Earth but killing Goku. However, Cell is able to regenerate and teleport back to Earth, and upon arrival kills Future Trunks, severely wounds a vengeful Vegeta and also disables Gohan’s left arm. However, under the guidance of Goku from the Other World, Gohan manages to fire a one-handed Kamehameha and engages Cell in a beam struggle. After Vegeta manages to distract Cell, Gohan overpowers the beam struggle, obliterating the monster completely.[14]

Cell also appears in Hell during filler episodes of Dragon Ball Z and makes a few appearances in Dragon Ball GT.


Cell has a large range of different varying powers that previous Z warriors have shown; this is due to the fact that it is essentially a combination of many different cells of many different beings that have traveled to or been on Earth.

  • All forms of Cell possess enhanced strength, superhuman reflexes, and can move at impossible speeds.[15]
  • Cell is vaguely seen with the power of flight at first,[16] but it becomes apparent that it is able to do so after achieving his semi-perfect transformation.[17]
  • Cell has been shown to be able to do the Kamehameha, a vastly powerful technique that it gained from the cells of Goku.[1]
  • After self-destructing, Cell reformed with Goku’s cells; this made him gain Goku’s ability to use the Instant Transmission.[18]
  • With Frieza’s untimely arrival on Earth, Cell was able to possess Frieza’s cells. A key trait that Cell was able to use from Frieza was the ability to survive in the vacuum of space, as well as the ability to use several of Frieza’s other techniques.[19]
  • Due to his Saiyan cells, Cell is able to become much more powerful upon healing after a near-death experience.[18]
  • From Piccolo, Cell gained the ability to regenerate. Unlike Piccolo, Cell is able to regenerate from any cell, and can regenerate even if microscopic particles of it remain.[18]
  • Cell has mentioned that he can produce a Genki Dama if he felt like it.[20] The only time Cell has actually done so is in Budokai, Budokai 2 and Budokai 3, as well as in the Budokai Tenkaichi series.

Aside from these abilities, Cell is able to absorb the life force of other organisms through his tail. This ability is used by stabbing the victim with the end of his tail.[5] After absorbing life force, Cell becomes more powerful.[20] Cell’s first and second forms are capable of this ability. Cell’s final form possesses a tail, but it is much shorter than his other forms, being barely a stump and does not demonstrate the ability to absorb other beings. Instead, it uses his tail to create smaller versions of himself called Cell Juniors.[2] Although in Dragon Ball GT, when he and Frieza fought Goku in Hell, his tail was seen to elongate from his back and attempted to absorb Goku. This feat was unsuccessful.


Appearances in other media[]

Video games[]

Cell appears in various Dragon Ball video games. He is mostly a playable character in his final form, though newer games such as Budokai and on contain all of his forms.



  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 15, chapter 169
  2. 2.0 2.1 Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 18, chapter 212
  3. Dragonball Z Timeline
  4. Early character drawings at
  5. 5.0 5.1 Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 14, chapter 167
  6. Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 15, chapter 177
  7. Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 15, chapter 178
  8. Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 16, chapter 182
  9. Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 16, chapters 186 and 187
  10. Dragon Ball Z manga, volumes 16 and 17, chapters 191 and 194
  11. Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 17, chapter 195
  12. Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 18, chapter 209
  13. Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 19, chapters 212 and 224
  14. Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 19, chapter 222
  15. Dragon Ball Z manga, volumes 15-19
  16. Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 15, chapters 169-179
  17. Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 16, chapter 180
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 19, chapter 219
  19. Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 18, chapter 211
  20. 20.0 20.1 Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 15, chapter 170

External links[]