Goku vs. Cell (勝負だ悟空!! 超緊迫セルゲーム Syobu da Goku!! Cho Kinpaku Seru Geemu) is the twelfth episode of the Cell Games Saga and the one hundred seventy-seventh overall episode in the uncut Dragon Ball Z series. The episode first aired on March 10, 1993. Its original American air date was November 29, 2000.
The episode starts with Goku stepping into the ring to face Perfect Cell. Goku and Cell both have a short standoff before they begin. The two smile at one another and do a little sparring. Meanwhile, Jimmy Firecracker turns to the camera and fearfully tells the viewing audiences about how everyone may be in danger because of Mr. Satan 's loss in the Cell Games. Future Trunks mentions Goku's control as a Super Saiyan, and Vegeta looks over to Gohan, as he knows that Gohan is also a Full-Power Super Saiyan and may have the same power as Goku. Goku and Perfect Cell exchange blows, looking huge to the other Z Fighters, but they are really tiny when it comes to the true power of the combatants.
Goku and Cell continue to throw quick jabs and punches at each other as Mr. Satan and Jimmy Firecracker stare at them in awe. Mr. Satan's apprentices also look on (with their jaws dropped), amazed at the two fighters' strength. Android 16 then notices that Goku and Perfect Cell's powers and strengths are equally matched. Yamcha notices that neither Goku or Cell are out of breath, which makes the others realize that they have not even began to see Goku or Perfect Cell's true power. Jimmy Firecracker then turns to the camera and says, "The challenger seems to be stronger than we thought." So he quickly decides to have Mr. Satan tell his analysis of the fight to the people watching on their TVs. Mr. Satan, even though he is shocked and confused, blatantly tells everyone watching that he could beat Goku and Cell with both his hands tied behind his back.
The fighting starts again as Cell tries to fly over to Goku and punch him, but Goku flies upward off the ring very quickly. Goku then moves around very quickly and tries to attack Cell at every angle, but Cell blocks each jab and punch that Goku throws at him. Goku then uses the Afterimage Technique against Cell and when he slows down, punches and kicks Cell in the head, almost knocking him out of the ring. Cell then catches himself in mid-air and flies back over to the ring. Cell then tauntingly gloats about how Goku almost knocked him out of the ring but failed to do so. During this time, when Goku remarks that Cell is holding back, Cell admits that he intended to gradually unveil more of the "perfect power within [Cell]." The two then decide to stop holding back and use the full extent of the power against each other.
The sparring begins once again when Cell tries to kick Goku in the face, but Goku quickly dodges. Then when Goku tries to kick Cell, Cell moves so swiftly that he appears to disappear. Goku then flies off after Cell, knowing that he only flew up in the air above the ring. Meanwhile, Jimmy Firecracker and Mr. Satan, still shocked at what they have been seeing, exchange confused looks and look around trying to find the combatants. At this point, only the Z Fighters can track Goku and Cell's movements. The sparring continues as Goku and Cell move very quickly around the ring. With Jimmy Firecracker confused, he turns to Mr. Satan to see if he can clear up the confusion. Mr. Satan, at a loss for words, says that it is an optical illusion.
Tien Shinhan says that Goku and Cell are moving way too fast for him to even keep up. The two then stop moving around the ring and come down at the center of the ring. Goku kicks Cell up in the air, and flies overhead behind him and smashes him down onto the floor of the ring. Goku flies down very quickly and when the two meet, they began throwing powerful yet small and quick jabs, punches, and kicks at each other. Then when Goku tries to punch Cell, Cell blocks it, leading Goku to use his other hand to try and punch him. The force from when Goku tries to punch him the second time vibrates the ring. Cell then continuously punches Goku and almost knocks him off the edge of the ring. Goku moves out of the way just in time and stands at the center of the ring. The sparring match continues with Goku and Cell continuously throwing both martial and small energy attacks at one another.
The highlight of this sparring is Goku kicking Perfect Cell into the air, and then flying after him while powering up a Kamehameha. Perfect Cell re-orientates himself and easily deflects the weak Kamehameha. Goku uses the distraction to get behind Perfect Cell and give him a sharp elbow. Angered, Cell responds with a vicious pair of blows, sending Goku to the tournament ring. They settle onto the ground, as Jimmy Firecracker (the ZTV reporter) and Mr. Satan look on totally shocked. Then, Goku and Perfect Cell agree to power up and fight seriously as the episode ends.
- Goku and Cell begin their fight which ends up just being a warm up.
- Goku (Super Saiyan) vs. Cell (Perfect)
- Afterimage Technique - Used by Goku in an attempt to knock Cell out of the ring, and later to dodge a punch from Cell.
- Flying Kamehameha - Used by Goku, but Cell deflects it.
Differences from the manga
- Due to Caroni, Pirozhki and Miss Piiza being created for the anime, all scenes involving them are exclusive to the anime.
- The anime has shots of Chi-Chi and her father as well as Master Roshi and the others watching on TV that weren't present in the manga.
- Goku and Cell's warm up, which was brief in the manga is stretched out for the entirety of the episode with extra scenes.
- When Goku proceeds to power up to his maximum, he briefly does a pose mirroring that of the Dragon Ball Z opening, the only difference being that he was in Super Saiyan form.