Kamehameha (かめはめ波 Kamehameha, lit. "Turtle Destruction Wave" or "Turtle Devastation Wave') is the first energy attack shown in the Dragon Ball series. The Kamehameha is the most widely used finishing attack in the Dragon Ball series, and is Goku's signature technique. It is also a signature attack of the students of the Turtle School.
Akira Toriyama actually tried a number of poses when he was alone in order to decide the best pose for the Kamehameha. After much contemplation, he could not decide on a name for his "Kame" attack, so he asked his wife, who came up with the name. She told Akira that it would be easy to remember the name of the attack if he used the name of the cultural Hawaiian king named Kamehameha (lit. "the very lonely one" or "the one set apart" in Hawaiian language).
The Kamehameha was invented by Master Roshi by practicing for fifty years spanning pre-Dragon Ball. By drawing his latent ki into the palms of his hands, Roshi is able to expel an explosive beam of ki energy. Goku learns it after witnessing Master Roshi unleashing the blast to extinguish the flames at Ox-King's home on Fire Mountain. To Roshi's surprise, Goku successfully performs the technique on his first attempt, although it is only strong enough to destroy the car that Yamcha gave to Bulma earlier. It was also learned by Krillin and Yamcha, who use it during the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament against Chiaotzu and Tien Shinhan respectively. Tien Shinhan also easily copied it during the tournament. After the Turtle School students learn the attack, they teach it to others, and the attack becomes a very popular one to use during battle. Cell is also capable of using it due to the cells of Kamehameha users within his design. Majin Buu learns the technique after seeing Goku perform it during the Majin Buu Saga.
The Kamehameha is formed when cupped hands are drawn to the user's side and ki is concentrated into a single point (between their cupped hands). The hands are then thrust forward to shoot out a streaming, powerful beam of energy. The blast can also be used, generally under extenuating circumstances, with just one arm or even the feet. In most variants, the user utters the word "Ka-me-ha-me-HA!!!" as he/she charges and releases the attack. Master Roshi's Kamehameha is called the Original Kamehameha in the Budokai Tenkaichi video game series, and requires some time to charge.
Appearance and personalization
The Kamehameha has several different colors in the anime, movies, video games, and manga. The power and concentration of the different types of Kamehameha also vary greatly. Whitish-blue is its standard and original color. In some episodes of Dragon Ball Z and some video games, the color of Goku's Kamehameha color is yellow instead of the primary blue color and Gohan's Electric Kamehameha in his ultimate form is also yellow. When Goku is in his Super Saiyan 4 form, his 10x Kamehameha is red-colored. Majuub's Chocolate Kamehameha has a pink color (but is blue in its debut). Majin Buu's various forms can also use the Super Kamehameha, which also has a pink color or the original blue color.
Because the Kamehameha has expanded to the arsenal of heroes, allies, and even villains, it has been personalized by few; something mostly done by characters who did not graduate Roshi's Turtle School (like Tien Shinhan for example). In their battle against Bio-Broly, both Trunks and Goten use the attack; however, Trunks extends both arms to sides and begins charging the attack, and after saying the incantation, he throws his hands forth and fires a blue energy blast with Goten's Kamehameha. During the Namek Saga, Krillin also uses a different stance on different occasions, normally alongside Gohan's Masenko; with one hand behind the other, Krillin says the incantation and unleashes the Kamehameha Wave. Based on these personalized variations and others, it is possible that the incantation is the only preparation required to produce the wave.
In the live-action film adaptation Dragonball Evolution, the technique is quite similar to the Kamehameha used in the anime and manga, however with very few differences depending on the user: Roshi has to channel ki from his chest to his arms before he releases it through his hands while Goku has to channel ki outside of him forming an aura as he crosses his arms in an X shape while the rest of the technique is similar to how Goku usually uses it. Also, unlike the anime, it has more uses than the typical Kamehameha, it can light torches as well as be used as a defibrillator (the latter demonstrated by Roshi saving Goku from near death after Mai shoots him). The more concentration put into it will make the Kamehameha stronger (such as when Goku combines his normal form with Oozaru form into the attack and forms the Kamehameha into a traditional beam rather than a small flow of energy).
Goku also uses the Kamehameha as his Ultimate Attack in the video game based on the movie.
The Kamehameha has many variations:
- The Original Kamehameha: The first Kamehameha used in the series and the original technique developed and honed by Master Roshi. It involves the user performing wide sweeping arm movements before cupping their hands together.
- MAX Power Kamehameha: The Kamehameha Wave released at full-blast by Master Roshi in his MAX Power state.
- Kamehameha Return: A technique where a Kamehameha is fired in order to stop a foe's Kamehameha. Used by Goku during his match with Roshi (disguised as Jacki Chun).
- Kamehameha Deflection: A technique where the user judges the timing of a foe's Kamehameha in order to use a kiai to reflect it back at the opponent. Used by Tien against Yamcha.
- Reverse Kamehameha: This is usually a Kamehameha fired at the ground, propelling the user through the air in a jet-like manner in the opposite-direction. The technique is mainly used as a way to change directions quickly (in order to counter or to set-up an attack), remain airborne longer (for non-fliers), or to fly through the air quickly (again non-fliers). It is used by Goku mostly during the early World Martial Arts Tournament (mainly as a way to stay airborne due to his inability to fly and various other battles during his youth; most notably the final battle with King Piccolo). Goten also uses a modified version in the form of hand-stand during his Junior Division Finals match with Trunks.
- Bending Kamehameha: A version of the Kamehameha that the user can change the direction that the blast is being fired at.
- One-Handed Kamehameha: A Kamehameha fired with one hand. Often used if one of the user's arms are injured or lost. Future Gohan was notable forced to resort to using this version of the Kamehameha after the lose of his arm. Named in Xenoverse 2.
- Feet Kamehameha: Simply a Kamehameha fired from the feet, so the user is able to attack with his hands. During the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament, Goku uses this attack against Piccolo Junior.
- Super Kamehameha: A more powerful variation of the Kamehameha.
- True Kamehameha: An even more powerful variation of the Super Kamehameha used by Super Saiyan 3 Goku to show Kid Buu an actual Kamehameha when the latter used a pink Super Kamehameha. It is Super Saiyan 3 Goku's Ultimate Blast in Raging Blast games.
- Rebirth Kamehameha: An extremely powerful Kamehameha attack used by Super Saiyan God Goku. Named in Dragon Ball Heroes.
- God Kamehameha: The version of the Kamehameha used by Super Saiyan Blue Goku.
- Dash Kamehameha: A variation of the God Kamehameha used by Super Saiyan Blue Goku to kill Frieza.
- Dragon Kamehameha: A variation of the God Kamehameha used by Goku in Shenron Mode. Only featured in Dragon Ball Heroes
- Kaio-ken Kamehameha: This is a Kamehameha supplemented by the Kaio-ken, making it more powerful. Its power is multiplied based on the level of Kaio-ken being used, from two to twentyfold. It was first seen in the Saiyan Saga against Vegeta's Galick Gun attack.
- Multiple Kamehameha: This is when two or more fighters fire multiple Kamehamehas (one per fighter) simultaneously at a single point (usually an enemy), this usually causes their separate Kamehamehas to merge into one giant Kamehameha Wave blast. It is seen mainly in the Dragon Ball Z movies and in Dragon Ball GT. It is notably used in Dragon Ball Z: Bio-Broly by Goten, Trunks, and Krillin to defeat Bio-Broly. (note: this attack has several variations.)
- Master-Student Kamehameha: This is a "Multiple Kamehameha" attack, performed by Master Roshi together with his (former) pupils, Goku and Krillin. Only featured once, in the feature movie Dragon Ball Z: The World's Strongest.
- Father-Son Kamehameha: This is where someone who is dead assists someone alive with a Kamehameha. Goku helps out Gohan against Cell, and he also helps out Gohan and Goten against Broly in the movie Dragon Ball Z: Broly - Second Coming.
- Ultimate Kamehameha (team attack): A Kamehameha combination used by Goku and Gohan in several video games.
- Bros. Kamehameha: Gohan and Goten combine their Kamehameha attacks into one large Kamehameha blast. The attack appeared briefly in Broly - Second Coming before being replaced by the Family Kamehameha (due to Goku returning to life to help his sons in the Kamehameha duel against Broly).
- Family Kamehameha: This is a Multiple Kamehameha that is used against Broly in Broly - Second Coming by Goku, Gohan, and Goten (though it is possible Goku's help may have been an illusion created by the Dragon Balls).
- Friend Kamehameha: This Kamehameha attack was first used in Dragon Ball Z: Bio Broly by Goten and Trunks. They used this attack in an effort to destroy Bio-Broly before he was released from the Bio-Chamber.
- Grandfather-Granddaughter Kamehameha: Goku and Pan combine their Kamehameha attacks into a giant Kamehameha wave. They used the attack to kill Haze Shenron.
- Kamehame Fever: A combined Kamehameha used by Krillin, Yamcha and Goku. Used in the movie Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might and in Attack of the Saiyans.
- Z-Spirit Kamehameha: A Kamehameha used by the Future Warrior to defeat Demigra via the spiritual assistance and Ki Transfer received from Z Fighters (Goku, Vegeta, Gohan, Piccolo, & Krillin) in alternate ending of Dragon Ball: Xenoverse.
- Calamity Blaster: Turles' equivalent to the Kamehameha technique.
- Double Kamehameha: A Kamehameha released simultaneously from both hands.
- Twin Dragon Shot: A Kamehameha in two energy spheres, allowing guidance by user's arm movements. Goku uses this attack against Frieza.
- Angry Kamehameha: A "Kamehameha" attack in name alone; Super Saiyan Goku's Ultimate Blast. Draws inspiration from the finishing blow Goku dealt to Frieza. Goku uses only one hand for the attack.
- Flying Kamehameha: This is when the user performs the Kamehameha while flying through the air. Used by Full-Power Super Saiyan Goku during the battle with Perfect Cell.
- Instant Kamehameha: A Super Kamehameha Wave released at point-blank range, after using the Instant Transmission as a feint before closing the gap between them. Also known as Warp Kamehameha or Instant Transmission Kamehameha.
- Earth-Destroying Kamehameha: A much more powerful version of the Super Kamehameha that is enormous in size. It was used by Perfect Cell but was countered by Gohan's Standing Kamehameha.
- Solar Kamehameha: The strongest Kamehameha Cell mustered and said to have the power to destroy the entire solar system. But it was countered by Gohan's Father-Son Kamehameha.
- Kamekameha: A mispronounced version of the attack. The attack is successful in creating a Ki Blast (when released it also creates a sphere around the user), but it goes anywhere because Goten was unable to control it since he had not yet learned how to direct an energy blast. Accidentally "invented" by Goten in battle against Trunks in the World Martial Arts Tournament's Junior Division Finals.
- Kamehameha Cannon: A version of the Kamehameha used by Gotenks in Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butōden.
- Electric Kamehameha: The user fires a Kamehameha so powerful that it changes to a golden-yellow color. It is used by Gohan in his Super Saiyan 2 form to try and destroy the Sealed Ball containing Majin Buu, to no effect. He uses it again in his Ultimate form during his battle against Super Buu.
- Majin Kamehameha: A pink-colored variation of the Kamehameha used by Majin Buu after mimicking Goku's use of the Super Kamehameha.
- Justice Kamehameha: A spherical version of the Kamehameha used by Gohan in his Great Saiyaman outfit. He uses this attack in the movie Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn to blast away a crowd Zombies, scattering rotting parts everywhere.
- Ultimate Kamehameha: A very powerful version of the Super Kamehameha originally used by Super Saiyan 2 Gohan against Cell.
- Flame Kamehameha: Trunks' own unique version of Kamehameha in the Legacy of Goku series. He fires a Kamehameha-like wave composed of fire, and flails it around like a whip.
- Dodohameha: Used by Tiencha in Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2. It is a mix of the Kamehameha and Dodon Ray.
- Final Kamehameha: A combination of Vegeta's Final Flash and Goku's Super Kamehameha, but its enormous power exceeds them both. It is Vegito's ultimate attack, and can be used by Goku and Vegeta.
- Continuous Kamehameha: A rapid-fire version of the Kamehameha, notably used by Goku during his battle against Kid Buu.
- Nekohameha: A version of the Kamehameha used by Neko Majin in Nekomajin.
- Shenron Blast: Using the Dragon Balls, Goku charges a Kamehameha with the power of Shenron and sends it flying at his opponent.
- 5x Kamehameha: Has the same aura color as the 10x Kamehameha, but a much smaller wave. Used by Goku in Super Saiyan form in Dragon Ball GT: Transformation.
- 10x Kamehameha: The name given to the amplified, red-colored Super Kamehameha used by Goku while in his Super Saiyan 4 form. Along with its astounding destructive power, the attack has a delayed effect if the initial blast should fail, wherein the target will be blasted by residual effects left over by the beam. While not as overwhelming as the initial blast, the after-effect can catch foes off guard.
- Dragon Hammer: A combination of the 10x Kamehameha and the Dragon Fist used by Goku in his Super Saiyan 4 form. Goku fires the 10x Kamehameha and flies through it to attack the opponent with the Dragon Fist. Goku used it during his battle against Omega Shenron.
- Chocolate Kamehameha: This attack combines the power of Chocolate Beam and Kamehameha Wave. It was used by Majuub during his battle against Super Baby Vegeta.
- Dragon Kamehameha (Naturon Shenron): A large version of the Kamehameha used by Naturon Shenron after absorbing Pan.
- Bluff Kamehameha: In this variation, the user fires confetti and streamers instead of an energy blast. It is used by Gogeta in his Super Saiyan 4 transformation against Omega Shenron.
- Big Bang Kamehameha: A combination of Vegeta's Big Bang Attack and Goku's Super Kamehameha. Super Saiyan 4 Gogeta used it to try and finish off Omega Shenron in Dragon Ball GT. Name origin:"Big Bang Attack" and "Super Kamehameha".
- Frieza Cutting Beam: Frieza's version of the Kamehameha. It is a beam with white color and a purple hue that can switch direction when fired. Named and used in the video game Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors.
- Gigantic Omega: Broly's version of the Kamehameha used in his Super Saiyan 3 state in Dragon Ball Heroes.
- Burning Kamehameha: The combination of Trunks' Burning Attack and Goten's Kamehameha. It is Adult Gotenks' super attack in Dragon Ball Heroes.
- Super Burning Kamehameha (超バーニングかめはめ波) - A more powerful version of the attack used by Xeno Gotenks in Dragon Ball Heroes.
- Concentrated Kamehameha: A skill part of the Martial Artist skill tree in the computer game Dragon Ball Online, learned at level 10. Because the class is close-ranged and primarily physical (reminiscent to Goku and Yamcha from the early Dragon Ball arcs), the technique has a short distance of precisely 6 meters. However, while the skill lacks range, it attacks within a 3x4 meter radius of the user. The beam is pronounced with width.
- Focused Kamehameha: An upgraded Concentrated Kamehameha. The Focused Kamehameha is a part of the Sword Master skill tree, and is learned at level 40. While it does not the 3x4 meter radius effect, it is more powerful and capable of reaching an opponent within 16 meters. Compared to the Concentrated Kamehameha, the beam's energy is more pronounced.
- Scatter Kamehameha:A Kamehameha version used by Krillin which is combined to his Double Tsuihikidan.
- Imitation Kamehameha: A skill part of the Wonder Majin skill tree in the computer game Dragon Ball Online, learned at level 16. Its area of effect is listed as "3x8 meter radius in front of and including single target". The beam is depicted as a thinner wave and has the distance of 18 meters. Its name is probably based off Majin Buu's knowledge of the technique.
- Giant Kamehameha: A skill part of the Turtle Hermit skill tree in the computer game Dragon Ball Online, learned at level 48. Its area of effect is listed as "15 meter radius around a single target". The beam is depicted as a giant wave similar to the MAX Power Kamehameha and does massive damage.
- Dark Kamehameha: A dark version of Kamehameha used by Mira in Dragon Ball Heroes.
- Black Kamehameha: Goku Black's version of the Kamehameha technique. It was named in Dragon Ball Heroes.
- Super Black Kamehameha: It's an enhanced version of the Black Kamehameha used by Goku Black.
- In the infamous AB Groupe dub, several attacks and abilities are incorrectly referred to as "Kamehameha". The most frequent cases are for Kaio-ken, the Spirit Bomb, and even transforming into a Super Saiyan. The former is an ironic case of its own, since the Kamehameha Wave is incorrectly referred to as "Kaio-ken" at one point in the Saban dub. The most absurd instance of the latter occurs when Vegeta shouts "Kamehameha!" while transforming into a Super Saiyan in The Return of Cooler, despite the fact he has never used the kamehameha wave in barely any official Dragon Ball media.
- The Swedish dub also has this.
- When referred to as the "Kamehameha Wave" in most English dubbed media, the "wave" part of the attack is technically repeated twice if one translates the attack literally, making it "Turtle Destroyer Wave Wave". However, it should be noted that the Funimation dub used the Hawaiian pronunciation of "Kamehameha" whenever it is referred to as the "Kamehameha Wave".
- In Eric Chahi's Another World, the charged beam blast from the laser pistol appears similar to the Kamehameha, which appears to be influenced from the Dragon Ball manga books he was reading during breaks.
- The main character of Gintama, Gintoki Sakata, can sometimes be seen practicing Kamehameha. This also carries over into his appearance in J-Stars Victory Vs., where Gintoki himself is able to use a Kamehameha that has a chance of failure (where it will fire a black wind instead).
- Kiyotaka Ishimaru from Danganronpa referenced the Kamehameha in a joke.
- かめ (Kame) = Turtle
- はめ (Hame) = Destruction / Devastation; based on the term 破滅 (hametsu).
- 波 (Ha) = Wave
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Dragon Ball Z Collectible Card Game, 2000
- ↑ Dragon Power, 1988
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai - Another Road, 2007
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai, 2006
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Dragon Ball: Xenoverse, 2015
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Dragon Ball Heroes, 2010
- ↑ Dragon Ball: Super Exciting Guide, 2009
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Daizenshuu 7, 1996
- ↑ Daizenshuu 7, 1995