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The Red Ribbon Androids (レッドリボン軍人造人間, Reddo Ribon Gun Jinzōningen; lit. "Red Ribbon Artificial Humans")[1] are various Androids and Cyborgs developed by Dr. Gero and other scientists for the Red Ribbon Army, as well as following the defeat of the army in order to avenge the army's destruction at the hands of Goku.

Overview

DBFCM 367

Origin of Dr. Gero's androids ("Piccolo vs. Android #17")

Dr. Gero built Androids because mechs can be captured and used by the enemy while Androids can think for themselves. 1-7 and 9-12 were completely artificial, but Gero could not control their personalities: too dark, too stupid, too nice, etc.[2] So he destroyed them. Dr. Gero's process of turning a human into an android completely halts their aging, thus making the cyborg immune to at least natural death/illness.[3][4] Gero eventually decided to turn himself into Android 20 in order to become immortal.[3][5] Gero's Androids 13 through Android 20 (Dr. Gero himself) all wear loop earrings. In the anime, Android 19 often flicks one of his earrings before attacking. Android 13 and Android 17 also do this once, against Piccolo. Super 17 does this while searching for Goku once during their fight in Dragon Ball GT as well.

Future Trunks notes that the Android 17 and Android 18 of his timeline, while much stronger than him, are not as strong as the ones seen in the main timeline. This may be due to the fact that Dr. Gero's remote tracking device gathers information later on that notes Goku's strength. In the main timeline, Goku is considerably stronger before his death in Future Trunks' timeline, as he spends three years in training. This also helps to highlight the main timeline androids' difference in mentality from the sociopaths of his timeline, as they can have laid waste to the others and to the world with even more harrowing dominance if they had want to. The Android 18 and Android 17 of the main timeline and the Future Android 18 and Future Android 17 of Future Trunks' ruined timeline seem to have differing morals: in Future Trunks' timeline, the duo enjoy destroying everyone and everything in sight, not caring who they hurt, while looking for a good time in the process. However, in the main timeline, Android 18 impatiently wants Android 16 to fight Goku, whereas Android 17 just wants to have fun driving around. The main timeline's trio never actually killed anyone, excluding Dr. Gero. It is implied that the Future counterparts' sociopathic natures were the result of Dr. Gero "reprogramming" them to hate humans as part of his world domination plans.

Also, Dr. Gero has designed some of his Androids (Android 13 and Cell) with the special ability to absorb his other android creations, resulting in an android with much more power than the sum of the absorbed and absorbing androids.

Androids

Prototype Androids

Main article: Prototype Android

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Dr. Gero with Prototype Androids and what may be #3

Created as early test models by Dr. Gero, they are briefly seen during flashbacks of him in his laboratory and are featured as villains in the video game Dragon Ball Z: Sagas.

Androids 1 through 7

All these units have design flaws or other problems which lead to them being scrapped. They are mentioned twice during the Cell Saga of Dragon Ball Z.

Android 8

Main article: Android 8

Android8DragonBallNV02

Android 8 during the Red Ribbon Army Saga

A larger-sized construct, Android 8 looks like (and is modeled after) the more modern takes on Frankenstein's monster. Despite this, he has a very gentle soul and is a good person. He is deemed a failure due to this fluke in his programming.

When Ninja Murasaki learns he cannot defeat Goku in Muscle Tower, he activates Android 8 to do his dirty work for him. However, the android refuses to fight Goku because he does not believe in violence. Murasaki threatens to activate the self-destruct mechanism in Android 8's body, but Goku saves the android from being destroyed and the two become friends afterwards, taking down Muscle Tower (as well as the Red Ribbon Army near Jingle Village) together. Android 8 still resides there to this day.

Due to Dr. Gero not existing at the time of the manga, a new character called Dr. Flappe was created to be his inventor. It is generally assumed that Dr. Flappe and Dr. Gero worked together back in the days of the Red Ribbon Army.

Androids 9 through 12

File 000020-1

Android 9 in Dragon Ball Online

These and the androids that follow were created with the sole intention of killing Goku. However, like 1 through 7, 9 through 12 all have problems which eventually lead to them being scrapped. In Dragon Ball Online, Android 9 is Commander Red revived as a Cyborg. In Dragon Ball SD, Android 9 is an Android version of Akio Iyoku labeled as "Iyo-ku-gō" (a play on the name of the V-Jump Editor-in-Chief's name).

In the Dragon Ball manga, Android 15, Android 14, and Android 13 are nearly complete, though they are not ready enough to be activated (implying that they still needed to be worked on). However, in the movie Dragon Ball Z: Super Android 13!, a secret super computer continues working where the doctor had left off, eventually releasing the trio out into the public to track down and kill Goku.

Android 13

Main article: Android 13

Android13-

Android 13

Presumably the most powerful of the three androids of the movie Super Android 13! He is able to keep up with Goku in his Super Saiyan form, he is eventually defeated, but soon catches his breath and absorbs bits and pieces of his destroyed colleagues to become Super 13.

Super 13

After absorbing parts of Androids 14 and 15, the truck driver-styled redneck android transforms into a massive blue beast of unbridled power and strength. Nigh-invincible in this form, it takes the power of Super Saiyan Goku absorbing a Spirit Bomb to stop him. He is never seen again after his defeat. Not counting the video game franchises.

Android 14

Main article: Android 14

Android14

Android 14

Built alongside 13 and 15, Android 14 is a large, powerful, gray-colored android. Generally the silent type, he prefers to do his talking with his fists. He is killed by Future Trunks (after becoming a Super Saiyan) and subsequently his remains are absorbed by Android 13. He is never seen again. Not counting the video game franchises.

Android 15

Main article: Android 15

Android15SA13

Android 15

Android 15 is best described as "a little man in a fancy outfit". His outfit and purple skin give him the look of a gangster, though he says little more than Android 14. A strange quirk of this android is the fact he carries and drinks from a small alcohol flask kept in his front pocket from time to time. Ultimately, he is destroyed by Super Saiyan Vegeta and absorbed by Android 13, then never heard from again. Outside of the video game franchises.

Android 16

Main article: Android 16

Android16GokusAssasinK

Android 16

Strong and silent, Android 16 stands tall as one of the doctor's largest creations. He was modeled on Gero's dead son, a high-ranking Red Ribbon soldier long ago felled by an enemy bullet. In his affection, Gero made him powerful, but did not want him to be destroyed in battle, so he made him gentle.[2] He shares his gentle nature with Android 8, seen staring off into space, and admiring nature time and time again. He is programmed to kill Goku.

His ultimate fate is to play a pivotal role in the defeat of Cell. It is his demise that inspires teenage Gohan to release his rage and push to Super Saiyan 2 form.

Android 17

Main articles: Android 17 and Future Android 17

Android17and18DebutNV

The Human-like models known as Android 17 and 18, considered too powerful to control

The male of the twin androids, Android 17, looks like an average teenage boy wearing a casual outfit. Unlike all other androids before him (except for #9), he is less a robot and more a cyborg; he and Android 18 are runaways who were abducted and experimented on by Dr. Gero. Because of his rebellious nature, he is considered a failed android and sealed away until Dr. Gero, in a fit of desperation, releases him and Android 18 to combat the Z Fighters. Ironically, he ends up killing Dr. Gero. After he and Android 18 finish pummeling the Z Fighters into submission on the Mountain Road, he, Android 18, and Android 16 wander off on a long and fun road trip to Goku's house.

Later in the series, Android 17 becomes little more than fodder for Cell, becoming a part of Cell's very being and powering him up to his Semi-Perfect form. After Cell's defeat, he is revived and continues to wander the countryside, messing with people and having a fun time all by himself.

In Dragon Ball GT, he once again plays the role of a victim, being fused together with Hell Fighter 17 to become Super 17. After Super 17's defeat, he is once again revived by the Dragon Balls and presumably goes back to aimlessly wandering.

Hell Fighter 17

Main article: Hell Fighter 17

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Super Android 17

Created in Hell by Dr. Gero and Dr. Myuu, Hell Fighter 17 is, aside from being a Machine Mutant, an exact copy of Android 17 and is created to locate, control, and eventually fuse with the original 17 in order to create Super 17.

Super 17

Main article: Super 17 The fusion of Android 17 and Hell Fighter 17 is a spectacular success, yielding the large and powerful Super 17. With the power of both 17 and Hell Fighter 17, he is able to fight and defeat all of the Z Fighters, including Goku, albeit turning and killing Dr. Gero and Dr. Myuu in the process, until Goku finds his weakness and destroys him for good.

Android 18

Main articles: Android 18 and Future Android 18 Looks can be deceiving, as this beautiful young lady can be very dangerous when riled. Much like her twin brother Android 17, Android 18 is too rebellious to control and considered a failed android. Also like 17, she was a normal, human girl until Dr. Gero experiments on her. In her first appearance, she humiliates Vegeta (who had just become a Super Saiyan) and helps 17 defeat the Z Fighters before she, Android 17, and Android 16 hijack a Lucky Foods van and take a road trip to Goku's house .

Later on, she is absorbed by Cell, which allows him to achieve his Perfect Form . A few days later, she is spat back out after Cell receives an extremely powerful kick to the gut from an enraged Super Saiyan 2 Gohan. After Cell is defeated by Gohan, she wanders off for a while before returning to the Z Fighters and ultimately marrying Krillin, who falls in love with her during the Cell Saga. The two also have a daughter named Marron.

During Dragon Ball GT, she plays a much more subdued role, becoming one of Baby's minions during the Baby Saga as well as fighting off Super 17 later on.

Android 19

Main article: Android 19

Android19And20AndroidsAppearNV

The energy absorbing models, #19 and Gero himself as #20, considered successes but are far weaker than others

A very strange, round man of an android, Android 19 is one of two energy-absorbing models made by Dr. Gero. He was modeled after a doll decorating the command center of an enemy base, which Gero brought home as a trophy.[2] Despite being destroyed by Super Saiyan Vegeta, he is considered a successful android given that he follows his programming to the letter and has enough power to fight on par with, and even defeat a trained Super Saiyan Goku weakened by the Heart Virus.

During the Dragon Ball GT series he is seen flying from hell in the sky and destroying the city. He is later sent back to hell by Trunks and Goten.

Out of all of Dr. Gero's Androids, 19 one of Dr. Gero's most loyal creations, to the point Dr. Gero was comfortable with leaving 19 in charge of Gero's conversion into Android 20.

Android 20

Main articles: Android 20, Future Android 20, and Dr. Gero's Super Computer First shown as an android, 20 is actually a combination of a robotic body with the brain of Dr. Gero implanted in its head. Much like 19, he is an energy-absorbing model and also considered a success by the doctor.

Long before he becomes an android, Dr. Gero is an engineer working for the Red Ribbon Army. During his time with the Red Ribbon Army, Dr. Gero suffered the loss of his son, a Red Ribbon soldier who was killed in action by an enemy bullet. It is not until Goku single-handedly takes down the entirety of the Red Ribbon that Dr. Gero focuses his attention to motives of pure revenge against him for destroying the army. As Future Trunks predicts, two androids meet the Z Fighters on the battlefield three years after Goku's return to Earth, but unlike Future Trunks' prediction, it is Gero himself and Android 19 who meet them, rather than Android 17 and Android 18. Ultimately, Dr. Gero is destroyed by Android 17 and ends up in Hell.

In the Nintendo DS game Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors 2, after Future Cell's defeat and long after Future Dr. Gero's death, his Super Computer creates a copy of Android 20 to use as a body in order to fight Teen Gohan and Future Trunks. It also creates two other copies of Android 20 as part of its Dr. Gero Corps.

Dragon Ball GT introduces a new doctor, Dr. Myuu. After Dr. Myuu's defeat at the hands of Goku, Trunks, and Pan, Dr. Myuu and Dr. Gero team up to get revenge on them by creating Hell Fighter 17 (and eventually Super 17). After a complicated series of events, Myuu and Gero escape Hell only to be killed again by Super 17, much to their surprise.

Cell

Main articles: Cell, Present Cell, and Future Cell

CellVsSuperVegetaNV

Cell, considered a success

The ultimate "android", Cell, is actually a combination of cells extracted from a number of sources (such as the Z Fighters and Frieza and his father). As such, he has the fighting knowledge, power, and even the moves of some of the most powerful fighters in the universe. In addition, because of the manner in which Cell is created, Cell is the only one of Dr. Gero's androids whose ki can be sensed by the Z Fighters. Coming from the future in which Android 17 and Android 18 are already dead, Cell seeks to absorb the duo in order to climb to his perfect form. Like 17 and 18, Cell cares more about destroying the world than taking it over. His present form is destroyed after Trunks and Krillin destroy Dr. Gero's lab and Cell's embryo stage.

Ultimately, Cell is killed by an enraged Gohan and sent to the Other World. In the anime, he forms a union with Frieza and his Ginyu Force, generally causing havoc and being a pest to the ogres who maintain the peace. Goku (who dies in the battle with Cell) is about to stop him, but Pikkon steps in and promptly puts Cell in his place. After that, Cell is only seen in a few cameos in Hell, and even then only in the anime.

Cell once again becomes a thorn in Goku's side in Dragon Ball GT. Goku, having to go to Hell, runs into Cell and Frieza. However, the two are ultimately defeated and detained by the ogres of Hell once again by Goku trapping both of them in Hell's ice.

Cell Jr.

Main article: Cell Jr. While not created by Dr. Gero directly, after reaching his perfect form, Cell can reproduce asexually through his tail. Taking the shape of childlike, blue Cells, each Cell Jr. has vast power despite their size. Even the likes of Super Saiyan Vegeta could just barely hold their own against them. However, they don't seem to have Cell's regeneration, and they are killed in one blow each by Super Saiyan 2 Gohan. They somewhat resemble the Saibamen who first appear during the Vegeta Saga of Dragon Ball Z.

Android 44

An Android in Dragon Ball Fusions whose design bears resemblance to Android 20.

Android 8000

A highly advanced variant of Android 8, utilized by the Time Breakers, comes in several different models including Mk. II and MX.

Android 19000

A highly advanced variant of Android 19, built by the revived Gero and utilized by the Time Breakers.

Team attacks

Trivia

  • Most androids introduced in Dragon Ball Z are shown to have clear light blue eyes, almost white.
  • Interestingly, even though Android 13, 14, and 15 are not featured in the Dragon Ball manga, the "Androids A-B-C's" section mentions that Androids 13, 14, and 15 are very close to the Android concept.
  • In the series, shortly before 17 killed Dr. Gero, 18 told him "You destroyed all the other androids up to 15." In Super Android 13!, Dr. Gero clearly did not destroy 13, 14, and 15, as they are the main villains, and instead kept them around. It is possible that Gero lied to Androids 17 and 18 when he said he destroyed all the androids up to 15, since even Android 8 is still alive in the series. In addition, prior to their encounter on the Tropical Islands, Androids 17 and 18 had never heard of Cell, one of Dr. Gero's creations, much less the fact that they were to be part of him. It is likely that he did not want them knowing about Cell to make them follow his orders long enough for Cell to absorb them. It is also possible the plot of Super Android 13! hadn't been thought up yet.
    • Another possibility is that the events of the film take place in an alternate timeline where Dr. Gero did not destroy 13, 14, and 15, which is a possibility given that several Dragon Ball films are said to take place in alternate timelines in Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2.
  • The Pirate Robot encountered in the Pirate Cave in the Dragon Ball episode "The Trap is Sprung" has the number '2' painted on both of its legs. However, since this is apparently the Red Ribbon Army's first venture into the cave and they appear to have no knowledge of the robot, it seems highly unlikely that this is the Android 2 that Dr. Gero created. Still, the Pirate Robot bares resemblance to a failed project, possibly Android 3, which hangs strung above what is the third android's laboratory pod in a scene during Future Trunks' telling of Dr. Gero's plot in Dragon Ball Z.

Gallery

References

  1. Dragon Ball chapter 340, "The Red Ribbon Androids"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Dragon Ball Q&A 7" section, Dragon Ball Full Color Androids Saga volume 1, 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 Dragon Ball chapter 349, "The Androids Awake!"
  4. Dragon Ball Z episode 133, "Nightmare Comes True"
  5. "Yes. Now I have eternal life like you." - Dr. Gero, Dragon Ball Z episode 133, "Nightmare Comes True"

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