Android 18: Who is Dragon Ball's Female Cyborg?

Of all the high-flying, hard-hitting fighters introduced throughout Akira Toriyama's enormously popular Dragon Ball franchise, one of the most fan-favorite characters is the deadly Android 18. Originally appearing as an unstoppable antagonist alongside her twin brother Android 17, 18 eventually went on to become one of the Z Fighters' strongest allies, appearing through the end of Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball GT, Dragon Ball Super and several of the spinoff animated films.

Now, CBR is taking a quick look back at the history of this stoic cybernetic warrior, from her origins to her role on the latest anime series Dragon Ball Super.

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Despite their names, Androids 17 and 18 are actually cyborgs who were recovered by the mad scientist Doctor Gero and repurposed into a hybrid synthetic-organic bodies. Programmed by Gero to kill Goku as revenge for his destroying the nefarious Red Ribbon Army years earlier, the twins were too unruly, forcing Gero to place them both into stasis in his hidden laboratory.

After Vegeta and Bulma's adult son Trunks traveled back in time to warn Goku and the Z Fighters of the Androids' upcoming world-ravaging rampage, Gero finds himself outmatched and forced to reactivate the twins. Upon their revival, both androids quickly destroy Gero before turning their attention to the Z Fighters whom they decide to fight for their own twisted sense of fun.

After easily overpowering the Z Fighters, the androids set out to hunt an ailing Goku when the time-traveling monster Cell arrived to absorb the two cyborgs to attain his perfect form. As creation by Gero combining the DNA of Earth's greatest warriors, Cell was designed to absorb the androids by Gero in revenge for his death and had traveled to the relative present after Trunks destroyed the antagonists when he returned to his own timeline. Ultimately, the androids have a change of heart after being recovered, and Android 18 marries the Z Fighter Krillin and has a daughter named Marron with him.


Thanks to her cybernetic enhancements, Android 18 is faster and stronger than the Z Fighters upon her reactivation, and she's capable of flight, firing energy blasts and tracking energy levels. Due to her synthetic nature, she is unable to be tracked in the usual way that the Z Fighters sense energy signatures. Additionally, her cybernetic body means that she will largely be unaffected by age. Finally, Gero had fitted Android 18 with a powerful self-destruction feature but Krillin used the Dragon Balls to remove the explosives within her after recovering her from Cell.

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Moments after her reactivation, Android 18 was able to defeat both Vegeta and Trunks single-handedly, going as far as to severely damage Trunks' sword while breaking both of Vegeta's arms. While the Z Fighters power levels would eventually surpass her as Dragon Ball Z continued, she still remained one of the strongest warriors on Earth. She easily bested the combined efforts of a young Trunks and Goten during the World Martial Arts Tournament after Cell's destruction and played a pivotal role in the fight against Bio-Broly in an animated film of the same name.

Android 18 in Dragon Ball Super

Years after the defeat of Majin Buu, Android 18 and Krillin continue to raise their daughter during Krillin's retirement from the world of martial arts. As strange, new threats arrive, Krillin begins to train in martial arts once again, with Android 18's encouragement. When the duo are approached by Goku and Gohan about participating in the Tournament of Power for the fate of their universe and fight warriors from across the Dragon Ball Multiverse, Android 18 agrees to join alongside Krillin for 10million Zeni (the franchise's main currency) and reveals Android 17's whereabouts.

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During the tournament, Android 18 eliminates several rivals from other universes, including the powerful Ribrianne, after being inspired by her love for Krillin and Marron. Shortly thereafter, Android 18 sacrifices herself to save her brother from being eliminated from the tournament and continues to watch the remainder of the competition from the sidelines next to her husband until the series finale.

Newly dubbed episodes of Dragon Ball Super air on Saturdays at 11 p.m. ET/PT on Adult Swim.

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