Cell (セル, Seru) is the ultimate creation of Dr. Gero (Android 20), who comes from a future timeline, designed to possess all the abilities of the greatest fighters to have ever inhabited or visited Earth; the result is a "perfect warrior", possessing numerous favorable genetic traits and special abilities. He is one of the few Red Ribbon Androids not directly completed by Dr. Gero; he was completed by Dr. Gero's Super Computer.
In his Imperfect form unlike his larval form, Cell walks fully upright on two legs. His facial features have not yet fully developed, and he still retains an orifice-like mouth (which generally obscures four sharp teeth, as revealed in "Silent Warrior"), rather than traditional human-like features seen in later forms. The two sections of his head shoot off in different directions in a V-shape, rather than nearly straight up, as in the next two forms. Cell is later shown using the power he absorbed from his victims by having a golden aura with the appearance of wailing souls. Cell has orange color parts near his abdominal area, the back of his head, and even near his groin area. He has two wings which are both emerald green with black spots. He has an emerald green and lime green mix all over his exoskeleton (including head, arms and legs). He has three fingers in the manga, but five fingers and three toes (just as similar as Frieza and King Cold) in the anime. He has a tail like Frieza and King Cold, but also has a stinger included at the end of it. He has black sections as well near his abdominal area, in the middle between the two sections on his head, and even the black part of opposite side of his tail. He even has azure veins in both of his arms, legs, and even some in the upper body. His eyes are pink (blue in the manga colored pages) with thin reptilian slits.
In his Semi-Perfect form, Cell's wings disappear, and he becomes much more humanoid, also becoming more muscular. While the nose is not yet fully formed (as it is in the next stage), he now has an actual mouth. The two off-shooting sections of his head now go straight into the air, as well. In this form, he is at his 2nd largest (next to his Power weighted form) with his height being more than double that of Vegeta. His tail is longer and slightly thicker than before, and protrudes from his back, as well as becoming segmented orange and black. His voice is deeper than his previous form. The back of his head and the black section on his forehead are now formed together as a ball in between the two sections on his head. His lips are now the color pink, and the black sections above his lips look like a mustache (except it is part of his skin). He now has light blue eyes in this form (a direct result of absorbing Android 17). He even has boot-like feet in this form and metal-like plates all around both of his ankles. He has the same shape of ears as Frieza's, except that his have an orange line that goes down to the chin and to both sides of the ears. His wings regress completely into his back. In his self-destruction form, Semi-Perfect Cell bloats himself, his belly greatly expanding in size. He also claimed that his bloated appearance was unstable, and that a single touch may set him off when dissuading Gohan from trying to stop him.
Cell becomes much more humanoid in his Perfect form, complete with both a fully-formed nose and mouth. His tail is retracted and now used for the creation of Cell Jrs, although it is shown in various media that he can still extend it from his back and absorb other people (as seen in Dragon Ball GT and Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai). Along with his previous two forms, Cell can brandish an aura with the same color as a Super Saiyan. He is also smaller than in his previous form, being only about Piccolo's height. His wings have grown back and now are shaded black. His exoskeleton is colored light-green with black spots and has black plates located on his shoulders and chest, and the plates on his ankles as well as the previously orange section near his groin are now shaded black. His skin is now pale all in his face, neck and hands, he now has purple lines in both sides of his cheeks, similar to Frieza in his first three forms, and the orange line across his ears and chin is now changed into a yellow color. His eyes are now pink, and his blue veins are now purple. In his most Super Perfect state, Cell's appearance is identical to his Perfect form. Nonetheless, his power increases exponentially. His aura crackles with surges of blue electricity, much like a Super Saiyan 2. In the video game Dragon Ball: Raging Blast 2, Super Perfect Cell's intense energy flow makes his carapace glow a lighter shade of green.
Cell has an original personality with various other characters' personalities added in; Gero's computer redesigned the weak parts of the original personality, adding in the personalities of various different characters to make him the perfect weapon. Throughout the Androids Arc, Cell's personality changes drastically with each transformation. At first, Cell's desire to complete his evolution by absorbing both Android 17 and Android 18 is what fuels him in his imperfect form. Upon reaching his final form, his eagerness to test the limits of his newfound power is what defines his character. Cell is unique among most villains of the series in that he is quite sophisticated. Because of his genetic composition from other warriors, he is able to psychologically manipulate those warriors and exploit their weaknesses to his advantage. He also found the Dragon Balls' reviving ability to be a nuisance, as evidenced by his relief when he learned that the Dragon Balls were rendered inert due to Piccolo and Kami's fusion.
Initially, Cell is completely single-minded in pursuit of his goals and is very cautious, sneaky, cunning and calculating in achieving his main goal of perfection. Upon reaching his first transformation, he becomes far more brash and impulsive in his actions, relying less on strategy and more on brute force, often becoming clouded and not thinking rationally when things do not go his way. Upon reaching perfection, Cell displays a number of traits shared by those whose cells he possesses; Piccolo's cunning, Vegeta's pride, Goku's laid-back disposition, Frieza's smugness, and the Saiyan lust for battle. He is also shown to be calm and genuinely polite in this Perfect form. Perhaps Cell's most distinguishable trait in this form is his uninhibited vanity, which he shamelessly puts on display by launching the Cell Games, a tournament organized for the sole purpose of showing off his newfound power. It can also be seen during Cell's confrontation with Gohan when he affirms his true purpose: the annihilation of anything he considers imperfect, a category in which he places everyone and everything but himself. But when he is outmatched he quickly becomes desperate and makes mistakes. Ironically, the arrogant trait Vegeta displayed to allow Cell to achieve his perfect form was the same trait Cell used to force Gohan to awaken his hidden powers, which led to his own downfall much like Vegeta's downfall.
In the English manga, Cell is referred to as "it", while in the anime (and the Japanese versions of both), he is referred to as "he." He is likely described that way in the English manga to emphasize the fact that he is an artificial being.
As Imperfect Cell, Cell is completely single-minded in pursuit of his goals to complete his evolution, as he is extremely eager to discover what attaining perfection would feel like. His desire is to absorb both Android 17 and Android 18. Imperfect Cell is very cautious, sneaky, cunning and calculating; he does not chase after the Androids directly, since he knows he cannot beat them before he absorbs enough human energy. Although obsessed with attaining perfection, Cell was willing to temporarily put aside his plans to absorb 17 and 18 if it meant that he had to deal any possible threat to his plans, as seen how he chose to dispatch Piccolo and attempted to do so with 16 rather than immediately going after 17 and 18.
However, despite his usually cautious and savvy nature, Imperfect Cell could still be seen to be somewhat arrogant, seen by how he openly revealed his plans to Piccolo when under the impression that he had won.
After he achieves his Semi-Perfect form, Cell no longer cares about absorbing other creatures, and becomes obsessed with finding Android 18 to complete his quest for perfection. Aside from his obsession, he also becomes slightly more arrogant because of his power increase, as well as being rash and impatient. His arrogance is short-lived though; he is easily outclassed by Vegeta's 2nd Grade Super Saiyan form. After finding that his Semi-Perfect form is no match for his opponent, Cell convinces Vegeta to allow him to absorb Android 18 to attain the Perfect Form (which he is able to do as he appeals to Vegeta's ego and the natural Saiyan drive to fight stronger opponents, both of which Cell is aware of, as he possesses Vegeta's cells).
According to his bios in the video games Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 and Budokai Tenkaichi 3, in his new form, he seems to feel that he is the most powerful living specimen on the planet, and it is suggested that this arrogant attitude may have been influenced by Vegeta's genes (meaning Vegeta's cells may become more prominent while in this form, which seems to be supported by the fact he uses at least two of Vegeta's signature moves in this form, albeit only in the anime: Galick Gun and Big Bang Attack). It may also be due to his absorption of Android 17 and the genes of Frieza, both of whom are very egotistical and intolerant of the idea of anyone being better than themselves. To further support the notion of his superiority, Android 16, who barely survives his brief encounter with this form of Cell, thinks to himself that there should be no one in the universe ready to challenge him at this point (and that it is odd how he is still so obsessed with achieving completion), until this preconception is shattered by Cell's embarrassment against the self-proclaimed "Super Vegeta."
After absorbing No. 18 and becoming perfect, Cell becomes significantly more arrogant in this form, due to the massive increase in power. After attaining the perfect form he had long desired, Cell admitted to Trunks that he had found himself with no other purpose, even killing Goku which was Dr. Gero's intended purpose for Cell did not seem to satisfy him. Thus, he saw his Cell Games as the opportunity to discover a new purpose; to test his new-found power. This could also be attributed by his own vanity.
In this form, Cell gains Frieza's polite mannerisms (though without the snide sarcasm) and sadistic personality, relishing in seeing people terrified, as he admitted to Future Trunks when he revealed his intention for the Cell Games. This was further shown in the anime, while waiting for the Cell Games, he chose to terrorise the people of Earth simply for his own amusement.
Much like Goku, Cell seems to take on a carefree and laid-back attitude, not losing any form of composure until he was faced with the prospect of a being that is stronger than him. Cell has adopted Goku's, as well as Vegeta's, desire to battle strong opponents, which was another purpose of the Cell Games. The fact that prior to facing Super Saiyan 2 Gohan, Cell still chose to hold back his full power, Cell was willing to handicap himself in order to challenge his own limits. Despite this, however, if Cell finds that his opponents were not of a challenge, he would not hesitate to finish the battle quickly or discontinue it. This reflects on how his arrogance, that he saw unchallenging opponents unworthy to fight him. Before fighting Gohan, Cell saw Goku as the only worthy opponent, and displayed excitement when fighting him. Cell even displayed anger when Goku had decided to forfeit his battle against Cell.
After coming back in his Super Perfect form the huge influx of power causes his already inflated ego to increase dramatically. He becomes notably more deranged, frequently shouting and exhibiting bizarre facial ticks at random intervals (although this may be largely due to his rage over being humiliated by Gohan). In addition, the intro narration for Cell Returns has the narrator referring to Cell as a "demented demon", implying that Cell had become insane when he returned. Cell also became more hotheaded and rash, seen by how he immediately chose to risk destroying the entire solar system simply to defeat Gohan.
After returning from his brush with death, Cell saw himself as true perfection than before, believing himself to be immortal was he was unable to die in a sense. Even as he was slowly destroyed by Gohan's final attack, Cell could not comprehend why he was defeated, exclaiming that he was perfection itself.
Cell is composed of cells from Goku, Piccolo, Vegeta, Frieza, King Cold, and according to the manga title page, a number of other lifeforms (in the FUNimation dub, it is also stated that he has cells from Krillin and Gohan). He also possesses the information on Nappa, Raditz, Chiaotzu, Tien Shinhan, Yamcha, and Future Trunks which were collected by Dr. Gero's remote tracking device and stocked in the Super Computer. Cell is therefore able to use their attacks (ex. Kamehameha, Regeneration etc.). His genetic composition is very much a part of his character. It is also implied that, when using these attacks, he often changes his genetic code so he can match the genetic source of his attacks, as when he is going to fire the Kamehameha at Piccolo, Gohan and Vegeta sense Goku in the distance, with the former being near Goku at the time. In his Imperfect Form, he is clever, calculating and single-minded about achieving his Perfect Form. In his Semi-Perfect Form, he is a little more arrogant. In his Perfect and Super Perfect forms, he is extremely arrogant; he becomes very smug and he believes that every other living creature is inferior to him, and is shown to be very polite unless he loses his temper. Upon meeting Piccolo for the first time in Gingertown, Cell tells Piccolo that the computer programmed some genetic traits to be more dominant than others. He bears a strong resemblance to Frieza in all of his forms, such as his tail and the talon-like feet of his first form, and his face while in his perfect form. His feet in his Perfect form are a type of Bio Suit shoes worn by Frieza's race. His head-piece in his Perfect Form is a Namekian trait, so it is likely a recessive trait obtained from Piccolo's cells. He can also revert a few stages at will if necessary, as evidenced when Cell reverts from his Imperfect form to his Larval form in order to use Trunks' Time Machine.
Cell is designed to have the ability to absorb any biological mass by stabbing his victims with his tail. This process, called "bio-extraction," drains all the organic mass out of the target from the inside out. This attack increases Cell's power, the exact amount depending on the victim's power level. Cell is also designed to absorb Dr. Gero's other Androids (Android 17 and Android 18) whole, integrating them into his systems. Each time he absorbs an Android, he evolves into a more powerful being, however he cannot absorb completely mechanical Androids such as Android 16.
Upon assimilating both Android 17 and Android 18, he gains the ability to asexually reproduce, creating blue, child versions of himself, called "Cell Juniors".
He is also able to change his voice to one of his other forms at will, as Perfect Cell uses his Imperfect form's voice during his announcement of the Cell Games in "The Doomsday Broadcast" when explaining that he is the "creature from Nicky Town". He is also able to manipulate his voice, changing it to someone he absorbed. This is demonstrated when Semi-Perfect Cell changes his voice to 17's to try to convince 18 to merge with the Bio-Android.
- Death Saucer
- Instant Transmission
- Special Beam Cannon