Debatably, the Android Saga is possibly the most popular story arc in the entire Dragon Ball franchise. Filled with memorable story moments, and amazing fights, the Android’s Saga is in many ways when the series’ peaked. The arc is also well remembered for introducing several fan-favorite characters, including Trunks, Cell, Android 18, and, of course, Android 17.
An artificial warrior created by the evil Dr. Gero, 17, and his sister 18, were built to kill Goku. In the future that Trunks stems from, both 17 and 18 would massacre all of Earth’s protectors and lay waste to humanity. They are the reason why Trunks goes to the past, setting in motion the Android’s Saga. While 18 is a more prominent character in the lore of Dragon Ball, Android 17 is also a very popular and well-known character in the franchise. His youthful appearance and rebellious attitude are what sets him apart from the older and more mature villains. While Frieza and Cell brought an air of sophistication and complexity in their portrayals, 17 brought in a brashness that those villains lacked.
Android 17 is a cool character, which is why we are going to go over the 15 Shocking Things You Didn’t Know About Android 17.
15 A Major Antagonist?
Future Android 17 and 18 may actually be the most deadly villains to ever exist in the Dragon Ball timeline. They killed all the Z-Warriors and pretty much brought humanity to the brink of extinction. When Trunks goes to the past to warn the main timeline Z-Warriors about them, he forgets to tell them what the Androids would look like. When Android 19 and Android 20 showed up, the heroes mistook them as the Androids as prophesized.
Apparently, that wasn’t always the plan. Initially, Androids 19 and 20 were meant to be the Androids that Trunks warn the leads about. Akira Toriyama, author of the Dragon Ball manga, introduced 19 and 20 with the intentions of them being the main antagonists of the arc. An editor of his would suggest that 19 and 20 looked goofy, so 17 and 18 were quickly introduced to replace them. However, Toriyama’s editor would also be dissatisfied with 17 and 18, which lead to the creation of Cell.
14 Future And Past
For such a memorable character, it is weird to think that main timeline 17 only had one real fight in all of Dragon Ball Z. Early in his appearance, 17 knocks out both Piccolo and Tien, but that would rarely count as fighting. His later fight with Piccolo on the islands, which is his one true fight, is one of the most celebrated fights in the original show. It is one of the few impressive fight scenes that do not focus a Saiyan character like Goku or Vegeta. It was also one rare fight in the show that focused on two opponents that were equally matched, leading to one of the more even matches in the franchise’s history.
Future 17 would have several fights, however. In the History of Trunks special, he and his sister would have several fights with Future Gohan and Future Trunks.
13 GO GO Power Ranger!
After 17 is absorbed by Cell, he would almost completely disappear from the show. His sister, Android 18, would remain a supporting cast member, having married Krillin and having a daughter. Fans weren’t sure if 17 was revived by the Dragon Balls when the heroes wished everyone killed by Cell back to life since he was an artificial life form.
He would eventually make a cameo at the end of the Buu Saga when Goku is gathering all the Earth’s energy to create the Spirit Bomb. Goku is calling the people of Earth to give him their energy to defeat the evil Kid Buu; 17 hears his pleas and gives him some of his energy. It is revealed in his cameo that 17 became a park ranger, protecting the animal life in his imminent area. He would remain a park ranger when Goku recruits him for the Universal Survival Arc in Dragon Ball Super.
12 17’s Real Name
For the longest time, fans never knew what Androids 17 and 18’s real names were. It’s been established they were both humans before Dr. Gero kidnapped them and turned them into artificial humans, yet they continued going by the numbers that the evil doctor gave them even after 17 murders him. Their backstory and true names remained a mystery to fans for years, until 2014 when Toriyama finally unveiled the character’s true names.
It turns out 17’s real name is Lapis, and 18’s name is Lazuli. “Lapis Lazuli” is the name of a rare blue stone. The ancient meaning of “Lapis” and “Lazuli” originates from the Latin and Persian spellings for “stone” and “blue” respectively. It is unknown why 17 and 18 do not go by their original human names and continue to use the numbers given to them by a madman who experimented on them with no consent.
11 Androids Or Not?
Despite “Android” literally being part of their names, Androids 17 and 18 are more like cyborgs than the typical definition of an android. While we now think of androids as overpriced smartphones and tablets, the technical definition of an android is a machine that looks like a man. 17 and 18 are not really machines though, they are artificial humans. Really, Androids 17 and 18 fit more with the technical definition of a cyborg. Cyborgs, under typical diction, are usually defined as hypothetical humans who have been artificial upgraded to surpass normal human capabilities.
Androids 19 and 16, which are completely mechanical, fit more with the classic definition of an android.
10 A Perfect Replica
While his appearance in Dragon Ball Z was brief after his absorption into Cell, Android 17 would return as a major player again in the second saga of Dragon Ball GT. Having led a peaceful existence at the end of Z, 17 is pulled back into the realm of villainy when Dr. Gero decided to enact his revenge in Hell. Teaming up with the evil Dr. Miyuu, the two doctors would create Hell Fighter 17, a perfect replica of the real Android 17.
They use Hell Fighter to mind control Android 17 in the living world. They then have the two Androids open a gate to Hell, freeing every major villain in the series. The two 17s would then come together and merge, becoming Super 17. If all this sounds interesting to you, I assure you that it wasn’t.
9 Straight Through The Heart
Super 17 would prove to be a very powerful foe, easily defeating all of Earth’s heroes including Gohan, Vegeta, and even Super Saiyan 4 Goku. When all hope seems lost, Android 18 confronts him to enact revenge on her husband, who was earlier killed by normal Android 17. It is at that moment that Goku saw a weakness in Super 17’s defense, and defeats him the same way he defeated Piccolo Daimao when he was killed; a punch through a chest.
It was an adequate parallel given the circumstances. At the start of GT, Goku was turned into a kid and remains a kid throughout the entire show. While he becomes a grown up again when he turns into Super Saiyan 4, he mostly stays a kid. On his last limbs in his fight with Super 17, he uses the same kind of Hail Mary punch that he used in his final fight with Piccolo Daimao, giving 17 the same child-sized hole that he gave Piccolo all those years ago.
8 Extra Firepower
On Android 17’s classic look, the black T-shirt with jeans, he has a gun holster. Sometimes there’s gun in it, other times there isn’t. It depends on the animation. Despite having a gun holster, he doesn’t really use a gun. Having a gun would feel very useless. Why? He and almost every other major character in Dragon Ball can shoot lasers out of their hands.
With that said, 17 has been shown in handling a gun. In one of Goku’s nightmares, he sees Android 17 shooting a gun directly at the camera. Later, when 17 returns for the Universal Survival Arc in Dragon Ball Super, there are several promotional materials of 17 handling a rifle. Unlike most of the other cast members, 17 isn’t afraid to arm himself.
7 The Family Man
Thanks to his relatively short appearance within Dragon Ball Z, 17 has been (for the longest time) remembered by fans for his rebellious teen attitude he showcased in the Androids Saga. In the minds of many fans, he will always be that irresponsible young man. While the end of Z hinted at this, Super further develops 17 into a more responsible adult. Not only has he taken a job that he takes seriously, he also has a family he takes care of.
When Goku visits him to talk him into joining the Universal Survival Tournament, 17 shares with him how his life turned out after the Cell Games. He talks about his responsibility as a ranger and shows Goku a picture of his family. 17 has come a long way since his introduction in the Android’s saga.
6 An Absorbing Personality
Dragon Ball Heroes is a Japanese arcade game that is well-known within the fan community for it’s completely nonsensical and fan fiction story. Ever wanted to see Super Saiyan 3 Trunks or Super Saiyan 4 Gohan? Then check out some images of Heroes online. Dragon Ball GT also gets love in Heroes, with Super 17 being given the ability to absorb other Androids just like Cell.
This leads into abominations like Super 17 Absorbed 16, and Super 17 Absorbed Cell. Both forms are essentially buffed up versions of Super 17, with Absorbed Cell showing off some of the black armor that Cell has in his Perfect Form. The designs are crazy, to say the least, and are possibly some of the worst examples of Heroes’ overall aesthetics.
5 The Android Fusions
In a recent episode of Dragon Ball Super, fans’ interest of a fusion between Androids 17 and 18 flared up. During the Universal Survival Tournament, Supreme Kai suggests using the Potara earrings on 17 and 18. Titling the hypothetical fusion as Android 35, no such fusion happened, leaving only fan’s imagination of what Android 35 would look like.
Fortunately for viewers, there are some 17 and 18 fusions within some of the spinoff titles. In the Dragon Ball Fusions game, 17 and 18 can perform a normal fusion and become Android 1718. 1718 retains 17’s color scheme but has a more feminine look. In Dragon Ball Heroes, Super 17 can absorb 18 and become Super 17 Absorbed 18. Super 17 Absorbed 18 looks mostly like normal Super 17, yet has long blond hair that matches 18’s.
4 Stronger Than He Looks
During the Universal Survival Arc in Dragon Ball Super, it was up to Goku to recruit a team of ten warriors to participate in a tournament that would determine the survival of their universe. In order to gauge out his potential teammate’s power, he would have a brief sparring match with them in order to determine they are strong enough to join the team.
When Goku was sparring with 17, he realizes that 17 has become stronger since the Android’s Saga. He even thinks that 17 may actually be stronger than Majin Buu. The revelation that 17 may have surpassed the strongest enemy in Dragon Ball Z made a lot of fans scratch their heads. If 17 is that powerful, then why wasn’t he around helping the Z-Warriors during Buu’s original rampage. In fact, when Super Buu killed all life on Earth, did 17 also get killed too?
3 A Respectable Total
The Universal Survival Arc in Dragon Ball Super gave the show the shot in the arm it needed. After a mediocre string of episodes in the show’s start, the Universal Survival Tournament brought in a new level of hype for the franchise. Eight universes are under threat of being erased by the Omni King. Each universe picked their ten strongest for an all-out brawl to determine which universe has the right to survive. The arc has stakes, and even gives characters like Roshi and Krillin a chance to shine.
However, the real MVPs of the tournaments are the Androids. At the time of this writing, 17 and 18 have the fifth and fourth most elimination in the tournament. 17 has four eliminations under his belt: he eliminated Vikal, Kakunsa, and Rozie from Universe 2, and Damon from Universe 4.
2 A Short-Lived Villain
People expect a lot from people who have a saga named after them. And to be fair to the Super 17 Saga in Dragon Ball GT, he was at least the main antagonist. He beats all the heroes in the show and even easily defeats Super Saiyan 4 Goku. It took the combined efforts of a vengeful Android 18 and a weakened child Goku to finally put an end to Super 17. He was purposely showing them his weakness so that they can stop him.
Despite Super 17’s clear importance to the self-titled Super 17 Saga, he hardly appears in it. Super 17 was only in five episodes before Goku finally destroys him. He is the shortest lived main villain of any of the major sagas in the Dragon Ball Franchise.
1 A Tense Meeting
Dr. Gero created Androids 17 and 18 to kill Goku. They spent a majority of the first half of the Android Saga looking for Goku, driving across the continent to find him. They never actually get to meet him though; 17 would instead fight against Piccolo and then get absorbed by Cell. He would then remain MIA for most of Z until his cameo at the end of the Buu Saga. Even though Android 18 gets to properly meet Goku in the Buu Saga, Android 17 never meets with Goku in all of Z.
Goku later faces against Super 17 in GT. Goku and normal Android 17 would not appropriately meet until Dragon Ball Super.