Android 17 (人造人間17号, Jinzōningen Jū Nana) is a fictional character in the Dragon Ball franchise. He makes his debut in "The Androids Awake!", the 349thchapter of the Dragon Ball manga, issued on March 10, 1992. He makes his first animated appearance in "Nightmare Comes True", the 133rd episode of Dragon Ball Z, which premiered on April 8, 1992. Dr. Gero's seventeenth creation, Android 17 was designed to serve Gero's vendetta against Goku, who overthrew the Red Ribbon Army as a child. Despite his interests not deviating from this expectation, Android 17 takes it upon himself to murder Gero who is uncooperative with Android 18's curiosity in activating Android 16 (although in each timeline of the series alternate to the mainstream one, Gero is still killed by 17 despite there being no quarrel over 16, whom the androids have no interest in activating).
Android 17 is the first artificial human designed by Dr. Gero to be created by fitting a human being with cybernetics. As a mortal man, he and his unnamed sister (the eventual Android 18) were runaway teenagers whom Gero kidnapped and conducted experiments on, resulting in their transformation into cyborgs. Gero's blueprints for Android 17 in Funimation's dub of the Imperfect Cell Sagasuggest otherwisehowever, instead citing that 17 and 18 "are made up of organic substances padded after human cells." On the other hand, aside from nothing there suggesting that the human cells cited couldn't be their own original human cells, every other account of the series, including biography sections within video games and a piece in a later saga within the same dub (albeit with the statement specifically about 18), agree with the former.
Initially a reckless anarchist, 17 later reveals himself to be little more than a rebel without a cause. When he is revived by Shenron because of a wish that restored both the lives of all of Cell's victims and all the damage caused during the Cell Games, Android 17 goes on to live a life of peace in obscurity. At the end of Dragon Ball Z, 17 provided energy for Goku's Super Spirit Bomb to destroy Kid Buu. He reappears in Dragon Ball GT when scientists Gero and Myuu brainwash him telepathically and he is eventually merged with Hell Fighter 17, a Machine Mutant version of himself created by the scientists in Hell. Yet even without the ability to maintain his mind, 17 still exhibits some of his sensitivity, especially towards his twin sister. This is in stark contrast to his alternate self from Future Trunks' timeline, where he is a murderous sociopath who cares for no one but himself and 18. Android 17 is considered a Z Fighter, mainly because he has killed sinister characters such as Dr. Gero (twice) and Dr. Myuu; and he has helped to defeat other major villains such as Cell and Buu. While under control, he forced his transformed-self to reveal his own weak point, thus allowing Goku to kill him.
Android 17's strongest personal trait is his sense of self. He does his best to resist the will of Dr. Gero (or later, Dr. Myuu), and fights a futile battle against Imperfect Cell to assert his identity and his pride. He has an energy pistol which sees use by Future Android 17 against humans, although it is assumed to be generally ineffective against the likes of the Z Fighters. This pistol can be seen holstered to his character model in the video game Budokai 3.
When Super Saiyan Vegeta intercepts the trio, 17 and 18 implore 16 to step in and fight, interested to see him in action (their main purpose for activating him in the first place). Android 16 however refuses to fight him, thus prompting Android 18 to volunteer. When Future Trunks, Krillin, Piccolo and Tien Shinhan arrive as Vegeta's reinforcement, Android 17 hopefully takes the opportunity to ask if 16 will join the fight, though as he initially assumed 16 once again opts not to. At the conclusion of the encounter, thanks to Trunks breaking 17's non-interference truce when he couldn't bear to see Vegeta injured by 18, everyone is rendered incapacitated besides Krillin who is spared so that he may see the others healed by Senzu Beans. This is one of many examples that sets Android 17 (as well as 18) apart from his future timeline counterpart, especially considering they are much stronger in the mainstream timeline than in Trunks' future.
After fusing with Kami, Piccolo challenges the Androids, hoping that he can defeat at least one of them and prevent Imperfect Cell from absorbing just one of his targets. 17 accepted Piccolo's challenge and contends to fighting Piccolo one-on-one, rather than fight with 18; this vastly increasing Piccolo's chance to win. Piccolo appears to have the upper hand in the battle; until 17 confesses that up until now he hasn't been taking their struggle seriously. Once both choose to go at full power, they find that they are an even match. Equal in both power and strength; 17 having an advantage because of his unlimited energy and speed, and Piccolo matching that with his regeneration and variety of energy attacks (such as: Scatter Shot, Light Grenade, as well as other attacks).
The fight is an apparent draw until Cell's arrival interrupts the match (ironically, Cell is able to detect Android 17 through the nearby presence of Piccolo, who had engaged 17 in an effort to impede Cell's progression to perfection). Piccolo assists 17 in avoiding Cell and 17 thanks him in return. While Piccolo tries to aid in the battle against Cell, he is tossed aside after Cell admits to have become stronger. Struggling to defend himself, Android 16 steps in to fight Imperfect Cell. 16 is able to hold Imperfect Cell off for some time, repeatedly surprising him with intense attacks such as the Hell Flash beam cannons. However, this sudden turning of tables creates an overconfidence in Android 17, who lingers to the scene of the battle, where the wounded but thriving Cell surprises and ultimately absorbs him, triggering his transformation into Semi-Perfect Cell.
Death and revival EditAll evidence of Android 17 is destroyed along with Cell's initial body, when Cell detonates himself as a last ditch effort to emerge victorious in the Cell Games (as his design allows him to regenerate so long as a single cell of him remains intact).However, 17's life is restored after the Z Fighters use the Dragon Balls to revive those who died as a result of Cell's campaign. A second wish made to Shenron by Krillin removes the self-destruct device within 17 and 18's body (Krillin originally intends to use the wish to turn 17 and his sister into humans, but this proves beyond Shenron's power). Content with living in obscurity afterward, Android 17 does not establish contact with any other characters, including his sister, during Dragon Ball Z, and only goes on to make a 20-second cameo appearance during "People of Earth Unite" in which he points a gun at two people to have them raise their hands and donate energy to Goku's Spirit Bomb.
In the alternate timeline, Android 17 and Android 18 are unequaled mass murderers who have reduced human civilization to shambles. Gohan is the last of the original Z Fighters not killed by the androids left to hold his own (although a handful of characters who supported the group, including Master Roshi, Bulma and Chi-Chi
, have also managed to take refuge). As the years pass, it becomes obvious that Gohan and Trunks are the only martial artists left capable of fighting the androids, however, no conceivable advantage for them arises and Gohan
is eventually killed. In the second alternate timeline to intertwine with the mainstream one, Trunks successfully shuts down androids 17 and 18 using a remote control, but is killed by Imperfect Cell, who then uses Trunks' time machine to travel to the past, where he sheds his larval exoskeleton leaving it to be discovered at the end of the Androids Saga. Trunks, whose visits to the time in his past (the main plot of the series) constitute the first alternate timeline to merge with the mainstream one, returns to his time after the destruction of Super-Perfect Cell by Gohan, and ultimately vanquishes both androids 17 and 18, as well as Imperfect Cell, with the power he gains from his training with Vegeta.
Android 17 makes a brief appearance in the manga and Dragon Ball Z episode "People of Earth Unite" during the Kid Buu Saga, while Goku gathers energy for a Spirit Bomb, in an effort to defeat Kid Buu. Android 17, apparently a vagabond in a mountainous region, is walking down a forest trail when he recognizes Goku's voice, then encounters two hunters passing through. 17 raises his rifle to trick the two into raising their hands, unaware that they are supplying Goku with their energy. To the hunters' confusion, the android smiles and proclaims, "You beat me to it," before raising one of his own hands. The manga-equivalent of this scene does not feature 17 encountering the hunters; he merely raises his hands to pass on his energy.
Prior to this scene, Kid Buu had previously destroyed the Earth with his Planet Burst technique, killing 17 again along with nearly everyone else. While fighting Kid Buu on the Sacred World of the Kais, Vegeta asks Dende to make a wish to Porunga for the Earth and the lives of all its good-willed inhabitants to be restored. The fact that 17 was not exempt from this wish, as confirmed by his appearance, combined with his contribution to energy for Goku's Spirit Bomb, is a testament to 17's inherent goodness.
In Dragon Ball GT, Dr. Gero and fallen colleague Dr. Myuu brainwash Android 17 telepathically via Hell Fighter 17, a Machine Mutant version of himself created by the scientists in Hell with the design of merging with him into the ultimate killing machine. Before merging 17 asks Android 18 to join him, a gesture which she mindlessly obeys until a fatal attack on Krillin brings 18 back to reality, causing her to attack her brother. Seeing what he's done, he then targets Marron so he can gain full control of 18, but 18 defends her from 17's energy wave, leaving her in a critical condition. Android 17 locates his Hell Fighter counterpart and the two finally merge, becoming Super 17.The Z Fighters are shocked by the transformation until Vegeta attacks him, resulting in being knocked back by one punch. Majuub then tries in vain, followed by Goten and Trunks who attempt a combined attack, to no avail. Gohan then tries a Kamehameha, which does absolutely nothing to the super android. Dr. Gero then tells Super 17 to
demonstrate his true power, which leads him to strike down every Z Fighter, again using only a single hit. The Saiyans then assume their Super Saiyan forms, but Super 17 releases a Flash Bomb, weakening them enough to revert from Super Saiyan. Pan's ploy to have Gero bring 17 to a halt is ruined when Dr. Myuu reveals his programming placed him in full control of the super android, and so Super 17 kills Dr. Gero, for the second time. Piccolo and Dende create a gateway between Hell and Earth, allowing Goku to escape and confront Super 17, before any other Z Fighters can be killed. Goku is later joined by Android 18, whose appearance reminds 17 of both his own and Dr. Myuu's true nature, contributing to the ends of both Myuu (who was killed by 17's Electro Eclipse Bomb) and Super 17 himself.
As is revealed after the end of the fight, the real Android 17's psyche gives the Z Fighters a chance to destroy the super android, and both Android and Hell Fighter 17 in the process, by taking complete control of the body of Super 17 and powering up as Android 18 was launching shots of energy. This reveals to Goku that Super 17 cannot simultaneously move while absorbing energy, thus leaving him vulnerable to physical attacks. It is then that Goku uses the Super Dragon Fist technique to literally punch his way through Super 17, with the resulting hole rendering him unable to absorb the ensuing barrage of Kamehamehas, finally killing him.
According to Dragon Ball GT Perfect File 2, Goku's final request of Shenron at the conclusion of Dragon Ball GT to restore the lives of those who didn't deserve to die between the Super 17 and Shadow Dragon sagas revived Android 17.
There is some debate as to whether or not Android 17 and his sister are still alive 100 years after the events of Dragon Ball GT (particularly during the time of the 64th World Martial Arts Tournament and the events of the special A Hero's Legacy). While Dr. Gero states that the process of reconfiguring the siblings into cyborgs has made the two immortal, this is contradicted by the special A Hero's Legacy, where it is narrated that Pan is the only character remaining from the generation of the original Z Fighters.
programmed to be a bit stronger than his sister, meaning he can easily overwhelm an average Super Saiyan, but anything above that power might prove a challenge to him. Although he is an android, he can still improve his strength through training, like the other Z Fighters; this is shown when he fights Vegeta in Dragon Ball GT, and though Vegeta has trained much through the years, #17 proves to be an even match for him. Besides his power, Gero's android technology effectively makes 17 immortal in the sense that he can't age.
- Accel Dance, he and his twin 18 double team with a combo of punchs and kicks, ending with a barrage of energy attacks.
- Android Barrier, a technique where energy is thrust out from the body in the form of a barrier with great force. The barrier can be used to both defend against oncoming projectiles and to expand and damage its surroundings, although only the former appears in Dragon Ball Z.
- Energy Attack, the most basic form of energy wave used by androids.
- Finger Beam, a barrage of narrow rays emitted from the index finger of its user, similar in execution to the Death Beam, which Future Android 17 and his sister use in The History of Trunks special.
- Flight, the ability to fly without the use of ki.
- Photon Flash, a technique Future Android 17 uses against Future Trunks in The History of Trunks special. It is a ball of energy similar to the Big Bang Attack, which is charged until it reaches a size larger than its user's body, where it is then emitted from the hand of its user. Future Android 17 prepares to kill Future Trunks using this technique, but is stopped at the intervention of his sister.
- Power Blitz, a strong energy wave fired from the palm of his hand. It can be launched as a single energy wave, concentrated into a ball of ki or volleyed in a rapid barrage of energy waves called the Infinity Bullet. This is the signature finishing move for androids 18 and 17 in the Budokai video game series. A similar
- Japanese dub: Shigeru Nakahara
- Ocean Group dub: Ted Cole
- Funimation dub: Chuck Huber
- Latin American dub: Genaro Vásquez
- German dub: Timm Neu
- Italian dub: Patrizio Prata
- Android 17 is the only android of the trio never to meet Goku (both in the manga and anime since Goku met Super 17, not the original 17).
- His super finishing move in Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 3 is identical to what his and 18's future counterparts do to Future Gohan to kill him.
- In Dragon Ball GT, Trunks recognizes Android 17 when he attacks him. This seems impossible, though, because Trunks was a baby when 17 was terrorizing the Earth and never saw him. However, it is possible that he could have met him in the 10 year time period between Kid Buu's death and the 28th Tenkaichi Budokai or that one of the Z-fighters told Trunks about him.