By Jeremy Carden
The trademark attacks of Goku and Vegeta inflicted a lot of damage to the Perfect Android known as Cell.
Goku used his Warp Kamehameha Wave against him in the Cell Games and Vegeta launched his Final Flash right after Cell reached his Perfect Form.
Though it is has never been determined which attack got the better of Perfect Cell. When you look at both attacks carefully and the situation that the Saiyans were in along with Cell’s reaction to the attack, there is a lot more to it than Cell being blasted and regenerating.
I know it is clear that the BEST attack against Cell was the Father-Son Kamehameha Wave because that was the attack that ultimately killed him. Keep in mind that both Goku AND Vegeta played a role in Gohan’s attack being successful.
In both the anime AND manga, Goku was coaching Gohan during the beam struggle.
Finally, Vegeta steps in with a Ki blast that catches Cell off guard and that leads to his defeat.
Now in terms of Goku and Vegeta’s individual blasts on Cell, there were a lot of key factors that took place as a setup for their attacks.
- Perfect Cell was beating them both down!
After Cell reached his Perfect Form, Super Vegeta (Ascended Super Saiyan) was being outclassed in every single way. This was the reverse of their earlier battle when Vegeta was beating down Semi-Perfect Cell. When it was clear that Vegeta was no match for the android, he powered up his Final Flash.
During the Cell Games, Full Power Super Saiyan Goku was going blow for blow against Cell. After Cell blew up the tournament ring, it seemed like he was getting the upper hand because there was no longer any boundaries to their match. Goku realized that he had to go for broke and flew up into the air to charge up his Warp Kamehameha Wave.
- Goku and Vegeta put most of their Ki into their attacks
Considering that the Saiyans knew releasing their power in small amounts was not going to be enough to defeat Cell, they opted to go for broke by unleashing a huge Ki attack with the intention of finally killing Cell.
How do I know they used most of their Ki in their attacks?
Vegeta was visibly exhausted after hitting Cell with the Final Flash and Piccolo sensed that the powers of both Cell AND Goku had dropped significantly after the Warp Kamehameha attack; Goku from using a large amount of his Ki for the attack and Cell’s power went down sharply due to the regeneration he needed to do to recover from the attack.
- Both moves took awhile to charge but Cell just stood there while the Saiyans powered up their attacks!
If there is one thing we’ve learned about the Dragon Ball series, it is that if an opponent is powering up; you stand there and do nothing!
- Both attacks had enough power to blow up the planet
Trunks screamed out to his father that his blast was going to blow up the planet if he launched an attack with that much force from that particular position at Cell.
Piccolo screamed at everyone to get out of the way because Goku was going to use his Kamehameha! Cell noticed that similar to Vegeta, Goku was in a position with an attack so powerful that if he launched it from that angle the entire planet would blow up!
Kind of like how Vegeta (with only a power level of 18,000) back in the Saiyan Saga would have blown up the earth with his Galick Gun, the powerful Super Saiyans fighting against Cell could have done the same. This shows that it isn’t about how much power you have that matters in a Ki attack in terms of what effect it has on the planet, it depends on where you launch because depending on the position of the user, the move could blow up a planet.
- Goku and Vegeta both played on Cell’s pride and ego
Now here is what I like about Vegeta in this situation; he played himself! What do I mean by that? Remember that Cell has the cells of Vegeta and knew how to play on Vegeta’s ego, pride and thirst for a challenge against powerful foes. That was how he was able to trick Vegeta into letting him obtain his Perfect Form. Now in this situation, Vegeta played on Cell’s ego (the same as his) by telling him that if he really wanted to test out the limits of his new form that he’d take on the Final Flash head-on!
In Goku’s case, we again come across a reverse situation of something that took place earlier in their battle. When Cell charged up a powerful earth shattering Kamehameha Wave, Goku warned him not to put that much Ki into the attack or it would destroy the planet. He used a large amount of Ki in his attack while Goku watched on in a panicked like state. After launching the blast at Goku, the Saiyan flew up into the air and used Instant Transmission to dodge at the last second which prevented the planet from blowing up!
Alright, now let’s look at the Warp Kamehameha; Goku used a large amount of Ki in his attack while Cell watched with a panicked look on his face. At first, Cell thought that he had called Goku’s bluff because he knew that based on their earlier shuffle, Goku would not place the safety of the earth in danger just to win the fight. However, this proved to work to Goku’s advantage when he took Cell by surprise!
- Both Saiyans caught Cell off-guard and was he nearly killed by their attacks
Since Cell “allowed” Goku and Vegeta to charge up their attacks, this left him wide open to take the full force of their techniques.
Against the Final Flash, Cell was completely taken by surprise! If Cell had not dodged the blast at the last moment by the skin of his teeth…he would have been destroyed! The attack blasted off a good portion of his upper-torso and it was clear that the rest of his body would have been destroyed if he had not reacted at the last moment.
It wasn’t until the last moment when the blast was about to hit him that Cell realized that the Final Flash was capable of completely annihilating him!
When Goku used his Warp Kamehameha, Cell had no time at all to defend himself. The blast took off his full upper torso leaving only his legs remaining! Goku’s Instant Transmission put him in a position where Cell’s guard wasn’t up and he didn’t have time to react like he did against the Final Flash (well at least the split second he had to dodge).
So, we know that if Cell had moved out of the way at the last second the dodge the Final Flash, he would have been completely destroyed!
Looking at the Warp Kamehameha, Goku actually “killed” Cell. However, that would only apply to the text in the manga which was altered in the anime. See in the manga, Cell stated that he could regenerate as long as his head remained intact. This is similar to the Namekian regeneration technique that he acquired from Piccolo’s cells.
In the Buu Saga, Piccolo tells Trunks that he could regenerate as long as his head wasn’s damaged. This was what happened after Trunks breaks Piccolo (when he was a statue after being hit by Dabura’s Stone Spit).
Cell in the anime says that every cell of his body has a life of its own and even if he was blown to pieces, as long as one single cell remained; he could regenerate. So if we look at the text of the anime only then we can say that technically Goku “killed” Cell because he blew his head completely off!
- Cell regenerated shocking both Saiyans!
Vegeta expressed much joy in the fact that he maimed the “perfect” android that he heard so much about. However, Cell quickly put a stop to the Saiyan’s outburst by regenerating all of the damage he took from the Final Flash. This left Vegeta with a VERY surprised look on his face.
While the Z-Fighters were celebrating Goku’s apparent victory over Cell (well most of them anyway), Goku did not buy into the fact that he had won. He said that he could still sense a lot of energy within what was left of Cell’s body. Then like something straight out of a nightmare; Cell’s lower-half jumped up and he fully regenerated!
- Goku and Vegeta blast Cell with a barrage of Ki blasts
After Cell regenerated, Vegeta was shocked because that was his trump card and it failed! He then powered up and fired a Ki blast that just left a small scratch on Cell’s body.
Vegeta then fired dozens of Ki blasts but Cell simply walked toward him out of the smoke cloud and punched him right in the face.
Goku and Cell were having a fierce exchange with high speed melee attacks, but after being knocked into a cliff and Cell was about to charge him; Goku hopped out of the rubble for a counterattack!
He unleashed a fierce barrage of Ki blasts (Continuous Kamehameha) that had Cell stuck in place! The android knew that he was in a tight spot and unleashed his Perfect Barrier technique to save himself.
Later on, he admitted to himself that if he had not put up his barrier when he did…Goku’s attack might have actually killed him!
It is interesting that despite both Super Saiyans releasing most of their Ki in their attacks to kill Cell but failed, they still had enough power to unleash a barrage of powerful energy blasts on the android!
- The Saiyans give up or were ultimately defeated
After a punch to the face, Cell kicked Vegeta right into the air and ended it with an elbow to the back which sent him hurtling into the ground. Super Vegeta was utterly defeated…
Realizing that his Continuous Kamehameha was no use against the Perfect Barrier, Goku paused while he and Cell took a short breather. A few moments later, Goku declared that he was no match for Cell and forfeited the match.
Now with all of this being said which attack actually got the better of the self acclaimed “Perfect Android?”
Both attacks were very impressive and powerful, but neither one got the job done. I’ll give the Saiyans credit because despite using such lethal techniques neither one of them blew up the planet. Trunks pointed out that Vegeta directed the Final Flash into space after it hit Cell to prevent the earth from exploding. Goku used the Instant Transmission to hit Cell in a vulnerable position that would do as little damage to the planet as possible.
It is difficult to say if the Warp Kamehameha would have COMPLETELY destroyed Cell like the Final Flash would have if Cell had stayed in that one spot. You do have to look at the slight differences of the position of the blasts when they made contact with Cell.
The Final Flash would have hit Cell’s entire body, but Goku was in a position where the Warp Kamehameha could only hit his upper torso. Based on the amount of Ki Goku put into the attack, I’d say that if he had fired his technique from the sky like Vegeta did on Cell it would have destroyed him (and the planet unless he aimed it to fly into space like Vegeta did with his move after it hit Cell).
After going over all of the bits and pieces of information, I’m going to say that the Warp Kamehameha did Cell the most harm. Don’t get me wrong, the only reason these attacks did not kill Cell was because he moved at the last moment against the Final Flash and it was the change in translation of the original dialogue that prevent Goku from killing Cell.
Looking aside from those small details, the Warp Kamehameha clearly did the most damage to Cell. I’m not just saying that because it blew up more of his body than the Final Flash, but it has to do with the aftermath of the attacks. After Cell regenerated from his damage, he took out Vegeta with ease and then got into battle with Ultra Trunks.
When he regenerated from Goku’s attack, it was clear that his power level had decreased dramatically just like Goku’s because he had to exert a lot of energy to regenerate. He had to eat a Senzu Bean before engaging in battle with Gohan. That just shows how much of an effect Goku’s attack had on him.
Now that I have given you my reasoning behind why the Warp Kamehameha was the better move, feel free to express which attack you felt was more effective on Cell and why.
In case you need to see the scenes from the DBZ series when Goku and Vegeta use these moves against Cell then here they are!
Goku’s Warp Kamehameha
Vegeta’s Final Flash
Both are indeed highlights from the Cell Arc but only one can be named the best attack on the Android!