lovely cyborg, a shrine to #18 from dragon ball
Basics


Fans will know that after Freeza's defeat, a young man from the future appears (Trunks), and prompts the Z warriors to train for their lives, warning of the arrival of two horrible cyborg killers from a desolate future time. Trunks does not anticipate that when he travels back in time, it will cause an alternate timeline to emerge, different yet concurrent with his own future, leaving us with two separate versions of several characters, Eighteen included. So, let's review...

Main Timeline Eighteen

#18 is a merciless killer cyborg from the future! Who is actually just an apathetic, angry teenager, turned into an all-powerful fighting machine against her will by the evil Dr. Gero, in hopes of concluding a longstanding vendetta to murder Son Goku, our story's main hero. And even though her and her twin, #17, viciously beat everyone up within moments of their debut, Son Goku's best buddy, Krillin, gets a crush on her. Krillin's crush is so intense in fact (hey lover), that he puts everyone in world-ending danger in order to save her life when she is about to die at the hands of an even greater villain (Cell) later down the line. Eighteen, who had been angsting so hard this whole time, takes a minute to cool down finally and acknowledge her savior. Sparkles and hearts a flutter, and the two pair up, settle down, and have a kid. Eighteen apparently loves the low-key family life, living at Kame House with Master Roshi, and she fades into the background, occasionally lending a hand whenever a new world-ending crisis appears.

Alternate Future Timeline Eighteen

#18 is a merciless killer cyborg in the future! No really, she does not give a damn about your annoying ass. Her and her twin, #17, killed their creator, Dr Gero, a hell of long time ago cause he was always telling them what to do. In fact, they'll kill anyone trying to tell them what to do, and that includes the Z fighters and most of the human race (our hero Goku had already died of a heart attack). It's like the apocalypse! As a matter of fact, these cyborg twins basically are the apocalypse, and the survivors of their wrath live in secrecy because no one is strong enough to defeat them. However, there are these two teenaged half-saiyans, Gohan and Trunks, who think they have some sort of a chance. Which is sad, because one day the twins ruthlessly murder Gohan, leaving Trunks as the sole defender of the entire planet. Luckily, his mom, Bulma, is a genius and builds a time machine. Maybe he can go back in time and positively affect the future! Or maybe he'll just go back in time, get super duper strong with the Z warriors of the alternate Earth (our main timeline), and come back to vanquish evil! And by vanquish evil, I mean kill #17 and #18 in two paltry blasts. Damn.

And What About the Rest?

This site was opened in a time (mid 2003) when the Dragon Ball series had yet to be completely and faithfully translated into English. For the United States market back then, only a certain number of heavily edited episodes were available, and neither the show nor the manga seemed to translate the series without adding their own inaccuracies. So I spent a lot of time writing about disputes that surrounded Eighteen's character, due in tremendous part to misinformation stemming from lack of reliable English translations.

Nowadays, the Dragon Ball series has been completely translated into English, and many of the inaccuracies caused by poor translation and other issues have been brought to the surface and rectified by fans or the official translators themselves. (It seems that a lot of this has to do with information in the manga that contradicted inaccurate translation/storytelling in the anime.)

So with that said, I recommend checking out the following two websites to get all the hard biographical data and story background of the character Number Eighteen:

Dragon Ball Wiki: Android 18
Dragon Ball Wiki: Future Android 18
These wiki entries are very well written and cited, to boot. Perhaps it seems lazy of me to not present this information in my own words, but I would rather link to some people who have thoroughly done their work than try to come up with something that would ultimately be much less informed.

My fascination with Eighteen has always been with her personality, mysterious background, and her cyborg nature, largely within the original Japanese version of the story -- and that's what this site focuses on. So if you don't really know who Eighteen is (or have never seen the Japanese version), visit the wiki entries for the "basics". And if you're a diehard fan already, check the wiki out anyway, since there's a few things I didn't even know there.

One More Thing...

Despite recommending the Dragon Ball Wiki, I still have some issues with their casual switching back and forth of the terms "android" and "cyborg". I can't blame the writers, though. Thankfully, now many fans are able to recognize that there is an enormous difference between an "android" and a "cyborg". However, the official FUNiMation translation of her name as "Android 18" is inherently misinformative and continues to confuse fans and be the bane of my nerd existance.