Dragon Ball Super has been doing some interesting expansion of its core mythos in the last year, introducing some new stories that also have big ties to key stories from the franchise's past. Well, Dragon Ball fans have been taking particular note of Dragon Ball Super's recent revisits to key villains from the franchises past, and noticed there's one big one who has yet to get the resurgence treatment: Cell.
Is Dragon Ball Super setting itself up to revive Cell? Let's break down the situation in full:
Every Baddie But Cell Is Back
The final Tournament of Power arc in the Dragon Ball Super anime brought back Freeza to the land of living, and re-instated him as a primary antagonist in the Dragon Ball Super universe. The Dragon Ball Super: Broly movie then did a major retcon on Freeza's backstory and connection to the Saiyan race, in addition to giving Broly (one of the franchise's most iconic foes) a major reboot within the official series canon.
Meanwhile, the Dragon Ball Super manga has followed the events of Broly with a new story arc called the "Galactic Patrol Prisoner" arc, which has introduced a fearsome new fan-fave villain in Planet-Eater Moro, but is also drawing some big plot points from Dragon Ball Z's Namek/Freeza sagas, as well as bringing Majin Buu and his history back into the spotlight in a major way.
If you can tell from all of the above, at this point it seems like it is only Cell who has been left out of Dragon Ball Super's systematic revisit / updates of the series' rogues gallery. Or has it?...
The Path Back to Cell
As stated, there are breadcrumbs leading back to Cell, which have steadily been dropped in Dragon Ball Super. The first and biggest piece of evidence is found in canon, via a Dragon Ball Super bonus chapter that appeared in Jump Carnival last year. In that chapter, Android 17 is discussing the island sanctuary he protects, and made reference to a conspicuous set of characters that he has living there(via Herms98's translation):
"17: 'Oh, I forgot to tell Goten and Trunks about the fake Cell Juniors. There are 7 of them on the island, but I tamed them so they won't attack rangers.' The ending narration says they might have regenerated from the nuclei of the CJs Gohan beat."
So now we have Cell Jr.'s that are officially still active in the Dragon Ball Super era - a subtle but important seed that a lot of fans think could eventually sprout into a story of Cell's resurrection. The evil android's backstory is also the basis for main storyline in the hit Dragon Ball FighterZ game, which revisits Dragon Ball Z's Android Saga to reveal one of Dr. Gero's secret Android creations, No. 21. Resurrecting Cell is a significant part of No. 21's plan, and since the game's release, fans have been hoping the events of FighterZ get adapted into an official Dragon Ball Super storyline, which could still definitely happen.
Finally, even the cast members of Dragon Ball Super want to see this happen: Dragon Ball Super: Broly voice actor Tomokazu Sugita (voice of Lemo) had the following to say before the film hit theaters (again via Herms98's description):
"...Sugita desperately wants Cell to be in the next movie. He seriously won't shut up about it... The voice actor also apparently has new appreciation for Cell after rewatching Dragon Ball Z as an adult, noting the villain's "rock" attitude and "irrational violence," while also loving some of the aesthetics developed for the Dragon Ball video games, such as Cell "sliding" while standing upright."
Are you eagerly awaiting Cell's return in Dragon Ball Super? Let us know in the comments!
Dragon Ball Super: Broly will hit Japanese theaters in December, and is expected to arrive in the U.S. around mid-January 2019. Dragon Ball Super is currently airing its English dub on Adult Swim during the Toonami programming block Saturday evenings at 9:30 p.m. ET. It is also available to stream on Funimation and Amazon Video. The Japanese language release of the series is complete and available to stream on Funimation, VRV and Crunchyroll.