One fateful day in the year of 2021, the editors of the Dragon Ball Official Site received an innocuous message from one Mr. Victory Uchida. The message contained a simple proposal: "I think it'd make for a good article series if you count up all the times things like specific words or species appear in the Dragon Ball manga!"
And so began what would become the greatest and most arduous battle of endurance that we had ever fought here in the editorial division.
For this first entry in Project Every "X", we've counted and itemized every instance of the famous Kamehameha technique being used throughout Dragon Ball.
Who used it? And when? And how or why?
You will find the fruits of our collective research summarized below.
If you are ready, let's begin.
*Note: This article was created via independent investigation performed by the editorial division and is not an officially recognized statement of fact.
・Tale 14, Page 10: Kamesennin extinguishes the fires of Fry-pan Mountain.
The first character we see using a Kamehameha is its creator, Kamesennin. The principle behind the technique is said to be concentrating all the Ki inside one's body into a single point and then unleashing it all at once.
As an aside, two members of the editorial staff took some time to discuss the semantics surrounding the Kamehameha and whether it is something that is "used", "shot", or "fired".
Based on what Yamcha says about the Kamehameha in this scene, that it is a "single focused blast", we propose that a Kamehameha is something "shot" or "fired", rather than "used".
・Tale 15, Page 4: Goku imitates Kamesennin and fires on Fry-pan Mountain.
・Tale 19, Page 13: Goku attempts to escape from the prison at Pilaf's Castle.
・Tale 21, Page 1: Goku attempts to escape from the glass-ceiling prison at Pilaf's Castle.
・Tale 43, Page 3: Jackie Chun fires a Kamehameha at the Tenkaichi Budokai to save himself from landing out of bounds.
・Tale 47, Page 10: Jackie Chun fires a Kamehameha at Goku at the Tenkaichi Budokai.
・Tale 47, Page 11: Goku fires back at Jackie Chun at the Tenkaichi Budokai.
・Tale 51, Page 12: Jackie Chun destroys the moon to reverse Goku's Great Ape transformation at the Tenkaichi Budokai.
・Tale 52, Page 6: Jackie Chun attempts to fire at Goku at the Tenkaichi Budokai but fails.
・Tale 52, Page 8: Goku fires at Jackie Chun at the Tenkaichi Budokai.
・Tale 59, Page 10: Goku fires at Major Metallic at Muscle Tower.
・Tale 64, Page 14: Goku fires at Buyon at Muscle Tower.
Goku's Kamehameha bounces right off of Buyon's big, jelly-like belly. This is the only instance of a character deflecting a Kamehameha through some special property of their body.
・Tale 76, Page 7: Goku fires at the giant octopus in the pirate's cave.
・Tale 79, Page 7: Goku fires a Kamehameha underwater to escape from the pirate's cave.
・Tale 86, Page 12: Goku fires at Taopaipai in Karin Sanctuary.
・Tale 94, Page 7: Goku fires at a battle mech in the Red Ribbon Army Headquarters.
・Tale 106, Page 13: Grandpa Gohan fires at Goku at Uranai Baba's Palace.
・Tale 107, Page 5: Goku fires at Grandpa Gohan at Uranai Baba's Palace.
・Tale 110, Page 12: Goku fires at the Pilaf Machine.
・Tale 117, Page 13: Yamcha fires at Tenshinhan at the Tenkaichi Budokai.
So far, we'd been able to progress by narrowing our search to only Goku and Kamesennin and their Kamehamehas, but when Yamcha also entered the equation with many others soon to follow, we began to realize that we may have bitten off more than we could chew...
・Tale 120, Page 13: Krillin fires off a practice Kamehameha at the Tenkaichi Budokai.
・Tale 121, Page 6: Krillin fires at Chaoz at the Tenkaichi Budokai.
・Tale 124, Page 11: Tenshinhan fires at Jackie Chun at the Tenkaichi Budokai.
・Tale 126, Page 6: Goku fires a Kamehameha as a means of maneuvering against Krillin.
・Tale 126, Page 12: Krillin fires at Goku at the Tenkaichi Budokai.
・Tale 131, Page 4: Goku fires a Kamehameha at the Tenkaichi Budokai to prevent himself landing out of bounds.
・Tale 131, Page 12: Kamesennin fires at Tsurusennin in the Tenkaichi Budokai grounds.
・Tale 133, Page 14: Goku fires a Kamehameha midair as a means of maneuvering in the grand final of the Tenkaichi Budokai.
・Tale 134, Page 8: Goku fires a Kamehameha to slow himself down as he falls from the air in the grand final of the Tenkaichi Budokai.
・Tale 141, Page 12: Goku fires at Tambourine.
・Tale 143, Page 14: Goku fires at Great Demon King Piccolo.
・Tale 157, Page 9: Goku fires at Great Demon King Piccolo at King Castle.
・Tale 173, Page 10: Krillin fires at Piccolo at the Tenkaichi Budokai .
・Tale 184, Page 14: Goku fires a Kamehameha to prevent himself from landing out of bounds in the grand final of the Tenkaichi Budokai.
・Tale 185 Page 1: Goku winds up for a "Super Kamehameha" at Piccolo in the grand final of the Tenkaichi Budokai, but he stops when he realizes that if he kills Piccolo, Kami will die too. We didn't count this one since Goku technically never releases it.
・Tale 185, Page 10: Goku fires at Piccolo in the grand final of the Tenkaichi Budokai.
・Tale 187, Page 13: Goku fires a Kamehameha to launch himself inside Piccolo, who had become giant, in the grand final of the Tenkaichi Budokai.
・Tale 188, Page 7: Goku fires a Kamehameha with his feet in midair as a means of maneuvering in the grand final of the Tenkaichi Budokai.
By firing from his feet, Goku frees up his arms to perform all manner of other devastating attacks. It's interesting to note that in this battle with Piccolo, Goku relies on his Kamehameha more to maneuver himself than as an attack, which is quite rare for the Saiyan.
・Tale 189, Page 8: Goku fires a Kamehameha to avoid Piccolo's attack in the grand final of the Tenkaichi Budokai.
・Tale 191, Page 9: Goku fires at Piccolo in the grand final of the Tenkaichi Budokai.
・Tale 201, Page 8: Goku fires at Raditz.
・Tale 225, Page 9: Yamcha fires at a Saibaiman.
・Tale 226, Page 6: Goku fires in response to Nappa's "ultimate technique".
・Tale 231, Page 8: Goku fires in response to Vegeta's "Galick Gun".
・Tale 270, Page 5: Goku fires a Kamehameha during his training on the spaceship bound for Planet Namek.
If you count each pulse of Ki as one Kamehameha, it looks as if Goku is firing multiple simultaneously here, but for the purposes of this article, we limited each scene to just one Kamehameha.
・Tale 273, Page 14: Krillin fires at Guldo on Planet Namek. Based on Gohan's hand positioning, his move was not deemed to be a Kamehameha.
・Tale 305, Page 7: Krillin fires at Frieza on Planet Namek.
・Tale 309, Page 9: Goku fires a Kamehameha underwater to trick Frieza and get the upper hand in their battle on Planet Namek.
Since there are two pulses of Ki, this looks to be two Kamehameha, but due to our "1 scene, 1 Kamehameha" rule, they only counted as one.
Goku is firing one Kamehameha with each hand, meaning that he was able to use the technique without performing the orthodox Kamehameha pose or employing its usual hand positioning. However, he does shout "ha" as he fires, so we decided to count them.
As an aside, when looking at this scene (and after looking at dozens of similar ones before it), one member of the editorial team was taken aback at how precise Goku's ability to control his Ki had become, seeing him fire off his signature move almost in slow motion underwater here.
・Tale 313, Page 12: Goku fires at Frieza on Planet Namek.
・Tale 316, Page 3: Krillin fires at Frieza on Planet Namek to provide support to Goku's Genki-dama.
・Tale 322, Page 12: Goku fires at Frieza on Planet Namek.
・Tale 341, Page 11: Goku fires at Android 19.
・Tale 342, Page 4: Goku attempts to fire at Android 19, but opts not to in order to prevent the energy from being absorbed. Since he didn't fire it off, this one doesn't count.
・Tale 363, Page 2: Cell fires at Piccolo. Piccolo manages to have Cell to reveal that he's able to fire Kamehamehas because he was created using the cell data of Goku and the other warriors.
・Tale 397, Page 12: Goku fires at Cell in the Cell Games.
・Tale 399, Page 4: Cell fires at Goku in the Cell Games.
・Tale 401, Page 5: Goku fires at Cell in the Cell Games.
・Tale 410, Page 10: Cell fires at Gohan in the Cell Games.
・Tale 410, Page 12: Gohan fires a Kamehameha of his own in response to Cell's Kamehameha in the Cell Games.
・Tale 415, Page 12: Cell fires at Gohan in the Cell Games.
・Tale 415, Page 13: Gohan fires at Cell in the Cell Games.
This is a scene that needs no introduction. However, if you look closely, you'll notice that since he's only using one hand, his hands aren't in the Kamehameha pose, and that he actually shouts "Ka...me...ha...me...GAAH!!!!!" So even though we knew it could go either way, we had originally chosen not to count it. However, after a heated discussion between two of the team members, it was concluded that the only reason he's using one hand is that he can't use the other, and that that one hand is in the correct Kamehameha position, therefore, this one counts.
・Tale 420, Page 10: Cell attempts to fire a Kamehameha in the future where Trunks was, but fails. No energy released, and therefore not counted.
・Tale 460, Page 5: Gohan fires at the sphere that contained Buu. So far, there have been a handful of 'silent' Kamehameha that weren't accompanied by the signature shout, but in fact all instances from here out are silent Kamehameha.
Since now the only criteria left was the arm positioning of the character in question, the difficultly level of our investigation had ramped up once again. The following Kamehamehas took all of our collective concentration and will power to catalog...!
・Tale 475, Page 2: Goku fires at Buu.
・Tale 475, Page 5: Buu fires at Goku. Note that here, Buu became able to fire a Kamehameha after watching Goku perform the technique and copying his movements.
・Tale 500, Page 11: Buu fires at Gohan.
・Tale 510, Page 2: Goku fires at Buu.
・Tale 510, Page 10: Buu fires at Goku.
・Tale 510, Page 11: Goku fires at Buu.
・Tale 516, Page 4: Buu fires at Goku.
● Investigation Results
The number of times the legendary Kamehameha appeared in the original manga series is...
Let's also look at a ranked breakdown of Kamehameha use by character.
1st Place …… Son Goku - 39 times
2nd Place …… Krillin - 7 times
3rd Place …… Kamesennin - 6 times (Including those used by Jackie Chun)
4/5th Place …… Cell, Buu - 4 times each
6th Place …… Gohan - 3 times
7th Place …… Yamcha - 2 times
8/9th Place …… Tenshinhan, Grandpa Gohan - 1 time each
We started this investigation by scanning the pages for any time the characters shouted "Kamehameha", but we eventually realized that our method was not thorough enough and ended up reading through the entire manga several times over in order to catch all the Kamehamehas. Along the way, we gained a deeper appreciation for how versatile the move is, seeing it used not only as an attack but also as a way to maneuver yourself and even to distract your opponent!
This investigation was all Victory Uchida's idea, but as is the way with learning and mastering the Kamehameha, seeing this single-minded task through to the end has taught us the virtue of mastering one path, such that its power can be applied to any and all situations in life! ...We think. So thank you to the Kamehameha! And thank you too, Victory Uchida!
However, it wasn't over yet. In the midst of our elation at surviving this ordeal, a "New Mail" notification blinked ominously on our computer screens...
The message was from Victory Uchida: "Great job with the Kamehamehas! Your next assignment is..."
Please join us again for the next installment of the Project Every "X" series.
This site includes machine-translated texts. Please be aware that you might find some unusual expressions that are difficult to understand.
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