Despite their best efforts to stop Dr. Gero from awakening the androids #17 and #18, Vegeta, Piccolo and Trunks come face to face with the androids as well as the new addition of #16. Unfortunately for our heroes the androids defeat them easily, declaring their intent to find and kill Son Goku.
Unwilling to accept that there is another being in the universe stronger than he, Vegeta the prince of Saiyans vows to find a way to surpass being a Super Saiyan. Similarly realizing that at their current power they are unable to defeat their foes Piccolo makes the final decision to re-emerge with Kami his other half to once again become a single Namekian warrior.
However! A new threat reveals itself (and the story gets a little weird with creating alternate timelines at this point…) in the form of a mysterious insectile creature calling itself Cell, an android from the future also created by Dr. Gero. In order to attain its so called “Perfect Form” it must absorb the androids #17 and #18 who were already destroyed in the timeline Cell is from – so he simply killed the Trunks of that time period and used it to travel to the past and actually arrived on Earth over four years ago.
Kami, who is hesitant at first at reuniting with Piccolo, finally agrees the time has come after realizing the uneasy feeling he has had for the past four years has been the creature Cell as it traveled across the world and absorbed people to become stronger.
I’d like to take a moment to talk about the villains of the Dragonball Z series. While the constant power ups and new levels of super saiyan become a little ridiculous I have always enjoyed the three main villains of Freeza, Cell and Majin Buu. Akira Toriyama made each of these three villains memorable in their own way and incredibly evil. The sight of Cell, the true villain of this part of the series, stab his tail into a helpless person and watch their bodily fluids be slowly drained from their bodies like a spider sucking the liquefied insides from a fly is disturbing to say the least. All of these people end up becoming a part of Cell, as his victims are sucked into his tail not even leaving their skin behind. Cities completely empty save for clothes strewn about the streets is testament to the horror that Cell is capable of inflicting.
Not only is Cell an android but true to his name he has the DNA from every major force on the planet, including Piccolo, Goku, Vegeta, Freeza, and his father and thus has access to aspects of their personality and their individual techniques.
Meanwhile Goku recovers from his illness and realizes they must get stronger to face both the androids and Cell. Deciding to use the Room of Time and Space on Kami’s lookout to train for an entire year in a single day, the fighters split into two groups – Vegeta and Trunks enter first with Goku and Gohan to enter after they are done. Piccolo is leading the other warriors during this time trying to either find and destroy Androids #17 and #18 to prevent Cell from attaining his perfect form or to destroy Cell first.
Well as you might guess things don’t quite go as planned, with Cell managing to absorb Android #17 after being drawn to his location by the energy of Piccolo who was fighting #17 at the time. With Cell now being more than a match for Piccolo and android #16 all hope seems lost until Vegeta and Trunks emerge from their training.