Welcome to Waifu Wednesday, Nicchiban’s new column where we talk about anime characters, their appeal, and a little on their history.
Today on Waifu Wednesday, Android 18 from the Dragon Ball series. We’re still kind of in the Mother’s Day mood here at Nicchiban so we figured we’d keep the trend going for the Wednesday directly after also.
After starting this column with a “retro” character we’re going back to the 90s with Android 18 who debuted in 1992 on Dragon Ball Z. Android 18 was originally a human named Lazuli with a twin brother Lapis (who became Android 17). The duo were kidnapped by the evil Dr. Gero of the Red Ribbon Army and reconstructed into artificially enhanced humans strong enough to fight Super Saiyans like Goku and Vegeta.
Originally an enemy, Android 18 became a recurring character after marrying the series regular Krillin. Despite being commanding and cool-headed, she can also be laid-back and protective; especially when it comes to Krillin or their daughter Marron.
The relationship between Krillin and Android 18 happens largely offscreen, but her addition to the Z Fighters is a welcome one for fans that are tired of seeing the same five or so fighters constantly (not that Vegeta and Goku aren’t the constant showstealers anyways).
The great thing about Android 18 is that she’s one of the few female fighters that’s given much relevance (I hear this has changed in recent films and in Dragon Ball Super, but I haven’t watched those). Other characters like Chi-Chi lost their combat relevance after Dragon Ball, and Videl never got to the level of other Z Fighters.
With her cool attitude, intense expression, Android 18 fills a surprisingly common archetype being the attractive wife of a goofball character. She may act aloof and distant but she’s able to acknowledge more than the obvious and appreciates Krillin’s “real” strength in being able to compete with aliens like the Saiyans.
Ultimately Android 18 stands apart from the many other women in the Dragon Ball cast as an adept fighter and beautiful character.