Dragon Ball: The Evolution of the Kamehameha, Explained (2024)

Highlights

  • The Kamehameha is an iconic attack in anime, dating back to its first appearance in Dragon Ball in 1986. It has evolved over the years, with different characters using it in various ways.
  • Goku quickly learned the Kamehameha after witnessing Master Roshi use the Max Power Kamehameha. This move became a staple of Goku's fighting repertoire throughout the series.
  • The Kamehameha has undergone different transformations, such as the Super Kamehameha and the Instant Kamehameha, which Goku used to defeat powerful opponents like Cell. The attack has played a pivotal role in many significant moments in the Dragon Ball franchise.

The Kamehameha is by far the most iconic and recognizable attack in all of anime, one that has been a staple of the industry ever since its first appearance in Dragon Ball. By placing both hands to the side of the body and focusing energy into them, the user forms a blue ball of Ki which they then release by shooting their hands in front of themselves and releasing a massive wave of energy that is powerful enough to destroy entire planets.

Over the years, Dragon Ball has seen an evolution of the attack, as Goku and others have used it in many different ways. Whether it's increasing the damage, size, or even the way that it is used, the Kamehameha has always been a mainstay of the franchise, as well as being the move that is most commonly used throughout the series. So, let's break down how the Kamehameha has evolved!

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The Max Power Kamehameha Was The First One Ever Seen

Dragon Ball: The Evolution of the Kamehameha, Explained (2)

First Appearance

Dragon Ball, episode 8, "The Kamehameha Wave"

Debut Date

April 16, 1986

User

Master Roshi

Master Roshi was the head of the turtle school and was Goku's teacher. At the very beginning of the story, Roshi and the other characters go to Fire Mountain where a Dragon Ball was located, one which Bulma needed. After Bulma begrudgingly agrees to go on a date with Roshi in exchange for the Dragon Ball in the castle, Roshi begins to bulk up to charge a devastating attack. After this massive increase in muscle mass, Roshi finally charged his Kamehameha and launched it at the mountain, putting out the fire.

Goku's Very First Kamehameha

Dragon Ball: The Evolution of the Kamehameha, Explained (3)

First Appearance

Dragon Ball, episode 8, "The Kamehameha Wave"

Debut Date

April 16, 1986

User

Goku

Right after Roshi had used his Max Power Kamehameha to put out the fire, he was quite shocked to see that Goku ended up learning the move almost instantly. After saying that he had spent 50 years trying to perfect the attack, Roshi was left exasperated as to how Goku learned the move in just 50 seconds, which he showed by destroying the Capsule Car.

Wait, I've heard of this technique. Right now he's gathering all of the latent energy in his body, then he's going to release it all at once.

Goku Created The Super Kamehameha

Dragon Ball: The Evolution of the Kamehameha, Explained (4)

First Appearance

Dragon Ball, episode 144, "Super Kamehameha"

Debut Date

February 8, 1989

Users

Goku, Gohan, Goten, Yamcha, Cell, Goku Black

The next stage in the evolution of this iconic move was created by Goku in the Piccolo Jr. Saga of Dragon Ball. In his battle against the titular villain who begins to charge up his powerful Explosive Demon Wave, Goku realizes that he must take his Kamehameha to the next level and make it far more powerful to deal with this threat. Here, Goku invents the Super Kamehameha and uses the move to defeat the Demon King, while at the same time, making the next stage of the attack that became the default Kamehameha going forward.

The Angry Kamehameha Killed Frieza

Dragon Ball: The Evolution of the Kamehameha, Explained (5)

First Appearance

Dragon Ball Z, episode 104, "Frieza Defeated"

Debut Date

August 21, 1991

Users

Goku

In an uncharacteristically angry moment from Goku, he unleashed this devastating move against Frieza at the closing moments of the Namek Saga. As the planet is being destroyed, Frieza rejects Goku's offer for a peaceful resolution to their fight when the Saiyan gave him a portion of his energy to escape. After Goku realizes that Frieza is trying to sneakily kill him, he launches this golden-colored Kamehameha from one hand to obliterate the Frost Demon.

Instant Kamehameha Almost Killed Cell

Dragon Ball: The Evolution of the Kamehameha, Explained (6)

First Appearance

Dragon Ball Z, episode 179, "No More Rules"

Debut Date

March 31, 1993

Users

Goku

The fight against Cell was proving to be a very difficult challenge for the Z-Fighters to overcome. Goku's one-on-one against the villain was reaching its climax and the fight was on fairly equal footing when Goku showed his unparalleled skill as a martial artist. By combining his Instant Transmission technique with his Super Kamehameha, he created the Instant Kamehameha, a move that was almost undodgeable as it could close the distance in the blink of an eye. Goku's use of the Instant Kamehameha surprised Cell and obliterated the top half of his body.

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The Father-Son Kamehameha Was A Pivotal Moment

Dragon Ball: The Evolution of the Kamehameha, Explained (8)

First Appearance

Dragon Ball Z, episode 191, "Save the World!"

Debut Date

June 30, 1993

Users

Gohan, Goku

Easily one of the highlights of the entire franchise came in the final battle against Cell after he had returned in his Super Perfect form. Despite having a broken arm and being the only one left to fight Cell, Super Saiyan 2 Gohan took the battle to the malicious Android, culminating in a memorable clash of Kamehameha's between the two of them. Even though it initially seemed like Gohan would lose, Goku helped Gohan from the afterlife and they both gave it their all in a final blast which eradicated Cell for good.

Release it Gohan; release everything! Remember all the pain he's caused, the people he's hurt. Now make that your power!"

Vegito's Final Kamehameha Was Incredible

Dragon Ball: The Evolution of the Kamehameha, Explained (9)

First Appearance

Dragon Ball Super, episode 66, "Showdown! The Miraculous Power of Unyielding Warriors!"

Debut Date

November 13, 2016

Users

Vegito

Vegito is the ultimate warrior as he is an amalgamation of all the strengths of both Goku and Vegeta fused into one warrior. In his fight against Merged Zamasu, Vegito revealed his ultimate move; Final Kamehameha, which was the mixture of Goku's Super Kamehameha and Vegeta's Final Flash, bringing them both together to form an extremely powerful attack.

Gogeta Almost Defeated Broly With His Full-Force Kamehameha

Dragon Ball: The Evolution of the Kamehameha, Explained (10)

First Appearance

Dragon Ball Super: Broly

Debut Date

December 14, 2018

Users

Gogeta

In the closing moments of the battle against Broly, Gogeta had beaten the Saiyan so badly that he had returned to his senses. However, this didn't stop the fusion warrior, as he planned to erase Broly from the face of the planet by charging up perhaps the strongest Kamehameha that fans of the franchise have ever seen; the Full-Force/Limit Ultra Kamehameha. Given Gogeta's power in his Super Saiyan Blue state, it's safe to assume that this attack was the strongest version of the wave ever shown.

Dragon Ball can be streamed on Crunchyroll and Funimation.

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Dragon Ball: The Evolution of the Kamehameha, Explained (12)
Dragon Ball Super

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Adventure

Release Date
July 5, 2015

Creator
Akira Toriyama

Number of Episodes
131
  • Anime
  • Dragon Ball
  • Dragon Ball Z (1989)

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