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Every character shown for Dragon Ball FighterZ to date – even the ones who are not fighters like Bulma – have been familiar characters from the anime and manga. The one exception is Android 21. She is a brand new, original character to the Dragon Ball universe and she is making her debut in FighterZ. We still don't know a lot about her, but gathered below is everything we do know so far, which should give us plenty of ammunition to theorize about her in the comments.
She is a researcher
After her reveal, Bandai Namco released a small follow-up trailer showing a cutscene featuring 21. In it, she seems like a good guy, and implies that she can help Android 18 who has been injured. She calls herself a researcher in the scene. Separately, FighterZ producer Tomoko Hiroki used a different term to describe her profession, saying, "And because she herself is a scientist of the Red Ribbon Army, you can guess that she also has a connection with the Androids.”
She is affiliated with the Red Ribbon Army
Which brings us to another element of her character: She is part of, or at least affiliated with, the Red Ribbon army. Bandai Namco has made no attempt to hide this fact with the logo appearing on her lab coat and the device she is holding in her reveal trailer, and she herself also says she was a researcher employed by the Red Ribbon army.
If you're unfamiliar, the Red Ribbon army served as an antagonist for Goku in the original Dragon Ball, and later re-appeared in Dragon Ball Z as the organization behind the Androids and Cell. After Goku defeated them in Dragon Ball, their numbers dwindled significantly, and Dr. Gero, the inventor of the Androids, was one of the few remaining members. Hiroki was vague about the relationship, but told us that Android 21 has ties to Dr. Gero and is very smart. Hiroki hinted she may even be smarter than Dr. Gero.
She was designed by Akira Toriyama*
This fact is a little tricky, but it might all boil down to a matter of semantics. While visiting Bandai Namco and Arc System Works for our cover story, both the game's publisher and developer were explicit in saying that Akira Toriyama designed Android 21. However, a recent trailer used the wording, "Original character supervised by Akira Toriyama," which implies that while maybe he didn't draw her, he has undoubtedly been involved in her visual direction.
We know what she will sound like
21's voice is not a mystery. Her Japanese voice was showcased in recent trailers, but we recently also learned who will provide her English voice. While speaking with Christopher R. Sabat, the voice of Vegeta, Yamcha, and about a dozen other anime characters, we learned that Jeannie Tirado will be voicing Android 21, a fact she later confirmed on twitter.
Guess I can announce this one! I voice the new Dragonball character, Android 21!!— Screammie Terror-ado (@jeannietirado) October 14, 2017
So excited to join the craze! 💥😃https://t.co/gf2Thv61Zo
Tirado has worked on a handful of anime and has the vague "additional voices" credit on shows like Dragon Ball Z Kai and Attack on Titan, but her most notable role is likely that of Koala from the recent movie One Piece Film: Gold.
She has mysterious ties to Android 16
Between the Red Ribbon army, the name Android 21, and Hiroki's comments, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that Android 21 has something to do with the Androids of the appropriately titled Android Saga. A teased relationship you may have overlooked, however, are ties to Android 16 specifically. Nearly every time she has been shown, Android 16 has been nearby. You can see him in the image above, as well as in the image at the top of this page, but you can also see him with his back to 21 in the fourth image on this story.
Many have pointed out a similarity in hair color theorizing the two may have familial ties to one another, which is certainly a valid theory. However, the colors are not exact, and Android 16 is entirely mechanical, unlike his "siblings" Android 17 and 18 who were humans at one point until Dr. Gero turned them into Cyborgs.
What do you think of Android 21? Who is she? And how will she play into the game's story? Share your ideas and theories in the comments below.
For more from our month of Dragon Ball coverage, including new details for FighterZ, click the banner below.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole doesn't release until tomorrow, but you can start preparing for it right now. Below, you will find a collection of episodes worth watching before embarking on The New Kid's latest adventure. These particular episodes will serve as refreshers for some of the characters and assorted referential jokes featured prominently in the game.
Season 6, Episode 6: “Professor Chaos”
Butters and his Professor Chaos persona are a big part of The Fractured But Whole. This is the episode where Butters invented the alter ego.
Season 7, Episode 5: "Fat Butt and Pancake Head"
A South Park character we haven't heard much from lately is introduced here. It would be good to remember who they are.
Season 12, Episode 3: "Major Boobage"
This episode introduces the concept of "cheesing," which is something the children encounter in The Fractured But Whole.
Season 12, Episode 13: "Elementary School Musical"
This episode is notable for introducing a relatively minor character named Scott Malkinson. Malkinson and his superhero alter ego, Captain Diabetes, play a much larger role in the game.
Season 13, Episode 5: “Fishsticks”
Kanye West appears in this episode, getting increasingly frustrated by a joke he does not understand. Trey Parker teased West’s inclusion on stage at E3 2016, so it would be a good idea to remember how he made his way into South Park lore.
Season 13, Episode 2: “The Coon”
This is the episode where Cartman's alter ego, The Coon, is introduced, along with Mysterion. The episode serves as a spoof of many of the popular superhero films of the time, like Watchmen and The Dark Knight.
Season 14, Episodes 11, 12, & 13: "Coon 2: Hindsight", "Mysterion Rises", and "Coon vs. Coon and Friends"
Season 14’s three-part run has the most direct line to Fractured, as it introduces nearly all of the hero alter egos that appear in the game. It outlines everyone’s abilities, including which kids have real powers and which ones are only pretending.
Season 15, Episode 14: "The Poor Kid"
Though not a mainline Coon episode, “The Poor Kid” features Mysterion (Kenny’s alter-ego) as he confronts his family’s poverty and helps his younger sister.
Season 19, Episode 1: "Stunning and Brave"
PC Principal is introduced in this episode, who plays a small role in Fractured But Whole.
Season 19, Episode 6: "Tweek x Craig"
“Tweek x Craig” explores yaoi, the Japanese art form focused exclusively on romantic relationships between male characters. In the episode, Tweek and Craig become unwilling subjects of yaoi art, and that forced relationship extends into Fractured.
Season 19, Episode 10: "PC Principal Final Justice"
Classi and the strange way in which she spells her name is introduced here. She makes an appearance in Fractured.
Season 20, Episode 1: "Member Berries"
Remember this episode? It was a good one.
Season 21, Episode 4: "Franchise Prequel"
As the name implies, this episode serves as a prequel of sorts for the game. It ultimately doesn't make canonical sense considering Stick of Truth is supposed to take place right before the game, but canon has always been fluid in South Park.