Kamehameha Magic: The Origin and Evolution of Dragon Ball’s Most Iconic Technique

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If you also remember yelling your lungs out in the shower pretending to go Super Saiyan or practicing the Kamehameha technique, it could mean that you’re a true Dragon Ball fan. That’s because we’re talking about one of the most memorable fighting techniques in the whole franchise.

While Kamehameha remains Goku’s favorite fighting technique, the weird part is that characters much weaker than him, who are often the subject of mocking memes throughout the internet, can do it, too. In fact, it’s also their favorite fighting technique. If you were betting on Yamcha and Krillin, you were totally right. But how did those weak fellows learn the Kamehameha move? That brings us to the first section of our article.

How it all started: Master Roshi is to blame

The very first time the Kamehameha technique was used was in the very first Dragon Ball series that presented Goku’s adventures as a kid. Master Roshi was the first one to perform the iconic energy wave when he decided to put out a huge fire that seized a castle. At that time, everyone was impressed by Master Roshi’s Kamehameha Wave, also because he was apparently just a feeble old man who cared only about reading magazines about naked women. The first Dragon Ball series was much more focused on martial arts rather than shooting energy blasts and pumping up muscles, not to mention transforming the hair into all the colors of the rainbow, as we can all see in Dragon Ball Super.

Master Roshi also taught Goku how to do the Kamehameha technique, as the 200-year-old man was the little boy’s first trainer. Later on, Yamcha and Krillin also became the pupils of Master Roshi, and they were taught the same technique. Later on, Krillin and Yamcha also used the Kamehameha Wave in their battles, but Goku was able to do it more effectively, and not just because he was the main star of the show. The Kamehameha Wave is also linked to the fighter’s battle power – the higher his overall power level is, the more destructive his Kamehameha Wave will be.

Goku took the Kamehameha Wave to new heights

After learning the Kamehameha Wave from Master Roshi, Goku slowly but surely improved it throughout the Dragon Ball franchise. When he fought Piccolo as a teenager during the World Martial Arts Tournament, Goku released a much stronger version of Kamehameha, which was called Super Kamehameha. During the same battle, Goku even fired a Kamehameha from his feet as a method of propulsing himself fast enough to land a devastating blow on Piccolo. Later on in the show, when Goku becomes an adult, his Kamehameha becomes so strong that he could have destroyed the entire world with it if he wanted to. In the Cell Saga, during his battle with Cell, Goku avoids releasing a Kamehameha wave towards Cell while the villain is on the ground. The reason was obvious: the Kamehameha Wave became so powerful that it might have accidentally destroyed the entire planet.

Moving on to Dragon Ball GT, when Goku achieved the memorable Super Saiyan 4 transformation, our hero released an even stronger version of the iconic Kamehameha technique, in which the light generated by the energy itself appeared red. That was the “10 times Kamehameha” technique, and everyone was terrified by it. Usually, Kamehameha looks blue.

When Goku, as a boy, asked Master Roshi in the first Dragon Ball series how he could learn the Kamehameha move, the old-timer replied that he needed 50 years to master the iconic technique. But Goku was able to learn it much faster and even improve it much later in the franchise.

As we said, the stronger the fighter is overall, the more powerful his Kamehameha Waves will become.

Goku taught the Kamehameha Wave to Gohan

Also in the Cell Saga of Dragon Ball Z, Goku trained Gohan in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, as the two warriors were preparing for their encounter with the diabolical android created by Dr. Gero: Cell. Goku was most probably the one who taught his son Gohan how to perform the Kamehameha technique, thus proving to everyone that he could also be a teacher, not just a student. It was during those training sessions that Gohan became stronger than ever before and even capable of going toe to toe with Cell. Gohan was even the first character in Dragon Ball to achieve the Super Saiyan 2 form. Goku has a huge merit for Gohan’s success in the Cell Saga of Dragon Ball Z.

During the final fight against Cell, Gohan, who was just an 11-year-old boy at that point, had one of his arms severely injured and unable to move. But with just one arm, Goku’s son landed the most powerful Kamehameha Wave he could do at that point in an unforgettable beam struggle against Cell. The villain also used a Kamehameha technique. In other words, Gohan was also able to improve the Kamehameha Wave, just like his father, even though the young Super Saiyan did it more as a last resort.

On the other hand, the biological android known as Cell was able to perform the Kamehameha, not because he had trained under Master Roshi. Cell was just a copycat, having the cells of multiple elite warriors embedded into his own biology.

Despite being so old, Master Roshi continues to be relevant even nowadays in the Dragon Ball franchise. He appeared in the Tournament of Power arc as one of the strongest fighters in the Universe (which might be a bit farfetched, to be completely honest) in Dragon Ball Super.

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