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The Red Ribbon Army (RRレッドリボンぐん Reddo Ribon Gun), briefly renamed the Black Ribbon Army when Staff Officer Black took over in the Dragon Ball anime, is a paramilitary criminal organization in the Dragon Ball manga and anime. They are mentioned in Dragon Ball Z during the Androids Saga where their Androids appear as the antagonists.

After their defeat the Red Ribbon Army continued operating through their front company Red Pharmaceuticals. In Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero they make their comeback with new android models.

Numerous members also appear in Dragon Ball GT, freed from Hell.

In Dragon Ball Online the group returns as the Red Pants Army.

Biography

Dragon Ball

Leaders of the Red Ribbon Army

The Red Ribbon Army is known across the world, including even in backwater places such as Penguin Village,[1] with Bulma stating that the Red Ribbon Army was so powerful and had such a massive influence that even Earth's Military couldn't stand a chance against it which was later proven extremely false. Officially led by a diminutive Commander Red, the goal of the Red Ribbon Army is to use any means necessary to obtain the Dragon Balls and wish for world domination; however, Commander Red secretly plans his wish for him to be a much taller person. According to Red, he specifically made sure that the army was staffed of the best minds of every conceivable industry as part of their search for the Dragon Balls. Since he is very short in size, he despises being around those who are taller than him, telling Black constantly not to stand near him.

The command room of the Red Ribbon Army Headquarters

When he finds out about Red's plan, the shocked Staff Officer Black asks how Red can sacrifice his own men to achieve this puny goal, to which Red simply grunted that if the soldiers had been more careful they would be alive. This causes Black to snap, and he kills the commander and takes control of the Red Ribbon Army, renaming it the Black Ribbon Army (only in the anime). The entire army was defeated when a young boy named Goku sought to stop the army's evil ways by infiltrating the Red Ribbon Army Headquarters, killing Black in the midst. After Black's defeat, the rest of the Red Ribbon Army flees the headquarters and presumably disbands.

However, the Red Ribbon Army's front company, Red Pharmaceuticals survived the army's downfall and manages to continue operating as a legitimate business.

Dragon Ball Z

In the Androids Saga, Master Roshi mentions that, after its defeat, the Red Ribbon had been forgotten except for a few people.

However Dr. Gero of the Red Ribbon Army survived, and created several Androids who engaged in a conflict with the Earth's forces. Also noted, during the Androids Saga and the Cell Saga, the people on Earth aside from the Z Fighters do not know that the Androids and Cell were created by Dr. Gero from the Red Ribbon Army.

However, in Trunks and Cell's alternate timelines, Future Android 17 & 18 were apparently known by the surviving Earthlings to be Androids created by the Red Ribbon Army given that they wear the army's symbol on their clothing, though it is unclear if Future Dr. Gero's role in their creation and their murder of him is common knowledge

Dragon Ball Super

In the manga, flashbacks show what happened to Android 17 in the aftermath of the Cell Games. After leaving The Lookout, Android 18 finds her brother and explains how he was revived and that their Android Bombs had been removed by Shenron. Unbeknownst to either of them at the time, the Cell Jr. did not die at Gohan's hands, as they regenerated much like their father did after his self-destruction. Fortunately, Android 17 eventually learns of this and manages to tame them. Along with Android 17, the Cell Juniors protect Monster Island from poachers as like creatures living upon the island, they are effectively endangered species due to the death or their progenitor, Cell. Unfortunately, Android 17 forgets to warn Goten and Trunks about them, leading to a brief misunderstanding between the two junior rangers and the Cell Juniors, though eventually the Cell Juniors notice Goten and Trunks' MIR uniforms and stop fighting upon recognizing them Monster Island Rangers.

In Super Hero, Red Pharmaceuticals is currently lead by company president Magenta who employs Carmine as his trusted chauffeur. Despite Red Ribbon having lost to the Capsule Corporation in the past due to its development of Capsules, Red Pharmaceuticals continues to function as a legitimate business.

Due to the demise of Dr. Gero, Magenta hires Dr. Hedo to construct new Red Ribbon Androids, resulting in the creation of the twin Androids Gamma 1 and Gamma 2. It is also revealed that Red Pharmaceuticals has apparently been spying on Goku and members of the Dragon Team such as Vegeta, Piccolo, Gohan, Mr. Satan and even Majin Buu despite most people's memories of the Majin Buu conflict being erased, however this may be due to them monitoring Good Buu's mentor, Mr. Satan who publicly took credit for Gohan's defeat of the Red Ribbon Bio-Android Cell.

Dragon Ball Heroes

Members of the Red Ribbon Army were part of the Super Space-Time Tournament in two different teams but were defeated and their respective timelines were erased by Aeos.

Dragon Ball GT

General Blue and Staff Officer Black back in the Other World in Dragon Ball GT

In Dragon Ball GT, Dr. Gero meets Dr. Myuu in Hell. There they worked on a plan to create the ultimate android which could destroy Goku. They came up with a plan to combine both of their technologies and get a perfect android by fusing two Android 17s. They then created a dimensional hole to get both androids in the same place, Earth. By creating a dimensional hole, enemies from the past escaped from Hell; some of them were members of the Red Ribbon Army: Android 19, Staff Officer Black, General Blue, Major Metallitron, Lieutenant Dark, and Captain Yellow. All of them were defeated by Pan, except for Android 19 who was destroyed by Goten and Trunks.

Back to Hell, Metallitron, Blue and Black join up with Nappa in order to fight Piccolo. Super 17 kills Dr. Gero and Dr. Myuu later on and is killed by Goku when he gets help from Android 18 (with it being heavily implied that the original 17's persona aided 18 and Goku in stopping him).

Film Appearances

Mystical Adventure

Main article: Dragon Ball: Mystical Adventure While the Red Ribbon Army in itself does not appear, General Blue and Major Metallitron appear as members of the Mifan Army. Also, most notably Tao's defeat and Bora's murder, were based on very similar incidents in the Red Ribbon Army Saga.

The Path to Power

Main article: Dragon Ball: The Path to Power

The Red Ribbon Army headquarters in The Path to Power

The Red Ribbon Army are the main villains, which is a "remake" of the first Dragon Ball saga that places some of the established characters in new roles. In this movie, the Red Ribbon Army is on a quest to get the Dragon Balls so that they can ask the Eternal Dragon Shenron for world domination. Goku fights his way through the forces of the Red Ribbon Army, eventually defeating it.

Super Android 13!

Main article: Dragon Ball Z: Super Android 13! While the army itself doesn't appear, Dr. Gero, Android 17, and Android 18 make their film debut. Like during the Android Saga, Android 17 kills Dr. Gero inside Dr. Gero's Lab, though the Dragon Team isn't present. However, Dr. Gero is survived by his Supercomputer which continues Dr. Gero's mad quest for revenge on Goku. This leads to the Supercomputer completing and unleashing Android 14 and Android 15 who attack a city where Goku, Chi-Chi, Gohan, Future Trunks, Master Roshi, Krillin, and Oolong are.

Android #13, Android #14, and Android #15 in Super Android 13!

Goku and Future Trunks lead them away from the city to an Ice Field, as the Supercomputer completes Android 13 who arrives to aid 14 and 15. Vegeta joins the fight and the three Super Saiyans take on the three Androids. After 14 and 15 are later destroyed by Vegeta and Future Trunks, Android 13 merges with their surviving components to transform into Super Android 13 who overpowers Vegeta, Future Trunks, Piccolo, Gohan, and Krillin, forcing Goku to resort to the Spirit Bomb, by using Spirit Bomb Absorption to become a Spirit Bomb Super Saiyan allowing him to destroy Super Android 13.

Super Hero

Main article: Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero

Piccolo wearing the uniform of a Red Ribbon Soldier in Super Hero

Red Pharmaceuticals led by its current company president Magenta, who also was the son of Commander Red, the original leader of the Red Ribbon Army and by extension the original company president, with Carmine acting as his trusted chauffeur, seeks to revive the Red Ribbon Army.

With the army's scientist Dr. Gero deceased, Magenta employs the scientist Dr. Hedo to construct new Red Ribbon Androids, Gamma 1 and Gamma 2.

Piccolo also ends up disguising himself as a Red Ribbon Soldier in order to infiltrate the Red Ribbon Army's base. There he learns of the creation of Cell Max. When the Red Ribbon plot to kidnap Pan in order to lure in Gohan, Piccolo, still disguised, takes on the mission himself in an attempt to give Gohan some motivation to train.

After Gohan heads to the Red Ribbon compound, Gohan and Piccolo face off against Gamma 1 and 2. When Magenta realises that his androids are losing the battle, he hastily releases Cell Max before he is ready. Dr. Hedo kills Magenta while trying to stop but the monster is set loose. Together the Dragon Team defeat Cell Max and Dr. Hedo becomes a new employee of Capsule Corporation.

Other Dragon Ball Stories

Dr. Slump remake

Murasaki recruits the Nikos in the Red Ribbon Army

The Red Ribbon Army appears in the remake of Dr. Slump in episodes 56-59. Ninja Murasaki is the first member shown, he was spying on Goku as he transformed back into his normal form after being a Great Ape. Murasaki ends up recruiting King Nikochan and his servant as members of the Red Ribbon Army to help him steal the Dragon Balls from Goku. They ended up disguising themselves as doctors and have the kids strip down to their underwear and stand in the hall to wait for checkups. While Murasaki was giving the fake checkups, the Nikochan-seijin went into the classroom and stole the Dragon Balls. After they stole the Dragon Balls Murasaki got out of his disguise and ran away with the Nikos. Goku and Arale Norimaki ran after them and ended up fighting all the Murasaki Brothers and won. King Nikochan and his servant then resign from their positions in the Red Ribbon Army while Murasaki waits for General Blue to come.

Attack of the Saiyans

Main article: Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans Shortly after the King Piccolo Saga, Krillin, Tien and Yamcha encounter RR Deserters and RR Ex-Sergeants while doing their final exam on Training Island.

In a series of events which takes place during the Vegeta Saga of Dragon Ball Z, a few of the Red Ribbon Army soldiers who have survived Goku's attack are on the Muscle Tower, led by General White who has himself survived Eighter's punching him out of the tower. This new Red Ribbon Army comes into conflict with the Dragon Team when they are trying to retrieve the Dragon Balls so they can wish for Goku's revival. During this time, the Red Ribbon Army presumably excavated the collapsed Pirate Cave to get the Four-Star Dragon Ball and hired Octopapa to guard the Dragon Ball from intruders. General White returns to the abandoned ruins of Muscle Tower and has Android 8 abducted and brainwashes him to serve the army. Goku who was brought back to life by Fortuneteller Baba to assist the Z Fighters in collecting the Dragon Balls learns of Eighter's abduction from Suno which leads the Z Fighters to assault Muscle Tower. Goku and his friends confront General White and the brainwashed Android 8. Though General White has grown stronger, he is no match for Goku and the Z Fighters who had been training to face the Saiyans. Android 8 is freed from White's control and gives Goku the Dragon Ball he found before returning to Jingle Village with Suno. In Yunzabit Heights, the Z Fighters were attacked by Red Ribbon Army unit searching for Dragon Balls but they are defeated.

Kakarot

Main article: Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot In Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, RR Mech Soldiers appear as attack robots that resemble Battle Jackets albeit smaller and lacking legs as they have thrusters instead. Additionally, after Gohan decides to continue training with Piccolo and returns to the Central Plains Area, he finds an old Red Ribbon Army base and remembers his father telling him about them. He realizes some of their bases are still around and notices that it is defended by Skull Robos (variants of the Pirate Robot). This leads to Bases appearing in various locations which characters can destroy with Ki Blasts to acquire items. However, the bases are defended by enemies. The bases resemble Muscle Tower albeit crumbling due to age. Interestingly they suddenly appear in places they were not originally though this is presumably due to game mechanics. However, the ruins of the original Muscle Tower can be found in the North Mountains Area, which also acts as an enemy base for that region.

Additionally a side quest involving Android 8 trying to track down some Rampaging Robots (RR Mech Soldier variant) once produced by the Red Ribbon Army. The side quest involves Goku taking on the robots for Android 8 as he dislikes fighting and Goku offers to help.

During the Cell Saga, various Red Ribbon Army robots such RR Mech Soldiers, RR Mech Commanders, RR Mech Generals, RR Assist Bit, RR Attack Bit, RR Recovery Bit start appearing as enemies. RR Mech Soldiers and their variants can summon RR Bit drones using their Support ability. Additionally, RR Mech Soldiers and their variants can Self Destruct which they tend to use when at low health. Several Bells Village residents mention the defeat of the Red Ribbon Army by a young boy referring to Goku's attack on Muscle Tower the ruins of which are located on the southwest side of the frozen lake Darlinge Polynya in the North Mountains Area. Additionally, Dr. Gero's Lab is located northwest of the Muscle Tower ruins (its close proximity makes sense given that the Red Ribbon Army Androids, Eighter and Major Metallitron where originally stationed at Muscle Tower). At one point, an ex-Red Ribbon Army Sharpshooter can be found hunting wild game with his partner the Huntsman who reveals his companions' former occupation as a Red Ribbon Army soldier. Additionally, if Goku talks to the Pensive Man in Bells Village, he reveals he was a Red Ribbon Army soldier, but he was unhappy and says he is grateful to Goku and feels lucky to have met him again suggesting he was one of the soldiers Goku encountered during his assault on Muscle Tower. As a token of gratitude, the Pensive Man gives Goku a Ultra Sacred Text of Martial Arts (which boosts the Z Warriors community level for Community Board Soul Emblems). These cases show that some members of the Red Ribbon Army have reformed since the army's destruction. In the log cabin south of Muscle Tower, Goku can find Sasanishiki Shard when he investigates the Memorial Spot inside the cabin which unlocks "The Nefarious Ninja Murasaki" memorial spot entry in the Z Encyclopedia which retells the story of Goku's assault on Muscle Tower and the time he broke Sasanishiki with his Power Pole.

Additionally, Android 16's Z Encyclopedia entry reveals he was modelled after Gevo, a ruthless elite warrior in the Red Ribbon Army codenamed "Gold".

Xenoverse

Main article: Dragon Ball Xenoverse Percel is sent to correct an altered timeline where King Piccolo fused with Kami and gave birth to mutated Super Namekians strong enough to wage war against the Red Ribbon Androids and Organization of Babidi in a three way war that devastated much of Earth. Percel puts an end to the war by defeating the three factions and uses the Namekian Dragon Balls to undo the damage caused by the war. Percel tells this to his comrade the Future Warrior over the course of the game.

In addition, if the Future Warrior wears General Blue's costume and talks with Cell should the latter be his master, he'll relay what he knows about Blue from his memory databanks, including Blue's death by being killed via a tongue, with Cell expressing disbelief and thinking it must have been an error.

Xenoverse 2

Main article: Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 Jierra is sent to dealing with a history change during Goku's assault on Muscle Tower. He discovers the change has caused the Murasaki Brothers to multiply from five to twenty brothers. At first Jierra wonders how to deal with the increased number of Murasaki ninja, but eventually resolves to just thin out their numbers. Jierra manages to fix this point in history which he tells his comrade the Future Warrior while comparing notes.

The Future Warrior can also acquire several color customizable outfits (Gi, Qipao, Battle Suit, Tracksuit, Ninja Garb, Baseball Uniform, etc.), featuring the the Red Ribbon Army mark. If the Futue Warrior talks to Krillin wearing General Blue's Uniform, Krillin refers to General Blue as the psychic soldier of the Red Ribbon Army and notes while General Blue may have defeated him in the past it would be a different story if he confronted General Blue in the present as Krillin has become far stronger.

FighterZ

Main article: Dragon Ball FighterZ

The New model Android 16 and Android 21 in FighterZ

It is revealed that the human mother of Android 16's template was used as the basis for Android 21 a newer model Bio-Android created by Dr. Gero's Supercomputer which survived in another one of Dr. Gero's secret labs. Using cells from some of the most powerful fighters and brilliant scientists the computer created an Android even more powerful than Cell and the most powerful female Android created as a result of Dr. Gero's research. It is implied that Android 21 may have been created to lead a resurgent Red Ribbon Army using Dr. Gero's technology and labs though Android 21 possessed a good-natured personality which caused her to reconstruct Android 16 by uploading his memory into a new body, due to him resembling her human self's deceased son and develops a mother-like affection for him despite having little memory of her human life. At first, she has no intention of taking revenge on Goku as that part Android 16's programming was left out when she reconstructed him and 21 was content with living with 16 and imagining what her human life was like. Unfortunately, Majin Buu's cells which had been incorporated went out of control and caused her to develop an insatiable hunger to tend powerful fighters into food and consume them to absorb their power. This destructive impulse caused her to develop an evil split personality that started using Dr. Gero's technology sinister purposes. The good persona of Android 21 joined forces with Android 16 to find a way to suppress her darker nature. Unfortunately, the evil side and her hunger are very strong, causing her evil side to take full control in the first two arcs, which leads to her destroying Android 16, due to viewing him as a turncoat as her evil side cares nothing for 16 and believes Androids have no use for concepts like family or loved ones. The evil 21 creates countless clones of the Z Fighters and villains before unleashing them on the Earth to wreak havoc. While it is suspected that she hopes to use them to conquer the universe, which she herself considers is not out of the realm of possibility, her main goal is to use them as a food source to satisfy her hunger by having them act as appetizers while saving to original fighters they were cloned from as her main course. However, she finds the clones to be lacking in taste, causing her to become more focused on consuming the originals, who are busy working to defeat her.

While the first two arcs lead to her destruction without the protagonists learning her true nature and who 16 was protecting, the Android 21 Arc reveals her history and true nature. Joining forces with 16, 17, and 18, 21 attempts to use the soul linking system developed by Dr. Gero to suppress her hunger and evil side. She manages to link a human soul with 18 after she is abducted by 16. 16 and 21 convince 17 and 18 to assist them in eliminating the clones. Eventually they force 16 to explain what is going on with 21, and her reveals the truth about her out of control hunger, causing them and the soul to agree to help 21 sympathizing with her plight. Unfortunately, they are confronted by the revived Cell who managed to control the artificial soul that he had been linked with, causing him to target 16, 17, 18, and 21. Wanting to protect her fellow Androids, 21 transforms into her true form and defeats Cell. Unfortunately, this causes her to lose control and she destroys 16 when he tries to stop her from consuming the defeated Cell. Android 16 entrusts 17 and 18 with protecting 21's heart (good persona) before dying, and they manage to restore 21 to her senses. Horrified by the loss of 16, 21 uses Fission causing her to split into her good and evil halves. The evil half consumes Cell, transforming into a stronger version of her true form. The good 21 though weakened due to her evil half inheriting most of her power, resolves to stop her evil half and joins forces with 17, 18, and the Z Fighters to stop her. However, fearing she will one day lose control of her hunger as well, 21 decides to sacrifice herself by holding down her evil half allowing both to be destroyed by Goku's Spirit Bomb. Goku decides to ask King Yemma to have 21 reincarnated instead of using the Dragon Balls to revive the good 21, as a way to honor her sacrifice.

Dragon Ball Online

Main article: Red Pants Army In the Age 1000, the Red Pants Army takes the place of the Red Ribbon Army and are employed by the tyrannical Mira. The Red Pants Army's logo is identical to that of the Red Ribbon Army's, and like the latter, they are shown to recruit human and anthropomorphic lackeys. Android 9 was rebuilt using Commander Red as his template albeit it much taller than Commander Red ironically fulfilling his template's wish. Android 9 is their presumed leader alongside a clone of Android 20, General Bon, and Tao X. General White Jr. and Bong Bong are high ranked members. In addition to Android 9, it is implied that they and/or 20's clone have created Android 8000, Android 19000, as well as produced three copies of Android 16.

Military code

General Blue giving a speech to Red Ribbon Army soldiers

The Red Ribbon Army has an extremely small tolerance for failure, with the penalty for failure usually amounting to execution via firing squad. The range of executable failures usually ranges between failing a mission objective (such as retrieving a Dragon Ball[2] or causing delays in retrieving one via indulging in unnecessary tasks[3] or missing twice against an enemy in direct combat[4]), making technology that proved inferior to another,[5], for showing cowardice in the face of an enemy,[6] Failing to recognize a commanding officer that's returning to base,[7] or for minor blunders/virtually impossible tasks to succeed in such as failing to dodge Commander Red's cat when he sics it on personnel to test their reflexes,[8] to when soldiers sleep on the job[6] or pick noses.[3] A ranked member of the army can be allowed a chance to redeem himself if he fails, should he have an exceptional track record in the organization, such as General Blue's chance at redemption when he failed to retrieve the Dragon Balls from Goku despite his retrieving the Dragon Radar. But those chances are usually extremely rare, as evidenced by Commander Red's sentencing Colonel Silver to execution after the latter failed to retrieve the Dragon Ball from Goku, despite his earlier praising of Colonel Silver for his dodging his cat.

According to General Blue in the Japanese anime as well as the manga (who is homosexual and a misogynist), women are not needed in the Red Ribbon Army. However, there are actually female members in the army such as Colonel Violet and were at least willing to hire female mercenaries such as Hasky.

Forces

Ranks

The Red Ribbon Army had various ranks within the hierarchy. The ranks included General, Captain, Colonel, Sergeant-Major, and Sergeant, as well as Staff Officer and Commander. The English dub also implies that Private was one of the ranks in the army.

Members

Common soldiers

The standard attire that nearly every member wears is a red bandanna of sorts, obviously tied to the army's namesake, which is either tied around their arm or neck (similar to Android 17 in Dragon Ball Z), the only known exception being General Blue, who instead wore a red tie in the anime.

Red Pharmaceuticals

In Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, Red Pharmaceuticals is the Red Ribbon Army's front company which managed to survive the Red Ribbon Army's destruction. In Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, according to Android 16 before the fall of the Red Ribbon Army, the front company under the direction of the Red Ribbon Army produced inferior quality Animorphaline (a drug originally manufactured by Magical Pharmaceuticals) which was sold to raise funding for the Red Ribbon Army.

In Super Hero, Red Pharmaceuticals seeks to restore the Red Ribbon Army and employs its top scientist to create two new Red Ribbon Androids. Additionally like their predecessor, they have amassed an army of soldiers, albeit with newer combat uniforms. Piccolo briefly disguises himself as one of these soldiers to infiltrate their base.

Naming structure

With the exception of the scientists as well as various hired help, several of the high-ranking members of the group had names derived from various colors and/or shading/metal variants of such. It is implied with Gevo that the color-based names are actually codenames rather than their birth-given names.

Units

The Red Ribbon Army, at the time of their downfall, was split up into various divisions including the unseen Brown Squadron, the White Corps. (arctic warfare division helmed by General White), the Silver Corps. (aerial division led by Colonel Silver), and the Blue Corps. (naval/maritime division led by General Blue, with limited aerial abilities). Their theme song implied they also had at least two mechanized units as well.

Hired help

Hasky

Main article: Hasky

Master Thief Hasky

Hasky is a master thief and explosions expert. She is hired by the Red Ribbon Army to assassinate Goku and steal the two Dragon Balls he currently had in his possession. She then poses as a fortune teller at Dream Land and asks to see his Dragon Balls, although her request backfires when her wording of her request results in Goku interpreting the word "balls" incorrectly and dropping his pants in response. She then reveals her true colors and sets up explosives to destroy Dream Land so she can escape with the Dragon Balls. However, Goku manages to stop her and gets the Dragon Balls back due to her ticklishness.

Mercenary Tao

Main article: Mercenary Tao

Tao at the Red Ribbon HQ

Mercenary Tao is a deadly, ruthless assassin, who lives for money. His name roughly translates into "Peach White White". Tao is the younger brother of the Crane Hermit, with whom he shares the signature Dodon Ray attack. He is hired by Commander Red to eliminate Goku. The first time they fight, Goku is defeated. But after Korin's training, Goku defeats Tao.

When Tao realizes his defeat at the hands of Son Goku, he deceives him by apologizing for his evil ways and saying he will surrender. Goku relaxes his guard, and this gives Tao enough time to toss a grenade at him and jump away into the sky. Goku notices the treachery and kicks the grenade back at Tao just in time for it to explode. Tao however survived and eventually had him injured body reconstructed into a cyborg. However with the Red Ribbon Army defeated, Mercenary Tao and Master Shen of the Crane School sought revenge on Goku, as well as their former students Tien Shinhan and Chiaotzu, though was ultimately beaten by Tien and disqualified from the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament for using his Hidden Blade against Tien.

In Dragon Ball Online, Cyborg Tao is upgraded into Tao Pai Pai X and together with his apparent protege General White Jr. (who's exact relation to General White is unknown) they work to develop a new incarnation of the Red Ribbon Army.

The Androids

Main article: Red Ribbon Androids

Several of Dr. Gero's androids

Androids #8, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, and Cell are all androids and cyborgs created by Dr. Gero, who later on to become #20 himself. All androids following Android 8 share the same objective: the destruction of Goku. The numbered Androids following #8 all bearing an "RR" (Red Ribbon) logo, however #8, #16, #17, and #18 refuse to obey Gero and defect immediately.

Androids 1-7 and 9-12 were never seen in the original manga or anime but mentioned briefly on one of the manga's title pages. Most likely, they were failed experiments, as implied in the Androids Saga when Dr. Gero, asked by 18 and 17 about his other sixteen androids, replies "They were all failures, a mistake I regret". 17 also remarks that he thought Dr. Gero destroyed all the Androids before him, astonished to see that he kept Android 16 (who Dr. Gero kept as he was modeled after Dr. Gero's son, a Red Ribbon army soldier who was killed in line of duty by an enemy bullet).

In Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, Dr. Hedo develops two androids superior to Gero's models: Gamma 1 and Gamma 2. Additionally an even more powerful android, Cell Max is created too.

In Dragon Ball FighterZ, it is revealed that another one of Dr. Gero's labs survived where its supercomputer used cells from countless fighters and scientists to create Android #21, a a new-type Android, to act as the new leader of Red Ribbon. #21 rebuilt #16 to live with her in peace, however her Majin cells caused her to develop an evil split personality. However, despite her intelligence and power, #21 was apparently doomed by her insatiable hunger which effected her sanity as her hunger intensified and drove her good fission to choose to sacrifice her own life to destroy both herself and her evil fission.

In Dragon Ball Online, Android #9 appears as an Android modeled after Commander Red in. Also in Dragon Ball Online, #8000 and #19000 were built. A clone of Dr. Gero who was also an android acted as one of the Red Pants' leaders. The clone created three Android 16 copies: A, B, and C. All of these units were ultimately defeated and destroyed by the Time Patrol in Age 1000.

In Dragon Ball Fusions, Android 33, Android 44, Android 55, and Android 76 are introduced and were created from Dr. Gero's villain database, though despite being created to be evil, they all possess good natured personalities like Android 8 and Android 16.[11]

Military Resources

Bases of operation

Vehicles

A Red Ribbon APC in an area near the Muscle Tower

Robots

Trivia

  • Before the appearance of the Red Ribbon Army in Dragon Ball, characters exclusively named after colors were used in Akira Toriyama's 1982 manga Pink, such as Pink, Cobalt Blue, Silver, Black and White.
  • The logo design for the Red Ribbon Army is possibly based on a Railroad Crossing Symbol/Sign.
  • The Red Ribbon Army have their own theme song sung by Takayuki Miyauchi which is used as an insert song on the Japanese version of Episode 48 of Dragon Ball.
  • Many members of the Red Ribbon Army have their designs and accents based on a certain race or country:
    • Examples include Commander Red (Scottish), Staff Officer Black (African, or in the case of The Path to Power, Native American), General Blue (German), General White (Russian, or in the case of The Path to Power, Italian), Captain Yellow (Australian), Ninja Murasaki (Japanese), Colonel Silver (presumed American) and Major Metallitron (Austrian, or in the case of The Path to Power, African). Also, Dr. Flappe has a French accent, Hasky and General Blue have British accents and also, Mercenary Tao has a Chinese-based design. Some of these only apply to the Funimation dub.
    • Similarly, the various groups led by the top officers also have uniforms that resemble a real life military group/groups: General White's unit wear uniforms that closely resemble Soviet Russian commandos. The Blue Corps wear uniforms that resemble Nazi Germany's Sturmabteilung (S.A.) Division (also known as Brownshirts or Stormtroopers), which were themselves derived from uniforms originally intended for use by the Schutztruppe stationed in the African colonies belonging to what was originally Imperial Germany before the results of World War I had them being sold cheaply, and Colonel Silver's unit wear uniforms resembling the uniforms of Nazi Germany's Afrika Korps, the Soviet Russian commandos during the Soviet war in Afghanistan and United States Armed Forces. Captain Yellow's unit is one exception, though, as the soldiers here do not wear any military uniforms but are more dressed like Western miners and outlaws; however, Yellow's overall design and traits are a reference to the Flying Tigers, an American mercenary group that defended the Nationalist Chinese from the Japanese in World War II. The Red Ribbon Army soldiers at the headquarters had uniforms resembling those of Soviet officers (albeit tan in color rather than lime green) and also had some attire similar to those of American soldiers during the Vietnam War (specifically green hats and otherwise being shirtless barring wearing green combat vests).
    • The goals of the Red Ribbon Army to obtain the Dragon Balls mirrors the Nazis' real-life attempt to seek occult relics for world domination, sending organizations such as the Thule Society and the Ahnenerbe to conduct these expeditions and experiments. These attempts in the occult made by the Nazis were notably referenced the Indiana Jones films Raiders of the Lost Ark and Last Crusade (although contrary to what the films claimed, Hitler himself never actually had any personal interest in gaining occult items.).
      • On a related note, General Blue prior to ambushing the Dragon Gang at Master Roshi's house in the English dub implied that his psychic powers were the result of being "enhanced", which alluded to how the East and the West during the Cold War often researched psychic abilities for use in warfare.
    • Despite General Blue's unit sharing some traits with the Nazis, it does not appear to discriminate based on race, species, or sexual orientation. However, it should be noted that General Blue's homosexuality resembles Ernst Röhm, an early member of the Nazi Party and close friend and early ally of Adolf Hitler and a co-founder of the Sturmabteilung (SA, "Storm Battalion" or "Assault Division"), the Nazi Party's militia, and later was made its commander in 1931, helping the organization grow significantly from its initial number of 200,000 members. Though Röhm's homosexuality was officially contrary to Nazi ideology later on, Hitler was aware of it and their close association led to rumors that Hitler himself was homosexual. However by 1934, the German Army started fearing the SA's growing influence (as the SA by that time had swelled to over 4 million members, which was roughly 40 times the size of the standard German Army.) and Hitler had come to see Röhm as a potential rival (which ironically was initially caused by Röhm giving a strongly-worded speech after Hitler admitted that Röhm and the SA won't be the military that indicated that he would turn against Hitler due to standing in the way of permanent and continuous revolution), so he was executed during the Night of the Long Knives. To a lesser extent, his implied pedophilia, in particular his offer to "thank" Obotchaman for fixing his car in an unsubtle attempt at seducing him by offering to buy him some pretty clothes in return, may have been a subtle reference to the Tribleka concentration camp official Max Bielas, who was one of the few Nazi officials post-Long Knives to be openly homosexual, and was particularly infamous for having a harem composed entirely of little boys, kept in "barracks" resembling a dollhouse as well as having them dress up as little princes, while also having them enact a parody play on the shepherds of Arcadia when not tending to their official job of tending to the camp's resident geese flock. On a similar note, Blue's physical appearance resembles that of German stage actor Gustaf Gründgens, who had a complicated relationship with the Nazis due to being protected from persecution by Hermann Goring despite being a man who had no qualms playing roles in Marxist productions and, more importantly, his open embrace of the practice of homosexuality (though he himself was technically bisexual).
      • Ironically, Ernst Röhm's physical appearance was closer to Captain Dark than to General Blue.
    • The extreme ruthlessness of the Red Ribbon Army in their bid for conquest, including having executions as a common penalty for otherwise extremely trivial matters, was similar to that of the USSR under Lenin and Stalin, and to a lesser extent Nazi Germany and Hitler. In addition, Red's discomfort regarding his short height to the extent of giving illusions of appearing much taller when interacting with others and telling Black not to stand near him was reminiscent of Stalin's own angst regarding his height.
      • Them being a several times canonically returning villain group acting as an army, as well as being Androids manufacturers, that also created heroes, make the Red Ribbon Army quite similar to Shocker and its variations from the Kamen Rider franchise. Colonel Silver's belt buckle emblem is even a reference to the organization in question.
  • Most of the weapons and armored vehicles the Red Ribbon use seem to be based on real life equipment used during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.
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  • Many Red Ribbon Army characters, such as Colonel Silver, Ninja Murasaki, and General White, had ambiguous defeats, leaving their survival open to interpretation.
  • Many characters in Dragon Ball Z have their design based on members of the Red Ribbon Army:
    • In "A New Friend": the Taitans' coach Freddy Hein looks like Captain Dark, the baseball player Pepper Johnson looks like Staff Officer Black, and the baseball pitcher Rocky Rivers looks like General White.
    • In "I'll Fight Too!": Commander Red and Staff Officer Black make cameo appearances as the Director and Assistant on the Great Saiyaman Film respectively. It is only in looks because their voices are different than in Dragon Ball. The director also lacked an eyepatch unlike Red.
  • In a "recruitment film" teaser trailer for Resurrection ‘F’, it was mentioned that the Red Ribbon Army was aligned with the Frieza Force.
  • The Red Ribbon Army shares several parallels with the fictional terrorist organization, Cobra from the G.I. Joe franchise.
    • Both have leaders with the title of Commander, Commander Red and Cobra Commander.
    • Both employ mad scientists who end up creating artificial beings from the DNA of powerful individuals including one of a martial artist protagonist. Cobra's Dr. Mindbender similar Dr. Gero used the DNA obtained from various political/military leaders to create a new leader for Cobra, Serpentor (who in G.I. Joe: Real American has the DNA of G.I. Joe's Sergeant Slaughter based upon the real life WWF/WWE Wrestler) making him similar to Cell though he more closely resembles Android 21 as Serpentor genetic makeup effects his ability to lead due to Sergeant Slaughter's DNA being used as a replacement when he prevented Cobra from acquiring DNA they intended to be added to Serpentor to make him an ideal leader.
    • Both utilize robots/androids.
    • Both organizations have ninja members who wear colored ninja attire, Ninja Murasaki (purple) and Storm Shadow (white).
    • Both use red logos, as the Cobra symbol is often colored red.
    • Both are criminal military organizations that seek to conquer the world (with Cobra classically being described as a "ruthless terrorist organization bent on ruling the world").

Gallery

References

  1. When Goku tells a Penguin Village Police Officer to look out for a person named General Blue of the Red Ribbon Army, the Police Officer in question immediately runs away in fear upon hearing of the Red Ribbon Army.
  2. Cruel General Red, and to a lesser extent The Dragon Ball Scramble. In addition, Bulma's Big Mistake!! as well as the Japanese version of Bulma's Bad Day briefly implies this by General Blue's warning to his soldiers that if they don't hurry up and find the Dragon Ball soon, Commander Red will be absolutely furious with them.
  3. 3.0 3.1 General Blue had a soldier executed in his debut scene of both the manga and the Japanese version of Bulma's Bad Day for this reason. The English dub of the latter tones it down slightly by implying the official reason for his execution had to do with the soldier's indulging in the activity causing significant delays in finding the Dragon Balls rather than the nose-picking itself.
  4. In Deep Blue Sea, General Blue has a weapons operator aboard his primary submarine executed after the latter ends up missing Goku, Bulma, and Krillin's sub twice while launching torpedoes and pursuing them, with at least one of the soldiers being disturbed by the action.
  5. In the Japanese version of Roshi's Surprise, Commander Red orders Staff Officer Black to have the research team responsible for the Red Ribbon Army's Global Dragon Radar executed due to creating a radar that was inferior to Goku's Dragon Radar. The dub tones it down to have him instead order Black to make sure General Blue understood that he wanted Master Roshi alive.
  6. 6.0 6.1 In the Japanese version of Escape from Pirate Cave, General Blue executed Soldier 23 for showing cowardice and hiding from Bulma, Krillin, and Goku, telling his corpse before departing to pursue them that there's no need for cowards in his unit. This was toned down in the English dub to imply that he executed him for sleeping on the job due to him saying "Apology accepted. You can sleep all you want."
  7. This is made particularly apparent in the Japanese version of The Land of Korin, where Blue after a guard threatens him for approaching the base punches him into a wall hard enough to kill the soldier and leave a noticeable dent on the wall yells at the corpse that failing to recognize his superior officer is "the lowest one can go."
  8. English dub for The Legend of a Dragon
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Herms' tweet on the Muscle Tower set
  10. "Dragon Ball Q&A 7" section, Dragon Ball Full Color Androids Saga volume 1, 2014
  11. Dragon Ball Fusions, 2016

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