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"What is the Tournament?" (くうせまだいけっせん!!しんてんいちどうかいなぞ Gokū ni Semaru Daikessen!! Shin-Tenka'ichi Budōkai no Nazo, lit. "A Final Battle Closes in on Goku!! The Mystery of the New Tenka'ichi Budōkai") is the first episode of the Cell Games Saga and the one hundred sixty-sixth overall episode in the uncut Dragon Ball Z series. This episode first aired in Japan on November 25, 1992. Its original American airdate was November 9, 2000.


Future Trunks

Future Trunks is standing where he fought the battle with Cell and is remembering what Perfect Cell had said about seeing everyone in panic and fear. Future Trunks explodes with anger, powers up, and gives off an explosion. He then falls to his knees as Vegeta and Krillin fly towards him. Future Trunks explains to them that he had lost the battle to Cell. Vegeta thinks he was foolish to even think that he could beat Cell. Krillin then reproaches Vegeta and almost tells him about how Future Trunks' power surpassed his, but Future Trunks prevents him from doing so.

It takes us to the Lookout where Piccolo is angry about Future Trunks losing because he thought Future Trunks would win with the massive Power Level. Piccolo thinks that he should go in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber to try and beat Perfect Cell.

Krillin with Android 16

Future Trunks tells Krillin and Vegeta about the Martial Arts Tournament that is being held by Perfect Cell. Future Trunks starts to have doubts if anyone can beat Perfect Cell and thinks he might be unstoppable. Future Trunks then thinks that after Goku and Gohan go out of the Hyperbolic Time Chamber he will go back in and train. Vegeta also wants to go back in and he wants to beat Perfect Cell on his own. Then Android 16 comes and says he wants to help them fight but he needs someone to repair him. Future Trunks doesn't trust him though and doesn't want to help him because he thinks he is a plague to the Earth. Krillin comes in though and wants to help the Android and tells Future Trunks nothing has to be like in his time.

Gohan and Goku train in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber

In the Hyperbolic Time Chamber Goku and Gohan are training very hard as Super Saiyans in a very heated area with fire everywhere. They seem to be doing equally well but at the end Gohan got hurt and went back to his normal form. Goku tells Gohan not to give up and that they are in it together, so they go to get something to eat.

At Capsule Corporation, Bikini welcomes Vegeta, Future Trunks and Krillin. Master Roshi and the others came to Capsule Corp. to meet Bulma and to know what has happened with Perfect Cell.

Then we see Dr. Brief is working on Android 16 but is having a bit of trouble. While Mr. Brief is doing that Future Trunks explains to Yamcha and the others that Perfect Cell is planning a tournament. Master Roshi explains that there used to be a Martial Arts Tournament and explains the story of it. He explains that because of the damage made in the previous tournament they stopped and that Goku was determined the strongest fighter in the Earth. When Master Roshi finished speaking everybody left except Dr. Brief.

Cell creating the Cell Games Arena

Future Trunks explains that Perfect Cell is not after power, the only thing he wants is to destroy the world because that is what Androids do. Chi-Chi then says that the World Martial Arts Tournament has rules and one of them is that you are not allowed to kill. So Future Trunks figures out that Perfect Cell wants to test out his new powers and they know Perfect Cell is uncertain about the Super Saiyans so they will use is to their advantage. Chi-Chi gets angry and she does not want Gohan to fight, so then there is a flashback of when Gohan is a baby and Chi-Chi wants Gohan to be a scholar and Goku kind of agrees.

Perfect Cell goes to the spot he wants the tournament in and blows up some of the land there to make a square. He then picks up a big rock and cuts it up into little blocks of squares to fit in as the ground for the tournament. Then we see the stadium completed and Cell is happy with it. The only thing he has to do now is get the word out.

Major Events

  • Future Trunks tells Krillin and Vegeta about Cell's planned tournament.
  • Cell constructs the Cell Games Arena for the tournament.


  • Goku (Super Saiyan) vs. Gohan (Super Saiyan)







Bruce Faulconer tracks

Differences from the manga

  • Future Trunks going Super Saiyan out of anger soon after Cell takes off is exclusive to the anime.
  • The sparring session between Goku and Gohan as Super Saiyans is exclusive to the anime.
  • In the manga, after Krillin takes Android 16 away, events cut to the next day with Cell preparing his arena. In the anime however there are many scenes that take place between those points after Future Trunks, Vegeta, Krillin and Android 16 return to Capsule Corporation.


  • When Vegeta ridicules Trunks for thinking he could have beaten Cell, Krillin gets infuriated and tries to tell Vegeta that Trunks has surpassed him, but Trunks stops him from saying it. This does not occur in the manga, where there is no indication of Trunks having surpassed Vegeta.
    • However it should be noted that Krillin's assertion was probably due to his failure to realize that Vegeta could likely use Super Saiyan Third Grade, unlike Trunks, who surmised that his father recognized that form's limitations and didn't use it, thus explaining why Trunks stops Krillin as he knew his father was right to ridicule him.
  • During Master Roshi's flashback, there are a few dialogue errors in the Funimation dub of Master Roshi's telling about how events occurred in the original Dragon Ball anime:
    • Roshi mentions that the 22nd tournament was "five years" after the conclusion of the 21st tournament, when in reality, it took place three years later, as the World Tournament schedule was changed from once every five years to once every three years following the popularity of the 21st tournament.
    • Roshi mentions that the fight with Goku and Tien ended in a draw, while in truth, despite the fact that it was nearly a draw, Tien won on a technicality, since he hit the ground after Goku collided with an oncoming truck. This is still shown accurately in the flashback, despite the inaccuracy with the dialogue.
    • Roshi says that Goku had married Chi-Chi "by the time the 23rd tournament came around". In actuality, they did not wed until after this tournament had ended with Piccolo's defeat.
    • In all versions, including Kai, Roshi also mentions that the World Martial Arts Tournament has not been held ever since Piccolo destroyed the grounds, though this would be proven later in "A Dark and Secret Power", just before Videl and Spopovich's match, to be incorrect with the World Tournament Announcer stating that the 24th World Tournament took place seven years prior to the then-current competition. Daizenshuu 7 later specified the date of the former-mentioned tournament was May 7, Age 767, five days prior to the appearance of Androids 19 and 20 on Amenbo Island.
  • Oolong's deriding of Yamcha's eagerness for the Cell Games is different between languages. In Japanese, he reminds Yamcha that he was beaten in the quarter-finals of each tournament he participated in. In English, Oolong sarcastically warns Yamcha not to get another hand through his stomach, referencing the confrontation with Android 20 in "The Androids Appear".
  • In Master Roshi's flashback to his match with Goku, the vocals of Jackie Chun are provided by Chris Forbis, the voice of Dr. Brief, instead of Roshi's main voice Mike McFarland. This was likely an oversight by Funimation as they had not dubbed the 21st World Tournament arc at the point that this episode was dubbed. The remastered version retains Forbis' performance.
  • In the Westwood/Ocean dub, Jillian Michaels takes over as Gohan from Saffron Henderson for the remainder of the Cell arc. Henderson went on maternity leave after recording the previous episode. Michaels also takes over as Bikini for the rest of the Cell arc.
    • Lisa Ann Beley briefly returns as Chi-Chi's voice due to Laara Sadiq being unavailable. Sadiq would return to her role in the next episode.


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