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Let's Talk Ships #1 | Krillin & 18

Updated: Apr 24, 2022

Welcome, everyone! Here I am with a new series called Let's Talk Ships! With this series, I'm basically just going to dissect and really examine couples & ships to the best of my abilities. And in this particular case, we're gonna look at Krillin and 18.

Now I get that DBZ is a Shonen anime and it doesn't really focus on romance like that.


But I will say that while there are definitely a few ships I think are lacking in Z, I don't think this ship is lacking that much. In my opinion, I think Krillin and 18 are one of the better couples, and let's start getting into why.

Background & How did they meet?


Now not too much is known about Krillin besides that he was a monk from Orin Temple & I think he trained there for 8 years according to Dragon Ball Wiki. Apparently, Krillin was there since he was four and got bullied because he was the weakest student. At the age of 13, he got tired of getting bullied and he began to travel to Master Roshi's island for training to overturn his life and attract girls.

So, Krillin clearly wanted a change for himself.

Honestly, I think it's pretty fair to say that Krillin has a pretty normal background compared to Goku who started off as an evil Saiyan alien that happened to bump his head and lose his memories.

As far as 18 goes, 18's background is slightly darker and it's pretty messed up. The same goes for Android 17 as well, given that he is her twin brother. Both 18 and 17, were originally human and they went by the names of Lazuli and Lapis. They were notorious for being delinquents and apparently, Dr. Gero met them by chance one day as he was looking for something experiment worthy. Needless to say, Dr. Gero ended up kidnapping them and using them to fuel his never-ending vendetta against Goku.

Turning them into Androids.

Now Dr. Gero is from Dragon Ball and has been an enemy to Goku since then. He's been trying to get at Goku forever & each attempt was continuously unsuccessful. I mean, if it was me. I would've stopped. Like if I can't defeat someone as a kid, then I'm not going to let that go into adulthood. Especially when I'm continuously losing. If nothing else, Dr. Gero was definitely persistent.

Even past death.

How did they meet?

So how exactly did our two love birds meet?

Well, for starters, Krillin and 18 were enemies and met during the Android Saga. And I must say that I really like couples that start off as enemies and make their way to lovers; I love seeing the progression behind that. A good example of ships that follow this troupe: Gajeel and Levy, Shikamaru and Temari, and Vegeta and Bulma. Maybe that's just me or maybe that's something other people are kinda drawn to as well.

So anyway, during the Android Saga, Future Trunks is introduced and he basically doesn't want to see another timeline destroyed so he time travels to the present timeline to warn the others. And thanks to Future Trunks' warning, the Z-fighters in the present timeline prepare themselves for the androids and are able to train. Eventually, Krillin and 18 interact in the midst of a brawl between Vegeta and 18 and he is absolutely terrified of her. You can definitely see it in his face, especially when we see 18 making her way towards Krillin. I guess 18 finds this cute and/or amusing and she toys with him by giving him a kiss on the cheek.

Obviously, 18 meant nothing by it, but Krillin was heavily influenced by that kiss. So much so, that it would play a massive role in a lot of things to come. Including falling in love with the very thing that was programmed to kill his best friend.

Which is pretty strange if you ask me.

Like if someone wanted to kill my best friend, it'd be an easy choice; I'd choose to look out for them instead. But for Krillin what should have been an easy decision, was quite the opposite.

Not going to lie, that part is a bit crazy, and he even goes as far as to destroy the remote Bulma created during the Cell Saga. Bulma created this to get rid of Cell because it turns out that the Androids weren't the only threat, there was also Cell who was another product of Dr. Gero and could absorb the twin androids in order to achieve his perfect form. Again, Cell is another attempt on Dr. Gero's behalf to end Goku. And what's interesting about this is that Future Trunks wasn't aware of a Cell so it was nice to see his reaction. Future Trunks was completely blindsided by this and just as confused as the others. Anyway, keep in mind that Krillin has been a friend of Goku, our protagonist since they were children. They are quite literally childhood friends and I'm pretty sure they are best friends.

Even as adults.

Yet Krillin legit struggled to destroy the remote Bulma created.

18 didn’t understand it either, nor did Future Trunks. But I’d like to think that Krillin maybe saw some good in her or maybe he figured he was doing something Goku would do. Or, for some reason, he really didn’t want any bad to happen to her even if she was planning to kill Goku. Krillin could have felt like no one deserved the fate of being forcibly absorbed.

I'm not sure honestly, but his efforts didn't stop there.

During the Cell Saga, Krillin protected 18's unconscious form after she was regurgitated by Cell. And then later on, after everything was concluded, he tried to make a wish to turn 18 & 17 back into humans. However, that wasn't within Shenron's abilities, so Krillin settled for removing the bombs out of their bodies instead.

What's admirable is that Krillin thought that 17 & 18 were a couple yet still tried to do something nice for them anyway. Granted, he didn't know that 18 was watching this whole interaction nor did he know that she was there on the Lookout Tower when he admitted his feelings for her. Anyway, 18 not only declared she wasn't interested in him but she corrected Krillin, and told him that 17 was her twin brother and not a romantic interest.

Even still, 18 did thank Krillin for his efforts and everything that he did.

And everything that Krillin did kinda has me feeling like maybe his feelings weren't as shallow as they seemed. After all, why else would someone go that far for someone?

I mean something else that could play a role in why Krillin felt so strongly about 18 is that he didn't really have that much luck with women in the first place. Like we've only seen him with Maron and since then, Krillin hasn't really been shown much attention. And I think that's something to consider as well. Loving someone or feeling strong feelings towards someone will really have you doing some things you wouldn't normally do.

The verdict

I think is a great ship.

Honestly, even though it seemed pretty illogical on Krillin's part in the beginning. I really think that 18 had a pretty normal response to Krillin and I think that's what made this ship so great and made up for that. Like 18 didn't immediately return his feelings or fall at Krillin's feet because he did a few nice things for her. Plus, I never thought that was in 18's character anyway.

Like, unlike Goku and Chi-Chi, I strongly believe that Krillin and 18 have a lot of development. It kept progressing and it's actually somewhat romantic. With Goku and Chi-Chi, it started off a bit rough and still seems very rough due to Dragon Ball Super. Like I feel like DB super undid a lot of the tiny amount of development that Chi-Chi and Goku had by regressing Goku and making it as if he still doesn't understand what it is to be romantic.

Like Goku legit didn't know what a kiss was and that's very sad because Goku started off not knowing what marriage is and thought it was food years back. And now even as an adult, he doesn't understand what a kiss was?

Goku should have not married Chi-Chi at that tournament, especially when he didn't recognize or remember her. He should've just apologized & offered to make it up to her. But then Chi-Chi is so upset, prideful, and embarrassed that he wants nothing to do with him. Then maybe they go their separate ways and later on they cross paths where Goku has to save Chi-Chi or something and she lets that go and becomes a part of his group.

And then from there, maybe things can pick up from there.

Instead of progressing and then regressing and literally ending up in the same position, they started in. Goku and Chi-Chi are definitely one of my least favorite ships in Z and I'd argue that Bulma and Vegeta are a lot better than Goku & Chi-Chi. Sure it also doesn't make sense that Bulma invited Vegeta to live with her after he killed Yamcha, but we see clear development between the two overtime at least, especially with Vegeta. And I feel like that makes up for their weird & slightly illogical start.

Anyway, back to Krillin and 18. We kinda see this in 18 as well. Like, it didn't take as long for 18 to come around compared to Vegeta, but we see that she's less standoffish, she even becomes a mother, and then we're also able to see clear moments where she clearly cares for Krillin not only in Z but in Super as well. 18 clearly loves Krillin and Krillin clearly loves 18.

There's no guessing games or reading between the lines with this couple and I really enjoy that about these two. For that reason, I dare say that they are my favorite ship in Z.


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