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Dragon Ball character
First appearance Dragon Ball chapter #25: A Rival? Arrival!! (1985)
Created by Akira Toriyama
Voiced by Japanese
Mayumi Tanaka
See Voice actors
Aliases Bongo (Harmony Gold dub)[1]
Krillin (Funimation dub)
Clearin (AB Groupe dub)
Relatives Android 18 (spouse)[2]
Marron (daughter)[3]

Kuririn (Japanese: クリリン?), romanized as Kulilin in the manga and spelled Krillin in Funimation's English anime dub, is a fictional character in the Dragon Ball manga series created by Akira Toriyama. He is introduced in chapter #25 A Rival? Arrival!! (ライバル?参上!! Raibaru? Sanjō!!?), first published in Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine on June 3, 1985,[4] as Goku's fellow martial arts student under Kame-Sen'nin. As the series progresses, Kuririn becomes Goku's closest ally and best friend and is often depicted as the comic relief.

Design and appearance[edit]

Toriyama originally created Kuririn along with the Tenka'ichi Budōkai as a method to help add depth to the story, as his editor Kazuhiko Torishima had stated that the series' protagonist, Goku, was too plain.[5] Yūsuke Watanabe, who wrote the screenplay for the film Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, had originally written the film to take place at Kuririn and Android #18's wedding, but Toriyama wrote it to take place at Bulma's birthday party. Watanabe thought Toriyama made the change because he wanted fans to imagine the wedding for themselves.[6]

Kuririn's appearance stays relatively the same for the majority of the series. He is first introduced at age 13, with a shaved head and still dressed in the yellow-and-orange clothing worn at the monastery at which he had been training. He does not possess a visible nose, and has six spots of moxibustion burns on his forehead, a reference to the practice of Shaolin monks. Toriyama once stated, seemingly humorously, that Kuririn's lack of a nose is because he has a "physical idiosyncrasy" that allows him to breathe through the pores of his skin.[7] Later, he wears the orange gi uniform that is presented to both himself and Goku by Kame-Sen'nin in honor of their first martial arts competition.[8] Occasionally he is seen in casual clothes, but for the most part continues to dress for training or fighting at all times.[9] During the Freeza arc, he wears Saiyan armor provided by Vegeta,[10] but during the Cell arc he returns to wearing the orange gi, accompanied by a blue short-sleeved undershirt and boots.[11] After the defeat of Cell, Kuririn stops shaving his head, and grows his black hair out.[12] When he settles down with his family, Kuririn is shown wearing a workout outfit consisting of a red T-shirt and brown drawstring pants.[13]


In Dragon Ball[edit]

Kuririn first appears arriving at Kame-Sen'nin's island to become his apprentice,[14] meeting Son Goku, and the two become rivals. However, after doing the hardships that Kame-Sen'nin assigns, the two become friends. After finishing their training, Kame-Sen'nin has Kuririn and Goku compete in the 21st Tenka'ichi Budōkai.[8] Kuririn beats the odored fighter Bacterian, who uses his stench as a weapon, and makes it to the semi-finals. However, he is defeated by Jackie Chun, who is really Kame-Sen'nin in disguise preventing his students from becoming arrogant with too many victories. Kuririn continues to train with Kame-Sen'nin and helps Goku to collect the Dragon Balls by fighting against General Blue and participating in Baba Uranai's tournament. However, he is quickly defeated by Dracula Man, who bites down on his head, causing blood to pour out.[15] Three years later, Kuririn enters the 22nd Tenka'ichi Budōkai.[16] Again, he makes it to the semi-finals by defeating Chaozu, but loses to Goku. Soon after, Kuririn is killed by a henchman of Piccolo Daimao, who wanted to steal Goku's Dragon Ball.[17] After Goku defeats Piccolo, Kuririn is revived by the Dragon Balls. Another 3 years later, Kuririn enters the 23rd Tenka'ichi Budōkai.[18] This time however, he only makes it to the quarter-finals, losing to Piccolo Junior.[19] Kuririn then tries to intervene in the fight between Piccolo and Goku when Piccolo gains the upper hand, until realizing he is outclassed.[20]

Several years later, in the span of a day, Kuririn is attacked by Raditz while attending a reunion,[21] and is unable to save Gohan from Piccolo, who takes him for training.[22] Kuririn then fails to tell Chi-Chi of Goku's passing.[23] A year afterward, Kuririn confronts the Saiyan invaders Vegeta and Nappa along with his friends,[24] following months of training in preparation for their arrival. After Yamcha's death, he avenges his friend by killing most of the Saibermen, though struggles to defeat Nappa, even when teaming up with Piccolo.[25] After Goku arrives, and defeats Nappa,[26] Kuririn requests that he fight Vegeta elsewhere to prevent their friends' corpses from being destroyed and leaves the battlefield along with Gohan but returns due to concern for Gohan's safety, launching a Genki Dama at Vegeta, which misses initially but is bounded back by Gohan.[27] After Vegeta yields from further conflict given his extensive injuries, Kuririn takes Yajirobe's sword and moves in to kill him, but agrees to spare his life per Goku's request.[28]

He then travels with Gohan and Bulma to planet Namek to use the Namekian Dragon Balls to revive their dead friends, since the Earth's Dragon Balls vanished due to Piccolo's death.[29] Once there, they save a young Namekian called Dende from death at the hands of Freeza's henchmen. Kuririn receives an increase in power from Guru, the grand elder of the Namekians, when he unlocks his hidden potential.[30] After a few close encounters with Vegeta, Kuririn and Gohan are forced to team up with him in order to fight Freeza's strongest warriors, the Ginyu Force. They are overpowered by them until Goku arrives and defeats the Force.[31] After Kuririn and Gohan collect the seven Dragon Balls, they begin a battle against Freeza, during which Kuririn is stabbed in the chest,[32] removes Freeza's tail following being healed by Dende, thereby distracting Freeza from continuing to crush Gohan to death,[33] and injures Vegeta in an attempt to capitalize on his Saiyan ability to grow stronger when in a near-death state.[34] After a long fight between Goku and Freeza, Goku decides to use the Genki-dama, Kuririn giving his energy to Piccolo so he can stall Freeza and attacking Freeza himself with his last bit of strength.[35] When the group recovers from the Genki-dama, and Freeza emerges unscathed, the latter detonates Kuririn from the inside, killing him instantly, which triggers Goku's first ever transformation into a Super Saiyan.[36] After Freeza's defeat, Kuririn is revived by the Namekian Dragon Balls.[37]

Kuririn trains for three years to confront Dr. Gero who tries to use his androids to kill Goku.[38] Kuririn is momentarily forced to leave his friends with the androids to take Yamcha away from the battlefield in the aftermath of his deadly encounter with Gero, who Kuririn finds the base of and signals the others to his location.[39] When the Androids, #16, #17 and #18 are released, he becomes infatuated with the female #18 after she kisses him on the cheek, which causes him to resist deactivating her with a controller Bulma created, instead choosing to destroy it.[40] Because of this, regardless of his efforts, the artificial life form Cell absorbs her and achieves his perfect form.[41] Enraged over her loss, Kuririn engages Cell in combat but is put in a near-death state,[42] being revived by Trunks, who he warns of Cell's strength as he was able to sense his true power right before being attacked.[43] He later participates in the Cell Games, a martial arts tournament created by Cell for entertainment, and fights one of the Cell Juniors who attack him and his friends, but is saved by Gohan.[44] After Gohan punches Cell in the stomach, he regurgitates Android #18 and Kuririn cares for her comatose body while Gohan destroys Cell. After Cell's death,[45] Kuririn uses the second wish from the Dragon Balls to remove the bombs from #17 and #18.[46]

Seven years later, Kuririn has quit fighting, settled down with #18, with whom he has a daughter named Marron (マーロン Māron?).[2] This left Goku confused, until Kuririn explained that Android 18 is a cyborg (meaning she is human still), and she was able to have a baby with him.[13] However, after learning of Goku's return from the afterlife to compete in the 25th Tenka'ichi Budōkai, he decides to also participate, after being encouraged to do so for the money by #18. He wins his sole match, against Pintar, during the competition.[47] After the Kaiō-shin enlists several of Kuririn's friends to help him defeat the wizard Bobbidi, Kuririn joins them, in doing so forfeiting his entry in the tournament, but is stopped from assisting any further thanks to Dabura turning him into stone with his spit.[48] Upon Dabura's death however, Kuririn is freed[49] and he later evacuates Earth after Majin Boo's awakening.[50] When Boo has transformed, he finds Kuririn's groups and kills them. During Goku and Vegeta's fight against Boo, Kuririn is brought back to life by the Namekian Dragon Balls and gives his energy to Goku's Genki-Dama attack, which is used to destroy Boo.[51]

In Toriyama's films and Dragon Ball Super[edit]

Kuririn appears in two of the three Dragon Ball films; in the second, Kuririn is used as leverage by Lucifer to convince Goku to give the Sleeping Princess to him;[52] and in the third, Kuririn trains for the World Martial Arts Tournament, held in Mifan.[53] Kuririn appears in fourteen out of the fifteen Dragon Ball Z films; in the first movie, he assists during the battle against Garlic Junior after he kidnaps Gohan;[54] in the second, Kuririn battles Dr. Willow, firing a Kamehameha wave in an unsuccessful attempt to defeat him;[55] in the third, Kuririn unintentionally brings Turles to Earth by using the Dragon Balls to restore the forest after a fire and fights the Saiyan's henchmen;[56] in the fourth, Kuririn tries to prevent the Earth from being destroyed by a meteorite containing Lord Slug and his henchmen;[57] in the fifth, Kuririn shelters Goku after he is injured by Cooler and is defeated in a fight with Salza;[58] in the sixth, Kuririn travels to New Namek and combats Cooler's forces;[59] in the seventh, Kuririn avoids fighting Android 13 though is injured during the battle;[60] in the eighth, Kuririn tours New Planet Vegeta;[61] in the ninth, Kuririn participates in a tournament and fights Zangya;[62] in the tenth, Kuririn comes to the aid of Trunks and Goten in combating Broly;[63] in the eleventh, Kuririn, Android 18, Goten and Trunks combat the bio-engineered Broly in a factory;[64] in the thirteenth, Kuririn appears before Hirudegarn is released;[65] in the fourteenth, Kuririn backs down from engaging Beerus due to not knowing his power;[66] and lastly, in the fifteenth, Kuririn works as a police officer[67][68][69] and after having his head shaven by Android 18, joins in the fight against the resurrected Freeza afterward.[70] After the events of the last two films, Kuririn assists in acquiring two more members for his universe's team in a tournament, namely Piccolo and Majin Boo,[71] after learning about it from Android #18 and reunites with Trunks,[72] who he tries to stop from attacking Android #18 when she greets him, revealing her as his wife.[73]

Voice actors[edit]

Kuririn is voiced by Mayumi Tanaka in the original Japanese anime and in all related media. Toriyama chose Tanaka after hearing her portrayal of the protagonist Giovanni in the film Night on the Galactic Railroad.[74] When Kuririn and Yajirobe, another character voiced by Tanaka, appeared in the same frame she gave the latter a Nagoya dialect in order to distinguish them.[75]

When Dragon Ball received a short-lived English dub by Saban Entertainment, Funimation, and Ocean Productions in the mid 1990s, Krillin would be voiced by Terry Klassen. He would reprise his role in the Ocean dub of the latter half of the series produced by AB Groupe for European and Canadian markets. Another short-lived English dub produced by Harmony Gold in the late-1980s featured Wanda Nowicki as the voice of Krillin (here named Bongo). In the Blue Water 2003 re-dub of Dragon Ball, he is voiced by Mike Thiessen. Dan Gascon voiced him in the Blue Water dub of Dragon Ball GT. When the series' full production was taken over by Funimation in the US, Krillin would be voiced by Laurie Steele as a child in Dragon Ball and Sonny Strait as an adult in all media released to the US. Strait gained the role following auditioning in Texas and moved to Los Angeles to keep it. He found the character's constant deaths amusing and thought him comical: "Krillin is the party. If you don’t wish back the party, you’re going to be bored."[76]

In the rare English dub distributed exclusively in Europe by AB Groupe he was voiced by Sharon Mann (here named Clearin).[77] Apollo Abraham voiced Krillin (here named Kurin) in an English dub distributed in the Philippines by Creative Products Corporation.


Kuririn has many abilities including, super-strength, super-speed, and the ability to fly using his ki energy, known as Bukū-jutsu (舞空術?, lit. "Air Dance Technique"). His main techniques include the Kamehameha (かめはめ波?, lit. "Turtle Destruction Wave"), an attack he learned from Roshi, which enables him to emit a powerful ki energy blast from his hands.[78] Kakusandan (拡散弾?, lit. "Scattershots"), another chi attack, involves firing two blasts, one from each hand, and merging them before directing the blast above an opponent where it will break up and rain down on them, he was only seen using this twice—the first time was very successful as he managed to wipe out three Saibamen with it. From Tenshinhan, he obtained the Taiyōken (太陽拳?, lit. "Solar Fist", renamed "Solar Flare" in the English anime dub), an attack Kuririn is capable of using to blind his opponents, sometimes used to make a quick escape.[79] One of his signature techniques is the Kienzan (気円斬?, lit. "Energy Disc Razor", renamed "Destructo Disc" in the English anime dub), where he puts a hand in the air to create an electric floating disc, using it to slice through his enemies. Lacking the other protagonists' advantage of getting stronger every time he is injured, Kuririn is however the strongest Earthling and was recognized as having great technique by Vegeta.[80][citation needed]

Appearances in other media[edit]

Kuririn and One Piece character Monkey D. Luffy in an advertisement used to promote the animation block Dream 9.

In Dragon Ball GT, Kuririn is killed by Android #17[81] but is revived by Shenlong after the defeat of Omega Shenron and has a match with Goku, who decided to leave Earth.[82] He is shown in GT sporting a mustache, wearing grey pants, shirt and tie with a cardigan in his few appearances.[83]

Kuririn appears in multiple Dragon Ball-related video games, sometimes as a playable character. He also appears in the crossover game Jump Superstars.[84] In the 1992 Videkko game Dragon Ball: Get Together! Goku World, Kuririn along with Goku, Trunks, Bulma, and Gohan travels back in time to examine event in the past.[85] In Dragon Ball Z: Budokai, Cell has a nightmare where he accidentally absorbs Kuririn and becomes Cellin (セルリン Serurin?), the form making him weaker.[86] In the 2015 video game Dragon Ball: Xenoverse, Kuririn serves as a mentor to the player character, teaching his Kienzan. He also appears during Android 18's mentorship of the player, fighting them alongside her.[87]

In June 1988, Kuririn along with other Dragon Ball characters were featured in two public safety announcement shorts. The first was entitled The Goku Traffic Safety (悟空の交通安全 Gokū no Kōtsū Anzen?),[88] and the second called The Goku Fire Fighting Regiment (悟空の消防隊 Gokū no Shōbō-tai?) where he along with Kame-Sen'nin, Yamcha, and later Goku become volunteer fire fighters.[88]

Kuririn also appears in the Dragon Ball and One Piece crossover manga Cross Epoch where he and Tony Tony Chopper run the Kuri-Chopa Marine Train Coster. In 2003, He would appear in the interactive feature entitled Kyutai Panic Adventure! (球体パニックアドベンチャー! Kyūtai Panikku Adobenchā!?, Orb Panic Adventure!). Where he and Gohan attempt to save visitors of at Fuji Television's orb section from drowning, while Goku battles Freeza.[89][90] In the 2004 followup Kyūtai Panic Adventure Returns! (球体パニックアドベンチャーリターンズ! Kyūtai Panikku Adobenchā Ritānzu!?, Orb Panic Adventure Returns!), Kuririn is one of the seven Dragon Ball characters who delivers the Dragon Balls to restore the aqua city of Odaiba after Goku and Monkey D. Luffy's battle with Eneru.[91]

Kuririn has performed many songs throughout the years. These songs feature his voice actor Mayumi Tanaka in character singing cheerfully about certain thing pertaining to Kuririn. First with the song "Asa - Hiru - Yoru - Kimi - Boku" from the album Dragon Ball Z Hit Song Collection IV: Character Special released in 1990.[92] Then with "Ichido wa Kekkon Shitai Manbo" from Dragon Ball Z Hit Song Collection 8: Character Special 2 released in 1991. Where he happily sings about the desire to get married.[93] And the title track from Dragon Ball Z Hit Song Collection 17: Hippy Hoppy Shake!! released in 1995.[94]

Before and after Dragon Ball Z debuting in the U.S. in 1996, Kuririn became a part of the country's pop culture. In 1994, the character was featured on the cover of Voodoo Glow Skulls' first full-length album Who Is, This Is?, though his face was removed in the 2012 digital re-release. The song "Blessing" by Chance the Rapper mentions Kuririn referencing Android 18 to the lyricist's delight.[95] Kuririn appears in an episode of Mad watching the other Dragon Ball characters after they are drafted for the Oakland A's by Billy Beane in a parody of the film Moneyball.[96]


Kuririn is a popular character in the series; in 2004 Japanese fans voted him the seventh most popular character.[97] In January 2007, Oricon held a poll in which they asked Japanese fans of manga and anime which characters from any series they would most like to see in spin-off series. Kuririn ranked third in the men's poll and sixth in the overall poll.[98] When younger fans would belittle the character as weak, Kuririn's voice actress Mayumi Tanaka said she would explain to them that Kuririn and Yamcha are the strongest earthlings, the other characters are all aliens. She also said it was more fun to play Kuririn when he was a dirty-minded bad kid, that she was not fond of him growing his hair out and was shocked when he died for the first time.[75]

Various publications for manga, anime and other media have commented on Kuririn's character, adding praise and criticism to his development and traits in the series. Anime News Network writer Carl Kimlinger liked Kuririn and Goku's childhood, noting it to be the warmth that the later Dragon Ball Z anime does not have.[99] Also believing the first anime to have more development than the sequel, Tim Jones from Them Anime Reviews cited how Kuririn was not a friend to Goku when first introduced.[100] David F. Smith of IGN comments that Kuririn and #18's relationship really help make the storyline more interesting. Additionally, he liked Kuririn's appearances in the fight against Cell as he has more screen time than the main character, Goku.[101] Although Chris Beveridge from Mania Entertainment thought that Kuririn had a drastic change in Dragon Ball GT, he mentioned that fans from the prequels would like some of its episodes due to the appearance of Kuririn and other older characters.[102]


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