One detail from Buu Saga makes Android 16 still a dead Dragon Ball Z plot hole. Android 16 was one of the two main characters who died at the hands of Perfect Cell during Cell Games. Both he and Future Trunks were killed by Perfect Cell when the villain tried to motivate Gohan to use all his power.
Much of the chaos unleashed by Cell in Dragon Ball Z was eliminated at the end of the story when the Z-Warriors set their wish to Shenron. Thanks to the power of Dragon Balls, all unnamed victims of Cell, Android 17 and Future Trunks have been revived. There was no need for Android 18 to be revived, as Cell spat it out before his death. The return of 17 and 18 allowed both of them to be used as heroes in future stories. Years later, the story of Dragon Ball Super’s Tournament of Power provided the franchise with the opportunity to team them up for the first time in Cell Saga, but the reunion of the original trio of 16, 17 and 18 is a scenario that was never realized. . Despite the fact that Dragon Balls can restore both Android 17 and Android 18 in different cases, it seems they have no way to restore 16.
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Android 16, still dead in the anime, has long been associated with being more of a robot than a real android, but the disclosure in Buu Saga contradicts this statement. When the Dragon Pearl was used to bring back everyone killed by Majin Buu when he destroyed Earth, a montage was used to show a number of forgotten Dragon Pearl characters who were influenced by desire. Among them was Android 8, the android Red Ribbon Army from the original series, whose design was inspired by Frankenstein’s monster. Android 8, like 16, has no common human origin with 17 and 18 and was created entirely in the laboratory of Dr. Hero. If Android 16 Dragon Ball Z can’t be brought back because he’s just a robot with no real consciousness, reviving 8 shouldn’t have been possible either.
How Android 16 can return in the future Dragon Ball
Dragon Ball Z resurrects Android 8, but leaves Android 16 as one of the fallen anime heroes — it’s a plot hole, but not one that can’t be fixed. A future Dragon Pearl movie or show may reveal that although 16 people have been presumed dead for more than a decade, 16 were revived at Z-Warriors’ behest off-screen; his resurrection simply wasn’t shown. Retcon can confirm that he has been secretly wandering the Earth for 16 years. Perhaps the 17th and 18th did not pay attention to the fact that he survived all this time. Or they knew about it and it just wasn’t discussed when they met in Dragon Ball Super.
An alternative solution for anime is to simply create a new version of Android 16. If the new Red Ribbon Army or some other group could save what was left of her body after Sell killed him in Dragon Ball Z, the robot could be back online, possibly as a villain with a new mission. Depending on what happens to his story, the anime might get a chance to make him a real Z-Warrior and make him fight side by side with Android 17 and Android 18 again.