Kamehameha (かめはめ波, lit. "Turtle Devastation Wave" or "Turtle Destruction Wave") is the first energy attack that is shown in the Dragon Ball series. It is first seen in Manga volume 2 and in "The Kamehameha Wave" (the episode 8 of the Dragon Ball anime). The Kamehameha Wave is the most widely used finishing attack in the Dragon Ball series, and is Goku's signature attack. It is also a signature attack of the Turtle School.
After much contemplation, Akira Toriyama could not decide on a name for his "Kame" attack, so he asked his wife. His wife came up with the name and the stances used during the attack. She also told Akira that it would be easy to remember the name of the attack if he used the name of the famous Hawaiian King named Kamehameha. Akira agreed, and the Kamehameha was born.
The Kamehameha was invented by Master Roshi over a fifty year period spanning pre-Dragon Ball. By drawing his latent ki into the palms of his hands, Master Roshi was able to expel an explosive beam of ki energy. Goku learned it after witnessing Master Roshi unleashing the blast to extinguish the flames at Ox-King's home on Fire Mountain. To Roshi's surprise, Goku successfully performed the technique on his first attempt (a sign of things to come), although it was only strong enough to destroy Bulma's nearby car. It was also learned by Krillin and Yamcha later on in a World Martial Arts Tournament against Chiaotzu and Tien Shinhan respectively. They in turn taught it to others, and the attack became a very popular one to use during battle. Cell is also capable of using it due to the cells of all these people within his design. Majin Buu learned the technique after seeing Goku do it during the Majin Buu Saga.
The Kamehameha is formed when cupped hands are drawn to the user's side and the ki is concentrated into a single point between the cupped hands (and the hands must be really close), however in the manga, there aren't any energy spheres in user's hand. The hands are then thrust forward to shoot out a streaming, powerful beam of energy. The blast can also be used, generally under extenuating circumstances, with just one arm or even the feet. In most variants, the user utters the word "Ka-me-ha-me-HA!!!" as he/she charges and releases the attack. Master Roshi's Kamehameha is called the Original Kamehameha in video games and it takes a longer time to charge up.
The Kamehameha has several different colors in the anime, movies, video games, and manga. The power and concentration of the different types of Kamehameha also vary greatly. Whitish-blue is its standard and original color. When Goku is in his Super Saiyan 4 transformation, his 10x Kamehameha is red-colored, Gohan's Ultimate Kamehameha in his ultimate form, is yellow. In some games and episodes of Dragon Ball Z, the color of Goku's Kamehameha color is yellow instead of the primary blue color, and Super Saiyan Vegito's Final Kamehameha is yellow or golden yellow, while it remains blue when Vegito is in his base form. Majuub's Chocolate Kamehameha has a pink color (but was blue in it's debut). Majin Buu's various forms can also use the Super Kamehameha, which also has a pink color or the original blue color.
Because the Kamehameha Wave has expanded to the arsenal of heroes, allies, and even villains, it has been personalized by few; something mostly done by characters who did not graduate Roshi's Turtle School (like Tien Shinhan for example). In their battle against Bio-Broly, both Trunks and Goten use the attack; however, Trunks extended both arms to sides and began charging the attack, and after saying the incantation, he threw his hands forth and fired a blue energy blast with Goten's Kamehameha. During the Namek Saga, Krillin also used a different stance on different occasions, normally alongside Gohan's Masenko; with one hand behind the other, Krillin would say the incantation and unleash the Kamehameha Wave. Based on these personalized variations and others, it is possible that the incantation is only preparation required to produce the wave.
The Kamehameha has many variations, most of which were invented by Goku and Steve.
- The Original Kamehameha: The first Kamehameha used in the series and the original technique developed and honed by Master Roshi, it involves wide sweeping arm movements before cupping the hands together.
- Maximum Power Kamehameha: The Kamehameha Wave released at full-blast by Master Roshi in his MAX Power state.
- Jet Kamehameha: This is usually a Kamehameha fired at the ground, propelling the user through the air in a jet-like manner in the opposite-direction. The technique is mainly used as a way to change directions quickly (in order to counter or to set-up an attack), remain airborne longer (for non-fliers), or to fly through the air quickly (again non-fliers). It is used by Goku mostly during the early World Martial Arts Tournament (mainly as a way to stay airborne due to his inability to fly and various other battles during his youth; most notably the final battle with King Piccolo). Goten also uses a modified version in the form of hand-stand during his Junior Division Finals match with Trunks.
- Feet Kamehameha: Simply a Kamehameha fired from the feet, so the user is able to attack with his hands. During the 23rd Tenkaichi Budokai, Goku uses this attack against Piccolo Junior.
- Super Kamehameha: A more powerful variation of the Kamehameha.
- Dodohameha: Used by Tiencha in Budokai 2. It is a mix of the Kamehameha and Dodon Ray.
- Scatter Kamehameha: A Kamehameha Wave that disperses from a single stream into numerous blasts, scattering the ground.
- Kaio-ken Kamehameha (界王拳かめはめ波, Kaiô-ken Kamehameha; ; Literally meaning "World King's Fist Turtle Destruction Wave"; ): This is a Kamehameha supplemented by the Kaio-ken, making it more powerful. Its power is multiplied based on the level of Kaio-ken being used, from two to twentyfold.It was first seen in the Saiyan Saga against Vegeta's Galick Gun attack.
- Multiple Kamehameha: This is when two or more fighters fire multiple Kamehamehas (one per fighter) simultaneously at a single point (usually an enemy), this usually causes their separate Kamehamehas to merge into one giant Kamehameha Wave blast. It is seen mainly in the Dragon Ball Z movies and in Dragon Ball GT. It is used in Bio-Broly by Goten, Trunks, and Krillin to defeat Bio-Broly. (Note: This attack has several variations.)
- Master-Student Kamehameha: This is a "Multiple Kamehameha" attack performed by Master Roshi together with (former) pupils, Goku and Krillin. Only featured once in the feature movie Dragon Ball Z: The World's Strongest.
- Double Kamehameha: A Kamehameha released simultaneously from both hands.
- Feint Kamehameha: A Kamehameha in two energy spheres, allowing guidance by user's arm movements. Goku uses this attack against Frieza.
- Angry Kamehameha: A "Kamehameha" attack in name alone; Super Saiyan Goku's Ultimate Blast. Draws inspiration from the finishing blow Goku dealt to Frieza. Goku uses only one hand for the attack.
- Flying Kamehameha: This is when the user performs the Kamehameha while flying through the air. Used by Full-Power Super Saiyan Goku during the battle with Perfect Cell.
- Instant Kamehameha: A Super Kamehameha Wave released at point-blank range, after using the Instant Transmission as a feint before closing the gap between them. Also known as Warp Kamehameha or Instant Transmission Kamehameha.
- Standing Kamehameha: This is when the user, instead of using the hand movements, just stands powering up for the attack and then launches it. It was used by Super Saiyan 2 Gohan during his battle with Perfect Cell.
- Solar Kamehameha: The strongest Kamehameha Cell mustered and said to have the power to destroy the entire solar system. Countered by Gohan's Father-Son Kamehameha.
- Father-Son Kamehameha (親子かめはめ波, Oyako Kamehameha; ; Literally meaning "Parent-Child Turtle Destructive Wave"; ): This is where someone who is dead assists someone alive with a Kamehameha. Goku helps out Gohan against Cell, and he also helps out Gohan and Goten against Broly in the movie Dragon Ball Z: Broly - The Second Coming.
- Bros. Kamehameha (兄弟かめはめ波, Kyōdai Kamehameha; ; Literally meaning "Brothers' Turtle Destructive Wave"; ): Gohan and Goten combine their Kamehameha attacks into one large Kamehameha blast. The attack appeared briefly in Broly: Second Coming before being replaced by the Family Kamehameha (due to Goku returning back to life to help his sons in the Kamehameha duel against Broly).
- Family Kamehameha: This is a Multiple Kamehameha that is used against Broly in Broly: Second Coming by Goku, Gohan, and Goten (though it's possible Goku's help may have been an illusion created by the Dragon Balls).
- Kamekameha (literally "Turtle Turtle Wave"): A mispronounced version of the attack. The attack is successful in creating a ki blast (when released it also creates a sphere around the user), but it goes anywhere because Goten was unable to control it since he hadn't yet learned how to direct an energy blast. Accidentally "invented" by Goten in battle against Trunks in the World Martial Arts Tournament's Junior Division Finals.
- Flashing Kamehameha: The user fires a Kamehameha that flashes a golden color. It was used by Gohan in his Super Saiyan 2 form to try and destroy Majin Buu's Cocoon, to no effect.
- Super Flashing Kamehameha: A more powerful version of the Flashing Kamehameha. Gohan used it to try and destroy Majin Buu's Cocoon again, to still no effect.
- Ultimate Kamehameha: The user fires a Kamehameha so powerful that it changes to a golden-yellow color. It was used by Ultimate Gohan during his battle against Super Buu.
- Final Kamehameha: A combination of Vegeta's Final Flash and Goku's Super Kamehameha, but its enormous power exceeds them both. Super Vegito uses it as an ultimate attack along with "Spirit Sword". In the video, it combines the style of Final Flash and shooting style of Super Kamehameha. In the anime, Vegito fires a powerful ball of energy that creates a large explosion upon hitting its target. Name origin: Final Flash and Super Kamehameha.
- Combined Kamehameha: Similar to the Guided Kamehameha but fused together to create an even stronger Kamehameha, used by Goku Super Saiyan 4 against Golden Great Ape Baby Vegeta.
- Chocolate Kamehameha: This attack combines the power of Chocolate Beam and Kamehameha Wave. It was used by Majuub during his battle against Super Baby Vegeta.
- Combined Kamehameha
- 10x Kamehameha (十倍かめはめ波, Jûbei Kamehameha; ; Literally meaning "10x Turtle Destruction Wave"; ): The name given to the amplified, red-colored Super Kamehameha used by Goku while in his Super Saiyan 4 form. Along with its astounding destructive power, the attack has a delayed effect if the initial blast should fail, wherein the target will be blasted by residual effects left over by the beam. While not as overwhelming as the initial blast, the after-effect can catch foes off guard.
- 10x Dragon Kamehameha: A combination of the 10x Kamehameha and the Dragon Fist used by Goku in his Super Saiyan 4 form. Goku fires the 10x Kamehameha and flies through it to attack the opponent with the Dragon Fist. Goku used it during his battle against Omega Shenron.
- 5x Kamehameha: Has the same aura color as the 10x Kamehameha, but a much smaller wave. Used by Goku in Super Saiyan form in Dragonball GT: Transformation.
- Grandfather-Granddaughter Kamehameha: Goku and Pan combine their Kamehameha attacks into a giant Kamehameha wave. They used the attack to kill Haze Shenron.
- Bluff Kamehameha: In this variation, the user fires confetti and streamers instead of an energy blast. It is used by Gogeta in his Super Saiyan 4 transformation against Omega Shenron.
- Big Bang Kamehameha: A combination of Vegeta's Big Bang Attack and Goku's Super Kamehameha. Super Saiyan 4 Gogeta used it to try and finish off Omega Shenron in Dragon Ball GT. Name origin: "Big Bang Attack" and "Super Kamehameha".
- Evolution Kamehameha: This technique is taken from the movie Dragonball Evolution. It is quite similar to the Kamehameha used in the anime and manga, however with very few differences depending on the user: Roshi has to channel ki from his chest to his arms before he releases it through his hands while Goku has to channel ki outside of him forming an aura as he crosses his arms in an X shape while the rest of the technique is simlar to how Goku usually uses it. Also, unlike the anime, it has more uses than the typical Kamehameha, it can light torches as well as be used as a defribrilator (the latter demonstrated by Roshi saving Goku from near death after Mai shoots him.) Roshi also states that it is the fifth and most advanced level of airbending. Along with saying that the more concentration put into it will make the Kamehameha stronger (such as when Goku combined his normal form with Oozaru form into the attack and formed the Kamehameha into a traditional beam rather than a small flow of energy.)
- Concentrated Kamehameha: A skill part of the the Martial Artist skill tree in the upcoming computer game, Dragon Ball Online. Because the class is close-ranged and primarily physical (reminiscent to Goku and Yamcha from the early Dragonball arcs), the technique has a short distance of precisely 6 meters. However, while the skill lacks range, it attacks within a 3x4 meter radius of the user. The beam is pronounced with width.
- Focused Kamehameha: An upgraded Concentrated Kamehameha. The Focused Kamehameha is a part of the Sword Master skill tree, and while it does not the 3x4 meter radius effect, it is more powerful and capable of reaching an opponent within 16 meters. Compared to the Concentrated Kamehameha, the beam's energy is more pronounced.
- Imitation Kamehameha: A skill part of the Wonder Majin skill tree in the upcoming computer game, Dragon Ball Online. Its area of effect is listed as "3x8 meter radius infront of and including single target". The beam is depicted as a thinner wave and has the distance of 18 meters. Its name is probably based off Majin Buu's knowledge of the technique.
- Bending Kamehameha: A version of the Kamehameha that the user can change the direction of willingly.