StoryOfficially led by a diminutive Commander Red the goal of the Red Ribbon Army was to use any means necessary to obtain the Dragon Balls and wish for world takeover; yet Commander Red secretly planned his wish for him to be a taller person. Since he was a very short person, he despised being around those who were taller than him.
When Staff Officer Black found out about Red's plan, as well as his willingness to destroy his own army to achieve this plan, he killed the Commander and took control of the Red Ribbon Army and, in the anime, re-named the organization the Black Ribbon Army. The entire army was defeated when a young boy named Goku sought to stop the army's evil ways by infiltrating the Red Ribbon Army Headquarters, killing Staff Officer Black in the midst.
Master Roshi mentioned in the Androids Saga that after its defeat, the Red Ribbon had been forgotten, except for a few people. Also noted, that during the Androids Saga and the Cell Saga, the people on Earth don't know that the Androids and Cell were created by Dr. Gero and are from the Red Ribbon Army, except for Goku and his friends. In the computer video game Dragon Ball Online, which takes place in Age 1000, the Red Pants Army takes the place of the Red Ribbon Army and are employed by the tyrannical Miira. The Red Pants Army's symbol is indentical to that of the Red Ribbon Army's, and like the latter, they are shown to recruit human and anthropomorphic lackeys. It is also revealed that Commander Red was revived as a Cyborg named Android 9, and is their presumed leader
Notable Members of the Red Ribbon Army
It is noted that every single officer in the Red Ribbon Army are intentionally named after a certain color (with the exception of Dr. Gero, who was actually named after a number/mechanical part, and possibly Captain Dark, as his official name is apparently "Dock."). The standard attire that nearly every member wears is a red bandanna of sorts, obviously tied to the army's namesake, which is either tied around their arm or neck (similar to Android 17 in Dragon Ball Z).
- Commander Red
- Adjutant Black
- General Blue
- General White
- General Copper
- Captain Yellow
- Colonel Violet
- Colonel Silver
- Captain Dark
- Sergeant-Major Purple (Ninja Murasaki)
- Murasaki Brothers
- Sergeant Metallic (Major Metallitron)
- Monster Buyon
- Dr. Flappe
- Dr. Gero
Master thief and explosions expert.
Mercenary TaoMercenary Tao (a.k.a. Tao Pai Pai) is a deadly, ruthless assassin, who lives for money. His name roughly translates into 'Peach White White'. Tao is the younger brother of the Crane Hermit, with whom he shares the signature Dodon Ray attack. He is hired by Commander Red to eliminate Goku. The first time they fight Goku is defeated. But after Korin's training, Goku defeats Tao. Realizing he is defeated Tao surrenders and when he sees Goku let down his guard he tosses a grenade at Goku. Goku then quickly kicks the grenade back at him and it blows up Tao instead. He returns at the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament as part cyborg (perhaps using primitive technology created by Dr. Gero that would eventually make the Androids), but is beaten again by Tien Shinhan. He returns in the Cell Games Saga as a bodyguard to Mr. Borbonne, a rich coward who intent on forcing people to build a protective dome against Cell. Goku, in the midst of searching for one of the Dragonballs, arrives at the fortress and after spending a day trying to figure out a puzzle concocted by Tao, retrieves the Dragonball and departs. Overwhelmed with fear after finally recognizing the then-Super Saiyan Goku, Tao flees. Mercenary Tao can't fly, but he does have a unique method of travel (or escape if he senses defeat like with Goku). Tao tears down a giant tree, throws it a far distance into the sky, and rides it off into the horizon. Although we never get to see the tree land, this is the last we see of him after the series.
It should be noted that Mercenary Tao is not a member of the Red Ribbon Army, although he was a hired assassin for them. When Tao realizes his defeat at the hands of Son Goku, he deceives him by apologizing for his evil ways and saying he will surrender. Goku relaxes his guard, and this gives Tao enough time to toss a grenade at him and jump away into the sky. Goku notices the treachery and kicks the grenade back at Tao just in time for it to explode. Despite Tao's skills, when faced with someone stronger, it is seen how quickly one turns to lowly cheap tactics. While this adds to humor of the show and manga, it proves that he's a smart serious villain who can survive. The words "Kill You!" are seen on the back of his robe, which he cherishes greatly.
The AndroidsAndroid 8, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 (who is technically a cyborg, as is #18, and #20), 18, 19, 20, Cell, Super 13, and Super 17: all androids and cyborgs are created by Dr. Gero, who later on becomes one himself (Android #20). Though only Android #8 is truly a member of the original Red Ribbon Army, all androids share the same objective: the destruction of Goku. Ironically, the exception is Android #8, whose programming was flawed and didn't like to fight, who becomes friends with Goku. Androids 16, 17, and 18 also reform in Dragon Ball Z bearing an "RR" (Red Ribbon) logo.
Androids 1-7 and 9-12 were never seen in the manga or anime, nor were they even mentioned (save for a brief mention on one of the manga's title pages). Most likely, they were failed experiments, as implied when, in the Android saga, Dr. Gero, when asked by Trunks about his other 16 androids replies "They were all failures, a mistake I regret". 17 also remarks how Dr. Gero destroyed 1-15 in the FUNimation dub.
MoviesThe Red Ribbon Army has a role in Dragon Ball: The Path to Power where The Red Ribbon Army is on a quest to get the Dragon Balls so that they can ask the Eternal Dragon, Shenron, for world domination. Goku fights his way through the forces of the Red Ribbon Army. The Red Ribbon Army are the main villains in the movie, followed by Emperor Pilaf, since it is a remake of the first saga and it places some of the established characters in new roles.
While the Red Ribbon Army in itself doesn't appear in Dragon Ball: Mystical Adventure, some parts of the movie, most notably Tao's defeat and Bora's murder were based off of similar incidents in the Red Ribbon Army Saga, and at least one member makes an appearance in the movie.
Dr. Slump RemakeThe Red Ribbon Army appears in the remake of Dr. Slump in episodes 56-59. Murasaki is the first member shown, he was spying on Goku as he transformed back into his normal form after being a Great Ape. Murasaki ends up recruiting King Nikochan and his servant as members of the Red Ribbon Army to help him steal the Dragon Balls from Goku. They ended up disguising themselves as Doctors and have the kids strip down to their underwear and stand in the hall to wait for check ups. While Murasaki was giving the fake check ups The Nikos went into the classroom and stole the Dragon Balls. After they stole the Dragon Balls Murasaki got out of his disguise and ran away with the Nikos. Goku and Arale ran after them and ended up fighting all the Murasaki Brothers and won. King Nikochan and his servant then resign from there position in the Red Ribbon Army while Murasaki waits for General Blue to come
Dragon Ball GT
In Dragon Ball GT Dr. Gero meets Dr. Myuu in Hell. There they worked on a plan to create the ultimate android which could destroy Goku. They came up with a plan to combine both of their technologies and get a perfect android by fusing two Android 17s. They then created a dimensional hole to get both androids in the same place - Earth,by creating a dimensional hole enemies from the past escaped from hell and some of them were members of the Red Ribbon Army which were: Android 19, Staff Officer Black, General Blue, Major Metallitron, Lieutenant Dark and Captain Yellow all of them were killed by Pan except for Android 19, who was killed by Goten and Trunks.
They are all defeated and are sent back to hell when Goku escapes from there and join up with Nappa and Pui Pui, and they want to fight Piccolo.
Super 17 kills Dr. Gero and Dr. Myuu later on and is killed by Goku when he gets help from Android 18.
- It is likely that the Red Ribbon Army is known across the world, as when Goku tells a Penguin Village Police Officer to look out for a person named General Blue of the Red Ribbon Army, the Police Officer in question immediately ran away in fear upon hearing of the Red Ribbon Army.
- Many members of the Red Ribbon Army have their designs and accents based on a certain race or country. Examples include Commander Red (Scottish), Staff Officer Black (African, or in the case of The Path to Power, Native American), General Blue (German), General White (Russian, or in the case of The Path to Power, Italian), Captain Yellow (Australian), Ninja Murasaki (Japanese), Colonel Silver (presumed American) and Major Metallitron (Austrian, or in the case of The Path to Power, African). Note: Some of these only apply to the FUNimation dub. Hasky has a British accent and Mercenary Tao also has a Chinese based design.
- Despite sharing some traits with the Nazis, the Red Ribbon army does not appear to discriminate based on race (and in the case of Blue, sexual orientation). However, General Blue is apparently of German origin.
- Although the Red Ribbon Army doesn't share any similarities (other than name) with the Soviet Army, General White is apparently of Russian origin.
- The logo design for the Red Ribbon Army is possibly based on a Railroad Crossing Symbol/Sign.