Tao Pai Pai

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"Pleased to kill you."
Tao Pai Pai in "The Notorious Mercenary"

Tao Pai Pai (タオ パイ パイ, Tao Pai Pai; FUNimation "Mercenary Tao", Viz "Taopaipai"; Literally meaning "Peach White White") is a highly skilled assassin.


Tao was a very expensive assassin as he normally charged one hundred million Zeni per kill, but he gave Commander Red a 20th anniversary discount of fifty million Zeni.[8]

Early life

Tao was born in 459 Age, just two years before the King Piccolo wars which his brother, Crane Hermit, served in.[9] Even though he was younger, Tao was always one step ahead of his older brother and a rivalry grew between them. They began to fight over the smallest things and eventually a simple spilled bowl of rice was enough to break them apart. At the age of 279, Tao started his career as an assassin. Though it was never stated, Tao must have gained immortality in some way causing him to live for over 200 years. Tao was said to be a major influence for Tenshinhan during his days training with the Crane School.

Dragon Ball

Commander Red Saga

Main article: Commander Red Saga

Tao fighting against Goku.
Tao's sword being broke by Goku's Nyoibou.
Tao riding the Dark Kinto Un.

Twenty years after starting his career as a mercenary/assassin, Tao was hired by the Red Ribbon Army to kill Son Goku, who had been defeating all of their operatives and taking their Dragon Balls. Tao killed General Blue, the Red Ribbon Army's strongest operative, in front of Red to prove that his assistance was worth the money. Tao met Goku in the Sacred Land of Karin where he was forced to kill Bora, who had previously held off the Red Ribbon Army single-handedly. Goku proved to be more of a challenge, but Tao knocked him out with the Dodonpa. Tao ended up only retrieving three of the Dragon Balls, which were located in Goku's backpack. The last Dragon Ball was in his shirt, which saved him from being killed by the Dodonpa. Since Tao's uniform was ruined during the battle, he went to a town where he forced a tailor to make a new uniform for free.

During the three days, Tao intimidated the townspeople into obtaining free luxuries such as a hotel room. A sniper in the town tried to assassinate Tao, but failed. After his uniform was finished (three days later), Tao returned to the Sacred Land of Karin to retrieve the Dragon Ball. After he arrived, he one again fought against Goku, who had been specially trained by Karin after climbing his tower, who proved to be far too strong for Tao. Tao resorted to bringing out his sword, but it broke in a clash with Goku's Nyoibou.

After Tao decided that Goku was too powerful, he himself climbed Karin Tower to retrieve the Sacred Water that had helped Goku. He easily ascended the tower and met Karin. Karin knre that Tao was a wicked assassin, therefore he tricked Tao and gave him the useless Sacred Water. After that, Karin used a trick to make Tao believe that he had improved in order for him to leave. He sent Tao back down the tower on the Dark Kinto Un to prevent him from gaining any strength from the tower climb. Tao then challenged Goku again when the Dark Kinto Un crashed into the ground and only managed to do slightly better than before, but still not enough to defeat Goku. Seeing that he was still no match for Goku, Tao pretended to surrender and, like a coward, threw a grenade at Goku. Goku kicked the grenade back at him and it detonated, seemingly killing the assassin.

At the 22nd Tenkaichi Tournament, Crane Hermit learned of Goku's encounter with his brother, Tao. Shen instructed Tenshinhan to kill Goku in the arena to avenge his death, but, thanks to Turtle Hermit, Tenshinhan came to his senses and ceased his affiliation with the Crane School, with Chaozu following him.

Piccolo Jr. Saga

Cyborg Tao

Tao was rebuilt as a cyborg by his older brother and competed at the 23rd Tenkaichi Tournament, brutally defeating Chaozu. He fought against Tenshinhan next and violated the rules of the tournament by using a hidden knife to cut Tenshinhan's chest, scarring him. Despite being disqualified, Cyborg Tao continued to fight. After Tenshinhan broke Cyborg Tao's blade, Cyborg Tao used the Super Dodon Wave, only for Tenshinhan to nullify it with a Kiai. Tenshinhan then knocked him out swiftly and carried the unconscious Cyborg Tao to his older brother, who carried him away in disgrace.

Dragon Ball Z

Cell Games Saga

Cyborg Tao during the Cell Games Saga.

In the anime, Tao makes two appearances in Dragon Ball Z during the Cell Games Saga.

In his first appearance, he works as a personal bodyguard for Borbonne, who runs a shelter which can supposedly protect people from Cell. Everything was going exactly according to plan until Gohan appeared in the village, disrupting the scheme the man had going. As the man's bodyguards surrounded Gohan, an old man from the village arrived dressed in a Chinese-styled dogu martial arts outfit. After dispatching the black-suited bodyguards, the man called for Tao to come out and take care of the old man. After a series of exchanged blows, Tao has the man on the ground. He would have finished the man off with a Super Dodon Wave, but Gohan stepped in the way at the last second. Tao asks his name and breathes a sigh of relief in hearing his name was Go-HAN instead of Go-KU (Tao is fearful of Goku because of their previous confrontations in Dragon Ball). However, his relief is quickly exchanged with fear as he learns Gohan is Goku's son and he flies off on a pine tree, effectively resigning from his position as a bodyguard.

In his second appearance, he works as a henchman for a rich gangster, who has hired him to gather the Dragon Balls so he may wish for immortality to protect himself from Perfect Cell. Goku shows up to gather the two that Tao has collected, but Goku is disappointed at himself for having nothing to offer Tao in return. The assassin then poses a challenge to Goku: If Goku can disassemble three complex puzzle rings by dawn the following day, then he will be awarded the Dragon Balls. If he cannot, however, Goku must surrender the ones he has with him. Tao then offers to take Goku's jacket (which contains Goku's gathered Dragon Balls) while Goku works on the puzzles, and while Goku is distracted with the puzzle rings, Tao steals Goku's Dragon Balls and drives far away throughout the night with the gangsters. After Goku solves the puzzle rings, he simply uses Instant Transmission to find Tao and the gangsters. The naive Goku is unaware there was any ill-will on the part of Tao, and is given the Dragon Balls without any resistance.

Tao has not appeared again in the series after this. He presumably met his doom either when Super Buu launched his Human Extinction Attack, or when Kid Buu blew up the earth during the Kid Buu Saga.


Dragon Ball: Mystical Adventure

Tao easily injuring Bora.
Tao in Penguin Village.

Tao is part of a plan with Master Shen and Tenshinhan to take over the kingdom of Mifan which is ruled by Chaozu. After having Pilaf, Shu and Mai build a Global Dragon Radar for them they use it to have Chaozu's army gather the Dragon Balls for them after secretly stealing his wife Ran Ran. Tao kills Lieutenant Blue just before the Chaozu's Tournament. During the Tournament, Tao is ordered to kill Bora right in the arena. He throws him and Bora is impaled right on a statue. After he kills Bora, Tao fights Goku. Tao's clothes get ruined by a Kamehameha, Tao uses a Dodon Ray on Goku where he is blown off all the way to Korin Tower.

After Tao gets his clothes changed he takes a piller from the castle and tries to ride it to the location Goku was at. On the way he passes by Penguin Village and gets knocked off the piller by a rock Arale throws at him. Falling face first into the ground Arale pokes at him with a stick and laughs. When Tao gets up he tries to ignore Arale but Goku shows up. Tao begins to charge at Goku but then falls back because Arale and the Gatchans had his pony tail tied to a tree. Tao undoes the knot and uses a Dodon Ray on Arale but it turns out to not injure her. The Gatchans shoot Tao with a beam and Tao continues to fight Goku. After Goku is able to block Tao's Dodon Ray, Tao begins to fake surrendering and throws a Capsule to bring a vehicle out. Just after shaking Goku's hand saying that he was a worthy opponent, Tao grabs Goku's Dragon Ball and flys off on his vehicle shooting two missiles behind him. Goku and Arale deflect both the Missiles and they destroy Tao and his vehicle.

Video games

Budokai Tenkaichi series

Tao in Budokai Tenkaichi 3.

Tao is a playable character in the Budokai Tenkaichi.

Cyborg Tao Pai Pai (サイボーグ 桃 白 白, Saibōgu Tao Pai Pai) is a playable character in Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3.

Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku

Tao was a boss during the Dragon Ball quest in Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku II in which he can use his special attack, the Dodon Ray (essentially a yellow-orange version of the Kamehameha), and fire energy blasts.

Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure - Dragon Ball: Revenge of King Piccolo

Tao was a minor boss in Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure twice – once as an undefeatable story element and again as a regular boss. His normal and Cyborg forms are also unlockable as a playable characters in Tournament mode.

Tao appeared in Dragon Ball: Revenge of King Piccolo as the main enemy of Chapter 4 and is unlocked once gaining all of the treasures in this chapter.


When Tao is introduced he is shown to be very powerful at that point in the series. He toys with Goku and the only damage he receives from Goku's Kamehameha is to his clothes. At this point, Goku's strength was near to that of Master Roshi's during the 21st World Tournament (which was weaker than Roshi's strength in the following Tournament). After Goku receives training from Karin, Tao is easily overpowered although in the anime, Tao drinks Korin's Sacred water and Goku states that Tao's strength has increased. When he reappears as a cyborg he is believed to have gained a lot of strength. In an issue of V-Jump, Cyborg Tao's power level is stated to be 210. This would mean he would be stronger than Krillin and Yamucha were at the beginning of Dragon Ball Z. This great power was still not enough to defeat Tenshinhan who defeated Tao with ease.


Cyborg Tao's Super Dodon Wave
  • Bukujutsu – Tao is able to fly in Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi, though this feature is removed in the sequels (he can once again fly with a flight capsule in Budokai Tenkaichi 3). He can fly without the flight capsule in his cyborg state.
  • Flight – Tao can fly in Budokai Tenkaichi 3 using the Flight capsule.
  • Flying Pillars – Tao throws a pillar (or something similar, like a tree) into the air in a certain direction and jumps on it, riding it to his destination. The pillar may also strike the opponents at the landing spot.
  • Dodon RayCrane School's signature technique. A super heated ray fired from the tip of his finger.
    • Super Dodon Ray – After Tao became a cyborg, he disconnects his right hand to reveal a built-in cannon, which can fire an enhanced Dodon Ray. This technique also has lock-on capabilities[10] and is Cyborg Tao's ultimate attack.
  • Shita Tsuki – Tao simply uses his tongue to pierce the opponent's temple, striking their pressure point and killing them. He does this with Blue, stating that he does not need his hands to kill the man.
  • Ultimate Final Strategy – Tao launches his pillar at that opponent, however, Tao's opponent kicks him, in which he begs for mercy. General Tao's opponent will then walk away, and General Tao will then throw a Hand Grenade at his opponent.
  • Yubitsuki – Yubitsuki (指付き, Yubitsuki)


  • Concealed Knife – After Tao became a cyborg, he disconnects his left hand to reveal a retractable knife. When Tenshinhan was slashed by this sneak attack, he claimed that Tao has lost his honor and pride of a warrior. Due to his use of this technique during the 23rd Tenkaichi Tournament, Tao loses his tournament match with Tenshinhan by disqualification for violating tournament rules banning the use of weapons. In the Budokai Tenkaichi video game series, this move is called Hidden Blade.
  • Grenade – Tao first begs for mercy to make his opponents drop their guard, then pulls out a hand grenade and throws at them. A dirty final resort that backfired and caused him to be rebuilt into a cyborg.
  • Sword – From a capsule, Tao brings out a sword for fighting.

Major battles

Voice actors


Tao Pai Pai X's design in Dragon Ball Online.
  • Tao has been known by a number of names in the various English versions of the series. He is named "General Tao Pei" in the abortive late-1980s Dragon Ball anime dub by Harmony Gold. He is named Taopaipai in the Viz adaptation of the manga. In the FUNimation dub of Dragon Ball Z, he is erroneously referred to as "General Tao" as well as erroneously being referred to as the leader of the Red Ribbon Army. These errors were NOT corrected in the revised dub of the Season Sets. The "General Tao" denomination is a mixup with the film Mystical Adventure, an alternate universe Dragon Ball story. In that film, Tao is actually a general. However, in the main timeline of the series, he never holds that position.
  • Mercenary Tao is the first villain Goku faces to use an Energy Wave technique (the Dodonpa).
  • Tao is the first villain to defeat Goku in battle (Turtle Hermit, disguised as Jackie Chun, first defeated Goku, but he was not a villain).
  • "KILL YOU!" is written on the back of his shirt. This is edited in some dubbed versions of the show (but not the Cell Games Saga of Dragon Ball Z).
  • The cannon he gains on his hand is very similar to the cannons later used by Android 16.
  • Mercenary Tao's Super Dodon Ray Cannon later holds the puzzle rings seen in "The Puzzle of General Tao".
  • Tao is one of the few characters that were defeated by Goku, and then came back as a Cyborg. Tao is the first, with Freeza coming next.
  • Mercenary Tao bears an uncanny resemblance to Korean Taekwondo master/actor Hwang Jang Lee and is loosely based on Hwang's characters from "Snake in Eagle's Shadow" and "Drunken Master" in appearance, personality, and job.
  • Tao bares a resemblance to Gabbachi, the main villain in Toriyama's Kajika.
  • It appears that in the Budokai Tenkaichi games he can fly (1st form with flight capsule equipped only in Tenkaichi 3, but in his 2nd form he can fly without the flight capsule).
  • In the Story mode of Budokai Tenkaichi 2 about the Great Saiyaman and Videl, Tao is fought although neither Great Saiyaman nor Videl really fought him in the anime or the manga.
  • In Budokai Tenkaichi 3, Tao has a special interaction with Arale Norimaki. This is a direct reference to their encounter in Mystical Adventure.
  • New artwork from Dragon Ball Online shows that Cyborg Tao, who has been redesigned, is now known as Tao Pai Pai X. He is apparently residing in the base of the former Red Ribbon Army and has started excavating and mining Karin's Sacred Land.