When Akira Toriyama was writing the Dragon Ball Z manga, he planned on phasing out Goku as the main protagonist and having his son, Gohan, take his place. Fan reactions eventually reversed this decision, but Gohan still got a ton of time in the spotlight in the Cell and Majin Buu sagas. Yet, despite all the time we spent following and learning about Gohan across all entries of the Dragon Ball franchise, there are still quite a few head-scratchers regarding his character. But, this is sort of expected, since Akira Toriyama isn’t exactly known for filling in every blank of the Dragon Ball lore.
Because of this, we have more than a few unanswered questions in regards to Gohan. As we watched him grow up into both a powerful warrior and a brilliant scholar, we learned a few things about the half-Saiyan that left us with more questions than answers. Of course, we don’t love him any less because of this, but it can be frustrating to have looming questions about one of the best characters in the Dragon Ball franchise. From the time first time we saw him at four-years old to his present day family life, here are 15 unanswered questions we have about Gohan.
15. WHAT IS HIS JOB?
In Dragon Ball Super, Gohan has grown into what his mother wanted for him, to be a scholar instead of a fighter. He and Videl have gotten married and had a child together, Pan, both of whom he supports by… uh… wait, what exactly does he do? Gohan is often described as a “scholar,” but that’s not a clear job description; usually “scholars” wear many hats. You can’t pay the bills simply by being a smart person.
So then, what exactly is it that Gohan does for a living? We know that Mr. Satan gifted him and Videl a house, and he most likely provides financial support for them too, but that still doesn’t tell us what it is Gohan does during the day. Does he do presentations for a company? Does he crunch numbers? We know he’s not a professor’s assistant, since he turned down that job offer to be there for his daughter, so what does he do?
14. WHY WAS HE THE ONLY HALF-SAIYAN WITH A TAIL?
This is more of a question for all of the half-Saiyan hybrids, but it stems from Gohan. When Gohan was first introduced, he had a monkey tail just like his father did as a kid. His tail was eventually cut off to prevent him from going on a great ape rampage, and after that, Saiyan tails began to fade away from the lore of Dragon Ball, meaning Gohan was the only half-Saiyan to be shown with a tail.
Why was this? There are some reasons to explain why, but they’re not concrete. Toriyama stated that the reason he got rid of tails was because he couldn’t think of how the characters would wear clothes, but would later state the contextual reason was that tails were a recessive trait. This explanation doesn’t make sense since that would mean Gohan wouldn’t have one either. So, what’s the actual reason that only Gohan had one?
13. WHAT’S UP WITH ULTIMATE GOHAN?
When the Old Kai unlocked all of Gohan’s power, it gave him access to the power he would have in Super Saiyan 2 and then some. Essentially, it was going Super Saiyan 2 without the power draining effects that the transformation usually had. It was said that Ultimate Gohan was stronger than Super Saiyan 3 Gotenks, meaning that he was the strongest he, or any other Z-fighter had ever been.
That’s all well and good, but the Super Saiyan transformations are not additional power, they are power multipliers, so shouldn’t going Super Saiyan still be possible in his Ultimate form? Shouldn’t his power be multiplied even more if the Ultimate form is the maximum power his base form could have? Maybe there’s a speculative answer to this, but one thing is for sure, Ultimate Gohan was not explained well at all.
12. HOW DID HE KNOW WHAT CELL LOOKED LIKE?
When Gohan was training with his dad in the hyperbolic time chamber, the stress of facing Cell got to him and he had a nightmare about the villain killing his loved ones. Cell showed up and killed his mother right before his very eyes, easily the worst nightmare Gohan had ever had. However, there is one thing that doesn’t add up about it: Gohan had never seen Cell before.
Gohan was one of the few Z-fighters who never saw Cell before he fought him, yet the Cell in his dream was an accurate representation of the real thing. So, how did he know what he looked like? This one isn’t too much of a stretch, since the nightmare was put in for dramatic effect, but it still left us with an unanswered question.
11. IS HIS SECRET IDENTITY PUBLIC?
When Gohan entered high school, he needed a disguise to fly to school in. This resulted in him creating the Great Saiyaman identity, which he used to fight crime and protect the citizens of Satan city. However, this secret identity didn’t last long, since his high school peers recognized him in the World Martial Arts Tournament..
Despite this, Gohan’s identity remains unknown. Maybe his friends didn’t tell anyone, but his face was made pretty public during the tournament, and it wouldn’t be the only time his identity was at risk. In Dragon Ball Super, Gohan somehow ended up becoming the stuntman for a Great Saiyaman movie, which resulted in him stopping a monster in costume. The studio knew there were only two people who wore the suit, yet they didn’t realize the VERY agile stuntman was the one wearing it during the fight?
10. HOW COME ONLY HE GETS TO GROW UP?
In the beginning of Dragon Ball Z, Gohan was only four years old, and leading up to the Cell saga, we saw him age and grow into a young warrior. Then, in the Buu saga, he was a teenager attending high school, eventually growing into an adult with a job and a family in Dragon Ball Super.
However, Gohan’s growth throughout the franchise leaves us with one question: why only him? As Gohan grew up, two other half-Saiyans were introduced into the series, Trunks and Goten, and though we saw Trunks as a baby and a kid, the aging seems to have stopped there. Since the Buu saga, Trunks and Goten have been stuck as kids, perhaps to appeal to younger viewers. But we still don’t know why they haven’t grown up like Gohan did.
9. WAS HE INSPIRED BY THE GINYU FORCE?
Gohan was only five years old when he was on planet Namek, meaning he went through some of the most traumatic experiences a person could go through before he hit puberty. One of the things he experienced was the strange, power-ranger-esque antics of the Ginyu Force, who made flashy poses before attacking their enemies. So, our question is, did this inspire the Great Saiyaman?
When Gohan runs around in his superhero identity, he poses and makes speeches much in the same way the Ginyu Force did. So, was this because of the Ginyu Force? Did their poses and antics seep into Gohan’s subconscious and turn into his idea of what “cool” was? Or maybe it was because he has frightening memories of these poses and the bad guys who made them and thinks they will intimidate his enemies? The world may never know.
8. DOES PICCOLO LIVE WITH HIM?
Ever since Piccolo first trained Gohan as a kid, the two have formed a deep relationship, one that rivals that of Gohan and Goku. Gohan thinks of Piccolo like a second father and Piccolo loves Gohan like a son, easily one of the strongest relationships in the series. Come the time of Dragon Ball Super, the two are still close, so close that Piccolo hangs around their house and babysits Pan, becoming an expert at it to the point that Videl calls him Pan’s “Uncle Piccolo.”
The fact that Piccolo babysits Pan so often and is seen hanging around Gohan so much begs the question, does he live with them? Maybe he doesn’t take up one of the rooms and he just sleeps on the roof or something, but it sure seems like he stays by them as much as possible, which isn’t a bad thing. Wait, does Piccolo even sleep?
7. WHY WAS HE CALLED “TEEN” GOHAN?
When Gohan and his father emerged from the hyperbolic time chamber, they had both aged a year in the span of a day. Gohan appeard a bit taller and bit older looking, and being 11 years old, this was probably because he was close to hitting puberty and all the growth spurts that come with it. But, he was still only 11, so why was he referred to as “teen” Gohan?
This question is more so directed at the video games and other materials that used this terminology, but it’s an unanswered question all the same. We get how it might have happened, since 11-year-old Gohan sure looks like a teenager, but why is this still the term used to describe this point in his life. Sure, it’s a small thing to point out, but it definitely made things confusing when Gohan was actually a teenager.
6. DOES HE ACTUALLY NEED GLASSES?
In both Dragon Ball Super and the epilogue of Dragon Ball Z, Gohan is seen wearing glasses. Design-wise, this was to show that he had hung up his gi and taken up the books, becoming the great scholar his mom wanted him to be. Though we might not know what his actual job is, we know he wears glasses when he’s not training or fighting. But, why does he wear them?
It’s not like he would actually need to wear corrective lenses. He is, after all, part of a species that is superior to humans in most ways, including his senses. There’s no logical reason why Gohan would be nearsighted or would need reading glasses being a half-Saiyan, so why does he wear them? Like we said, we know they are there to make him look smarter, but there’s no way he actually needs them.
5. WHY COULDN’T HE CATCH THE POTARA?
Whatever Ultimate Gohan was, he was the strongest and most agile he could ever be. His power was unlocked and thus he was at his literal peak in terms of power and strength. And yet, despite being the best he could be, he wasn’t able to catch the Potara earring that his dad threw to him. Seriously? Why? His reflexes and agility should be unsurpassed by anyone else, so why wasn’t he able to do something as simple as catch an earring?
Actually, this raises another question: why was Goku willing to share a body with his son to begin with? We get that it was a life or death situation, and that Gohan was the only powerful warrior he could chose, but were there no second thoughts that crossed his mind while knowing that he would be permanently fused with his own son?
4. DID HE ONLY ATTEND SENIOR YEAR?
Living out in the country made it hard for Gohan to attend public schools, as did the fact that he had superpowers before he hit puberty. Thus, Chi-Chi homeschooled Gohan for most of his young life, finally letting him attend public school when he was 17. Wait, what? That means that Gohan most likely only attended public school for his senior year. It’s not as though this is unthinkable, but it does raise a few questions.
For one thing, was there any sort of record-fudging that happened because Gohan is physically 18, but chronologically 17? Why didn’t he attend public school earlier? If he was so smart with just homeschooling, why did he attend public school at all? Was it harder to get into college when he only attended one year of high school? These are the important Dragon Ball Z questions, people.
3. WHY WAIT SO LONG TO TEACH GOHAN FLIGHT?
Gohan and Videl got to know each other when she forced him to teach her how to fly. The two grew rather close during their lessons, but there was a third wheel on these “first dates,” Goten. Goten was seven years old in the Majin Buu saga, but he still hadn’t learned to fly, despite the fact that he could go Super Saiyan. This begs the question, why didn’t Gohan teach his brother to fly earlier?
We know Gohan didn’t attend school until he was 17, so it’s not like he didn’t have the free time to do it. So, why did he just let his brother go without this essential skill for warriors. Did he not know Goten couldn’t fly? If so, why? Did he not hang out with his brother at all? We have a hard time believing that, since they were very close in the Majin Buu saga.
2. DOES HE RESENT HIS DAD?
One of the biggest discussions among Dragon Ball fans is the question of wether or not Goku is a bad dad; a conversation that often leads to pointing out Piccolo as the better caretaker of Gohan. That debate could inspire a whole article on its own, but there’s no denying that Goku was absent from Gohan’s life quite a bit. Twice in Gohan’s lifetime, Goku was dead, the second time being for seven years. This leads us to wonder if Gohan resents his father for his absence.
Gohan looks up to his dad and the two share a strong relationship, but is there more to their dynamic under the surface?Does Gohan have some bottled up feelings about how often his dad was missing from his life? Gohan’s a good person, but we wouldn’t blame him if he harbored some resentment towards his dad.
1. WHY WAS HE THE ONLY ULTIMATE?
Gohan gained his Ultimate form when the Old Kai performed a long and ridiculous ceremony to unlock his full power. With his newfound strength, he was able to take on Super Buu like it was nothing, which makes us wonder… why was Gohan the only one who got this power up? Gohan might have had the most potential for this upgrade, but that doesn’t mean the Old Kai couldn’t do the same for all the Z-fighters.
In fact, it would be incredibly useful if all the Z-fighters, especially the Saiyans, could use all of their potential power without having to go Super Saiyan and experience the energy drain that comes with it. They were able to perform the power unlock ceremony with little time to spare, so why not do it to everyone else during peace times? Why only Gohan?
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