Gohan

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Son Gohan
Dragon Ball character
Gohan, all depictions, 2014.jpg
Four different appearances of Gohan, drawn by Akira Toriyama.
First appearance Dragon Ball chapter #196: Kakarrot (1988)
Created by Akira Toriyama
Voiced by Japanese
Masako Nozawa
English
Stephanie Nadolny (kid/teen; pre-2010)
Colleen Clinkenbeard (kid/teen; 2010 onwards)
Kyle Hebert (adult)
Dameon Clarke (adult; History of Trunks)
Saffron Henderson (child; Ocean)
Brad Swaile (teen/adult; Ocean)
Profile
Aliases The Great Saiyaman
The Golden Warrior
Species Half-Saiyan/Half-Human
Relatives Grandpa Gohan (adoptive great-grandfather)
Bardock (grandfather)
Goku (father)
Chi-Chi (mother)
Goten (brother)
Videl (wife)
Pan (daughter)
Raditz (uncle)

Son Gohan (Japanese: 孫 悟飯) is a fictional character in the Dragon Ball manga series, created by Akira Toriyama. Gohan is introduced as the first son of the protagonist Goku, and his wife Chi-Chi, in chapter #196 Kakarrot (カカロット, Kakarotto), first published in Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine on October 8, 1988.[1] Chi-Chi is a strict and protective mother to Gohan, forcing him to focus on his studies and forbidding him from practicing martial arts. However, due to the various threats to the Earth, she reluctantly allows him to fight, with him ultimately becoming one of the strongest characters in the series. Gohan has been well received by both fans and critics, the latter usually citing the character's growth from his initial appearance to his defeat of Cell.

Creation and design[edit]

Gohan's name comes from the Japanese word "gohan" (ご飯, lit. "cooked rice" or "meal of any sort"), a continuation of the naming scheme of foods by Toriyama. Rice, being a grain, is not normally considered to be a vegetable, even though it is a common food. However, as the word "vegetable" is a culinary term, and not a botanical term, the name can also continue the naming scheme for Saiyan characters, which derives names from puns on vegetables.[2]

In conceptualizing for Gohan's character, Toriyama originally included glasses or a jacket to his apparel, and commonly, his hair is spiked up as seen in the final design.[3] With the ending of the Cell arc, Gohan was meant to replace his father as the protagonist. However, Toriyama later decided against it, finding the character unsuited for the role in comparison to his father.[4]

As opposed to full-blooded Saiyans, whose hair stays the same from birth,[5] Gohan's is drawn at varying lengths, and changes markedly in style. Initially, Gohan is illustrated garbed in a surcoat with kanji 孫, fixed on the front and the four-star Dragon Ball fitted on top of his hat. Piccolo later supplies him with a keikogi fashioned after Goku's, but substitutes the symbol with his own demon character "".[6] Normally thereafter, Gohan is drawn with a keikogi modeled after Piccolo's own. On Namek, Gohan is portrayed in battle armor worn by Freeza's henchmen, having been given it by Vegeta in preparation for their encounter with Freeza. Prior to his second fight with Majin Boo, Gohan asks Kibito for an outfit resembling his father's, and is then drawn in a keikogi identical to Goku's. Gohan, from the alternate future, is dressed in a keikogi similar to that of his father's, and has a long scar across his left eye.

Abilities[edit]

Gohan possesses superhuman strength and durability,[7] as well as superhuman speed and reflexes, as seen during his training with his younger brother Goten. As a child, Gohan is depicted with an immense amount of hidden potential, which at first only revealed itself when he experienced fierce rage or distress.[8][9] The vastness of this potential is shown consistently throughout the series as he ages and learns to master his powers from constant training and battles, the earliest example was during his short fight with Raditz.[8] Gohan's potential was unlocked twice in the series: first by the Namekian Grand Elder,[10] and then fully unlocked by Old Kaiō-shin,[11] which sees his power level rise to new heights, capable of easily overwhelming the seemingly invincible Majin Boo.[12]

As a Half-Saiyan, he has the ability to become an Oozaru, a gigantic ape-like creature, by absorbing waves from a full moon. He lost this ability after his tail was cut by Piccolo,[13] and later Vegeta.[14] He was the third youngest Saiyan to achieve the Super Saiyan transformation at the age of nine whilst training and surpassing his father Goku in the Room of Spirit and Time (hyperbolic time chamber)[15] and as a display of his hidden potential which he unlocked during his training with his father, Gohan becomes the first Saiyan in the series to become a Super Saiyan 2 during his battle against Cell. Though Gohan had gotten much weaker due to not training after the Cell Games, he became stronger than he ever has after his potential was unlocked from Old Kaiō-shin. Gohan with this power up was even stronger than Super Saiyan 3 Goku and Super Saiyan 3 Gotenks since he was able to dominate Super Buu with ease without transforming.

Ever since this fight, Gohan has given up on fighting and has continually gotten weaker to the point that he can't use his Super Saiyan transformations without straining himself. Gohan can still hold his own against Freeza's soldiers, Shisami, and Tagoma in his base form and overpower them when he transforms into a Super Saiyan. After Freeza's attack on Earth, Gohan returned to training with Piccolo. During his training with Piccolo before the start of the Tournament of Power, Gohan is pushed beyond his limits and manages to unlock his hidden power once again, becoming stronger than ever before.

Gohan has the ability to freely manipulate a life-force energy known as ki to fly using Bukū-jutsu (舞空術, "Air Dance Technique"),.[16] He can also concentrate his ki to fire blasts of energy, such as the Kamehameha (かめはめ波, lit. "Turtle Destruction Wave") or the Masenko (魔閃光, Masenkō, lit. "Demon Flash").[17] Gohan has displayed the use of his ki in a defensive manner, such as generating protective energy shields. Both as a child and an adult, Gohan is known to be a capable swordsman, as well as an adept teacher.

Voice actors[edit]

Gohan is voiced in the original Japanese anime and all other media by Masako Nozawa. Nozawa, who also voices Goku, revealed that she did not know she would be playing Gohan until receiving the script on the day of recording his debut episode. Despite having to voice Gohan, Goku, Goten and Bardock, Nozawa claims she is able to instantly get into the respective character simply upon seeing their image.

In Funimation and Saban Entertainment's initial 1996 English dub of Dragon Ball Z, Gohan is voiced by Saffron Henderson. Henderson reprised her role in AB Group and Westwood Media's alternate dub for the UK and Canadian markets in 2000. Jillian Michaels replaced Henderson in the later part of the Cell arc, while his adult version is voiced by Brad Swaile. Henderson believed her experience playing Goku in Dragon Ball made it simple to develop Gohan's voice, though stressed performing as him was "tiring" due to the action of the series requiring louder volumes. She also remembered scheduling conflicts thanks to her wedding, setting the stage for the studio to audition other voice actors for the part of Gohan, and being disappointed at the role being recast.[18]

In Funimation's in-house dub, Gohan's child incarnation is voiced by Stephanie Nadolny for various media until 2010 and Colleen Clinkenbeard for Dragon Ball Kai and later media while his adult incarnation is voiced by Kyle Hebert for almost all various media and Dameon Clarke as "Future Gohan" for some episodes and the History of Trunks TV special. Nadolny was called in to audition in 1999, when the English dub of Dragon Ball Z was recast. She said her most challenging time voicing the character was during his fight against Cell where she had to make him sound as "deep, tough and as much like a man as possible." Nadolny's voice was strained during the recordings, causing her to sometimes leave the studio in pain.[19] Hebert said that his roles as Gohan and the narrator of Dragon Ball Z are close to him as they kickstarted his career.[20] He also found Battle of Gods to be "genuinely touching" outside of its fighting, citing Gohan finding out that he was going to be a father among the moments he found sentimental and was happy to return to the franchise when reprising his role in Resurrection 'F', also expressing interest in redoing his lines in Dragon Ball Kai as he had more experience.[21]

In the English dub of the video game Dragon Ball GT: Final Bout, Gohan is voiced by Lex Lang. In the English dub of Dragon Ball GT produced by Blue Water Studios distributed in Canada, he was voiced by Scott Roberts. In the English dub of movies distributed in Europe by AB Groupe, Gohan was voiced by Jodi Forrest, with David Gasman voicing Gohan as an adult in The History of Trunks. In the Toonami Asia dub produced by Bang Zoom! Entertainment of Dragon Ball Super, Gohan here is voiced by Chris Hackney. In a rare English dub of the anime produced in the Philippines by Creative Products Corporation, Gohan was voiced by Ethel Lizano who also directed that dub. In the 1996 dub of the double feature combining Cooler's Revenge and The Return of Cooler, Lizano was replaced with E.J. Galang, who was 12 years old at the time he voiced Gohan.

Appearances[edit]

In Dragon Ball[edit]

Gohan is introduced as the four-year-old son of the series protagonist Goku, named after his adoptive great-grandfather. Described as well-mannered and reserved,[22][23] Gohan's story begins following his abduction by the extraterrestrial Saiyan named Raditz, who is also his uncle. While Goku is pinned to the ground, Gohan's extreme distress explodes with the release of his dormant power, which allows him to injure Raditz. Piccolo then takes Gohan away following the fight and Goku's death, and trains him for the upcoming battle against the two other Saiyans, Vegeta and Nappa, though Piccolo is aware that training the son of his greatest enemy will be a risk.[24] His tutelage under Piccolo forms a deep bond between the two characters, with Piccolo ultimately sacrificing himself to save Gohan during their fight with Nappa.[25] After Vegeta's defeat, Gohan travels with Bulma and Krillin to planet Namek to use the Dragon Balls there, as the Dragon Balls on Earth had turned to stone due to the Earth's god Kami's death.[26] After succeeding in gathering the Dragon Balls, Gohan and the others wish Piccolo back to life, causing Kami and the Dragon Balls to be returned. Gohan, along with Krillin and Vegeta, are then forced into an encounter with Frieza, who seeks the Dragon Balls for immortality. Shortly after the fight with Freeza begins, Krillin is impaled by one of Freeza's horns. Freeza stops Gohan as he tries to save Krillin, who has now been thrown into the ocean below, and he mocks him, saying it is pointless to try to save his friend since he and Vegeta are both about to die. Gohan is extremely angered by being unable to save Krillin and attacks Freeza without hesitation. He manages to knock Freeza into a small island below, and then he blasts him with a series of energy blasts before ending the attack with a Masenko.[27] Later on in the fight, as Piccolo is getting repeatedly blasted from Freeza, who is now in his third form, Gohan blasts Freeza with another Masenko, and once again pushes him back with it. Freeza is able to send it back at Gohan without taking any damage, but he is once again shocked that a child could produce such an attack. Shortly after this, Freeza transforms into his original and most powerful form. Once he does this he immediately kills Dende, a young Namekian who had been secretly healing Gohan, Krillin, Piccolo and Vegeta.[28] Gohan is outraged by this and unleashes all of his power against Freeza. However, he is unable to land even a single blow.[29] After Goku transforms into a Super Saiyan and defeats Freeza, the planet Namek explodes and Goku escapes while Freeza is left with serious injuries, Freeza is found in space by his father (King Cold) and is turned into a cyborg. Gohan is shown to settle back into school life on Earth, waiting for Goku to return home from Namek.[30]

Gohan in the anime adaptation.

After Trunks kills Freeza and his father King Cold then tells Goku about the Androids,[31] Gohan goes into the wilderness with Goku and Piccolo to train for the upcoming threat.[32] After Vegeta kills Android #19,[33] Dr. Gero (Android #20) activate Androids #17 and #18,[34] and Cell is discovered,[35] Gohan enters the Room of Spirit and Time with Goku where they train for 1 year (1 day on earth, however in their case according to Mr. Popo, Goku and Gohan still had 3 hours left in the room, but they came out having finished their training earlier than expected). Gohan makes the jump to Super Saiyan while he is in the chamber and after they emerge, both Goku and Gohan retain the physical characteristics of a Super Saiyan without any of the drawbacks of its form (increased aggression, energy loss, etc.). After Goku initially fights Cell but realizes later that he cannot defeat him, Gohan is called to fight to the surprise of everyone else and Cell. During the fight, Gohan asks Cell to stop the Cell Games tournament and then he tells him about his power. Cell, instead of heeding Gohan's warning, attacks him in an effort to force Gohan to show his true power. Gohan holds his own for a while until Cell becomes impatient and bored.[36] He releases Cell Juniors on the other fighters to provoke Gohan from attacking. After Android #16 is murdered by Cell, Gohan unleashes his rage and transforms into a Super Saiyan 2.[37] Gohan easily defeats the Cell Juniors and proceeds to toy with Cell, now that he has a much greater power level. This backfires, however; he waits too long to finish Cell, who decides to self-destruct when transformed back to his semi-perfect form, as a last-ditch effort to destroy Gohan and the Earth. Goku, in an act of self-sacrifice, uses teleportation to take Cell to Kaio-sama's planet. Thinking Cell dead, the fighters lower their guard only to be surprised by a blast that kills Trunks. Cell returns, having regenerated from a single Cell that survived the blast, and also adopted the instant transmission technique. Right before Cell is about to finish Vegeta, Gohan intercedes which costs him the use of his left arm.[38] As Cell charges up one final Kamehameha wave to finish the Earth, Gohan hears the voice of his father who gives him the resolve he needs to defeat Cell. They both launch large Kamehameha waves at each other, which initiates a power struggle.[39] Cell is about to overcome Gohan when Vegeta uses his remaining energy to blast Cell, which distracts him for a moment. Gohan uses this moment to unleash all his fury into his attack, which causes it to overpower Cell's. It hits Cell full-force which disintegrates all his cells, finally killing him.[40]

The Gohan of the alternate timeline, referred to as "Future Gohan", to distinguish him from the character's present-timeline incarnation, is presented in the volume #33 sidestory of the original manga, Trunks the Story, in which he is shown to be the only surviving fighter; the others have all died at the hands of the androids (sans Goku due to having died from a heart virus prior to androids' arrival).[41][42] Gohan is shown training Trunks to assist him in battling Androids #17 and #18. In this timeline, Gohan has become a Super Saiyan and is depicted wearing a uniform similar to his father's, one with his own kanji symbol on the back, Han, . Gohan states he wears it in hopes of becoming as strong as his father one day, and is mentioned that he bears a striking resemblance to Goku when donning it.[43] He eventually loses his left arm fighting Androids #17 and #18.[43] He is ultimately killed by the two androids during a battle where they ganged up on Gohan, killing him with machine gun-like ki blasts.

In the present-timeline, Gohan is shown enrolled at Orange Star High School in Satan City. After foiling crimes as a Super Saiyan he earns the alias the "Golden Warrior" (金色の戦士, Kiniro no Senshi) from the public. In order to hide his identity, and with help from Bulma, he adopts a superhero persona that he dubs the "Great Saiyaman" (グレートサイヤマン, Gurēto Saiyaman). He is also in a relationship with Videl. Participating in the 25th Tenkaichi Budōkai, Gohan is depicted as having grown weaker, which the Daizenshū World Guide book explains as due to a lack of training and anger in transforming.[3] Gohan, after having his chi absorbed by Spopovich and Yamu, pursues the two and enters Bobbidi's spaceship with the Kaiō-shin, Goku and Vegeta, where Gohan later fights with Dabura.[44] Following Majin Boo's release and Gohan's defeat at his hands, Gohan is taken to the home planet of the Kaiō-shin. After pulling out the Zeta Sword (Known in the English Funimation Dub as the Z Sword) and accidentally breaking it in a training session, Gohan unwittingly releases the Old Kaiō-shin, who then performs a prolonged ceremony to unlock Gohan's latent powers.[45] Gohan then returns to Earth and confronts Boo for a second time, and easily defeats him.[46] However, his victory is temporary, as he is overpowered when Boo absorbs Gotenks and Piccolo. He is later absorbed by Boo.[47] Though Goku and Vegeta manage to rescue him along with Goten, Trunks, and Piccolo, he is killed when Boo (now in his pure form) destroys the Earth. Once revived, Gohan is able to aid Goku's Genki-dama by lending his chi.[48] Following Boo's defeat and a ten-year gap, Gohan has finally become a scholar, is married with Videl and they have a daughter Pan.[49]

In Toriyama's films and Dragon Ball Super[edit]

Gohan appears in fourteen of the fifteen Dragon Ball Z films; in the first movie, Gohan is kidnapped by Garlic Jr. due to his hat having a Dragon Ball on it and causes the villain's plan to fail when he uses his dormant power against him;[50] in the second, Gohan participates in the fight against Dr. Wheelo and frees Piccolo from further mind control;[51] in the third, Gohan unintentionally brings Turles to Earth and is forcibly made to combat his father as an Oozaru before having his tail removed;[52] in the fourth, Gohan attempts to fight Lord Slug's men only to be defeated;[53] in the fifth, Gohan watches over his father's body after Goku shields him from a blast from Cooler;[54] in the sixth, Gohan travels to New Namek and fights Cooler's henchmen;[55] in the seventh, Gohan intervenes in the battle against Android 13 by attacking him and then defending his father against the android when he tries to power the Genki-Dama;[56] in the eighth, Gohan tries fighting Broly but is defeated and later aids in the Saiyan's defeat by providing his energy;[57] in the ninth, Gohan faces Bojack and his henchmen, struggling initially before transforming into a Super Saiyan 2 and successfully terminating the invaders;[58] in the tenth, Gohan comes to the aid of Goten and Trunks after they are confronted by Broly, who he seemingly kills alongside his father and brother in a family Kamehameha wave;[59] in the twelfth, Gohan combats the villains that have escaped from Other World;[60] in the thirteenth, Gohan battles Hirudegarn following his appearance;[61] in the fourteenth, Gohan is defeated by Beerus and provides his aid in transforming his father into a Super Saiyan God;[62] and lastly, in the fifteenth, Gohan confronts the resurrected Freeza and avoids being killed with the majority of the Earth's population thanks to a save by Whis.[63] After the latter two films' events, Gohan decides to resume his training with Piccolo.[64] Following a short time of civilian life, where he is unable to participate in the Universe 6 vs Universe 7 tournament thanks to a scheduling conflict,[65] and Gohan turns down a new job,[66] he is reunited with Trunks,[67] being unaware of his reason to return to the past until after Goku, Trunks and Vegeta have had multiple encounters with Goku Black and he goes in search of his father.[68] After Pan gets sick, Gohan has Shenlong to cure her[69] and Gohan later follows Goku around after Hit targets Goku.[70] Gohan becomes a stuntman for a movie featuring his Great Saiyaman persona against Mr. Satan, defeating Watagash and being attacked by Jaco, who thinks Gohan is Watagash's new host.[71] Gohan then defeats a Watagash possessed Barry Karn.[72] Citing a desire to protect his family, Gohan participates in Zen-Oh-sama's Universal Survival tournament for the Universe 7 team.[73] In the exhibition round, Gohan is matched against Universe 9's Lavender,[74] and ties with him.[75] In the Tournament of Power, Gohan defeats Universe 6's Botamo, Universe 10's Obuni,[76] Universe 6's Saonel and Pirina,[77] and Universe 3's Anilaza[78] before Universes 7 and 11 become the only remaining teams in the tournament. Gohan initially partners with Android 17 to battle Toppo,[79] firing a Kamehameha wave at Android 17 and Toppo while they are inside Android 17's barrier in effort to ring them out, though Gohan retracts the beam out of concern for Android 17.[80] Gohan breaks away from the fight with Toppo and comes to Frieza's aid against Dyspo, Gohan holding Dyspo down and the two being blasted out of bounds by Frieza.[81]

In other media[edit]

In filler episodes of Dragon Ball Z, while training for the Saiyans, Gohan makes friends with C-6[82] and a dinosaur.[83] During the Namek arc, Gohan also encounters the Mirror spaceship and a fake version of Namek, where he, Kuririn and Bulma collect Dragon Balls during a distraction, and prevent their ship from being stolen. In the Garlic Jr. arc, entirely composed of filler, Gohan is one of only a few unaffected by the Black Water Mist and after fighting his allies, he travels to the lookout where he kills the henchmen of Garlic Jr. after they severely injure Kuririn,[84] Gohan then sending Garlic Jr. back into the Dead Zone by destroying his power through shooting out the Makyo Star[85] after being attacked by Piccolo and Kuririn as they pretend to be under the effects of the Black Water Mist. Leading up to the Cell Games, Gohan encounters Taopaipai, his father's old enemy, who flees from a potential battle once recognizing Gohan as Goku's son[86] and celebrates his 11th birthday, it being shown in flashbacks how he acquires his name and how he had hidden potential within infancy.[87] Prior to the Boo arc beginning, Gohan's high school antics are explored such as his masquerading as Great Saiyaman[88] and his first date.[89] After Boo is defeated, Gohan attends a party with his family.[90]

He is featured in other Dragon Ball Z animations; in Dragon Ball Z Side Story: Plan to Eradicate the Saiyans, Gohan uses a Super Masenko to destroy Hatchiyack, who is killed by his combined efforts alongside Goku, Vegeta and Trunks[91] and in Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return!!, Gohan meets Vegeta's younger brother Tarble after Tarble arrives on Earth, also advising Goten and Trunks in their fight against Abo and Kado.[92]

Gohan appears in the anime-only sequel, Dragon Ball GT in a reduced role.[93] He is the second Saiyan on Earth to be taken control of by Baby, who previously controlled his younger brother Goten and moved to possessing Gohan during their battle.[94] After Vegeta becomes Baby's permanent host, the parasite transmitting himself to Vegeta during a fight between him and the possessed Gohan, Gohan remains under his influence due to Baby having implanted Tuffle parasite inside of him while he was originally possessed.[95] After regaining his will, he assists his father in defeating Baby, donating his energy[96] and tearfully bids farewell to his former mentor Piccolo as the latter dies alongside the Earth.[97] He then participates in the fights against Super 17[98] and Omega Shenron.[99]

Gohan has performed multiple songs, his voice actor Masako Nozawa singing in reference to his character, the first of these being the song "The World's Greatest Gohan" released on the 1989 album Dragon Ball Z Hit Song Collection, Gohan singing about how good he feels.[100] The second was "I Lo~ve Mr. Piccolo" in the album Dragon Ball Z Hit Song Collection III: Space Dancing, released in 1990, Gohan singing Piccolo praises and speculating on what species he is.[101] Another song, "Feeling of Whistling", debuted on the 1991 album Dragon Ball Z Hit Song Collection 6: BP∞ Battle Points Unlimited.[102] The 1991 album Dragon Ball Z Hit Song Collection 8: Character Special 2 features the song ""I•ke•na•i Oo-La-La Magic", where Chi-Chi forces Gohan to sing a duet with her after she feels left out from his adventures with Goku, also intending to enter the local karaoke circuit with Gohan.[103]

Gohan has made appearances in non-Dragon Ball material. In the 2003 interactive feature Kyutai Panic Adventure! (球体パニックアドベンチャー!, Kyūtai Panikku Adobenchā!, Orb Panic Adventure!), Gohan and Kuririn attempt to save visitors of at Fuji Television's orb section from drowning, while Goku battles Freeza.[104][105] In the 2013 special Dream 9 Toriko & One Piece & Dragon Ball Z Super Collaboration Special (ドリーム9 トリコ&ワンピース&ドラゴンボールZ 超コラボスペシャル!), Gohan cheers on Goku in his match against Monkey D. Luffy and Toriko.

Since Dragon Ball Z began syndication in the U.S. in 1996, Gohan has also appeared in American media. Gohan has been used in promotional merchandising at fast-food chain Burger King,[106] and collectible cards, such as the Dragon Ball Z Collectible Card Game, have featured Gohan frequently. Gohan is referenced in the song "Goku" by Soulja Boy Tell 'Em, where he brags that he looks and feels like Gohan and a few other Dragon Ball related characters.[107] Gohan, along with Goku, is parodied in the Robot Chicken episode "Easter Basket". In "The Move", an episode of The Amazing World of Gumball, Gumball gains hair identical to Super Saiyan 2 Gohan when transforming into a Super Saiyan. Gohan appears for a scene in a parody of the film Moneyball in an episode of Mad being drafted by Billy Beane.[108]

Video games[edit]

In the 1992 Video game Dragon Ball: Get Together! Goku World, Gohan along with Goku, Trunks, Bulma, and Kuririn travel back in time to examine events in the past.[109]

In the 2004 video game Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors, Gohan comes to Goku's aid against the androids and defeats Android 18.[110] After Goku passes away from a heart disease, Gohan inherits his role as Earth's primary protector.[111] Gohan confronts Dr. Gero, who he defeats and is warned by of an upcoming threat from Cell,[112] the latter announcing the Cell Games after being revealed and Gohan training with Piccolo in the Room of Spirit and Time to prepare.[113] After Gohan and Piccolo struggle against Cell, and Piccolo sacrifices himself to save Gohan,[114] Gohan unleashes his hidden power and destroys Cell.[115] In the 2005 video game Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors 2, after his defeat of Cell, Gohan is recruited by Trunks to assist him with defeating the androids in his timeline.[116] After defeating Android 18,[117] Gohan and Trunks confront[118] and defeat Cell.[119] The two travel to Dr. Gero's laboratory[120] and defeat various clones of the android and destroy the computer that created them.[121] Years later, he encounters Cooler[122] when the latter comes to Earth searing for the Saiyan that defeated his brother Frieza.[123] Piccolo is turned evil when taking a blast from Bobbidi to protect Gohan, who is forced to fight Piccolo before the latter flees.[124] Gohan later confronts Piccolo and defeats him.[125]

In the 2006 game Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai, Gohan confronts Frieza after the latter is resurrected[126] and unsuccessfully tries donning his Great Saiyaman persona,[127] becoming worn out in the process of fighting him before Frieza departs.[128] Gohan then confronts Cooler after seeing him search for a Dragon Ball[129] and bests him in battle,[130] before Cooler escapes with the Dragon Ball using the Shunkan Idō.[131] Later, influence by Janemba allows Gohan to kill Cell with ease and nearly become consumed with evil energy before Goku's intervention.[132] In the 2007 game Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai - Another Road, Gohan travels to Trunks' timeline to assist him with the Majin Boo threat.[133] and fights Janemba while searching for the timeline's version of himself to pull the Zeta Sword.[134] Gohan meets Pikkon[135] and his grandfather Bardock for the first time.[136]

In the 2010 arcade game Dragon Ball Heroes, Gohan attains both the Super Saiyan 3, the result of continued training with Piccolo after the Cell Games,[137] and Super Saiyan 4 forms.[138]

In the 2015 game Dragon Ball: Xenoverse, Gohan serves as a mentor with Videl, teaching the player moves.[139] In the Saiyan arc, the player saves Gohan from being killed by Raditz;[140] in the Freeza arc, Gohan being left to fight Freeza alone causes Goku to rush to his aid instead of finishing healing;[141] in the Cell arc, Gohan receives a Villainous Mode power-up from Towa[142] and the player helps him defeat Villainous Mode Cell; and in the epilogue of the game, the player faces Gohan in Villainous Mode. In the 2016 game Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, the player helps Gohan fight Android 16 in the alternate timeline[143] and in the present timeline, helps Gohan defeat the empowered Cell Juniors[144] and Metal Cooler.[145]

In the 2018 game Dragon Ball FighterZ, an unconscious Gohan is found by Goku, Piccolo, and Krillin,[146] and after waking up, joins their quest to combat the clones.[147] He later participates in destroying Android 21 by firing a Masenko at her.[148] In the game's second arc, Gohan is found by Goku, Frieza, and Cell,[149] and is skeptical of the latter two when being told of their alliance with the heroes.[150]

Gohan has also appeared in crossover games such as Battle Stadium D.O.N, Jump Super Stars and Jump Ultimate Stars as a playable character.

Reception[edit]

In 1993, Gohan placed first in a Dragon Ball character popularity poll voted on by Weekly Shōnen Jump readers,[151] and was also voted the third most popular character by fans of the series for the 2004 book Dragon Ball Forever.[152] Due to the popularity of Gohan, other merchandise, such as action figures, video games, and clothing have featured Gohan in Japan and in various countries around the world. In an interview featured in the second Dragon Ball GT Perfect Files, a companion book released in December 1997 by Shueisha's Jump Comics Selection imprint, Masako Nozawa, Gohan's voice actress, stated that her favorite episode voicing Gohan was "Sorry, Robot-san - The Desert of Vanishing Tears".[153] Saffron Henderson, Gohan's original English voice actor, has stated she felt protective of the role and considers it to be one of her favorites.[154] In addition, Gohan's original Funimation voice actor, Stephanie Nadolny has said that playing Gohan was a unique and much-loved experience.[155] C.J. A. Glover of Moviepilot ranked Gohan his third favorite comic character, admitting Gohan "has always been somewhat of an idol to me" as he related to bottling up his anger and being a gentle person that, when snapping, "would let loose and it would be hard to bottle it back up again." In conclusion, Glover wrote that Gohan was definitely "one of my favorite anime and manga characters ever."[156] Gohan's relationship with mentor Piccolo during the Saiyan arc was praised,[157] being seen as "complex" and "culminating in a truly emotional and inspiring moment that one doesn't often expect from your average animated series."[158] Tomoko Hiroki from Bandai Namco considered Gohan his favorite character from the series.[159]

Gohan's victory over Cell is generally regarded as a high point for the character and a strong showing of his character development.

Most of Gohan's praise is derived from his role in the Cell arc of Dragon Ball Z. IGN writer D. F. Smith liked how during the Cell Games, Gohan has more screentime than Goku, and praised his scenes as one of the biggest moments from said story arc.[160] Theron Martin from Anime News Network celebrated Gohan's development in the Cell Games as he had grown up and become stronger.[161] The character's battles against Cell during the arc and his transformation into a Super Saiyan 2 were positively received as some of the best in the entire series,[162][163] the fight additionally being praised for its animation.[164] Both Anime Focus[165] and John Begley believed Dragon Ball Z could have ended with Gohan's defeat of Cell, the latter reasoning concluding it there would have "provided it a sense of poignancy and closure that retroactively would have provided a greater sense of depth and purpose."[166] Luke Ryan Baldock of The Hollywood News felt Gohan's progression was the focus of the Cell Games and that he had begun to match his father Goku in ability, calling their relationship "a fascinating one to watch unfold."[167] Reviewer Nick Hartel expressed that the "continuing elevation of Gohan" pleased him and the last episodes of the Cell storyline "properly sees this is paid off from a narrative standpoint."[168] Reviewer Todd Douglass Jr. wrote that the series split its focus between Goku and Gohan during the start of the series as they grew on their own, finding it to be "an interesting way to handle the flow of story but also important because it shows Gohan's growth as a person and warrior."[169]

Gohan's role and character in the latter part of the series was met with more mixed reviews. Reviewer Michael Zupan wrote of his disappointment with the character, "Gohan was once the most promising warrior in the galaxy, with the potential to even best his father, Goku… and this is where he's at seven years later? Dressing up in a green dress, black tights and a Lost in Space helmet to put the beat down on robbers?"[170] Anime Focus found humor in his Great Saiyaman guise and his "clumsy but earnest" relationship with Videl, but thought it "mostly uninspired and draggy and feels very flat after the high flying antics of previous arcs."[171] Reviewer Brad Stephenson argued that the character growing older and becoming more "emotionally complex" provided Dragon Ball Z "with a true sense of progression and meaning." While controversial, lighthearted and more casual fans of the show tend to enjoy the Saiyaman saga due to its comedic tone and way of portraying larger than life figures in relatable real life situations.[172] Josh Begley enjoyed Gohan trying to find his place in high school and his role as big brother to Goten, but thought his Great Saiyaman guise was not comedic and became embarrassed on the character's behalf.[173] Anime Focus was impressed with his fight against Majin Boo after he was powered up, calling it a "rare chance for him to flex his muscles" by giving Majin Boo "an impressive beatdown".[174] Gohan ranked first on The Artifice writer Santiago Rashad's list "Top Ten Misused Dragon Ball Characters". Rashad argued that the character's role in the series had suffered from the backlash by fans not wanting him to become the protagonist following his defeat of Cell as he expressed: "He was never accepted by the fans, and thus the show that was meant to be his never became his. His story became the b-plot and he was relegated to being a relief pitcher after being the clutch closer for Cell."[175]

Sam Leach from Anime News Network noted that fans of the series tend to joke Piccolo is a better paternal figure to Gohan than his actual father, Goku, and felt that Dragon Ball Super emphasized it more when Piccolo started training him again.[176] On the other hand, Leach criticized how Super tries to teach "life lessons" to a mature Gohan. The fact that Piccolo calls him "arrogant", despite Gohan's kindness and humility, was seen as a bad plot point by the reviewer.[177]

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