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Dragon Ball has properly made its mark as one of the most popular anime series of all time. For decades Dragon Ball and its characters have been at the forefront of the medium, but the series hasn’t been afraid to grow over the years. Goku is Dragon Ball’s protagonist, but the series chronicles not only his development into a grown-up, but also the start of his family.
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The birth of Gohan is one of the most significant moments in Dragon Ball and the character’s importance in the anime fluctuates over time. Accordingly, here’s how old Dragon Ball’s Gohan is and 9 other things you didn’t know about him.
Back during the original Dragon Ball series and the earlier days of Dragon Ball Z, a tail was one of the most distinctive traits of a Saiyan. A Saiyan’s tail serves a number of practical purposes, but they’ve slowly been phased out over the course of the series.
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Despite how tails are now an anomaly for Saiyans, that doesn’t change the fact that Gohan actually had to have his removed 4 times before the change actually stuck. Piccolo removes the appendage twice and it’s done one more time by both Vegeta and Goku.
The Saiyan blood that runs through Gohan’s veins has him destined to be a great warrior, but that doesn’t mean that Chi-Chi can’t have different plans for her son’s future. Gohan gets caught in a tug of war between his parents’ interests and while Goku wants to help Gohan train, his mother would prefer that he be a scholar.
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In fact, Chi-Chi is so adamant about making sure that Gohan heads into a studious life that in Dragon Ball Z’s dub she suggests the names Einstein and Archimedes for him, before they settle on Gohan.
The Flying Nimbus is one of Goku’s most practical tools during his youth before he’s learned how to fly. The Nimbus makes for efficient transportation, but it’s also something that only a select group of people are able to ride.
The nimbus only works for those with pure hearts. It’s no surprise that Goku meets the qualifications for this, but it’s an encouraging bonus when his offspring, Gohan, is also able to easily ride the cloud. The nimbus might not be that helpful to Gohan during his older years, but he still gets on for the occasional ride.
7 He Can Perform Piccolo"s Special Beam Cannon
One of the most enjoyable aspects of the growth that characters experience throughout Dragon Ball is that they get to experience training under various different mentors. Typically, characters will master some skill or trait from their teacher and Gohan is privileged enough to receive training from several formidable warriors.
Piccolo is one of the most formative influences during Gohan’s youth. He teaches the boy lots about fighting, but Gohan also picks up Piccolo’s signature attack, the Special Beam Cannon. The knowledge of this technique puts Gohan in a very select group.
Age is a very tricky thing to nail down for certain characters in the Dragon Ball universe, but it’s easier for Gohan, who actually grows up on screen. Gohan’s birthday is stated to be May 18, Age 757, which makes him 4 years old at the start of Dragon Ball Z. This means that Gohan is 23 when Dragon Ball Super begins.
It"s easy to chart Gohan’s age because he"s a character that doesn"t spend any time in the afterlife. However, one could argue that he"s technically closer to 24 due to his extensive time in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber.
5 He"s Created His Own Signature Energy Move
Dragon Ball is full of powerful characters with unique backstories, but it’s really the fancy transformations and energy attacks that garner most of the attention from fans. It’s incredibly exciting when a character accesses a new level of transformation or unveils a powerful attack.
Gohan is comfortable making use of the Kamehameha, but he’s also developed his own technique, the Masenko. The Masenko goes through various upgrades, like Ultimate Masenko, Super Masenko, and the Combined Masenko. Gohan even teaches it to Future Trunks in his timeline, too.
Fusions are a double-edged sword in the Dragon Ball universe. The idea initially introduced a creative way for characters to not only become stronger, but to combine into a bizarre “What If?” style creation.
However, the Dragon Ball video games have run wild with the concept, with some even being centered around the idea of weird fusions. Gohan may not get to fuse in the anime (although it’s considered), but in games like Dragon Ball Heroes there is Gohanks (Gohan and Trunks), Krigohan (Krillian and Gohan), and Colohan (Piccolo and Gohan).
3 He Introduces Ki Control To The Public
It’s now a very fortunate time where Dragon Ball video games can actually be satisfying, challenging, and tap into fun, unexplored corners of the franchise. Before games like Dragon Ball FighterZ or Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot existed, Dragon Ball Online was an adequate Dragon Ball gaming experience, which actually had input from Akira Toriyama. Dragon Ball Online’s events are still somewhat scrutinized, but in the game’s timeline Gohan throws himself into science after Goku passes away. Gohan develops a level of ki energy control that’s available to anyone and he popularizes the energy in the process.
Dragon Ball is a series that’s full of unfathomable transformations and methods to tap into unprecedented power. The various Super Saiyan transformations become the most popular method to new power for the race, but Gohan stumbles upon an alternative. During Gohan’s efforts to beat Super Buu, he trains with Supreme Kai to wield the Z Sword. After passing this trial, Old Kai unlocks Gohan’s latent potential and gives him the “Mystic Upgrade.” This new upgrade has no bottom to its power, which means that Gohan technically has the capacity to be the strongest character if he puts in the work.
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1 He Was Supposed To Become The Main Character
It usually is a smart idea to have a developed plan for a story, but often veering from the script and going with gut feelings can work just as well. The original Dragon Ball details Goku’s story and growth and the original plan was that Dragon Ball Z was going to pass the torch over to Gohan in the show’s Buu Saga. Goku’s death to Cell was supposed to be permanent and Gohan was the replacement, however plans changed and unfortunately Gohan eventually receded back into the background.
Next: Dragon Ball: 5 Reasons Why Gohan Can Still Take Over In Super (& 5 Reasons Why Goku & Vegeta Are Better Fits)
Daniel Kurland is a freelance writer, comedian, and critic, who lives in the cultural mosaic that is Brooklyn, New York. Daniel’s work can be read on ScreenRant, Splitsider, Bloody Disgusting, Den of Geek, and across the Internet. Daniel recently completed work on a noir anthology graphic novel titled, "Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Noir: A Rag of Bizarre Noir and Hard Boiled Tales" and he’s currently toiling away on his first novel. Daniel"s extra musings can be found