By Jeremy Carden
One of the most popular characters in the Dragon Ball franchise and a fan favorite among the many incarnations of Goku’s son Gohan is his persona from the timeline of Future Trunks.
After Dr. Gero’s androids emerged and began killing the inhabitants of the earth, Gohan was the last warrior standing to combat this deadly threat.
Eventually, Gohan fell to the power of the android duo and the fate of the world rested on the shoulders of Future Trunks. However, the question still remains regarding how powerful Future Gohan actually was.
Many fans are curious as to how a 23-year-old Gohan was unable to go any further than the regular Super Saiyan transformation.
Despite being in an apocalyptic world and fighting/training for 13 years on his own, there are significant differences between his persona from the timeline we know of where he ascended to a Super Saiyan 2 and killed Cell ending the android threat to the world and the timeline of Trunks’ future where the androids were destroying the planet.
We know that Gohan was the last warrior who survived after the future versions of Android #17 and #18 attacked the earth and the Z-Fighters were killed during the battle.
He tells Trunks that the anger he felt over remembering how unfair it was for his friends to die to the androids was what fueled his rage enough for him to finally become a Super Saiyan.
Something that we never learn and what could add a lot of information to this topic is when exactly Gohan became a Super Saiyan. He told Trunks that seeing his friends getting killed by #17 and #18 created the necessary emotions for him to ascend doesn’t give us that much of a way to pinpoint his ascension. It could be argued that he was present during the big battle and saw the Z-Team getting killed right before his eyes. From there he somehow escaped and remembering the fear, despair and anger of that battle caused him to become a Super Saiyan.
You could also argue that he did not ascend until later in his life as a teenager after he decided to devote his life to training and protecting the earth. During the scene where we see Future Chi-Chi and Future Ox-King, it was mentioned that after the androids attacked the earth, Gohan devoted his life to avenge the death of his friends. We can assume that he gave up his mother’s dreams for him to become a scholar to go into his “father’s work” to protect the earth. That means no more endless days at his desk studying and doing homework, Gohan was training full time in order to defeat the androids!
Whatever the case maybe, we know that Gohan was alone in his training. Compared to the Gohan of the present, Future Gohan did not go inside of the Hyperbolic Time Chamber with Goku for a year (well not a full year but close to one) and he did not have 3 years of intense training prior to the androids arrival with Goku and Piccolo.
So we can assume that the Future Gohan we see at the beginning of the History of Trunks special was weaker than the Gohan of the same age before the androids arrive.
Considering that Gohan did not have experienced warriors to assist him in his training, it was all a solo effort in an attempt to raise his skills high enough to take down the androids. Personally, I thought it was strange that no one told Future Gohan about the Hyperbolic Time Chamber. I know that everyone who knew about it (Goku, Piccolo and Kami) had all died, but through the use of King Kai’s telepathy or Mr. Popo contacting Gohan directly they could have informed him of the room and he could have used that for intense training. However, I guess that would make too much sense and this is DB we are talking about here…
Based on what we learned from the manga and anime special, the only form of combat training that Gohan received that involved another powerful being was when he fought with androids on multiple occasions. According to Ox-King, Gohan encountered the killer bots many times before we see him fight them at the amusement park and in the destroyed city where they finally kill him.
Since the androids do not have a Ki signature for him to sense, it can be assumed that Gohan would arrive on the scene of an android attack. Whenever they were demolishing a city or going on a killing spree, Gohan could probably sense a drastic disappearance of minor Ki signatures (the innocent people being killed off).
I say this because thinking back to Namek, Gohan and the others could sense whenever Vegeta or one of Frieza’s men was killing a village of Nameks from faraway. With that being said, I think the same is true about the androids whenever they killed people “for fun.”
Gohan would probably arrive on the scene and engage the androids in battle and escape when things got too overwhelming for him. It was 1 warrior against 2 androids who had superior power, but the fact that he could escape to fight another day says a lot about Gohan’s speed and evasion tactics. Not to mention the androids were not capable of sensing his Ki signature to track him down.
You could say that the androids were playing cat and mouse with him just as Future Trunks told Goku when he described how they enjoyed hunting him down.
Considering that the Zenkai boost was still in play, Gohan would possibly get more powerful after each android encounter if he suffered a major injury and recovered. Similar to how he had major power boosts on Namek while fighting the Ginyu Force or Frieza, we can assume that healing from android attacks increased his power. Then fighting them and training between bouts increased his skill.
While dining at Bulma’s house where she comments on how Gohan reminded her so much of his late father Goku, Gohan says that he wears his dad’s old colors to inspire him to become stronger.
Overall, I think Future Trunks is the best way of figuring out how powerful Future Gohan was. Before going to the past to deliver the heart medicine to Goku and warn him of the upcoming android threat, Bulma says that Trunks is just about as powerful as Gohan was before he died 3 years ago.
Now here is where there is a slight difference between the anime and the manga. In the anime special, Bulma says this prior to Trunks going to attack the androids while they were destroying a city. After somehow surviving #18’s powerful Masenko-like Ki attack, Trunks was stuck in bed healing for weeks practically near death from that fierce battle. Going off of that fact, we can figure that the Zenkai boost he got from that recovery was huge!
Similar to how Gohan got a Zenkai boost after losing an arm and nearly his life saving Trunks from the androids in the amusement park, Trunks’ power must have increased dramatically.
However, this battle never took place in the manga but when it comes to his arrival in the past the description of his power is the same. While the Z-Fighters were stunned from the powers they were sensing from where Frieza landed his ship with his father King Cold, Gohan was quick to comment that the power he felt (while Trunks was transforming into a Super Saiyan) was the same that he felt from Goku on Namek.
What does this mean?
Super Saiyan Future Trunks was pretty much equal in terms of power to Super Saiyan Goku when he first transformed on Namek while fighting Frieza.
Now the official power level listing of Goku as a Super Saiyan was 150,000,000 so Trunks was around that level of power or practically 150 million on the nose.
What does this say about Future Gohan?
Well Future Bulma said that Trunks was ABOUT as powerful as Gohan was before he got killed by the androids. This could mean that Future Gohan was slightly more powerful than Frieza Saga Super Saiyan Goku.
This is not surprising considering the Zenkai boost he received from that battle in the amusement park was probably very huge.
Keep in mind that Goku was probably a lot more powerful when he arrived on earth from his 1 ½ years of being in space. After the battle on Namek, Goku was pretty banged up and landed on Yardrat. We can assume that he gained a Zenkai boost raising his base power of 3,000,000 and Super Saiyan power of 150,000,000 to new heights.
On top of that, he trained on Yardrat in order to learn how to turn Super Saiyan at will while also picking up the Instant Transmission technique. So the neck and neck power levels of Super Saiyan Goku on Namek and Future Trunks was now leaning in Goku’s favor.
I also think that Goku was more powerful than Future Gohan, but that is debatable. In any case, we can place Future Gohan in-between Future Trunks when he first arrives in the past and Goku post-Yardrat training/Zenkai boost.
Keep in mind that the #17 and #18 of the future were stated by Trunks to be much weaker than the androids of the present. That is because in his future timeline, he could hold his own against them. However in the present, he was knocked out in two blows from the androids.
Since Future Gohan was holding his own against the androids before being killed that says a lot. Of course, we arrive at another difference between the manga and anime in regards to how Gohan was killed and the power of the androids.
#17 says in their last encounter he wasn’t even using half of his power. In the battle where Gohan was killed, it was assumed that the android(s) were at maximum or full power because #17 said he wasn’t going to hold back this time.
Alright in the manga, it was only #17 who was shown to attack Gohan (who had a stunned look on his face when #17 said he wasn’t using his full power in their last fight) and in the next panel he was already dead when Trunks arrived on the scene.
In the anime, not only does Gohan fight both androids but he holds his own for quite awhile even with only ONE of his arms! When I first saw this fight and how well Gohan was doing, I honestly thought he was going to win. It wasn’t until the androids ganged up on him did he start to become overwhelmed and was eventually killed.
Also looking back at his battle with #17 at the amusement park in the anime special, Gohan was on the receiving end of attack for quite some time but eventually he fought back and gained the upper hand. It wasn’t until #18 stepped in did he start to get beaten.
Depending on how you want to look at the amusement park and the city battle, in terms of whether or not #17 was using half or his full power it seems like Gohan had the power to match and defeat at least one of the androids.
I really believe that if Gohan fought 1-on-1 with #17 or #18 he would be able to destroy them. The reason I say this is because Gohan is a warrior, but the androids were normal humans who were transformed into cyborgs by Dr. Gero. Due to his skill and experience, Gohan would be more efficient in tactical strategy and technique in order to overcome his possibly more powerful foes. This is evident in the fact that he could somehow escape each encounter with the androids to live to fight another day.
Future Gohan is much more brutal and vicious than his present-self in terms of combat because let’s face it, the present Gohan lived in a generally peaceful timeline but in the future he lived in Hell. All of that battling and violence right before his eyes truly showed him the darker side of existence and the kind-hearted Gohan he was as a child was gone.
I’m not saying he still isn’t the sweet and understanding Gohan that he is in the present, but he isn’t cowardly and timid. Bulma says that Gohan is just like Goku who was powerful but gentle at the same time.
In case anyone wanted to make the comparison, it is true that Vegeta in the present was more of a warrior than #18 but was still beaten to a pulp. However, keep in mind that despite #18 being more powerful it was Vegeta who was fighting sloppy and letting pride blind his skill that ultimately led to his defeat.
Future Gohan knows how to keep his cool in combat against the prideful #17 which causes the android to take some embarrassing attacks that Gohan lands on him when he is off guard allowing him to take control of the battle.
With all of that being said, I believe that Future Gohan at the time of his final battle and demise was probably around the power of Goku when he arrived back on earth from his training on Yardart. Keep in mind that the difference of the timelines began when Goku arrived back on earth and killed Mecha Frieza and King Cold in Trunks’ timeline. Also remember that this Goku was equal in power to the one we see in the Trunks Saga.
Do you agree? If not, how powerful do you think Future Gohan was?