Son Gohan

Son Gohan
Son Gohan
Son Gohan Lithograph.PNG
Son Gohan by Akira Toriyama
First appearance Dragon Ball chapter 196 (October 1988)
Voiced by See Voice actors
Notable relatives Son Goku (father)
Chi Chi (mother)
Son Goten (brother)
Videl (wife)
Pan (daughter)
Ox King (maternal grandfather)
Raditz (uncle)
Hercule (father-in-law)
Bardock (paternal grandfather)
Japanese name 孫 悟飯
Romaji Son Gohan
Anime name Gohan
Manga name Son Gohan
Alternate names The Great Saiyaman
The Gold Fighter

Son Gohan (孫 悟飯?, addressed only as Gohan in most English adaptations) is a fictional character from the Dragon Ball universe created by Akira Toriyama as a protagonist for the media franchise, which consists of a series of manga, anime, soundtracks, movies, television specials, video games, and other collectibles. Gohan is introduced as the first son of the primary protagonist, Son Goku, and his wife, Chi Chi, in volume #17 of the original manga, or the premiere episode of its animated adaptation, Dragon Ball Z. Gohan is the first Saiyan/Human hybrid in the series.


Creation and conception

Gohan's name comes from the Japanese word "gohan" (ご飯?, lit. "cooked rice" or "meal of any sort"), is 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 part of a tidy. 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 (Saiya being an anagram of the word yasai, meaning "vegetable").[1]

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.[2] With the ending of the Cell arc, Gohan was meant to replace his father as the main protagonist; Toriyama later decided against it though.[3]

Gohan is a sayian son of Goku and Chi-Chi, and later a brother to Goten.


At first, because of his mother's protectiveness, Gohan starts out quite different than his father, as he is at the start of his appearance quite polite, timid and easily scared. Only after Piccolo's training does Gohan start to acquire his father's love of adventure and freedom. As Gohan starts to join the other heroes in battle his temper starts to show as the villains insult and underestimate him. While he loves martial arts he never quite inherits the love of fighting Goku has though it's obvious he enjoys being the hero.


As opposed to full-blooded Saiyans, whose hair stays the same from birth,[4] Gohan's is drawn at varying lengths, and changes markedly in style. Many of Yamcha's hairstyles are used by Gohan at various points in his life.[5]

Initially, Gohan is illustrated garbed in a Hanfu-like surcoat with the Chinese character , 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 it with the demon character "" as a sign of his admission into the Demon Tribe.[6] Normally thereafter, Gohan is drawn with a keikogi modeled after Piccolo's own, with the anime recoloring his wristbands from blue to red and, during the Cell Games tournament, his obi from red to blue, despite reverting to the original colors for the former. On Namek, Gohan is portrayed in battle armor worn by Frieza's henchmen, having been given it by Vegeta in preparation for their encounter with Frieza. Prior to his second fight with Majin Buu, Gohan asks Kibito for an outfit resembling his father's, and is then drawn in a keikogi identical to Goku's.

Plot overview

Premiering in the manga chapter #196 Kakarrot (カカロット Kakarotto?) (Son Goku) first published in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine on October 24, 1988,[7] Gohan is introduced as the four-year-old son of the series' main protagonist, Goku. Described as well-mannered and reserved,[8][9] Gohan's story begins following his abduction by the Saiyan named Raditz, Goku's older brother. Later, while Goku is pinned to the ground, Gohan's extreme distress exploded with the release of his dormant power, a level of 1,324, which allowed him to injure Raditz. Piccolo, startled by this, 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.[10] 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.[11]

After the defeat of Vegeta, Gohan, Bulma and Krillin travel to Namek to use the Dragon Balls there, as the Dragon Balls on Earth had turned to stone due to the Earth's guardian Kami's death.[12] 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. Gohan is outraged by the killing of his good friend Dende, who is a Namekian, and unleashes all of his power against Frieza. However, that has no effect on Frieza. Later, after Goku transforms into a Super Saiyan and defeats Frieza, Gohan is shown to settle back into school life on Earth, waiting for Goku to return home from Namek.[13]

A year later, Future Trunks kills a cybernetic Frieza and his father, King Cold, and informs Gohan and the others of the upcoming threat of the androids arriving in three years time.[14] Gohan then commits himself to training with Goku and Piccolo until the arrival of the androids. Following the appearance of Cell, Gohan is taken to the Hyperbolic Time Chamber (Room Of Spirit) and trained by Goku.[15] Goku then reveals his intentions: to train Gohan to become a Super Saiyan, and to have Gohan surpass him in strength.[15] Following Gohan's emergence from the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, Gohan is depicted as a Super Saiyan, with Piccolo shown thinking to himself that he barely recognized him before granting Gohan's request to give him an outfit resembling his own.[16]After Goku surrenders from his match with Cell, he recommends Gohan to be Cell's next opponent. Gohan matches Cell's powers with his Super Saiyan form but is reluctant to unleash his full power. After being constantly tormented by Cell, and after he killed Android #16, an enemy-turned-friend, Gohan, infuriated, ascends to Super Saiyan 2,[17] and later defeats Cell in a Kamehameha struggle, counseled by Goku from the afterlife and winning with the assistance of Vegeta.[18]

Gohan, during the consequent peace that follows, is said to have continued his studies, and later, a sixteen-year-old Gohan[19] is shown enrolling at Orange Star High School in Satan City. On his first day, he foils a bank robbery as a Super Saiyan, and, with help from Bulma, adopts a superhero identity that he dubs the "Great Saiyaman". Participating in the 25th World Martial Arts Tournament, 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.[2] Gohan, after having his chi absorbed by Spopovich and Yamu, pursues the two and enters Babidi's spaceship with the Supreme Kai, Goku and Vegeta, where Gohan later fights with Dabura.[20] Following Buu's release and Gohan's defeat at his hands, Gohan is taken to the Planet of the Kai by the Supreme Kai and Kibito. After pulling out the Z Sword and accidentally breaking it in a training session, Gohan unwittingly releases the Elder Kai, who then performs a prolonged ceremony to unlock Gohan's latent powers. This makes him arguebly the most powerful non-fused character in the series (excluding Dragon Ball GT ).[21] Gohan then returns to Earth and confronts Buu for a second time, and defeats him.[22] However, he, along with Gotenks and Piccolo, are later absorbed by Buu.[23] Once revived, Gohan is able to aid Goku's Super Spirit Bomb by lending his chi.[24] Following Buu's defeat and a ten year gap at the end of Dragon Ball Z, Gohan has finally become a scholar and is depicted with a wife, Videl, and a daughter, Pan.

Future Gohan

Future Gohan (未来の悟飯 Mirai no Gohan?, Gohan of the Future) appears in the alternate timeline 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 (Goku, having died from a heart virus following the defeat of Frieza and King Cold, being the exception).[25][26] Gohan is shown training Bulma's half-Saiyan son, Future 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 Trunks mentions that his mother, Bulma, finds Gohan bears a striking resemblance to Goku when donning it.[17] In appearance, Gohan's hair is cut much shorter than his present counterpart's, as well as having a scar running down the left side of his face, and is implied to have had lost his left arm fighting #17 and #18.[17]

He is eventually killed by the two androids in a battle trying to defend Pepper Town, with #17 boasting that, in previous encounters, the most he had ever used was half his strength; Gohan reacts with alarm at this statement, with #18 chuckling before the manga cuts away to an unconscious Trunks, who cannot feel Gohan's chi upon waking. What happened was that the two androids ganged up on Gohan, and killed him with machine gun-like ki blasts.

Voice actors

Like his younger brother and Goku, Gohan is voiced in the original Japanese anime by Masako Nozawa in all media. In the Ocean dub of the series he would be voiced by Saffron Henderson and later by Jillian Michaels as a child and Brad Swaile as an adult. In the Funimation dub Gohan would be voiced by Stephanie Nadolny as a child and Kyle Hebert would voice him as an adult throughout the series with the exception of the Trunks TV special where he was voiced by Dameon Clarke. Currently Nadolny and Hebert voice him in all video games with the exception of Dragon Ball GT: Final Bout, where he was played as a teenager by Lex Lang, and in Dragon Ball: Raging Blast 2, where, just like in the English dub of Dragon Ball Z Kai, the younger Gohan is voiced by Colleen Clinkenbeard.


As a child, Gohan is depicted with an immense amount of hidden powers, which at first only revealed itself when he experienced fierce rage or distress.[27][28] Gohan unleashes this great power which he possessed within him when he fights Cell in the Cell Saga.

Gohan can also freely manipulate his chi for the use of abilities such as the Bukû-jutsu (舞空術?, lit. "lighter than air skill" or "sky dancing skill"), enabling him to fly,[29] or concentrate it into beams of chi energy blasts, such as the Kamehameha both regular and super versions or Masenko (魔閃 Masenkō?, lit. "Demon Flash"). Gohan also possesses superhuman strength,[30] as well as superhuman speed and reflexes (as seen during his training with Goten).[31] He was revealed to have great hidden potential which was seen when he transformed to Super Saiyan. He later showed his hidden talent by transforming into a Super Saiyan 2, during the fight against Cell. During the fight with Buu, Elder Kai unlocked his full potential, allowing him to utilise his previously dormant power. When his potential was fully unlocked, he could use all the power he could use, (even as a super saiyan 2) without transforming. Because he doesn't need to transform, he rarely transforms afterwards.

In other media

Gohan is a playable character in various Dragon Ball-related video games. He first appeared in the 1990 Japanese-language game Dragon Ball Z: Kyôshū! Saiyan (with Future Gohan selectable in Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3, Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai - Another Road and Dragon Ball : Raging Blast 2). Gohan has also appeared in crossover media such as Battle Stadium D.O.N and Jump Super Stars.

Gohan, along with Goku, is parodied in the Robot Chicken episode "Easter Basket". Gohan has been used in promotional merchandising at fast-food chain Burger King,[32] and collectible cards, such as the Dragon Ball Z Collectible Card Game, have featured Gohan frequently.


In 1993, Gohan placed first in an official Shonen Jump character popularity poll, followed by Goku.[33] 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 seiyū, stated that her favorite episode voicing Gohan was "Sorry, Robot-san - The Desert of Vanishing Tears", an episode originally cut from the American release of Dragon Ball Z.[34] Saffron Henderson, Gohan's original Ocean Studios voice actor, has stated she felt protective of the role and considers it to be one of her favorites.[35] In addition, Gohan's Funimation voice actor, Stephanie Nadolny has said that playing Gohan was a unique and much-loved experience.[36]

IGN's writer, D. F. Smith, liked how during the Cell Games arc, Gohan has more screentime than Goku, and praised his scenes as one the biggest moments from said story arc.[37] Theron Martin from Anime News Network celebrated Gohan's development in the Cell Games as he has grown up and has become stronger.[38]


  1. ^ Online English to Japanese Dictionary
  2. ^ a b Dragon Ball Daizenshū, book 4, Dragon Ball World Guide
  3. ^ Toriyama, Akira (1995). DRAGON BALL 大全集 ➋ 「STORY GUIDE」. Shueisha. ISBN 4-08-782752-6. 
  4. ^ Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 16, chapter 181
  5. ^ "Dragon Ball Hair Style Guide". Retrieved 2008-01-30. 
  6. ^ Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 2, chapter 13
  7. ^ Weekly Shonen Jump #46, October 24, 1988
  8. ^ Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 1, chapter 2
  9. ^ Dragon Ball Daizenshū, book 2, Story Guide
  10. ^ Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 2, chapter 11
  11. ^ Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 3, chapter 29
  12. ^ Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 5, chapter ?
  13. ^ Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 11, chapter ?
  14. ^ Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 12, chapter ?
  15. ^ a b Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 17, chapter 184
  16. ^ Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 18, chapter 195
  17. ^ a b c Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 18, chapter 213
  18. ^ Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 19, chapter 221
  19. ^ Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 20, chapter 227
  20. ^ Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 22, chapter 257
  21. ^ Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 25, chapter 301
  22. ^ Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 25, chapter 302
  23. ^ Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 25, chapter 307
  24. ^ Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 26, chapter 319
  25. ^ Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 12, chapter 140
  26. ^ Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 12, chapter 141
  27. ^ Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 1, chapter 9
  28. ^ Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 2, chapter 12
  29. ^ Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 6, chapters 61-62
  30. ^ Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 23, chapter 277
  31. ^ Dragon Ball Z manga, volume 20, chapter 233
  32. ^ "Burger King to launch 'Dragon Ball Z' promotion". Nation's Restaurant News. 2000. 
  33. ^ "Translated Dragon Ball Daizenshū Complete Illustrations guide". Archived from the original on 2008-04-10. Retrieved 2008-03-30. 
  34. ^ "Masako Nozawa Long Interview". Retrieved 2008-05-25. 
  35. ^ "Magical Girl: Toon Zone Talks to Saffron Henderson". Retrieved 2008-05-25. 
  36. ^ Stephanie Nadolny Interview
  37. ^ Smith, D.F. (November 12, 2007). "Dragon Ball Z - Season Six DVD Review". IGN. Retrieved May 12, 2009. 
  38. ^ Martin, Theron (November 25, 2008). "Dragon Ball Z DVD - Season 6 Box Set (uncut)". Anime News Network. Retrieved May 12, 2009. 
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