The Weekly ☆ Character Showcase is an article series where we introduce one character from the Dragon Ball universe each week. This week, we're meeting Goku's first son as he debuts in the Saiyan arc, Son Gohan!
Goku's eldest son, Gohan, is a polite little boy with dreams of growing up to become a great scholar.
His name comes from Goku's late adoptive parent, who we know as Grandpa Gohan.
Gohan was only four years old when he was kidnapped by Raditz while visiting Kame House with Goku.
When Goku came to save Gohan from Raditz, he proved to be less than a match for his evil older brother, and when things were looking bleak, Gohan exploded with rage at the sight of his father being hurt.
Unleashing an astonishing (at the time) Power Level of 1,307 from his latent potential, Gohan knocked Raditz back with a fierce flying headbutt!
With Goku giving his own life to stop Raditz and going to the Another World, Gohan was left in the unlikely hands of Piccolo, who would go on to train him in preparation for the arrival of two more Saiyan invaders in a year's time.
As part of Gohan's grueling training, he was made to survive out in the wastes for 6 whole months! In the end, he managed to accomplish this impressive feat and emerged as a different boy to the timid, tear-prone child he was when we first met him. Thanks to Piccolo, he had become a warrior and a survivor in his own right.
However, when he eventually went up against Nappa alongside Piccolo, Krillin, and the others, the terrifying Saiyan proved too much for Gohan. Frozen in fear and unable to fight, it came to Piccolo to save Gohan by throwing his body in front of one of Nappa's savage attacks, which resulted in his death. Gohan's anger exploded once more and his Power Level leapt dramatically up to 2,800 as he fired off a raging Masenko—a technique that Piccolo taught him during their training.
Goku instructed Gohan to return to Kame House where it would be safe, but sensing his father was on his last legs against Vegeta, Gohan boldly determined to go to Goku's rescue and face Vegeta himself.
When Krillin missed his shot with the Genki-dama entrusted to him by Goku, Gohan deflected it back at Vegeta and landed the attack!
In the middle of their battle, Gohan's tail suddenly regenerated, causing him to react to Vegeta's artificial mini-moon and transform into a Great Ape!
His ensuing rampage was enough to overpower and eventually defeat Vegeta.
"Dragon Ball" Tale 161
Great Ape Transformation
Saiyans have the natural-born ability to transform into a rampaging Great Ape by either looking at a full moon or otherwise absorbing the equivalent 17 million Blutz Waves from another source through their eyes.
The user holds their palms up to their forehead, facing outward, and charges up their Ki before thrusting both hands out and unleashing a powerful beam of energy. Piccolo taught Gohan how to perform the Masenko in preparation for their battle against Vegeta and Nappa.
This technique allows the user to fly freely through the air by carefully controlling and manipulating their Ki.
Gohan's uniform was a gift from Piccolo!
When Gohan transformed into a Great Ape during his time with Piccolo and ruined his clothes, his Namekian mentor created this orange uniform for him to wear. It looks just like Goku's Kame School uniform but with one catch—Piccolo created it with his own "魔" (ma) kanji on the back, the same kanji used by Great Demon King Piccolo, instead of the usual "亀" (kame) one.
Gohan also received an outfit that matched Piccolo's for their fight against Vegeta and Nappa, where they fought side by side as master and student.
→Preview: Next week's character is Gohan's uncle!
*All comic images are from the Japanese version.
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