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Rumor Guide

Characters


These have been some of the hardest rumors to deal with, simply that because they have been around for so many years, they are just assumed to be fact. Are certain characters actually brothers? Who are those mothers out there we never hear of — did we actually see them, and were expected to put 2 + 2 together? Will the Earth REALLY explode if “Ultimate” Gohan goes Super Saiyan?

Goku Died On Planet Namek

STATUS: False.

This one is extremely easy to put to rest — provided you stop to think about it! Unfortunately, if you are not paying close enough attention, the anime’s addition of filler material into the surrounding incidents makes it a little more confusing than it should be.

In chapters 322 and 323, a newly-Super Saiyan Goku is fighting against a final-form Freeza. Goku launches a Kamehameha against his foe, who proceeds to fly into it and eventually bust right through, knocking Goku down underground. At the very same time, back on Earth, Mr. Popo has summoned Shenlong and proceeds to wish all those killed by Freeza back to life. Freeza laughs to himself with pride, but looks around wondering what is going on with the sky. We see the murdered Namekians begin to stand up (having been wished back to life), and much to Freeza’s surprise, a very exhausted-looking Super Saiyan Goku rises up out of the ocean like a phoenix from its own ashes.

So wait… did Goku just get wished back to life…?!?

It is impossible for that wish to have brought Goku back to life. Prior to Dende’s power-up, Shenlong is unable to bring the same person back to life more than once, even as part of another wish; he brought Goku back to life during the previous story arc on Earth (right before the battle with Nappa & Vegeta). Therefore, Goku could not have been dead.

Additionally, someone who has been killed and brought back to life would presumably not still be in Super Saiyan the entire time. Furthermore, wounds are generally healed and the individual brought back to life does not look as if they are still in the middle of a giant life-or-death battle.

The anime (Dragon Ball Z episode 100) does not help the situation, adding in additional filler material where Gohan drones on and on about how he can no longer feel his father’s ki, and proceeds to fly back to battle with Freeza. Just as in the manga, Goku rises up out of the ocean after the wish is made, but the fact still remains that Shenlong could not have brought Goku back to life for a second time at this point in the story.

Goku and Vegeta Are Brothers

STATUS: False.

This rumor is pure speculation, based on nothing logical. Goku and Vegeta had different fathers (Bardock and King Vegeta, respectively), so at the very best, they would be half-brothers. Again, this is based on nothing; it is nonsense spouted by fans looking for a connection where none exists.

Goku and Tullece Are Brothers

STATUS: False.

They look identical, and early fansubbers did not quite know Japanese, which has led to vast frustration and confusion over the origin of Tullece. In Dragon Ball Z Movie 3, Tullece states that there “weren’t that many types” of “expendable lower-level warriors” like themselves. This does not mean they had the same parents; rather, it seems to suggest that there were many other similar-looking Saiyans (but remember that this is a movie, where plot continuity does not really matter).

Tullece also explains that they should fight on the same side, since they have the same background; however, there is absolutely NOTHING in the dialog that even remotely suggests that they are of any blood relation. In the dramatic sense, their identical character designs are simply a plot device to show the “other” side of Goku: a literal representation of what he could have become without his human influence. Let us rejoice that Goku had that terrible fall and hit to the head as a child… we could have had identical Saiyan terrorists!

One source of major confusion has been the UK release of DBZ Movie 3 entitled Super Battle In The World. While this is indeed an official, English-dubbed release of the movie, it is not a particularly accurate release of the movie, and was not produced by the same companies many fans have become familiar with. Produced by the AB Groupe and distributed by Warner Vision International, this release of the movie features dialogue that flat-out states that Tullece (or “Turles”, or even just “Terlz” depending on which character is speaking) is related to Goku. While one of his henchmen states that their upcoming new power is all thanks to the fruit of the tree, this particular dubbed Tullece states:

“No… thanks to my idiot brother. Heh!”

Despite this line of dialogue not appearing in any English dub that has ever been released in North America (never mind the Japanese original), the producers of this European English dub saw fit to include it. This would easily explain why many English-speaking dub fans would swear up-and-down that the character stated they were brothers in the movie, while other English-speaking dub fans would equally swear up-and-down that such a line was never so much as whispered. These conversations apparently never come to a point where someone happens to mention that they are watching a different English dub from the other person.

Another country that further complicates the issue is France, which has used the word “jumeaux” in reference to Tullece and Goku. In particular was the 1995 debut issue of a magazine called simply Jam, which had a character relation chart that used this word to describe the two characters. Unfortunately, this word typically applies to biological twins, when in the case of these characters it is more along the lines of a doppelgänger with no evidence what-so-ever of biological relation.

If you are still looking for further evidence, check out this image from the Dragon Ball Z Movie 7 “Film Anime Comic”:

It is a Saiyan family tree, showcasing the various fathers and children. There are also indications of subordinates (buka) with the dotted lines. Notice how Tullece is off to the side with no family or subordinate relationships. Consider this official indication from Toei, themselves, on their own character!

Goku’s Mother is Selypa

STATUS: False.

Once again, this rumor is pure speculation. Perhaps the biggest piece of damning evidence is in the TV special itself when Selpya asks Bardock if he just had a son. Were Selypa actually the mother of “Kakarrot”, there would be zero reason for her to ask this question in the first place. Additionally, one would think that if she were Goku’s mother, she would have gone with Bardock when he went to see him in the hospital complex, or perhaps even still have been in there from the process of childbirth.

As with most characters in Dragon Ball, no mention of Goku’s mother is ever made in the series-proper, and there is no evidence what-so-ever that Selypa was the mother. This had been the topic of many dōjinshi and fan-fiction, however; a common name for Goku’s mother in older fan-fiction was a variation on “Turnip”.

Again, the image above from the Dragon Ball Z Movie 7 “Film Anime Comic” clears things up quite well, showing no relation of Selypa to anyone other than Bardock, and only in a subordinate (buka) relationship along with her other three crew mates.

In the March 2014 issue of Saikyō Jump in Japan, a “Super Q&A” between Dragon Ball SD‘s Naho Ooishi and Akira Toriyama brought to light a new tidbit of information: Toriyama had created a new character — named “Gine” (a pun on “negi” or “spring roll”) — to serve as Goku’s mother.

Gine debuted in the bonus “Dragon Ball Minus” chapter within the collected edition of Jaco the Galactic Patrolman released 04 April 2014 in Japan, as well as digitally in English via Viz 07 April 2014.

Piza, Mr. Satan’s Manager, is Videl’s Mother

STATUS: Unsubstantiated (but extremely unlikely).

This is 100% pure speculation. No mention is ever made of Videl’s mother, other than that she died when Videl was young (and even this is only mentioned in passing). The anime guide Dragon Ball Z: Son Gokū Densetsu even goes as far as to put in a separate entry for Videl’s mother, even though she is never seen (citing her as the likely reason for Videl’s good looks, as opposed to her father).

We can only assume that we are never actually shown Videl’s mother in the series, and are left to our own imaginations as to what she looked like.

Pan & Trunks Get Married / Have a Child / Have Vegeta Jr.

STATUS: False.

If we go by the logic expressed in the final episode of Dragon Ball GT, this is impossible. Goku Jr. is Pan’s great-great-grandson — this we cannot dispute (it is clearly noted in the final episode of DBGT). Therefore, if Goku Jr. is her great-great-grandson, it is impossible for Vegeta Jr. to also be her great-great-grandson, as well. It is quite obvious that after GT‘s normal continuum ends, Goku’s and Bulma’s/Vegeta’s families either have some sort of “falling out”, or just normally lose contact with one another (as Goku and all of his friends tend to do over the course of the series). Vegeta Jr.’s mother does not recognize Pan, while Pan recognizes the Capsule Corporation logo and its connection to Bulma. Also, when Vegeta Jr. appears in the Budōkai ring, Pan is surprised to see someone who resembles the elder Vegeta (clearly meaning that she has not had any contact with that family for at least as long as the child has been around; a great-great-grandmother probably would not be so disinterested in her own descendants).

Vegeta Jr. is not necessarily Trunks’s progeny, either, since Pan and Trunks are relatively far apart in years (roughly 12-and-a-half, going by Trunks’s birthdate late in AGE 766 and Pan’s in mid-779). It seems more logical to assume that he is Bra’s great-great-grandson, and not Trunks’s. His mother’s teal-colored hair, the same as both Bulma and Bra had in the anime, seems to lend credence to this theory; however, since we do not know the dominant / recessive genetic characteristics of anime hair colors, we cannot completely rule out Trunks, either. Regardless, Pan has obviously not been in contact with them for many years, to have to take a minute to recognize the extremely Bulma-like woman who sits down next to her. Of course, you could make the argument that Pan could be going senile in her old age, but since she recognized all those other things from her youth, that seems highly unlikely.

Freeza Has a Son Named Kuriza

STATUS: Interestingly enough, quite true!

Believe it or not, Freeza does indeed have a son named Kuriza… only if you are going by recent Toriyama-parody-logic, though! Akira Toriyama completed his Neko Majin (and later Neko Majin Z) parody manga, but not without bringing in some fun new elements into fandom. In Neko Majin Z 2, Toriyama introduced his first true villain to the series: Kuriza! Looking very similar to Freeza’s first form, but with a chestnut-shaped head (thus the “kuri” for a name beginning), Kuriza seems to be just a spoiled brat of a son, sporting the same ego as his father.

Kuriza ultimately transforms (into a form similar to Freeza’s final form) in his battle against Neko Majin Z. To poke even more fun at the series, Vegeta is called to pick up Kuriza and save him from Neko Majin Z’s amazing strength.

Taking things even further was the Japanese release of Budokai 2 (simply titled Dragon Ball Z 2 in Japan) for the PlayStation 2. In the game, players are able to choose alternate costumes for characters by simply pressing “up” or “down” while highlighting a character on the character select screen. Most characters have two outfits, with some (such as #18) having up to three. Surprisingly, Freeza’s third “outfit” is none other than Kuriza! Complete with his trademark chestnut-shaped Death Ball for a final move, Kuriza is a fully playable character in the game (albeit only as an “alternate outfit” for Freeza). There is even an extra stage in the “Dragon World” mode that contains characters from the Neko Majin Z series.

It remains to be seen if Kuriza will show up in any more official Dragon Ball merchandise or stories, though he did make a little cameo in Toyble’s Dragon Ball AF

(Future) Trunks Can Reach Super Saiyan 2

STATUS: False.

The “USSJ” stage really has not helped knock this rumor away. For starters, let us clear one thing up: Trunks is never shown to be able to reach Super Saiyan 2. Trunks is able to reach Super Saiyan, and both stages of past that within the same transformation (or better put, all three sub-stages of Super Saiyan 1)… but not Super Saiyan 2. Think about it: if Trunks were able to (already) reach Super Saiyan 2, why would it be such a huge deal when Gohan reaches it, and is finally able to defeat Cell?

The Budokai games certainly do not help out the cause, either. The first game did a good job of going with the traditional Japanese naming convention, calling Super Saiyan Trunks “Super Saiyan Trunks,” and Trunks in Stage 2 of Super Saiyan “Super Trunks” (same with Vegeta). Along comes Budokai 2 with a “Super Saiyan 2″ capsule for Trunks, and any progress made is thrown out the window. Unfortunately, this is not even a translation error; it is actually (incorrectly) called the Super Saiyan 2 capsule for Trunks in Japan, as well.

These two in-between stages would each be considered, as Goku puts it, “ichi-dankai no henshin” (“transformations of the first stage”). However, these two stages are thought of by Vegeta and Trunks as “sūpā saiya-jin ni-dankai” and “sūpā saiya-jin san-dankai” (“stage 2 / stage 3 of Super Saiyan,” with “ni” and “san” meaning “two” and “three,” respectively) Technically, these descriptions would probably better fit the actual Super Saiyan 2 and Super Saiyan 3, but we will use them here as Trunks would.

In his terms, Trunks is able to reach:

  • sūpā saiya-jin dai ichi dankai (the first stage/grade within Super Saiyan)
  • sūpā saiya-jin dai ni dankai (the second stage/grade within Super Saiyan)
  • sūpā saiya-jin dai san dankai (the third stage/grade within Super Saiyan)

Throw in some phrases that are only used a couple times in the series, together with some numbers… and you have some confusion going on! Rest assured, we never see any Trunks from any timeline actually go Super Saiyan 2. Official guide books also back this up, time and time again stating in charts that Trunks never achieves anything beyond the three levels of the first Super Saiyan stage.

Of course, then you get into the modern era with various “What If?” scenarios and transformations thrown into video games. Trunks actually received a Super Saiyan 3 transformation for an update in the card-based arcade game Dragon Ball Heroes, which was then extended to his Dragon Ball GT incarnation when that update hit in early 2012:

Without getting too much into the “what is canon?!” conversation, we can pretty concretely state that while Trunks certainly had the potential to have reached Super Saiyan 2 at some point in his lifetime going by the manga’s continuity (as seen by Gohan, another half-Saiyan/human who did so), he never actually reached it within the manga or TV series.

Yamcha Knows the Genki-Dama

STATUS: False.

This is not quite a “dub mistake” since the confusion is not because of anything FUNimation did or changed; it is actually due to fans not hearing correctly!

In episode 17 of Dragon Ball Z (episode 11 in FUNimation’s original edited English dub), several of the Z-Warriors use a special room in God’s palace to essentially “time travel” and fight a pair of “Illusion Saiyans”, all in preparation for the upcoming battle against Nappa & Vegeta. During this fight, Yamcha uses one of his new trademark techniques, the Sōki-Dan (“Spinning Ki Bullet,” first shown in the fight against Shen/God at the 23rd Tenka’ichi Budōkai).

In FUNimation’s original dub, we hear Yamcha speak the name of the attack, and many fans just are not sure of what is actually being said. If you turn on the closed-captioning, you will see that the script calls for Yamcha to say “Spirit Ball” as he forms the attack. Many fans, having seen the remainder of the first season and being familiar with the attack from Goku, thought Yamcha was actually saying “Spirit Bomb” (which is their name adaptation of the Genki-Dama, the ball of life energy he would use against Vegeta, Freeza, and Majin Buu).

Needless to say, Yamcha does not know how to perform the Genki-Dama (whether or not he could possibly learn it from Kaiō-sama or Goku and then use it is never explored).

The Earth Will Explode If Gohan Turns Super Saiyan

STATUS: False.

This rumor possibly goes back as far as even 1998; its origins are completely unknown. It would appear, though, that fans are simply looking for a reason as to why Gohan does not become a Super Saiyan after receiving his so-called “Ultimate” power-up from the Old Kaiōshin. However, there is nothing in the series that implies that the Earth would be in any type of danger if he did go Super Saiyan again.

A much more logical explanation would be that after he gets powered up, he does not need to become a Super Saiyan anymore. With all of the latent strength within him awakened, he would simply be using up valuable ki by doing so. Of course, nobody really knows whether he keeps the power-up after he gets absorbed by Buu, but on the other hand, he does not need to exert that much strength afterward, either (fans tend to discount GT fairly easily because it is not a part of the original manga, although Battle of Gods, with Toriyama’s direct involvement, complicates the discussion). Nevertheless, the argument of this rumor, that the earth would explode if Gohan went Super Saiyan after receiving his power-up, is completely baseless.

The Name of Lunch’s “Evil” Blonde Alter-Ego is “Kushami”

STATUS: False.

This one comes to us from Curtis Hoffmann’s old Dragon Ball manga summaries (which he wrote while the manga was still being released in Weekly Shōnen Jump in the mid-90s!). Lunch is never actually referred to as “Kushami” in either her “good” or “evil” forms in the series. Rather, it seems as though Hoffmann invented the nickname (which is Japanese for “sneeze”) as shorthand so he would not have to write out “Blonde Lunch” or “Lunch’s evil side” every time she appeared in said form.

Since these manga summaries were pretty much the only thing comparable to an actual translation out there until 1998 (aside from some scanlations of dodgy quality), fans took Hoffmann’s words as gospel, assuming the name “Kushami” was present in the Japanese version. Despite its widespread use, it is really a fan-created term.

Paikuhan is Namekian

STATUS: False.

This is another one that is extremely easy to answer if you look at the evidence, but a lack of attention may add some confusion. Normally that would be it, but there are some interesting tidbits from the character’s production that fleshes out the confusion a little bit.

In a nutshell, Paikuhan is from the Western Galaxy (as seen by his fighting for the Western Kaiō), whereas Planet Namek appears to be under our own Kaiō’s jurisdiction in the Northern Galaxy. You can pretty much drawn your own conclusion from that.

However, as one can read in the Dragon Ball Z: Son Gokū Densetsu anime guide book, there is some merit to Paikuhan’s confusion with a Namekian, and in particular, Piccolo:

He’s a Piccolo-type character, and even in the anime’s production materials, there are memos left that say “use Piccolo as a reference for the facial expressions.”

So there you have it. While Paikuhan may not be Namekian, it is clearly a lazy character design that lends credit to the confusion!

Akira Toriyama Hates Vegeta

STATUS: Once upon a time had hints of truth, but these days it seems to be False.

In the second round of the “Akira Toriyama Super Interview” included with the second Daizenshuu guide book in Japan, as a contrast to talking about his favorite characters, original manga author Akira Toriyama tossed out the following tidbit:

With Vegeta, well, I don’t like him all that much, but he was extremely helpful to have around.

Alternate translations of this line, along with decades of fan discussion, have warped this into a much harsher “Toriyama Hates Vegeta”, which was/is not necessarily the case. It certainly seemed that Toriyama did not care for Vegeta “all that much” (and to be fair, Vegeta was not a particularly “nice” character…!), but “hate” is an awfully strong word to use here. Indeed, Vegeta was a very convenient character to have around after the Saiyan arc, leading to some incredibly memorable fights during the early chases on Planet Namek, not to mention the ability to introduce even more Saiyans — namely Trunks — into the mix later on.

Perhaps the first hint that Toriyama did not harbor such hard feelings for Vegeta came with Neko Majin Z 3 in 2004, where Vegeta becomes wrapped up in the wacky hijinks of the Neko Majin-verse. Throughout the chapter Vegeta somehow never breaks from character and even resents being used in a gag manga. From this it seemed clear that, if nothing else, Toriyama had come to enjoy using the ever-serious Vegeta as a “straight man” where the comedy itself would play off his determination to maintain his own dignity in the face of humiliation and absurdity.

In this post-Battle of Gods world, the writing appears to be on the wall: in the 2013 film (whose story was penned by Toriyama himself), Vegeta plays a substantial supporting role that is equal parts action and comedy, and is even acknowledged as having briefly surpassed Goku in strength.

Most recently, as a part of the “Super Q&A” within the March 2014 issue of Saikyō Jump in Japan (and more specifically its Episode of Bardock “Super Kanzenban“), Toriyama went on to note:

As for Vegeta, in the event that there’s talk of another animated film, then next time, I’d like him to play the main role. (Of course, this is nothing more than intentions, and I haven’t decided anything at all.)

It would be easy to toss out accusations of Toriyama being a “hypocrite” or otherwise flip-flopping on his opinions, but consider the timing and surrounding circumstances. Having taken a well-deserved break after finishing Dragon Ball, Toriyama’s return to the series and its characters so many years later afforded him an opportunity to completely re-evaluate every facet of his creation. Surely it is no surprise to see him find new interest in areas he may have overlooked before!