Rumors about the series’ production can be difficult to put down, but tend to ultimately have some sort of quote or citation that can help put things in real-world context. On the other hand, rumors about “in-universe” material can be more difficult to handle, occasionally relying on interpretations and extrapolations from the source material. Like the real-world rumors, however, their longevity props them up and gives them undue importance and validation. Are certain characters actually related? Who are those mothers out there? What do we call certain characters or races if they are never given a name? Will the Earth REALLY explode if “Ultimate” Gohan goes Super Saiyan?! Read on!
Toriyama Forgot About Lunch
STATUS: False (but he thinks he did).
Early on in the Dragon Ball series, Lunch is introduced as a friend and side-character to the main group of fighters. With her unexplained “ability” to transform upon sneezing, there is always an air of unpredictability around her. At the very least, a guns-blazing blonde Lunch guarantees you front-row seats at any given tournament!
Lunch is set up as a possible love interest for Tenshinhan — slightly more so in the television series adaptation courtesy of extra filler material in Dragon Ball Z — but despite her long history with the main cast, she is effectively written out of the series in the Saiyan arc. Lunch’s final appearance in the manga is in chapter 194 (published 27 September 1988), standing alongside Tenshinhan as Chiaotzu flies back in at the end of the 23rd Tenka’ichi Budōkai.
A mere two chapters later in the series’ publication, in chapter 196 (published 08 October 1988), the story has skipped ahead five years to kick off the Saiyan arc. Bulma makes her entrance at Kame House, and after losing her cool over Yamcha, asks where Lunch is; Kuririn responds that she took off after Tenshinhan five years ago, and they have not seen her since.
BULMA: “Huh? For that matter, where’s Lunch-san?”
KURIRIN: “Five years ago she went off somewhere chasing after Tenshinhan-san.”
At this point, Lunch is never referenced or seen again in the manga. The only exception is an intended cameo which never came to be. In the special “Secret Stories of the Dragon Ball Characters” Q&A column in the seventh Daizenshuu, Akira Toriyama is asked where Lunch went, to which he responds:
Lunch went off chasing after Tenshinhan. Tenshinhan would also go from place to place while training with Chiaotzu, so they’d never meet up. But surely they’ve managed to miraculously cross paths.
This explanation is the same as is given in the series: Lunch went chasing after Tenshinhan, and it’s just that we never see her again. Toriyama continues, though, saying:
When No. 17 appeared near the end of the series, he was actually Lunch in the draft.
In chapter 515 (originally published 18 April 1995), we see various old friends donating to Goku’s Genki-Dama: Snow, Hatchan, and No. 17! Curiously, 17’s dialog makes little sense:
“…I see, so that’s how it is…”
“…Hmph…It’s been a long time since I’ve heard his voice too…”
No. 17 never actually met Goku in the course of the original series (something that is directly referenced during Dragon Ball Super when Goku seeks him out as a team recruit during the Universe Survival arc). When you consider that this scene was originally supposed to have Lunch and the dialog was simply left unchanged despite the character swap, it makes much more sense! Perhaps as a nod to these plans, Lunch is shown in the television series donating energy to the Genki-Dama.
Lunch did in fact receive a little bit more attention from Toriyama following her departure in the original manga and before the end of the series:
The 1989 Dragon Ball Z Anime Special magazine/book notes that it was Toriyama who came up with the scene in the Dragon Ball Z television series where Lunch reaches Karin Tower, running in to Upa and Bora (two other characters that had not been seen in a long time, and who likewise would contribute to the Genki-Dama at the end of the series).
The 2003 Son Goku Densetsu anime guide book mentions that “Tenshinhan and Lunch’s relationship” was part of the material Toriyama outlined for what the characters did in the year leading up to Vegeta and Nappa’s arrival on Earth. This could just be a reference to the previously mentioned scene with Lunch following Tenshinhan to Karin Tower, or it could also mean that the filler scene where Lunch meets up with Tenshinhan and Chiaotzu at a waterfall was also Toriyama’s idea.
For the Weekly Shōnen Jump 1991 #3-4 double issue (published 19 December 1990), Toriyama contributed a short quasi-Christmas-themed comic featuring various characters and what each of them is up to during the battle of Planet Namek, which was later republished in the seventh Daizenshuu:
KAME-SEN’NIN: “Hum hum hum ♪”
LUNCH: “Damn, where did that jerk Tenshinhan go off to?”
OOLONG: “Snore, snore”
BULMA: “Hey, go!! Look out!!”
YAMCHA: “Can I look now?”
TENSHINHAN: “Not yet!”
Lunch also appears across the spine of tankōbon volumes 21 through 24, released over the course of 1990, though it is unclear when Toriyama may have planned out and actually drawn each corresponding image:
So with this all being said: if Lunch is effectively written-out in the weeks following her last on-page appearance, and when supplemental Toriyama material clearly indicates what Lunch is up to out in the world, how could she have been “forgotten” when the explanation is right there in the story? Particularly due to the way the series was produced by FUNimation in North America, fans misconstrue the flow of time; what was actually just two weeks in the original manga’s publication somehow feels like an eternity to a group of fans who never had a chance to consume the series in chronological order.
(FUNimation initially produced thirteen episodes of the Dragon Ball television series in 1995 before dropping it in favor of Dragon Ball Z in 1996. Their edited English dub of Z condensed roughly 67 episodes down 53 in two broadcast seasons, which themselves removed any and all scenes of Lunch… except for that one photo Bulma picks up and looks at during the Saiyan battle!)
That would normally wrap things up, were it not for the fact that Toriyama effectively forgot that he did not forget Lunch!
For the launch of Viz’s Shonen Jump print magazine in 2003, Akira Toriyama visited New York City and took various questions from fans, which were published in the magazine’s third issue (March 2003). In response to a question about Lunch disappearing after Raditz arrived, Toriyama responds:
To tell you the truth, I totally forgot about her at one point. And then I remembered her after a while and I had to think of a reason why she disappeared. So I made it seem as if she was running after Tenshinhan.
While the underlying information is accurate, Toriyama’s sense of time is equally fuzzy here. Again, Lunch’s absence is very naturally explained the coming weeks after her last appearance; there was really no time for Toriyama to have forgotten about her. While Toriyama may have indeed forgotten about Lunch at some later point in time, the way he reconciles her absence in this 2003 interview is just not accurate to the original serialization and its timeframe. It may be that Toriyama is referring to the 1990 Christmas comic and its explanation for Lunch’s disappearance, but again, her departure had already been explained in the manga by that point.
Toriyama’s most recent comment on Lunch comes from the promotional lead up to the 2013 theatrical film Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, where he shared various character epilogues with the Mandō Kobayashi television program. For Tenshinhan, Toriyama stated:
Stoic Tenshinhan mainly does farming in addition to his training. He can split into multiple bodies and grow extra arms, so harvesting the crops goes quickly. He was found by Lunch, who fell in love with him at first sight and had been constantly pursuing his whereabouts, and even reluctantly lived together with her; but she wasn’t cut out for farming, and Tenshinhan has no interest in romance, so she left after just a few days. After that, it seems Lunch apparently stops in from time to time.
Freeza’s Race Has a Proper Name
Considering his contemporary relevance alongside Saiyans and Namekians, perhaps it is no surprise that fans have long-wondered: does Freeza’s race have a name? All references to this “race” in Japanese tend to apply a descriptor to Freeza’s name itself; we end up with “Freeza’s clan” as a name, or even more broadly, just “Freeza’s race”.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, FUNimation’s English dub has added a bit of confusion to the mix.
In Dragon Ball Z episode 20, Kaiō explains the history of the Saiyans to Goku during a training recess. At this point in the series, Freeza himself has yet to be introduced; as such, this filler material takes its basis from explanations provided by Raditz earlier in the series, all-new information direct from original author Akira Toriyama himself specific for the scene, and likely Toei’s own collection of arbitrary new information and visuals.
They realized that even though they wanted to fight, they could not go out any farther into space. So the Saiyans joined forces with rich, advanced alien civilizations, and in exchange for furnishing planets to these aliens for use in developing vacation estates, they were able to obtain technology and money.
In the fourteenth episode of FUNimation’s original 1996 English dub of Dragon Ball Z (which corresponds to the aforementioned episode), additional dialog and script punch-ups during this scene create an entirely new race: “Arcosians”.
Well, not far away, the Saiyans met the Arcosians. Now, the Arcosians had money and technology, but the planet Arcos was a dump, so they hired the Saiyans to conquer a planet for them. An unholy partnership was formed. Saiyan might combined with Arcosian ingenuity, to form a fleet of planet pirates.
There is no basis for this name in the original Japanese script, and it is unknown where the name may have come from. “Arkose” is a type of sandstone, so it is possible FUNimation’s script writers of the day created their own pun or reference, though this is entirely speculative. This is the same era of Goku’s father being a “brilliant scientist”; arbitrary script changes were the norm. That all being said, there is no implication here that “Arcosian” has anything to do with Freeza anyway (as he had yet to be introduced) and the characters shown on-screen are an entirely separate race.
When FUNimation redubbed this material with the then-current voice cast in 2005’s “Ultimate Uncut Edition”, the same overall dialog was kept, including this “Arcosian” race name. This dialog continues to be used in all uncut Dragon Ball Z television series home releases from FUNimation, up through and including the 2013-2014 Blu-ray season sets.
Well, not far away, the Saiyans met the Arcosians. Now, the Arcosians had money and technology, but the planet Arcos was a dump, so they hired the Saiyans to conquer a planet for them. An unholy partnership was formed. With Saiyan might and Arcosian ingenuity combined, they formed a fleet of planet pirates.
As this scene is largely filler material, it was cut entirely from the “refreshed” Dragon Ball Kai broadcast in 2009, leaving no opportunity for FUNimation to adjust this scene’s script in the series’ otherwise largely-faithful adaptation.
The Malaysian English dub of the fifth Dragon Ball Z movie features a scene where Coola seems to speak (or rather, mumble through) a word that one could possibly interpret as a name for their race: something that sounds like “Glaeris”.
“What? You are telling me Freeza, who inherited the Glaeris(?) plot, was killed by the lower Saiya people?”
Again, as an adaptation separate from the original Japanese script, its additions can be ignored.
Due to the ever-expanding nature of the Dragon Ball franchise, rights-holders such as Shueisha and Toei have been forced to include SOME sort of naming convention for the race. As noted earlier, the word 族 (zoku) is generally used, meaning “family” or “clan”. For example, King Cold’s character biography in 1996’s seventh Daizenshuu states:
Though he’s the head of the strongest family in the universe, he is somewhat inferior to Freeza.
This word has consistently been used for the race (or, rather, small collection of characters and avatars), particularly for modern-era games like Dragon Ball Online, Dragon Ball Heroes, and Dragon Ball Xenoverse. Players creating original avatars will routinely select from humans, Saiyans, Namekians, “Majin”, gods (or “off-worlders”), and: フリーザ一族, or “Freeza Clan” (clan/family/race). This includes said custom characters:
… as well as specific, original, named characters (such as “Froze” from the Dragon Ball Heroes: Victory Mission promotional manga series):
Fan theories and naming conventions have always been popular ways to fill in knowledge gaps. Over the years, fan names for Freeza’s race have included:
- “Changeling” (or “Changling”): the earliest references on alt.fan.dragonball date back to 1999, where from its context it is clear that the name has already been in popular use for a while
- “Iczers” (or “Icers”): the earliest references on alt.fan.dragonball also date back to 1999, where from its context it is clear that the name has already been in popular use for a while; “Ice” as a base was also adapted as a race or character name into several fan comics many years later
“Frost Demon” had also been in occasional fandom use, but was more heavily popularized beginning in 2010 by the fan comic Dragon Ball Multiverse. In the 326rd page of the series (within its 15th chapter), characters from an alternate universe refer to Freeza and his ilk as “Démons du Froid” (“Frost Demons” in the creators’ own English translation):
With Dragon Ball Multiverse being a fan creation, its naming conventions hold no weight in an official sense. Fans sometimes point to an off-hand comment in 2014’s first Dragon Ball Xenoverse game, where playing as a Freeza clan avatar character against Cell in Parallel Quest #22 will result in the following English dialog:
I have all the data I need on the Frost Demons. I have no interest in you.
This is a change exclusive to the English script, however. In Japanese, Cell simply refers to “your race” (きさまらの一族).
It is possible that the Xenoverse English script writers were familiar with Dragon Ball Multiverse, but it is equally likely that they independently came up with this name the same way fans had done decades prior. As a change exclusive to one language’s version of the script, it holds as much water as “Arcosian”… which is to say: none. For what it is worth, the French translation of the same dialog refers to the race as “Démons du givre”; the script here was clearly translated from the adapted English script, rather than the original Japanese script, and with no direct reference to Multiverse‘s original phrasing.
Freeza Has a Son Named Kuriza
STATUS: Interestingly enough, quite true!
In the alternate world of gag manga, Freeza does indeed have a son! Akira Toriyama’s Neko Majin (and later Neko Majin Z) parody manga began as a obvious parody and homage to the Dragon Ball series, but ultimately began incorporating actual characters from said series as it neared its end. 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, 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.
Kuriza (クリーザ Kurīza) takes his name from kuri (“chestnut”, identical to the pun source in Kuririn’s name), the shape of his head, combined with the overall sound and structure of his father’s name, Freeza (フリーザ Furīza). You may see a transliteration of “Kreeza” for the character’s name; we feel the “chestnut” comparison and pun source is important, and therefore spell the name as “Kuriza”.
The Japanese release of Budokai 2 (simply titled Dragon Ball Z 2) for the PlayStation 2 was the next stop in Kuriza’s brief tour. 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.
After a long absence, Kuriza made a triumphant return in the all-encompassing, ever-expanding, long-running Dragon Ball Heroes card-based arcade game in Japan beginning with the game’s “Evil Dragons Mission” update series.
Goku Died On Planet Namek
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
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
The two characters look identical, and with early fansubbers not being expert translators, one can imagine how there came to be vast frustration and confusion over the origin of Tullece. In the third Dragon Ball Z movie, 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 (remembering that statements made in movies do not necessarily relate to the facts and events shown in other continuities).
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 actual blood relation.
The film’s theatrical attendee book — covering the Dragon Ball Z film alongside animated adaptions of Akira Toriyama’s Pink and Kennosuke-sama — contains a special “Secrets of the Saiyans” column, which is explicit in its explanation of why “Kakarrot” and Tullece look similar using Tullece’s own in-movie explanation as its basis:
Furthermore, Saiyans are forcibly raised differently based on their rank, so those of the same rank come to have the same face. Tullece, one of the surviving Saiyans, was also originally a low-ranking warrior. That’s why his face is the spitting image of Goku, who was also a low-ranking warrior.
Unfortunately, at least one bit of Japanese reference material commits a grave error regarding this character: one of the original test-run issues of Shueisha’s V-Jump magazine. The first page of the issue is a fold-out promotion highlighting the upcoming March 1992 Toei Anime Fair, which was set to debut the sixth theatrical Dragon Ball Z film alongside entries from the Magical Taluluto and Dragon Quest series. The Dragon Ball portion features villains from three previous Dragon Ball Z films — Tullece from the third, Slug from the fourth, and Coola from the fifth — with vague promotional text hyping up the (undisclosed) villain in the next film. The text accompanying Tullece states:
Son Goku’s [older] brother also appeared as an enemy.
While the “older” portion is debatable based on the context, there is zero ambiguity behind the intent of 兄 (ani) as “brother” in this statement… despite it being incorrect! The error is a strange one, considering the film had debuted well over a year earlier and would have been known and documented.
One major source of confusion has been the UK release of the third Dragon Ball Z movie, 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 any of the regular companies many fans have since 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 “Tales” 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!”
(Incidentally, later in the same dub of the same film, the character also more accurately states: “It should be no surprise that he and I are practically identical; we come from the same world.”)
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 absolutely never spoken. These fandom 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. The aforementioned English dub is actually based on the French translation of the film, which is likely the original source of confusion in the first place:
“Non. Grâce à mon imbécile de frère, non.”
“No. Thanks to my idiot brother.”
Separate from (and simultaneously courtesy of) the film’s dub, the word “jumeaux” has been used 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.
For further evidence, see this supplemental image from the Dragon Ball Z Movie 7 “Film Anime Comic”:
This Saiyan family tree showcases the various fathers and children we had known up to that point in time as of the book’s release. There are also indications of subordinates (buka) with the dotted lines; note Tullece off to the side with no family or subordinate relationships.
Beyond the one instance of V-Jump promotional splash text clearly in the wrong, consider the rest of the dialog and statements as official indication from Toei, themselves, on their own character. In a 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! Well, at least in some alternate timeline…
Goku’s Mother is Selypa
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 onion”) — 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).
Pan & Trunks Get Married / Have a Child / Have Vegeta Jr.
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.
(Future) Trunks Can Reach Super Saiyan 2
STATUS: As of Dragon Ball Super Episode 49… True!
The following statement was true up until 2016: “Trunks is never shown to be able to reach Super Saiyan 2.” Trunks is shown as able to reach Super Saiyan, and both stages past that within the same transformation (that is to say, Grade II and Grade III)… but not Super Saiyan 2.
The Budokai video games added to the confusion. The first game did a good job of sticking with the traditional Japanese naming conventions (“Super Saiyan Trunks” and “Super Trunks” for Grades I and II, respectively). The following year, Budokai 2 changed this with a “Super Saiyan 2” transformation capsule for Trunks. 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” (“Grade II / Grade III of Super Saiyan”, with “ni” and “san” meaning “two” and “three”, respectively).
Official guide books also backed this up, time and time again stating in charts that Trunks never achieves anything beyond the three stages of the first Super Saiyan transformation.
Before we make our way to Dragon Ball Super, we should address some of the other, modern video games. Trunks actually received a Super Saiyan 3 transformation 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:
The answer to this Super Saiyan 2 question for Trunks was somewhat-definitively updated and explained during Episode 49 of the Dragon Ball Super TV series in June 2016. Trunks escapes the wrath of “Goku Black” using his time machine, and winds up in the care of his friends in the past. As he sizes Goku up once more (similar to the first time Trunks appeared in the series), Trunks powers up through Super Saiyan. As electricity sparks around him, Goku specifically comments that Trunks is using the Super Saiyan 2 transformation.
Yamcha Knows the Genki-Dama
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 Boo).
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
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 Boo, 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”
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
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.”
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!