To supplement the Dragon Ball manga and TV series, there have been a wide variety of products and special features produced in Japan. Some of these items are of the typical (and quite expected) variety: movies, manga adaptations, commercials, and more.
There are three very special (and genuinely “rare”) supplemental stories that expand upon the original story, however, that even Japanese fans have not readily had access to. These “side” stories take three characters (Piccolo, Vegeta, and Trunks) and go deep into their very minds and actions to create stories that Akira Toriyama never would have gone into such depth with.
The Weekly Shōnen Jump Special Edition: Dragon Ball Z Anime Special contained an original story about Piccolo (“Ma Junior”, if you will) written by Takao Koyama (series composition and screenplay for the anime), while the illustrations were done by Minoru Maeda (chief animator, animation director, and character designer for the anime). The Dragon Ball Z Anime Special II showcased a story about Vegeta, once again done by the team of Takao Koyama and Minoru Maeda.
The third story, however, appeared in a different place, and was completed by a slightly different team. Appearing in the “Film Anime Comics” adaptation of the first DBZ TV special, The Lonely Future Warrior!! Trunks was written this time by Aya Matsui (scenario supervisor for the anime), but was once again illustrated by Minoru Maeda.
You will notice many similarities between this story, the corresponding special manga chapter (“TRUNKS: THE STORY”, placed between chapters 396 & 397, at the end of tankōbon #33 and the end of kanzenban 34), and the second Dragon Ball Z TV special. It is fascinating to compare and contrast these takes on the same story, all seen through the eyes of the same character in slightly different ways.
While “scanlations” of the three stories can all be found on desirecampbell.com, we are presenting a special web-version of the third story here in text only, alongside the images from the story as illustrated by Maeda.
Please enjoy this special presentation, and be sure to check out Episode #0139 of our podcast for an in-depth analysis.
Kodoku no Mirai Senshi!! Torankusu
The Lonely Future Warrior!! Trunks
I’m Trunks. At the time of my earliest memories, my father Vegeta was no longer in this world… When imagining my father, whose face I didn’t even know, it would always only be from behind. In order to make a new future for humanity, I went to the world of the past. And then I met my father Vegeta…!!
The door to the Room of Spirit and Time opened without a sound.
My father Vegeta rose as if he’d been plucked up, and started walking to the door. I suppose he’d been waiting impatiently. He stared straight towards the door, not making eye contact with Piccolo-san, who was on his way out.
I continued to stare at my father’s back as if in a trance. Then suddenly I was driven by an impulse to run after him. Wouldn’t father disappear into that endless space the moment he entered the door? I had that feeling.
The door closed again without a sound.
Looking back, I think it’s always been like I was chasing after my father’s back. From when I was still very little, it’s always been that…
I Want To Know About My Father
From my earliest memories, Vegeta-san was already dead.
Piccolo-san, Kuririn-san, and the others were likewise defeated in the battle with #17 and #18, the artificial humans that Doctor Gero had made. I didn’t even know my father’s face. This was because there wasn’t even a single picture of my father in my house. I don’t know if there weren’t any originally, or if they burned when #17 and #18 attacked Capsule Corporation. I thought about asking my mother Bulma about my father countless times, but it didn’t feel manly to do so, so I never asked.
Death became such a common thing there in the future that I even got used to it when I was very young. Everyone locked their sorrow deep within their hearts and picked their words carefully, not having the composure to drag that out.
One day, my mother took me to Gohan-san‘s house. When I saw how his room was decorated here and there with pictures of Gohan with his parents, I suddenly became very lonely. I couldn’t take my eyes off one of those pictures.
It was a picture of Gohan-san and his father. Son… Goku-san…
Perhaps I was drawn to the aura of a full-blooded Saiyan that he had, and the aura of a father. Because that was something my own father would surely have had.
Then, I heard a loud noise like “Ga…pii“. Gohan-san was adjusting the radio frequency. Both the television stations and radio stations had been destroyed by #17 and #18, and a pirate broadcast called “Artificial Human Report” was our sole source of information.
“What is it Trunks? You’ve been pretty quiet today.” Realizing that I was looking at the pictures, Gohan-san spoke up.
“This person is your father, isn’t it?”
“Yeah, that’s right”
I looked at the photo together with Gohan-san.
With his gentle smile, that person didn’t look like the “incredibly strong person” that my mother Bulma had said he was.
“Is it true that he was strong?”
“Stronger than Gohan-san?”
At that time, I didn’t believe that anyone existed who was stronger than Gohan-san.
Still, Gohan-san had faced the artificial humans on his own, and continued to fight them. They said that he got the scar that ran from his forehead to his cheek in a battle with #17. I thought that scar was a cool-looking medal, and revered Gohan-san.
There’s no way there’d be any other person capable of doing that, even if you searched through the entire Earth. Even if it were Gohan-san‘s father. Because even my father, who I heard was prince of the Saiyans had been defeated by #17 and #18.
Because of that photo, I became obsessed with wanting to know about my father. Just what kind of person had he been?…
My Mother Bulma’s Memories
Late that night, after being troubled, I slipped out of my bed and went to mother’s laboratory.
Not noticing that I had entered, my mother Bulma had all of her attention wrapped up in working on the time machine prototype. Once the time machine was completed, she intended to send me to the past and give Gohan-san‘s father medicine that would cure his heart disease.
“If Son-kun just hadn’t died from his heart disease at that time, then I think the world wouldn’t have ended up like this.” That’s what mother had told me when she began researching the time machine.
But mother, what I wanted to learn about then wasn’t Gohan-san‘s father, it was my own.
Unexpectedly, I spoke up behind my mother’s back.
“Mother, what kind of person was father?”
It looked like mother was a little surprised, but her eyes immediately sparkled and she smiled. With #17 and #18 continuing the destruction and slaughter every day, it had been a very long time since I had seen that smile.
“Your dead father? Ye~ah, he was strong and stern, and lonely… and he also did a lot of bad things… there’s no doubt that he’s in Hell right now.”
“But he also had good things about him. He was very proud, and not the kind of person to show his gentleness, but… I could tell.”
At that time, I didn’t really understand things like pride or loneliness, but I could at least tell that my mother had loved my father.
“Am I… am I like him?”
“Now that you mention it, are you like your father? Let’s see…”
My mother stared fixedly at me, and I felt a little awkward.
“Yes, you really do resemble him. Particularly your ambiance and… that mean look in your eyes is just like him. But don’t worry, you’re a lot more handsome than he was.”
I hadn’t really been concerned about that, but… well, it’s all right, because I got to know just a little bit about my father Vegeta. Thinking that, I continued to watch my mother for a little while as she went on working.
Long hair casually tied into a dark green knot. Even smeared in machine oil, my mother was beautiful enough. It was a mystery where in that face and slender body she got that kind of power.
Once, I had seen my mother throw a large man flying all by herself. The man, who was newly rich and had his body wrapped in a so-called “Artificial Human Defense Suit”, had come to request that he fund the time machine research.
As they went on talking, my mother’s eyes flashed with anger when she realized that the man’s motivation was simply to save himself. But the man didn’t notice, and looking at mother indecently, he said:
“How about it, Bulma-san? Why not join up with me and use the time machine to go somewhere in the past or future were the artificial humans don’t exist? If it’s money you want, I’ve got tons of it. I wouldn’t let you be destitute…”
In that instant, the man flew through the air and crashed through the window, landing outside. He certainly hit the ground before he had time to even be surprised.
“I’m building this time machine for the future of everyone, not trash like you. I’ll tell you something else, since you’re such a hopeless moron: what’s needed in the world now isn’t money, it’s this.” Mother declared this as she showed her slender but muscular arm.
“It might not be any use against the artificial humans, but it’s plenty useful against petty scoundrels like you. If you want, I’ll show you one more time.”
At the sight of the man running away at full speed, I clapped my hands in joy. I rubbed my noise and cried “Serves you right!”
Vegeta-san must have undoubtedly been an amazing person to have stolen the heart of my strong-willed mother.
The prince of the Saiyans, and at any rate a strong and stern person…
I yearned for and at the same time was fearful of the father who I had never met. From that time onward, my father became my goal. Though it was only in my imagination, the image of my father that appeared when I closed my eyes was always from behind for some reason. Every time, he would always be standing straight up, and never look back. Only wishing to become strong, father advanced forward and forward…
You Are the Last Hope…!!
Several years passed. Wanting to defeat the artificial humans no matter what, I trained with Gohan-san every day.
Even in the midst of training, as usual my objective was my father Vegeta, who would float into my mind. Once I managed to catch up with my father and see his face, then surely I would be able to defeat #17 and #18. Somewhere in my heart, I believed this baseless thing. One day when I was thinking this, I gently confessed it to Gohan-san. Just like I thought, Gohan-san didn’t laugh at me, but earnestly listened to my story.
I muttered while looking down from the mountain at the half-ruined city far below.
“But instead of me catching up to him, it looks like father is rapidly leaving me behind.” At the time, I was irritated at myself for being unable to become a Super Saiyan, no matter how hard I tried.
“Don’t worry, you have Vegeta’s blood. You’ll soon be able to become a Super Saiyan, absolutely!” Gohan-san‘s smiling face encourage me.
“But I really understand how you feel…”
“I made this dôgi thinking… that if I could become as strong as my father…” That dôgi was an old design, but it suited Gohan very well.
“Son… Goku-san, right? Mother tells me that it always surprises her how when you wear that dôgi you look just like Goku-san.”
“But I guess there’s no way I would be just like him in power… hahaha…”
Even while he was laughing, Gohan-san‘s eyes were too quiet, and I became somewhat sad.
What happened next I can’t forget, even though I want to. My insides feel as if they were being pressed with a hot branding iron, and the feeling won’t go away. Even now, when much time has passed, it still aches sometimes.
—There was an explosion
With a thunderous roar, the area was enveloped in a terrific flash of light, and as it lasted there was smoke and explosions here and there. The artificial humans had come again to attack the city.
“Da-damn it… I, I won’t let them get away with this any longer…” A golden ki blazed up from Gohan-san‘s entire body, and he became a Super Saiyan.
“Trunks, you stay here, all right!!”
“No! If you’re going, so am I!!”
Though I cried this desperately, Gohan-san‘s answer was a karate chop that he brought down upon my neck.
In my dimming consciousness, I thought that I heard Gohan-san‘s voice.
“Trunks, you are the last hope…”
By the time I regained consciousness, everything was over.
The moment I saw Gohan-san‘s corpse lying stretched out in a pool of blood screams and anger and frustration and tears swelled up in my body like a surging wave. That instant, fire ran up my entire body. My muscles trembled, and my blood vessels burned.
When it felt like all of my blood exploded at once, I became a Super Saiyan for the first time—.
From there, I began training all on my own. I hid Vegeta-san‘s form and Gohan-san‘s voice saying
“You are the last hope…” deep in my heart.
On the pirate broadcasts, it seemed like every day reports of the artificial humans would stream in, but I didn’t try to do anything pointless.
To avenge Gohan-san, Vegeta-san, all those killed by the artificial humans
I needed to definitely be above them in power. I knew that if I fought without knowing that for sure, I would only die needlessly.
The screams of those attacked by #17 and #18 echoed in my mind, but I repressed my impatient heart and absorbed myself in training. I could only think about becoming strong, becoming strong, becoming strong.
Oddly, when I began training on my own, I felt that the distance between my and the image of father that floated in my mind shrunk immensely. I took this as proof that I was doubtlessly doing things correctly.
As for my mother Bulma, it seemed that she intended to finish the time machine and send me into the past. However, I was secretly intent on defeating #17 and #18 on my own.
“Won’t it be all right this way?” It took me three years to be able to think that way.
However, I was too naive.
On the day mother finished the time machine, I was fought with the artificial humans and was severely beaten. It was nothing short of a miracle that I returned alive.
When I regained consciousness in the hospital bed, my mother glared at me angrily.
“… Really, trying to fight them all alone no matter what; you’re just like your father!!”
Then she shed two tears. My mother, who was always strong and hardy, who could easily send a man flying…
Immediately after my injuries healed, I resolved to ride the time machine. My goal was 20 years in the past. My objective was to give Son Goku-san his medicine, allowing him to survive.
Before taking off, wishing for my journey’s success I wrote “HOPE!!” on the time machine. This was the “hope” from Gohan-san‘s words… “The last hope…”
“I’m going, mother!!”
“I’m counting on you, Trunks!!”
With mother’s reassuring words, I entered the time machine.
My First Tense Experience… With Father
Right from the start, things didn’t go as planned. Because I hastily killed Freeza and his father, my plan of only meeting Goku-san went amiss. I was worried about not changing history, but for me it was a happy miscalculation.
While we waited for Goku-san‘s pod to land, I had trouble with the fact that my gaze kept going over in Vegeta-san‘s direction. Meeting my father for the first time, just like mother said he was a person who was strong, proud, stern, and seemingly lonely. And startlingly, from behind he looked just like the father from my imagination.
“What are you staring at so intently? If you really are a Saiyan, then I shouldn’t be such a rare sight.”
Naturally I was startled when my father Vegeta spoke to me.
Controlling my throat so that I wouldn’t unthinkingly reply with “Because you’re my father…”, all I did was apologize with a “Sorry…”
Nevertheless, it was a strange feeling. My father was alive, my mother was young, Gohan-san was more of a kid than I was… what’s more, the way the mother and Kuririn-san talked noisily with everyone was completely like it was a family.
For me it was all new. I realized that I was smiling. I was surprised that I was smiling, because I hadn’t smiled since Gohan-san was killed by the artificial humans three years ago.
My mother Bulma worried about me, and tried to tell me joke to make me laugh. I tried to laugh, but it was no use. People who carry a sadness like a bullet in their chest cannot laugh. That’s all I could understand. I thought maybe I’ll never laugh again.
At any rate, I was smiling. The past was incredible. It was a world where noble friends talked together underneath a blue sky. I didn’t want this world to end up like my future. This I strongly wished.
Meeting Goku-san for the first time, he was stronger and more reliable warrior than I had thought.
“Perhaps this person just might change the future.” The light of hope burned in my chest.
When I came again, the past had various points of difference from the past I knew. The time that Goku-san came down with his heart disease was different, and there weren’t just the artificial humans #17 and #18. On top of that, their power was also far above the ones that I had known.
I don’t know if the reason that history changed so much was due to me, or possibly due to the monster Cell who had come from even more distant future than me. Anyhow, I did what I could to fight alongside everyone.
My second meeting with my father Vegeta was the worst. When my mother Bulma and my baby self were going to be killed by Doctor Gero, father did nothing to save them even though he was nearby.
If I hadn’t saved them, they certainly would have died. It drove me up the wall. I demanded of father why he hadn’t saved his wife and child.
“How worthless… I’m not interested in those things.” My father Vegeta answered with a cold smile.
He then soon flew off towards Doctor Gero’s laboratory. He went in order to fight the artificial human, ignoring everyone else’s desire to destroy #17 and #18 before they awakened.
My father who I had yearned for since I was very young, who had been my aspiration… the retreating figure of my father that I had always chased after… was smashed to smithereens…
At that time, my mother’s voice repeated in my head.
“But he also had good things about him. He was very proud, and not the kind of person to show his gentleness, but… I could tell.”
I-it’s a lie… He doesn’t have any good in him!! He’s rotten to the core!!
I hated my father.
He’s an unpleasant person. However, I won’t let my father be killed by the artificial humans a second time… Two contradicting emotions whirled around in my head.
I immediately went after father.
“How long to you intend on following me? Get lost; you’re annoying me.” Father said this to me as I flew behind him.
“I can’t do that… You’re underestimating the fearsomeness of #17 and #18.” I was determined to not let father die. Tasting the loneliness of losing my father just once was enough.
However, there was no way I would inform father of my identity. Feeling impatient, I tried to change father’s mind as if my life depended on it.
However, it was pointless.
“Hmph…for a pure-blooded Saiyan, the stronger their opponent is, the more they want to fight them.” This was father’s answer.
“A pure-blooded Saiyan…?!” My father actually said this then. That the stronger their opponent was, the more a pure-blooded Saiyan would want to fight them. Those were the words he threw at me. If that was the case, then father would have to know that I wasn’t a pure-blooded Saiyan.
It was then that I realized it. Father didn’t save mother because he knew that… I was his son.
“To further surpass Super Saiyan.” I was shocked by those words. To tell the truth, I had never thought of trying to do anything like surpass that.
If Super Saiyan could be surpassed, then even I… Simply asking to train like that, it wouldn’t be a waste of time, even if father refused me.
For three days, I stood on a rock looking at father’s back. That view of his back was the very thing that I had pictured when I was very young.
I wanted to catch up with that back. To catch up to him and face him from the front. I once again resolved to do that. However, even now I still haven’t reached that goal.
Even as I spent one year with him in the Room of Spirit and Time, father completely ignored me. Despite this, I became conceited in thinking that I had surpassed father in power. I believed that I could definitely defeat perfect-form Cell, who not even father had been able to beat.
Using a transformation that relied on power, I killed my speed. My father Vegeta had understood that, and had not dared to use that transformation.
However, being the fool I was I used that transformation, and was defeated by Cell. On top of that, Cell even pointed out by mistake to me, and I made an unbelievable fool out of myself.
Twenty hours have passed since my father Vegeta entered the Room of Time and Spirit.
Father will soon come out again. Being my father, he will probably be brimming with confidence that he can defeat Cell. Even though I already have a one-step lead on him.
But someday, I will definitely catch up with father! If father’s ultimate goal is Goku-san, than my goal is father!!
When I am able to look at father’s face head-on, and have him look back at me, then that will be when I am able to grant my wish from when I was very young. Even if that has to be on a battleground between father and son…
Without a sound, the door slowly opens.