After seeing Gohan’s new transformation in the Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero movie that came out this month, many fans were eager to hear an official explanation. The movie hasn’t actually given it, leaving the impression that it just brought another transformation only for the sake of making Goku’s son more powerful than ever. And, you know, just to bring another transformation nevertheless!
But that doesn’t seem to be the case, as Akira Toriyama himself, the one who wrote most part of the plot for the entire Dragon Ball franchise, comes to provide us with the much-needed explanation. Toriyama said, as translated by @Herms98:
Goha’s had quite a few transformations in the past, but this time he needed to awaken to a new one. Gohan has achieved his own unique evolution, based off the sort of awakenings he had as a boy,
I’ve even named this transformation ‘Son Gohan Beast’ in the sense that the wild beast within him has awakened.
Darn it, I made a bigger blunder with that paragraph: rather than adding upturned hair to the scary face+pale skin design, Toriyama says he ultimately went with only upturned hair. Gohan does look rather pale and scary in the screenshot, which threw me off. Sorry! pic.twitter.com/iw842uSCPe
— Todd Blankenship (@Herms98) June 29, 2022
So Gohan’s new form is somehow the final outcome, at least until his next transformation, of those numerous situations when the fighter has shined. Gohan had a ‘hidden power’ within him since he was a little boy, and Piccolo was the first one to start exploiting it by training him. Little that the Namekian knew that Gohan would become a lot stronger than him even as a child!
Of course, some would argue that the Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero movie itself explained the new form of Gohan by simply showing the context of how it was achieved: Gohan getting very mad at seeing his beloved friend getting torn apart by Cell. But let’s be honest: that has already become a pretty old Dragon Ball cliche, which can only mean that an official justification was needed.