As the Saiyan bloodline gets thinned out in the Dragon Ball franchise, one would assume that their power would decline accordingly. However, Goku and Vegeta’s offspring have shown to have the capacity to become even stronger.
The Saiyans are a warrior race in the Dragon Ball franchise, described as barbaric, bloodthirsty mercenaries who are always ready for a fight. The supposed reason for their superior strength is due to their home planet of Saldana (aka Planet Vegeta) possessing a gravity field ten times stronger than Earth. Only infants who show the greatest potential are raised and trained by their Saiyan brethren, whilst the others are cast out to fend for themselves on other worlds. So, if Saiyans are in fact the elite race, then why do the Saiyan-Human hybrids of Earth show significantly higher power levels than their forefathers?
Gohan’s Mighty Rage Boost
Gohan already proved to be more powerful than his father during the Raditz Saga, whereby the boy’s power level reached an impressive 1 307, while Goku’s was only at 416 (at the time). After some intense training with Piccolo, Gohan’s power officially surpassed his father’s (again) by the time he was ten. The boy also obtains an additional boost that comes whenever he portrays strong emotions, grief being the most effective catalyst.
Even the mighty Vegeta had to admit that Gohan’s power levels exceeded his own when he faced Frieza and the youngster was again arguably the strongest Z-Fighter present during the android attacks. Ultimate Gohan is considered to be the equivalent of Super Saiyan Blue and has proven to be even more potent than Super Saiyan 3 Gotenks. If this Saiyan-human was in fact power-hungry and actively tried to reach his full potential instead of opting for a peaceful lifestyle, who knows how strong he would be now.
Trunks and Future Trunks
Following with the trend, Trunks also outperformed Vegeta early in life, as he managed to reach Super Saiyan level at a younger age (8) than his father allegedly did. This is a mighty feat considering that Vegeta was raised on Planet Saldana by other Saiyans and therefore should have technically had more experience in the matter. According to Pan in Dragon Ball GT, Trunks has become the second strongest inhabitant of Earth (although Trunks only considers himself to be in 4th place at the time). Regardless of his power potential, Trunks is not often seen fighting solo, as he regularly relies on the Fusion form of Gotenks when the going gets tough.
During the Baby Saga, the invading Tuffle had a useful skill of reading power levels, so that he would know who would be the best candidates for possession. Initially fooled, Baby assumed Trunks to be a weakling, however, once his true strength is revealed, Baby labels the boy’s power level as “bottomless.”
Future Trunks is on a whole other level, as he has allegedly already surpassed Future Gohan in terms of strength. Trunks and his father were the only warriors capable of holding their own against Cell Jr, and even then it is suspected that Trunks was not fighting at full power (possibly for the sake of Vegeta’s ego). Future Trunks does not rely on Fusion to get the job done and is pretty adept at fighting solo too.
Goten Breaks Records
Goten technically has more potential than his brother because, well, he actually enjoys fighting! He manages to transform into a Super Saiyan when he is just seven years old, making him the youngest to accomplish such a feat (that fans know of). Even though he is a year younger than Trunks, Goten managed to bulk up enough in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber to qualify as his equal, strength-wise that is.
Unfortunately, viewers have become accustomed to seeing Gotenks fight more often than Goten, but there is a reason for this. Both boys, but Goten specifically, are very bull-headed with their fighting approach, lacking strategy in their technique, which could have catastrophic results. Apparently whist in their Fusion Form, both personalities are significantly calmer and more composed, so it basically boils down to maturity. As (or if) Trunks and Goten grow older, fans might witness more solo fighting in the future.
Pan in Dragon Ball Z and GT
As the most ‘watered-down’ Saiyan, Pan should, hypothetically, be the weakest of the lot. What fans do know about baby Pan is that she taught herself to fly as an infant (which Goten only learned around the age of seven), and was able to single-handedly eliminate Wild Tiger from the 28th World Martial Arts Tournament. Young Pan even overpowers Goten in an unofficial match, holding her own against the older and more experienced fighter.
Otherwise, it is difficult to assess Pan’s aptitude at such a young age. With regards to the Dragon Ball GT Saga, however, some conjectures could be taken into account as a ten-year-old Pan displays her combat skills. During this time, Trunks believes Pan to be the stronger fighter between them she takes down Natt (who is even stronger than Buu) and bearly breaks a sweat.
There is no definitive reason as to why the Saiyan-Human hybrids show significantly more combat potential than Goku and Vegeta did at a young age. A huge factor could revolve around the classic Nature vs Nurture debate, which, at the end of the day, is all about community. As focused on combat as the Saiyans were, they do not strike fans as the most helpful bunch; more eager to become #1 than to assist their brethren in succeeding along with them.
The young Z-Fighters, however, were exposed to a variety of different fighting techniques from numerous extra-terrestrial races, expanding their combat knowledge and experience considerably. Powerful assistance was also given by allies such as Old Kai and Elder Kaiōshin, who unlocked further potentials within the hybrids, allowing them access to an even deeper well of potency.
Motivation is another important factor. Overall, the Saiyans were quite a selfish species, destroying planets for financial gain and fighting for purely egotistical reasons. The Z-Fighters, on the other hand, are inspired by love and the desire to protect, potentially adding more fuel to their fire (as can certainly be seen in Gohan). This factor could also be the reason why Goku outshines even the Prince of Saiyans himself who, theoretically, should be at the top of the power level ladder.
Keep in mind that this is a comparison of power potential, specifically concerning the earlier years of development (as Goten, Trunks, and Pan are still kids). As it currently stands in the Dragon Ball The franchise, Goku is still considered to be the strongest Saiyan overall – but once the next generation gets to his age, they will all likely surpass Goku and Vegeta – with a significant power gap to boot.
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