Dragon Ball has created some of the most iconic anime characters of all time. Of course, at the very top of the list is Goku, the thick-headed hero of the franchise. Yet, there are so many other interesting characters and Dragon Ball tends to overly focus on Goku.
One of the best characters of the franchise is Goku’s son, Gohan, but as the franchise has gone on he’s had less and less to do. Dragon Ball Super finally gave Gohan a few moments, but the series is still laser-focused on Goku.
It’s high time Gohan had his chance to shine again, and the best way to do that is with an original game starring the character.
Gohan featured prominently in the early seasons of Dragon Ball Z. He was a major character in the Saiyan and Frieza Saga, and even became the focus of the Cell Saga, delivering the final blow to the villain. After that, however, Gohan, frustratingly, started fading into obscurity. He didn’t stand a chance against Buu, and Dragon Ball GT dropped him entirely. From the Cell Saga on the focus has gone back to Goku, and even Dragon Ball Super frames Gohan as having lost most of his power due to lack of training. To be fair he does power up later on, but it’s still disappointing considering Gohan was, at one point, billed as even more powerful than Goku.
Gohan is the biggest missed opportunity in the series, especially since he’s a more well-rounded character than Goku. The poster-boy of Dragon Ball has continued to be a one-note character with his ignorance and stupidity knowing no bounds. Goku is charming, but his obsession with finding a good fight starts to wear thin after hundreds of episodes. On the other hand, Gohan is incredibly intelligent, cares about his family, and has a goofy side. Adult Gohan, in particular, has an endearing personality, and it’d be great to see even more of him.
Dragon Ball Super, at least the manga, will likely continue to focus on Goku and Vegeta. Video games, on the other hand, are an entirely different story. Dragon Ball Kakarot is the latest game in the series, and it was supposed to put players in the shoes of Goku, living out his life. Strangely, players control Gohan for more time than they actually control Goku, as the story forces players to control specific characters at certain times.
Dragon Ball games have repeated the same storylines over and over, and there’s a serious lack of originality with anime games in general. Putting players in the shoes of Gohan, with a unique new story would be a great way to shake things up for Dragon Ball games. Maybe it could take place after the events of Dragon Ball Super, or maybe it just takes place at a point in Gohan’s adult life that gets skipped over. Training Gohan up and reclaiming his lost power would be a great way to put RPG systems in and not superfluous ones like in Kakarot. Gohan as a hero also presents the chance to put more emotion into the story, as Gohan needs to power up to protect his daughter Pan.
The Great Saiyaman is the goofy superhero alter-ego of Gohan, and it presents a fantastic opportunity for a unique Dragon Ball game. There could be entire segments of the game where players take control of The Great Saiyaman, fighting off crime and trying to hide Gohan’s identity. It could be a crazy twist on the Super Man story but with some fun Dragon Ball style.
This also presents the opportunity for developers to have a bit more imagination, and deviate from the usual Dragon Ball fare. Great Saiyaman can have unique moves, unique costumes, unique enemies, and unique stories. The possibilities with Gohan truly are endless as he’s such a multi-faceted character. He’s always been a fan-favorite character, and if the Dragon Ball series wants to keep driving interest in needs to have more varied stories.
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