Wednesday, May 22, 2024

10 Times Future Trunks Was the Best Dragon Ball Character

Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball is a landmark anime that continues to inspire new series and draw in fresh fans. There are many reasons that Dragon Ball continues to keep audiences on the edge of their seats, whether it's the franchise's incredible energy attacks, totemic transformations, or the cathartic clashes between good and evil. That being said, Dragon Ball has resonated with such a wide audience because of its unforgettable characters who have become shonen anime icons. Dragon Ball is dense in compelling characters, like Goku, Vegeta, Piccolo, and Gohan, but the franchise forever changes in Dragon Ball Z Episode 119, "The Mysterious Youth," upon Future Trunks' debut.

Future Trunks is in Dragon Ball for a surprisingly limited time, yet his contributions are crucial. Future Trunks has an extremely satisfying character arc, and he’s someone who fans consistently request to get his own spin-off series or standalone feature film. Every Future Trunks episode brings forward something special, but some of his heroic actions resonate more strongly than others and highlight why he’s one of Dragon Ball’s best.

10 Future Trunks Kills Future Dabura & Babidi To Prevent Future Buu’s Awakening

There’s a lengthy absence of Future Trunks in Dragon Ball after he returns to his timeline following the Cell Saga’s conclusion. Future Trunks makes a surprise return in Dragon Ball Super’s “‘Future Trunks’ Saga,” but Dragon Ball also fills in some crucial details regarding what the hero has been up to in the interim. Much like in Dragon Ball's primary timeline, Babidi and Dabura show up to collect energy that's essential for Majin Buu's awakening. Future Trunks' timeline doesn't have heroes like Gohan and Goku around to take on these threats, so their elimination ultimately falls on him.

It takes Future Babidi and Future Dabura a decade to collect enough energy to resurrect Buu, but their plan is impeded by Future Trunks, who has been training with Future Supreme Kai and Future Kibito with the Z Sword. Future Trunks fearlessly takes on these malevolent threats, who unfortunately manage to execute Future Kibito. This tragedy pushes Future Trunks to ascend to Super Saiyan 2 status, at which point he destroys both Future Dabura and Future Babidi with his Burning Attack. It's an incredibly heroic act that proves that Future Trunks is enough to keep his timeline safe, even if the rest of Earth's greatest heroes are gone.

9 Future Trunks Shares An Ice Cream Heart-To-Heart With Gohan

10 Times Future Trunks Was the Best Dragon Ball Character

Future Trunks wouldn’t be the individual that he is today without the lessons that he learned from Future Gohan. These two share an unbreakable bond in Future Trunks’ timeline before Future Androids 17 and 18 execute Future Trunks’ mentor. It’s a loss that Future Trunks never fully recovers from. Dragon Ball Super gets to engage in some creative and cathartic storytelling when Future Trunks meets the prime timeline’s adult version of Gohan. This older Gohan looks nearly identical to his fallen mentor, but Future Trunks quickly identifies the differences between the two and that this Gohan isn’t nearly as hardened.

Future Trunks initially has a difficult time accepting that this Gohan isn’t as battle-driven as the one from his own timeline, but this acceptance helps him gain some peace with his past. It’s an eye-opening experience where Future Trunks better appreciates the value in a simple, domestic life that’s full of normalcy and ice cream. It’s a subdued sequence, albeit a necessary breakthrough, that helps Future Trunks move on and open himself to new experiences.

8 Future Trunks Defeats Bojack's Kogu In The Intergalactic World Tournament

10 Times Future Trunks Was the Best Dragon Ball Character

Dragon Ball Z: Bojack Unbound is the series' ninth feature film that takes place during a fascinating period when Goku is dead from his battle with Cell, but Future Trunks is still in the picture. The film hinges on an interstellar martial arts tournament to find the Earth's strongest fighter. Bojack Unbound becomes one of the better Gohan showcases as he takes on the space pirate, Bojack, and his Galaxy Soldiers. Gohan does most of the heavy lifting and is responsible for taking out Zangya, Bujin, Bido, and Bojack.

That being said, Future Trunks lands a satisfying victory against Kogu, one of Bojack's Galaxy Soldiers. Kogu undergoes an intimidating transformation and attempts to eliminate Future Trunks with his Devilish Blade sword. Future Trunks neutralizes the weapon as a Super Saiyan and proceeds to punch Kogu through the chest. It's a truly triumphant attack and the first moment in Bojack Unbound that the tide begins to turn for the heroes. It’s a moment that ranks slightly higher than Future Trunks’ victory over Android 14 in Super Android 13!

7 Future Trunks Tests Super Saiyan 3 Goku’s Strength

10 Times Future Trunks Was the Best Dragon Ball Character

Future Trunks' return in Dragon Ball Super is extremely exciting, but it doesn't happen under pleasant circumstances. Future Trunks requires help against Goku Black, who's currently ravaging his timeline. Goku is curious in testing Future Trunks' strength to see how powerful he's become since their last meeting, as well as better evaluate Goku Black's power level. An extremely exciting battle breaks out between Goku and Future Trunks where they both begin at Super Saiyan 2 strength. Goku transforms to Super Saiyan 3 power and Future Trunks goes all out against the Saiyan.

Super Saiyan 3 Goku is able to ward off Future Trunks' sword strikes with just a finger. It's a humbling moment for Future Trunks, but there's still tremendous value in him going up against a Super Saiyan 3 warrior. It's an experience that leaves him inspired, rather than discouraged. It's also a nostalgic counterpoint to how Goku initially tests Future Trunks' strength upon their first meeting that helps highlight how much they've both changed since then.

6 Future Trunks Takes On Super Vegeta To Prevent Android 18's Absorption

Dragon Ball Z’s Cell Saga is an incredibly exciting time for Super Saiyans. Future Trunks, Vegeta, Goku, and Gohan all head to the Hyperbolic Time Chamber to take advantage of their limited time and attempt to surpass their current Super Saiyan skills. Future Trunks and Vegeta’s joint training sessions are highly entertaining, but the fallout proves to be even more rewarding. Vegeta, freshly arrogant in his Super Saiyan Second Grade state, grows curious and confident that he’ll be able to defeat Semi-Perfect Cell after he achieves perfection. Rather than destroy Semi-Perfect Cell while he holds the advantage, Vegeta helps facilitate Cell’s absorption of Android 18 so that he can face a stronger opponent who truly tests his skills.

Future Trunks is crestfallen over this development and is forced to fight against his father to prevent Cell’s perfection. Future Trunks is grateful to have a dad again, but he still isn’t willing to compromise the world’s future. Future Trunks attacks Super Vegeta because it’s the right thing to do and the heroes’ best chance at avoiding an apocalypse. It’s a testament to Future Trunks’ virtues, even if he does fall short and fails to prevent Android 18’s absorption.

5 Super Saiyan Rage Future Trunks Wages War With Super Saiyan Rosé Goku Black

10 Times Future Trunks Was the Best Dragon Ball Character

There are some fascinating mid-steps and exclusive Super Saiyan power tiers that only a few characters experience under the most extreme circumstances. One of Dragon Ball Super's most debilitating battles is the heroes' crusade against Goku Black and Future Zamasu's combined efforts. These villains are ruthless, and even Super Saiyan Blue Vegito's strength proves to be insufficient. Goku Black and Future Zamasu taunt Future Trunks and tell him that all of his timeline's destruction is his fault. This elicits the same feelings of helplessness that Future Trunks felt when Future Androids 17 and 18 previously mocked him and it triggers an explosive rage in the Saiyan.

Future Trunks ascends to Super Saiyan Rage status, and he's suddenly able to counter the villainous team's attacks. In fact, Super Saiyan Rage Future Trunks pushes Future Zamasu and Super Saiyan Rosé Goku Black on the defensive and helps buy enough time for Goku and Vegeta to figure out a new strategy. Future Trunks ostensibly defeats Super Saiyan Rosé Goku Black before the villains turn to fusion as their final gambit.

4 Super Saiyan Third Grade Future Trunks Battles Perfect Cell

10 Times Future Trunks Was the Best Dragon Ball Character

Everyone is terrified when Semi-Perfect Cell absorbs Android 18 and becomes Perfect Cell. Cell’s power boost is beyond what anyone anticipated and it feels as if a truly invincible villain has emerged. Super Saiyan Second Grade Vegeta is quickly disposed of by Perfect Cell and Future Trunks – while worried – does whatever he can to prevent greater fallout. Future Trunks goes on to surpass Super Saiyan Second Grade status and reveals the more powerful heights of Super Saiyan Third Grade. Future Trunks’ transformation is met with a cataclysmic display of power and it temporarily seems like Future Trunks might be able to win.

It doesn’t take long to figure out that Super Saiyan Third Grade, while stronger than its predecessors, is substantially slower to the point that it’s actually a step backwards. Super Saiyan Third Grade Future Trunks can’t defeat Perfect Cell, but it still results in one of Dragon Ball Z’s more suspenseful battles. Furthermore, the fight concludes with Future Trunks finding a way to stoke Perfect Cell’s pride and ego enough to secure the heroes an extra ten days of training so that they can match Cell’s strength.

3 Future Trunks Unleashes His Sword Of Hope Against Fused Zamasu

10 Times Future Trunks Was the Best Dragon Ball Character

Goku Black and Future Zamasu are some of Dragon Ball Super's most determined villains and they nearly successfully pull off their plan to eliminate all mortals from existence. Future Trunks previously surpasses his limits during this war when he accesses Super Saiyan Rage power. However, he's able to push this one step further when he channels humanity's energy into his sword and turns it into the ultimate weapon. This process is akin to Goku's Spirit Bomb technique, and it properly celebrates Future Trunks as this story arc's true hero.

It’s rare that someone other than Goku or Vegeta gets to take out the main antagonist. However, Future Trunks deserves this win and carries the weight of his entire fractured timeline on his shoulders. Future Trunks uses his Sword of Hope against Fused Zamasu and cleaves the merged monster in half. It's the battle breakthrough that the heroes have been looking for, even if Omni-King Zeno's interference is necessary to fully wipe out Infinite Zamasu and end this threat.

2 Future Trunks Gets Introduced Through Mecha-Frieza & King Cold’s Evisceration

10 Times Future Trunks Was the Best Dragon Ball Character

Future Trunks’ first appearance in Dragon Ball Z is absolutely unforgettable and is arguably the best introduction for any of the franchise’s characters. It took Goku dozens of episodes to defeat Frieza, so the Z-Fighters are understandably horrified when he shows up on Earth, complete with cybernetic upgrades, with his powerful father by his side. It looks like a major battle is imminent against Mecha-Frieza and King Cold.

Future Trunks, out of nowhere, shows up and destroys both of these villains with zero difficulty. It’s a crucial turning point that establishes more Super Saiyans and that this isn’t a singular transformation that’s experienced by Goku. It also establishes a whole new plateau of power where Super Saiyans become the series’ baseline. It’s such a powerful way to introduce a new character and immediately prove that he’s one of Dragon Ball Z’s most interesting individuals.

1 Future Trunks Returns To His Timeline To Eliminate The Androids

Future Trunks has done plenty to prove himself as a hero, but few are as cathartically satisfying as the Cell Saga epilogue where he returns to his timeline to clean up Dr. Gero’s mess. Future Trunks has helped defeat Cell in the prime timeline. However, he still wants to return to where he’s come from, rather than to continue living in the past with the new friends that he’s made. Future Trunks becomes substantially stronger over the course of the Cell Saga and it’s so fulfilling to see him take this power and use it to do what was previously impossible.

Future Trunks doesn’t just defeat Future Androids 17 and 18, but he takes them out in a single shot. The Androids are taken completely off-guard and Future Trunks is finally able to get justice for Future Gohan. It’d be easy for Dragon Ball Z to skip over Future Trunks’ emotional homecoming, which makes it such a rewarding display of strength and spirit. It’s a moment that highlights everything that fans love about Future Trunks and why he’s such a popular Dragon Ball character.

10 Times Future Trunks Was the Best Dragon Ball Character