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"You know you can't win! You can't destroy what I really am! Even if you manage to kill this body, someone even stronger would surface and take my place! Not one death will go unaccounted for, not one!"
Future Gohan

Dragon Ball Z: The History of Trunks (ぜつぼうへのはんこう!! のこされたちょうせんはんとトランクス Zetsubō e no Hankō!! Nokosareta Chō-Senshi · Gohan to Torankusu, lit. "Defiance in the Face of Despair!! The Remaining Super-Warriors—Gohan and Trunks") is the second TV special to be based around the Dragon Ball Z anime.

It originally aired on TV in Japan on February 24, 1993. Funimation dubbed it into English and released it for the first time in English on October 25, 2000. The special was re-released in a remastered box set bundled with Dragon Ball Z: Bardock - The Father of Goku in May 2008. Roughly a year later, FUNimation released a remastered single version on September 15, 2009.

The History of Trunks tells the story of Future Trunks and his life during the time where the androids have the world under siege. It is unique among Dragon Ball movies/specials since it is actually based on a brief chapter in the Dragon Ball manga, called "Trunks The History - The Lone Warrior". The special changes several key plot points for drama (such as that in the manga Trunks was capable of transforming into a Super Saiyan before Future Gohan's death).

The special occurs in a different history than the one in the original manga or anime.[1]


The film opens with Future Goku's tragic death from a Heart Virus and the death of the Dragon Team except for Future Gohan at the hands of Android 17 and Android 18 around six months later on May 12, Age 767. Unfortunately, the Z Fighters are unable to be wished back to life because the Dragon Balls are permanently unusable due to Piccolo's death, which also kills Kami.


Future Gohan training Trunks


Super Saiyan Future Gohan battles Future Android 17

The TV special moves thirteen years into the future, in Age 780, where we meet a fourteen year old Trunks and twenty-three year old Gohan. Gohan is the only one able to stand against the Androids, ever since he became a Super Saiyan after witnessing the deaths of the other Z Fighters. Gohan trains Trunks in fighting and power, who comes very close to becoming a Super Saiyan as well. One day, the Androids attack Super World. Gohan and Trunks arrive there for battle, and Android 17 takes on Gohan while Android 18 watches. Gohan transforms into a Super Saiyan and, despite a few hits by the android, he quickly takes control of the fight. However, Android 18 joins the fight and the two begin to overtake Gohan. Trunks, though no match for the Androids, comes to Gohan's aid and fights with Android 18. He manages to fight her for a minute before he is easily defeated, but Gohan saves him from death, and they both hide in the debris of the park. The androids, unable to find them, bomb the park in hopes of drawing them out of hiding. Gohan and Trunks survive the blast but at the cost of Gohan's left arm, which is blown off. Gohan then gives Trunks a Senzu bean, saving him from death yet again. Trunks brings Gohan back to Capsule Corporation where he recovers and resumes training Trunks.

Trunks Going SSJ

Trunks going Super Saiyan after Gohan's death

The training is stopped short when the androids attack Pepper Town. Trunks pleads to fight, but Gohan knocks him unconscious with a hit to the upper back and lower neck to stop him from joining the battle. The one-armed Super Saiyan ambushes Android 17, and despite his handicap, puts up a long and suspenseful fight against the androids. He meets his end when the androids gang up on him in the rain and knock him to the ground. They then use their Accel Dance technique, killing the fallen warrior. Trunks is awakened when his mentor's energy vanishes. Upon searching the city, Trunks finds Gohan's dead body and his training appeared to have failed. The rage from within him is unleashed, and Trunks transforms into a Super Saiyan, finally completing his Super Saiyan training without congratulations from his mentor.

Trunks Bulma Time Machine

Future Trunks and Bulma working on the Time Machine

The story moves forward three years later, in Age 783. Trunks walks in on Bulma while she is working on the Time Machine, and tells her that he does not need anyone from the past helping him beat the androids since he is a Super Saiyan. She reminds him that Gohan was also a Super Saiyan, which obviously was not enough. A news bulletin on the radio announces that the androids are attacking Bridgetown and Trunks goes off to fight them despite Bulma's pleas. He finds the androids in the ruined city which they destroyed, and engages in battle with them.

Bulma Time Machine Liftoff

Future Trunks traveling to the past

However, the young Super Saiyan is completely outclassed and can barely put up a fight. Trunks is badly beaten by the merely-toying androids, and miraculously survives a large blast of energy from Android 18. Trunks awakens in his house with his mother Bulma by his side. After a brief talk, he decides to go in the time machine (once it's finally ready, which is about six months to a year later) to give the Heart Medicine to Goku. Bulma wishes him good luck as Trunks uses the time machine and travels into the past.

Timeline Placement[]

The special largely takes places in Age 780, 13 years after the death of Goku in Trunks' timeline. It later picks up another 3 years later to Age 783.

In the A Desperate Future Saga in Xenoverse 2, it is strongly implied that Future Gohan's line from the special about someone rising to take his place to destroy the Androids during his final battle was the result of Future Gohan encountering Future Trunks' future Time Patroller self Xeno Trunks and the Future Warrior due to timeline alterations caused by him being attacked by Future Android 16 and Mira, which results in Future Gohan realizing his fate and that Future Trunks will defeat the Androids, thus willingly goes of to his death comforted in the knowledge that his final fight shall serve purpose and that his student will succeed in bring peace to their timeline. Both Chronoa and Elder Kai decide to leave the alterations in out of respect for Future Gohan and Xeno Trunks. It should be noted that when Xeno Trunks looked at the Time Scroll for Age 780 before it is altered, Future Gohan's line from the special is notably absent, indicating Xeno Trunks and Future Gohan's encounter in Xenoverse 2 lead to his battle with the Androids depicted in the special, indicating it takes place in the slightly altered future timeline of Age 780 created by the Time Patrol's intervention in protecting Future Gohan from the Time Breakers.

Turning points[]

The time flow of this timeline was the same as the main timeline until Age 764. The events change when Future Goku killed Future Frieza and Future King Cold after using the Instant Transmission to return to Earth. In this timeline, a Trunks from the future never came, leading to the Z-Fighters not being aware of the Androids during the 3 years of peace that existed before their arrival. Future Goku, unaware of the heart virus until it was too late, died in Age 766, six months before the Androids appear. The Z-Fighters are subsequently killed by the Androids, except for Future Gohan, who survives to fight them but is killed by them in Age 780. Due to Trunks' alteration of the past via the Time Machine, the future villains Goku Black and Future Zamasu would later appear in this timeline for their Project Zero Mortals to commence several years later, after the Androids' demise, in Age 796, and proceeded to wreak havoc and destruction in this timeline.

Those who died[]

  • Goku (died of a heart virus six months prior to the androids' attack, roughly November - December, Age 766).
  • Piccolo (was killed by #18 on May 12, Age 767 and the first to be killed by the Androids).
  • Nail (because he became one with Piccolo, he died along with him).
  • Kami (died when Piccolo was killed).
  • Vegeta (was killed by #17 on May 12, Age 767).
  • Tien Shinhan (killed by #18 on May 12, Age 767).
  • Yamcha (killed by #17 on May 12, Age 767).
  • Krillin (killed by both of the androids on May 12, Age 767).
  • Chiaotzu (killed by both of the androids (although not shown in the TV series or the special) on May 12, Age 767).
  • Gohan (managed to survive the initial battle, but is eventually killed thirteen years later in Age 780).
  • Dr. Brief and Bikini (may have died from natural causes or were killed when the androids destroyed West City.)
  • Approximately two thirds of the Earth's population were killed about thirteen years after the androids appearance.

Those who survived[]

  • Trunks (was a baby when the androids attacked and he survived the attack on West City).
  • Bulma (managed to survive the onslaught on West City, but several years later, during a rampage, she was killed by Goku Black when he destroys her lab, in Age 796).
  • Scratch (survived the destruction of West City and outlives his owner Dr. Brief; lives with Trunks & Mai until he is killed by Infinite Zamasu in Age 796 the anime, ends up in the main timeline thanks to the Time Machine, takes up residence in said timeline's Capsule Corp with his younger counterpart in the manga).
  • Master Roshi (was on his island).
  • Puar (was on Master Roshi's island).
  • Oolong (was on Master Roshi's island).
  • Turtle (was on Master Roshi's island, but later made a cameo in Dragon Ball Super on the roof of Kame House).
  • Chi-Chi (was at her home in the mountains mourning the loss of her husband and her son).
  • Ox-King (was at Chi Chi's home).
  • Mr. Popo (it is assumed that he survived, he may have died in exile later or lived alone on The Lookout).
  • Yajirobe (was saved by Korin, and later appears in Dragon Ball Super as a member of Earth's Resistance).
  • Korin (was in his tower).
  • Dende (was on Namek, as he was not yet the guardian of Earth).
  • Mr. Satan (his death is not mentioned in the manga/anime, and he is even shown to be alive in Future Trunks' timeline in the story of Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai - Another Road)
  • Mai (managed to survive the Androids' rampage and regrows into a young woman)

Characters not born due to the alternate timeline events[]

  • Goten (Goku died of a heart disease six months before the Androids' arrival).
  • Bulla (Vegeta was killed by the Androids).
  • Marron (Krillin was killed by the Androids and Android 18 never had a change of heart).
  • Pan (Gohan never met Videl, because Gohan is killed by the Androids).
  • Goku Jr. (Pan never existed because Gohan never met Videl and Gohan is killed by the Androids).
  • Uub (Majin Buu still remains sealed inside his ball, and Goku died of a heart virus, thus, Kid Buu (who was still in the form of Innocent Buu at the time), was never reincarnated by King Yemma as a human being).
  • Beat (due to Gohan never meeting Videl or Goten never being born, as it is isn't revealed which offspring of Goku they are descended from in Super Dragon Ball Heroes: World Mission)

Alternate timeline events and characters created due to Trunks' use of Time Machine[]

These events and characters followed after the Androids' defeat and, after Goku was cured from the heart virus, and the following events and characters are:

  • Goku Black (because Trunks gave the heart medicine to Goku, and so he lived, Zamasu from the original present timeline used the Super Dragon Balls to switch bodies with him, killing him shortly afterwards, then proceeds to execute his Project Zero Mortals with the Zamasu of this timeline. The altered present timeline's Zamasu was destroyed by Beerus, saving that altered timeline's Goku from suffering the same fate).
  • Project Zero Mortals (plan to eliminate all mortal life initiated by Goku Black and Future Zamasu after killing Gowasu and all this timeline's gods, and, witnessing Trunks' usage of his Time Machine, aggravated their hatred of mortals even further, and proceeded with this by destroying any humans they can find upon their arrival on Earth, to create their own "paradise" by erasing all mortals in this timeline).

Catalysts for the timeline alterations, and for future events[]

  • Trunks going back in time to give Goku the medicine and warn him of the Androids, resulting in the time divergence, Trunks later goes back to his time. Androids 19 and 20 (Dr. Gero) appeared first before 17 and 18, 19 was killed by Super Saiyan Vegeta. Gero retreats and activates Trunks' feared menaces and easily dominates and defeats the Z Fighters, starting the Androids Saga and introducing the never-before seen Android 16, also, both Androids are stronger than the ones in this TV special, as noted by Trunks.
  • A Bio-Android named Cell from another timeline appears and kills Trunks of his timeline and hijacks his Time Machine, and travels back in time to absorb Androids 17 and 18, resulting in the events of the Imperfect Cell, Perfect Cell, and Cell Games Sagas. Cell was finally destroyed by Super Saiyan 2 Gohan's Father-Son Kamehameha, Trunks would later go back to his own time to defeat the Androids and Future Cell.
  • After these events, and thanks to Trunks' interference, the present timeline drastically changed, so are most members of the Z Fighters, and goes on with the Majin Buu arc with the characters making changes. (Android 18 is married to Krillin and had a child, Most members of the Z Fighters already quit fighting, Gohan gets weaker, goes to high school, and meets Videl, Goten's introduction, Super Saiyan 3 Goku's introduction, the Fusion Dance and the Potara Fusion, Vegeta becomes a Majin, but dies sacrificing himself) and introduces the three forms of Majin Buu, Goku destroys Kid Buu with a Super Spirit Bomb.
  • All these events would ultimately lead to the God of Destruction Beerus and Golden Frieza Sagas and the rest of Dragon Ball Super with the introductions of Beerus, Super Saiyan God, Golden Frieza, and Super Saiyan Blue.
  • Trunks would later return to the present with the introductions of Goku Black and Zamasu, sparking the events of the "Future" Trunks Saga, according to Black, if Trunks had not made use of his Time Machine in this special, and Goku died of the virus as history dictated, then he, as Zamasu, would not desire Goku's body at all as he was dead, and as a result, this timeline's Zamasu never met Goku and instead of wishing to switch bodies with him, wished for immortality. After a chain of events, this finally and ultimately ends with the defeat of Fused Zamasu and the destruction of the timeline featured in this TV special at the hands of Future Zeno.

Anime and Manga differences[]

The aforementioned manga version was at the end of volume 33 and the full title was: "Dragon Ball, Trunks The Story, The Lone Warrior (Side Story)"

  • No scene where the Z Fighters (excluding Gohan) are killed by the Androids in the prologue.
  • No scene with both Trunks and Gohan fighting the Androids together.
  • Trunks is already a Super Saiyan, as shown when he and Gohan are training together. This is more consistent with the series, as the Trunks of the main timeline attains the Super Saiyan transformation by age eight, seemingly with little effort and no need for an emotional upheaval. In addition, the special has Trunks briefly using a Super Saiyan/partial manifestation while training with Gohan, but could not go full Super Saiyan.
  • The Androids do not gang up on Gohan, and only Android 17 attacks.
  • There is no rain.
  • The viewers see a horrified look on Gohan's face in one panel of the manga, after which the story cuts to Trunks waking and finding his master's corpse. Trunks cries and slams his fists into the ground but does not transform.
  • The manga then cuts to 3 years later, where like the special, Trunks rushes to avenge the death of everyone but fails miserably. However the fight between Trunks and the Androids is not seen at all and it cuts to 5 days later, where Trunks is recovering in a hospital.
  • In the manga, Gohan's death is just shown in a few panels, while in the anime it is shown lots of times. Also, there is greater emotion, prompting Trunks to go Super Saiyan in the anime version.


The History of Trunks was released on September 18, 2003 as part of Dragon Box Z, Vol. 2 in Japan. It was then re-released on August 5, 2011 in the Dragon Ball Z Special Selection DVD along with Bardock - The Father of Goku. This DVD had a higher bitrate for the video but a lower bitrate for the audio.

FUNimation released The History of Trunks for VHS and DVD on October 24, 2000 in both edited and uncut forms.[2] As was the case with all previous releases, the special was released in an unmated 4:3 aspect ratio. The DVD featured a new English dub with a soundtrack of American rock bands and a score done by Dale Kelly, Andy Baylor and Mark Akin. It premiered on Toonami on September 12, 2003 as part of a month-long event called "DBZ Movies," during which a Dragon Ball Z feature aired every Friday. The History of Trunks aired in an edited format and also included pieces from the Faulconer Productions score from Dragon Ball Z in some scenes when normally licensed music would have been heard on the DVD and VHS.[3] This was likely done because FUNimation no longer had the license for some of the songs they had included in the soundtrack. This version of the special has never been released to any home video format.

FUNimation re-released Bardock - The Father of Goku and The History of Trunks on DVD and Blu-ray on February 19, 2008 as part of their "Double Feature" line.[4] This new set featured a brand-new widescreen transfer from Video Post & Transfer and a new audio mix for the English dub featuring the original Japanese score done by Shunsuke Kikuchi in addition to the old mix featuring the American rock bands and the Kelly/Baylor/Akin score. FUNimation also released each Double Feature DVD individually on September 15, 2009, but both went out of print soon after.[5]

Cast list[]

Character Name Voice Actor
Voice Actor
(English FUNimation dub)
Voice Actor
(English AB Groupe dub)
Trunks Takeshi Kusao (teen)
Hiromi Tsuru (baby)
Eric Vale (teen)
Stephanie Nadolny (baby)
Doug Rand (teen)
Jodie Forrest (baby)
Bulma Hiromi Tsuru Tiffany Vollmer Sharon Mann
Gohan Masako Nozawa Dameon Clarke (adult)
Stephanie Nadolny (young)
David Gasman (adult)
Jodie Forrest (young)
Android 17 Shigeru Nakahara Chuck Huber Doug Rand
Android 18 Miki Itō Meredith McCoy Sharon Mann
Chi-Chi Naoko Watanabe Cynthia Cranz Sharon Mann
Ox-King Daisuke Gōri Mark Britten (Original)
Kyle Hebert (Remastered)
Paul Bandey
Master Roshi Kōhei Miyauchi Mike McFarland Ed Marcus
Oolong Naoki Tatsuta Brad Jackson David Gasman
Puar Naoko Watanabe Monika Antonelli Jodie Forrest
Vegeta Ryō Horikawa Christopher Sabat Doug Rand
Piccolo Toshio Furukawa Christopher Sabat Ed Marcus
Krillin Mayumi Tanaka Sonny Strait Sharon Mann
Yamcha Toru Furuya Christopher Sabat Doug Rand
Tien Shinhan Hirotaka Suzuoki John Burgmeier Sharon Mann
Chiaotzu Hiroko Emori Monika Antonelli Jodie Forrest
Announcer Shinobu Satouchi Justin Cook David Gasman
Shopkeeper Shinichiro Ohta Sean Schemmel David Gasman
Woman Naomi Nagasawa Stephanie Nadolny Sharon Mann
Clerk Kazunari Tanaka Sean Schemmel Ed Marcus
Narrator Joji Yanami Dale Kelly (Original)
Kyle Hebert (Remastered)
Ed Marcus


Original Japanese[]

FUNimation English dub[]

  • Andy Baylor - "Dragon Ball Z Theme" (Opening Theme), "Gohan's Theme", "Low Grunge", "Havoc"
    • Recoolie - Vocals for "Havoc"
  • Mark Akin - "Funky Robots", "Last Ragga", "Ascension"
    • Mr. C-E-No-G - Vocals for "Ascension"
  • Dale D. Kelly - "Garden of Grace"
  • Tendril - "Time to Burn", "Pisleen", "Moonbender" (Toonami version only)
  • Dream Theater - "Overture 1928", "Regression", "Fatal Tragedy", "Home", "Through Her Eyes", "Beyond This Life", "The Dance of Eternity" (home video version only)
  • Slaughter - "Prelude", "Unknown Destination"
  • Bootsy Collins with Buckethead - "Exterminate", "Shakler", "Hole in My Bucket", "Animated Zombie"
  • Mark Menza - "Opening Theme", Summon Up the Dragon ("Closing Theme") (Remastered version only)


  • Future Piccolo, Future Vegeta (Super Saiyan), Future Yamcha, Future Tien Shinhan, and Future Krillin vs. Future Android 17 and Future Android 18
  • Future Gohan (Base/Super Saiyan) vs. Future Android 17
  • Future Gohan (Super Saiyan) vs. Future Android 17 and Future Android 18
  • Future Trunks vs. Future Android 18
  • Future Gohan (Super Saiyan) vs. Future Android 17 and Future Android 18
  • Future Trunks (Super Saiyan) vs. Future Android 17 and Future Android 18


  • In the manga, Android 17 alone was Gohan's killer, since he did not need help from 18, unlike in the TV version. In fact, during his previous encounter with Gohan, he was barely using 50% of his power and yet Gohan lost one of his arms during the battle and was barely able to make it out alive.
  • In the manga, Trunks is able to turn Super Saiyan before Gohan dies. In the TV version, Gohan's death is what causes Trunks to transform into a Super Saiyan.
  • During his last battle with the Androids before going back in time, Trunks gets knocked into a building and is seen with his normal hair. However, when he is later knocked out of the building, he is shown as a Super Saiyan, though he may have simply transformed while in the building.
  • There is a girl near the beginning with a balloon that has a more cartoonish Goku and words saying "D.B. S P" on it.
  • Strangely, Gohan could have broken the final senzu bean in half to heal both himself and Trunks, like Goku had done several times previously in the past. Although, it could just be that Gohan didn't think of that possibility. Alternatively, he may have feared half a Senzu wouldn't be enough to heal Future Trunks' injuries, let alone his own missing arm.
  • The title for the AB Groupe dub is Gohan and Trunks.
  • In the series, Vegeta died first but according to the movie, it was Piccolo.
  • In the series, Vegeta was killed by blast from 17 but in the movie, he was killed by a kick from 17.
  • In the series, when Future Gohan and Future Trunks are fighting the androids, Trunks has his sword with him, but in the movie, he does not possess the sword until sometime after Future Gohan's death.
  • Future Gohan knocking Future Trunks unconscious to fight the Androids alone is referenced in "The Losses Begin" where Vegeta knocks Goku unconscious to fight Majin Buu alone.
  • In Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, the events of The History of Trunks play a key role in the game's A Desperate Future Saga.
  • On the front cover of the American VHS release, Future Gohan is already shown having lost his left arm. At first sight, this is hard to tell because Future Trunks partially covers Future Gohan, particularly where his left arm is supposed to be. This layout is applied most probably in order to evade this major spoiler, besides, the scars from that battle are also present.
  • Ironically, even though Goku has no lines in this movie, he is still in the credits.
  • In Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, -Trunks- The Warrior of Hope DLC, the events of The History of Trunks, Future Trunks' defeat of the Androids, and "Future Trunks's Past" are adapted into the game's Warrior of Hope Saga. The Warrior of Hope Episodes 1 & 2 cover the The History of Trunks, Future Trunks' defeat of the Androids, and Future Cell.
  • This is the final Dragon Ball production with animation supervision from Minoru Maeda. Maeda left the series in the middle of the Cell Arc as his style no longer fit the tone of the series. Tadayoshi Yamamuro and Katsuyoshi Nakatsuru would replace him for the rest of Z and GT.



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