Potential Unleashed (潜在能力解放 Senzai Nōryoku Kaihō, lit. "Potential Releasing Ability), also called Ultimate Form, is a powerful state accessible to someone who has undergone Old Kai's Unlock Ability, which allows them to use their latent power at the highest level. As a result of this, the user enters into a state that brings out their full dormant potential and can focus it to push their power well beyond their normal limits.
When Gohan accesses his Ultimate State, his appearance does not undergo any drastic changes. While he essentially remains normal in appearance, his facial features become slightly more defined. His eyes become sterner and outlined, showing noticeable intensity when serious, similar to his Super Saiyan forms. In the anime version of the Universe Survival Saga, it also tends to make a bang of hair fall over his forehead (this does not occur in the God of Destruction Beerus Saga).
In the Dragon Ball Xenoverse series and the Dragon Ball Super anime, this transformation also gives the user a vivid white aura, as well as a noticeable white glow off of their body.
In the digital colored version of the Dragon Ball Super manga, when this state has an aura active it appears golden.
Usage and power
The power of Gohan's Potential Unleashed form was stated to be greater than the Super Saiyan 3 transformation. Thanks to it being a different power boost from Super Saiyan, Gohan no longer needs that form. While normally taking roughly a day to perform and complete the ritual by Old Kai, Gohan's exceptionally immense dormant capacities required Gohan to continue for several more hours. Once finished, Gohan was instructed to power up as if to transform into Super Saiyan - but to throw in a kiai while doing so. Upon doing so, Gohan's form remained unchanged. Old Kai then explained that Gohan harnessed so much power naturally, he didn't need to transform. Its might under Gohan's usage exceeded that of Goku's Super Saiyan 3 form at the time. Also, despite being a natural state that unlocks one's most inner developed capacities, regular training is still required to keep up his peak performance after the initial release, as lack of such will leave the person unable to access this state.
After a reunion with Goten, Trunks, and Piccolo, Gohan quickly overpowers Super Buu with little effort. As Super Buu became unable to land a single hit on Gohan, who subsequently pummels the monster mercilessly, Super Buu proceeds to blow himself up in an attempt to kill Gohan. However, Gohan succeeds in escaping the explosion, taking Piccolo and the boys to safety with him. Super Buu returns one hour later, insisting on finishing his fight with Gotenks before battling Gohan. However, once the boys fused into Gotenks, they, as well as Piccolo, are immediately absorbed by Super Buu.
With his new power, Super Buu's strength was on par with Ultimate Gohan's. However, thanks to Piccolo's superior combat skills and intellect, Super Buu was able to gain the upper hand by playing mind games with Gohan to catch him off-guard and systematically wear him down. Realizing that the odds were now against Gohan, a newly-revived Goku suddenly arrives and attempts to use the Potara Earrings to allow both him and Gohan to fuse together. However, Gohan accidentally drops the earring, and, by the time he managed to find it, Gotenks had defused inside Super Buu's body, prompting the evil Majin to absorb Gohan and become more powerful than ever.
In Dragon Ball Super, Gohan powered up into his Potential Unleashed state in order to fight against the God of Destruction Beerus. However, he was easily incapacitated by the god. Later, during Frieza's revenge, Gohan is revealed to have lost most of his power after giving up fighting to focus purely on his education (though he was noted to still be stronger than Piccolo). In order to compensate somewhat for his diminished performance, Gohan was forced to rely on his Super Saiyan form, which allowed Gohan to knock down Captain Ginyu even after he went beyond Tagoma's full power. Gohan noted that maintaining his Super Saiyan form with his diminished conditioning caused a considerable strain on his body, preventing him from using it for long.
As a final training session for the Tournament of Power, Piccolo pressured Gohan in a sparring match to make Gohan fully reawaken his Ultimate State. Upon doing so, Ultimate Gohan was able to swiftly gain the upper hand over Piccolo, even when the latter swarmed Gohan with clones, whereas before, Piccolo was able to defeat Gohan one-on-one with ease, despite the latter transforming into a Super Saiyan 2. When Gohan let his guard down, however, Piccolo still managed to strike him in the back.
In the anime, Gohan later fought Goku with this power in a practice battle royale. At his initial level of power, Gohan was roughly on par with Super Saiyan 2 Goku. When Goku transformed into a Super Saiyan Blue and Gohan used his full Potential Unleashed power, he was able to hold his own against his father but was beaten in one hit when Goku powered himself up with Kaio-ken.
In the anime version of the Tournament of Power, Gohan used his Potential Unleashed form to battle and defeat Obni. He then used his fully-powered Potential Unleashed state to gain an advantage over Final Form Frieza and pushed him back when they were acting so that Frieza could gain Frost's trust. True Golden Frieza proved to be able to quickly take down Ultimate Gohan during the bout only because they were faking to knock out frost . Gohan again used this state at full power to battle Saonel and Pilina when their powers stabilized. Gohan then uses it against the Universe 3 fused warriors Koicéareta and Agnilasa. He used it again against Top and Dyspo.
In the manga, after his training with Piccolo for the Tournament of Power, Gohan is permanently in his Potential Unleashed state and, as such, uses it for the entirety of the tournament - facing foes such as the Trio De Dangers and Methiop - but only utilized its full power to battle Super Saiyan Kefla. In this state, he was able to fight evenly with her, with Piccolo noting that Gohan was initially only as strong as he had been in the past previously, but had gotten stronger as a result of his fight with Kefla. Krillin suggests that he could even surpass Perfected Super Saiyan Blue Goku if he dedicated himself to training. The fight eventually led to both combatants becoming exhausted and knocking each other out of the ring, resulting in Universe 6's erasure.
During a battle with Moro's henchmen, Piccolo notes that Gohan is the strongest fighter on Earth (not including Goku and Vegeta), making Ultimate Gohan even more powerful than Android 17. Ultimate Gohan is able to take down Seven-Three with ease when he is using Piccolo's powers but is quickly overwhelmed when the android uses Moro's powers, going on to drain Gohan and the other fighters' energy and allowing Yunba to beat him down.
Later, during Moro's attack on Earth, Seven-Three steals Gohan's powers and gains access to his Potential Unleashed power. However, he proves to be no match for the combined might of Gohan and Piccolo and is ultimately defeated with a Masenko Beam Cannon.
In Dragon Ball GT, Gohan briefly appeared identical to how he appeared during his battle with Super Buu while watching Goku and Vegeta's battle with Omega Shenron. However, Gohan never became Ultimate Gohan in GT.
Super Saiyan application
Main article: Super Saiyan
Even after taking on his Potential Unleashed state, Gohan has shown that he is still capable of powering up into his Super Saiyan forms. In the Dragon Ball Super anime, while sparring against Goku, Gohan states that he will not use Super Saiyan alongside Potential Unleashed as he is aiming for a different ultimate form to Goku's. In the manga, while fighting Kefla, he says that there is no point in turning Super Saiyan, as he has chosen to evolve further on his human side rather than his Saiyan side.
In the original version of the Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods film, Gohan accessed his Potential Unleashed state, and then transformed even further into a Super Saiyan, using the form to combat Beerus. Due to this, Potential Unleashed Gohan was given a card that could transform into Super Saiyan in the Dragon Ball Super Card Game. Later, in both versions, Gohan accessed Super Saiyan again to aid in the ritual for producing a Super Saiyan God.
In Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, Gohan uses his Ultimate Form to engage the God of Destruction Beerus, briefly putting him into a Full-Nelson, only for it to be reversed. Gohan is then swung around and clashes heads with Buu. Beerus then proceeds to take Gohan down with a heavy kick to the abdomen.
Video Game Appearances
Gohan can use this power in Dragon Ball Z: Hyper Dimension, Dragon Ball Z: Legendary Super Warriors, Dragon Ball Z: Buu's Fury, the Budokai series, Budokai Tenkaichi series, Dragon Ball: Raging Blast 2, Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi, Dragon Ball Z: Dokkan Battle, and Xenoverse series.
In Dragon Ball Xenoverse, it appears under the name Potential Unleashed and is one of Gohan's Transformation Ultimate Skills available in his 2nd Skill Set, the power boost given by the Potential Unleashed transformation is exactly the same as Super Saiyan 3 and it gives unlimited Ki. The Future Warrior also can have their potential unlocked by the Elder Kai in the third DLC, but their power is called Unlock Potential as opposed to Potential Unleashed. The Future Warrior must first reach Level 93 in order for Elder Kai to use his ritual to unlock their potential. During the ritual, the Warrior must sit still as Gohan did for a certain length of time.
In the Adventure Mode of Extreme Butōden, Goku gains a Potential Unleashed state, though it is only implied as part of the story and does not appear as an actual playable form or power-up transformation.
"Unleash your latent abilities for a massive power-up! This mode can charge ki quicker than other modes."
— Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 Awoken Skill description
In Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, the state appears once again under the name "Potential Unleashed" and is available as an Awoken Skill transformation for the Future Warrior regardless of their race once they complete Advancement Test Quest 06: "Final Advancement Test - Super Class", which is unlocked after the Future Warrior has achieved a "Z-Rank" in the first five Advancement Tests. Interestingly, it is unlocked after completing the final test and Elder Kai's ritual is not used (though it should be noted that Elder Kai runs the Time Patroller Academy and oversees each test). Additionally, Ultimate Gohan's Super Soul You can't win... temporarily boosts all attacks by a large amount and temporarily boosts stamina recovery speed by a medium amount when Potential Unleashed is activated, though its effects can only be triggered once per battle. This Super Soul can be obtained by the Future Warrior in New Parallel Quest 107: "The Future's Greatest Hope!".
Gohan is playable in this form in Dragon Ball FighterZ. Additionally, it appears as one of Gohan's Super Moves where he unleashes his potential to damage his opponent with the power of his aura similar to how he sent Old Kai flying when he first achieved the state. This move also powers up Gohan's Potential Unleashed state from Level 1 up to Level 7 depending upon how long or many times it is charged. The Super Saiyan version of this form can only be used if Gotenks is not one of Gohan’s selected teammates. Gohan uses the Super Saiyan version during his Bros. Kamehameha (only when Goku and Gotenks are not on his team) or Family Kamehameha (when Goku is on his team, but not Gotenks). The Clones of Adult Gohan that appear as enemies in the game's story also utilize Gohan's Potential Unleashed state.
- In the Adventure Mode story of Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butōden, Old Kai says that Potential Unleashed is superior to the first three Super Saiyan forms and, in his opinion, even Super Saiyan God.
- In Dragon Ball Z: Buu's Fury, Gohan's Potential Unleashed power-up is actually detrimental to his gameplay in the long run, as the ritual has him gain 25 levels at the cost of permanently losing his Super Saiyan form. However, while initially stronger than the other characters, he soon begins to fall behind as other characters such as Goku and Vegeta start out-leveling him while still retaining their Super Saiyan transformation. Old Kai's power-up ironically turns him into one of the worst characters in the game.
- Masaki Sato did a drawing of what he thought Goku's Potential Unleashed state would look like.
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