A new trailer for Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero has been released, and oddly enough, it inadvertently makes the fandom’s biggest Gohan meme canon. The meme in question is probably not well known in Japan and any reference to it is likely a coincidence. Even so, the fact that Super Hero does anything at all to connect to draw attention to the meme is still interesting enough to merit discussion.
During Dragon Ball Super’s Tournament of Power, the anime community on 4chan jokingly started the idea of Gohan obtaining the form “Gohan Blanco”, a Super Saiyan-like transformation that would give him white hair and make him the strongest character in the franchise. The ridiculous nature of the idea, which included people making up stories of Gohan having to fight the Grand Priest and Jiren’s brother, a character exclusively referred to as “El Hermano”, caused it to quickly spread throughout the Dragon Ball fandom and become a massive meme for the entirety of the Tournament of Power. The fact that a white-haired transformation actually did appear through Ultra Instinct made the meme even funnier, and five years after its conception, Gohan Blanco remains one of the biggest memes for Gohan and Dragon Ball, as a whole.
With how big of a meme Gohan Blanco ended up becoming, it ends up being hilarious that Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero sort of makes it canon. In the latest trailer for Super Hero, it’s revealed that Gohan will obtain a new form that Akira Toriyama has dubbed “Son Gohan Beast” which, in addition to his eyes turning red and his hair becoming massive and wild in appearance, dyes his hair white. The context is completely different, but Gohan now actually having a white-haired transformation makes the basic idea of the Gohan Blanco meme canon years after its conception.
On a more serious note, another interesting connection between Gohan Blanco and Son Gohan Beast is what they mean for Gohan, as a character. Part of the background for the Gohan Blanco meme was to give Gohan a means of definitively returning to being one of the strongest fighters in the Dragon Ball franchise after years of being overshadowed by other characters and being treated as a borderline joke. While the way that Son Gohan Beast will be used is unknown at this time, it’s bound to be Gohan’s strongest form to date, and that would go a long way toward reaffirming his status as one of the strongest fighters in Dragon Ball.
With Gohan gaining a white-haired transformation in Son Gohan Beast, Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero inadvertently canonizes the popular Gohan Blanco meme, or at least the basic concept of it. As a meme deriving seemingly from the English side of the fandom, the similarities between them are undoubtedly a coincidence as opposed to any sort of nod to the franchise’s audience. Still, with how similar the two forms are – and especially with them both serving to give Dragon Ball‘s Gohan a massive boost in power – it’s definitely something fun to think about.
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