Everyone who has seen at least one season of Dragon Ball knows that death is an integral part of the series. Characters die, sometimes because they are villains, sometimes because they are victims of villains. But, Dragon Ball fans will also know that most non-villain characters come back to life at one point, which is a completely normal process for Dragon Ball and Toriyama’s narrative. In this article, we are going to be dealing with one such character, namely Grandpa Gohan, whose death and resurrection we are going to explain here.
Grandpa Gohan found Goku and took care of him when he was a baby. He warned him never to look at the full moon, but one night, Goku went out to pee and then accidentally looked up and transformed into his Great Ape form. In the rampage, he accidentally killed Grandpa Gohan. He was later resurrected by Uranai Baba for a day, and also made a short appearance in some anime filler episodes.
The remainder of this article will give you a detailed overview of Grandpa Gohan’s life and death in the Dragon Ball franchise. You already know what happened to him, so we are just going to bring you the details about these events so that you can have more context. Be careful, though, as the article is going to contain a lot of spoilers about the events in the Dragon Ball manga.
How did Granpa Gohan die?
Son Gohan is an old man, a martial arts expert, and a former student of Master Roshi. One day (in the story, before the start of the manga), a space shuttle crashes not far from where Son Gohan lives. Going immediately on the spot, the old man discovers a baby on board the craft. He calls him Son Goku and decides to take care of him, raise him and teach him martial arts. Initially, Goku was very tough to handle due to being a Saiyan; Saiyans are known for their violent natures and Goku, who had also been sent to Earth to conquer it, was no exception. But, as a child, Goku fell into a ravine and hit his head, which caused a memory loss that changed Goku into a normal, happy child, thus making Gohan’s job easier.
A few years later, Goku, who has the mysterious power to transform into a Giant Ape when he observes the full moon, is warned by Gohan never to look at the full moon or go out at night when the Moon is visible. This would imply that Goku had already transformed into his Giant Ape form once and that Gohan knew the dangers of the transformation; he survived the first encounter, but Goku never could remember these episodes. Later, sadly, Goku does, indeed, end up involuntarily killing Son Gohan even though the latter had asked him never to observe the Moon when he was in this full phase.
Namely, Goku had to pee and he went out at night, now knowing that the Moon was full. He accidentally looked up and this triggered the transformation, which resulted in the rampage that killed Gohan. However, after this tragic event, the young boy, once again conscious, had no idea of the tragedy he had committed towards his adoptive grandfather and would end up believing that an unknown monster killed Grandpa Gohan.
It is only many years later (during his fight against Vegeta) that Son Goku learns that he is able to transform into a monster and that he was the one who killed his grandfather. When the story of Dragon Ball begins, Son Goku was, therefore, alone in the forest, and in the possession of the Su Shinchu, the four-star Dragon Ball, a gift that Son Gohan had given him before he died. This is the only memory Goku has of his late grandfather.
How did grandpa Gohan come back?
As we have said, Dragon Ball characters tend to come back in the story and that is completely normal for them. Krilin, for example, died more than once and always ended up being resurrected. Grandpa Gohan did come back in Dragon Ball, but he wasn’t resurrected like the majority of other characters, which makes his case somewhat unique. So, he is still dead, but he has also come back (and not just in flashbacks). We are going to explain these situations in more detail.
During the Uranai Baba mini-arc, Son Goku has just defeated the Mummy and he did it very easily. Ackman then prepares to face him and Son Gohan seems to be having fun. Shortly after the fight, it is the turn of this mysterious masked fighter. He confronts Son Goku with a certain ferocity and does not fail to respond to all his violent attacks with a certain dexterity. He also manages to send a Kamehameha, but above all, he also knows the weak point of the young hero, namely his tail.
He inadvertently snatches him and the furious Son Goku prepares to counter-attack but stops as soon as he understands that this man is none other than his grandfather. Uranai Baba then explained that she has the ability to resurrect a person for a day, and that she used it to bring back Grandpa Gohan. He, on the other hand, explains that the afterlife suits him perfectly and proceeds to warn his former master and Goku’s current master, Roshi, about Goku’s transformation.
Son Gohan makes an appearance in the last two episodes of the Dragon Ball series. These two episodes are special episodes, i.e., they are not considered to be part of the canon. During these two episodes, Son Goku and Chichi are to get married, however, Gyūmaō wants his daughter to wear Chichi’s mother’s wedding dress. Unfortunately, the dress is still in Gyūmaō Castle, and because of the furnace around it, it is impossible to get it back without calming the flames. Son Goku and Chichi then go to the gates of the other world to repair a breach in the magic furnace.
There they meet Son Gohan, Son Goku’s adoptive grandfather, who has been working there since his death in collaboration with Annin. Son Gohan serves as his assistant and bodyguard. After a brief fight between Annin and Son Goku. Goku who managed to defeat Annin is allowed to go to the magic furnace to repair the breach and thus recover Chichi’s wedding dress. Before leaving Goku bids a final farewell to his grandfather.