Dragon Ball Z: The History of Trunks (絶望への反抗!! 残された超戦士・悟飯とトランクス, Zetsubō e no Hankō!! Nokosareta Chō-Senshi • Gohan to Torankusu; lit. "Resistance to 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 Entertainment 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 from 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).
Death of the Z Fighters
The film opens with Future Goku's tragic death from a Heart Virus and the death of the Z Fighters 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.
Siege of the Androids
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 an amusement park, 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.
The training is stopped short when the androids attack the nearby city 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 final completing his Super Saiyan training without congratulations from his mentor.
One last hope
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, a nearby city, 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.
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.
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).
- 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 (may have died from natural cause or was 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).
- 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).
- Chi-Chi (was at her home in the mountains).
- 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 Kami's Lookout).
- Yajirobe (was saved by Korin).
- 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 the PSP game Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai - Another Road)
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).
Notable differences from the anime and manga
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.
- The Androids do not gang up on Gohan, and only Android 17 attacks.
- There is no rain.
- Android 17 tells Gohan that he did not even use half his power in their last battle.
- 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 December 12, 2000 in both edited and uncut forms. As was the case with all previous releases, the special was released in an unmatted 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. 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. 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. 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.
FUNimation English dub
- Dale D. Kelly
- Mark Akin
- Opening Theme by Andy Baylor
- 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"
- Slaughter - "Prelude", "Unknown Destination"
- Bootsy Collins
- Summon Up the Dragon (Remastered version only)
- Future Vegeta (Super Saiyan), Future Piccolo, Future Krillin, Future Yamcha, and Future Tien Shinhan 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 sensu 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.
- The title for AB Group's English 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.