Potential Unleashed is a powerful state that is usable by someone who has underwent Old Kai's Unlock Ability. As a result of this, the user enters into a state that brings out their full dormant potential and focus it to push their power well-beyond their normal limits.
Usage and power
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, apart from obtaining sharper eyes. To which, Old Kai explained that Gohan harnessed so much power naturally, he didn't need to transform. Proving this, Gohan's Potential Unleashed power was shown to be far greater than that of Super Saiyan 3 Gotenks and Super Buu. Due to being his fully unlocked potential, his full power in his Potential Unleashed state grants him power at least on the level of a hypothetical Super Saiyan 3 form achievable by Gohan.
After a reunion with Goten, Trunks, and Piccolo, Gohan quickly overcomes Super Buu with little effort. As Super Buu became unable to land a single damaging hit on Gohan, who simply dodges and blocks all of the attacks and subsequently pummels the monster mercilessly, Super Buu proceeds blow himself up in an attempt to kill Gohan. However, Gohan succeeds in escaping the explosion along with Piccolo and the boys. 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 absorbed by Super Buu.
With his new power, Super Buu resumes his fight with Gohan. While Gohan's strength is still able to fight on par with Super Buu's own accumulated might, using Piccolo's superior combat skills and intellect, Super Buu is plays mind games on Gohan to through him off and quickly gains the upper hand and systematically wear Gohan down. Realizing that Gohan was now against the odds, a newly revived Goku suddenly arrives, prompting the use of Potara Earrings for fusion. However, Gohan fails to catch the earring. By the time he found it, Gotenks defuses inside Super Buu's body, prompting the 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, Gohan goes Super Saiyan during the Super Saiyan God ritual in order to allow his father to ascend to Super Saiyan God.
During Frieza's revenge, it was shown that despite manifesting his true potential, regular training is still required to keep up his peak performance as during his battle against the resurrected Frieza and his army, Gohan can no longer draw out his full potential and lost much of his power after focusing purely on his education. Against Shisami, Tagoma and Ginyu, and was noted to still be stronger than Piccolo despite having lost access to his full potential. In order to gain greater power Gohan goes Super Saiyan and effortlessly defeats Ginyu after he accessed Tagoma's full power. Gohan noted that maintaining Super Saiyan form with his diminished conditioning caused a considerable strain on his body, preventing him from using it for long.
After training with Piccolo, Gohan was reconditioned enough to feel confident enough to compete in the Universe 6 and 7 Tournament but was unable to do so because he had to attend a press conference. At the end of the "Future" Trunks Saga it is revealed that Gohan had regained his full potential, as he appears in his Potential Unleashed state while waving goodbye to Future Trunks. Gohan later showed improvement in his Unleashed state during a sparing match with his father where he faught on equal grounds. He even gained the upper hand when they were both Super Saiyans, even though his father had the power of a Super Saiyan God.
Names for Gohan after attaining this state
- Final Warrior Gohan
- Mystic Gohan
- Mightiest Gohan
- Strongest Warrior Gohan
- Super Gohan (Chou Gohan)
- Ultimate Gohan
- Potential Unleashed Gohan
Main article: Super Saiyan
Even after having his potential unlocked, Gohan is still capable of furthering powering up into a Super Saiyan, thus making him even stronger upon doing so. When using a Super Saiyan form while in his Potential Unleashed state he appears slightly different than his original Super Saiyan form, notably instead of two bangs of hair he only possess one.
In the God of Destruction Beerus Saga and the movie Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, Gohan transformed into a Super Saiyan in order to assist his father in the Super Saiyan God ritual. In Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’, Gohan, who was now weaker than before - due to having not kept up training, was not sure as to if he could still take on the Super Saiyan form, but still managed to do so in order to defeat Shisami and help Goku find a lock on to use Instant Transmission back to Earth. In the Golden Frieza Saga, due to lack of training, Gohan had to resort to utilizing his Super Saiyan form (which was still powerful due to his potential unlock), which he could not maintain for long due to the huge strain it caused on his under-conditioned body.
Gohan seems to be in this state in Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn, as according to Daizenshuu 6, the movie takes place at around the same time that he had obtained this state. Using his Potential Unleashed power, Gohan easily defeats final form Frieza, and then defeats the rest of the escaped villains off-screen.
In the movie Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, Gohan uses his fully unlocked potential 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 is forced to collide heads with Mr. Buu. Beerus then proceeds to take Gohan down with a heavy kick to the abdomen.
Video game appearances
In the Sim Dragon mode of Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3, the player's character can randomly encounter Old Kai who will offer to unlock their potential. After his ritual is done, the character's stats will be at max and they will also go up a level (Note: This is basically a stat increase).
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 to for Elder Kai to use his ritual to unlock their potential. During the ritual the Warrior must sit still like Gohan did for a certain length of time.
"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 technique appears once again under the name "Potential Unleashed" and is an available as an Awoken Skill transformation for the Future Warrior (Xenoverse 2) 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 unlock after completing the final test and Elder Kai's ritual is not used.
- In Dragon Ball GT, Gohan briefly appeared identical to how Gohan appeared during his battle with Super Buu while watching the battle with Omega Shenron.