When Trunks arrived from the future, he was easily defeated by Goku and Vegeta. His strongest form is SSJ2 (or Possibly USSJ in the anime). This form at best is on par with SSJ3 Goku.

When Goku, Vegeta, and Trunks go back to the future, Goku Black knocks out Vegeta, who is in SSJ Blue form, easily. Then, Goku is also handily defeated.

Despite this massive power difference, Trunks steps in and fares far better than either Vegeta or Goku. How is this possible?

  • Well I believe this is the patented Toriyama plot-level. See it's the ultimate power buff. Like how Tien could hold off Cell after he absorbed 17. Or how Vegeta wasn't instantly wrecked by Super Buu post Gohan absorption. If you look at DBZ too closely you may explode.
    – Callat
    Commented Dec 9, 2016 at 16:17
  • @KazRodgers The only reason Tenshinhan could hold off Cell is because of his new version of the Kikoho, the Shin Kikoho. It has been established by the story since the beginning that special moves can exceed the users limits. For instance, Vegeta was only 18,000 on Earth but his Gyarikku-ho was able to keep a 24,000 KKx3 Kamehameha at bay. Piccolo's Makenkosappo was over 3 times his actual battle power against Raditz. And Vegeta also released a Final Flash exceeding Cells defences even though it was shown that Cell was vastly superior to him in power.
    – M Davies
    Commented Dec 10, 2016 at 4:15
  • @KazRodgers Also, if we're taking canon story then Vegeta never fought Super Boo... That never happens in the manga. It's the same with SSJ Goten and SSJ Trunks fighting Popo and Popo actually fending them off. That never happens in the manga either. They just decided to add it to the anime as filler.
    – M Davies
    Commented Dec 10, 2016 at 4:16
  • Still calling plot-buffs. @MDavies. I never actually knew that small filler scuffles were added to the anime like that but still. The fact that Trunks beat black without god ki is a bigger plot buff than at least half of fairy tail in it's entirety and that's a pretty substantial amount.
    – Callat
    Commented Dec 10, 2016 at 4:35
  • @KazRodgers Well, as I said in my answer, it is more likely that the reason Trunks could beat him is because he was receiving Genki from the people he was trying to protect. Much like his Genki sword he receives towards the end of the arc which he uses to finish the fused Zamasu. Though, as I said, the buff he received from the Genki seems rather large considering a number of people left alive.
    – M Davies
    Commented Dec 10, 2016 at 23:41

4 Answers 4


Dragon Ball is known for inconsistencies and plotholes so it might simply have to do with something of that. But aside of that, some reasonable arguments I've seen online are these 2, each time a saiyan is knocked down it gets a senkai boost when it recovers (increase in his power) . He was knocked down two times, by Goku and Vegeta. In the manga, when he is fighting against Goku, he is said by Vegeta to be almost as strong as a Super Saiyan 3 . It is possible for a Super Saiyan 2 to be as strong or stronger than a Super Saiyan 3, Beerus says Vegeta (in Super Saiyan 2) made him use more of his power than Goku (in Super Saiyan 3) when fighting against him. After fighting a Super Saiyan 3 (Goku) and being knocked down, he recovers as a saiyan to catch up his power, and later he is knocked down by a Super Saiyan Blue (Vegeta), and he recovers as a saiyan to catch up his power. So the argument says that when he might not be as strong as a Super Saiyan Blue, he might not be as far of it as for being unable to step in fresh by surprise in a fight, and score some succesful punches


This isn't very clear in the Anime but in the manga it's pretty clear that SSB has a major flaw:

In the Dragon Ball Super manga, the form is noted to have a major flaw in its stamina. If the form is subsequently used multiple times in a row, the user will be unable to exert even 10% of their power...

This may or may not have been a factor.

Also Trunks notes that Black is as powerful as himself in SS2 form while in base form. This is useful to note here for 2 reasons. 1 it shows that Black is stupid strong, and 2 it shows that form isn't everything. It really depends on the base powerlevel of the person fighting.

Goku for instance didn't have to go SSB to stay even with Black until after their first fight. He was essentially even with him in SS2 form in the 'current' timeline, where Trunks got his butt kicked in that form.

Finally Pablo has a point, and it can even be seen in this instance. Fighting and getting beat makes Saiyans stronger fast. Black got stronger then SSB Vegeta from one fight with Goku. Goku went Super Saiyan the first time after being pummled by Freiza. It's not unreasonable by Dragon Ball standards that Trunks getting his butt handed to him by Black also made Trunks much stronger for the very next encounter.

Having watched the entire arc I can now say for sure:

  1. Transforming into blue multiple times played a big role.
  2. Keep track of the sensu beans, Trunks gets an extra one. For Saiyans in the middle of a fight a sensu bean is basically a +1 level.
  3. Goku and Vegeta do generally fight on par with Black. Problem is, is that he +1's without sensu beans and he has an immortal partner. Really without Zamasu there who wasn't that strong comparatively - Goku smashes his head into the ground 10 or 12 times - but could be a shield and blinder against attacks. Black would of gone down 2 different times to either Goku, or Vegeta.
  4. Rage plays a huge part in it. Vegeta gets stronger when he's pissed and thinks Trunks might be dead, Goku would of blown them both up when he hears what they did to Chichi if one of them isn't immortal, and Trunks final strength gain comes from being pissed off from being told protecting his loved ones is a 'sin'.
  5. Finally, Trunks doesn't win alone, Goku started the meltdown, Vegeto continued it, and Trunks basically absorbed the power of a spirit bomb in the end to gain enough power to finally kill the crazy bugger.

  • I keep forgetting the anime is a near mutilated version of the manga, released several times faster. They are ahead in story, but stopped trying to be consistent instead aiming for a more exciting story. Manga Future trunks at full power is nearly as strong as Goku SSJ3. Him being able to somewhat hold is own after a bit of a power up makes a lot more sense, but in the manga we do not know if he does yet or not.
    – Ryan
    Commented Sep 30, 2016 at 16:05
  • @Ryan The anime is not a mutilated version of the manga though? Akira Toriyama is directly involved in the development of the anime. He only provides the storyboard to Toyotarō so Toyotarō will work out the details himself in the manga. That's why the stories have taken two distinct paths. Such as Goku still having his SSJG form in the manga.
    – M Davies
    Commented Dec 10, 2016 at 4:07
  • @MDavies I Suppose mutilated is a bad word for it, but then again I am pretty sure i didnt know about the Storyboard back then, and the Manga was about equal with the anime at the time in terms of story progress. The Manga and anime are practically 2 different stories, with only major plot points being the same, given directly by Toriyama.
    – Ryan
    Commented Dec 12, 2016 at 16:28

It is clearly evident by what happens later in the story with Trunks' sword. At some point Trunks obtained an ability very similar to the Genki Dama. While it takes on a more physical form when he gets his sword back we actually see his Super Saiyan aura incorporate a blue glow which could either be reminiscent of the SSJB auras or the Genki from the Genki Dama. But we get confirmation that Trunks sword was like Goku's Genki Dama from Goku himself. Not to mention we see him take something from the people he is trying to protect.

What is questionable however is how the Earthlings managed to power him up so much when there weren't that many left.


Here's a theory:

There are two Zamasu's. One from the past and one from the future. As the past Zamasu gets beat up, the damage and recovery is instantly recognized by Black's Saiyan body and increases his strength. Being a god, the strength increases even more. He more than likely gained the ability to transform into super saiyan rose by beating up his old self in a sparring match.

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