- Super Saiyan Rage lacked build-up and was a plot device to conclude the arc’s storyline.
- The contradiction between Super Saiyan Rage and Super Saiyan Rose raises questions about their power levels.
- Super Saiyan Rage served purely as a means to defeat Goku Black and Future Zamasu, with little relevance to Future Trunks’ character.
Future Trunks is undoubtedly a standout character from Dragon Ball Z, and his return in Dragon Ball Super was a perplexing yet welcome start to the series’ fourth saga. While Trunks’ character did have a few emotional moments with his father and younger alternate self, there was one particular aspect of his development that seemed a bit out of place for his character. This, of course, pertains to the debut of Super Saiyan Rage, a new transformation specific to Trunks, which played an important role in the final battle against Goku Black and Future Zamasu.
Although Trunks had attained the strength level of Super Saiyan 2 after his last appearance in Dragon Ball Z, this new form came almost out of the blue, and its place in the series’ power scale as a whole has confused fans for quite some time now. In fact, the main conflict of the Future Trunks Saga may have been resolved in a better way without the introduction of this transformation, which was riddled with inaccuracies in many respects. Ultimately, Super Saiyan Rage existed as little more than a plot device to conclude the arc’s storyline, which raises questions about whether it was really necessary to begin with.
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No Build Up In Trunks’ Character Arc
By the time he returned to his timeline after the Cell Games Saga, Super Trunks was strong enough to defeat Androids 17 and 18, as well as Imperfect Cell in his Super Saiyan state. In the following years, he trained hard enough to reach the level of Super Saiyan 2, and upon returning to the main timeline in Dragon Ball Super, he was able to fight evenly against Goku when the latter was in the same form.
This was a fairly obvious pace for Trunks’ power to develop, as any level below Super Saiyan 2 would have left him practically helpless against the main antagonists of the Future Trunks Saga. Moreover, since his plight was once again the focal point of the narrative arc, it might have made sense for him to attain a new transformation, if it had been properly built up. It is important to remember that Future Trunks’ power surge in Dragon Ball Z did not happen overnight, and it was the product of repeated stints in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, during which he gradually built up his power while training with Vegeta.
After the first stint, he achieved Super Saiyan Second Grade and Super Saiyan Third Grade, which were enough to fight evenly with Perfect Cell. His second retreat to the Hyperbolic Time Chamber saw him master his Super Saiyan form at an even more fundamental level. This slow measured increase in his strength is fairly believable when compared to the appearance of the Super Saiyan Rage form, which was enough to fight evenly with Super Saiyan Rose Goku Black. Unlike earlier forms, there was little to no explanation given for how Future Trunks was able to attain this state out of pure anger, and this set a dangerous precedent for later transformations in the series.
God Ki Or A Berserker State?
Given that Future Trunks in Super Saiyan rage fought evenly with Super Saiyan Rose Goku Black, it might be fair to compare both transformations. While it is well-known that Super Saiyan Rose is a divine form like Super Saiyan Blue exclusive to divine beings such as Zamasu, it is fair to assume that it is rooted in the use of God ki, which is said to be far more potent than the forms of ki wielded previously in the series.
This also implies that Super Saiyan Blue and Super Saiyan Rose are far more powerful transformations than Super Saiyan 2 or even Super Saiyan 3. Super Saiyan Rage is primarily based on the Super Saiyan 2 form, which is quite evident in how Trunks powered up to the transformation, as well as its overall design.
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Mimicking the rippling bio-electricity of Super Saiyan 2 along with its enhanced musculature, golden hair, and fiery aura, Super Saiyan Rage features an additional blue aura within the traditional gold one of Super Saiyan 2, accompanied by the emission of light particles similar to those seen in Super Saiyan Blue. Although the latter feature could be an indication of Future Trunks harnessing God ki, this was not confirmed, and it does not have any real grounds to be true, since he never really trained to use it in the first place.
It is quite perplexing to equate Super Saiyan Rage to Super Saiyan Rose, since the former likely uses normal ki whereas the latter uses God ki. This contradiction in the foundations of both forms becomes all the more pronounced when both are shown to be nearly equal when pitted against one another. Initially, Super Saiyan Rage was portrayed as a berserker state where Future Trunks’ irises disappeared as he was overcome by his fury towards Goku Black and Zamasu. This is quite convenient when looking at how the form influenced the outcome of the arc’s final battle.
Purely A Means To Defeat Goku Black And Zamasu
The final battle of the Future Trunks Saga saw Goku and Vegeta struggling to defeat Goku Black and Future Zamasu, which is what led to Future Trunks attaining the Super Saiyan Rage form in the first place. Due to the massive power up he gained from the form, as well as Goku Black and Future Zamasu’s mistake in undergoing Potara Fusion, Future Trunks was eventually able to defeat him with some help from Vegito.
Here, the power up in question made little sense for his character, and Future Trunks’ various feats, such as creating a sword out of ki, only enhanced the fact that Super Saiyan Rage was just a convenient means to conclude the battle and give him the cathartic victory he needed. Aside from this, Super Saiyan Rage is one of the worst products of the current trend of character-specific transformations in Dragon Ball Super, which similarly have little basis in the God ki-based power system, and come at a convenient time with little to no build up involved.
This can be seen in later forms such as Orange Piccolo and Gohan Beast, which again, have no established links to God ki (yet). Consequently, the prospect of comparing them to earlier transformations is all the more complicated. Hence, it might have been better for the Future Trunks Saga and the franchise as a whole, if Future Trunks had been given a form which was more in line with his character’s growth curve and the series’ power scale as a whole.
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