Tenshinhan (known as Tien to most fans) is one of hundreds of characters in the manga and series known as Dragon Ball. His role is that of moderate size, yet he seems to intrigue a small number of fans nonetheless. Perhaps it is because of his pure heart and devotion to martial arts. He is the most serious "human" in Dragon Ball. He has the most focus in his motivation. He simply strives throughout the entire series to be the best he can be. He uses Gokou as model of skill, power and purity for his own life path. No other character in Dragon Ball has this focus and purity of the heart at the same time.
Piccolo is close to this focus, but he has conflicting interests. He struggles early with world domination, killing Gokou, becoming somewhat of a father to Gohan, and his stubborness to becoming a part of the "good guys." Piccolo (later on) and Tenshinhan do have a similar respect for Gokou. Tenshinhan accepts Gokou surpassing him (After Kaiosama's training of Gokou), whereas Piccolo still wants to defeat Gokou, arguably, up until he fuses with Kami. Tenshinhan's rivalry with Gokou is more about pride as a martial artist. Aside from Ten's early association with Tsurusennin, whose motives weren't necessarily pure evil, but definitely questionable, Tenshinhan's character has been purely stable and intent on leading the life of a "good" martial artist.
He is somewhat of a hermit in the sense that he is always somewhere away from mankind training with is friend Chaozu. He only stops training to join with the rest of the earth's main fighters to put his skills to use. He is rarely seen having fun with the other characters or just resting in leisure. He is somewhat anti-social because of his devotion to training his mind and body. I'm drawn to the fact that he does not try to stand out, yet he's always there willing to fight for what's right (in DBZ, that is; in DB he still is transitioning into a noble warrior). Gokou, on the other hand, loves the challenge of an impossible battle, even if it puts earth's fate in jeopardy. This is rather selfish and perhaps showy unlike the DBZ Tenshinhan.
Ten is smart and often has great dialogue of insight and observation throughout the story. He never says anything that's not worth saying, much like Piccolo. His fighting intelligence is great (especially during the 22nd Tenkaichi Budokai), and is arguablly only surpassed by Gokou (during 23rd Tenkaichi Budokai) and Piccolo. Tenshinhan is modest after his early bout with evil, and his character is one of the most admirable and overshadowed in the entire world of Dragon Ball. In the following paragraphs I will follow the story of Dragon Ball with Tenshinhan center-stage to illustrate his great character and interaction with the storyline.
Back to Top
Much like every character that is introduced into the story, Tenshinhan is drawn towards the evil way of life. He's not necessarily a horrible person, but on the outside (inside his good heart is surpressed) he is introduced with the desire to become an assassin like his mentor, Taopaipai. This desire is most likely fake and a product of being brought up and trained by Tsurusennin. Tsurusennin (Crane hermit) is Tenshinhan and Chaozu's martial arts master and rival of Kamesennin (Turtle hermit, Muten Roshi, etc.). From the start of the 22nd Tenkaichi Budokai, it is apparent that the rivalry between the schools is the driving conflict in the tournament. However, the final battle goes beyond this petty conflict and becomes a battle for martial artist's pride. Before I go any further, I will explain the rivalry.
Tsuru and Kame were trained under the same master, Mutaito. When they were relatively young, Piccolo Daimao terrorized the world. The three powerful martial artists were unable to overcome his power. This led to Tsurusennin's belief that justice was weak. Therefore, he led a path of evil (again, Tsuru's beliefs and teachings are basically the least severe form of evil in Dragon Ball). After some time Mutaito mastered a new technique. He regrouped with Kamesennin (who fled to the mountains to train more) and had the final showdown with Piccolo. He sacrificed his life to perform the Mafuba technique to seal away Piccolo Daimao in a denshi jar. Kamesennin and Tsurusennin had been rivals under Mutaito, being the same age and skill level, but Tsurusennin's new view ("justice is weak") probably amplified the rivalry to a much greater degree. This view was then passed down to Tsurusennin's students, Tenshinhan and Chaozu.
The television series first shows Tenshinhan and Chaozu going town to town basically stealing money from the townspeople by tricking them. They set a wild creature called Inoshikacho on a village and "defeat" it by having the townspeople pay them. Gokou stumbles into the mess and finds out that Ten and Chaozu are camping with the creature. He realizes they are tricking the people. Gokou fights a bit with Tenshinhan, but because he is hungry, he is easily defeated. The next day Gokou tries to expose them in front of the townspeople but Tenshinhan cleverly begins to burn the creature. Gokou, being kind hearted and seeing the creature in pain, puts out the flame. Now the townspeople think Gokou is the one who is working with the creature because he saves it. This was just a one episode filler that was intended to show more conflict between Gokou and Tenshinhan. It doesn't seem to fit well with Tenshinhan's character, because he has no need for money, but I suppose he could have been doing this because Tsurusennin made them. Nonetheless, Ten's 'real' (as in the original manga) introduction comes at the begining of the 22nd Tenkaichi Budokai.
We are introduced to the new character Tenshinhan as he is smirking with Tsurusennin at the "Turtle" school. Tenshinhan is very proud and believes he is much more skilled than anyone here at the tournament. He is quite pompous at first, yet he still does not speak too much. He doesn't feel that anyone is worth his effort. He smugly and very easily defeats all of his opponents in the qualifying rounds. Gokou gets quite upset when he sees Tenshinhan knock out Namu (from the previous tournament). It's interesting to note that Tenshinhan says Gokou should be greatful that he couldn't kill Namu. Tenshinhan tries to appear evil, but you know that he really doesn't have it in him to kill anyone. As they are picking numbers to see who fights who in the tournament, Kuririn and Chaozu get into a little staring match. Chaozu sticks out his tongue which embarrasses Ten and forces him to tell Chaozu to stop. There are other times when Tsuru acts wacky and embarresses Ten. This shows how Ten takes things much more seriously than the wackiness you're used to from Dragon Ball.
Ten's first match is with Yamucha. They trade blows and move extremely quickly. Both impress Kamesennin greatly. Tenshinhan hadn't anticipated Yamucha to be this strong. He seems excited to be fighting someone so strong. After feeling out his opponent, Tenshinhan easily begins to out class Yamucha and inflict much damage. As a last resort, Yamucha, to everyone's surprise, fires a Kamehameha. Then Tenshinhan, to everyone's surprise, easily repels the energy blast. Yamucha takes to the air, where Tenshinhan follows and kicks Yamucha to the ring. He is obviously defeated, but Tenshinhan strikes his knee into Yamucha's leg (breaks it) to send a message of his fierceness. However, Ten still doesn't really harm Yamucha, revealing his true self very slightly.
During the match between Kuririn and Chaozu, Ten hears Gokou comment on the dodonpa that Chaozu uses and how Taopaipai used the same technique. Ten is surprised when he hears that Gokou killed Taopaipai. Ten tells Tsuru and now the Crane school is fighting to kill, avenging Tsuru's brother, Taopaipai.
The night after that particular battle, Tsuru tries to kill Gokou in his sleep to avenge Taopaipai. Tsuru and Gokou get in a scuffle. Tenshinhan darts in and breaks it up. He tells Tsuru that he wants to defeat Gokou in front of everyone, which will be a greater revenge and humiliating for Gokou, but you can tell that that was not his real motivation. He wants to test his skill against Gokou and defeat him as a martial artist.
Ten's next match is with the disguised Kamesennin. Ten can sense that his opponent is quite powerful and prepares for the match much more seriously than his previous match with Yamucha. This is really the point when I begin to admire Tenshinhan's character. The show previously made him out to be a some what of a jerk, but here his true self begins to surface. The match begins quickly and evenly just like with Yamucha. Both take turns pulling off great moves on the other. The match then turns into a slow grappling match. Both pound each other out of breath. We first see Ten's Taiyoken technique. He easily knees Jackie Chun in the neck. After Jackie Chun gets up from the attack, he tries to persuade Tenshinhan to disband from the easy path of darkness and lead his life in the light. It angers Ten, and the battle ensues. During the match, Tsuru discovers Jackie Chun is really Kamesennin, and informs Ten. Tenshinhan then proceeds to shoot a kamehameha at Kame to show him how easily he can learn new techniques just from seeing them executed. After realizing how skilled Tenshinhan is, Kame steps out of the ring. He knows Ten will eventually become a good guy, and trusts that he no longer needs to fight in the tournaments to keep his students in check. He sees that there are other strong martial artists that can challenge Gokou and his friends and help defend the earth. Tenshinhan is in a state of awe and confusion. He has no idea why Kamesennin would forfeit.
During the fight between Kuririn and Gokou, Tenshinhan questions Kamesennin. During the conversation, Kamesennin explains that he is aware that Ten is no fool and that there is uncertainty in his heart about his current life of bloodlust. Ten rejects the idea in frustration. Kame then says Ten was right about one thing; that he would have probably lost to Ten if he'd continued to fight. Tenshinhan can't understand why he admitted defeat, showing that Kame had no pride. Tenshinhan is frustrated even further, but is beginning to understand the "good" way.
Before the final match with Gokou, Tenshinhan meditates deeply and sees visions of Kamesennin's instruction. He has to force this uncertainty out for now and remind himself that he must concentrate on the boy who killed his idol, Taopaipai. Gokou and Tenshinhan face off with an intense seriousness and initiate combat the instant they are allowed. They both take turns displaying a number of great offensive moves and skill. After a few successful attacks from Tenshinhan, Gokou does not appear hurt at all. Tenshinhan is thrilled that he has been given an opponent so great as Gokou. Lunch, in the audience shows he first signs of affection by commenting that Tenshinhan was a tough guy and that she likes him. The battle continues. Gokou begins to beat up Ten. Ten uses the Taiyoken again, but Gokou snatches Muten Roshi's sunglasses in an instant to block the intense rays of light. He blocks Ten's attack and counters with great damage. Tsuru, worried, has Chaozu secretly stun Gokou telepathically right before Ten makes attacks. Tenshinhan gets quite a few good hits on Gokou. Gokou openly yells at Tenshinhan for being unfair. Ten doesn't understand what he's talking about and continues to beat up Gokou. Eventually Tenshinhan realizes what is happening and tells Chaozu to stop telepathically. Tsuru orders Ten to kill Gokou to avenge Taopaipai. Tenshinhan has his major inner struggle as he decides what to do. He then decides by shouting furiously at Tsuru and Chaozu ordering them to stop. He wants to win with his own skills and that he no longer desires to be an assassin. Tsuru is furious. He orders Chaozu to stun Gokou and Tenshinhan so he can kill them both. Chaozu can't do it. Chaozu basically changes right along with Ten. Chaozu is a very simple-minded young boy who oddly has great telepathic abilities. The only reason he may have been in Tsuru's world of "evil" is because he was so easily manipulated and followed orders. Tenshinhnan and him probably had a strong mental connection, so Chaozu went along with him. Chaozu changes his mind (he always seemed to have a pure innocence) right along with Ten, sensing Ten's new enlightment. He tells Tsuru that he has never seen Tenshinhan fight this hard before and wishes to let Ten fight on his own. Outraged, Tsurusennin tries to kill Chaozu with a single blow, but Kamesennin fires a kamehameha at Tsuru shooting him far off into the distance...
Back to Top
...Tenshinhan betrayed his master and explains to Gokou that this match is all he has left. He feels a weight has been lifted off his shoulders and can now concentrate his whole being into defeating Gokou. Honorably, Tenshinhan does not fight back as the match continues. He lets Gokou inflict the same amount of damage on him that he did onto Gokou (while he was being "frozen" by Chaozu). Kame gives Ten his respect. Tenshinhan then sprouts two extra arms out of his back (Shiyoken). Tenshinhan gains the upperhand. However, Gokou manages to put Ten in a leg hold which drains Ten's energy to the point his extra arms recede back into his body. Tenshinhan is asked if he'd like to forfeit because of the pain he is in. He says he'd rather die than concede to defeat. Ten is able to out-strength Gokou and fling him into the wall with his legs.
Now Tenshinhan decides to use his final technique, the Kikoho. He tells Gokou that he must dodge this attack or else he will die. Ten takes to the air, despite Kamesennin and Chaozu's pleas not to use the dangerous technique. He perfectly creates a massive whole in the shape of the ring with the Kikoho. Gokou dodged, and both are in the air. However, Gokou can't fly. Tenshinhan begins to follow Gokou down as he descends to the ground. He tells Gokou he will lose when he hits the ground because there is no ring (victory by ring out). Gokou uses his remainging energy for a reverse kamehameha which propels him into Tenshinhan. Both now have no energy and are falling to the ground diagonally from the previous attack. Gokou manages a tiny kamehameha which pushes him farther up than Ten. At the very last instance before they hit the ground, Gokou hits a car which sends him to the ground instantly. Still falling at an angle, Ten hits the ground last. Tenshinhan wins the 22nd Tenkaichi Budokai! He is astonished from the excitment and respect he is given from all the tournament onlookers. He finally shows happiness. Him and Gokou smile at each other in respect. Tenshinhan is now in his true mental state. He offers Gokou half the reward money, because he feels that he only won because of luck. He feels Gokou won the match in terms of skill. Kamesennin points out that luck is a part of a martial artist's skill as well. Yamucha and Ten meet again and he apoligizes for breaking Yamucha's leg. Yamucha forgives Ten. Kamesennin directs an offer towards Ten and Chaozu to train and live with him. Lunch loves the idea and proclaims that she loves Ten's wildness. Tenshinhan is surprised, but declines the offer. Even though he did betray Tsurusennin he still doesn't feel it's right to do something as bold as switch masters to Tsuru's rival (After Tsurusennin taught him so much.). They all eat dinner together. Kuririn goes back to the tournament place for Gokou, because he left his dragon ball and Nyoibou (pole) there. This is when Kuririn is killed by one of Piccolo Daimao's offspring and leads us into the battle with this new evil.
Gokou, in a fit of utter rage, leaves instantly with the dragon radar to pursue the one who took Kuririn's life and dragon ball. Kamesennin explains to Ten and the rest of the gang that this was an act commited by Piccolo Daimao. He could tell from the piece of paper the murderer left behind with the symbol for 'demon' written on it. This is when Kamesennin reveals the past story of when Piccolo terrorized the world. Tenshinhan seems keen on the technique which Mutaito used to entrap Piccolo (mafuba). He inquires Muten Roshi (This is the name Tenshinhan uses when he refers to Kamesennin. I probably should have used it from the beginning!) about the mafuba technique. Muten Roshi tells him he does not know how to use such a technique (He is lying of course. He doesn't want Tenshinhan to try and use it then die.). Muten Roshi, Tenshinhan, and Chaozu set out to gather the remaining dragon balls in hopes to destroy Piccolo with a wish from Shenlong. They are unsure whether or not Gokou is even alive. Gokou is battling with Tambourine and Cymbal (Piccolo's created beings). On their search for the dragon balls (Buruma had made another radar since Gokou took hers on his quest to avenge Kuririn), Tenshinhan, eager to challenge such a formidable foe, states his desire to know the mafuba. Roshi says, "If we try and fail--then what happens to the world?" Tenshinhan picks up the word, "If we try..." This tells him that Muten Roshi does know the technique but is keeping it secret from him. Ten's interest in the mafuba grows in him.
Once they gather the 5 dragon balls (Piccolo has 2; one originally from Kuririn and another from defeating Gokou, who had received another from Yajirobe.) they realize that Piccolo must have the remaining 2 (They think Gokou is dead most likely.). They plan devise a plan the steal Piccolo's dragon balls and quickly wish for hsi destruction. After Piccolo swallows his 2 balls (sounds weird) they are forced to change plans and fight. Roshi is going to try the mafuba. He must keep Tenshinhan alive, however, if he should fail. He knows how badly Tenshinhan desires to fight Piccolo as a martial artist, so he sprays Ten with some sort of sleeping medicine. Tenshinhan is barely conscious and hiddden behind a rock (Chaozu is also hiding at the moment elsewhere). Roshi then performs the technique, which scares Piccolo to death as he sees it coming. The mafuba involves the user capturing the target in a swirl of energy and focusing the energy into a container (in this case, a denshi jar, which is an electric rice cooker). Unfortunately, Roshi misses the jar and dies from the stress the mafuba puts on the user. Tenshinhan barely managing to hold to consciousness is on the ground struggling to watch. The special abilities of Tenshinhan and his third eye allow him to perform any technique that he sees used once (i.e. kamehameha). He telepathically tells Chaozu to jump and tell Shenlong to destroy Piccolo. Now that Piccolo has all 7 dragon balls, he calls forth Shenlong to grant him his youth again (making him much more powerful). Chaozu jumps in and begins to ask Shenlong his wish for Piccolo's destruction, but Piccolo is able to kill him with a ki blast right before he finishes. Tenshinhan can only watch in rage. He finally gives in to the sleeping medicine and loses consciousness.
When Tenshinhan awakes, we see him diligently practicing the mafuba. He states that he does not want Muten Roshi and Chaozu's deaths to be in vain and that this technique must work. Despite having lost his only true friend, Chaozu, he maintains his focus and successfully learns the mafuba. He sets out to the King's castle when he hears that Piccolo has taken over the thrown of the world. The aircraft Ten, Chaozu, and Roshi were using to find the dragon balls receives the transmission that Piccolo is broadcasting to the world. Now he knows where to find him. Tenshinhan, over the radio, talks to the rest of gang (Yamucha, Buruma, Lunch, etc.) who are hiding out at Kame's house. He tells them that he is headed to Piccolo to perform the mafuba technique. He tells Yamucha to not misunderstand him as a martyr. He is not trying to honorably save the world. Ten only wishes to defeat Piccolo to be at peace as a martial artist. Again, we get more insight into Ten's emotions. Ten obviously hasn't forgotten his wrong doings of the past. He knows he has just recently parted ways with his master Tsurusennin. He doesn't feel like an honorable warrior just yet. All he knows is that he must defeat Piccolo even if that means giving his life for his own pride.
When Tenshinhan reaches his destination, he sees that the denshi jar is cracked! He must have broken it when practicing the mafuba. At first he seems frustrated, but it seems like the thought of a 'real' battle entices him. He is unphased by this discovery. He descends to the castle where Piccolo is located. Piccolo notices that he is an able warrior because he performs bukujustu (flying). Piccolo allows him his time... Sort of. With his regained youth, he creates a new warrior named Drum to make an example of Tenshinhan. Piccolo wants to show the world what happens if someone tries to oppose him. Tenshinhan, alarmed at first from the creation of Drum (Piccolo basically ejects a massive, slimy egg from his throat.), tells Piccolo not to take him for granted. If this is where he dies, he will take them with him. Death doesn't bother Ten. However, Tenshinhan attacks and misses Drum. He does get one strong head-butt in, but Drum is too quick and powerful. Drum comments that Ten has some nice moves then proceeds to kill Tenshinhan, who is lying on the ground. Just before he initiates his final blow on Ten, Gokou comes in to the rescue and kicks Drum away. Tenshinhan is surprised that Gokou is actually alive. All the while Ten was with Roshi, Gokou had been defeated and though killed by Piccolo. Yajirobe was able to take the near-dead Gokou to Karin's tower to get a senzu bean and for new training. Karin had given Gokou the "super water of the gods," which unleashed his hiddden powers. Gokou's power has increased tremendously, and is significantly more capable than Tenshinhan now. Ten looks on as Gokou kicks Drum's face off with one blow. Tenshinhan can't believe the power that Gokou now possesses.
The animated series treats Ten's battle with Drum quite a bit different. I would say the series story was much fairer to Tenshinhan's character. His denshi jar is not damaged, and he is holding it within a capsule waiting for the right moment. Ten-san is only concerned about using the mafuba on Piccolo while battling with Drum. He also is able to hold his own against Drum considerably much better. Quite a few solid attacks connect. Piccolo even gets slightly interested in the battle. However, Tenshinhan seems to understand how immensely powerful even Piccolo's minion is. He is just not powerful enough. After Ten appears defeated, He decides nows the chance to get up and quickly use the mafuba. He throws the jar in front of piccolo (frightening him greatly) and begins the technique. Unfortunately, Drum steps right in front of Piccolo and is caught in the swirl of energy. Ten quickly decides to take care of Drum first by capturing him in the jar. Piccolo realizes this, shooting the jar with a ki beam. Drum hits the bare ground instead of the intended jar. Ten understands it's all over now as he falls to the ground almost dead from the mafuba. Drum is ordered to kill Tenshinhan, but Gokou jumps in out fo nowhere knocking him to the ground. This takes us back to where I left off by describing the manga's story. The series made Ten's role just a tad better by placing a greater importance on the mafuba. After all, the mafuba was a strong story element that was basically thrown out once Ten realizes the jar is cracked in the manga. It's an interesting element, because of Piccolo's immense fear of the technique. At least in the series, Ten is able to show more skill and desire to defeat Piccolo, instead of a quick brawl with Drum. For a brand new character touted as an immense warrior on the same level as Gokou, the series shows his character more respect.
Anyway; Gokou fights Piccolo Daimao. The battle seems to always be in Gokou's favor. Piccolo does a massive energy blast that wipes out the entire city. Gokou, in bad shape has no time to get out of the way. He would have died if it were not for Tenshinhan grabbing Gokou and flying him in the air to safety. Gokou even comments about the attack being fatal. Ten used all of his energy to save Gokou. The battle continues. As a last resort, Piccolo picks up a near-unconcious Tenshinhan. He threatens Gokou that if he moves he'll crush Ten's head. Gokou is frustrated by this strategy, and Tenshinhan tells Gokou not to worry about him. His selflessness is all in the desire to destroy Piccolo. Gokou can't do this though. Piccolo breaks (or severely injures) three of Gokou's limbs and throws Tenshinhan down, thinking that he is no longer needed. Gokou uses his one good hand to blast himself in the air towards Piccolo, where he punches right through Piccolo. As Piccolo is dying he spits out his son in an egg; the Piccolo we all know from DBZ. I feel like at this point, Tenshinhan is fighting for the world. He is desparately trying to help Gokou in any way possible, and his delight at Gokou's victory suggests he is even further solidified as part of the 'good guys'. It's quite apparent after all the battle observation on Ten's part that he prefers to call Gokou simply 'Son'. I believe this is out of respect. Ten is determined to match Gokou's newfound power and even tells him that he wants to beat him in the next tournament, as the severly-wounded Gokou is rushed to Karin's by Yajirobe. This short-lived rivalry between Ten and Gokou is out of great respect as martial artists. Obviously, the rivalry (from Gokou's perspective, anyway) diminishes after Dragon Ball. Ten only mentions it at the beginning of DBZ; He still desires to defeat Gokou.
Yamucha, Buruma and Lunch find Tenshinhan staggering around the battlefield. They take him back to Kame's house and listen to what took place between Gokou and Piccolo. Lunch especially takes care of Tenshinhan. You can see how both of them blush as Oolong comments on how well Lunch cares for Ten. This is the first sign that Tenshinhan gives that may infer he actually has feelings for a woman (This is probably due to the overall awakening of his pure heart and openess to his new friends.). This is really the only time we see Tenshinhan hanging around with 'friends' as he recovers from his injuries and prepares for the 23rd Tenkaichi Budokai. As soon as he can, he begins training extremely hard, as Yamucha notices.
Back to Top
When Tenshinhan hears of Gokou training with Kami-sama (God), he declares that he will train even harder than God. Yamucha and Kuririn proclaim they'll train hard as well to match Gokou's ever increasing power. Kamesennin tells the four (including Chaozu) to travel out on their own to learn new techniques instead of sticking around the Kame House and doing the same routines over and over. This revelation hits home with Tenshinhan first. We are told after the four receive Karin's training and possibly the Super Water of the Gods (which was the main thing that pushed Gokou to his limit in order to battle Piccolo Daimao), they all went their separate ways for 3 years leading up to the Tenkaichi Budokai.
The 23rd Tenkaichi Budokai arrives. In the preliminaries, Gokou and Tenshinhan (to his surprise), see Piccolo Daimao's child, Piccolo (Ma Junior was his tournament name.). Gokou tells Tenshinhan to keep it a secret in order not to cause any panic. As the preliminary matches start, we see Gokou and Ten exert the least amount of effort of all the characters. Tenshinhan gets to see Gokou's newfound still heart. Gokou learned to make his heart completely still and ki completely untraceable. Tenshinhan notices this first about Gokou. Later, Tenshinhan hears Chaozu's cry. They rush over to his match only to find Chaozu knocked unconcious by Taopaipai! He is now a cyborg, after being nearly killed by Gokou years ago. He is now more powerful and states that his mission is to kill Gokou and Tenshinhan. Taopaipai wants to kill Ten because he thinks he's apart of the Turtle School. Ten replies by saying that he is not apart of the Turtle School, but is only questioning his previous teaching methods. Tenshinhan tells him he will avenge Chaozu, who is taken to the hospital.
After the preliminaty rounds, we find the whole gang outside (minus Tenshinhan and Chaozu). They run into Tsurusennin. Kamesennin has to reiterate the fact that Tenshinhan isn't apart of the Kame school. Basically, Tsuru only tells them that they have no chance against the new, more powerful Taopaipai. Gokou is the only one not worried. With his new ability to see people only with their ki, Gokou knows Tenshinhan is much more capable than Taopaipai. Gokou tells everyone, in regards to Taopaipai and Tenshinhan, "But the really amazing one isn't Taopaipai at all."
The first match begins between Taopaipai and Ten. He asks Ten if he is prepared to die. Tenshinhan replies, "Yes." I thought that was an awesome response that really soldifies Ten's pure martial arts mentality. He is prepared to die at any time. It's a unique attitude in the Dragon Ball world. Taopaipai makes several attacks, which Ten reads effortlessly and knocks him away each time. He calmly tells his past mentor that he will forgive him for what he did to Chaozu if he stops all of this now. Ten says that him and Tsuru taught him how to fight and that he does not wish to embaress them. His respect for their teachings never diminished, even over those 3 years. Ten tells Tao that he has gotten far stronger than he can imagine. Tao tries to punch Ten who easily grabs Tao's hand. However, Tao's hand is removed (since he is a cyborg) and a knife now protrudes from his wrist. He quickly slashes Ten's chest (to everyone's surprise). This is how Ten gets his chest scar. Tenshinhan is furious at his once mentor. The announcer declares Tenshinhan the winner because no weapons are allowed. Tenshinhan yells questioning Tao if he has lost even his pride as a martial artist (Tenshinhan has lost almost all respect for him now.). Taopaipai doesn't care about the match being over and continues his mission to kill Tenshinhan. His other hand is removed and uses this arm as a cannon for his Super Dondonpa blast. Tenshinhan screams at him to attack with the Super Dodonpa. The massive energy blast is completely dispersed from a kiai (shout) from Tenshinhan. Everyone is amazed. Kuririn even mentions that he was afraid of Ten's kiai. Tenshinhna quickly leaps toward Tao and knocks him out with one punch to the chest. Ten picks up his body and brings it to Tsurusennin. Ten solemnly tells them to never again show themselves in front of him again. Ten walks quietly back into the the shelter for the contestants. Yamucha and Kurrin try to congratulate Ten, but Gokou, understanding Ten's state of mind, shakes his head at them to stop. Tenshinhan has finally denounced his relation to his former mentors. It's a tough thing to break away from his entire previous life. Ten is also most likely quite embarrassed of how low his teachers have come. They came to kill him and lost all their pride as martial artists in becoming consumed by that goal. Ten was greatly dissapointed in how lame they have become and needs to be by himself. Kuririn mentions that Tenshinhan has become a little too strong. Everyone is amazed at the power and skill Ten has gained in the 3 years.
Ten-san's next match is with Gokou. Kamesennin comments that the final four contestants are truly the 4 most powerful people in the world (Gokou, Tenshinhan, Piccolo, and Shen, who is actually Kami-sama). When asked how powerful Gokou's next opponent was by Chi Chi, Yamucha replies, "Unbelieveably so." Tenshinhan and Gokou seem quite excited to fight each other and Gokou asks Ten if he's going all out from the beginning. Of course he is. Ten wants to defeat Gokou more legitimately than the last win and match someone who trained under God. The battle begins in an instant, like most of Ten's fights up until now. The animated series shows many minutes of a completely even match between Gokou and Ten. The battle is spectacular in its choreography and animation. This is probably the best animation Dragon Ball has first seen. Tenshinhan actually gets in some solid hits in the lighting-quick battle, and it appears Ten might even have an upperhand on Gokou. Kamesennin notices that Gokou isn't breathing hard at all, which tells him that Gokou is actually winning. Ten confidently tells Gokou his speed hasn't increased from their last meeting and goes on to show Gokou how much quicker he has become. Tenshinhan easily demonstrates with a few blows. Gokou, realizing how much more powerful Tenshinhan has become, decides to take off his undershirt, wristbands, and shoes, which were weighted at 200 pounds total. Everyone is amazed Gokou was fighting in this weight. They begin to fight again and match blows. Ten thinks that they're still even speed-wise until he looks down to see that Gokou had stolen his belt somewhere in the attack. He is amazed that he had no idea Gokou had done this.
Once Gokou gives him back his belt, he knows what he must do. He learned a new technique called the Shishinnoken. The technique involves splitting your body into 4 duplicates of your yourself. The control over his mind and body Ten exhibits is phenomenal and everyone is utterly amazed that Ten was able to accomplish such a feat. With 12 eyes, he believes this will eliminate all blind spots. The four Ten's go to the four corners of the ring and shoot energy blasts at Gokou in the middle. The only way for Gokou to go is up. The four Ten's easily spot him in the air and shoot concentrated ki blasts from their 3rd eyes. Gokou falls to ring, being hit directly. Gokou tells Ten that that won't happen again, because he found 2 weaknesses. Ten confidently decides to take him up on the offer and tells him he'll do the same thign at full strength. This time when Gokou takes to the air, he surprisingly blinds Tenshinhan with his own technique, the Taiyoken. As he is blind Gokou explains the first weakness; that his eyes are a little too good. He relies on his eyes to see his opponents every move. However, now he has no idea where Gokou is. The second weakness, as Ten regains sight, is that splitting into four beings quartered his strength and speed in each instance of himself. Gokou then quickly knocks all 4 out of the ring, where Ten becomes a single being again. Tenshinhnan was utterly defeated and congratulates Gokou for seeing through him and becoming such an incredibly powerful being.
Yamucha tells Ten that was a close battle, but Ten replies that it really wasn't. Ten thinks Gokou wasn't even using most of his power. Ten feels outclassed and says that his pride has been severly wounded. Even though Ten almost matched Gokou in power and speed, Gokou's steady breathing, toughness and ability to see a person from their ki only, gave him the victory. Using Ten's confidence against him by making him use the same attack again, also sealed his defeat. It was an embarrassing defeat for Ten, being almost toyed with at the end. Gokou is the first to use the sensing of ki to fight. Tenshinhan is realizing that Gokou's immense strength has gotten way past him and his friends.
During the intense fight between Gokou and Piccolo there is a point were all the fans have been evacuated (because of the dangerous battle). Now Piccolo is generating energy for an ultimate attack. Tenshinhan quicklyl uses his Kikoho to create safety in the ground for Gokou's friends. Ten's only other role during this battle is when Kami-sama asks him to kill him so that Piccolo dies. Ten is reluctant but agrees. Gokou screams for them to stop.
This is the end of Ten's role as one of the most powerful characters in story, but at the same time makes his later accomplishments that much more amazing because he becomes a "lesser" character. At the start of Dragon Ball Z, Gokou's rivalry with Ten has dwindled, because of the discrepency in competition. It's sad for us fans of the "other" characters.
Back to Top
Layout and text ©Brandon Ditto 2000-2008. Dragonball Z ©FUNimation Productions, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Dragon Ball Z and all logos, character names and distinctive likenesses thereof are trademarks of TOEI ANIMATION.
©2000 BIRD STUDIO/SHUEISHA, TOEI ANIMATION. tenshinhanjinja.com is in no way affiliated or associated with Funimation Productions Inc., Bird Studio/Shueisha, or Toei Animation. I am simply trying to promote Dragon Ball with this fan website. There is absolutely no profit that comes from maintaining this website. The video clips, scans, and information are for educational purposes only.