What If Bulma Trained Like Goku? is a Dragon Ball What If? fanfic by Lawrence Simpson aka MasakoX of Team Four Star fame as part of his Dragon Ball Discussion series of Youtube videos. This particular topic started on August 10th, 2019.
As the title suggests, he explores his interpretation of an alternate version of the story where Bulma is inspired to put herself on the front lines in her own special way. As of late August 2020, this series has covered all of the original Dragon Ball saga and has gone up to the Namek Saga.
You can find the playlist for it here.
See also Masako X - Dragon Ball What-If which explores other possibilities in the Dragon Ball verse.
What If Bulma Trained Like Goku? has the following tropes:
- Adaptational Badass:
- Bulma opts to begin training after witnessing the 21st World's Martial Arts Tournament. She's later able to defeat Chichi in the 22nd World's Martial Arts Tournament. By the time Raditz shows up, her armor puts her on the same level as Goku and Piccolo. After getting to Namek, her base power is 2,000 and her suit multiplies that by 8x. She becomes even more powerful after Guru unlocks her potential.
- Yamcha is also stronger than canon thanks to training Bulma and surviving the Saiyan assault, getting gravity training alongside Bulma and Goku and also learns Kaio-ken. He also gets his potential unlocked by Guru.
- Piccolo, Krillin and Gohan get gravity training on the way to Namek, as well and also get their potential unlocked. Piccolo in particular manages to easily kill Recoome, then later a tag-team of Jeice and Burter. When Piccolo fuses with Nail, he's significantly stronger than his canon counterpart, since Nail was at full strength and wasn't severely injured as well as Piccolo having had his potential unlocked and kills off Second-form Freeza with a couple Special Beam Cannons.
- Adaptational Expansion:
- Because Bulma takes an active role in fighting here, she plays a larger role in the battles.
- Thanks to being saved from being killed by Nappa, Yamcha and Piccolo get to play a role in Namek.
- Adaptational Intelligence: While she was already very smart, when she gets her potential unlocked by Guru, it also makes her even smarter.
- Adaptational Wimp: Goku doesn't get Super Saiyan or the zenkai boost after getting to Namek.
- Amazonian Beauty: The story is Bulma doing martial arts training and being much more muscular and utilizing Power Armor.
- And I Must Scream: Ginyu tries to possess Goku, but Bulma gets in the way. However, instead of taking over her body, Ginyu ends up taking over her armor, which causes Ginyu to freak out.
- Curb-Stomp Battle:
- Piccolo easily defeats first Recoome and then Burter and Jeice after getting his potential unlocked.
- Later, he first beats down and then easily kills Freeza.
- Dies Differently in Adaptation:
- Nappa is killed by Bulma and the Z Fighters, rather than Vegeta.
- Guldo, Recoome, Burter and Jeice are all killed by Piccolo.
- Freeza is killed by Piccolo as well.
- Genius Bruiser: Bulma possesses a genius level intellect and is a strong martial artist.
- Humongous Mecha: Realizing that the other Saiyans might be able to go Great Ape like Goku, Bulma builds a giant robot called the Saiyabuster to combat it. While not enough to defeat Oozaru Vegeta outright, it is enough to hold her own against him and buy Goku enough time to hit him with the Spirit Bomb.
- Powered Armor:
- Bulma develops a prototype suit by the 22nd Worlds Martial Arts Tournament. It makes her strong enough to defeat Yamcha, match old King Piccolo and Drum.
- The version she uses in the 22nd World's Martial Arts Tournament is strong enough to match Piccolo.
- Her suit she uses in the Nappa Vegeta fight is roughly on par with Nappa, though no match for Vegeta.
- Her armor eventually integrates the Dragon radar and a scouter in the sensors. It also starts at multiplying her base power by first 3.5x, then 6x and 8x by the Namek saga.
- Rocket Boots/Rocket Punch: The first part of Bulma's arsenal.
- Shout-Out: Several to Ultra Man and Iron Man, with the Humongous Mecha design and it being named the Saiyabuster.
- Spared by the Adaptation: Yamcha and Piccolo survive the Saiyan saga.
- Unskilled, but Strong: Bulma's initial fighting style.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Bulma forgot to waterproof the armor, thus Raditz is able to short-circuit it.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Tenshinhan manages to seal Piccolo away with the Mafuba, only for Goku to smash the rice cooker so he can fight King Piccolo. Bulma gives him a verbal thrashing for it, then refuses to speak to him until Goku arrives at Kame House with Gohan.
- Guru is not very pleased that Nail made in his thoughts a rash decision to fuse with Piccolo.