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Master Roshi is one of Dragon Ball's most well-known mentors (Image via Toei Animation)

8 best mentor-student duos in Dragon Ball, ranked

As a series that is centered around martial arts and fighting in general, Dragon Ball has many mentor-student duos throughout its many franchise installations. The original Dragon Ball series in particular is densely populated with these types of relationships.

Dragon Ball Super further builds on this motif, taking it up a notch by introducing godly mentor-student duos. Even more interesting is that some of Dragon Ball Super’s deities mentor the series’ mortal combatants.


Here are the eight best mentor-student duos in Dragon Ball, ranked from weakest to strongest.

Goku’s family tree dominates best Dragon Ball mentor-student duos


8) Master Roshi and Krillin

Master Roshi (left) and Krillin (right) as seen in the series' original anime (Image via Toei Animation)

Master Roshi is essentially the original Dragon Ball mentor. His role in the premiere series was to train both Goku and Krillin in the skills of martial arts, albeit through unconventional means.

Krillin was always somewhat weaker than Goku, but this didn’t stop Roshi from giving it his all in training the character. It’s undoubtedly one of the best relationships of its type throughout the franchise.


7) Master Roshi and Goku

Goku (left) and Master Roshi (right) as seen in the original series' anime (Image via Toei Animation)

Likewise, Master Roshi and Goku’s mentor-student relationship also solidifies itself as one of the best in the series. The latter ends up getting revenge for the former by being the one to defeat King Piccolo, further adding an extra layer to their relationship.

Obviously and understandably, their relationship gets the nod over the previous one due to Goku’s immense strength. Even as a child, his zenkai powers were in full effect, allowing him to come back from every loss much stronger, easily surpassing Krillin in strength.

6) Piccolo and Gohan

Gohan (left) and Piccolo (right) as seen in the Super anime (Image via Toei Animation)

Serving as the first mentor-student duo in Dragon Ball Z, their relationship stemming from this training resulted in life-long companionship for the two. It’s somewhat of a meme in the community to say that Piccolo is Gohan’s real dad, but there are some actions within the story by the latter which support this 'joke.'

The two have formed a life-long friendship as a result of their mentor-student history, and they also rank as one of the stronger pairs of the sort in the series. Despite both of their relevance somewhat waning over the course of the series, the upcoming franchise film seems set to change that.

5) Future Gohan and Future Trunks

Future Trunks (left) and Future Gohan (right) as seen in the History of Trunks anime special (Image via Toei Animation)

Future Gohan and Future Trunks kick off the top five mentor-student duos in Dragon Ball, and rightfully so. The former’s death is what prompts the latter to awaken his Super Saiyan powers, mirroring the circumstances of Goku’s original transformation.

The two have an incredibly unique relationship, being the last of the Z Fighters and the Earthbound Saiyans in their respective timelines. Trunks looks up to Gohan as a father figure, and both are incredibly strong, solidifying their inclusion as one of the best mentor-student duos in the franchise.

4) Goku and Gohan

Gohan (left) and Goku (right) as seen in the Z anime (Image via Toei Animation)

No mentor-student duo exists in Dragon Ball like this father-son training session. The two’s time in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber solidifies their inclusion this high on the list, both in how they got along during training and what the eventual results were.

Goku and Gohan's bond as father and son was also strengthened during their time training together, further solidifying their spot on this list.

3) Beerus and Vegeta

Vegeta (left) and Beerus (right) as seen in the Super anime (Image via Toei Animation)

Kicking off godly mentorships in the series thus far, Beerus and Vegeta’s mentor-student relationship results in the latter's best power-up yet. Ultra Ego is, presumably, something which allows the Prince of All Saiyans to match his rival’s Ultra Instinct form in his own way.

The two are also incredibly similar in personality as well as fighting style, further emphasizing how perfect a pairing this is as a mentor and student. Without a doubt, the two rank as one of the best and overall strongest mentor-student duos in the series.

2) Whis and Goku

Goku (left) and Whis (right) as they appear in Dragon Ball Super's anime (Image via Toei Animation)

The original deity-mortal mentor-student pairing of Whis and Goku outranks Vegeta and Beerus just ever so slightly. Goku’s dedication to learning Ultra Instinct and becoming as strong as the Gods is palpable from the beginning of Dragon Ball Super onwards, only growing as the series progresses.

Whis is also a great match for him as a mentor, mirroring some of the more loose aspects his early apprenticeship with Master Roshi had. The recently concluded Moro arc also showed that Whis knows Goku well enough to steer the Saiyan away from the faults in his character, solidifying their inclusion and high rank here.

1) Whis and Beerus

Whis (left) and Beerus (right) as seen in the Dragon Ball Super anime (Image via Toei Animation)

However, the strongest mentor-student duo in the entire franchise is the deified duo of Whis and Beerus. The former is said to be the latter’s martial arts instructor as well as caretaker, helping him refine and sustain the sharpness of the skills which allowed him to become a God of Destruction.

The two’s relationship within the context of a mentor and student is as close and powerful a bond as it is outside of that context. Without a doubt, they are the best and strongest mentor-student duo in all of Dragon Ball.

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Edited by
Abu Amjad Khan
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