Potara (ポタラ) are earrings worn by the Kaioshin (Supreme Kais). These earrings are worn by all Kaioshin as part of their standard outfits, and come in various colors. When one pair of Potara Earrings are worn by a single person they have no special properties. However, if two individuals each wear one earring on opposite ears, the true power of the artifacts is revealed. The earrings have the ability to fuse two people into a single entity, substantially enhancing the abilities of both individuals. The resulting fusion lasts forever, even if the fused being removes the earrings. However, there is one instance where the Potara Fusion will be nullified and restore the fused being back to their original forms, which is when they are sucked into an environment that would not support it (as seen with Vegito being absorbed inside Buu).
Potara Fusion is similar to the Fusion Dance technique, however unlike the Fusion Dance, the Potara Fusion is permanent. An exception to this was discovered when the fused character Vegito allowed himself to be absorbed by Super Buu, and was separated into Goku and Vegeta, the two individuals who had fused to form Vegito.
There are three known Potara Fusions seen in the series.
- Chronologically, the first was a fusion between Old Kai and an old witch.
- The second was the fusion of Supreme Kai with Kibito, (which they voluntarily performed to test their Potara Earrings, not realizing the fusion would be permanent).
- The third Potara Fusion was the most prominent. Goku fused with Vegeta to form Vegito.
One thing to note about the Potara Earrings is that for whatever reason, people wishing to fuse do not necessarily have to be wearing earrings from the same set in order to do so. In both the manga and the anime, Kibito and Supreme Kai simply removed their left and right earrings respectively and before they knew it, they were drawn towards each other and subsequently fused together. Despite this, Kibito's earring (which was blue in the anime) became the color of the Supreme Kai's earring (which was yellow).
Another oddity of Potara fusion is that unlike the Fusion Dance, the more dominant spirit of the two fused individuals takes precedence over the weaker not just in looks but in voice as well. The proof of this is that both Elder Kai and Supreme Kai seem to be the ones in control of their fused forms while having a few noticeable traits from the Old Witch and Kibito respectively. One possibility for Kibito Kai is that Kibito, out of respect for Supreme Kai's authority, is simply letting him have more control of the fused form. One could speculate that Goku and Vegeta were matched equally when they fused, which may explain their doubled voice and flawless unison of bodies and clothing.
Video game appearances
In both Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2 and Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3, Supreme Kai can use the Potara Fusion and fuse with Kibito to become Kibito Kai. Goku and Vegeta both can use the Potara Fusion and fuse together to become Vegito. Also in Budokai 2, Goku and Hercule can use the Potara Fusion and fuse together to become Gokule. The Potara also appears in gameplay when Goku and Vegeta are about to fuse in Dragon Ball Heroes.
The game Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 features a character upgrade system that uses different "Potaras" to add special attributes to characters. These Potaras are known as "Z-Items" in the English release. A wide variety of different upgrade types are available, ranging from simple stat upgrades to powerful special abilities. The sequel game, Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3, features the same system as Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi and Budokai Tenkaichi 2, with a new Z-Item, the Red Potara Z-Item, which substantially increase the powers of the fighters. They have the same abilities as the other Potara Z-Items, only compacted into one usage, such as maximum damage, inflicting neutral damage with Blast 2 and Ultimate Blast attacks, recovering health quickly, surpassing limits, using half the amount of energy for ki consumption usage, and others. Characters with all "Red Potaras" equipped are also called "GOD Characters". Red Potaras can only be accessed by the player through cheat devices or by entering passwords to allow access to these characters in Duel mode, though computer-controlled characters will have Red Potaras equipped during certain matches in Story Mode or Dragon Sim mode.
In the Raging Blast games, Potara are used in the same way as in the Budokai Tenkaichi series.
Potaras also appear in Jump Super Stars.
- A curiosity are the voices of the Potara fusions. The Supreme Kai and the Old Witch who made Old Kai, and Supreme kai and Kibito made to Kibito Kai both had normal voices, but Vegito, the Potara fusion of Vegeta and Goku, has the two voices at the same time, not just one as Old Kai and Kibito Kai.
- In a line by Old Kai, he said that the Potara fusion was "better" than the fusion dance. This leads many to think that Vegito is stronger than Gogeta. However, he may instead have been referring to the drawbacks of the fusion dance itself: a 30 minute time limit on the fusion, the possibility of performing the dance incorrectly resulting in a weaker form, and that the dance is restricted to beings of comparable size and power level (individuals performing the dance can suppress or raise their power level to match if necessary). Or, this may just be embellishment on his part.
- Several characters in the series wear earrings that are very similar to the Potara earrings: Zarbon, a man bearing the same symbols as Nok in the audience of the 28th World Martial Arts Tournament, and Don Kee.
- Z-Item FAQ at GameFAQs
- Dragon Ball Z episode 290, "Buu's Reincarnation"