Who is Goku from Dragon Ball?
Who is Goku , is there even a person left on the planet that does not know about him? The question itself does sound a bit awkward in 2022, since by now any self-respecting anime fan absolutely must be aware with this iconic character. But do we even really have enough information about him and all the powerful level forms he can reach? Is there more than the already available information, does his power even have limits?
Today, we are embarking on a quest to have a deeper look at his story, strengths, feats and what could potentially be expected around this fan-favourite character.
Let’s first go into the background and story of the character in order to explore him better further. Maybe you are wondering how tall is Goku , or have questions about his origin and how old Goku is . The answers to these and many others are ahead so keep reading until the end.
In order to find out more about who is Goku , we should go a bit biographical. The prototype for Goku comes from Akira Toriyama’s earlier work and more precisely from a one-shot series titled Dragon Boy, in which there is a character that really does remind us of Goku, but with the difference of a pair of wings. Another major influence on the image and persona were martial arts films such as Enter the Dragon and Drunken master as the artist was pointing towards young Bruce Lee & Jackie Chan as inspirations behind Goku.
His design is based on Chinese folklore mystical figure Sun Wukong (translated as Son Goku in Japanese and the “Monkey King” in English), who was the main character in the “Journey to the West” novel, this is the reason the Kid Goku variant is drawn as a human boy having a monkey’s tail, becoming a very distinguished feature in his image and overall look. At first, he was not even planned as an alien, but as the story got further developed and grew in cast numbers, with fighters from other planets getting introduced, Toriyama decided that it might be a fine idea to portray the protagonist as one of the last to survive of his kind and not as just a regular human warrior.
As the main protagonist in the Dragon Ball series, Kakarot (his original birth name) was born to a low class Saiyan warrior family on the planet Vegeta. He narrowly escaped the extinction of his entire race when he was sent to Earth with a single and quite a simple mission - to destroy everything in his way.
As a member of his race Goku’s life should revolve around combat and to care little about anything else. Being fueled by hatred and aggression, he was a typical member of his race and when discovered on Earth he was given the name Goku by his adoptive grandfather Son Gohan, who is a hermit grand-master martial artist. The man took in kid Goku as his own and started to raise him, trying to train and shape him into a worthy warrior as best as he can.
Things all changed for Goku when he bumped his head by accident when he fell in a ravine and forgot all about destruction and got him to develop into a much calmer being. By following his adoptive father’s advice, he even started to show signs of empathy and kindness.
As a kid Goku doesn’t know much about the world and Son Bulma is his guide on the path of knowledge, discipline and life’s wisdom, but as time passed Goku becomes a much more cheerful and carefree individual than you might expect, especially when food is involved, which usually sparks his attention and brings out his insatiable appetite that has become synonymous with him.
As the story develops another tragedy strikes and he unknowingly took the life of Goham, as he accidentally transformed into Ōzaru one night while watching at the full moon. He later even lost that ability since his tail got cut off by his friends. This event affected him and took him right in the direction of tough and ruthless training for combats as well as fighting duels.
He started to prepare for combat tournaments early in his life and as he was growing up and maturing into a strong young man with great will power, discipline as well as immense physical strength that just keeps on growing and expanding more and more. So, to answer the questions from earlier about how tall is Goku – the answer is 175 cm. Even though he looks young, he is actually 53 years old, but that is just how his kind age.
Over the years he has trained with various masters and here is the part to name a few of them; Muten Roshi, Korin, Kami, North Kai and Old Kai, who all contributed to his development as a mighty warrior. They taught him Kung-Fu, endurance and opponent anticipation, but also meditation and some more traditional practices and sense management. As he became more mature and a skilled contender in battle it got clear that his future had a lot of triumphs ahead.
This becoming of age made creating the fighting scenes much more acceptable and easier to depict, as the idea of a warrior does not actually fit the kid Goku version of himself that much. So, from a lighter toned anime the series went into some more serious themes with very impactful battles at tournaments that had a grand scale with an ever-increasing line up of more powerful opponents for Goku to fight with. He manages to qualify as a runner-up at first, but then wins the 23rd edition of the championship by defeating Piccolo, who was the then ruling champion.
On his journey Goku does establish some very true friendships as well, the first ones of which being with a teenage girl named Bulma and later he gets married to Chi-Chi in order to fulfill a promise he gave to her years prior. After becoming the ruling champ, he even gains the respect of and befriends some of his foes on the way and turns them into allies.
So, now with a clearer mind and trusty friends he gets determined to complete a quest related to the only object he has left by his father, a mystical Dragon ball, Goku wants to locate and assemble all the seven such balls. The myth tells that when together the balls could summon the dragon Shenron that is able to grant wishes to the beholder of the balls and so his adventures take him on a journey that is both intriguing and dangerous.
In this review we are going to have a look at his various forms and abilities, so hold tight as this might get a bit complex and lengthy.
Goku’s abilities and skills.
Goku’s abilities vary depending on his form and level but the signature move that he is most famous for is the signature Kamehameka (translated as “Turtle destruction wave”), a powerful blast of energy that gets concentrated Ki into a single point, it has its own different variants depending on the need, but has to be generated for some time. It could devastate any enemy on its way, and in case they survive it, Goku has plenty else to offer and serve. An able and advanced Ki user he possesses a range of deadly skills that allow him to outmatch some of the greatest fighters in the universe.
Other skills Goku has at his disposal include Ki blasts, Destructo discs, Solar flares, Ki barriers and Spirit bomb that are all energy-based attacks or defenses, but one of the more prominent ones is the Dragon Fist technique which is a super-charged punch assisted by a golden dragon being that gets summoned when it is used. He has telekinesis abilities, can fly, teleport and read minds, as well as use telepathy to sense Ki power sources around him.
How fast is Goku? It could be quite hard to actually pinpoint and tell how fast Goku is , his attack speed, agility and stamina could reach incredibly high levels and in some variants of his transformations he could potentially deal damage that destroys whole worlds, bends the rules of reality and endure so much pain. Having the ability to expand his might and constantly discover greater forms (which all change his image and behavior but especially Goku’s hair grows and changes differently) of himself, he always rises to the occasion.
Kaio-Ken is a martial art form that Goku has mastered allowing him to multiply his Ki and physical power but puts an enormous strain on his body and could potentially kill him if not used accordingly. It gives him a multiplier of 20.
Nyio-Bo (Power pole) & Kinto-Un (Flying nimbus cloud)
In his arsenal are included some pretty useful tools that could be wielded by only pure in heart users, such as the extendable power pole that could have a limitless reach in length and the flying nimbus cloud that could reach great speeds in flight.
Goku Ultra instinct
A notable ability that allows the user to separate their mind from the body and thus allows for moves and fights to be independent of emotions and thoughts, just pure instinct. It is an incredibly difficult to master technique though it serves greater purpose and is accessible only in some of the higher transformation tiers that are reachable. It transcends Goku’s Super Saiyan Blue state giving him silver hair and brightly lit eyes with tints of crystalline purple aura, when fully manifested. The limits of the body and mind are not a factor any more when the Ultra Instinct is in use, making the fighter react much more quickly, as they are no longer bound by thought, logic or feelings and act on instinct alone.
Goku’s regular state is his normal daily form that is presented to us most of the time, but even in it he is quick and strong, training is a big part of his life and most of it is done in this variant. Having said that there are some drawbacks to the technique as well, the biggest and most important one is the difficulty in mastering it and being able to have control over it. Not many have achieved perfection and even Goku has had problems with keeping it in check. Another major problem with it is that in order to attain it, there should be some sort of terrible circumstance at hand that requires its activation, it does not happen at will and users experience internal suffering when using it.
MUI Goku (Mastered Ultra Instinct)
This mode gives mastery of self-movement and is the perfected version of the Ultra Instinct where Goku raises his strength and retains control over himself for longer. Even the Gods of Destruction find it hard to balance this form, but Goku has been able to achieve this feat.
Goku Super Saiyan
The ability to become Super Saiyan had been considered as just a long-forgotten myth and legend until Goku actually reached it for the first time in a fierce battle with Frieza. In it he is depicted as physically stronger and with longer and more expressed blond hair. His energy capacity is greatly boosted and he is able to perform much faster and precisely. The Super Saiyan by itself has a few grade tiers (ranging from Super Saiyan 1 to Super Saiyan 4) and is believed to be fueled not as much by desire but comes to an individual in times of need to withstand immense amounts of combat and endure them. Each grade multiplies on the previous one adding more and more to the strengths and power of the user. They do burden Goku’s body but he has trained himself to be able to recover from this effect.
In his fourth Goku Super Saiyan state looks much different (with black hair and covered in fur and a tale) than the previous transformations leading up to it. He gets more violent in this state, hard for him to listen to reason and loses control over himself that could be one of his greatest weaknesses.
From there we have two more grades in power leading to godlike capacity as Goku could reach even further in agility, raw rage and become quite primal. His premier state is superior to all the previous grades and allows for some really impactful attacks that serve vast amounts of damage to opponents, brave (or foolish) enough to challenge Goku. The Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan (SSGSS where the character gets blue hair) form has been shown to twist and bend the rules of matter and is severely serious in its capabilities, that few could withstand or handle at all.
It is not exactly clear which is the final form (and if such a form even exists as a whole) and transformation as in this universe new forms are introduced on the regular, making things a bit open-ended, since there are always new more threatening foes that set the bar higher and higher all throughout the series. So as long as there is someone that poses a great danger, the evolution will continue to pile up on top of the previous forms, as we mentioned earlier, they do not depend on desire, but rather on need and purpose. So, is there anyone who is stronger than Goku?
There are numerous mighty opponents in Goku’s adventures and the more worthy mentions here include Vegeta, Tien Shinhan, Frieza, Cell and Majin Buu but there is one more that we should give extra attention to;
Goku Black and alternate universe version
Goku black is an alternate version that is more associated as an antagonist and is dubbed Zamasu. This variant even though looking quite a bit as Goku, has a more sinister and vile look of expression on his face. He has served under his master Gowasu within Universe 10 and planned switching places with the main timeline Goku and by doing so to destroy all mortals. His original appearance is with green skin and silver hair wearing purple clothes, but when imitating Goku he has a bit darker skin, black spiky hair, slightly slender body and wears a different in tone attire that shifted from dark reddish and black towards gray and blue combinations. He got dubbed Goku Black due to his more relentless personality.
His philosophy has been shifted over the years and the growing hate towards all mortals has led him to become incredibly aggressive and vengeful. He blames the gods as being too prideful to admit their mistakes when creating mortals and wishes to prove to them that all creatures are flawed. An extremely sadistic and bloodthirsty individual with multiple mental disorders, making him a very dangerous and high-risk threat for existence itself. He really enjoys fights and has been shown to limit his full potential in order to continue certain matches and prolong them on purpose. He has an easy-to-lose temper and is prone to drastic outbursts of rage, showing some probable mental issues and perhaps even his most exploitable weakness.
In other media and formats
Goku has become so iconic and has risen in popularity so much that stylish Goku wallpapers and fan-made battles with Superman, Saitana and other great heroes and villains have been presented to the public all over the internet. He even got a Goku Drip png last year that depicts him in modern clothes with Supreme branding. He is a part of a multitude of video games that are well-received and the Goku hair has become so distinguished at conventions and cosplay culture. We certainly are happy with his development, values and portrayal as a hero that is worthy of his stature and position in the fandom, having appeared as one of the 25 most powerful characters in history according to IGN. There are even numerous celebrities that have stated on record they admire his views and philosophy, picking him as their favourite character. In April 2022 there is going to be a Dragon ball Super 2 movie released in Japan.
We certainly hope you enjoyed our review of who is Goku and what he stands for, we are excited to see what new power he might get in the future! Thank you and until next time!