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- This article is about the original character. For other uses, see Goku (disambiguation).
"No, see, I don't think like I'm saving the world. The fact is, I go into every conflict for the battle, what's on my mind is beating down the strongest to get stronger. That's how this tournament happened, too. That seems to be a recurring mistake on my part. Maybe that's the Saiyan in me, too stubborn to stand down in the face of that prospect. But I can't bear the thought of the blood of everyone back home being on my hands because I couldn't resist this. This is for you, now. Would you help me?"
カ カ ロ ッ ト
Son Goku (,Son Goku), born Kakarot (カ カ ロ ッ ト,Kakarotto), is the main protagonist of the Dragon ball metaseries. Goku is a Saiyan male originally sent to destroy Earth as an infant. However, a head injury at an early age age his memory, ridding him of his initial destructive nature and allowing him to grow up to become one of Earth's greatest defenders. He constantly strives and trains to be the greatest warrior possible, which has kept the Earth and the universe safe from destruction many times.
Concept and creation
The original incarnation of Goku in the Dragon ball prototype Dragon Boy What Tangtong. The original inspirations for that story were Hong Kong martial arts films, including Bruce Lee films such as Enter the Dragon (1973) and Jackie Chan films such as Drunken Master (1978); Toriyama later said he had a young Jackie Chan in mind for a live-action Goku, stating that "nobody could play Goku but him."
The Dragon ball Universe began as a loose adaptation of the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West, with Goku himself as an alternate take on Sun Wukong. Similarities between the two include their mischievous nature and possession of the Power Pole and Flying Nimbus (which, in Japanese, have the same name as the source material).
When Toriyama started his first draft of Dragon ball, he originally planned on making Goku full monkey to make the series more faithful to Journey to the West. During Toriyama's second draft, Goku was instead a full human dressed in sailor clothes that rode a flight mecha instead of the Flying Nimbus. Toriyama's third draft became the final design.
Goku's full name is also based on Sun Wukong. The name "Son Goku" is simply the Japanese on'yomi rendering of Sun Wukong, as Chinese and Japanese share the same characters but with different pronunciations. "Sun / Son" is a common Chinese surname that normally means "grandchild", while "Wukong / Goku" is a common Buddhist name that means "perceiving air / awakened to emptiness". Reading "Sun Wukong" via the first and final characters only through the Japanese kun'yomi rendering system makes it read out as "Mago Gosora", used at some point as a gag in the original manga's run by the World Tournament Announcer.
Goku was revealed a month before the Dragon ball manga started, in postcards sent to members of the Akira Toriyama Preservation Society.
Goku's first appearance was on the last page of "Grand Finale", the last chapter of the Dr. Slump manga, advertising Dragon balls upcoming debut.
Goku's Saiyan birth name, Kakarot, is a pun on "carrot". Goku's family, like most Saiyans, are all named after root vegetables (burdock, leek, radish, and carrot).
While Goku is an overall good person, Akira Toriyama designed him as one who fights mostly for personal joy of challenging strong opponents. To which, Toriyama notes that the anime tends to go overboard in making Goku look heroic, and that his original depiction of Goku in the manga has certain "poisonous" traits.
The primary reason why Akira Toriyama created his Super Saiyan state with blond hair was so that his assistant would no longer have to spend so much time coloring Goku's hair black - thus saving time. Due to also having the effect of making Goku appear stronger, it killed two birds with one stone.
Goku's Super Saiyan form was heavily influenced by the martial artist Bruce Lee. According to Toriyama, Goku's piercing eyes were based on Lee's paralyzing glare.Dragon Ball Z anime character designer Tadayoshi Yamamuro also used Lee as a reference for Goku's Super Saiyan form, stating that, when he "first becomes a Super Saiyan, his slanting pose with that scowling look in his eyes is all Bruce Lee."
Goku looks almost exactly like his father, possessing the same spiky black hairstyle, dark-colored eyes, and facial features. However, he has softer eyes, a kind demeanor, and a lighter-pale skin complexion from his mother. Goku's most distinguishing physical characteristic is his hair. He has three bangs hanging to the right of his forehead and two bangs hanging to the left. His hair also stands up in the front with four spikes and three bangs in the back (later in the anime, he has five spikes in the front and four in the back). Goku was born with the signature tail of the Universe 7 Saiyans, which was long and prehensile with brown fur. It was removed and regrown multiple times in his early childhood, but in his late teens, Goku's tail was permanently removed by Kami in order to prevent his Great Ape transformation.
At age 12, Goku was rather short and appeared even younger than he was, being considered less than 10 years old (people were surprised when learning his actual age). His somewhat simple-minded personality also gave people the impression that he was as young as he looked. During the next few years, Goku did not go through any physical changes, other than his muscles becoming more pronounced. By age 15, he began showing noticeable increases in height. By age 18, he had a considerable growth spurt, growing taller than most of his friends and developing a well-built physique. He is also considered very handsome, as noted by various women including Bulma and Heles. His physical changes made him almost indinguishable from before and was only recognized by his signature naïve personality and "trademark" hairstyle. By age 25, Goku had another growth spurt, and became similar in height to his taller human allies and much more muscular.
Due to his love of training, he is most commonly seen wearing a Gi. Originally, Goku wore an open blue gi secured with a white bow-tied obi over his waist, red wristbands, and dark blue kung fu shoes and also a tank top. After training under Master Roshi, Goku wore the basic Turtle School Uniform; Consisting of a closed red gi (later orange) secured by a black knot-tied obi over his waist, blue wristbands, and blue kung fu shoes, with Roshi's kanji on the back and front-left side of his shirt. After training with Kami and Mr. Popo, Goku wore a black short-sleeved undershirt (later dark blue) with this gi and replaced his shoes with dark blue boots with a yellow border and red laces. After training under King Kai, Goku wore King Kai's kanji on the back of his gi shirt. During the Battle on Planet Namek, Goku wore his own kanji on both sides of his gi shirt. During the Android conflict and Majin Buu conflict, Goku wore a more plain version of this gi that lacked any kanji and featured a blue sash-style obi over his waist, as well as the same dark blue undershirt, same wristbands and the same boots from his previous gi, but with a red border and yellow / tan laces. He later retains this outfit throughout most of Dragon Ball Super as he regains his own kanji on both sides of his gi shirt.
During his early training under Whis, Goku wore an orange traditional and loose gi, with Whis' kanji on the front-left of his shirt, that was secured together with a blue obi tied in a knot at the left of his waist. He also wore blue wristbands that cover nearly his entire forearms and blue boots that clasp together on the front of his shins.
In Dragon Ball Super: Broly, Goku returns to wearing a knot-style obi with his regular uniform and "Go" kanji (essentially regaining his Frieza Saga appearance). In addition, to compensate for the wintery climate he is on, he also wears a long blue snow jacket with a high turtleneck, white stripes down his shoulders and arms and bold purple letters of "SAB" over the front-left side of it. It also has black gloves. In the Galactic Patrol Prisoner Saga, Goku is given the emblem of the Galactic Patrol in place of his own on the front of his uniform and also switches back to wearing a sash-style obi. In the Granolah the Survivor Saga, Goku regains Whis' kanji on his standard gi when the angel trains him in honing Ultra Instinct.
- Goku in the Prison Planet Saga
- Goku's Grand Minister-style clothes
When he appears in the Prison Planet Saga, Goku wears an outfit identical to the one Whis gave him, but instead with a Capsule Corp logo. He also wears his blue shirt underneath the gi. In the Universal Conflict Saga, he wears an outfit identical to the Grand Minister's. The attire consists of a dark blue long-sleeved shirt with an orange circle over the chest, with baggy shoulder pads that runs beneath his red-colored belt with his kanji on the round belt-buckle. The shirt is complimented by a matching color pair of jodhpur-like pants, and white boots that run beneath his shins.
By the 28th World Martial Arts Tournament, Goku wears a turquoise gi with a white knot-style obi, orange wristbands, dark green pants, and black kung fu shoes with orange stockings. In the cover of the Goodbye, Dragon World volume of the manga, this outfit's color is different. The gi is lime green, his wristbands are purple, his pants are cyan, and he wears the boots from his previous outfit, albeit purple.
Despite his fighting gi being his preferred look, Goku is not without other types of wardrobe, such as a suit and tie, casual clothes like blue pants with a button-down red shirt, or an orange and black jacket with a white sleeveless undershirt, light green pants and brown shoes. When returning home to prepare for the androids, Goku wore an outfit similar to one from his youth; a white tank top with periwinkle Chinese pants with a white sash and purplish brown toe shoes and white socks. His farmer attire consists of light beige collared denim jacket with a white scarf around his neck and a charcoal gray short sleeved undershirt, light beige pants with a black belt around his waist and black boots. The sleeves on his jacket has been folded into white cuffs.
In Dragon Ball GT. Goku's skin tone got a noticeable tan. His general outfit is a blue gi with a white knot-style obi, pink wristbands, ocher pants, and black kung fu shoes with white stockings, which overall is very similar to his outfit at the 28th World Martial Arts Tournament. Due to the carelessness of Emperor Pilaf, Goku was wished back into a 12-year-old. While essentially looking the same as he did back then, Goku showed considerably more defined muscle. Later, with the aid of Old Kai, Goku regenerates his tail, which would poke out from his pants. 100 years later at the 64th World Martial Arts Tournament, despite growing back to his physical prime without transforming, he was not still seen with his tail. However, in one ending, he is seen with a tail in adult form. During which, he wears the outfit from the 28th Martial Arts Tournament. He also wears his Power Pole again.
When re-grown up, GT Goku appears in the Adventure Mode of Extreme Butōden, he wears his classic outfit from Dragon Ball Super. In Dragon Ball Minus, an infant Goku was seen wearing a standard Battle Armor of the Frieza Army when being sent to Earth. It is a full body model with a dark-colored chest protection and light-colored outward-pointing pads on his shoulders and at the hips that hang over his upper legs. He also wore dark jumpsuit shorts and light boots with dark legging and also dark armguards.
"Despite all my heinous provocations on Namek, even after murdering two of his friends, driving him to become a Super Saiyan, still he couldn't find it in him to put me down. So unusual, a Saiyan with such a strong moral center. So pure, he makes me want to vomit!"
Originally as an infant Saiyan, Goku was very timid, constantly crying for attention. Goku was then programmed with intense hostility to carry out his mission of eradicating all sentient life on Earth. When found by Grandpa Gohan, he was unruly, savage, and aggressive, wanting nothing to do with the elder, although this was seemingly only when worked up, as when initially found by Gohan, he quickly took a liking to the old man. However, after the head injury that caused him to lose his instinctual aggression, Goku became well-known for the energetic, kindhearted, pure heart and caring personality traits he inherited from his mother Gine. He was taught to be respectful to others by Grandpa Gohan. He takes most situations in stride, he rarely lets things get him worked up; he quickly got over losing his tail each time. He is however not without fear. Goku is shown to be submissive to overbearing women like Bulma and Chi-Chi, even to the point of Master Roshi jokingly declaring that for all his universal-class might, he is terrified of his wife. In the anime, he also has aichmophobia; a crippling fear of needles. He is not beyond feeling sorrow, most noticeably seen from the loss of his grandfather. He is not above feeling shame, as he regrets his lack of maturity as a person despite all the teachers who have helped him and likewise wants to make his loved-ones proud of him. He also shows genuine concern for the well-being of those close to him. When Master Roshi seemingly died against Ganos, Goku frantically rushed to his aid, desperate to save his mentor and shed tears of joy when he managed to revive him.
He is well-noted for his love of any food, even by Saiyan standards, which can be comical at times. When hypnotized while facing "Jackie Chun", Bulma told Goku dinner was ready, instantly waking him up. Like most Saiyans, Goku loves combat and to challenge strong opponents. As such, Goku rarely shows nervousness or fear when fighting. While not arrogant in his abilities (especially compared to Vegeta), Goku has a tendency to be too relaxed and recklessly challenge anyone he views as strong to a fight. Despite his fighting spirit, he is at heart, a pacifist, as he often spares his enemies, trying to avoid hurting or even killing people if possible and never using more strength than necessary. He also strongly believes that people can change for the better, as he spared Piccolo, as well as Vegeta, in their respective fights, despite the former wanting to kill him and the latter killing most of Goku's allies. This, combined with his naturally gentle nature, can lead to him letting his guard down.
Goku is pure of heart, possessing no negative feelings or thoughts. He is highly loyal to his friends and family, even willing to sacrifice himself to save others as he did against Raditz and Cell. He strongly believes in repaying debts, as he gave the then-evil Vegeta a Senzu Bean for technically saving Gohan and Krillin from the Ginyu Force. He is a man of his word, committed to keeping his promise no matter what; 2 prime examples being the resurrection of Bora and giving the Omni-Kinga friend even more fun than himself. He has a very practical and carefree view of life and his goals are very simple; he only seeks new adventures and challenges like testing his limits as a warrior. He has no interest in luxury or high-ranking positions, as he rejected Kami's offer to become Guardian of Earth and, likewise, Whis' offer to become the next Universe 7 God of DeWestruction, though the latter was mainly due to his morality making him unsuitable for it. At the same time, he shows such unwavering will and tenacity to succeed, always determined to never give up against any adversity.
Goku has been noted several times to have a special effect on people. His genuine compassion for others and love of life in its most simple nature is capable of inspiring them to change somewhat for the better, even causing several of his enemies to become his allies. He convinced the amoral and self-absorbed God of Destruction Beerus that Earth was worth keeping around. He made the reserved assassin Hit smile in genuine happiness, viewing Goku as an equal. He piqued the interest and became a friend of Grand Zeno
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