Son Goku
Dragon Ball character
Goku, seen as both an adult and child, illustrated by Akira Toriyama
First appearanceDragon Ball chapter #1 Bulma and Son Goku, December 3, 1984 (Weekly Shōnen Jump 1984 #51)
Created byAkira Toriyama
Based onSun Wukong (Monkey King)
by Wu Cheng'en
Portrayed by
  • Heo Sung-tae (Fight Son Goku, Win Son Goku)
  • Charles Chen (The Magic Begins)
Voiced by (Japanese)Masako Nozawa
Voiced by (English)
In-universe information
AliasKakarot[nb 20] (birth name)
OccupationMartial artist
Radish farmer[1]
FamilyGrandpa Gohan (adoptive grandfather)
Bardock (father)
Gine (mother)
Raditz (older brother)
RelativesOx-King (father-in-law)
Videl (daughter-in-law)
Pan (grandchild)
AbilitiesSuper strength
Super speed, agility, reflexes
Energy sensing
Energy projection
Energy absorbtion

Son Goku[nb 21] is a fictional character and the main protagonist of the Dragon Ball manga series created by Akira Toriyama. He is based on Sun Wukong (known as Son Goku in Japan and Monkey King in the West), a main character of the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West (16th century), combined with influences from the Hong Kong martial arts films of Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee. Goku first made his debut in the first Dragon Ball chapter, Bulma and Son Goku,[nb 22][nb 23] originally published in Japan's Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine on December 3, 1984.[2] Goku is introduced as an eccentric, monkey-tailed boy who practices martial arts and possesses superhuman strength. He meets Bulma and joins her on a journey to find the seven wish-granting Dragon Balls. Along the way, he finds new friends who follow him on his journey to become a stronger fighter. As Goku grows up, he becomes the Earth's mightiest warrior and battles a wide variety of villains with the help of his friends and family, while also gaining new allies in the process.

Born as a member of the Saiyan race on Planet Vegeta, under the name Kakarot,[nb 24][nb 25] he is sent to Earth as an infant prior to his homeworld's destruction at the hands of Frieza (ordered by Beerus[3]). Upon his arrival on Earth, the infant is discovered by Son Gohan, who becomes the adoptive grandfather of the boy and gives him the name Goku. The boy is initially full of violence and aggression due to his Saiyan nature, until an accidental head injury turns him into a cheerful, carefree person. Grandpa Gohan's kindness and teachings help to further influence Goku, who later on names his first son Gohan in honor of him.

As the protagonist of Dragon Ball, Goku appears in most of the episodes, films, television specials and OVAs of the manga's anime adaptations (Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z) and sequels (Dragon Ball GT, Dragon Ball Super), as well as many of the franchise's video games. Due to the series' international popularity, Goku became one of the most recognizable and iconic manga/anime characters worldwide. Outside the Dragon Ball franchise, Goku has made cameo appearances in Toriyama's self-parody series Neko Majin Z, has been the subject of other parodies, and has appeared in special events. Most Western audiences were introduced to the adult version of Goku appearing in the Dragon Ball Z anime, itself an adaptation of Dragon Ball manga volumes 17–42, as opposed to his initial child form, due to the limited success of the first series overseas.[4] Goku's critical reception has been largely positive, but he has also been criticized as being less heroic in Dragon Ball Super.

Cite error: There are <ref group=nb> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist|group=nb}} template (see the help page).

  1. ^ Joe Ballard (May 23, 2020). "Is Dragon Ball Z Actually a Slice-of-Life Anime in Disguise?". CBR. Retrieved August 22, 2020.
  2. ^ 週刊少年ジャンプ 1984/06/19 表示号数51. Media Arts Database (in Japanese). Agency for Cultural Affairs. Archived from the original on October 9, 2016. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  3. ^ "Dragon Ball Super Finally Confirms Beerus' Role In Freeza's Destruction of The Saiyans". Anime. Retrieved May 17, 2022.
  4. ^ Yadao, James S. The Rough Guide to Manga. Penguin Books, October 1, 2009. p. 117 Archived December 25, 2019, at the Wayback Machine. ISBN 1405384239, 9781405384230. Available on Google Books.