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About Son Goku

Dragon Ball Son Goku - Your favorite martial artist monkey-boy

Son Goku is a fictional character and main protagonist of the Dragon Ball manga series created by Akira Toriyama. Due to the series' international popularity, Goku has become one of the most recognizable and iconic characters in the world. He is based on Sun Wukong, the main character of a classic Chinese novel called Journey to the West. Goku made his debut as an eccentric and super-strong monkey-tailed boy in the Dragon Ball manga, which was originally published in Japan's Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in 1984. To begin the story, young martial artist Goku meets teen genius Bulma and joins her on a quest to find the seven Dragon Balls, which summon a wish-granting dragon named Shenron when gathered.


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As Dragon Ball's protagonist, Goku appears in most of the episodes, films, television specials, and OVAs of the manga's anime adaptations (Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball GT, and Dragon Ball Super), as well as many of the franchise's video games. Due to the limited success of the first series overseas, most Western audiences were introduced to the adult version of Goku appearing in the Dragon Ball Z anime (an adaptation of Dragon Ball manga volumes 17-42), as opposed to his initial child form. Goku's critical reception has been largely positive and he is often considered to be the greatest manga and anime character of all time.

The Dragon Ball series follows Goku throughout his entire life, from childhood to old age. To his surprise, Goku quickly learns that he is not human and his birth name isn't even Goku. Originally named Kakarot, his superhuman abilities are due to being a member of an extraterrestrial warrior race called the Saiyans. As Goku grows up, he becomes Earth's mightiest warrior and protects his adopted home planet from those who seek to harm it. Although Goku has a carefree, cheerful and friendly personality, he becomes very serious and strategic when in battle. Goku is able to concentrate his Ki and use it for devastatingly powerful energy-based attacks, such as his signature Kamehameha, in which he launches a blue energy blast from his palms. Goku's tendency to grant mercy to his enemies usually converts them into allies, though it has also resulted in others taking advantage of his kindness. Goku is one of the few who have the ability to ride Kinto'un (Flying Nimbus in Funimation's dub), a magical flying cloud vehicle also adapted from Journey to the West.

Another element carried over from Journey to the West is a parody of monkey-king Sun Wukong in the form of Goku as a Great Ape. Mutating into the Great Ape form wildly increases a Saiyan's already formidable strength. Since it is triggered by the sight of a full moon, the transformation is similar to that of a werewolf. Goku also has the ability to transform into a Super Saiyan, although Dragon Ball creators felt some hesitation before making this decision. When Toriyama developed the Super Saiyan concept during the Frieza arc, he felt the only way to show Goku's massive power up was to have him transform. He was initially concerned that the Super Saiyan transformation facial expression looked too villainous, but ultimately concluded it to be acceptable since Goku's change is brought about by anger.