Goku is a fictional character and main protagonist of the Dragon Ball manga series created by Akira Toriyama. He is based on Sun Wukong, a main character in the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West. Goku first made his debut in Dragon Ball chapter #1 Bulma and Son Goku, originally published in Japan’s Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine on June 19, 1984, 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 wish-granting Dragon Balls. Along the way, he finds new friends who follow him on his journey.
Initially believed to have been born on Earth, Goku later learns that he is a member of an extraterrestrial warrior race called the Saiyans, which is also the reason for his superhuman strength, and his birth name is Kakarot. As Goku grows up, he becomes the Earth’s mightiest warrior and protects his adopted home planet from those who seek to destroy it.
Goku is depicted as carefree and cheerful when at ease, but quickly serious and strategic-minded when in battle and also enthusiastic to fight. He is able to concentrate his Ki and use it for devastatingly powerful energy-based attacks; the most prominent being his signature Kamehameha, in which Goku launches a blue energy blast from his palms. Also pure of heart, he has frequently granted mercy to his enemies, which has often earned him additional allies in the process (though has also resulted in others taking advantage of his kindness), and he is one of the few who can ride the magic cloud called Kinto’un (renamed “Flying Nimbus” in Funimation’s dub); which was another element adapted from Journey to the West.
As the 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, Dragon Ball Super and Dragon Ball Heroes) as well as many of the franchise’s video games. Due to the series’ international popularity, Goku has become one of the most recognizable and iconic characters in the world. Goku’s critical reception has been largely positive and he is often considered to be one of the greatest manga and anime characters of all time.
15 Goku Facts
For Fanboys and Fangirls who want to know all they can about Kakarot, we’ve put together a list of 15 things Dragon Ball fans probably don’t know about Goku.