Goku’s Exclusive Biography



Toriyama’s design of Goku is unique when compared to other comic book superheroes, simply because Goku was not originally intended to be a superhero. Goku stands 5’7″ tall with a lean, slender build.[1] Early in the series, Goku is seen to have a brown monkey tail, but it was removed early on. He has untamed black hair and posesses soft, black eyes. Goku’s physique, being the second child of a Saiyan, almost perfectly replicates his father Burdock. His most common attire is a reddish-orange martial arts uniform with a dark blue undershirt, wristbands, belt, and boots. The front and back of this outfit at first displays the symbols of his training masters (Muten-Roshi, North Kaio) and eventually his own. Later in the series, Goku discards these symbols. Another uniform he is known to wear is a light blue colored one with a white belt.


Being pure of heart, Goku is known for his naive, energetic personality. But Goku is also known to have a feirce love of competition, specifically fighting. He is often criticized by the other characters for giving his rivals a chance to change their intentions instead of killing them off. But as a result, this trait of Goku’s personality has earned him respect from former rivals, developed alliances, and even friendships with them. Other traits of Goku is his limitless appetite, and his natural ability to not be influenced by desire and evil.


Kakarotto is Goku’s name that he was given by his Saiyan family when he was born on Planet Vegeta. At first Goku rejects his heritage, but accepts it during his battle with Frieza. Only Saiyans refer to Goku by his Saiyan name and Vegeta refuses to refer to him as anything else, believing he should be proud of his Saiyan heritage.

Goku’s original name fits in with the rest of his family; all the known members in his family are puns of vegetables that are related to each other. Goku’s Saiyan name “Kakarotto” is a pun on “carrot.” Goku’s brother Raditz is a pun of the word radish while his father Burdock’s name is a pun of the herb called burdock.


Dragon Ball


A young Goku in Dragon Ball


A young Goku in Dragon Ball

Born as Kakarotto on the planet Vegeta, he was originally sent to Earth to destroy the inhabitants, in order to make it suitable for sale as storage on the galactic market. When Kakarotto arrives on Earth, he is discovered by an elderly martial artist named Son Gohan, who renames the boy Son Goku; raising him as his grandson on a remote mountain. An incident one day causes Goku head trauma, erasing his Saiyan warrior programming. Unaware of his alien origin, and unaware of his mission of destruction, Goku becomes a naive child, uninfluenced by the evils and temptations of the world. Some time after that, Goku transforms into an Saiyan Ape one night and accidentally kills Son Gohan. Son Gohan left him one posession before he died, a magical orb called a Dragon Ball.

When Goku was twelve, he met Bulma, who at the time was a teenage girl looking for the seven Dragon Balls. She wants to ask the Shen Long for a perfect boyfriend. He decides to join her on her quest, in order to fulfill his dream of training in martial arts and becoming the world’s strongest warrior. After the quest is complete, Goku goes to train with Muten-Rôshi, a wise turtle hermit whom trained Son Gohan. He also meets a fellow student named Krillin, who is a rival at first, but soon becomes Goku’s best friend.[2] Goku competes in the Tenkaichi Budokai several months later, only to lose to a disguised Muten-Rôshi(Master Roshi) in the final round.

After the Tenkaichi Budokai, Goku searches for the Dragon Ball that Son Gohan had given to him. The Dragon Balls had scattered all over the Earth after Shen Long had appeared, and Goku wanted to find his grandfather’s Dragon Ball. Goku runs into the Red Ribbon Army, who are searching for the Dragon Balls in order to gain world domination. Goku fights them and defeats the entire army, an impressive feat. Goku promises to train hard and meet Muten Roshi at the following Tenkaichi Budokai. Goku faces Tenshinhan in the final round of the 22nd Tenkaichi Budokai, and is defeated looses by luck. Goku and Tenshinhan don’t remain rivals for long and soon become close friends.[3] Immediately after the 22nd Tenkaichi Budokai, Piccolo Daimao appears, and after killing Krillin, sets out to assassinate all martial artists on Earth to ensure his unchallenged rule. After a difficult series of battles, Goku eventually manages to defeat the demon and avenges Muten-Rôshi’s and Krillin’s deaths. Moments before Piccolo’s death however, he vows revenge and reincarnates himself in the form of an egg, which hatches into Piccolo Jr.[4]

After the battle, Goku accepts the gruelling training of Kami-sama, the god of Earth for three years. Goku arrives to participate in the 23rd Martial Arts Tournament, as does Piccolo Jr. in order to fight Goku and to avenge his predecessor’s death. In the final match, both Goku and Piccolo fight ferociously, until Goku is severely injured. However, Goku prevails and defeats Piccolo, making him the champion of the 23rd Tenka’ichi Budôkai, and Goku finally claims the title of the “strongest under the heavens”.[7]

Dragon Ball Z

Saiyan Saga

Main article: Vegeta Saga


Adult Goku in Dragon Ball Z


Adult Goku in Dragon Ball Z

At the start of Dragon Ball Z, Goku has built a family with his wife Chichi, and their son, Son Gohan (whom he’d named after his grandfather). It is after a five year period of peace, a powerful threat arrives on Earth and Goku’s past is revealed to him. The threat introduces himself as Raditz, Goku’s older brother. After defeat by Raditz, Raditz kidnaps Gohan. Goku then teams up with with his arch rival Piccolo in order to defeat Raditz. The pair are successful in defeating Raditz, but Goku unfortunately dies in the ensuing battle.

Before dying, Goku learns that two more Saiyan warriors would be coming to Earth in one year. Once in the afterlife, Goku trains under North Kaiō, and learns techniques such as the Kaiō-ken and the Genki Dama, and has increased his strength and speed substantially. One year after his death, Goku is revived with the Dragon Balls and returned to Earth to face the Saiyans.[8] Goku discovers that most of the warriors fighting the Saiyans had died due to Nappa, the underling of the pair. Goku defeats Nappa easily and then fights the stronger warrior Vegeta. Using the techniques he learned from North Kaiō, and the assistance from his son Gohan, Kuririn, Yajirobe, Vegeta is defeated. Kuririn then attempts to kill Vegeta, but Goku persuades him to let Vegeta go, something Vegeta promised to make Goku regret.[9]

Frieza Saga

Main article: Frieza Saga

After recovering from his battle with Vegeta, Goku travels to Planet Namek to aid Gohan, Kuririn and Bulma who are in search of the Namekian Dragon Balls in order to wish the warriors who had died against Vegeta back to life. Goku arrives to discover that Vegeta had aided Gohan and Kuririn against the Ginyu Force. Goku easily defeats the remaining Ginyu Force members and faces off against their mentor, Captain Ginyu. The injuries Goku’s body receives at the end incapacitate him, forcing Vegeta to place him within a rejuvenation chamber so that he may aid them in a final confrontation with the overlord Frieza.


Super Saiyan Goku


Super Saiyan Goku

After healing, Goku interrupts the ongoing battle before Frieza can kill Vegeta. Vegeta, in his dying words, pleads for Goku to kill Frieza. Goku promises Vegeta to kill Frieza, but Frieza overwhelms Goku, and Goku is forced to use the Genki-Dama. Frieza survives however, and kills Krillin which enrages Goku. In a fit of rage, Goku becomes a Super Saiyan, and overwhelms Frieza. Frieza out of desperation, decides to obliterate the entire planet. Goku and Frieza fight on the dying planet, until Frieza is severly injured by one of his own attacks. Goku spares Frieza some of his own energy in order for Frieza to survive. Frieza however takes the energy and turns it on Goku, forcing Goku to destroy him. Back on Earth, everyone who died is revived with the Dragon Balls.

Android Saga

Main article: Cell Saga

Goku returns to Earth, only to be confronted by a boy named Trunks, who is from a future timeline. Trunks reveals that two androids (Jinzō’ningen) kill all the Z warriors and are destroying his world. Trunks provides Goku with an antidote for a heart disease which claimed his life in Trunks’ future timeline before the arrival of the androids and ask the Z warriors to prepare for this new threat. Goku spends the next 3 years training with Piccolo and Gohan, not showing any signs of illness.

When the Jinzō’ningen appear, Goku battles Android #19, only to show symtoms of the virus during the battle. Goku is defeated by #19 but is saved by Vegeta before being taken to Kame House where the vaccine is administered. After recovering from the illness, Goku discovers that #17, #18 and #16 have been activated, this event caused Goku to train his son Gohan in Room of Spirit and Time, knowing that his son was the only one who had a chance of defeating the androids. During their training, a new threat emerges, Cell.

After obtaining his perfect form, Cell is determined to face Goku hosting a Tenkaichi Budokai that he’s called “the Cell Games”. The day of the tournament arrives and Goku faces Cell in battle, demonstrating to Gohan how Cell fights. Cell’s torment of Gohan’s friends and family forces him to transform into a Super Saiyan 2 where he easily dominates Cell. Desperate, Cell begins to self-destruct, forcing Goku to sacrifice himself and teleport together with Cell to North Kaio’s planet where the explosion kills Goku. Cell regenerates from a single cell and returns to Earth more powerful than before facing Gohan again. Gohan struggles to overcome Cell’s massive Kamehameha until Goku spiritually gives his son support from otherworld, allowing him to kill Cell. After the battle, the Z Warriors try to bring Goku back to life with the Dragon Balls, but Goku chooses to remain in the afterlife, believing himself to be the cause of many of the threats to Earth and his loved ones. Which was why he trained Gohan to succeed him.[11]

Majin Buu Saga

Main article: Buu Saga

On the day of the revival of the Tenka’ichi Budôkai, Goku is given permission to return to Earth for one day to participate, allowing him to again see his loved ones and meet his youngest son, Goten. During the tournament, Goku is informed by Kaiōshin of the imminent threat posed by the evil wizard Babidi and so leaves to face the new danger. Arriving at Babidi’s ship, Goku and his allies are forced to face Babidi’s henchmen, unwittingly providing power to the slumbering Majin Buu. Babidi possesses Vegeta who forces Goku to finally have a rematch bout until Buu is released from his rest due to the massive amount of energy being output from the fight. Before they can face Buu, Vegeta feigns a forfeit and knocks Goku unconscious. Upon awakening, Goku realizes the seriousness of the situation and decides to train Goten and Trunks in the art of Fusion before his time on Earth runs out.


Super Saiyan 3 Goku


Super Saiyan 3 Goku

Goku faces Buu in battle, unveiling his Super Saiyan 3 form and overwhelming the nearly invincible Buu. Goku then must return to the other world. Learning that Gohan is training with Kaiōshin, Goku teleports to the Kai Planet, observing the battle on Earth through a crystal ball. When Gohan’s training is complete, he returns to Earth after Buu’s absorption of Gotenks and Piccolo. Rou Dai Kaiōshin transfers his life force to Goku to resurrect him and allow him to aid Gohan in battle, armed with the Potara fusion earrings. Before he can fuse with his son, Gohan is also absorbed leaving Goku desperate until Vegeta is allowed back to earth. The pair fuse to create Vegetto.

Vegetto easily overpowers Buu before being purposefully absorbed by Buu to rescue his friends. The mystic nature of Buu’s insides forces Vegetto’s fusion to become unstable and the two separate back into Vegeta and Goku. They are confronted inside Buu’s mind by an incarnation of Buu. Goku and Vegeta escape from Buu’s body but Buu quickly destroys Earth. Goku, Vegeta, Dende and Mr. Satan are rescued by Kaioshin and teleported to the Planet of the Kais.

Buu eventually traces them and again battles the two Saiyans. After Goku is worn out, Vegeta ask Dende to use the Namekian Dragon Balls to restore Earth and all of its inhabitants, to use their power to create a Super Genki-Dama for Goku. With persuasion from Mr Satan, the Genki-Dama is supplied with a vast amount of energy which Goku then throws toward Kid Buu. Kid Buu amazingly blocks the attack until the final wish is used to restore Goku’s full power, allowing him transform into his base Super Saiyan form and force the Genki-Dama forward, disintegrating Kid Buu, settling his rivalry with Vegeta and restoring peace to the Universe.

Ten years later, Goku meets up with Buu’s reincarnation named Uub and trains him to be his sucessor.[12]

Dragon Ball GT

Baby Saga

Main article: Baby Saga


Super Saiyan 4 Goku


Super Saiyan 4 Goku

10 Years later, an accidental wish by Emperor Pilaf upon the Black Star Dragon Balls turns Goku into a child again. Goku is then tasked with returning all 7 Black Star Dragon Balls back to Earth after they separate across the galaxy to prevent the destruction of Earth. During his journey, Goku encounters Baby, a creation of the race that lived on Planet Vegeta before the Saiyans arrived. Upon their return to Earth, Goku and his friends encounter Baby again who has possessed Vegeta and enslaved all life on Earth. Against Baby-Vegeta, Goku’s child-like state is easily beaten and he is almost killed, being saved by Kibitoshin in his final moments. Believing Goku to be dead, Baby uses the Black Star Dragon Balls to wish Planet Plant back into existence in orbit around Earth and begins transporting all enslaved, Earth life there to become the new Tsufurujin race.

Meanwhile on Planet Kaioshin, Rou Dai Kaioshin plan to re-growing his Saiyan tail to upgrade Goku’s power. Confident, Goku travels to Planet Plant and confronts Baby only to be beaten again. Defeated, Goku stares up at Earth, its reflected moon-light causing him to transform into a raging Golden Oozaru before Pan calms him down, allowing him to ascend into a Super Saiyan 4. Goku defeats Baby Vegeta, forcing Baby to flee Vegeta’s body before Goku blasts him into the sun.

Super 17 Saga

Main article: Super 17 Saga

A badly beaten Trunks arrives at Goku’s door revealing his attacker to be Android #17. Goku follows the orders given to Trunks and leaves for Hell, through a black-hole in the sky, where he meets Dr. Myu, and Dr. Gero, who leave and seal the exit behind them, trapping Goku in the afterlife. To worsen matters, Cell and Frieza both appear. After a short fight, Cell and Frieza manage to drag Goku into the deepest part of Hell, where an old lady traps him within a block of ice.

Being alive allows Goku to escape and incapacitate Frieza and Cell. Goku, still trapped in Hell, asks Enma Daiō for help, to which Enma responds that his powers are being blocked and he cannot release Goku. Piccolo and Dende then create another portal between the living world and Hell to allow Goku’s escape.

Goku battles the newly fused Super 17, with the help of Android #18. Goku defeats Super 17, piercing his stomach with a Ryū Ken before finishing him with a Kamehameha.

Shadow Dragon Saga

Main article: Shadow Dragon Saga

Goku and his companions wanted to restore the planet´s damage with the seven Dragon Balls, but instead of Shen Long, seven evil Dragons have emerged from the Dragon Balls negative energy. Goku, follow by Pan, confront and defeat six dragons, but the most powerful enemy of all, One Star Dragon, Yi Xing Long, absorbs the other Dragon Balls into himself, forming Super Yi Xing Long. Gohan, Goten, Trunks and Ubb try to fight but are easily defeated. Vegeta arrives along with Bulma and uses a Bruitz Waves Generator to turn into a Golden Oozaru and transforms into a Super Saiyan 4. Desperate to end the Dragon’s wrath, Vegeta suggests the fusion dance with Goku to make Super Saiyan 4 Gogeta. Gogeta nearly defeats Yi Xing Long, but his fusion time ends before the battle can be finished. The evil Dragon beats all the warriors to death, throwing his powerful negative energy to Goku. Mortally wounded, Goku starts gathering all the energy of the universe into a Genki Dama, and annihilating Yi Xing Long with it, returning the Dragon Balls to how they once were and purging them of evil. Later, the real Shen Long appears and heal Goku and his friends, telling them that no more wishes shall be granted. Goku however, in exchange for one last wish, agrees to give up his place on Earth and accompany the Dragon back to the realm from which it came. The seven Dragon Balls are absorbed into Goku’s body, and the dragon and Goku vanish.

Goku returns to Earth 100 years later to observe his great-great grandson, Goku Jr., fight Vegeta’s great-great grandson Vegeta Jr. Seeing peace restored, Goku flies off on the Kintoun, forever ending the Dragon Ball series. The fate of the Dragon Balls is unknown, however Goku passes the four-star ball down to Goku Jr. the same way his Grandpa Gohan passed it down to him.

Forms and transformations


Goku in all of his forms throughout Dragon Ball Z


Goku in all of his forms throughout Dragon Ball Z

As a member of the Saiyan race, Goku has acquired through training, the ability to transform. By transforming his body, Goku greatly enhances his abilities from the previous state. Goku is the only Saiyan in the entire Dragon Ball series who achieves all known Saiyan transformations. These forms are listed in the order they were attained:


Main article: Oozaru

This form was a powerful but uncontrollable state common to all Saiyans where the user transforms into a large, ape-like creature increasing strength speed durability and spirit energy(ki) 10 fold, commonly referred to as a Great Ape. As a child, Goku was able to use this form, growing to a size that rivaled small buildings. In this form, Goku became an incredible force to be reckoned with but has no control over his actions at all, his mind overcome with a primal rage. This form was never used again by Goku after Dragon Ball due to his tail being removed permanently by Kami but does make a brief appearance in Dragon Ball GT.

Super Saiyan

Main article: Super Saiyan

Goku was the first Saiyan in the series to achieve this transformation in over 1000 years making him the legendary Super Saiyan. After Frieza murdered Krillin, seriously injured Piccolo, and threatened the life of his son, Gohan, Goku was overcome with rage and the motivation to stop Frieza once and for all, transforming into a Super Saiyan. This transformation enabled him to increase strength speed durability and spirit energy to a power that was fifty times his base power.

Ascended Super Saiyan/Super Saiyan 2nd Grade

Goku achieved this form after training in the Room of Spirit and Time upon Kami’s Tower by continuously increasing his power, forcing his body to grow to contain the energy. Though it granted him a huge power increase and he still retained his speed unlike the Ultra Super Saiyan form, he decided never using it in battle, instead preferring to perfect his regular Super Saiyan transformation.

Ultra Super Saiyan/Super Saiyan 3rd Grade

Other than displaying it to Gohan during training, Goku never actually used this form as he noticed the defects of the increased muscle mass. He discovered the weakness and chose not to continue the training Trunks and Vegeta did (however Vegeta was aware of the weakness as stated by Cell). He instead directed his methods on searching for a more effective form, thus reaching Full Powered Super Saiyan.

Super Saiyan, Full-Power
Goku learned to perfect the Super Saiyan form, and first used it in battle against Cell. He discovered this mastery of the Super Saiyan while training with Gohan in the Room of Spirit and Time. In this form a saiyan does not feel the physical strain that comes with being a super saiyan and thus can keep this form for a much longer time as if they were in their normal state.

Super Saiyan 2
Goku first revealed this ability during his battle against Majin Vegeta in the Buu Saga. Though it is never seen where Goku learns this form, it can be assumed he unlocked this transformation while in the afterlife. The form granted Goku great enhancements in strength, speed, durability and spirit energy from Super Saiyan, though his appearance changed very little from the regular Super Saiyan.

Super Saiyan 3
This was the final transformation Goku achieved in Dragon Ball Z. Goku was the only character to ever use the form without having fused with another character first. He displayed this form first during the Buu Saga against Majin Buu and admits that he achieved it while training in the afterlife. The form was the strongest transformation available in the DBZ universe but consumed large amounts of Goku’s energy, reducing his time on the Earth substantially. Again, the form augmented Goku’s Super Saiyan 2 strength speed durability and spirit energy. In the manga, Goku says that in the Other World he could reach the full potential of Super Saiyan 3, but on Earth he lost energy and reverted back to his original form before he could defeat Buu. The full potential of Super Saiyan 3 is obviously very great because Vegeta noted that if he were to build his chi, or ki,(spirit energy) he would be able to obliterate Buu.

Golden Oozaru
Goku achieved this transformation in Dragon Ball GT after being transformed into a child and having his Saiyan tail restored. This state allowed him to transform into a rampaging, mindless, Super Saiyan Oozaru with golden fur instead of brown/black. This form allows him to contain greater levels of power than ever before. The raw, animal rage combined with the increase in raw strength made him a terrible force of destruction. When his granddaughter, Pan, managed to calm the raging Goku, the Oozaru power was condensed and focused allowing him to transform into a Super Saiyan 4.

Super Saiyan 4
Goku achieved this form during his battle with Baby-Vegeta in Dragon Ball GT. After being calmed down in the Golden Oozaru state, his mind was allowed to focus, and he was able to control his power and transform into a Super Saiyan 4, shrinking from the Oozaru form down to his regular adult size.



The Potara Saiyan Fusion between Goku and Vegeta, Vegetto, is considered to be the most powerful being in Dragon Ball Z. He was created as a desperate plan by Rou Dai Kaiōshin, to stop the powerful Majin Buu. Goku’s relaxation and Vegeta’s strategic mind enabled Vegetto to be quite an intelligent character without being overcome by arrogance but still possessing the ruthlessness to kill Buu. During their fight Vegetto outclassed Buu in every way, usually toying with him and tormenting him. Although the fusion was thought to be permanent, Vegetto ends up separating back into Goku and Vegeta once inside Buu’s stomach.


The result of a Fusion Dance performed by Goku and Vegeta. Unlike with Potara Fusion, the Fusion Dance creates a perfect fusion of minds and personalities between the participants creating a totally new individual with a unique personality. Gogeta is capable of using Super Saiyan forms including Super Saiyan 4. Unfortunately, at Super Saiyan 4, Gogeta’s power is so great that the normal 30-minute duration of the Fusion Dance is cut to 15 minutes.

Techniques and special abilities

Bukujutsu (Flight)

This is the ability to fly using one’s ki. Goku simply controls his energy and pushes out from underneath him allowing him to fly.

Genki-Dama (Spirit Bomb)

Perhaps Goku’s most powerful attack, the Genki Dama draws energy from all life and places it in a deadly ki ball. Goku uses this against many of his more powerful opponents. The downside is that he is quite vulnerable during its lengthy creation time. He can only perform this technique out of Super Saiyan. When he attempted to use it against Android 13, as a Super Saiyan, he absorbed its energy instead of throwing it, though it still fueled him to victory.

Jan-Ken (Rock-Scissors-Paper)

This is Goku’s special attack in early Dragon Ball, but is soon replaced by the Kamehameha. The user shouts “Jan Ken”, then a name corresponding to the attack. “Jan Ken Gu”, equals rock and will be a strong punch. “Jan Ken Chyoki”, equals scissors and will be a poke in the eyes. “Jan Ken Pa”, equals paper and will be an open palm strike.

Kaiō-Ken (Fist of the Worlds)

The Kaioken is one of Goku’s most famous attacks in the Dragon Ball series. The Kaioken is a sudden eruption of ki, doubling Goku’s physical abilities and strengh. Through training, Goku was able to increase the multiplier that the Kaiōken had on his power. Even though this attack gives Goku a sudden explosion of energy, the effect of it is extremely dangerous. If Goku multiplies the attack too much for his body to handle, he could kill himself by vaporizing his body.

Kamehameha (Turtle Destruction Wave)


Goku using the Kamehameha Wave


Goku using the Kamehameha Wave

Goku’s signature attack and the trademark technique of the series, the Kamehameha is a powerful, constant stream of energy hurled at an opponent usually through the hands. Goku learned to use this technique by mimicing Muten Roshi, who used it to put the flames out on Fry-Pan Mountain during the original Dragon Ball series but Goku’s was not as powerful as Muten Roshi’s. Goku later developed several and more powerful variations of this attack during the course of Dragon Ball.

Kienzan (Destructo Disk)

Originally Krillin’s most powerful attack, the Kienzan is a razor sharp disk of energy that can slice through any opponent.

Ryū-Ken (Dragon Fist)

Ryū-Ken is the first and only technique that Goku created himself. He charges his energy into his fist and it creates a Shenlong-like dragon that he drives through the opponent he is facing. An exception to this was an Oozaru, instead of a dragon. This happened during Dragon Ball, when Goku defeated Piccolo Daimao.

Shunkan Idô (Instant Transmission)

An ability Goku learned on his way back to Earth from Namek on a remote planet called Yardrat. It allows him to teleport nearly anywhere instantly so long as he focuses on a specific ki signal at the desired location or can see where he wants to go. He places two fingers on his forehead to focus on a power signal.

Taiyōken (Solar Flare)

Also known as the Fist of the Sun. A technique learned from Tenshinhan that uses energy to reflect the full light of the sun at an opponent within close proximity, temporarily blinding them.

Zanzôken (After-Image)

Also known as the Nin-ju-Zanzôken or Double Shadow Attack, this is when the user of this technique is able to move extremely fast over very short distances (usually a maximum of a few meters), leaving two rather misleading blurry after-images illusion behind.