Son Goku (birth name ‘Kakarot’) is the central character of the Dragon Ball series. He is a Saiyan male, sent to Earth as an infant to destroy the planet.
In the Dragon Ball series, Goku has died multiple times – both in canonical timelines and non-canonical timelines.
In the main timeline, Goku “fully” died twice, with another third time being extremely brief (thankfully for him!). In alternate timelines, Goku has died twice more.
Who Is Goku?
Son Goku (known as “Goku”) was born to Saiyan parents Bardock and Gine, and named Kakarot. The anime and manga differ in terms of when Goku was born – in the manga, he was born on Planet Vegeta (the Saiyan home planet) three years before the planet’s destruction, whereas in the anime he was born after the planet’s destruction.
Either way, Goku was sent to planet Earth to destroy all life so the planet could be sold. An elderly man named Gohan came across Goku’s infant self, and adopted him as a grandson.
Goku knew him as ‘Grandpa Gohan’, and Gohan was the one to name the Saiyan ‘Son Goku’.
Which Series Has Goku Appeared In?
Goku has appeared in a large amount of Dragon Ball series: Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball GT, Dragon Ball Z Kai, Dragon Ball Super and Super Dragon Ball Heroes. Super Dragon Ball Heroes is not considered canon to the series, and it is still ongoing.
What Does Goku Look Like?
Goku has spiky black hair and dark eyes, with pale skin. His hair falls in three bangs to the right of his forehead, two bangs to the left of his forehead, four spikes standing upright in the front of his head and three bangs in the back.
As a child and teen, Goku had the signature brown furry tail of the Saiyans, but it was removed permanently by Kami (the Guardian of the Earth) when Goku was in his late teens.
As a child, Goku looked much younger than he was, but he grew out of this and by age 25, he had grown taller and become more muscular.
Goku’s exact clothing can vary from show to show, but he is most commonly seen wearing a gi (or “training clothes”). Originally, Goku’s gi was blue, but this changed to red and later orange.
What Forms Has Goku Had?
Goku has had a great many forms throughout the shows – each one more impressive than the last!
These forms are: Great Ape/Oozaru, Kaioken, Super Saiyan, Super Saiyan 2, Super Saiyan 3, Golden Great Ape/Oozaru, Super Saiyan 4, Super Saiyan God, Super Saiyan Blue, Super Saiyan Blue Kaio-ken, Perfected Super Saiyan Blue, and his Ultra Instinct Transformations (Ultra Instinct Sign and Autonomous Ultra Instinct).
What Is Goku Like?
As a baby, Goku was timid and needy, but this was quickly overwhelmed by his programming to be hostile and aggressive (in order to carry out his task of destroying all life on Earth).
When Grandpa Gohan found Goku, he was aggressive and wild, but Gohan taught him to be respectful and how to manage his emotions.
When grown, Goku is level-headed and capable. He has aichmophobia in the anime (a fear of needles), and seems to be intimidated by strong women like his wife, Chi-Chi. He also has a serious appreciation for food!
Goku is an extremely apt fighter and rarely seems nervous when in battle. Despite his skill, he is a pacifist, and when possible tries not to cause excess damage. He is loyal to his friends and family, and to his own promises too – very much a man of his word.
Goku can be naïve and emotionally immature at times, but alongside this he is incredibly compassionate and caring towards others. He was initially horrified when he discovered his violent Saiyan heritage, but has since seemed to embrace it.
How Has Goku Died?
In canonical timelines, Goku has died 2 (technically 3) times. In no particular order, they are as follows:
For the first, he sacrificed himself to ensure that Raditz (his brother) would be killed.
Secondly, he was killed on King Kai’s planet when the planet was destroyed by the self-destruct of Cell (a main antagonist of the show).
Finally, Goku was technically killed by Hit (an assassin), but revived himself with a ki blast almost immediately after.
In all timelines, Goku has died a further two times. These are when he died from a heart virus, and when he was killed by Zamasu.
There is also an additional scene in Dragon Ball GT where Goku seems to transcend into a higher being.