|Son Goku is the main character of the Dragon Ball/Dragon Ball Z manga and the anime series Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, and Dragon Ball GT. Goku's first appearance was in issue #1 of the series. Note that in the English dub of the anime, Goku's family name 'Son' is never used. In the original Japanese anime, in art cells, and other Japanese merchandise, his name has been spelled in a variety of ways.
Although he is one of the most recognizable anime characters in the west, Goku is generally depicted incorrectly by most of his detractors. The man himself is known for his cheerful, energetic personality and love of fighting (mainly as a sport.) He has remarkable intuition at seeing the good in others in spite of their actions, and his capacity for forgiveness (even for those trying to kill him) is sometimes criticized and seen as excessive in the eyes of other characters. His power is reined in (or in some cases enhanced) by his fierce sense of loyalty and morals. Many fans or anti-fans also incorrectly assume he is stupid outside of battle, when in reality he is simply more na´ve to the world around him because of his childhood experiences, and that once he learns enough that he can understand things a lot better.
Goku is the adopted grandson of Grandpa Gohan. (In the Dragon Ball Z anime, he is also the son of Bardock) His wife is Chi-Chi and he has two sons: Son Gohan and Son Goten.
In the original series Son Goku is first seen as a young boy living in the wilderness. He is seemingly normal except for ignorance of the world, his great strength, and his tail. In the original Dragon Ball series, he accompanies Bulma as they try to acquire the seven Dragon Balls. Who ever collects them all will have one wish granted. During their initial quest Goku confronts Yamcha who at first challenges Goku, but is soon overcome and then joins him. Goku owns both the Kinto'un (or Flying Nimbus) and the Nyoibō (Power Pole).
After the quest finishes, Goku begins to train with Muten-R˘shi (Master Roshi), and develops into one of the most powerful fighters on Earth. His fellow student Kuririn (Krillin) is a rival at first, but they soon become fast friends.
After the first Tenka'ichi Budōkai [World Martial Arts] tournament Goku participates in, he leaves once more in search of his grandfather's Four-Star Dragonball, the Sūshinchū. Along the way he must confront the ruthless Red Ribbon Army who are also seeking the seven Dragon Balls and have no scruples with killinone -- not even women or children -- who get in their way. However, Goku manages to overpower the army numerous times and they are forced to call in the World's Deadliest sin, Taopaipai [Mercenary Tao] to "take care of" him. But against all odds he manages to defeat the infamous hired killer and defeats the entire Red Ribbon Army itself!
Goku's next major opponent would be Tenshinhan (Tien), a warrior trained by Rōshi's nemesis, Tsuru-Sen'nin (Master Shen). Like Yamcha before him, Tenshinhan eventually sides with Goku.
Right after the end of the 21st World Martial Arts Tournament, the Demon King Piccolo, the evil half of Kami, appears and wants to destroy all martial artists on earth to ensure his unchallenged rule. It's a difficult series of battles, but Goku eventually manages to defeat the demon and avenges Kuririn's death. Moments before Piccolo's death however, he manages to spit out an egg that contains his offspring, the current Piccolo.
After the difficult battle with the Demon King, Goku decides to accept the grueling training of Kami, the Guardian of Earth. He trains for five long years after which he participates in the 23rd Tenka'ichi Bud˘kai (World Martial Arts Tournament). King Piccolo's offspring, Piccolo Junior, much to the horror of everyone, also competes in the tournament. Piccolo proves to be a great rival for Goku, as he is determined to avenge his father. At the end of the original Dragon Ball series, Piccolo is defeated by Goku.
At the start of the Dragon Ball Z series, Goku has built a family with his wife Chi-Chi, and their son Son Gohan. New threoon arrive as Raditz, Goku's previously unknown brother, arrives from outer space. Raditz revealed to Goku about this Saiyan heritage, and informs him that he was originally sent to Earth to destroy the planet. When Goku refuses to carry out his forgotten mission, Raditz quickly defeats him and kidnaps Gohan in an attempt to convince him otherwise.
To defeat Raditz and save the earth, Goku and Piccolo must join forces. Even with their combined strength though, Raditz still held the upper hand, until Goku made the ultimate sacrifice by holding Raditz in place so Piccolo could kill them both.
In Heaven, Goku learns that more powerful Saiyans were destined to arrive on the Earth in a year, he makes his way up the Snake Way to the planet of North Kai˘ (King Kai) for additional training. He mastered several new techniques and increased his strength considerably. His friends on earth managed to wish him back to life using the seven Dragon Balls just in time for him to join the battle against the Saiyans, which was already underway and going badly for the defenders of Earth.
By now, most of the Z Fighters are gone, as Yamcha, Tien, Piccolo and Chaozu (Chiaotzu) have all died at the hands of the vicious Saiyan Nappa. Goku has become powerful enough to defeat Nappa without much difficulty, but is pushed to his limits by the strength of Vegeta, someone Goku overcomes only with the help of his remaining companions. Afterwards Vegeta joins Goku and the rest of Z-fighters, but still holds a grudge against Goku, something that will be the perpetual cause of bitter conflict between the two saiyans for most of the series.
Krillin, Gohan and Bulma then head to Planet Namek to use the Namekian Dragon Balls to wish their friends back to life. On his way to join his friends, Goku trains under very heavy gravity to further boost his power.
Son Goku vs Freeza
Once again Goku stumbles upon a battle already in progress, this time saving Gohan, Krillin and Vegeta from the assault of the Freeza's Ginyu Forcees. He is taken by surprise by their leader Captain Ginyu, who has the ability to switch bodies with anyone he sees fit. Critically injured by Goku, Ginyu swaps bodies with the more powerful Goku. Goku manages to get his body back after intercepting a beam sent by Ginyu to swap bodies with Vegeta after being pummeled by the Z Fighters.
Goku then undergoes a recovery process inside Freeza's spaceship, emerging again to join another fight in progress, where Vegeta met his doom against Freeza. The battle against the villain Freeza is furious, as he seems to be invincible. Even Goku's most powerful attack, the Genki Dama (Spirit Bomb) fails to bring him down. Only when his best friend, Kuririn, is murdered cold-bloodedly does Goku find the trigger he needs and substantially increases his power level. The enraged warrior transforms into a Legendary Super Saiyan, and effortlessly defeats the merciless Freeza.
When Goku returns to Earth, he is confronted by Trunks, a Saiyan and son of Vegeta and Bulma from the future, who tests his strength in battle. Satisfied, Trunks gives Goku medicine for a heart disease that he will contract later and warns him about two androids that will threaten the Earth in one year. Goku trains himself for this new threat, but neglects to take the medicine.
On the initial assault with the Androids, Goku is bested by Android 19 when he begins to drastically weaken from the heart disease he was warned of. However, Vegeta manages to save him. Goku then spends the rest of the Android Saga recovering from the disease.
When Cell absorbs both Android 17 and 18 and becomes perfect, Goku, Gohan, Vegeta and Trunks go into the Hyperbolic Time Chamber to obtain a year of training under heavy gravity in one day. Vegeta and Trunks comes out first but cannot hold their ground against the perfected Cell. After Goku and Gohan finished their training, they meditated their power by staying as Super Saiyans for 10 dtraight. On the battlefield, Goku finds himself equally matched by Cell in every other way, but cannot gain any upper hand. He decides to let Gohan, who is only 11 years old at that time and possess a potential power greater than even Goku himself, fight in his place.
Gohan does very well against Cell, but he did not put Cell away when he had the chance. Goku is forced to step in when Cell triggers his self-destruction to save the earth by teleporting them both to King Kai's planet using his Instant Transmission ability. He makes a brief reapperance on Earth to help fuel Gohan's Kamehameha Wave attack against the reconstructed Cell, which successfully obliterated Cell.
In the afterlife, Goku spends a few years in the Other World training and learning. He meets new friends from other quadrants of the universe who are formidable oppenents in battle. With their training his strength and fighting ability increases substantially. On the day of another World Martial Arts Tournament, Goku is given special permission to return to Earth for one day to participate in it. It is soon interrupted when the opponet of Videl, Gohan's girlfriend from his high school, loses to the supposedly-weaklings Spopovich and Yamu, who are controlled by the evil wizard Babadi.
The Supreme Kai and his tant Kibito introduced themselves and inform the Z-fighters about the plans of Babadi in bring back his extremely evil monster puppet by the name of Majin Buu. The Z Warriors follow the Spopovich to where the evil wizard is and locates his ship. When they enter Babidi's ship they must fight his henchman Dabura, King of Demons, who can turn people into stone with his saliva.
After Vegeta is rekindled to his old evil mind by Babidi, Goku was forced to fight Vegeta in a long-awaited battle. Goku stops the fight when he knows that Majin Buu has been released and pleas Vegeta to help him defeat Buu. In a false show of agreement Vegeta knocks Goku out of commision and flies off to face Buu himself. During the battle Vegeta could not harm Buu, and in one astonishing show of power, Vegeta self-destructs in an effort to bring Buu down with him. It was to no avail as bits of Buu simply regroups and he was as good as new.
Upon awakening, Goku could not sense Vegeta or Gohan anywhere and comes to the conclusion that they are dead. He heads to Kami's Lookout and is healed by Dende. After transporting everyone to the Lookout he tells them the bad news. With the little time he has left on Earth, he decides to teach Trunks and Goten the art of fusion he learned while in the Other World so they may form one being to stand a chance against Buu.
When Buu is about to cause more destructions, Goku decides interrupt him. After a short fight, he tells Buu that in two days he will have a strong opponent to fight with. Back on the lookout, Goku shows everyone the awesomeness of Super Saiyan 3. Unfortunately, this action shortens Goku's time on Earth and he is forced to return to Heaven.
Later he senses Gohan on Supreme Kai's Planet and thus teleports there only to be missed by the Z-Sword by inches. Gohan has been training with the legendary Z Sword and to test its strength, the Supreme Kai summons a block of the strongest metal in the universe as testing material. Goku throws the cube at Gohan, expecting the Z Sword to slice the block in half. Instead it snaps in half and from it emerges Old Kai. He tells them he will heighten Gohan's power level in a 35 hour long ritual. Through a crystal globe, Goku watches the fight between Gotenks and Buu with much anticipation.
When Gohan fails due to Buu's cheating of 'stolen powers', Old Kai gives his life to Goku in order to for him to go back to earth to battle Super Buu. He is also given the Potara fusion earrings so that he can fuse with Gohan. Before he can, however, Gohan is absorbed. Just at this time of dispair Vegeta appears, with the two of the most powerful Saiyans fusing together they become Vegetto.
After a lengthy 'fight' Vegetto wins easily, but he chooses to be absorbed on purpose. Inside Buu Vegetto automatically separates back into the two Saiyans. Goku rescues Hercule, Dande and Fat Buu, but cannot save their sons and Piccolo before getting out and teleport back to the Kai's planet just as the newly transformed kid Buu destroys the Earth.
When Buu finds them Goku fights him first. First as a Super Saiyan 2, then as a Super Saiyan 3. After using almost all of his power Goku decides to do the Spirit Bomb. While Vegeta and Fat Buu try to hold of Kid Buu, Hercule convinces everyone on the newly regenerated Earth to give Goku all the energy he needs to destroy Buu once and for all. He succeeds.
Ten years later the Z Warriors participate in another Tournament and Goku senses a fighter with a power level that rivals his own. He soon discovers that it is the reincarnation of Kid Buu, Uub. After a short fight he and Uub fly off together so that Goku can train him.
In GT, Goku is wished back into a kid by Emperor Pilaf. The wish was made on the Black Star Dragon Balls. As a result, Goku must travel the universe and return them to Earth or else the planet will explode. In the course of his travels he encounters a creature known as Bebi, who is in fact the last surviving Tuffle, the original inhabitants of planet Vegeta. Bebi is a machine mutant who was created by Dr Myuu, however Bebi actually created Dr. Myuu first.
Eventually Bebi arrives on Earth and starts wrecking havock. Goku is able to transform into a Golden Oozaru and then control it to become a Super Saiyan 4.
Super 17 Saga
Goku battles the newly fused Super Android 17. Thanks to help from Android 18, Goku is able to defeat him by flying straight through him.
Shadow Dragon Saga
Goku once again draws on his Super Saiyan 4 powers to battle Omega Shenron and the shadow dragons. In the end, Goku absorbs the dragonballs and ascends to a new power, far beyond anything else. Some say his power level reaches one billion at this point.
Perhaps Goku's most powerful attack, the Genki Dama draws energy from all life and places it in a deadly ki bolt. Goku uses this against many of his most powerful opponents. The downside is that he's quite vulnerable during its lengthy creation time. It's called the Spirit Bomb in the English anime.
Goku's signature attack, the Kamehameha is a powerful, constant stream of energy hurled at an opponent through the hands (or sometimes the feet). Goku has several other variations of this attack as well.
An even more powerful version of the Kamehameha. It's also called the Super Kamehameha
This is a Kamehameha that Goku can guide towards his target, even having it do a complete 180 to zero in on them.
Goku charges up the attack, then, right before he releases, he teleports in front of the target and release the blast directly into them.
This one is 10x stronger than a regular Kamehameha and is red in color.
This ability allows him to transform into a higher entity, which changes his power level tremendously. He's been able to do this in the fight with Freeza when Frieza has killed Kuririn. Since then, he's achieved Super Saiyan 2 when fighting Majin Vegeta, and Super Saiyan 3 when fighting Majin Buu. (In Dragon Ball GT, there is a Super Saiyan 4; those who consider DBGT non-canonical see Super Saiyan 4 as not real). Goku also achieves Ultra Super Saiyan 1 and 2 but only while training; he sees their weaknesses and chooses not to use them. During the Lord Slug movie, Goku almost achieves Super Saiyan, in what is known as Gigli Super Saiyan or a false Super Saiyan.
Son Goku Super Saiyan
This ability allows Goku to multiply his speed and power, often letting him work on an equal level against an initially more powerful foe. The Kai˘-ken is dangerous though, and does damage (potentially fatal) to his body while he's in that state. Goku stops using it once he is able to access the more potent Super Saiyan state. An excepton to this was during a after-life tournament fight against Pikon, although he used it briefly; he called this Super Kaioken.
A unique ability Goku learned on his way back to Earth from Namek, it allows him to teleport nearly anywhere so long as he focuses on a specific ki signal where he wants to go. He places two fingers on his forehead while he searches for the signal. This ability is also referred to as the Instant Transmission technique in English anime translation.
A technique learned from Tenshinhan, it creates an extremely bright light which can temporarily blind and stun those in close proximity. Known as the Solar Flare in the English anime translation.
The user of this technique is able to move extremely fast over small distances, leaving an after-image behind. It can be considered a very short-range teleportation.