Goku is one of the most adored characters on DBZ. But even the most die-hard fans are yet to learn a few things about him.
What are the things you didn’t know about Goku? Something that’s beyond his creation of details of his personal life, there’s a lot to find out. One of the Meta information is that the dub voice actor Sean Schemmel once lost consciousness while recording a particularly taxing scream. Regarding Goku as a character, did you know that his entire personality can be traced back to a childhood head injury?
Read on to find out more about your favorite character.
1. 9th May Is Celebrated As Goku Day In Japan
After Toei Animation requested it, The Japan Anniversary Association officially declared that May 9th is Goku Day. While there’s no official way of celebrating Goku Day, it’s still pretty cool that the Saiyan is being commemorated this way. Why May 9th you ask? Because the Japanese characters for the numbers 5 and 9 can be read as “go” and “Ku.”
2. Goku’s English Dub Artist Passed Out While Recording
One of the things that make Dragon Ball, the high-intensity show is all the screaming that happens when the characters launch themselves or their attacks. While they’re easy to joke about, the screams also take some serious toll on the vocal cords- they can be pretty dangerous.
Sean Schemmel, the voice actor who plays Goku in the English dub, once lost consciousness while recording a scene from Dragon Ball GT. Here’s what he had to say about the ordeal:
“It was during the Super Saiyan 4 transformation, and I was really tired and hadn’t been sleeping well. I just calculated the amount of air you’d need for a Kamehameha or another power-up, but I made my voice lower.”
As it turned out, lowering his voice made his vocal cords wider, which meant he began gasping for air. This led to his fainting for 2-3 seconds. Luckily, the room was padded, so Schemmel was safe and well.
3. Goku’s Super Saiyan Form Is Blonde For Meta Reasons
Why does his hair turn blonde when he goes Super Saiyan? While we formulate many theories – including one positing that his blonde hair was some kind of Aryan power fantasy – the real reason is far more innocuous. According to Akira Toriyama, it was done to save time that was spent blacking his hair. here’s what he said:
“I gave him blonde hair so that it wouldn’t be as much work for my assistant. He spent a lot of time blacking in Goku’s hair, and I had to erase over it. It was a real pain…”
Win-win for Toriyama and his assistant, and Kudos for creating such an iconic look.
4. His Character Isn’t Meant To Be Heroic
In the blockbuster anime, Goku is depicted as a wholly heroic person with few consequential flaws. That wasn’t what Akira Toriyama – Goku’s original creator – had in mind. Actually, Toriyama wanted him to have a dark side. Here’s what he had to say in an interview he gave in 1997:
“There’s how, basically, Son Goku from Dragon Ball doesn’t fight for the sake of others, but because he wants to fight against strong guys. So once Dragon Ball got animated, at any rate, I’ve always been dissatisfied with the “righteous hero”-type portrayal they gave him. I guess I couldn’t quite get them to grasp the elements of “poison” that slip in and out of sight among the shadows”
5. His Mom Appears In A 2014 Bonus Manga & In Dragon Ball Super: Broly
While his family on earth was his prime focus, Goku does actually have a family of origin. Every Dragon Ball Z fan knows about his brother Raditz, and most know about his father Bardock – but his mother Gine is sadly overlooked, and fans who haven’t actually seen or read the content she appears in might not have heard about her elsewhere.
Gine is a benevolent, loving, and caring person who dislikes fighting and wants to protect her children from harm at all costs. While this might seem like stereotypically maternal behavior, Gine is quite a different character from typical Saiyan women, who are warriors lacking significant maternal feelings.
6. He’s Helped To Sell A Wide Range Of Products
Goku has been in a plethora of advertisements for everything from KFC and Mets soda to eye drops that you use to deal with irritation after swimming in a chlorinated pool. Some of these commercials are just downright basic – the KFC one really has Goku running toward KFC to get some chicken – but some are weird. The eye drop commercial, for instance, makes everyone involved look as if being under influence.
7. He’s Character Is Based On A Chinese Legend
The name Son Goku didn’t originate from Akira Toriyama’s imagination – it actually has a legendary history. Toriyama was inspired by Journey to the West, a 16th-century Chinese legend, which is amongst China’s most famous works of classic literature. It follows a Buddhist monk named Xuánzàng on a pilgrimage to India, where he will find key religious scripts called sutras. One of the most noteworthy characters is Sūn Wùkōng, known in English as the Monkey King, and known in Japanese as Son Gokū.
Like his namesake, the Monkey King has a playful, childlike personality, and a wide range of supernatural abilities.
8. He’s Only Won 1 Out Of 9 Martial Arts Tournaments
He may be known as the strongest being in the Dragon Ball universe, but Goku’s only got one championship under his name. Throughout the series, he has competed in nine different martial arts tournaments. But the only one that he has been crowned for, is his third one when he defeats Piccolo in the final round. You don’t need things like trophies or status to prove your strength when you’re Goku.
9. In DBZ, He’s Only Killed Two Villains
As most of the fans know, Goku isn’t doesn’t really like taking lives – he’s more into sparing them, as he did with Frieza. That being said, he spends so much time fighting bad guys that it may surprise the viewers that during Dragon Ball Z, which aired for 291 episodes, Goku only totally destroyed two villains.
Who are these villains though? Yakkon, a henchman of Babidi’s who died after gorging himself on Goku’s energy, and Kid Buu, who later reincarnated as Uub.
10. Goku’s Never Kissed His Wife
You heard the right. Considering the fact that they have two sons, it’s hard to imagine that Goku has never indulged in the subtleties of intimacy – but in Dragon Ball Super, he admits that not only has he never kissed Chi-Chi, but he also doesn’t even know what’s all the hype about kissing is. Since Vegeta is shocked at this information, he reckons this strange knowledge gap definitely isn’t a Saiyan thing – it’s a Goku thing.
11. Goku And Vegeta Have A Final Battle In Dragon Ball Online
Goku and Vegeta’s hatred for each other is one of the most striking things about the Dragon Ball universe, and it all comes to a full blow in Dragon Ball Online. Dragon Ball Online features an alternative timeline that does not include the events of Dragon Ball Super, so this climactic battle does not take place in the main Dragon Ball timeline.
When Vegeta and Goku are heading towards the end of their lives, they vanish into outer space, engaging in an epic battle that takes them several years to resolve. The outcome of this epic battle is never revealed – in fact, the end of the fight is heralded by a supernova explosion, from which neither combatant ever returns.
12. Goku Vs. Frieza Is The Longest Fight In Anime History
The Dragon Ball fans absolutely love making hilarious jokes and memes about how Goku and Frieza’s first fight on Namek was dragged on for a bit too long. And they’re right. The entire runtime of this fight lasted about four hours, making it the longest fight in anime history. That’s double the runtime of a regular movie. Therefore, the fandom has all the right to complain about their fight being too long.
13. Goku Is Scared Of Needles
In the Dragon Ball series, Goku comes across a needle on the ground and starts panicking at the idea that he might have to get a shot of some kind. He calms down once it’s explained that nothing like that was on the table, but the reaction is pretty intense.
This is an anime-only detail, so if you don’t like it you don’t have to accept it. Still, it does add a little bit of unexpected depth to an otherwise brave character!
14. His Japanese Voice Actor Is Female
Goku might seem like the epitome of manliness, but the person who provides his Japanese voice is actually a woman.
Masako Nozawa, who is an active anime voice artist in the industry since the 60s, plays not only Goku but every male member of his family except for Raditz. It’s common for women to voice male children, but Nozawa’s performance as an adult man is a striking choice – one that helps give the franchise its unique flavor.
15. His Personality Is A Result Of A Head Injury
Saiyans are known for their aggressive and violent nature. They are people who are naturally inclined toward taking lives. Goku lacks this innate trait, but it wasn’t always that way. When Grandpa Gohan first began raising him, Goku was showing all the signs of a typical young Saiyan. After falling off a cliff and sustaining severe head trauma, his personality changed completely, resulting in the gentle and kind-hearted person he becomes, just like his mother Gine.
So itsn’t really a surprise he turned out that way.