In the world of Dragon Ball, there is no character more popular than Son Goku. The buff Saiyan made a name for himself back in the 1980s when the franchise made its debut, and his popularity only climbed when Toei Animation adapted the manga into an anime. Since the show premiered, fans have come to associate Goku with top-tier superheroes like Superman and Iron Man, but there are plenty who argue that the protagonist is no righteous hero.
And, apparently, one of those naysayers is the creator of Dragon Ball to boot.
In light of Dragon Ball Super’s newest arc, fans have yet again started to debate how heroic Goku is. Certainly, audience members can have their own interpretation of Goku and his motivations, but fans are pointing out a resurfaced interview with Akira Toriyama to help prove their point about Goku’s neutrality.
“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,” Toriyama said.
“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.”
Fans have also gone so far as to examine iconic bits of Goku’s past to illustrate how heroic or altruistic his actions are. One of the hero’s most debated points is in Dragon Ball Z as Goku makes an important speech to Freeza after he goes Super Saiyan for the first time. In English, the speech is a sticking point for pro-hero fans as Goku tells the baddie he is “the hope of the universe” and a “protector of the innocent.”
However, the original dub for Dragon Ball Z paints a less flattering picture of the hero. In Japanese, Goku simply says he is “a Saiyan who came from Earth” to defeat Freeza and that is “heart was awakened by violent rage.”
So, what do you think? Is Goku a superhero in your eyes, or do you think his personality is more chaotic neutral?
MORE: Dragon Ball Super Toonami Premiere Date Announced / English Dub Sneak Peek Revealed / Voice Cast Announced / Simulcast Confirmed / New Saga Synopsis, Key Visual Released / Here's What Happens To Nappa's Hair When He Goes Super Saiyan
As for the saga's start date, the new arc premiered on February 5, 2017. The “Universal Survival” saga is part of the recent simulcast agreement that sites like Crunchyroll and Funimation have scored. Dragon Ball Super airs on Crunchyroll Saturdays at 7:15 p.m. CST. Toonami will begin airing the English dub on Adult Swim Saturdays at 11:30 p.m.
Dragon Ball SuperSunday at on Fuji Television Network