Dragon Ball Artwork Reveals How Goku Perceived His First Death

The continued hiatus of the Dragon Ball Super anime, plus some key Dragon Ball Z retcons in the new manga story arc, has made fans take a nostalgic look back at the pivotal Dragon Ball series with new eyes and new considerations. One key element that separates Dragon Ball Super from Dragon Ball Z are the nature of the battles: In DBZ, Goku didn't always win the day - in fact, the Saiyan warrior died on the battlefield multiple times! Goku's first death occurred while battling his brother Raditz during Dragon Ball Z's first "Saiyan Arc," and now some new artwork gives us Goku's own perspective on that fatal moment when the hero first fell!

Check the artwork of Goku's perspective on his own first death, during Dragon Ball Z:

"Goku's Perspective" #ドラゴンボール --@ruto830

Goku's death during the Saiyan Arc occurs when Goku and Piccolo combine forces to enact a desperate final stand against Raditz, Goku's older brother who finally tracks him down on Earth. Goku makes the ultimate sacrifice by holding Raditz at bay in a Half Nelson hold, while Piccolo charges up and shoots his Special Beam Cannon attack. The spiraling energy blast cuts right through Raditz' chest cavity, before plowing through Goku too. The scene is now famous within the fandom, for how Akira Toriyama and Toei Animation depicted Goku's epic death. Like so many things in Dragon Ball Z, it was a lot more tense and violent than the comparatively sterile, technical, overpowered fights of Dragon Ball Super.

However, Goku's death also revealed one of Dragon Ball Z's biggest downfalls: namely, the excessive filler material the series was weighted down with. Fans still haven't stopped talking about how Goku's death led to the ridiculously overstretched sequence of Goku having to run across the span of "Snake Way" in the afterlife, in order to to make it back to Earth before Raditz' commander, Vegeta, arrives to conquer Earth.


...But as for the moment when Goku died? It's pretty heartbreaking to see what the Saiyan hero's last sight was.

The Japanese-language and English dub releases of Dragon Ball Super are now complete and available to stream with FunimationNOW and Crunchyroll. Viz Media is releasing new chapters of the manga at a monthly rate that can be read entirely for free through the Shonen Jump digital library, and Dragon Ball Super's big movie, Dragon Ball Super: Broly, is now available on Blu-ray and DVD. Fans in Japan are also able to enjoy fresh non-canon adventures from the franchises with new episodes of Super Dragon Ball Heroes' promotional anime series.