Dragon Ball fans are used to Son Goku looking a certain way, but that does not mean the Saiyan cannot shake things up. A few years back, the hero got a much-needed makeover when Naohiro Shintani got to do character designs for Dragon Ball Super: Broly. And thanks to the artist Gop Gap, fans can imagine how Goku might look if he were given a makeover from the one and only Hayao Miyazaki.
That is, the co-founder of Studio Ghibli? The man behind Spirited Away? Miyazaki has a beloved art style which millions if not billions have come to cherish. That is why Gop Gap, a freelance character designer, chose to channel the Studio Ghibli legend for this adorable artwork.
As you can see below, his work got the Dragon Ball fandom buzzing over on social media as it surfaced on Reddit and Twitter. The concept art imagines how Goku would look if he were given a Ghibli makeover, and we have to admit he pulls it off beautifully. In fact, it is hard to recognize the hero at all if it weren't for his clothes, so you can see why we are impressed.
You can check out the art above if you want to see what we're talking about. Back in the day, Goku was defined in adulthood by sharp lines and bold colors. Dragon Ball Z was simple to a fault, but it had a sharp edge that matched its Shonen roots. Of course, Dragon Ball Super made things a bit more dimensional with its highlights, shading, and glossy finishes. Shintani rounded things out more with his redesign, and it favors this Ghibli makeover out of all the official designs.
After all, Studio Ghibli is known for soft designs that feel natural, rounded, and compact. That is the very definition of this Gop Gap piece as Goku looks fairly ordinary here. From his facial features to his body proportions, Goku could pass for your everyday hero, but he still has that Ghibli cuteness to him. And if this isn't cute enough for you, then try to imagine how a young Goku would look all dolled up under Miyazaki's style!
What do you think about this Ghibli Goku design? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!