Is Goku an Anti-Hero? – A Dragonball Discussion

Goku has been acting weird in the Universe Survival Arc of Dragon Ball Super; more so than usual. What’s causing this? Is it a sign of Goku’s evolution into an anti-hero? Or was he one from the very start?! Today we discuss this as well as Toriyama’s original desires for his main character’s persona.

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About MasakoX

I'm MasakoX, part of TeamfourStar's Dragonball Z Abridged team. When I'm not fighting bad guys or eating muffins, I produce content for Channel Awesome! This ranges from my long-lasting anime reviews to reading bad fan fiction to even messing around with Google Translate for kicks. Either way, it is my pleasure to present my oddments to you in glorious awesomeness!


  1. wile Goku can be selfish but I feel this is still out of character since the reason he wanted to stay dead the second time he died was to protect everyone.

    if the universes get erased and Goku doesn’t really care, I will probably pretend this arc didn’t happen.

  2. Yeah, I haven’t been completely happy with Goku’s portrayal on Super. Perhaps it’s closer to Toriyama’s original vision, but I gotta say, I do prefer the english dub interpretation. He was more stereotypically heroic yes, but he retained that carefree, somewhat naive attitude that’s core to his character in either version. His various personality traits just seem way too exaggerated and goofy on Super, which can conflict with the higher stakes and darker tone the series goes for sometimes. I will have to reserve judgment with this upcoming arc though. Maybe they’ll actually have the balls to give Goku some real character development. perhaps he’ll learn his reckless love of fighting and becoming strong actually affects the people closest to him. At the same time it is kind of funny that all of reality is at stake thanks to Goku just wanting to punch some strong guys. DB has always shifted from whimsical comedic stuff to serious drama, so it must be difficult for the writers to reconcile those disparate elements. Anyway, I do look forward to seeing how this arc plays out.

  3. With super. Most of his opponents have to play catch up with Goku’s power level. I would love to see the stories of the other tournament participants and how can they attempt to overcome him.

  4. and I’m also unsure that Toriyama is even being consistant since Dragon Ball Minus said Goku was good because off his mom who had no battle drive at all.

  5. Given that the original Dragon Ball is basically a lose retelling of Journey to the West, is this really a surprising thought to go along? The monkey king, while not an outright villain, is pretty much a trickster and those always are more neutral, leaning towards chaotic, or even evil, tendencies. At least that’s how i see this.

  6. In Dragon Ball Z Goku was an anti-hero, he did heroic thing for non-heroic reason. Fought the villains for the enjoyment of fight.

    In Dragon Ball Super he is a straight up villain, he does selfish things for selfish reasons.

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