For several decades, Dragon Ball has been one of the most popular anime for fans all over the world. The main person on the whole ride has been the lovable, mighty Goku.
Throughout the series's run, Goku has continually pushed beyond his limits and met amazing feats. Comparing the current god-fighting Saiyan to his child training days brings up many questions and theories about exactly what has happened to Goku throughout his life. The following are ten of the craziest theories fans have come up with to be proven true.
10 Kaio Ken Does Not Mix With Super Saiyan
One of Goku's most handy techniques in the early Dragon Ball Z days was the Kaio Ken. Goku was able to use this technique to multiply his speed and power at the expense of tiring and straining his body. In his first fight against Vegeta, Goku ended the fight so physically exhausted he could no longer move on his own. In the technique's recent return in Dragon Ball Super, Goku's body painfully strains and cramps up.
The mysterious disappearance of the Kaio Ken began the moment Goku reached Super Saiyan for the first time. From the start of the Android Saga until Goku's fight with Hit, Kaio Ken was not used once. It led to fans speculating that Kaio Ken and Super Saiyan did not mesh because of the conflicting energies. Goku would confirm this when he joined the Kaio Ken with the perfect ki control of Super Saiyan Blue. Super Saiyan taxes Goku's body, so combining Kaio Ken would completely rip his body apart.
9 Goku Black's Identity
Dragon Ball Super brought about the reintroduction of Future Trunks for the first time since the Cell Saga. While his timeline was saved from the androids and Cell, a new foe set the fate of humanity at risk. This new threat looked exactly like Goku in black clothes, thus leading to the name Goku Black.
Along with the introduction of Black, the Universe 10's Supreme Kai Zamasu was introduced as a mortal hating deity. Some fans speculated that Goku Black was not an evil version of Goku, but Zamasu in Goku's body.
Those people were proven right after multiple fights with Goku Black and Zamasu. It was finally revealed that an alternate version of Zamasu killed his master, making himself Supreme Kai and taking control of a time ring. He then used the Super Dragon Balls to switch bodies with that reality’s Goku and the time ring to team up with ANOTHER reality’s Zamasu and make him invincible with the Super Dragon Balls. Everyone caught up? Cool.
8 Super Saiyan Is Not Emotion-Based
For a large majority of the iconic first Super Saiyan transformations, there are a lot of angry emotions that were thought to be the cause of the power up. In Goku's case, he is pushed to turn Super Saiyan for the first time when Frieza kills Krillin. Following this bout, it was widely believed that if a Saiyan gets angry enough, they can tap into the transformation.
All of this changed following the introduction of Goten and Kid Trunks. Their first transformation was never shown, and we can guess from Gohan and Vegeta’s reaction to seeing them change that there was no reason for them to be angry enough to transform.
This revelation led to fans theorizing that the transformation was not rage induced at all, but some other means included in concentrated ki outburst. During the Tournament of Power, Universe 6's Saiyan Cabba teaches Kaulifla and Cale to focus their energy at a point in their body, noticeably a tingling sensation in the back and then letting it explode. It worked, confirming the theory.
7 Super Saiyan Potential Is Genetic Based
How is it that “the legendary Super Saiyan” laid dormant for centuries and now, since Goku unlocked the potential, there are five different Saiyans capable of reaching (and surpassing) the transformation?
If you are familiar with midi-chlorians in Star Wars, the idea is based around a similar style. Fans theorized there had to be some connection between the full-Saiyans Goku and Vegeta being able to reach Super Saiyan so much later than the half-bloods, Gohan, Goten, and Trunks. Toriyama confirmed a concept of “S-Cells," a genetic trait that gave every Saiyan the potential to achieve the form by the number of s-cells present in his or her genetic makeup. Half-Saiyans have more s-cells and can reach the form easier and earlier in life.
6 Potara Fusion Is Only Permanent For Kais
Beginning in the Buu Saga, two different forms of fusion were introduced to Dragon Ball. There is the Fusion Dance that lasts for a half hour that Goten and Trunks have mastered and the Potara Fusion. According to Old Kai, the Potara users are fused forever.
When Goku and Vegeta first fuse to Vegito and fight Super Buu, the thinking is that the two would have been stuck together forever. However, the moment Buu absorbs them, they defuse inside of him, and the topic is not brought up again until the fight with Fused Zamasu.
The defusing inside of Buu was rather odd but led to fan theories that the Potara Fusion is only permanent for Kais (and even then they can use the Dragon Balls to separate). This was confirmed when Gowasu explained to Goku and Vegeta that for mortals, the fusion lasts for an hour. Of course, he also explains that he was wrong with the hour part because they are so powerful, they diffuse much quicker the second time they fuse, so Potara Fusion still has some questions to it.
5 Vegito Would Return To Fight Zamasu
Speaking of Vegito, his return was highly anticipated and theorized with the long Zamasu arc. It seemed that every move Goku, Vegeta, and Trunks did to get a step ahead of Black and Zamasu were met with failure. The three of them apart apparently were not powerful enough to take on Zamasu, and Black as the three different trips between future and past showed.
Eventually, fans started theorizing that another fusion between Goku and Vegeta was required to take down the deity threat and the fans got their wishes, even if it didn't beat the villain.
4 Saiyans Learn Techniques From Seeing The Move Once
This is a theory that has been laying its foundations since the early days of Dragon Ball. When Master Roshi first shows off the Kamehameha Wave, he mentions how it took him decades to develop the technique. But Goku mastered it in short order.
The Kamehameha was not the only time this mimicry happened though. For Goku alone, he has adopted Krillin’s Destructo Disc, Tien’s Solar Flare, and more.
Goku is not the only one to learn techniques from watching them in a short span. On Namek, Vegeta learned how to sense energies from his short time spent around Goku and the others. Until that point in his life, he had always required a scouter. All the Saiyans throughout Dragon Ball have proven time and time again that they are masters of copying techniques that they deem useful.
3 Goku and Frieza's Fight On Namek Is In Slow Motion
The fight between Goku and Frieza is iconic for multiple reasons. It was the first time Super Saiyan was introduced, it featured the most iconic Dragon Ball villain, and it also lasted a long time. The longest on-screen battle in television history, actually.
At one point in the fight, Frieza aims to blow up Namek, knowing that Saiyans cannot breathe in space. He launches an energy ball at the planet that he claims will cause the planet to destruct in five minutes. The fight would not end until eight episodes later.
Does Frieza not understand his power that much? Does Dragon Ball contain that much filler? Partly, but the canonical reason comes from a fan theory that states the fight is taking place in slow motion.
2 Goku Shows No Affection For Chi-Chi
When Goku first meets Chi-Chi in Dragon Ball, she immediately shows her interest in him and would essentially push him into marriage when they grew up. Maybe it’s from him hitting his head as an infant or maybe he just genuinely only thinks about fighting, but Chi-Chi always feels more like a friend of Goku’s that bosses him around more than a wife.
When Future Trunks finds Mai injured, he crushes up a Senzu Bean and kisses her to get her back to health. Goku, who has been married for decades and has two children, has never seen a kiss before in his life and asks what that was. This leads to Vegeta berating him as he should.
1 Goku Is Not A Hero
When Goku was a kid, he was always searching for training to make him stronger. In Dragon Ball Z, he was always focused on protecting the earth from any threats. In Dragon Ball Super, however, Goku seems to be looking for a fight no matter the consequences or danger. This change in character has many fans thinking that Goku is more of a villain than anything in Super.
In an interview with WIRED Japan, Toriyama explains, "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." There you have it. Goku is not really a hero. He is a fighter that ends up saving the world sometimes.