Fan Perceptions of Son Goku's characterization: Then vs Now

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Re: Fan Perceptions of Son Goku's characterization: Then vs Now

Post by ekrolo2 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:18 am

PFM18 wrote:
ekrolo2 wrote:I always found Toriyama's notion that Toei Goku is too heroic puzzling. People use him reviving a bird in movie 5 as proof but honestly, him giving Freeza Ki and another chance to not be a rotten scumbag despite him killing Krillin as way more of a heroic thing to do.
It's less heroic as it is just stupid. But that's kind of Goku's character, he is very stupid.
Heroic in that righteous hero giving the fallen enemy another chance thing you see all over the place.
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Re: Fan Perceptions of Son Goku's characterization: Then vs Now

Post by Doctor. » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:19 am

PFM18 wrote:
ekrolo2 wrote:I always found Toriyama's notion that Toei Goku is too heroic puzzling. People use him reviving a bird in movie 5 as proof but honestly, him giving Freeza Ki and another chance to not be a rotten scumbag despite him killing Krillin as way more of a heroic thing to do.
It's less heroic as it is just stupid. But that's kind of Goku's character, he is very stupid.
Goku hasn't been stupid since the Red Ribbon arc. He's very perceptive, calculates his moves in advance and often feigns ignorance to get under someone's skin (be it his enemies or even his friends). Just because he's naive and still somewhat ignorant regarding social norms doesn't mean he's an idiot; that's just one of the ways Super has flanderized his character.

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Re: Fan Perceptions of Son Goku's characterization: Then vs Now

Post by ekrolo2 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:25 am

Doctor. wrote:
PFM18 wrote:
ekrolo2 wrote:I always found Toriyama's notion that Toei Goku is too heroic puzzling. People use him reviving a bird in movie 5 as proof but honestly, him giving Freeza Ki and another chance to not be a rotten scumbag despite him killing Krillin as way more of a heroic thing to do.
It's less heroic as it is just stupid. But that's kind of Goku's character, he is very stupid.
Goku hasn't been stupid since the Red Ribbon arc. He's very perceptive, calculates his moves in advance and often feigns ignorance to get under someone's skin (be it his enemies or even his friends). Just because he's naive and still somewhat ignorant regarding social norms doesn't mean he's an idiot; that's just one of the ways Super has flanderized his character.
Goku can drive a car, meaning he's smart enough to learn about the driving test, pass it and remember all that stuff for when he needs to use those skills. That alone proves he's not a moron.
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Re: Fan Perceptions of Son Goku's characterization: Then vs Now

Post by Doctor. » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:36 am

ekrolo2 wrote:
Doctor. wrote:
PFM18 wrote:
It's less heroic as it is just stupid. But that's kind of Goku's character, he is very stupid.
Goku hasn't been stupid since the Red Ribbon arc. He's very perceptive, calculates his moves in advance and often feigns ignorance to get under someone's skin (be it his enemies or even his friends). Just because he's naive and still somewhat ignorant regarding social norms doesn't mean he's an idiot; that's just one of the ways Super has flanderized his character.
Goku can drive a car, meaning he's smart enough to learn about the driving test, pass it and remember all that stuff for when he needs to use those skills. That alone proves he's not a moron.
And yet Super!Goku can barely count to 6 in one episode and he's counting to 50k the next.

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Re: Fan Perceptions of Son Goku's characterization: Then vs Now

Post by ABED » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:48 am

Goku's very concrete bound. He will let evil people go when common sense says he shouldn't and often for bad reasons, but if he sees someone in front of him that's suffering, he'll step in to help. That's never really changed.

Goku's intelligence goes up and down, but that's not something that bothers me in the abstract.
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Re: Fan Perceptions of Son Goku's characterization: Then vs Now

Post by PFM18 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:49 am

ekrolo2 wrote:
Doctor. wrote:
PFM18 wrote:
It's less heroic as it is just stupid. But that's kind of Goku's character, he is very stupid.
Goku hasn't been stupid since the Red Ribbon arc. He's very perceptive, calculates his moves in advance and often feigns ignorance to get under someone's skin (be it his enemies or even his friends). Just because he's naive and still somewhat ignorant regarding social norms doesn't mean he's an idiot; that's just one of the ways Super has flanderized his character.
Goku can drive a car, meaning he's smart enough to learn about the driving test, pass it and remember all that stuff for when he needs to use those skills. That alone proves he's not a moron.
So one being able to drive a car proves that they are not stupid?

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Re: Fan Perceptions of Son Goku's characterization: Then vs Now

Post by KBABZ » Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:33 pm

On sparing Frieza, Goku had several reasons to do so. First is history: he spared Piccolo and Vegeta, both the most evil characters of their day, and they proved helpful later, one of which had practically reformed. Second, Frieza was appealing to his good nature, and while Goku knew Frieza was certainly bluffing (he wasn't gonna get fooled again like with Raditz), he wanted to take a chance just in case Frieza did have a change of heart, or wanted to be better. But you can tell by Goku's enraged expression when he gives Frieza some ki that he's not happy about it. As mentioned seconds earlier, Frieza in no way deserves this chance and he was disgusted that his opponent could stoop so low. In a way he's angry at himself that he's giving Frieza another shot in the first place. Sort of like "I'm REALLY gonna regret this shit".

Ultimately Frieza instantly proved to Goku his true nature by attacking him with the ki he was gifted. Goku's line "You FOOL!!" therefore refers to three things. First, it was a poor tactical decision because it forced Goku to retaliate and overpower him. Second, it was a huge waste of ki considering how outmatched he was compared to Super Saiyan Goku's power; his pride and rage has caused him to throw all common sense out the window considering Frieza lost at 100% power, let alone whatever he had left, and it would have better been used to escape Namek. And thirdly is Frieza's nature in general that caused him to attack in the first place; he had learned nothing despite being embarrassed and having his ass and what was left of his tail utterly handed to him. As a result Goku killed him with his counterattack, despite really not wanting to have to do that.

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Re: Fan Perceptions of Son Goku's characterization: Then vs Now

Post by ekrolo2 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:44 pm

PFM18 wrote:
ekrolo2 wrote:
Doctor. wrote: Goku hasn't been stupid since the Red Ribbon arc. He's very perceptive, calculates his moves in advance and often feigns ignorance to get under someone's skin (be it his enemies or even his friends). Just because he's naive and still somewhat ignorant regarding social norms doesn't mean he's an idiot; that's just one of the ways Super has flanderized his character.
Goku can drive a car, meaning he's smart enough to learn about the driving test, pass it and remember all that stuff for when he needs to use those skills. That alone proves he's not a moron.
So one being able to drive a car proves that they are not stupid?
Uh, yeah? A driving test is something that requires you to sit down, learn a bunch of rules and regulations and followed by driving courses to practically apply that knowledge. There's educated people who've sat down and studied who take a long time to pass one here, Goku's a hick who's never farted within a galaxys distance of a school and he's smart enough to sit down, learn that stuff and apply it.

Super! Goku by comparison is a pants shitting retard who can barely count!
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Re: Fan Perceptions of Son Goku's characterization: Then vs Now

Post by ABED » Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:25 pm

Uh, yeah? A driving test is something that requires you to sit down, learn a bunch of rules and regulations and followed by driving courses to practically apply that knowledge. There's educated people who've sat down and studied who take a long time to pass one here, Goku's a hick who's never farted within a galaxys distance of a school and he's smart enough to sit down, learn that stuff and apply it.

Super! Goku by comparison is a pants shitting retard who can barely count!
Kids pass that test everyday. It doesn't take much learn how to drive. I think Goku is plenty capable of learning whatever he wants to, but he's like Sherlock Holmes, he doesn't spend mental energy learning things he doesn't feel he needs to.
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Re: Fan Perceptions of Son Goku's characterization: Then vs Now

Post by PFM18 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 2:29 pm

ekrolo2 wrote:
PFM18 wrote:
ekrolo2 wrote: Goku can drive a car, meaning he's smart enough to learn about the driving test, pass it and remember all that stuff for when he needs to use those skills. That alone proves he's not a moron.
So one being able to drive a car proves that they are not stupid?
Uh, yeah? A driving test is something that requires you to sit down, learn a bunch of rules and regulations and followed by driving courses to practically apply that knowledge. There's educated people who've sat down and studied who take a long time to pass one here, Goku's a hick who's never farted within a galaxys distance of a school and he's smart enough to sit down, learn that stuff and apply it.

Super! Goku by comparison is a pants shitting retard who can barely count!
The standard driving test is extremely manageable. Almost every adult American is able to pass the test and legally drive but there's still mass quantities of them that are very stupid. It is certainly possible and even likely to be able to pass a driving test while simultaneously being stupid. Besides, this was just Toei filler anyway IIRC.

Goku is very stupid. That is just how his character is. Whether it be academically stupid, social norms stupid, or general functionality stupid, he is very stupid. The only time facet in which he isn't stupid is on the battlefield. But that is what makes his character interesting. If he wasn't so stupid, he would be a fairly generic character.

After recently re-watching/reading DBZ following watching Super week to week, I noticed absolutely nothing different about his character. He is a moron in Super, he was a moron in Z and he always will be a moron.

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Re: Fan Perceptions of Son Goku's characterization: Then vs Now

Post by ekrolo2 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:02 pm

PFM18 wrote:
ekrolo2 wrote:
PFM18 wrote:
So one being able to drive a car proves that they are not stupid?
Uh, yeah? A driving test is something that requires you to sit down, learn a bunch of rules and regulations and followed by driving courses to practically apply that knowledge. There's educated people who've sat down and studied who take a long time to pass one here, Goku's a hick who's never farted within a galaxys distance of a school and he's smart enough to sit down, learn that stuff and apply it.

Super! Goku by comparison is a pants shitting retard who can barely count!
The standard driving test is extremely manageable. Almost every adult American is able to pass the test and legally drive but there's still mass quantities of them that are very stupid. It is certainly possible and even likely to be able to pass a driving test while simultaneously being stupid. Besides, this was just Toei filler anyway IIRC.

Goku is very stupid. That is just how his character is. Whether it be academically stupid, social norms stupid, or general functionality stupid, he is very stupid. The only time facet in which he isn't stupid is on the battlefield. But that is what makes his character interesting. If he wasn't so stupid, he would be a fairly generic character.

After recently re-watching/reading DBZ following watching Super week to week, I noticed absolutely nothing different about his character. He is a moron in Super, he was a moron in Z and he always will be a moron.
Depends on where you are, in Croatia it's far less so with you needing to take several weeks of CPR and trauma training followed by a few more weeks of lectures just to take the written exam and then you need to get 10 hours of real driving experience under a teacher before you can get a pass for it. Considering how bonkers Japan is about education period, I don't doubt they'd put even our system over here to shame.

In fact, its even supported here with Japan being one of the toughest places to get a drivers liscence: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/trave ... -test.html

And no, it's not Toei filler:
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Re: Fan Perceptions of Son Goku's characterization: Then vs Now

Post by ABED » Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:44 pm

I think licenses, including for planes, in DB world are easier to come by. I wouldn't be using it as a measure of how smart Goku is. Fact is we're shown very little of his intelligence beyond that and him becoming mildly less naïve about social interactions.
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Re: Fan Perceptions of Son Goku's characterization: Then vs Now

Post by Simere » Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:53 pm

ABED wrote:
Uh, yeah? A driving test is something that requires you to sit down, learn a bunch of rules and regulations and followed by driving courses to practically apply that knowledge. There's educated people who've sat down and studied who take a long time to pass one here, Goku's a hick who's never farted within a galaxys distance of a school and he's smart enough to sit down, learn that stuff and apply it.

Super! Goku by comparison is a pants shitting retard who can barely count!
Kids pass that test everyday. It doesn't take much learn how to drive. I think Goku is plenty capable of learning whatever he wants to, but he's like Sherlock Holmes, he doesn't spend mental energy learning things he doesn't feel he needs to.
I like that comparison as a reader of Holmes. I'm not sure how true it is, but I like it. :) Holmes didn't want any knowledge that wasn't pursuant to his interest of solving cases, and it turns out that's a much wider base of knowledge than fighting and simple living. But the spirit is the same, and if Holmes had a more narrow interest he would have accordingly narrowed his knowledge and been just as intelligent. I think we could all stand to reexamine what is we "need' to know or do in order to be "smart". I see people stand in superiority to Goku's intelligence because he doesn't chase money and luxuries like they do, which they've deemed to be the smart thing to do in life.

Anyway, ignorance and naivete can be endearing. Stupidity? Repulsive. I agree that Goku's often been flanderized into the latter.

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Re: Fan Perceptions of Son Goku's characterization: Then vs Now

Post by PFM18 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:31 pm

ekrolo2 wrote:Depends on where you are, in Croatia it's far less so with you needing to take several weeks of CPR and trauma training followed by a few more weeks of lectures just to take the written exam and then you need to get 10 hours of real driving experience under a teacher before you can get a pass for it. Considering how bonkers Japan is about education period, I don't doubt they'd put even our system over here to shame.
In America you to first take a class that is 3 times per week for 6 weeks with weekly homework and one drive per week with the end of the 6 weeks having an 80 question written exam followed by a driving test. Then, you need to get at least fifty hours of driving experience and take the next class at least 6 months later (called Segment 2) that includes more lectures/homework and then you are eligible to take the final road test to actually have a driver's license. So I don't think it's necessarily easier in America but it is easy enough that literally almost everyone is able to do it and being able to pass it says absolutely nothing about being intelligent whatsoever. Driving is a mandatory skill that needs to be acquired to function in modern society and it does not prove that you are not an idiot if you can do it. Goku is still an idiot. He was a funny, cute kid in DB so not being real bright is acceptable given his age, but he was an adult moron in Z, and he continues to be an adult moron in Super with absolutely nothing changing whatsoever.

I apologize I didn't recall it in the manga, my bad.
Last edited by PFM18 on Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Fan Perceptions of Son Goku's characterization: Then vs Now

Post by VegettoEX » Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:31 pm

With the wealth of information provided in this thread, I'm disappointed and at a loss as to why y'all are getting hung up on driving.
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Re: Fan Perceptions of Son Goku's characterization: Then vs Now

Post by PFM18 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:34 pm

VegettoEX wrote:With the wealth of information provided in this thread, I'm disappointed and at a loss as to why y'all are getting hung up on driving.
Yeah my apologies. The crux of the matter was whether or not Goku being able to drive proves anything about his intelligence level.(my point being that this says nothing since driving isn't hard to do) Just got too caught up in the matter.

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Re: Fan Perceptions of Son Goku's characterization: Then vs Now

Post by ABED » Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:47 pm

Simere wrote:
ABED wrote:
Uh, yeah? A driving test is something that requires you to sit down, learn a bunch of rules and regulations and followed by driving courses to practically apply that knowledge. There's educated people who've sat down and studied who take a long time to pass one here, Goku's a hick who's never farted within a galaxys distance of a school and he's smart enough to sit down, learn that stuff and apply it.

Super! Goku by comparison is a pants shitting retard who can barely count!
Kids pass that test everyday. It doesn't take much learn how to drive. I think Goku is plenty capable of learning whatever he wants to, but he's like Sherlock Holmes, he doesn't spend mental energy learning things he doesn't feel he needs to.
I like that comparison as a reader of Holmes. I'm not sure how true it is, but I like it. :) Holmes didn't want any knowledge that wasn't pursuant to his interest of solving cases, and it turns out that's a much wider base of knowledge than fighting and simple living. But the spirit is the same, and if Holmes had a more narrow interest he would have accordingly narrowed his knowledge and been just as intelligent. I think we could all stand to reexamine what is we "need' to know or do in order to be "smart". I see people stand in superiority to Goku's intelligence because he doesn't chase money and luxuries like they do, which they've deemed to be the smart thing to do in life.

Anyway, ignorance and naivete can be endearing. Stupidity? Repulsive. I agree that Goku's often been flanderized into the latter.
I think the Holmes comparison is very apt. It's not great in reality, but it's a great idea in fiction. In the books and BBC's Sherlock, he doesn't know the Earth revolves around the sun. There's plenty of reasons why even if you aren't an astronomer, it's useful to know why, but this is fiction. It's fine in many cases to exaggerate for dramatic or comedic effect. In Goku's case, it's both. It's a source of comedy and shows us that he is driven to be the best fighter he can be, often at the expense of things like common knowledge.
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Re: Fan Perceptions of Son Goku's characterization: Then vs Now

Post by Lord Beerus » Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:47 pm

Goku is a unusual character is some senses.

He is genuinely a kind hearted person, who can make selfless decisions and does have good intentions a lot of the time. But he also can be a horrible judge of character, unable to contain his Saiyan urges for a good battle or challenge, and at times, he can even be quite selfish, something Goku himself has openly admitted.

He's shown to have great love and care for his friends and family. I mean, he willing killed himself (twice) just to protect them and went apeshit over the fact that his alternate timeline family got slaughtered. But his inherit personality traits, being from a race of blood knights (Saiyans), often cloud his judgement, and as result, his decisions which are often fuelled by his eagerness to improve himself and seek a challenge, can sometimes come back to bite him in the ass and affect those who he cares for, or worse innocent bystanders, like when he allowed the artificial humans to be activated just so that he could fight them.

And he sometimes expresses himself in the most unfiltered way possible, which can interpreted as rude or impartial. Like when he just up and ditches his family and friend in a heartbeat again in a heartbeat -- with only the vague promise of coming back every so often -- so that he can live and train with a child he met a few minutes prior.

Goku is more than willing to protect his friends and family and save the day, but the fashion of which he will go about it at times can be somewhat morally ambiguous, or at the very least questionable. For every time Goku is willing to go out of his way to help people unconditionally, he can sometimes be the catalyst that contributes to the plot moving forward in an unconstructive fashion due to his inherit Saiyan nature of thriving for a challenge and for a fight, even when he's aware of the negative connotations that can unfold . We see it in the Saiyan arc, the Freeza arc, the Cell arc and the Majin Boo arc. But at his core, Goku intentions are very much earnest and inherently good. He doesn't like innocent people dying and will intervene when shit rally hits the fan. It's just that sometimes Goku's intentions are not necessarily "good" in the conventional sense.

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Re: Fan Perceptions of Son Goku's characterization: Then vs Now

Post by RandomGuy96 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:54 pm

ABED wrote:When did Goku make meticulous plans to save the Earth?
Buu arc. He figured that it was better that Goten and Trunks learn fusion to take on Buu instead of him doing it himself, because he wouldn't be around forever. He also calculated that there was a chance he couldn't beat Buu due to his limited time on Earth and SS3's energy drain. If Goku was the two-dimensional character everyone says he is, he would have just fought Buu and had his fun, risking the Earth in the process. Instead he engaged Buu just long enough to distract him. He fought no more than absolutely necessary and ended the fight as soon as he could. After that, he played on Buu's desire for a good fight to get him to wait three days, expressed disgust with Babidi's actions (before assuring him that he'll personally talk to Yama to make sure he suffers in Hell), and planted the idea of rebellion in Buu's mind. Then he headed back to teach the kids fusion, and left the rest of their training in Piccolo's hands when time ran out. Before finally going back to the Afterlife, he pointed out that they could use the ROSAT in an emergency, even though they probably wouldn't need to. Thus he left them a safe and easy way to beat Buu and defend themselves in the future. In doing this he demonstrated:

A. That he cares about defending the Earth and is aware it's his duty de facto.
B. That he puts this desire above fighting a strong guy.
C. That he's concerned for innocent life, even if he doesn't always talk about it.
D. That he has some ability to read people.
E. That he recognizes the pattern of escalating threats and thinks it's important Earth be able to defend itself in his absence, because even if he gets wished back, one day he'll die, and Earth will be defenseless.

This level of foresight would be totally alien to the Super version of the character. Super Goku is a gibbering moron who can't count to 6, lets remorseless mass murderers who are stronger than him run rampant on the galaxy (even though he explicitly says he should have made sure Freeza was dead in the Cell arc, killed him immediately in the alternate timeline, and abandoned his position of sparing villains in regards to Cell), and doesn't even blink at entire universes getting erased.
That's not falling back on anything. That's the character.
It's fucking lazy is what it is. Goku abandoned "I wanna fight this strong guy for fun/pride" way back in the Saiyan arc when he used every possible dirty trick against the Saiyans. His very first move in that arc was teaming with Piccolo to fight Raditz, and his second move was going for Raditz's tail to basically bypass the fight altogether. From then on he'll alternate between trying to proactively end threats and all but making his opponents stronger according to the whims of the plot. The final battle of the Buu arc, for example, would've ended in 30 seconds if he displayed the same attitude against Pure Buu as he did against Raditz or Cell. Heck, even within that contrived fight, he regrets not taking the easiest route (Potara) and tries to take the second easiest route (bringing Gohan) until Vegeta talked him out of it. And Vegeta did not talk him out of fight by bringing up fun or pride, but by tying back to what Goku said in the beginning of the arc about the Earth not constantly relying on him for protection (well, that and they always could just bring Gohan if the Genki-Dama plan didn't work, it wasn't an either-or thing). Again, not remotely consistent with the Super incarnation.
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dbgtFO wrote: Please elaborate as I do not know what you mean by "pushing Vegeta's destruction"
He's probably referring to the Bardock special. Zarbon was the one who first recommended destroying Planet Vegeta because the saiyans were rapidly growing in strength.
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Herms wrote:The fact that the ridiculous power inflation is presented so earnestly makes me just roll my eyes and snicker. Like with Freeza, where he starts off over 10 times stronger than all his henchmen except Ginyu (because...well, just because), then we find out he can transform and get even more powerful, and then he reveals he can transform two more times, before finally coming out with the fact that he hasn't even been using anywhere near 50% of his power. Oh, and he can survive in the vacuum of space. All this stuff is just presented as the way Freeza is, without even an attempt at rationalizing it, yet the tone dictates we're supposed to take all this silly grasping at straws as thrilling danger. So I guess I don't really take the power inflation in the Boo arc seriously, but I don't take the power inflation in earlier arcs seriously either, so there's no net loss of seriousness. I think a silly story presented as serious is harder to accept than a silly story presented as silly.

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Re: Fan Perceptions of Son Goku's characterization: Then vs Now

Post by ABED » Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:21 pm

Wrong on both counts. It's neither lazy nor did Goku make any elaborate plans. He began training Goten and Trunks to fuse, but that's a very simple plan. Goku thinks off the cuff most of the time.

If Goku believes it's his job to defend the Earth, he doesn't do a great job of it since he puts the Earth in jeopardy several times. It sometimes works out for the best, but that's an unintended benefit. No one here is claiming Goku doesn't care about innocent lives.

Goku never abandoned his love of fighting for fun and pride. He lets Vegeta go for that very reason. If you think he proactively tries to end threats, you're just wrong. He NEVER proactively ends threats unless it's immediate. He didn't against the cyborgs. Teaming with Piccolo was a move he did out of necessity to survive. Goku is very concrete bound. I believe you misunderstand the character as you don't truly understand what Goku means by fighting for fun and pride. It's brought up in Battle of Gods. He doesn't like having to rely on others to defeat an enemy, but he'll do it out of necessity. That doesn't mean he throws away his love of fighting out of the whims of the plot. He's pragmatic.

I wouldn't bring up Vegeta's role in the Kid Buu fight. He was the one who destroyed the Potara earing first. None of this is contrived. He acts in character the whole time. None of your examples prove your point.
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