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 ricky84 » Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:23 pm

Xell wrote:It wasn't until I rewatched a portion of Dragonball (in the form of Kai: TFC to be exact), that I realised Toei had sort of messed up Goku's character in Super.

Goku's always had his fairshare of goofball moments throughout the series, but it's dialled to the extreme in Super. It actually reminds me of the Simpsons where Homer Simpson's idiocy has reached a ridiculous level in the most recent seasons; to the point of obnoxiousness and it being unfunny (in my opinion, of course).

I'd grown so used to Goku's DBS character, that I was actually blown away by how much of a leader he comes across as in The Final Chapters. He shows initiative and actually seems to have a few braincells (albeit, making a fair few mistakes in typical Goku fashion).
Yet in Super he never makes a decision as dumb as not killing off a major threat right away like he often did in the original series.
Last edited by ricky84 on Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fan Perceptions of Son Goku's characterization: Then vs Now

Post by KBABZ » Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:14 am

ricky84 wrote:Please. DB(Z) Goku was dumb enough not to know the difference between boys and girls (which is an intuitive thing that doesn't need to be taught), thought marriage was a type of food, was constantly being fooled and scammed by strangers, made blatantly dumb decisions like letting dangerous villains live just so he can fight them again, not killing Dr. Gero before he creates the Androids, giving Cell a senzu bean, not killing Fat Buu when he could, etc.
I take issue with these citations because the first three examples are primarily present in the Kid Goku era where he was a boy from the wilds, who has never seen a car or another woman. Bulma is of course a stunning example of one, but Chi-Chi and the old lady in the village look nothing like her. There's a difference between being an idiot and just not being well-learned, and Goku falls squarely in the latter camp. The other examples can be chalked up to a combination of his confident attitude and his Saiyan love for fighting; Vegeta makes exactly the same mistakes he does in the Android arc but he isn't called a bufoon by fans in the same way Goku is. And with Fat Buu, he wanted to give the next generation a shot at taking him down because (not knowing about Super and Kid Buu) he felt they had a legit shot at it.

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

Post by CTAkuma » Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:45 am

Goku always had a love for fighting, though he knew when to take things seriously. In Super it got a bit too flanderized and out of hand. For example his love for fighting almost doomed the Multiverse in the Tournament of Power arc and singlehandedly created the Future Trunks arc. and he barely felt remorse for either. Yet when Goku Black and Zamasu revealed they murdered his family, he felt personally threatened and took action. Goku is not braindead stupid and he clearly doesn't like villains terrorizing his friends, family or the earth

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

Post by TheMikado » Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:58 am

ricky84 wrote:
TheMikado wrote:The problem, in my opinion. Isn't the fandom. Its that Goku has literally been around for decades and people don't know how to properly categorize him as a character. They tend to make him too simplistic and talk in terms of absolutes. Goku is .... so ..... etc.

The fact is when we see Goku, he is an intelligent, yet naive individual. Good-natured and Good hearted enough to continue to ride the Nimbus, thus the idea of there being "poison" wouldn't jive with a major plot point of his ability to ride the Nimbus. But the consistency problems don't end there.

In Z, we see one of the first acts is for Goku to run the entirety of Snake way, he has an immediate understanding of what it means to run 1 million Km or miles depending on the translation. We also see in the Buu saga he is able to tell time at the World Martial Arts tournament and even performs mental math to determine how much time he has in minutes until the fighting begins.
Yet we zoom over to Super and in the very first episode he is portrayed as a bumbling idiot only caring about training such that he ruins his crops, has Goten nearly crash his tractor, and then can't seem to understand the difference between 100,000 and 1 million zenny are the very end. This also ignores his seeming issue with having trouble conceptualizing grade school numbers 5-6 when they are getting the Saiyans to perform the SSG ceremony.

These are just some quick examples of why the fandom is constantly at war. Because we have a complex character between portrayed in many ways which seem at odds with one another and previous characterization.
Please. DB(Z) Goku was dumb enough not to know the difference between boys and girls (which is an intuitive thing that doesn't need to be taught), thought marriage was a type of food, was constantly being fooled and scammed by strangers, made blatantly dumb decisions like letting dangerous villains live just so he can fight them again, not killing Dr. Gero before he creates the Androids, giving Cell a senzu bean, not killing Fat Buu when he could, etc. Seriously, Goku has always been consistently portrayed as stupid outside of combat. Just where do you think Team4Star got their jokes and portrayal of Goku from? It aint from Super, but the original series itself. The idea of him being more intelligent in the original manga/DBZ is pure nostalgic nonsense:

"Goku fights bad guys, he trains more, he fights increasingly evil bad guys, and eventually he grows up and turns from a little tiny dumb kid to a normal-sized, slightly less dumb adult." - Jason Thompson, House of 1000 Manga https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/house- ... 2011-03-10

And the idea of him being smarter in the DBS manga is ridiculous lmao. In the DBS manga can't even tell the difference between being pregnant and fat and doesn't even show any tactical smarts in combat like he does in the anime. Just compare any Goku vs Hit fight in the anime to their only fight in the manga to see what I mean.

I don't think we have remotely the same understanding of Goku's history. Goku's only contact has been his Grandfather Gohan who died. Goku knows absolutely nothing about genders, cars, even social or society norms. You are confusing information with intelligence which is a regrettable perspective. As far as adult Goku your examples are simply bad decisions, not actual intelligence. Here is a good example, Adult Goku figures out he can train in one of two ways. Continually pushing his SSJ form or attempting to reduce the energy strain of the transformation by normalizing it. This shows intelligence, something even Vegeta didn't figure out and that no one showed or taught him. He worked out the technique on his own. Even before this we see he is capable of something complex like working the gravity machine and using weight training which Goku seems to understand both simple multiplication and addition and subtraction. Goku is not an idiot.Once he learns something he learns and applies it.

As far as DBS manga being "smarter" I think he is "less" buffoonish but modern DB overall is portraying Goku as an idiot which I personally find distasteful.
KBABZ wrote:
ricky84 wrote:Please. DB(Z) Goku was dumb enough not to know the difference between boys and girls (which is an intuitive thing that doesn't need to be taught), thought marriage was a type of food, was constantly being fooled and scammed by strangers, made blatantly dumb decisions like letting dangerous villains live just so he can fight them again, not killing Dr. Gero before he creates the Androids, giving Cell a senzu bean, not killing Fat Buu when he could, etc.
I take issue with these citations because the first three examples are primarily present in the Kid Goku era where he was a boy from the wilds, who has never seen a car or another woman. Bulma is of course a stunning example of one, but Chi-Chi and the old lady in the village look nothing like her. There's a difference between being an idiot and just not being well-learned, and Goku falls squarely in the latter camp. The other examples can be chalked up to a combination of his confident attitude and his Saiyan love for fighting; Vegeta makes exactly the same mistakes he does in the Android arc but he isn't called a bufoon by fans in the same way Goku is. And with Fat Buu, he wanted to give the next generation a shot at taking him down because (not knowing about Super and Kid Buu) he felt they had a legit shot at it.
This guy gets it^

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

Post by KBABZ » Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:33 am

TheMikado wrote:You are confusing information with intelligence which is a regrettable perspective.
KBABZ wrote:
ricky84 wrote:Please. DB(Z) Goku was dumb enough not to know the difference between boys and girls (which is an intuitive thing that doesn't need to be taught), thought marriage was a type of food, was constantly being fooled and scammed by strangers, made blatantly dumb decisions like letting dangerous villains live just so he can fight them again, not killing Dr. Gero before he creates the Androids, giving Cell a senzu bean, not killing Fat Buu when he could, etc.
I take issue with these citations because the first three examples are primarily present in the Kid Goku era where he was a boy from the wilds, who has never seen a car or another woman. Bulma is of course a stunning example of one, but Chi-Chi and the old lady in the village look nothing like her. There's a difference between being an idiot and just not being well-learned, and Goku falls squarely in the latter camp. The other examples can be chalked up to a combination of his confident attitude and his Saiyan love for fighting; Vegeta makes exactly the same mistakes he does in the Android arc but he isn't called a bufoon by fans in the same way Goku is. And with Fat Buu, he wanted to give the next generation a shot at taking him down because (not knowing about Super and Kid Buu) he felt they had a legit shot at it.
This guy gets it^
As someone with Autism I know all about this confusion from when I was growing up. Back then I would be called stupid or an idiot for not understanding social cues or common knowledge simply because I hadn't learned/mastered them yet, which is not the same as not mentally being capable of figuring something out.

Goku can come off as quite clueless but I attribute that to his happy-go-lucky attitude to life where his most common thought to being wrong in a social situation is "Eh, it doesn't matter". He doesn't know a lot because it isn't important to him to learn it in the first place. But fighting, which he takes incredibly seriously, is something he is incredibly intelligent about as shown in your Super Saiyan mastery above. The fight with Vegeta is a good example: he's always thinking not just a few punches ahead but a few bouts ahead, so he knows exactly what risks he's taking for later on when he's using a high multiplication of Kaio-Ken.

In my opinion, Goku's seeming ineptitude and casual approach to life contrasting with his extreme intelligence in battle is one of the major reasons why Vegeta finds Goku so annoying, underneath the whole "low-class scum" thing. Vegeta knows that he's clearly more learned and articulate than Goku, yet he's frequently out-matched not just by Goku's talents in pure combat but also his intelligence in how he's actually partaking in the fights.

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

Post by ricky84 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:32 pm

TheMikado wrote: As far as adult Goku your examples are simply bad decisions, not actual intelligence.
Bad decision making on a repeated basis is a sign of low IQ. By the way, none of you guys actually refuted my main point, that Goku (outside of fighting) has consistently been portrayed as kind of slow since the start of the original manga. When at any point in the franchise has Goku shown to be generally intelligent like say Future Trunks, King Vegeta, Zamasu, Gohan and/or especially Bulma?
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Re: Fan Perceptions of Son Goku's characterization: Then vs Now

Post by TheMikado » Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:19 pm

ricky84 wrote:
TheMikado wrote: As far as adult Goku your examples are simply bad decisions, not actual intelligence.
Bad decision making on a repeated basis is a sign of low IQ. By the way, none of you guys actually refuted my main point, that Goku (outside of fighting) has consistently been portrayed as kind of slow since the start of the original manga. When at any point in the franchise has Goku shown to be generally intelligent like say Future Trunks, King Vegeta, Zamasu, Gohan and/or especially Bulma?
That’s not how IQ works........
Einstein had a 160 IQ out of a perfect 162. Yet he couldn’t talk until 4, couldn’t figure out how to tie his shoes until he was a preteen, and was a notoriously bad speller with most people thinking he was “slow” whatever than means “eye roll”. And he still made many mistakes. https://www.businessinsider.com/einstei ... kes-2011-7

In our very first look at Goku he’s rolling a log he cut down with a giant saw he maintains, takes it home and breaks it into pieces using martial arts and keeps his home well maintained from what we can see. The guys is able to do what most people on this forum couldn’t do now. Take care of himself away from people. The idea that Goku is some helpless idiot is so far from accurate from his original design it’s unbelievable it still circulates.

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

Post by ABED » Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:53 pm

When at any point in the franchise has Goku shown to be generally intelligent like say Future Trunks, King Vegeta, Zamasu, Gohan and/or especially Bulma?
I know this is beside the point, but what do we actually know about King Vegeta given how very little we see of him?
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Re: Fan Perceptions of Son Goku's characterization: Then vs Now

Post by ricky84 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:29 pm

TheMikado wrote:
That’s not how IQ works........
Einstein had a 160 IQ out of a perfect 162. Yet he couldn’t talk until 4, couldn’t figure out how to tie his shoes until he was a preteen, and was a notoriously bad speller with most people thinking he was “slow” whatever than means “eye roll”. And he still made many mistakes. https://www.businessinsider.com/einstei ... kes-2011-7
Those are just popular myths like "Einstein was a bad student". And there is no "perfect" IQ score, some are just higher/smarter than others.
TheMikado wrote: In our very first look at Goku he’s rolling a log he cut down with a giant saw he maintains, takes it home and breaks it into pieces using martial arts and keeps his home well maintained from what we can see. The guys is able to do what most people on this forum couldn’t do now. Take care of himself away from people. The idea that Goku is some helpless idiot is so far from accurate from his original design it’s unbelievable it still circulates.
Nearly all hunter-gatherers (who are all low IQ) and backward 3rd worlders could do all of that. None of which is actually reflective of higher intelligence according to cognitive science.
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Re: Fan Perceptions of Son Goku's characterization: Then vs Now

Post by TheMikado » Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:09 pm

ricky84 wrote:
TheMikado wrote:
That’s not how IQ works........
Einstein had a 160 IQ out of a perfect 162. Yet he couldn’t talk until 4, couldn’t figure out how to tie his shoes until he was a preteen, and was a notoriously bad speller with most people thinking he was “slow” whatever than means “eye roll”. And he still made many mistakes. https://www.businessinsider.com/einstei ... kes-2011-7
Those are just popular myths like "Einstein was a bad student". And there is no "perfect" IQ score, some are just higher/smarter than others.
TheMikado wrote: In our very first look at Goku he’s rolling a log he cut down with a giant saw he maintains, takes it home and breaks it into pieces using martial arts and keeps his home well maintained from what we can see. The guys is able to do what most people on this forum couldn’t do now. Take care of himself away from people. The idea that Goku is some helpless idiot is so far from accurate from his original design it’s unbelievable it still circulates.
Nearly all hunter-gatherers (who are all low IQ) and backward 3rd worlders could do all of that. None of which is actually reflective of higher intelligence according to cognitive science.
Sorry but this conversation ended for me at “backward 3rd worlders”.

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

Post by KBABZ » Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:50 pm

ricky84 wrote:Bad decision making on a repeated basis is a sign of low IQ. By the way, none of you guys actually refuted my main point, that Goku (outside of fighting) has consistently been portrayed as kind of slow since the start of the original manga. When at any point in the franchise has Goku shown to be generally intelligent like say Future Trunks, King Vegeta, Zamasu, Gohan and/or especially Bulma?
I'm sorry but this is just insulting to me. Are you saying that people who repeatedly steal or murder, something that would be called bad decision-making, are legit stupid and unintelligent? Because that is NOT how it works, dude.

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

Post by PFM18 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:26 pm

I am puzzled that anyone believes Goku isnt stupid. The guy was always portrayed as being a dumb person that loves fighting and means well but can be selfish. That's essentially his character in a nutshell. if he wasn't stupid he would be more of a generic hero/protagonist.

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

Post by KBABZ » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:48 pm

PFM18 wrote:I am puzzled that anyone believes Goku isnt stupid. The guy was always portrayed as being a dumb person that loves fighting and means well but can be selfish. That's essentially his character in a nutshell. if he wasn't stupid he would be more of a generic hero/protagonist.
I just spent the past two pages explaining the difference between stupid and uninformed!

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

Post by PFM18 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:50 pm

KBABZ wrote:
PFM18 wrote:I am puzzled that anyone believes Goku isnt stupid. The guy was always portrayed as being a dumb person that loves fighting and means well but can be selfish. That's essentially his character in a nutshell. if he wasn't stupid he would be more of a generic hero/protagonist.
I just spent the past two pages explaining the difference between stupid and uninformed!
lol sorry I'll look at it when I get a chance.

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

Post by Tavarano » Sun Sep 23, 2018 3:23 pm

jjgp1112 wrote:Yup, nd going back to the Raditz thing, it was made VERY clear that he was not thrilled about that battle. He was trying to rescue his son, and that superceded everything - he went as far as outright saying that he'd normally be excited meeting a guy as strong as Raditz, but instead he was terrified. He'd do anything to rescue his son, so that doesn't really fall into the Saiyan lust for battle.
Goku was excited about the fight with Raditz, he also admired Raditz' abilities. Him being scared and excited about strong guys at the same time is what happens numerous times - when he asks Krilin to let Vegeta go, he says that he was scared to fight him but deep inside thrilled, was sweating saying "no no no" when Roshi told him that there is a stronger fighter than Vegeta on Namek, but then got excited when he left the hospital, told Future Trunks that he is afraid of the androids but wants to see if he can beat them.
Goku said that he sees dying with Raditz as a way of defeating him, not saving anyone, and the only thing he was interested in before he died is when the 2 other saiyans will come.
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.
He said righteous hero, not heroic. But here are some things that are different.
1. When Goku is on the snake way, there is a panel where narrator says that Goku doesn't care about what Gohan is doing. In the anime he has a dream in Snake Princess' castle about Vegeta and Nappa visiting his family, then wakes up and leaves saying he has to hurry because everyone is counting on him.
2. Likewise with androids Goku has a dream about them killing ChiChi, Gohan, Krilin and Future Trunks.
3. Change of dialogue during Goku's death with Cell from "Tell your mother I'm sorry." into "Tell your mother I'm sorry, I always did selfishly whatever I wanted." which completely missed the point as Goku was apologizing for another selfish thing he was doing as he already knew he would refuse to come back (one of the things he tells Gohan when he contacts him is that he will have fun up there). Similarly with the scene on the lookout, where everyone is reminiscing about good things Goku did painting him as a hero, while in the manga everyone is shocked at Goku's jerkish behavior.
4. Goku was made into a family man and a father figure, Goku pushing a stroller is probably the most OOC Goku ever, that's why things like Goku never kissed ChiChi were in DBS' outline by Toriyama, and it's not only a lot of filler but scenes from the manga were altered too, for example Goku ignoring Goten when he meets him for the first time, the way Goku sends Gohan to fight Cell is different, Goku looks at Gohan with a smile after he gets Piccolo's clothing on the lookout in the anime, Goku and Gohan trying to grab each others' hands when lying beaten up by Vegeta, the picnic and fishing scenes are completely different as in the manga Gohan never relaxes himself.
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