Discussion, generally of an in-universe nature, regarding any aspect of the franchise (including movies, spin-offs, etc.) such as: techniques, character relationships, internal back-history, its universe, and more.
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As far as the guidebooks go, kid Goku’s height was never directly stated. However pre 22nd TB Kid Goku is *consistently* drawn to be about 55% of the height of taller adults (1.80m/6ft ish) and 60% of the shorter adults (1.65m/5ft5in -ish). Knowing the standard drawing practises
of normal adult people helps (height=8 heads) to see though this all the time but you can just literally measure Goku’s and another’s person height with a ruler and find the ratio anyway to verify. So from that we can deduce that kid Goku’s height is around 1m (around 3ft) which is the height of a 4-5year old kid. So his weight would be around 18-20kg. Surely there are minor fluctuations about Goku's true height but not more than a few cms/a couple of inches. The databooks actually do give heights of some of the adults. Yamcha (1.83m), Roshi (1.65m), General Blue (1.81m), etc so by sheer comparison we can verify this result into a more precise degree.
That being said the Dragonball: Bouken Special Guide (the first ever Dragonball guidebook) which is the guidebook that first gave those figures (see here
– by the way Daizenshuu 7 and SEG just reused them), gives the height of Oolong (who is drawn to be about as tall as Goku), to be 1.21m. Now isn’t that inconsistent?!
Do we know what Toriyama’s involvement was with this guidebook? Like if stated in the preface or so? I don't know but the sure thing is that all the information in that databook that is given about the characters (which includes address etc) is given in a way *identical* to the way Toriyama had given the exact same information of the characters in his Dr Slump manga (and with Dr Slump he did so *inside* the manga). And it is identical not only in format but has the same style too (like the humour). Also THAT level of detail (addresses etc) is a bit unlikely to be entirely ass-pulled especially given it was the earliest databook and that it came up *during* the serialisation. I also do notice that the databook doesn’t complete all the form fields for all the characters suggesting that the editors didn't make up stuff for those who they didn't actually get information from Toriyama himself. Finally and most importantly here is a crucial little detail. General Blue (who was dead by that point) says this:
Gender: I’m a man!
Address: the world of death
Height: 181 cm
Weight: 69 kg
Occupation: I’m unemployed now.
Specialty Technique: my toughness, I suppose
Family: none listed
Opinions, Requests: Tao Pai Pai isn’t here in the world of death! He’s still alive, so someone take him out!
Taopaipai re-appeared in Dragonball in chapter 167 which was first published in March 1988. But this Dragon Ball Bouken Special guide came BEFORE that. In Novever 1987. Only Toriyama could foreshadow/say this thing as Taopaipai was thought by everyone that he was killed since the RRA arc.
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As we describe on the Daizenshuu
page of our databook guide
Kanzenshuu - Databook Guide - Daizenshuu wrote:It should be noted that although Akira Toriyama is listed as the author for all of the Daizenshuu, he actually had very little involvement with the production of their content, if any at all. Toriyama makes it quite clear in most of his Daizenshuu introductions that "they" (Shueisha) are responsible for putting these together, and he is often graciously humble in thanking them for all their hard work in sorting through his exhaustive series.
, in conjunction with Shueisha (and Toei where applicable), are the ones responsible for the vast majority of these books, including the Adventure Special
If you think that the books and various information tidbits reflect Toriyama's style, that's generally because they (1) know the franchise well, and (2) did their job well.
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Whenever short people or huge people are involved, things are not necessarily drawn to scale in Dragonball -- stuff is exaggerated so the short people appear extra short and the huge people appear extra huge. How tiny Vegeta looked when he first appeared is probably the best example -- the art style of the time was skewed to emphasize the size difference between Vegeta and Nappa (and later, between Vegeta and Recoome), but later on when Vegeta's being compared mostly to Goku and Trunks his height suddenly seems to have increased. No, he has not randomly gotten a mid-life growth spurt, he's just not being drawn exaggeratedly short anymore!
Basically, trying to calculate heights of a short character based on how tall they appear next to normal-adult-sized characters will always be a little off because of this. Going by the "official" height numbers Krillin is 5 feet tall, just a few inches shorter than Vegeta. He's always drawn exaggeratedly short, though -- continuing to be "shorter than how initial-Saiyan-saga Vegeta was drawn" even after Vegeta no longer is drawn so short.
(Kid Goku being around 1.2 meters/4 feet like Oolong's official height actually sounds about right, if you account for the short-people height-skewing. So I guess just add about a foot to the apparent height of anyone who appears to be really tiny and you might end up with their actual height. XD)
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One detail that I overlooked is this. The guidebook gives the information about the characters at the time it was published (as per chapter 146 for the manga). It does state Oolong was 13 (as indeed about 4 years had passed since his first introduction) so Oolong may had just grown up and got taller during that time period too. For all we know he was 1.21m as 13y.o. but we have no idea how tall he was when he was 9y.o. (when he was comparable to 12y.o. Goku) unless we assume he stayed the same. Of course such an assumption could in fact be backed up since 22nd TB Oolong himself was actually drawn as a tiny guy when compared to the adults. But that is probably a "technical problem" when having all the 3 short guys (15y.o. Goku, 15.y.o Krillin and 13y.o. Oolong) who at the time had different heights, standing next to fully grown adults (of different heights too!).
Also 22nd TB Oolong in direct shots of him standing next to Krillin, he was at Krillin's eyes' level- (so 8-9cm difference normally) and Krillin said he had grown a lot taller when Goku was shown to have grown up since 3 years earlier. Though of course Krillin may had said so just because he was jealous and in fact he just grew just as much as his difference was from Oolong while Oolong staying the same, we do see Krillin being comparable (if a bit taller) to Chiaotzu which in the same guidebook is stated to be 1.38m tall. That would mean that since Krillin (like kid Goku) was originally comparable to Oolong, he actually grew up at least 17cm -a difference that was therefore depicted only as half (8-9cm) of what it is supposedly is. A consideration going against the height difference exaggeration logic...Anyway!
Bottom-line: Impossible to be conclusive but considering everything, 11-12y.o. Goku being around 1.21m/4ft may not be such a bad (indirect) official figure after all. Also it still means that Goku was about a feet shorter than the average 12y.o. male.