Why is Goku bored?

Discussion specifically regarding the "Dragon Ball Super" TV series premiering July 2015 in Japan, including individual threads for each episode.

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Why is Goku bored?

Post by Yuji » Sun Oct 01, 2023 6:01 pm

A common theme in modern Dragon Ball is that Goku's boredom leads him to progressively become more and more reckless and push the wrong buttons until he presumably finds a healthier outlet in the form of Oob, but why exactly is Goku bored when he's never been more surrounded by stronger people he can fight and train with?

He was much more isolated both in terms of strength and training partners in the original series than he is now, yet it seems like an addict it's been getting worse and worse.

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Re: Why is Goku bored?

Post by ChronoTwigger » Mon Oct 02, 2023 6:41 am

Not all choices are rational, some are functional. They have to drag on an already solved character arc. The most functional solution is to attach an inner motivation. So you can write whatever by the reason "Goku want for more". It doesn't matter what's going on, Goku want for more.
He want more than Vegeta + Broly + Beerus+ Black Freeza? Yeah.

This, and the fact Super, Z and EoZ are not perfectly aligned.
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Re: Why is Goku bored?

Post by PerhapsTheOtherOne » Mon Oct 02, 2023 8:36 am

I definitely think a case can be made for how Goku always wants to seek NEW challenges, and not just re-test himself against the people he knows.

Why fight Vegeta again when you can fight someone entirely new that'll present a completely unknown challenge you have to adapt to over the course of the fight?

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Re: Why is Goku bored?

Post by Kaboom » Mon Oct 02, 2023 9:06 am

Maybe because he's content-aware and knows that all the modern stories are midquel material so there's no actual stakes to anything he does.
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Re: Why is Goku bored?

Post by Zephyr » Mon Oct 02, 2023 10:30 am

I guess this is one of the things Super still needs to tie up before it meets back up with the original ending. The Super TV anime at least ended on the note of, with Ultra Instinct completed, there was pretty much nobody left to challenge him, more or less outside of angels and Zeno, and so an untrained boy with Boo's potential still tracked as the prospect for curing Goku's boredom.

But then "Super" continued, and now we have Broli, Vegeta, Freeza, Piccolo, Gohan, and Gamma #1 as characters who may be in a position to entertain Goku. As things stand right now, how easily can we explain them away?

Broli has no existing prospects or goals, and he was already strong enough that fusion was needed to defeat him. Goku ought to be excitedly training him, but from what we've seen in Super Hero, it seems that Goku's hesitant to see his full power unleashed, presumably because of how out-of-control he is in such a state, and how much of Beerus' shit would get broken as a result. So I guess it's unclear where Goku would really be able to train him to get his full power under control. Other than that, though, assuming Goku could think to train Broli specifically to better control his full power, I can see no reason why Goku wouldn't already be excitedly training and sparring with him by the time Super meets back up with the original ending. Something has to happen to him in order for a post-Super version of the original ending to read roughly the same way as it originally did; maybe he dies, maybe he moves to another universe, etc.

Vegeta's destined to retire. The signs have always been there, and they largely continue to be there. Goku's leg up on him as a martial artist was fully laid bare in the Cell arc when Goku's path to improving the Super Saiyan state was shown to be the true way. Toriyama's character design for him for Dragon Ball GT showed a man very much in retirement. Just before the Tournament of Power, he prioritized the birth of his daughter over the fight. During the Tournament of Power, and after, he gave up on trying to keep up with Goku in Whis' training, opting to go down his own paths (evolving Blue, Ultra Ego). Some wrenches in this suggest some degree of fence-sitting, such as Vegeta's insistence on some day defeating Goku in the Kanzenban ending, the Dragon Ball Online backstory suggesting their rivalry continued well into old age, and recent depictions by Toyotaro and Super Hero trying to show that, actually, Vegeta is the more gifted martial artist. This could go either way, but the guy's gotta fall far behind Goku again in order for a post-Super version of the original ending to read roughly the same way as it originally did.

Freeza's stronger than Goku right now (in the manga), but I doubt that's going to stay true before we meet back up with the original ending, whether that entails Freeza's death or not. Goku has been punked, and a rematch is 100% in the man's head. Maybe by then the wheels will have continued spinning such that we learn that, actually, the white/silver haired version of Ultra Instinct is the best one after all, again! Who knows what adjective will be placed in front of it this time.

Piccolo and Gamma #1, if I understand correctly, are more-or-less on par with Goku as a Super Saiyan Blue, rather than in Ultra Instinct. I don't think they would quite measure up.

Gohan has a family and a career, and was never going to be the prospect for curing Goku's boredom.


An alternative is that Goku's taking on Oob as a pupil is going to be recontextualized as being about something more than getting a healthy fix for fighting strong guys. In both the anime and the manga Dende mentions him to Goku as needing to be trained, which makes it seem more like a God-ordained duty than a selfish decision. I guess it could be both of these things, but I honestly would prefer it to be more of a selfish decision.

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Re: Why is Goku bored?

Post by PerhapsTheOtherOne » Mon Oct 02, 2023 12:11 pm

They could re-frame the original ending as being that Goku realizes that he can't just wait around for new exciting challenges anymore and takes the initiative to train up a new generation of fighters to become those challengers, and to prepare them for whatever exciting battles they'll inevitably face in their future.

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Re: Why is Goku bored?

Post by jjbgood » Tue Oct 03, 2023 3:18 am

Because there are only 2 ways to continue with a character whose story is already finished. Either you make him stupid, or you undo his development and make him go through the same experiences over and over again without him really learning them. Goku unfortunately got both in this case, Vegeta only the latter.

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Re: Why is Goku bored?

Post by OLKv3 » Thu Oct 05, 2023 11:12 pm

Because he met Beerus and found a tier of power he never knew existed, so now he wants more.
Goku never had this problem in the original series, he always found stronger opponents in himself quickly

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Re: Why is Goku bored?

Post by SupremeKai25 » Fri Oct 06, 2023 1:48 pm

Goku in DBZ was the strongest.

The highest-ranking God in DBZ, Supreme Kai Shin, was at Goku's mercy in the Buu saga. The feeling of being the strongest gave Goku calm and balance, allowing him to seek for a successor.

Meanwhile, Goku in DBS is NOT the strongest.

Goku in DBS is an insect compared to the Destroyer Gods and the Angels, as well as Zeno and the Grand Priest. Goku keeps training to try and surpass them, but he is still nowhere near them, and this gives him thrill, but also bores him, because he puts in so much effort and yet he is still not a real challenge for Beerus.

It must be boring, to put so much effort into something (training) and still knowing that you are nowhere close to your objective (matching 100% Beerus).

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Re: Why is Goku bored?

Post by theherodjl » Fri Oct 06, 2023 9:47 pm

I'm guessing the actual question here is "why does Goku still desire to find challenges against bad guys, as opposed to simply training with & fighting good guys for the rest of his life?"
I think Goku just enjoys the thrill of fighting someone who won't hold back against him as a result of moral/ethical reasons, and makes Goku truly examine his weaknesses as well as fully consider his options from getting close to serious injury/and or death. Unfortunately, Goku has kinda always been that way: He might not have any deliberate intention to die in a fight but he also is willing to accept it if it comes to that, Goku just strives to meet the challenge and overcome his limits. Goku may not always learn from his fights in the long run, but he does seem to enjoy it for however short it lasts.
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Re: Why is Goku bored?

Post by Cure Dragon 255 » Tue Oct 31, 2023 2:59 am

Well NO ONE asked why is bored Goku?

Okay seriously its because he always wants to push himself and always looking for a new challenge.
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Re: Why is Goku bored?

Post by super michael » Wed Nov 01, 2023 1:28 pm

Goku acts like a spoiled brat in DBS Anime. He whines when Vegeta goes to Whis for training, basically Goku doesn't want Vegeta to go to Whis without letting him know. Does Goku think Vegeta is his baby sitter, that he must tell Goku everything.

Goku never had any problem with anyone training with a master without him or others training before him in DB/DBZ. But in DBS Goku is a spoiled brat. He forces others to spar with him, when they don't want to.

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Re: Why is Goku bored?

Post by Magnificent Ponta » Tue Nov 07, 2023 9:35 am

I quite appreciate Goku's boredom at the beginning, just as a counterpoint to the beginning of Dragon Ball proper.

At the beginning of Dragon Ball, Goku is wild, free, and satisfied with his life because he's ignorant. He trains, hunts wild animals for food, and knows nothing of what's out there in the wider world. And he's entirely satisfied. He's king of his particular hill, and does what he wants, acting totally in keeping with his own nature, and sees nothing else.

At the beginning of Dragon Ball Super, Goku is domesticated (and domesticating the land around him, tilling the fields), snatching brief training opportunities where he can, and he's totally dissatisfied. He's seen what the wider world has to offer now, and he's kind of king of that hill by default, and his ignorance is there again, but with a different slant - not knowing when (or whether) a chance to encounter a proper challenge will arise again ("You never know when another strong enemy like Buu will appear again!").

He's bored because he's plunged into the depths of the challenges the world has to offer and doesn't know what else there is, and he isn't free to act according to his nature and (by acting the way he typically does) summon that challenge. Of course, his encounter with Beerus shows him what's next, but following that, I'd say Goku's response is less one of boredom, and rather more one of a restless eagerness to find out what else is waiting for him, having been bored previously.

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Re: Why is Goku bored?

Post by Scientist Fu » Tue Nov 07, 2023 9:51 am

I think one part of his "boredom" comes from his Saiyan nature (different species) and the other part, his way of being. It's like Gohan who does not like fighting but has to fight when he is obliged. It's the same thing for Goku, he does not like working but he does it because he is obliged, it does not matter if he does it to obtain Chichi's permission to go training, he still goes to work when he has to, even though he does not like it. Goku does not really have any real interest besides fighting and getting stronger and then teaching the younger ones to become stronger. That's how the character is designed. He can of course enjoy things in daily life, but fighting mostly (or always) comes first. Goku would have been better off as a celibacy, a solitary (or at least marry a woman warrior who enjoys fighting like Goku does). I really don't know why Toriyama choose to marry him with Chichi (probably cause he thought it was fun/funny which isn't), it was a very bad idea because it really does not suit Goku's character nor his life-style who enjoys fighting above everything and is often seen as self-centered because he has responsibilities as a father. Goku is a saiyan, he is not supposed to live on earth, it's understandable that he can't really change that aspect of him. I'm sure if other saiyans from U7 were to live on earth they would not be compatible with earthlings life-style.

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Re: Why is Goku bored?

Post by DragonBallFoodie » Sat Nov 18, 2023 2:14 pm

Because he's a manchild, and children get bored very easily. And that's a source of humor/drama for the show.
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