Goku is the main protagonist of the Dragon Ball franchise, created by Akira Toriyama. He is a Saiyan warrior who was sent to Earth as a baby and grew up to become one of the strongest fighters in the universe. But how old is Goku in every anime series? This is a question that many fans have wondered about, as Goku’s age is not always clear or consistent throughout the different sagas and spin-offs. In this article, we will try to answer this question by looking at Goku’s age in select Dragon Ball sagas, as well as other Dragon Ball series, such as Dragon Ball GT and Dragon Ball Super. We will also discuss the confusion surrounding Goku’s age, and why it is not easy to calculate his exact age.
Goku’s Age in Select Dragon Ball Sagas
The original Dragon Ball anime series covers Goku’s childhood and teenage years, from age 11 to 18. The following are some of the major sagas and events that happened during this period, and how old Goku was at the time.
Emperor Pilaf Saga
This is the first saga of the series, where Goku meets Bulma, a teenage girl who is searching for the seven Dragon Balls. Together, they encounter various enemies and allies, such as Yamcha, Oolong, Puar, Master Roshi, and Chi-Chi. Goku also learns about his Saiyan heritage and his grandfather’s death from his adoptive grandfather, Gohan. At the beginning of this saga, Goku is 11 years old.
Tournament & Red Ribbon Army Sagas
These sagas follow Goku’s training under Master Roshi, along with his friend Krillin, to prepare for the 21st World Martial Arts Tournament. Goku also faces the evil Red Ribbon Army, a military organization that wants to use the Dragon Balls for world domination. He meets Android 8, a friendly cyborg who becomes his ally, and defeats several of the army’s leaders, such as Colonel Silver, General White, and Commander Red. He also encounters Tao Pai Pai, a ruthless assassin hired by the army, and defeats him with the help of Korin, a cat-like deity who lives on top of a tower. During these sagas, Goku turns 12 years old, and then 15 years old after a three-year time skip.
Tien Shinhan & Demon King Piccolo Sagas
These sagas focus on the 22nd and 23rd World Martial Arts Tournaments, where Goku faces new rivals and enemies, such as Tien Shinhan, Chiaotzu, King Chappa, and Demon King Piccolo. Piccolo is an ancient evil being who wants to conquer the world and destroy humanity. He kills Master Roshi, Krillin, and Chiaotzu, and steals the Dragon Balls to wish for eternal youth. Goku manages to defeat him with the help of Yajirobe, a samurai-like warrior who cuts off Piccolo’s tail. However, Piccolo spits out an egg containing his son and reincarnation before dying. Goku then trains under Kami, the guardian of Earth, and Mr. Popo, his assistant, for three years in preparation for the next tournament. He also meets his future wife Chi-Chi again and proposes to her. At the end of these sagas, Goku is 18 years old, and marries Chi-Chi shortly after.
Goku’s Age in Other Dragon Ball Series
The sequel series to Dragon Ball is Dragon Ball Z , which covers Goku’s adult life and his battles against powerful enemies from other planets and dimensions. The following are some of the other series that are related to Dragon Ball Z , either as spin-offs or continuations.
Dragon Ball GT
Dragon Ball GT is a non-canon series that takes place five years after the end of Dragon Ball Z , in Age 789. It follows Goku’s adventures with his granddaughter Pan and his friend Trunks, as they travel across the galaxy in search of the Black Star Dragon Balls. These are a special set of Dragon Balls that were created by Kami’s predecessor before he split into Kami and Piccolo. They have a negative side effect: if they are not gathered within a year after being used, the planet where they were used will explode. At the beginning of this series, Goku is 42 years old, but he is turned into a child by Emperor Pilaf using the Black Star Dragon Balls. He remains in this form for most of the series until he regains his adult form during his final battle against Baby Vegeta.
Dragon Ball Super
Dragon Ball Super is a canon series that takes place between the defeat of Majin Buu and the epilogue of Dragon Ball Z , from Age 778 to Age 780. It follows Goku’s encounters with new enemies and allies from other universes and timelines, such as Beerus, the God of Destruction, Whis, his angelic attendant, Zamasu, a rogue Kaioshin, and Jiren, the strongest mortal of Universe 11. Goku also achieves new levels of power, such as Super Saiyan God, Super Saiyan Blue, and Ultra Instinct. At the beginning of this series, Goku is 41 years old, and at the end of it, he is 43 years old.
The Confusion Surrounding Goku’s Age
As we have seen, Goku’s age is not always straightforward or consistent throughout the different series and sagas. There are several factors that contribute to this confusion, such as:
Time skips and time-traveling
The Dragon Ball franchise often uses time skips and time-traveling to advance the plot and introduce new characters and scenarios. For example, there are several time skips between the sagas of Dragon Ball , ranging from a few months to a few years. There are also time skips between the series, such as the five-year gap between Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z , or the ten-year gap between the defeat of Majin Buu and the epilogue of Dragon Ball Z . Additionally, there are instances of time-traveling, such as when Future Trunks comes from a dystopian future where Goku died of a heart virus and the Androids killed most of the Z Fighters. He travels back in time to warn Goku and his friends about the impending threat and change the course of history. There are also cases where characters enter places or devices that alter the flow of time, such as the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, where one year inside equals one day outside, or the Time Rings, which allow the users to travel to different timelines.
Official timeline of Dragon Ball
The official timeline of Dragon Ball is based on the Age system, which counts the years from an unspecified event in the past. The Age system is not equivalent to the real-world calendar system, and it is not clear how it was established or what it signifies. For example, Age 737 is the year when Goku was born and sent to Earth, but it is not known what happened in that year that marked it as Age 737. Furthermore, the official timeline is not always consistent with the events shown in the anime or manga. For example, according to the official timeline, Goku was 11 years old when he met Bulma in Age 749, but in the manga, he said he was 14 years old. Similarly, according to the official timeline, Goku was 24 years old when Raditz arrived on Earth in Age 761, but in the anime, he said he was 23 years old.
Due to the ambiguity and inconsistency of Goku’s age in the official sources, many fans have tried to calculate his age using their own methods and assumptions. Some fans use different starting points for the Age system, such as Age 0 being the year when King Piccolo was sealed by Master Mutaito, or Age 1 being the year when Kami became the guardian of Earth. Some fans also use different formulas or factors to account for Goku’s time spent in other places or forms, such as his time in Other World after his death, or his time as a child in Dragon Ball GT . However, these interpretations are not official or canonical, and they may vary or contradict each other.
Goku is one of the most iconic and beloved characters in anime history. He has gone through many adventures and transformations throughout his life, from a naive young boy to a powerful adult warrior. However, his age is not always clear or consistent throughout the different series and sagas. There are several reasons for this confusion, such as time skips and time-traveling, official timeline discrepancies, and fans’ interpretations. Therefore, it is not easy to answer how old Goku is in every anime series. The best we can do is to use the official sources as a reference point and accept that there may be some errors or gaps in them. Ultimately, what matters more than Goku’s age is his spirit and personality, which remain unchanged regardless of his physical appearance or chronological age.