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Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball franchise is without a doubt one of the most popular manga and anime franchises in history. The story of young Son Goku, a brilliant and kind-hearted fighter who evolves to become the mightiest fighter in the universe and the protector of the world, has attracted millions of fans around the world ever since the manga debuted back in 1984. Son Goku and his powers have been the topic of debate for a while now – even we at Fiction Horizon have written several articles on Goku and his powers – which is why it should not surprise you that they are, once again, going to be the topic of today’s article. In fact, today, we are going to answer one of the more burning Goku-related questions by telling you whether Son Goku can destroy the universe or not. Interested? Keep reading!
Despite a lot of debunks around the web, evidence from both the manga and the anime suggest that Son Goku is a potential universal threat and that he would not have much trouble – at his current level of power – destroying a whole universe or several of them for that matter.
We’re going to start off our article by giving you a brief introduction to Son Goku and his powers. Then, we are going to analyse them in the context of our question to finally give you an answer to the question. We have prepared a great text for you, so stick with us until the very end.
What powers and abilities does Goku have?
We’ll start off our analysis with Goku’s powers. In terms of pure powers, we can state that Son Goku has become a true Saiyan god as the series progressed. He doesn’t have any superpowers like some other superheroes, but he can utilise his physique and his fighting skills in such a way that he truly does seem superhuman. He is a constantly evolving character that upgrades his skills and potential after each big challenge, becoming more powerful after every fight. In that aspect, his potential is practically unlimited and it is safe to assume – although, we have to reiterate that, there is no hard evidence for this – that his potential is night infinite.
When it comes to speed, well, we don’t actually know how fast Goku is. We know he’s fast. His reflexes are brilliant and he can, indeed, move really fast. But how fast is he, exactly? We haven’t a clue. If we consult Dragon Ball Super, where Goku’s powers have become almost absurdly big, and compare his speed to the general speed of the Dragon Ball Z characters, we could assume that he’s become the fastest character in the series. The sad thing is – we have absolutely no proof of this and this brings us to the verifiability issue mentioned above. This one of such unverified (or even unverifiable) assumptions that you can freely interpret.
In terms of endurance, Son Goku is an exceptional fighter who doesn’t get tired and gets better after every fight. Son Goku is a trained martial artist so he is automatically exceptional in hand-to-hand combat; he doesn’t actually rely on his strength and on his powers, but rather on his skills and complex fighting techniques. His Saiyan physique also enables him to last very long in a fight, so long that it is questionable whether he can get tired at all, but this is also one of the unproven assumptions open to interpretation. He also grows after each battle and becomes stronger, which also makes him more durable after each fight. He is not immortal, though, which is something we thought was worth mentioning at this point.
Finally, we’d like to confirm that Goku doesn’t really have any known weaknesses in the classical sense. Sure, he can be beaten, but there is no secret weapon you could use in a fight against him. If you’re a better fighter, you’ll win; if not, there’s really no “cheat code” you could use.
Can Goku destroy the universe?
With the recent developments in the Dragon Ball universe (both the manga and the anime), the Internet is full of debates on whether Son Goku is capable of destroying the universe or not. Some state that he is a universal threat but not a universe buster (the former can endanger the universe, while the latter can shatter it in a second), but that seems to us like a question of semantics, rather than anything else. A lot of fans state that it’s been debunked that Goku could destroy a universe, but we don’t really agree with that and we have a lot of evidence from Toriyama’s stories that affirm our stance. The following paragraphs are going to give present you with an analysis of this evidence.
As we’ve seen from his powers and abilities, Goku’s strength is practically infinite, as it increases with every fight and the tougher the opponent, the more power Goku seems to get. As the series progressed, he unlocked more and more of his powers, reaching new forms in later iterations of the story. The power to destroy a universe is truly epic and it’s no wonder that fans aren’t completely certain that Goku has such powers. But, let us give a bit of context to out theory. In an earlier narrative, we have seen Vegeta destroy a planet, which was the first such instance in the Dragon Ball narrative, before the introduction of even more powerful beings. At that point, Goku – who was always portrayed as being stronger than Vegeta – wasn’t, as far as we know, able to do that. But, that is a point of reference. Since that event, Son Goku’s powers have risen enormously and at this point, he is way beyond the level that Vegeta was at the time when he was able to destroy a planet. There’s even a calculation online, which you can use to see – roughly at least – how his powers have evolved. In that aspect, Goku certainly could be at a level where he could easily destroy one or more universes. So, why do people still doubt it?
A lot of people use Goku’s fight with Beerus as a reference point, as it sent shockwaves through the galaxy that seemed to be universe shattering, to state that Goku is not a universe buster as nothing was actually destroyed, neither the Earth, nor the universe. But that is just ridiculous, isn’t it? From a narrative standpoint, it just wouldn’t make any sense to destroy Earth, as is it the main setting of the whole franchise, and the same applies to the universe. Just imagine if Toriyama had to resurrect the whole universe every two panels because someone launched a universe-breaking attack that actually destroyed everything. It wouldn’t make much sense, would it? Well, that’s the main reason why everything survived – not because Goku couldn’t do it, but because it’s storytelling and from that perspective, it would be just ridiculous for Toriyama to write about an unnecessary, endless cycle of destruction and resurrection. This is usually the main argument of those that think Goku is not powerful enough to destoroy a universe, but we’ve debunked it quite easily.
Some people also state that the shockwaves are getting stronger as they reach farther away from the source, citing science. This also doesn’t make much sense, since a wave becoming stronger as it gets farther from the source is completely against all scientific laws. This is a contradiction the debunkers often fall into, not aware that they are advocating an non-scientific phenomenon by using science, which is just faulty. Still, in the context of Toriyama’s work, this also functions because it’s fiction and is used as a plot device so the Earth and the Solar system don’t get destroyed as they are needed story-wise.
Another favourite argument used by the debunkers is that Beerus fought with only half his power, which is only partially true (but the whole scaling of Beerus’ powers kind of defeats the purpose of their fight and usually indicated that whoever does it didn’t quite understand the whole battle completely), but it does merit an explanation. Beerus has been alive for eons and for a while (and “a while” in his lifetime is not that short of a timespan, really), he had not encountered any worthy foe until Goku appeared. Beerus, as a God of Destruction, was enormously powerful, but due to not having fought or used his skills for some time, he was probably a bit rusty when he faced Goku, i.e., he was not at 100% of his powers. It wasn’t 50%, but let’s conclude that he was somewhere around 70-75% of his full potential. We also know that Beerus is – at the very least – a universe breaker, so we know for sure that he is able to destroy a universe. So, if Goku fought a Beerus who was not at 100% of his powers, does that mean that he wasn’t on that same level? No, actually, it doesn’t. Namely, even while not being at 100%, Beerus was still able to destroy a universe and Goku managed to survive a fight with him, meaning that he was, at the very least, on that same level at the time, but Goku evolved even them, meaning that he definitely achieved the universe breaker level, if he had not already been there before the fights. So, this argument is also quite easily debunked.
People also tend to say that the scaling of Dragon Ball Z villains doesn’t work quite well, but we have found out that practically all of them can be quite handily scaled above the other in this order: planetary, star, solar system, galaxy to multi galaxy. Of course, universal and universe breaker are the next levels, and we have already established that Beerus is on the latter level when scaling is concerned. Thus, Goku managing to fight him means that Toriyama’s protagonist is actually on that same level; he’s just good and wouldn’t destroy a universe, but he definitely could do it if he wanted to.
Oh, also, if you don’t believe us – there’s always Old Kai who said that Beerus and Goku would die and that the universe would crumble. He actually said that and although things didn’t turn out that way, it’s because of the aforementioned storytelling reasons and not because Old Kai was wrong, as people tend to believe. Old Kai is actually almost always right and several instances in the manga and the anime prove it. Old Kai said Goku and Gohan couldn’t beat Buutenks unfused and the story told us it was true by Goku, the guy who would fight anyone and anything, not even trying to fight by himself. Old Kai also says Gohan doesn’t need to go SSJ after ultimate (something he’s not even been around for, yet knows about) and – surprise, surprise – he was right. Old Kai also says Buu would have destroyed the universe in his lifetime had he been left unchecked, whish is something that was consistently reaffirmed by the manga and the anime. So yeah, Old Kai does really seem to know what he is talking about and when the guy says that Goku can destroy the universe, there is really no reason for you to doubt his words.
And that’s it for today. We hope you had fun reading this and that we helped solve this dilemma for you. See you next time and don’t forget to follow us!