Most main characters in anime history have that one friend that’s next to them in strength, if not equal, and are oftentimes regarded as their rivals as well. There’s Naruto and Sasuke, Kawaki and Boruto, Natsu and Gray, Yugi and Kaiba, Ash and Gary, Melodias and Ban, and even Sanji and Zoro (though none of them is a protagonist of One Piece). But of course, what kind of anime fan will ever forget the most popular rivalry between the two Saiyans, Goku, and Vegeta? Their rivalry is so perfect, that they use each other for training to improve themselves even further.
It is shown repeatedly that Goku is always stronger than Vegeta, though there are times where Vegeta’s help always gained Goku an advantage against his enemy. Though others believe that Vegeta can defeat Goku, only if Vegeta manages to improve one step further than his best friend.
After all, Vegeta’s obsession to surpass Goku after getting defeated in their first encounter became the reason why the higher-class Saiyan is always close to gaining an upper hand against our favorite protagonist. To find out if this is true, or if Goku will always gain the upper hand, I will first show you the full power of these two friends. I will also show you what might happen if these two get into one final battle just like what Naruto and Sasuke had before the Naruto manga series ended.
Goku And His Powers
Being a Saiyan granted Goku, as well as Vegeta, superior abilities than humans. These include enhanced strength and enhanced senses. This, along with Goku’s determination that contains less arrogance than Vegeta, makes him grow towards unlimited lengths and potential. As a Saiyan, Goku has superior physical strength compared to humans. This determination of his caused him to become as strong as the gods as of the latest chapters. A testament to his power is that he was able to defeat Frieza at first, a creature that’s regarded as the most powerful among mortal beings in the whole galaxy.
Goku also has high levels of speed and reflexes, capable of keeping up against the likes of Beerus, who is a god with light speed reaction. Goku’s ever-improving strength gave him immense resilience. This caused him to fight against opponents stronger than him, and even land a powerful finishing attack even when severely injured during the last parts of his major battles.
Just like Vegeta, Goku has access to the Super Saiyan form granting him exponential boosts in power. This, along with learning how to use Godly Ki, granted him even more powerful forms, as seen in the latest chapters and episodes of the anime and manga series, respectively.
The defeat of Jiren shows the latest capabilities of Goku, which showed his ultimate form: the Perfected Ultra Instinct form. This form of his granted him godlike reflexes, as well as a brand new level of strength that has transcended even his previous power level.
Goku is also known to have a very high level of willpower. Just take note that he was low on stamina, and has attained major injuries all over his body. But still, he was able to defeat Jiren, who is way stronger than Frieza, who we all know by now as one of the most powerful beings in the galaxy.
Goku also mastered how to use Godly Ki, which is his known advantage against Broly if they ever face each other once more. Due to attaining Godly Ki, he can turn into a God-level Super Saiyan, which is more known as the Super Saiyan God, and the Super Saiyan Blue as its second form. As the series progressed, he unlocked a brand new form that’s out of the forms under the Super Saiyan category. Some fans say that this has unlocked even more possible forms in the future that’s yet to be seen.
Goku is a genius when fighting, highly adapting and catching up over time when in combat against extremely powerful enemies, even when those opponents can also gain access to more formidable power boosts and forms. Goku’s other abilities include the ability to transfer and sense Ki, energy nullification, and instant transmission by controlling his spirit. He also can ask the others to share their spirits to create a Spirit Bomb, one of Goku’s most destructive techniques aside from the Kamehameha.
Despite all these extraordinary feats, Goku is still a mortal that could get hurt. He even got ill during the Cell Saga. He can also receive damage from guns when he is not on his guard. All these are also present in Vegeta because they have the same lineage. But still, they had different experiences, techniques, and fighting styles that still made them entirely different from each other. In the next part, you will also understand how powerful Vegeta is, and how Goku is still superior to him.
Vegeta And His Powers
Vegeta is of the same race as Goku, granting him the same higher strength and senses as a normal human. Truth be told, Vegeta is known to be a higher-class Saiyan compared to Goku and is the prince of their home planet. Though it was stated that Vegeta’s class is of higher strength than Goku’s, it does not mean that the lower class of Saiyans is always outclassed by them. But still, this gives Vegeta the potential to become stronger than Goku at any given time.
Even when Vegeta was young, he already had enormous potential as a fighter. Higher-class warriors in the Saiyan planet such as the royal family see his strength as far superior to all of them. Even his father stated that Vegeta has surpassed all of the greatest Saiyans in history. What’s also amazing about Vegeta is that he is also as smart as Goku in combat, capable of teaching himself and improving further without the need of any mentor. This just shows that he is a natural prodigy, even when he was still a child.
Initially, Vegeta had a power output of 18,000, which is higher than Goku’s when they first met each other. This forced Goku to use the Kaio-ken to triple his own to defeat Vegeta. Due to being overwhelmed by Goku’s ability, Vegeta was forced to access the Great Ape form just to gain an edge in battle. This is where Vegeta’s durability was first displayed, as he was able to survive Goku’s pummeling and almost all of his attacks while fighting several fighters while in his Great Ape form.
Vegeta’s special technique, the Galick Gun, is known to be destructive enough to damage the whole Earth’s surface while he was still at 18,000 power output. After his defeat against Goku, his power increased to 24,000 when his tail was cut off, instead of weakening it. At the time he was fighting against Frieza, his power has increased up to around 500,000, and continued to improve further throughout the battle. However, Frieza was even more powerful and still defeated him to death. By the time Vegeta was revived by the Dragon Balls, his power also increased dramatically.
Thanks to his improvement, he can withstand training at a chamber with gravity 450 times stronger than Earth’s, and eventually 500 after reaching the Super Saiyan Second Grade. From this moment onwards, he would always intend to catch up to Goku’s ever-increasing strength, gaining him almost the same level of determination. However, Vegeta’s determination is mostly built on frustration, most likely due to his short-tempered nature and his jealousy over Goku, whom he regarded as a lower type of Saiyan. This is why he was tempted to receive Babidi’s magic during the Majin Buu Saga.
From this point, he would always reach Goku’s power level, though Goku always manages to surpass him a little bit during his major battles. This is all thanks to Goku’s determination, which is always more positive and better than gaining a boost of power through frustration – something that Vegeta always has. But still, Vegeta attained Godly Ki and gained access to Super Saiyan God and Blue just like Goku. However, we still have to see if he can unlock the Ultra Instinct in the future.
Goku VS Vegeta: Who Would Win?
Ever since the beginning of the series, Goku is proven to be stronger than Vegeta in all aspects. In my opinion, the reason why this happens is that Goku’s development is built on a positive mindset, mostly through determination. This is highly comparable to Vegeta’s development through frustration, and sometimes through anger.
However, this is good for Vegeta, since it befits his characteristics. As a result, it positively helps him improve to the point where he catches up to his long-time rival. The only time this laid a negative impact on him is when his desire to surpass Goku became an obsession, which resulted in him seeking the assistance of Babidi. Thus, this characteristic of his is a double-edged sword towards his goal to become stronger than his friend. As a result, Goku is always one step above him, as Vegeta could get way too arrogant when he surpasses Goku even for just a bit.
Therefore, Goku will always become stronger than Vegeta, making him the second strongest character in the series at all times and all sagas. But if there would be a point where Vegeta would understand how Goku’s determination works, there could be a potential where he can be at the same level as him. But if ever that happens, what I always think is that Goku vs Vegeta would always end up in a stalemate, rather than Vegeta winning. I believe all fans oftentimes think this was as well, probably because Akira Toriyama always designed the two rivals to use each other as a means to train themselves further through sheer rivalry.