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Son Goku

Son Goku infobox image present

Infobox Seiten Taisei

Chibi Son Goku Gensounmaden 01

Profile
Kanji 【孫悟空】
Titles The Great Sage Equaling Heaven
Alias Seiten Taisei
Age 500+
Birthday April 5
Race Heretic
Gender Male
Height 165 cm (5'5")
Weight 61 kg (134 lb)
Hair Brown
Eye Color Gold
Blood Type O+
Relatives Konzen Douji - 1st Guardian
Genjo Sanzo - 2nd Guardian
Status Alive
Appearance
Manga Debut Sai. Vol 1, intro
Sai. Gaiden Vol 1, intro
Anime Debut Saiyuki Ep. 01
Saiyuki Gaiden OVA Ep. 1
Voices/Actors
Seiyuu Sōichirō Hoshi (保志 総一朗)
Kōsuke Okano (岡野 浩介, OVA)
English Greg Ayres (in Saiyuki & Sai Gaiden)
Yuri Lowenthal (in Sai R. & Sai R Gun.)
Stage Shina Taizoh
Abilities
Skills Expert martial artist
Weapons Nyoi Bo

Son Goku (孫悟空 Son Gokū) is the cheerful "Monkey King" who uses a staff, known as the Nyoi-Bo, as his primary weapon. He carries with in him the Seiten Taisei, the Great Sage Equaling Heaven, and whose true self and powers are released when his coronet is removed. Goku joins Genjo Sanzo, Cho Hakkai, and Sha Gojyo on their journey to the west to stop the resurrection of Gyumaoh.

Personality

Goku is almost always cheerful, and is the group's unofficial mascot. He can make anyone - even Sanzo at some points - smile or laugh when something bad happens. A running gag is that Goku only thinks about food, and so far, this has been proven true most of the time. His stating a simple cry of "I'm hungry!" has led this to become almost like a catchphrase, and most people - Gojyo and Sanzo in particular - have lashed out (usually in a humorous way) at Goku about his constant declaration about wanting food.

Aside from being cheerful and almost always hungry, Goku is the "Monkey King" of many Chinese and Japanese myths, and is always up for a good prank or joke. He also tries to be helpful, but because of his prankster disposition, he usually gets himself and others into trouble instead of actually helping. He is very ashamed by this, especially when he causes Sanzo trouble without really meaning to, and for the most part he tries his best to stay on task. Being the "Monkey King" of legend, however, staying on task is not one of his strong points.

When it comes to others, Goku is more friendly to people than his traveling companions. He always greets people that he likes - or who give him food - with a smile, and generally likes any type of kindhearted person. He has befriended many creatures over the series, youkai and human alike. He will, however, fight someone he generally dislikes or has done some kind of wrongdoing no matter how big or small. He has been compared by many as hero stereotypical characters seen in anime. But he has stated that he is fighting for his right to live, and his alone. He has also shown that he will fight anyone trying to get in his or his group's way. He likes fighting, displaying enjoyment comparable to a child playing a game.

Appearance

Young Son Goku Gensoumaden 01

Son Goku
Saiyuki Ep. 16

Despite his chronological age, Goku has the physical appearance of a young teenage boy standing at 5'5" (165 cm) and weighing in at 134 lbs (61 kg). When he was first found by Sanzo he had long brown hair. He has striking gold eyes which brand him as a heretic. He skin has a healthy tan look to it, though whether that is because he is actually tan or he just needs a bath has yet to be clarified. Around his head is his gold diadem, his demon power limiter. As a child, Goku had very long hair that reached down to his hips, when he started living with Sanzo, he started to bind it with ribbon into a ponytail. In the Saiyuki Reload manga extra, Petite Burial, it shows Goku's hair was accidentally cut off by Gojyo when he first used the extending chain sickle of his Shakujo, which upset Goku greatly.

Goku initially wears a white shirt with loose, above-elbow sleeves, off-white jeans held by a black belt, and white shoes. Over the shirt is a red, vest-like garment with black trim, and his demonic birthmark, meaning "complete", in its centre on the front.  The interior appears to be completely black.  The garment is fastened by a black over-shoulder belt.  Further, he wears white and black shoulder guards, with white, claw-like spikes curving from the black trim.  Majority of the guards are covered by Goku's goldenrod cape, which slings over his shoulders, and what seems to be a white infinity scarf.  Around his wrists, he wears red wristbands with white trim.

Roughly a year into the Sanzo Party's travels, Hakkai hooks Gojyo and Goku up with new threads.  Goku's outfit remains generally the same, however his new shirt has shorter sleeves, and he replaces the trousers with blue jeans that are frayed and just above his knees.  Lastly, the wristbands are replaced with solid black ones.  His new shoes are white, short boots above his ankle with black trim.  He retains all of his trademark cape and guards.

Prior to meeting Hakkai and Gojyo, he wore a traditional, casual Chinese outfit reminiscent in style to martial arts training attire, but more casual .

During his time in Heaven, Goku wore a glossy black shirt with short sleeves and a turtleneck with the base of a gold chain in front of his throat.  Beneath, he wore white trousers, and went barefoot.  He had heavy chains on both wrists and ankles, making him difficult to carry even for a seasoned soldier like General Kenren .

True Form

Goku Konzen Gensoumaden 01

When his diadem broke, Goku saw visions of someone who looks like Sanzo
Saiyuki Ep. 07

In four instances in the series, Goku's diadem - which is his power limiter - has been removed, causing him to revert to his true form, the Qitian Dasheng/Seiten Taisei (齊天大聖 lit. Great Sage Equaling Heaven). He's done it willingly only twice. The first time Goku reverted to his true form, the diadem was broken by Goku's emotional grief and anger when Sanzo was near-fatally wounded. The last and most current time his power limiter has been removed was when he was wounded and on the verge of death; with Hakkai failing to heal him in time, both he and Gojyo decide to remove his diadem, thinking that Goku could possibly recover in his true form. Another time Goku willingly removes his diadem is when he is forced to fight Kougaiji for the sake of Sanzo's life, and thus he removes the diadem with his own two hands in order to give himself some form of fighting spirit due to lack of fighting will with Sanzo's life in danger.

Seiten Taisei Goku Gaiden Manga 02

Goku's Demonic Mark on his Belly

When Goku is in his true form, his hair becomes noticeably longer (about waist length), his ears become pointed, his eyes become slitted, his nails turn into claws, and his teeth become fangs. Also, not visible while he's wearing a shirt, Goku bares a demon mark like most demons. His is a strange sun tattoo with the kanji for "complete" (完 kan) on his stomach above his navel.

Goku in his true form is quite possibly the most dangerous opponent the main characters have faced in the series. While normally fighting seems like a game to him,
Seiten Taisei Goku Saiyuki Manga 01

Goku's true form (manga)
Saiyuki Vol 3, ch. 12

in his true form he enjoys fighting in a bloodthirsty, sadistic sense and enjoys inflicting pain on others; even going so far as beating his enemies when they can't fight back. He is very destructive and cruel, and nearly invincible. His speed and attack power also increase dramatically; he can move so fast that often others can't even see him. His strength increases so much that he's able to easily inflict near fatal wounds on Gojyo and Hakkai with a few blows, and also once bent Gojyo's shakujo just by holding it in his hand. He's also far more durable in this form, shrugging off nearly every attack he's ever hit with. If something actually can hurt him, he use the energy of the earth to heal himself, which is what happened after Hakkai and Gojyo removed his diadem in a last effort to save him. For a moment, nothing seemed to happen, but then Goku jumped onto a nearby roof in his true form and used the energy of the earth heal himself and during the battle to restore Goku back to normal, Seiten Taisei Son Goku controlled the energy of weather and nature to fight Hakkai and Gojyo. This shows that his power is comparable to that of a god, making Goku not unlike an immortal.

After Goku's diadem is removed/broken, Goku loses all sanity when transforming into the Great Sage. This transformation causes him to become bloodthirsty and sadistic. Perhaps the biggest characteristic of his true form is that Goku can not differentiate friend from foe; causing him to attack Sanzo, Gojyo and Hakkai as fiercely as he does his enemies.
Seiten Taisei Goku Gaiden Manga 03

Goku's true form when his diadem broke in heaven...
Saiyuki Gaiden Vol 2, ch. 16


When the Seiten Taisei is released, Goku experiences a sort of 'flashback' often seeing a person whom looks familiar but whom he can't remember. This is actually Konzen Douji, Genjo Sanzo's former incarnation, the god who looked after Goku when he was younger. Even though Goku's memories were sealed away 500 years ago, it is possible that turning into his true form frequently causes some stronger memories to return to him for an instant, or that the Seiten Taisei's power is causing the seal to fade. However, no information in the story so far supports this.

Son Goku in Saiyuki Burial got his diadem broken due to his emotions welling up badly. Luckily Sanzo got to control him when he knew who and what he was fighting. Also in Burial, we see a strange occurrence. The Seiten Taisei speaks. Normally while in his demonic form, Goku never utters anything more intelligible then his cruel laughter or a growl. This scene in Burial may mean that the Taisen is capable of speech as well.

Seiten Taisei Burial 000

Seiten Taisei shows sadness in front of Genjo Sanzo in Saiyuki Burial Ep. 2

An interesting note is Goku didn't receive his limiter until he arrived in Tenkai and he states in episode 40 of the first series that the people in the lower world were more friendly than the celestial beings in Tenkai. This shows Seiten Taisei has had contact with humans and that originally, Seiten Taisei wasn't sadistic and bloodthristy and he didn't obtain that personality until Goku's limiter broke in Gaiden when Nataku mortally murdered himself. This could also show that the Seiten Taisei also has a very fragile mindset.

In the last episode of Saiyuki Gaiden, the Seiten Taisei showed deep grief and sorrow in front of the Merciful Goddess after Konzen Douji’s death. He injured Kanzeon Bosatsu either his annoyed or enough of her words hearing the names of those three people ---Konzen, Kenren and Tenpou--- who died in protecting him. Kanzeon Bosatsu didn’t fought back but gave the Seiten Taisei a warm embrace and let the Seiten Taisei cry out loud on her arms.

Weapon

Son Goku Nyoibo Reload Anime 01

Son Goku with "Nyoi Bo".

Goku wields a staff called the "Nyoi Bo", which is a clear reference to Sun Wukon's staff in Journey to the West. There is no explanation given in the anime as to the origin of Goku's weapon; in the manga, it is revealed that the Nyoi-bo was sealed in a canister in the temple, which he and Gojyo shattered whilst goofing off.

Aside from practical uses, he can cause it grow in length, and in some instances used its lengthening powers to impale enemies from a distance. At times he can also make the Nyoi Bo separate (connected by chains at the splits) into a sectioned staff; he usually uses this form of his staff to hack away at things, like plant roots in a couple cases. Usually, however, he just uses it to fight up close. But then there are times when Goku doesn't even use his weapon and just fights with his bare hands.

Powers & Abilities

Expert Martial Artist: Goku demonstrates an incredible grasp on martial arts, strong and proficient enough to be able to take enemies out with powerful punches and kicks.

Expert Staff Proficiency: Using his prized Nyoi Bo, Goku demonstrates remarkable expertise and resourcefulness. He's capable of using it for everything from fighting to extending it to catch himself and others from high falls.

Enhanced Strength: Even with his diadem, Goku is considerably strong, capable of breaking the concrete of a building's exterior wall as he gets ready to confront the rest of his companions after a shocking defeat against 'God'.

As Seiten Taisei, Goku's strength increases tremendously. His punches and kicks are able to break ribs without even trying, ripping off heads is no difficulty for him, and it is strongly implied that having one's head stepped on would not require much effort for him to kill his targets. His claws and teeth are sharp enough to tear into skin and cause severe bleeding as well. Physically speaking, Goku is the strongest opponent the Sanzo Party faces.

Enhanced Speed: Likewise, Goku is exceptionally agile, shocking Gojyo and Hakkai during their first meeting.

Seiten Taisei is fast enough to seem to 'disappear' from others' sight. Further, his reflexes and strength allow him to catch Gat's bullets in both his hands and mouth without so much of a scratch.

Immense Chi and Demonic Energy: A powerful entity in general, Seiten Taisei's emergence gathers enough demonic energy to stir a wide radius of atmosphere around him. His initial emergence in Heaven is so powerful it decimates bodies to the bone and then some. During his first run-in with Seiten Taisei, Sanzo refers to his chi as 'on fire'.

Elemental Healing: As the "Earth's child", Seiten Taisei can gather the Earth's aura in order to heal himself from severe wounds. After Ukoku Sanzo attacks Goku, this ability saves his life, leaving him stronger than ever.

Extended Longevity: Although the possiblity of immortal status is unclear, Seiten Taisei can sustain his body for prolonged periods of time, such as when in deep grieving on Earth after witnessing Konzen's death and losing Kenren, Tenpo, and Nataku as well. Never moving from the Dimensional Gate for several months, Goku could survive without food and water without his body wilting away.

References

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