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15 Times Goku Actually Killed Characters in the Dragon Ball Franchise

March 10, 2020 7.9k votes 1.4k voters 161.2k views15 items

Goku is often described as the most heroic anime character in history, but that description might be a little misleading. Despite his friendly demeanor, Goku actually has a ton of blood on his hands. Sure, some of the characters Goku killed deserved it - few people actually thought he should let truly evil villains like King Piccolo and Frieza live - but in other cases, the violence seems a little gratuitous. Even more unsettling, Goku doesn't seem too bent out of shape about it. Unlike some heroes who are haunted by the souls of those they're forced to destroy, Goku is perfectly satisfied as long as he can fight strong opponents.

Let's take a moment to pay homage to the villains Goku eliminated over the course of his life. There's Grandpa Gohan, whose demise was a total accident, there's nearly everybody in the Red Ribbon Army, and of course, big bads like Frieza and Kid Buu. Which of these events gave you pause?

  • Unlike many of Goku's targets, Grandpa Gohan wasn't a villain who needed to be stopped - he was a kindly old man who was the unintended victim of Goku's great ape transformation. The first time Goku transformed in his presence, Grandpa Gohan survived the encounter, but the second time it happened Goku accidentally took his life.

    Grandpa Gohan is permitted to come back to life for a day, and the two are able to enjoy each other's company. They don't talk about what causes Grandpa Gohan's demise, and the old man doesn't display any bitterness about it - he's just happy that the boy he raised is doing well. Later, Goku names his son after him.

  • Goku doesn't get angry easily - usually, he's pretty blase about his enemies, even when he's slaying them. But during his fight with King Piccolo, he actually put some genuine emotion into it. Whether that makes the outcome more or less disturbing is up to the individual viewer. 

    The outcome is that Goku reams a hole in King Piccolo's chest with the power of his Kamehameha. This comes after a long battle where most of Goku's limbs were broken and his ally Tien was hurt too. King Piccolo was a literal physical manifestation of evil, so it makes sense that Goku felt the need to take him out, but it was still pretty brutal. 

  • 3

    Ninja Murasaki

    Ninja Murasaki was a member of the Red Ribbon Army, and his entire fight scene against Goku was a giant joke. Rather than the dramatic power-ups that characterize most of the fights in DBZ, this Dragon Ball battle involved moments like Goku shoving his wooden pole into a sensitive part of Ninja Murasaki's body, making it appear that he had a tail. The fight ends with Goku accidentally lobbing Android 8's bomb towards Ninja Murasaki. It clings to his face and blows up before he can get it off. 

  • 4

    Captain Yellow

    Captain Yellow, a high ranking member of the Red Ribbon Army, earned Goku's ire when he kidnapped Bora's son Upa. He flew up on his Nimbus cloud in order to rescue the child and destroy Captain Yellow.

    Rather than immediately eliminating him with an energy blast, Goku knocks him out of his fighter plane and sends him hurtling to the ground below. This was probably one of the most gruesome of the deaths Goku caused.