Have you ever been curious about what makes up your family tree? For those who haven’t done extensive research, there can always be secrets hiding in there somewhere. Imagine how characters who lose their memories would feel, not really understanding who they are until years down the line. Characters like Superman have experienced these phenomena. Only for him, he is an alien who crash-landed on planet Earth as a baby and was adopted by humans.
Oddly enough, there is one other character who has gone through this exact same thing. Almost step-by-step similarities. That character is from the renowned Dragon Ball franchise, Goku. Dragon Ball is every millennial’s starter anime. It’s a cultural classic from the late ’80s with the familiar ’90s animation style of Sailor Moon and Revolutionary Girl Utena. Goku is one of the most well-known heroes in anime history. But where exactly did he come from? What makes him so powerful? How did his bloodline continue?
Goku’s Family Tree
- Release Date
- February 26, 1986
- Stephanie Nadolny , Mike McFarland
Bardock and Gine
Goku’s Biological Parents
Goku was originally born on Planet Vegeta, where both Saiyans (barbaric aliens) and Tuffles (technologically advanced aliens) resided. Bardock and Gine are his biological parents. They were both low-class Saiyan warriors who were part of the same squad that Bardock was the leader of. Unlike most Saiyans, Bardock and Gine fell in love naturally, as opposed to the typical companionship for breeding. Bardock was especially devoted to the Saiyan Army as a soldier under the Frieza Force. That is until he learned that Frieza was planning to eliminate the Saiyan race.
Like most Saiyans, Bardock tends to be pretty cocky and has a hunger for fighting. But he is also loyal and compassionate with a calm demeanor. Gine, although part of Bardock’s squad, was never good at fighting. She instead took work in the planet’s meat distribution center. She is kindhearted, gentle, energetic, and extremely caring. They send Goku to Earth.
Goku’s Adoptive Parent
It’s thanks to this old man that Goku is the kind of person we know today. Grandpa Gohan was a martial artist who trained under Master Roshi. He became a master pupil, even managing to learn Roshi’s signature technique (the Kamehamehe) and gaining the Power Pole. As Grandpa Gohan became an old man, he found a baby Goku (back then named Kakarot) near the crash site of his space pod and quickly adopted the baby as his own.
Though their relationship was rocky at first, something happened that caused Goku to lose his memory. After that, Grandpa Gohan was able to properly raise Goku and even trained him in martial arts. He is very aware of Goku’s Saiyan nature, warning him to never look at the full moon and to stay indoors during those nights. Unfortunately, Goku would end up doing so by accident one day, killing Grandpa Gohan in the process.
Goku’s Biological Older Brother
We all have that older sibling (or sibling figure, or something similar) that acts as a bully. Raditz is that for Goku, except he tries to kill Goku. Raditz is the eldest son of Bardock and Gine and Goku’s biological older brother. As a mid-class Saiyan warrior, he is harsh and brutal, like the majority of the Saiyan warriors. He is a key member of the Frieza Force and antagonist of the series, specifically in the Raditz arc. Raditz attempts to sway his younger brother into the cause, which Goku denies.
Raditz seems to have a hatred for his brother, not hesitating to attack and try to kill both Goku and his son Gohan. But when the two Saiyan warriors are blasted by a Special Beam Canon in the chest, Raditz expresses some form of respect and remorse for his little brother. Showing that even though he is a proud Saiyan and puts his heritage first, he still has some value in his brother’s life. In the end, Raditz died as a coward, claiming that his comrades would revive him using the Dragon Balls (which never came to be).
We’ve finally come to the Super Saiyan himself. Born on Planet Vegeta, Kakarot was the youngest son of Bardock and Gine. He was sent to Earth when he was just a child to destroy and take over the planet. But after a head injury, he loses all memories of his family and Saiyan heritage. He gets adopted by Grandpa Gohan and is renamed Son Goku. Goku grew up healthy and happy, living a pretty normal life. Grandpa Gohan would teach him the martial arts.
Even after turning into a Saiyan by accidentally looking at the full moon and killing Grandpa Gohan, and learning about his heritage from his older brother Raditz, Goku still refuses to acknowledge the Saiyan in him. It wasn’t until the Frieza saga that Goku would finally embrace who he is and encourage his son to embrace it, too. Fighting has always been Goku’s way of life. Not just with his Saiyan blood, but because of the martial arts skills he has both learned and taught. He has a love/passion for the craft and uses his skills to protect both his family and the planet Earth.
Goku met the love of his life, Chi-Chi, when he was twelve years old. She is the daughter of Ox-King, who is the ruler of Fire Mountain. Even at such a young age, Chi-Chi falls completely in love with Goku and has him promise to marry her. When she was first introduced as a child, she was depicted as bashful and fearful. But as she got older, she became more outspoken and fiery, no pun intended. She does have a pretty bad temper, which Goku can be afraid of.
Chi-Chi can be very overbearing and overprotective, which comes off in Dragon Ball as both comedic and nonsensical. Still, she shows a tremendous amount of love for Goku and the family they have created together. She became a radish farmer (as well as forcing Goku to become one) to financially support her family when her father could no longer financially support them. Chi-Chi is considered to be one of the most powerful women in the world of Dragon Ball.
Goku’s Eldest Son
Despite being the eldest son of Goku and Chi-Chi (and the first-ever Saiyan-human hybrid), Gohan does not have the same passion for fighting that his father does. As a child, Gohan was very much like his mother: shy and kept to himself. He had a particular interest in studies, being a naturally smart and humble individual. He would eventually grow up to be the scholar he had always dreamed of being, much to his mother’s delight. He has a deep love and respect for his family.
Even though Gohan doesn’t share Goku’s love for fighting, Gohan is still trained in martial arts and really only fights when it comes to protecting his loved ones. Like his father, Gohan has a pure heart and they both share a drive for adventures. He has one major flaw that he later learns to overcome: when in Super Saiyan mode, he gets drunk on the power and becomes overconfident. Sometime after Goku’s death (and his resurrection), Gohan falls in love with a girl named Videl and becomes a father.
Goku’s Youngest Son
Goten is probably the most like Goku. As the youngest child of Goku and Chi-Chi, Goten didn’t get to meet his father when he was born. Goku is dead at this point, but the two eventually meet when Goku gets resurrected. Goten was the spitting image of Goku when he was a child, even wearing clothing that was extremely similar to that of his father. He inherited his father’s kind heart, playful heart, and great love for wild animals.
He will sometimes get distracted from his training whenever he sees a wild animal. Like his brother, Goten was also trained in the craft of martial arts. He has a mischievous side, often partaking in antics with his best friend Trunks. Goten looked up to his older brother, Gohan, growing up. But as time passed, Goten grew into his own person. That included maturing into his adolescent and adult years, though he still kept his father’s traits of manners and heart of gold.
More Family Members
- Ox-king: Goku’s father-in-law
- Videl: Goku’s daughter-in-law
- Pan: Goku’s granddaughter
- Goku Jr.: Great-great grandson of Pan, a descendant of Goku
- Master Roshi: While not technically part of Goku’s family, Roshi was Goku’s master of martial arts, which makes him a significant part of Goku’s life.
Stream Dragon Ball on Hulu.