He is a Saiyan, sent to planet Earth on a mission to destroy it but ironically, he later became Earth’s greatest defender. However, his change of ambition was due to an accident that altered his memory, making him forget about his planned mission and alongside his famed Z fighters, prevented alien attack on Earth. He is a naïve, but courageous and cheerful character who works extremely hard to become an amazing warrior, while also using his stock of knowledge to uphold peace.
Son Goku is the Japanese translation of the Chinese name Sun Wukong meaning, “awakened to emptiness”. Goku is loosely based on the adventure of Sun Wukong in the Chinese legend “Journey to the West”. Similarities can be seen from the roles of both characters in their respective appearances. Features like Goku’s prone to mischief at childhood, Flying Nimbus and the possession of Nyoibo can be seen as similarities between these two characters.
Initially, Akira Toriyama wanted to be faithful to Journey to the West by making Goku a full monkey. During his second draft, he had a change of mind by making Goku a whole human clad in sailor clothes riding a flight mecha, instead of a Flying Nimbus. Finally, he decided to give Goku a human appearance with the tail of a monkey.
He sports a black spiky hair throughout the franchise and commonly wears a trademark orange/golden.gi/red over a dark blue underwear. Sometimes, he wears a gray business suit and tie and also Earth clothing consisting of a white undershirt, brown boots, and lime green pants.
Goku is portrayed as an energetic and cheerful character who loves eating and fighting a lot. He has a forgiving heart and always sees good in people, no matter their negative actions. He has been criticized for this act, and it is considered his weak point because he tends to spare his enemies after defeating them for them to attack him later behind his back. However, he may also get excessively angry especially during the death of a loved one or when he sees the death of innocent lives. His strong point is his perseverance and strong-will to achieve against all odds.