Dragon Ball: How Old Is Goku in Every Anime Series?


Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball franchise has largely been about the coming of age of its main protagonist, Goku. The story has seen him go from being all alone in the world to starting a family of his own while making new friends along the way, usually in the form of former rivals. Although there’s an official timeline for Dragon Ball, fans still get confused about Goku’s exact age.

The Saiyan hero has grown from a young boy way back at the beginning of the original manga/anime series to a full-grown man (and back again, but only in the now no-longer-canon Dragon Ball GT). Let’s take a closer look at Goku’s age, both physically and otherwise, throughout every series in the iconic anime franchise.

Updated on August 12th, 2023 by Ajay Aravind: Dragon Ball is by far one of the most celebrated anime franchises in history. Goku’s legendary accomplishments have gone on to inspire countless Shonen protagonists, from Bleach‘s Ichigo Kurosaki to Luffy in One Piece. That said, Goku doesn’t exactly age like most people. As such, we’ve updated this feature with some more information about Goku’s age in Dragon Ball.

How Old Is Goku In Dragon Ball?

When Goku is first discovered by a teenage Bulma as she searches for the Dragon Balls, the naive young boy reveals that he’s 11 years old. He then accompanies Bulma, Yamcha, Oolong, and Puar to stop Emperor Pilaf and his forces from using the Dragon Balls for world domination. Goku spends the remainder of his eleventh year training under Master Roshi alongside Krillin, to prepare for the 21st World Martial Arts Tournament where he is narrowly defeated by Roshi under the disguise of Jackie Chung.

In the three-year interim before the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament, 15-year-old Goku systematically dismantles the nefarious Red Ribbon Army before entering the tournament, where he’s defeated by Tien. Immediately following the tournament, Goku and his friends defeat the evil King Piccolo, only to learn that his more powerful son would enter the next tournament and follow in his father’s footsteps. Training under Kami, the Guardian of the Earth, and Mister Popo, Goku enters the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament as an 18-year-old young man, defeating Piccolo and marrying Chi-Chi shortly after.

What Is Goku’s Age In DBZ?

Five years have passed since the end of Dragon Ball, which effectively makes Goku 23 years old when DBZ begins. He also has a five-year-old son named Gohan in tow. After learning of his true Saiyan heritage from his long-lost evil brother Raditz, Goku sacrifices his life for Piccolo to kill Raditz once and for all. As the Z Fighters train on Earth for the arrival of Raditz’s superiors, Vegeta and Nappa, Goku trains in the afterlife. Upon his resurrection through the Dragon Balls, Goku remains physically 23 but chronologically ages to 24 when he helps drive Vegeta from the Earth.

After defeating Frieza, Goku spends three years training with the Z Fighters for the arrival of the Androids, which was predicted by the alternate future Trunks. During this time, Goku is physically 26 and chronologically 27. Realizing how dire the situation has become, Goku and Gohan train for a full year in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, with the heavenly Lookout largely unaffected by time in the outside world. Goku emerges physically and chronologically 27 to face Cell in the Cell Games.

After sacrificing himself against Cell to save Earth, Goku is dead for seven years before his eventual resurrection by the Elder Kai to defeat Majin Buu. Although he’s still physically 27, Goku is chronologically 34 upon Buu’s defeat. After both Goku and the series experience a 10-year time jump for the epilogue, Goku becomes physically 37 and chronologically 44. Vegeta also points out that the Saiyans’ aging slows once they hit their physical prime, so they can fight longer and more effectively.

How Old Is Goku In GT?

At the conclusion of Dragon Ball Z, Goku departs to train with Kid Buu’s good reincarnation Uub at the Lookout. Dragon Ball GT opens five years later, after the completion of Uub’s training. This makes Goku’s age physically 42 and chronologically 49. This proves short-lived, however, as Emperor Pilaf accidentally used the Black Star Dragon Balls to revert Goku to the age when he first met him. In other words, Goku becomes an eleven-year-old child while retaining the wits of a 49-year-old adult.

It takes Goku approximately one year to recover the Black Star Dragon Balls though he is ultimately unsuccessful in using them to save the Earth. At Earth’s destruction, Goku is now physically 12 but psychologically 50. Following this, the series experiences a one-year time jump for its climactic story arc, making Goku physically 13 but psychologically 51. GT has an epilogue and television special taking place approximately a century into the future after Goku merges with the Eternal Dragon, appearing as an adult once again in his physical prime. While his exact physical age is unknown, this would make him approximately 151 at the end of GT.

Goku’s Age In Dragon Ball Super

The entirety of Dragon Ball Super takes place within the 10-year time jump between Majin Buu’s defeat at the end of Dragon Ball Z and its subsequent epilogue. Super starts approximately four years into the time jump, making Goku physically 31 but chronologically 38. Following the start of the series, Goku and Vegeta train for a year under Beerus and Whis before the events carrying them through the end of the series begin.

By the end of the anime series and sequel animated film Dragon Ball Super: Broly, Goku is physically 32 and chronologically 39. While there has been a manga continuation of the series beyond the events of Broly and the anime’s conclusion, the exact clarification about how many years have passed is uncertain. However, as the events of Z‘s epilogue have still not taken place, Goku still hasn’t hit 40 — physically, anyway.

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