The protagonist of the Dragon Ball series has been kicking it at the top of the anime world since Akira Toriyama first published his Dragon Ball manga back in 1984. At the time, Goku was thought to be a fourteen-year-old shonen protagonist, but things have changed quite a bit since 1984.
Not only did Goku's age get retconned so that he would start his adventure much younger, but the Dragon Ball series has been animated and adapted multiple times since the beginning. Goku himself has changed a lot too, growing up through each arc of the Dragon Ball franchise.
The Dragon Ball franchise has lasted several decades, further cementing it as a pop-cultural landmark. Son Goku is certainly one of the most iconic and well-known anime characters of all time, ranking with legends such as Ichigo Kurosaki and Naruto Uzumaki. As Goku matures from a tiny boy to a mature man throughout Dragon Ball, we've updated this list of his ages throughout the series.
10 The Son Goku Saga: 11 Years Old
Dragon Ball: Episode 1 - Episode 28
The original Dragon Ball anime starts with the Son Goku Saga. Bulma hires Goku as protection early in her mission to obtain the Dragon Balls. While Goku believes he is 14, the next story arc reveals that he can't count and is considerably younger than he claims.
During the Son Goku Saga, which encompasses the Emperor Pilaf and Tournament Sagas, Goku is actually roughly eleven years old. This plot begins with the first Dragon Ball episode and ends with the 28th.
9 The Red Ribbon Army Saga: 12 Years Old
Dragon Ball: Episode 29 - Episode 83
The 21st Tenkaichi Budokai from Dragon Ball is still considered one of the best arcs in the entire series, despite only hosting a 12-year-old Goku. It just so happens that Goku is amusing even at such a young age.
In addition to his natural rustic charm, Goku has grown in power since the previous tale cycles. He defeats the whole Red Ribbon Army, General Blue, and Mercenary Tao throughout the Red Ribbon Army Saga, and even survives a meeting with Fortuneteller Baba.
8 The Piccolo Saga: 15 Years Old
Dragon Ball: Episode 84 - Episode 153
Tenshinhan and Chaozu brought with them a new level of power that child Goku had to overcome. Fortunately, even at the tender age of 15, Goku made it to the last round of the 22nd Tenkaichi Budokai before meeting King Piccolo in the subsequent arc.
If Goku had not been pushed by Tenshinhan at the age of 15, he never would have had a chance against King Piccolo or the reincarnated Piccolo Jr. The Piccolo Saga contains three major story arcs, running between episodes 84 and 153 of Dragon Ball
7 The Saiyan Saga: 18 Years Old
Dragon Ball Z: Episode 1 - Episode 35
Goku has aged three years since defeating the first King Piccolo by the time he fights Piccolo Jr. Unlike all of the other time jumps, when Goku returns to the screen as a young adult, he is drawn significantly differently than he was previously.
This Goku has grown up and looks more like the protagonist fans know and love today than the child they had been following up to the 23rd Tenkaichi Budokai. The Saiyan Saga introduced audiences to Dragon Ball Z, concluding with episode 35 of this beloved sequel series.
6 The Frieza Saga: 23 Years Old
Dragon Ball Z: Episode 36 - Episode 125
For the first two arcs of Dragon Ball Z, Goku fights his way through the Frieza Force while technically aging five years, making him approximately 23 years old by the time the Frieza Saga begins. Though a year does technically pass after Raditz is defeated and Prince Vegeta lands on Earth, Goku spent this time training with Kaio in the afterlife rather than aging on Earth.
This is only the first instance of Goku's irregular aging as a result of his death. The Frieza Saga, which runs from episode 36 to episode 125, is undoubtedly one of the more notable Dragon Ball Z stories.
5 The Cell Saga: 29 Years Old
Dragon Ball Z: Episode 126 - Episode 194
Goku meets Future Trunks at the start of the Cell Saga. Trunks promptly eliminates Frieza and notifies Goku of the impending Android Apocalypse when he arrives. Goku is 29 years old when Android 17 and 18 launch their assault three years later. Goku will bear the consequences of his time spent practicing with Kaio for the rest of his life.
Goku and Gohan practice for the Cell Games within the Room of Spirit and Time. This chamber bends time so that one day on the outside lasts a year on the inside. Goku employs time dilation to squeeze a complete year's worth of training into one day, but it also makes Goku appear much older than his colleagues.
4 The Majin Buu Saga: 30 Years Old
Dragon Ball Z: Episode 232 - Episode 291
Dragon Ball fans remember the tragedy that befalls Goku during the Cell Games. To prop Gohan up as the protagonist, Akira Toriyama has Goku sacrifice his life to stop Cell. This did offer Gohan a bit of breathing room when compared to his father, but it also messed up Goku's age a second time by giving him another opportunity to train with Kaio.
Even though his brain has clocked 38 years by the time Goku returns to Earth after 7 years of training with King Kai, he is officially still 30 years old. The Majin Buu Saga introduces a fresh cast of characters to audiences, many of whom have gone on to become fan favorites.
3 The Gods Of The Universe Saga: 34 Years Old
Dragon Ball Super: Episode 1 - Episode 27
4 years after the events of Dragon Ball Z, a God of Destruction makes his way to Earth to encounter the legendary Super Saiyan. The 34-year-old martial artist meets Beerus out in space to stop him from destroying Earth, sparking a chain of events that reverberate across the Gods of the Universe Saga.
Goku has saved the Earth more than a few times by this point in his career, but Beerus is a different kind of menace. Dragon Ball Super is a late addition to the overall franchise, yet it was warmly received by its devoted fanbase.
2 The Zeno Saga: 35 Years Old
Dragon Ball Super: Episode 28 - Episode 131
Goku spends the majority of his screen time in the Dragon Ball Super anime stuck at the age of 35. After facing Beerus, Goku ages a year chronologically before being forced to face off against a revived Frieza in the Golden Frieza Saga.
After dealing with Frieza for the second time, Goku is dragged into a strength tournament with Universe 6 and asked to fight Hit. Finally, in the Goku Black arc, near the end of his 35th year, Goku is taken into the future by Trunks to confront an evil version of himself.
1 The Universe 7 Saga: 36 Years Old
Dragon Ball Super: Broly and Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero
Although the Universe 7 Saga of Dragon Ball Super has not been animated, two films based on the first and current manga arcs — Dragon Ball Super: Broly and Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero — have been produced.Despite the fact that Goku has been alive for more than 36 years, his body is still that of a 30-year-old Saiyan.
If readers were to calculate Goku's mental age at this point in the story, he would be around 44 or 45 years old. However, the fandom can only hope that this legendary anime hero's quest continues.