Son Goku (Japanese: 孫 悟空, Hepburn: Son Gokū) is a fictional character and main protagonist of the Dragon Ball manga series created by Akira Toriyama. He is based on Sun Wukong, a main character in the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West. Goku first made his debut in Dragon Ball chapter #1 Bulma and Son Goku (ブルマと孫悟空, Buruma to Son Gokū), originally published in Japan's Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine on December 3, 1984, as an eccentric, monkey-tailed boy who practices martial arts and possesses superhuman strength. He meets Bulma and joins her on a journey to find the wish-granting Dragon Balls. Initially believed to have been born on Earth, Goku later learns that he is a member of an extraterrestrial warrior race called the Saiyans, which is also the reason for his superhuman strength, and his birth name is Kakarot (カカロット, Kakarotto). As Goku grows up, he becomes the Earth's mightiest warrior and protects his adopted home planet from those who seek to harm it. Goku is depicted as carefree, cheerful and friendly when at ease, but quickly serious and strategic-minded when in battle. He is able to concentrate his Ki and use it for devastatingly powerful energy-based attacks; the most prominent being his signature Kamehameha (かめはめ波), in which Goku launches a blue energy blast from his palms. Also pure of heart, Goku has frequently granted mercy to his enemies, which has often earned him additional allies in the process (though has also resulted in others taking advantage of his kindness), and he is one of the few who can ride the magic cloud called Kinto'un (筋斗雲, lit. "Somersault Cloud", renamed "Flying Nimbus" in Funimation's dub); which was another element adapted from Journey to the West.
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