Ah, Goku. He’s everyone’s favorite Super Saiyan and by far the most popular and beloved anime character. In the Dragon Ball Z franchise, his name is synonymous with anime. He is so popular, in fact, that he even has his own day in Japan! The argument is furious about whether or not he is the strongest character in anime.
While he is incredibly powerful, especially within the Dragon Ball Z universe, it is a hard fact that he’s had issues with even the weakest opponents in almost every fight he’s ever participated in. And while it can never be said that he is weak by any standard, there exist a vast number of anime characters that would beat him hands down in a fight.
With this list, we do not just consider physical strength, but also magical power, tactics, intellect and a wide range of capabilities that can be brought to bear in a fight. Capabilities that, when two characters are pitted head to head, would be utilized to the fullest in an effort to defeat their opponent.
Super Saiyan or not, Goku would be hard pressed to win a fight against anyone on this list. Do you agree or disagree? Is there anyone I missed? Let us know in the comments!
Let’s knock Goku down a peg!
15. Light Yagami – Death Note
Death Note is hands down one of the most popular animes in the market today, and for good reason. Now I know what you’re thinking. One flick of Goku’s wrist and Light Yagami would be toast, right?
This may be true. In a head to head battle, Goku would wipe the floor with Light in a heartbeat. The issue that Goku would have with Light, and why Light would absolutely win against Goku, is that Light uses anonymity combined with a keen intellect that would greatly outmatch Goku’s. Before Goku even knew what hit him, Light would simply need to write the words “Son Goku” in his book, and Goku would be toast whenever, and however, Light wanted. Goku is no match for that kind of power.
14. Shanks – One Piece
What the hell is a pirate doing in this list, anyway? It’s obvious that Goku would wipe the floor with Shanks. He’d stand no chance, right? Well, consider this. Shanks’ power has never been tested and it is widely unknown what he is truly capable of. He had no worry about Whitebeard who is the strongest pirate in the world. In battle, he has always come out on top. He’s a pirate, and pirates fight dirty.
Not to mention the fact that if Goku were to fight Shanks, he would not just have to fight Shanks, but he would have to fight the entire crew all at once, along with all the artillery and power that comes with that. You have to admit, it’d be a damned good fight to say the least.
13. Alucard – Hellsing Ultimate
What good is the kamehameha against an ancient immortal vampire? This guy is so strong that his power has never been tested. In fact, this bloodsucker has to hold back in every single fight he’s ever been in. Not only is he ferocious, but Alucard is also exceedingly cruel.
His list of abilities is extensive, even in comparison to Goku’s. He can regenerate even from being complete annihilated, he can become completely intangible, rendering Goku’s punches and kicks practically useless, and he can shapeshift as well. In addition, he has senses that outmatch Goku’s in every way, and has perfect accuracy in everything he chooses to do.
12. Naruto Uzumaki – Naruto
Naruto’s popularity rivals Goku’s. In spite of his headstrong, boisterous nature, Naruto would have a nearly infinite amount of time to learn Goku’s power, strengths and weaknesses. His tenacity would give him the edge, here. At first Naruto seems like a weak kid, but he is actually incredibly strong and possesses a vast array of abilities. He is also known to be capable of destroying an entire moon.
Naruto may not be able to withstand all of Goku’s power in a direct hand-to-hand fight, it stands to reason that his tenacity and nearly infinite stamina and energy would allow him to withstand Goku’s onslaught as well as to dish out quite a bit of damage on his own.
11. Whis – Dragon Ball
“Down you go.”
Whis has fought Vegeta and Goku at the same time and had literally zero problem not only fending them off, but he also mocked them as he did. He is known to be so fast and intense in battle that he can react and fight long before an attacker’s attack has moved from their brain to their legs. Faster than a neuron can even fire. And for those of you who don’t know all that much about biology, just imagine if you blinked. Then imagine you could fit a few thousand blinks into the time it took for that blink. That’s still slower than Whis by a long shot. Basically if you have to think before you act, you’re slower than Whis.
10. Ichiryuu – Toriko
Don’t let the fact that he seems like a senior citizen fool you. Ichiryuu is one of the most powerful anime characters ever. Regarded to be the strongest man alive, he also loves to eat, and not just any food but awesome food. Especially waffles.
Much like Goku, Ichiryuu also trained under a god. In several fights, Ichiryuu has emerged completely unscathed, whereas Goku has never once come out of a fight completely unharmed. Like Goku, Ichiryuu can also fly and walk on water as well, lending to the fact that he always has a few tricks up his sleeve. He also regenerates even to the point of returning lost limbs to fighting strength within just a few moments.
9. Koroudo “Dr. Jackal” Akabane – GetBackers
It’s one thing to have a keen instinct and preternatural affinity for fighting. It is something completely different when you have a love for it. A lust for blood that lends itself into cruelty the likes of which no one has ever seen. Plus, this dude looks wicked doing it.So wicked, in fact, that there are entire fan videos on just him.
So what does he do? He makes weapons out of his own blood. His preference is the scalpel. I like to think that this is because of the cringe factor, but only the good Doctor really knows for sure. Out of all of the characters in this list, it is Dr. Jackal that I think would have the most fun slicing Goku into tiny bits.
8. Beerus – Dragon Ball Z
Beerus isn’t a Saiyan. Beerus is a god. And not just a god, but a god of destruction. In the fight with Goku, Beerus not only withstands all of Goku’s might, even as a third level Super Saiyan, but Beerus comes out of it more curious than anything else, and inquires what power he used! After their fight, which was an incredibly awesome thing to watch, Beerus tells Goku that all he really wanted to happen was for Goku to just admit defeat and to tell Beerus that he gave up. To which, Goku seemed surprised, but laughs and shrugs it off, ending the fight with the line “I’ve given all I’ve got Lord Beerus, and there’s still no way I can beat you.” Need we say more? Didn’t think so.
7. Kenshiro – Fist of the North Star
Let’s get one thing straight. If you’re a fan of anime and you haven’t watched Fist Of The North Star, then you need to stop reading this list, get off the computer and go watch it. Immediately. Seriously. Go.
Withstanding the strongest attacks of his opponents without so much as flinching, Kenshiro is not only strong, but he possesses a power that Goku could only dream of. It is exemplified in scene after scene where he tells his opponent “You’re already dead.” What this means, to those who haven’t seen this series or movie, is that during the fight, Kenshiro had already landed a deadly blow which caused them to LITERALLY EXPLODE upon his command. Can you imagine Goku unleashing all of his Saiyan power only to be told he’d already lost and exploding into a fine red mist just moments later?
6. Majin Buu – Dragon Ball Z
This guy is not only pleasantly plump, but he always looks happy even when he is fighting. What’s not to love?
Goku and Majin Buu actually have a fight over what seems to be California and in this fight, Majin Buu shows some of his true power. Extending his limbs long past what they should be capable of, and bouncing Goku’s blows like some sort of martial arts rubber band, Goku actually admits defeat against him as well, admitting that Majin Buu was much stronger than he’d expected. In fact, he completely gives up, requiring help from Vegeta to demolish Buuhan. It is one of the best fights in the Dragon Ball franchise and all the more reason to check out the series if you have yet to do so.
5. Aizen Sousuke – Bleach
Another must see in the anime world is Bleach. And among the members of the Bleach cast stands apart one man, Sosuke Aizen, who reigns supreme as the strongest, most powerful individual in that universe, if not all others. Even without his concealing cloak, which would give him the ability to hide from Goku and sneak up on him whilst unawares, he possesses a strong array of powers that would wipe the floor with Goku!
It is known that Goku is careless and lax in his fights, confident to the point of dropping his guard. Based on his intellect alone, Sosuke would be tactically superior to Goku in every way and even if not for his personal strength, this in and of itself would be enough to defeat Goku.
4. Gilgamesh – Fate/Stay Night
Gilgamesh is not only evil, but he is awesome while he does it. The best thing about any good villain is when that villain truly believes that they do what they do for the right reasons. They believe they are the good guy. Gilgamesh is exactly that, bearing the burdens of humanity on his own capable shoulders.
Goku is strong and willing to fight, but Gilgamesh has a noble phantasm that would lay waste to anything that Goku could put up in a fight. The power released in a fight with a severely hindered Saber is proof of this. His power, Gate of Babylon, gives him access to every single item in the history of humanity and through it, he gains immense power. He is so strong, in fact, that he never takes a fight seriously, never even considering that he might be defeated. Much like Goku.
3. Kirigaya “Kirito” Kazuto – Sword Art Online
Kirito from Sword Art Online possesses the apex of both strength, intellect and tactical advantage. In a head to head fight with no preparation, Kirito stands a chance against Goku’s sheer strength because of his speed and insane power. Given any amount of time to learn Goku’s tactics and power, Kirito suddenly becomes a force that would be truly unstoppable by Goku.
Known to learn all rules of an engagement before a fight, and how to exploit those rules, he would find Goku’s weaknesses and exploit them, creating weaknesses in Goku’s every defense and leaving him utterly helpless against him. A master tactician, at mid-level, Kirito the Black Swordsman would pose a serious challenge to Goku. At his maximum level, Goku wouldn’t even stand a chance.
2. Meliodas – Seven Deadly Sins
In spite of the fact that Meliodas appears as though he is nothing but a child, he is actually the captain and most powerful member of the Seven Deadly Sins group. Given that Melodias and Goku both have very laid back personalities, it is hard to imagine that the two would ever come to blows. If a situation arose where it had to pass, Melodias would inevitably come out on top. He is an oath-keeper, and never breaks a promise, making him one of the most stalwart of any anime character. Any damage done to him would vanish, and Goku would be hard pressed to inflict any lasting injuries on him. If he were to unleash Full Counter on Goku, the battle would immediately cease.
1. Saitama – One Punch Man
One Punch Man is so named because of his obvious power: The ability to end literally any fight with a single punch. He is likely to be one of the strongest anime characters ever to grace the television screen, and Goku would stand no chance against him. When a huge meteor was about to fall on his hometown, Saitama literally punched it away. This goofy, lazy man who really loves Udon noodles punches his way through any battle and his goofiness belies his strength. If a situation arose where One Punch Man were to go toe to toe with Goku, all it would take was one punch from Saitama to not only end the fight, but also demolish every Saiyan on the planet, and every hopeful ancestor he may have had.