Anime fandom can be a funny thing. It has created a wonderful, welcoming world that embraces fans from all over the globe, and has helped Cosplay to reach new and unexpected heights of mainstream appreciation and acceptance.
But it also inspires a rabid almost fanatical devotion to the characters whose stories lie at the heart of the shows that it celebrates, which manifests itself as a friendly, if somewhat intense rivalry between the fans.
And that rivalry is almost always fueled by the same strange idea, which anime character is the best of the best?
Even though it’s a branch of fandom that we don’t usually involve ourselves in, as we prefer to just luxuriate in, and enjoy as many shows as we possibly can without attempting to pit one character against another to decide their ultimate worth and place in the anime universe, we’re in the minority, as the rest of anime fandom doesn’t subscribe to our point of view.
That’s why we thought it might be fun to step outside of our comfort zone and try to determine who would win in a showdown between two of the genre’s most overwhelmingly popular characters, Naruto and Goku.
Wait A Minute…Who Are Naruto and Goku?
We think that we might have taken things for granted by assuming that everyone already knows who Naruto and Goku are, so we’re going to back the anime bus up a little and before we dive headlong into the inevitable slug-a-thon to determine who would emerge as the victor, it’d probably be prudent and polite to introduce both of our prospective combatants.
Meet Naruto – Naruto Uzumaki is a young ninja warrior and the central character in the show, Naruto. Exploring the sort of themes that teenagers and young adults everywhere can relate to, the show focuses on Naruto’s desire to be accepted and recognized by his peers for who he is, and what he can do, and his desire to rise to a position of authority and respect and one day become the leader of his village.
Introducing Goku – Unless you’ve been hiding out in the desert or a cabin in the middle of some vast and unspoiled rural wilderness, then the chances are that you’ll have at least heard of Dragon Ball or one of its incredibly popular offshoots (does Dragon Ball Z ring a bell?) that have taken the world by storm. You have? Good, we thought you might have done.
Son Goku, or Goku as he’s known to his legion of adoring fans everywhere, is the star, and center of the Dragon Ball universe (or Gokuverse as some of his fervent devotees refer to it), and has best been described as a combination of Bruce Lee and Sun Wukong, the Monkey King from Journey To The West.
In other words, he’s the sort of flawed hero that most of us wish would have had our back when we were trying to navigate, or are still stumbling our way through, the hierarchical power structure that governs the halls of high school.
Ultimately, the battle that the characters would end up fighting would be a war waged between a god and a warrior. So would the mortal Naruto actually stand a chance against the nearly omnipotent Goku?
Naruto vs Goku – How Could He Win?
We have to be honest, the odds are stacked against Naruto, but just because the odds aren’t in the ninja’s favor, it doesn’t mean that he couldn’t defeat Goku, it just makes it a little more difficult for him to come out on top.
The longer that you can stay on your feet in any fight, the more chance that you’ll ultimately have of outlasting, and beating your opponent.
And as Naruto not only has a healing ability that would make Deadpool and Wolverine jealous but also managed to last four whole days in a one on one fight against Madara and somehow still had the stamina to beat Sasuke during the Fourth Ninja War, he’d probably surprise Goku with is resilience and strength, which might just throw him off guard for long enough for Naruto to land a decisive and winning blow.
Naruto never engages an enemy without analyzing his foe’s behavior and formulating a cohesive strategy, and his intelligence might just give him an edge over his more hotheaded adversary, as Goku doesn’t think, he just relies on his raw, physical power and prowess to see him through to the end of, and win every conflict.
If all else fails, Naruto could simply harness and use his secret weapon, his Shadow Clone Jutsu, which equally and evenly distributes his chakra among his duplicates and clones, making them highly skilled and effective warriors in their own right.
He might not be as strong as Goku, but with his own army of Narutos at his command, he could simply overwhelm Goku with superior numbers.
Goku vs Naruto – Why He Would Win
Let’s try to look at this objectively. Goku has mastered every single one of his forms, he’s strong enough to break worlds apart and is literally super fast, and when we say he’s super-fast, we mean he’s super fast with a capital ‘S’ and depending on who you talk to, Goku can either run at a million miles per hour or he can travel faster than the speed of light.
If he challenged him to a fight, Naruto probably wouldn’t even see Goku coming before the latter was declared the winner. Goku is, after all, a god.
Even if Naruto somehow managed to survive that onslaught, if Goku decided to unleash the Hakia Method, the power that the Gods of Destruction use to wipe their enemies from existence, on him, it would be game over. The fight would end in the blink of an eye.
In The End…
While we’re sure that Naruto would give Goku the fight of his life, and it would be a battle for the ages, at the end of the day, Goku is too powerful for Naruto to beat.
Although, as they’re both essentially on the same side, and fight for similar reasons, it’s more likely that Naruto and Goku, if they ever did meet, would be allies and not enemies.