I won’t call the sudden popularity of manhwa and light novels to be a threat to established manga franchises like Dragon Ball. But there are certainly some amazing protagonists that have come out as a result, with power levels that are over 9000, easily. With those super-powerful leads comes the age-old question for a weeb: But can they (Sung Jin Woo) beat Goku tho?
Welcome to Character Versus! A segment where we take two characters from beloved works of fiction and pit them against each other to see who the true King Of The Ring is. We break down every aspect possible, from strength and abilities to wild card powers, to be as fair as possible in our ruling. Of course, this is all in good fun.
And today, we’ll be taking a look at a character from arguably one of the top ongoing web novels, Solo Leveling. Sung Jin Woo is certainly a formidable protagonist. Starting as an underdog to becoming arguably the strongest character in his universe, his journey has not been without its setbacks. But he has truly evolved, as both a character and hero.
But with all that being said, can Humanity’s Greatest Hunter prove to be worth his metal in front of the Strongest Saiyan Alive? Let’s break it down!
Son Goku: Shonen’s Poster Boy
Goku’s abilities as both a master martial artist and part of the fearsome Saiyan alien race already put him up at a huge advantage. He was born to be powerful, with his inherent Super Saiyan evolutions combined with the teachings of some of the best fighters in the universe. Even powerful deities treat Goku, a mortal warrior, with respect because of this.
Alongside his signature abilities, the Kamehameha and the Spirit Bomb, he’s also mastered the infamous Ultra-Instinct. This makes him a more fearsome martial artist, allowing him super speed that works as both instant defense and offense.
Of course, that’s just learned abilities. His inherent powers as a Saiyan are what elevates him from any other warrior in the franchise, alongside Vegeta. He has gone beyond what the Super Saiyan evolutions granted him, having acquired the Perfected Super Saiyan Blue form. And thanks to his control of stamina, the stage doesn’t end after a quick burst of power but rather sustains for longer.
Combine that with Perfected Ultra-Instinct, and it’s no wonder that Goku has become near unstoppable, being compared to the Gods Of The Dead for his sheer ability to destroy opponents.
Sung Jin-Woo: From E Class Hunter To Shadow Monarch!
Imagine if your evolution was limitless. What if there was no cap on how much power you could gain, neither physical nor mental. How far would a person go with that kind of freedom?
That’s exactly what happens with Sung Jin-Woo. When the universe deems him, a nobody, worthy of evolution beyond compare? He doesn’t let the opportunity go to waste. The universe for Solo Leveling is built on game mechanics so he has all your traditional buffs of Immeasurable Strength, Immunity, and the like.
But then there’s also his Shadow Abilities, like when he can raise literal armies from the corpses of those he defeated or use those same shadows as portals. Not only can he use his Bloodlust to intimidate foes but can warp literal dimension physics thanks to the Ruler’s Authority.
Not to mention his skills as a fighter, where he has buffs such as QuickSilver, increasing his speed temporarily while he employs Daggers to shred an enemy into ribbons instantly. Couple that up with his Tenacity and Immense Durability and, well, he’s a literal one-man army.
The Winner: This Is Why The Multiverse Is So Convoluted!
Okay so I know this seems like a cop-out, but blame Akira Toriyama, not me! Thanks to the idea of the Multiverse in Dragon Ball, each with their own realized version of Goku, it’s not if Jin Woo can defeat Goku but rather which version.
For example, in Universe 7 Goku is the most powerful being in their timeline. But that might not be the case in Universe 8. And the Goku from Dragon Ball Z might not have his Perfected Ultra-Instinct so he can’t take on Sung Jin Woo with his reality-warping abilities. But Dragon Ball Super Goku does, hence he can avoid being affected by the buffs that Sung Jin Woo has and stand a chance to win.
His dimensional travel means that Jin Woo can take on multiple versions of Goku until he reaches one that he statistically will lose to. Likewise, Goku is someone who thrives on raw power. Based on that alone, it’s easy to see the scenarios where Goku would win.
So, Goku VS Sung Jin Woo? There’s no clear winner for this one, sorry fans. (But I’ll say Goku to keep the tradition going!)