So, here is my main gripe with sequel series for extremely long-winded shows: They seem unnecessary after the main show has ended neatly with no lingering plot lines or loopholes. I get the appeal for them, of course. I mean, who doesn’t want to see more of their favorite characters? But it can get tiring rehashing old characters for new plot lines when their story and characters have peaked. This is why when Dragon Ball GT just never resonated with fans.
First, let’s get this out of the way, the reason why they turned Son Goku into a kid was to try and nerf their own protagonist. Because even the writer knew that Goku by the end of Dragon Ball Z, was practically invincible. So, they used the Pilaf gang to basically wish away Goku so that he wouldn’t stand in their way for world domination. But this regression of the most popular character wasn’t all that they thought it would be. I’d even argue it held the show back.
Listen, Dragon Ball Z had ended on a good note, with Goku learning and growing as a full-fledged character without the incessant ignorance that he had before. In a way, he had peaked. There was no reason to explore his character further, especially without it treading tired territories. So, to introduce Dragon Ball GT as a viable sequel that added more to the franchise, it had to do something that either made the previous characterization better or brought it down so it could be built back up from scratch.
Which is what turning Goku into a child allowed. Kind of. But it also brought the series down in a way I don’t think writers anticipated. So, why was the controversial decision made? Let’s explore that in Lore Analysis – where we break down popular mythos of certain anime and manga to see why some plot lines are the way they are. Today, it is the adorable conundrum that is Kid Goku!
Dragon Ball GT: Restarting Things Anew With Baby Goku?
This all happened because Goku’s old enemy Pilaf used the Black Star Dragon Balls while Pilaf was about to wish to take over the world.
So, to me, this is the actual biggest factor in making Goku so young again. To have a novice Goku experience things like retraining his body, navigating himself through situations similar to what his adult self faced, and the like.
Because it basically means that he can build himself from the ground up again. That means an entire season’s worth of episodes for the creators to develop and put him into scenarios that would have a new touch to them. It means seeing him interact with characters like his own sons, Goten and Gohan, who are now considerably grown up.
The original show has always been about Goku growing stronger after defeating someone who is way out of his league. So, by making him a child and taking away his teleport ability, the writers could explore his personality more. It just opens up way more avenues.
Kid Goku: Nostalgia In The Middle Of A New Series?
In a way, it was also a call back to the original Dragon Ball series, which started with a young Goku and his adventures with his friend, Bulma. It was how everything began, with it being a prequel to the popular Dragon Ball Z.
The nostalgia factor really sold but in Dragon Ball GT, it felt overdone. The whole ‘Goku is a kid’ thing became less about nuance and more about gag jokes. While they could’ve taken interesting routes with his character arc in Dragon Ball GT, I don’t think they utilized it properly.
It just fell apart really quickly, and became almost tired. There’s a reason why Dragon Ball GT is the least loved out of all the Dragon Ball entries. And this was a big reason why.