8 Characters Actually Strong Enough to Defeat Goku

Who Could Defeat Goku?

Goku stands out as an immensely powerful anime character, and the power scaling in Dragon Ball often reaches astonishing levels. However, I believe it's essential to challenge the prevailing notion that Goku is unequivocally the strongest anime protagonist. While many enthusiasts unquestionably uphold this belief, my perspective differs. I've compiled a list of anime characters who, under specific circumstances, could beat Goku.

8 - Light Yagami

Death Note

Light Yagami, the brilliant and enigmatic protagonist of Death Note, gazes pensively out of the classroom window. Bathed in the soft glow of sunlight, his intense expression hints at the profound thoughts swirling within.{caption: Light Yagami in Death Note (Episode 1)}
Light Yagami in Death Note (Episode 1)

Light Yagami is an interesting choice since Light himself doesn't have the ability to defeat Goku, but it's the equipment he possesses. That's why he is #8 on this list. Light's "win condition" is having enough time to write Goku's name down in the Death Note. Assuming this is a 1-on-1 direct fight inside an arena, then Goku can easily defeat Light before he has a chance to even touch his pen. The problems for Goku would start if it were a more realistic approach, where Light would receive intel that Goku wanted to fight before actually meeting him. As long as Light could see Goku's appearance before meeting him, it's game over.

7 - Lelouch vi Britannia

Code Geass

Lelouch vi Britannia, enigmatic in formal attire with his left eye concealed, exudes strategic brilliance in Code Geass: Boukoku no Akito 3 (2015). A captivating image capturing the essence of rebellion and political intrigue in an alternate world.{caption: Lelouch in Code Geass: Boukoku no Akito 3 - Kagayakumono Ten Yori Otsu (2015)}
Lelouch in Code Geass: Boukoku no Akito 3 - Kagayakumono Ten Yori Otsu (2015)

Lelouch vi Britannia (also known as Lelouch Lamperouge) is another strong contender to defeat Goku in a direct battle. However, unlike Light, Lelouch wouldn't encounter any issues with the battle setting. Lelouch's strength lies in his strategic mind and, notably, the power of the Geass; his mind control ability could easily overpower Goku. Goku's only chance would be to defeat Lelouch before he has the chance to speak. However, if both of their abilities were unknown to each other, this would be an easy win for Lelouch. I chose to place Lelouch in the #7 spot because similar to Light, I felt it wouldn't be much of a fight—more: an appearance, then an immediate winner.

6 - Haruhi Suzumiya

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

Haruhi Suzumiya radiates joy while gazing at a petite Christmas tree adorned with delicate ribbons and acorns, her festive spirit enhanced by the whimsical addition of a party hat.{caption: Haruhi Suzumiya in The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya (2010)}
Haruhi Suzumiya in The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya (2010)

Haruhi Suzumiya is a clear contender to defeat Goku, as she herself is a god. Her reality-warping abilities would have no issue dealing with Goku, but the biggest unknown is how she would react if she knew she had those abilities. We have no reference on how she would react and potentially choose not to fight back against Goku. So, while she definitely has the strength to defeat Goku, she is only #6 on this list.

5 - Tomura Shigaraki

My Hero Academia

Tomura Shigaraki, an ominous figure with blood-stained eyes and forehead, dons a tattered, half-destroyed black cloak. Utilizing his destructive power, Decay, he unveils the intensity of his formidable abilities, with a chilling display on a stone hand.{caption: Tomura Shigaraki in My Hero Academia (Season 5 Episode 24)}
Tomura Shigaraki in My Hero Academia (Season 5 Episode 24)

Tomura Shigaraki is probably the only My Hero Academia character that I can envision successfully fighting Goku and the first character on this list that I believe could have a lengthy, well-animated fight scene. I think Tomura's success would stem entirely from surprising Goku with his abilities. He not only possesses the physical strength that Goku would expect but also wields a set of quirks that could genuinely shake up the battle dynamics. Tomura's Decay ability, in particular, adds an element of surprise that could immediately end the battle. However, if Goku had prior knowledge of his capabilities, Tomura would probably struggle to compete against him.

4 - Accelerator

A Certain Magical Index

Accelerator, fierce and determined, stands atop a speeding train in the snowy landscape. The dynamic image captures the train's motion, conveying its high speed. Clad in a thermal jacket with a fur hood, he prepares to unleash a formidable attack, his anger palpable in the wintry atmosphere.
Accelerator in A Certain Magical Index

Accelerator has the insane power to control all vectors, including physical forces. This allows him to effortlessly redirect incoming attacks back at his opponent. Goku would struggle against Accelerator for this exact reason; his reliance on powerful physical strikes and energy-based attacks could put him at a potential disadvantage against Accelerator's vector manipulation. Accelerator's ability to alter the direction and magnitude of force could mean that even Goku's most devastating attacks might be effortlessly countered. If Goku attempts to use the Kamehameha or Spirit Bomb, Accelerator could potentially redirect the energy back at him. Now, while those examples assume Goku's attacks have vectors that Accelerator could control, realistically, all Accelerator needs to do is reverse the flow of Goku's blood, which would kill him instantly.

3 - Giorno Giovanna

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure

Giorno Giovanna and his formidable stand, Gold Experience Requiem, stand resolute side by side. The screen's edges reveal scattered rubble, frozen mid-motion, a testament to the awe-inspiring power that Gold Experience Requiem possesses, halting even the smallest fragments with ease.{caption: Giorno Giovanna in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind (Season 4 Episode 38)}
Giorno Giovanna in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind (Season 4 Episode 38)

While Giorno Giovanna is not the only Stand user from JoJo's with the ability to put up a strong fight against Goku, Gold Experience Requiem (GER) possesses extraordinary power, allowing it to reset all actions and revert to a state of 'zero,' rendering them null and void. This unique ability prevents any manifestation of these actions, akin to executing a Ctrl-Z (undo) command. It would enable Giorno to easily undo any damage caused by Goku. In addition, the 'Death Loop' causes the opponent to constantly die, over and over again. It is believed that all it takes for the 'Death Loop' to occur is a single punch from GER landing. Since GER is an automatic Stand, Giorno doesn’t have control over what GER attacks or when it does. This means that if Goku does land a spirit bomb on Giorno, GER can reset to zero, regardless of whether Giorno is unconscious or dying.

2 - Satoru Gojo

Jujutsu Kaisen

Satoru Gojo, with blood streaked across his face, commands attention as he snaps his fingers, unleashing the initial fusion of blue and red energies known as Hollow Purple. The resulting vivid purple aura radiates power, marking the electrifying moment of his first activation.{caption: Satoru Gojo in Jujutsu Kaisen (Season 2 Episode 4)}
Satoru Gojo in Jujutsu Kaisen (Season 2 Episode 4)

Satoru Gojo's undeniable advantage over Goku is his ability: Limitless. This power enables Gojo to manipulate space at will, making it impossible for Goku to land any attacks. Additionally, Gojo possesses the Red and Blue techniques, allowing him to unleash potent ranged attacks. The fusion of these techniques, known as Hollow Purple, generates an imaginary mass capable of erasing everything in its path. While Goku's speed is currently his best defense against these attacks, Gojo's Domain Expansion ensures that all attacks will hit their targets. To stand a chance, Goku would need to take the fight into space hoping Gojo doesn't activate his Domain Expansion, and rely on the hope that Gojo's abilities wouldn't protect him from the harsh conditions of space.

1 - Saitama

One Punch Man

Saitama showcases his unparalleled power in a series of shots, each frame emphasizing the extraordinary might of the One Punch Man.
Saitama from One Punch Man

Saitama is often considered a strong contender against Goku, and it's not without reason. His character is specifically designed to defeat any opponent with just a single punch. Saitama's power has no ceiling, and it has been shown that his power level will always increase, surpassing any opponent who fights him. Not only does he rival Goku's strength in one-on-one combat, but he also potentially exceeds Goku's planet-destroying capabilities. Saitama has also had no issues surviving in space for long periods. For those who doubt these claims, a thorough reading of the One Punch Man manga should settle any arguments.

So, who is stronger, Saitama or Goku? Saitama would come out on top without any problems. In fact, given the right circumstances, every character on this list could easily defeat Goku.

Headshot of Akira Seera

Article by:Akira Seera

Akira Seera is an experienced writer who drew inspiration from the groundbreaking film Akira. With her extensive knowledge and captivating writing style, she focuses on capturing the mesmerizing essence of anime.

Fun Fact: Akira Seera loves cosplaying iconic anime characters and bringing them to life with her exceptional attention to detail and capturing their unique personalities!

Take a Quiz on a Mentioned Anime!

Jujutsu Kaisen

Jujutsu Kaisen

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Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion

Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch

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Death Note

Death Note

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JoJo's Bizarre Adventure

JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken

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My Hero Academia

Boku no Hero Academia

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One Punch Man

One Punch Man

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Dragon Ball

Dragon Ball

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Dragon Ball Z

Dragon Ball Z

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