“I wasn’t conscious of this”: Dragon Ball Writer Unknowingly Found Inspiration in 1 Iconic Anime When Creating Goku

Goku's hair color and hair length change over time to signify that he has 'changed' significantly in his power levels.

Dragon Ball Writer Unknowingly Found Inspiration in 1 Iconic Anime When Creating Goku


  • Akira Toriyama was unknowingly inspired by Astro Boy for Goku's signature spiky hair.
  • Astro Boy anime depicted the character to have jet-black hair with spikes on both sides of the head.
  • Goku's original design resembled Astro Boy but it eventually had some changes.
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Goku’s signature spiky hair in Dragon Ball was revealed by Akira Toriyama to be unconsciously inspired by one of the oldest kids’ anime. The legendary author was inspired by the manga that set the standard for the animation of popular comics, being the first to have an animated series based on the source material.


Akira Toriyama initially created his own characters before Toyotarou took over the responsibility of an illustrator. Toriyama is responsible for the defining appearances of Saiyan characters such as Vegeta, Broly, and Goku. The most important physical trait is that of the Saiyan hair, which is usually jet black and spiky, and changes colors to reveal a power shift.

Akira Toriyama Dragon Ball
Akira Toriyama

Akira Toriyama Was Unknowingly Inspired By Astro Boy For Goku’s Spiky Hair In Dragon Ball

Created by Osamu Tezuka, the titular character in Astro Boy is an android that is created by Doctor Tenma as a replacement for his deceased son Tobio. The android coexists with humans and protects them from various dangers such as alien invasions or malfunctioning robots. Eventually, the mechanized boy begins to develop human emotions while Tenma increasingly becomes fond of his creation.


Also Read: Netflix’s Breakout Anime Pluto Was Initially Planning to Have an Entirely Different Protagonist from Original Astro Boy Series

Astro Boy
Astro Boy

Astro Boy is depicted to have jet-black spiky hair with one spike on the left and one on the right. Such a design unconsciously inspired Akira Toriyama to create Goku with a similar hairstyle in Dragon Ball, although with much thicker hair.

Toriyama revealed that “the angle of the ‘horns’ and the flat part in the middle” of the hair of Astro Boy eventually became a part of Goku’s design, during an interview transcribed by Kazenshuu.


“I wasn’t conscious of this when I made it, but thinking about it now, I suppose it might have been the influence of Astro Boy. The angle of the “horns” and the flat part in the middle look similar, don’t you think? I often receive items that are being released, like figures; I really admire how the sculptors are able to bring out that hairstyle in three dimensions. (laughs)”

While Toriyama was unknowingly inspired by Astro Boy, Osama Tezuka was inspired by Disney animation cartoons. The distinctive “large eyes” of Astro Boy that became a characteristic style in Japanese anime was invented by Tezuka after drawing inspiration from Walt Disney’s Bambi and Mickey Mouse.

Also Read: Dragon Ball Super Might Find its Own Path After Great Criticism for Heavy Reliance on $86 Million Movie

Goku’s First Hairstyle In The Dragon Ball Series

Goku Ultra Instinct - Dragon Ball Super
Ultra Instinct Goku

When the Dragon Ball series first rolled out, Kid Goku was depicted to have three spikes on the right side of his forehead with two protruding from the left side. His hair also stood up from the front and the back with four spikes and three bangs, respectively.


Goku’s hair color and hair length change over time to signify that he has ‘changed’ significantly in his power levels. While in his Super Saiyan 3 form, he had golden hair that ran down to his waist. Mastered Ultra Instinct Goku has platinum hair while the usual Ultra Instinct forms have silver hair.

Throughout the Dragon Ball series, Goku has unlocked new feats (Saiyan forms) of strength to defeat the supervillains. Toriyama can get creative and give the character another form to counter the threat that Black Freeza poses to each universe. The returning villain one-shot True Ultra Instinct Goku and Ultra Ego Vegeta in Dragon Ball: Super.

Also ReadDragon Ball Super’s “Unbelievable Twist” May be the Introduction of a Villain Fans Have Been Waiting for Since Months


Written by Spandan Chatterjee

Articles Published: 166

Spandan Chatterjee is a Freelance Anime Writer at FandomWire.

Spandan, who has been in the content industry for over two years, uses his passion for anime in his writing. He delivers the latest news, theories, and facts about various manga's including Jujutsu Kaisen, One Piece, and Bleach.

After completing his B.A. degree in English, Spandan is now pursuing a Masters degree in the same field.