Goku was smarter than what Dragon Ball fans believe initially

In the early chapters of the popular manga and anime series, Dragon Ball, Goku demonstrated intelligence that many fans may not have attributed to him. While he is known for his incredible fighting abilities and strength, his social and emotional intelligence has often been the subject of jokes and memes among fans. However, in the twelfth chapter of Dragon Ball, Goku displays his astuteness by successfully emulating the actions of his companions, particularly Bulma, in pursuit of the Dragon Balls.

Goku recognizes that the Ox King possesses a Dragon Ball, and that Master Roshi’s help would be beneficial to him. Drawing on his preexisting relationship with Roshi, Goku convinces the Ox King to give him his Dragon Ball in exchange for bringing Roshi to him. This strategy proves to be uncharacteristically successful for the young Saiyan, and it shows that he has been paying attention to the actions of those around him.

However, this moment of intelligence was short-lived for Goku. As the story progresses, he becomes increasingly naive and gullible, often being tricked by even the goofiest characters in the series. His lack of social and emotional awareness frequently results in him having difficulty gauging people’s emotions or reacting appropriately in various situations. It is only in situations where he must resort to physical force that he suddenly acts as though he has a Ph.D. in strategy and psychology.

Later in the series, in one of his more notable lapses in judgment, Goku forgets a crucial detail that Bulma had told him earlier. When Bulma first meets Goku, she convinces him to give her his grandfather’s four-star Dragon Ball, implying that she will return it to him after making her wish. However, Goku fails to remember that after a wish is made, the Dragon Balls are dispersed across the planet. This oversight allows Bulma to take advantage of him without experiencing any repercussions.

Despite this momentary lapse in judgment, Goku’s intelligence early in the series shows that he is not the socially awkward and emotionally naive character that he is often made out to be. It is unfortunate that this aspect of his character was not explored more in the series and that he eventually succumbed to his usual naivete. However, it is worth noting that Goku’s lack of social and emotional awareness is what makes him such a lovable and relatable character for many fans.

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