Beloved Dragon Ball Z character Goku appeared in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade this year, and long-time fans were ecstatic. The character has been a mainstay of anime and Japanese pop culture for decades, and seeing him represented in the Thanksgiving day parade further cemented his iconic status. Social media soon filled with tributes to Son Goku and his balloon.
This is the second year that Goku floated through New York City as part of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. His balloon debuted in 2018, reportedly measuring 70 feet long, 36 feet wide and 56 feet tall. He was posed as if in mid-flight with a triumphant smirk on his face and the blue hair and eyes from his latest iteration on Dragon Ball Super.
This was a huge deal for fans, many of whom were mocked for their Dragon Ball fandom at a young age. Over the weekend, some shared stories about the bullying they endured years ago, and how much it means to see their interests vindicated on the national stage this way.
"When I was a kid, I got a lot of flak for liking Dragon Ball, games, anime, and, you know, just geeky stuff in general," one person tweeted. "It might not seem like a lot, but seeing Goku in the Macy's Day Parade really is nice. I hope it means kids today can like what they like in peace. Thanks Goku."
"This s— is still legendary to me," added another. "The fact that Goku has in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is mind blowing because this ever growing acceptance for anime the states is still new to me."
Goku first appeared in the Japanese manga Dragon Ball in 1984. Over the years he has taken many different forms, from comics to cartoons to live-action, and he has become as powerful of a pop culture symbol as any other super hero out there.
Dragon Ball was created, written and illustrated by Akira Toriyama, and serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump in Japan. These comics were some of the first Japanese media properties to get widespread fandom in the U.S. They helped launch the massive manga and anime fandom that is now worldwide, and often rivals or surpasses the readership of American comic books.
As for Goku himself, he saw a big resurgence in recent years as Toriyama returned to the series for Dragon Ball Super. The long-awaited sequel culminated last December in Dragon Ball Super: Broly, a feature film that concluded the series' arc. While it had a clear ending, There are many hints that there is more Dragon Ball on the way, and according to our sister site Comicbook.com, there may have even been a significant meeting on the franchise's future this weekend.