Last week, six anime characters were nominated as contenders to face off with "Dragon Ball Z's" Son Goku in a simulated showdown based on an analysis of one another's powers, strength, skills and personalities. Sadly, no clear winner was chosen by you, our readers, so it was decided that in order for Goku to get his opponent, the three characters mentioned in last week's article must first be narrowed down to one. The final three characters readers commented on are "One-Punch Man's" Saitama, "Naruto's" Itachi Uchiha and "Negima! Magister Negi Magi's" Negi Springfield.
The goal of this feature is to pit Goku against an opponent who would give him a great fight that would get Goku's saiyan blood pumping and excite him. Considering this condition, we have decided that Saitama is ill-suited for this matchup for the following reasons:
• Saitama only uses as much power as he needs to defeat his foes, never using his full strength in the hopes that an opponent might survive his first punch, which they never do. In fact, he holds back so much, the fight could be boring.
• As a hero, he refuses to fight his fellow good guys, so unless Goku were to, for example, get in a fight with someone at Saitama's favorite supermarket and destroy it on the day of a sale, he would not be motivated to fight him.
• If Saitama did fight Goku, chances are he would not take the fight seriously. Further, if he did, it would undoubtedly be over in a matter of seconds, likely resulting in Goku's utter obliteration, which is not the goal here - I respect him too much to want to see him killed (again).
• Saitama's parameters are not just off the charts; they are not on any chart in existence, possibly going as high as infinity, so it feels unfair to pit someone who has limits (Goku) against someone who has none.
That leaves Itachi and Negi. Both characters are similar in some ways and incredibly different in others. Both possess genius-level intellects, command extensive repertoires of fighting techniques and prefer nonviolent solutions to confrontations, only choosing violence when there are no other options. However, their respective fighting capacities are worlds apart, and against an opponent of Goku's caliber, one would require inhuman amounts of stamina and durability to last more than a minute against him.
Sadly, Itachi's parameters are, while certainly superior to those of many people in his respective series, short of the necessary caliber. Then, if you take into account Itachi's poor health (at the time of the main story) and the strain that his techniques put on his eyes and body, he does not seem like the ideal opponent.
Realistically, the only chance Itachi would have for a victory is an attack on Goku's psyche. For example: if Goku were to make the mistake of looking Itachi in the eye at the right moment and fall prey to his extremely potent illusion technique, Tsukuyomi, Itachi could theoretically render him helpless. But what would that mean for Goku? He'd most definitely be frustrated about losing, but even more so because he did not get a chance to fight for real. In other words, win or lose, Goku would want to enjoy this fight, and he is only able to do that through intense combat.
Therefore, by process of elimination, Negi Springfield has been selected to challenge Goku. Does this mean that he is better than the others or as good as Goku? Not at all, merely that among the ones chosen, he seems the most suitable opponent for Goku to face in the sort of knock-down, drag-out fight that "DBZ" fans and "Negima!" fans are accustomed to.
The analysis of the two characters will be posted next week, accompanied by a narrated blow-for-blow battle simulation, based on data provided in the source materials, as well as inferred material from various sources.
Mind you, this will be theoretical and hypothetical, as this matchup is unofficial and is neither recognized nor backed by Akira Toriyama, Ken Akamatsu or the publishing companies that publish their respective works.