Anime and manga fans are no strangers when it comes to the alien warrior-turned-Earth's defender, Son Goku. His heroic deeds and his incredible power, as depicted in "Dragon Ball," "Dragon Ball Z" and other installments of Akira Toriyama's brilliant work, are among the most talked about topics among anime fans - specifically whether anyone can legitimately defeat him in a one-on-one battle. HNGN chose six contenders who could realistically challenge Goku, and after serious consideration, the final selection was made: Negi Springfield, the heroic and prodigal young star of Ken Akamatsu's "Negima! Magister Negi Magi," will challenge him.
Why Negi? We wanted to present a scenario that positions two evenly matched opponents (relatively speaking). Why bother exploring the idea at all if the match is over in a blink of an eye? We're not making the case that this is a battle to the death - that is, we're not attempting to copy or reproduce "Deadliest Warrior."
As such, we deliberately chose a warrior who is not as strong as Goku but compares and contrasts enough to present a challenge. For the purpose of this simulation, we're going with the post-Frieza Saga Goku, so that we can get as even a matchup as possible.
Here's what we think would happen between these two in a hypothetical cross over.
Negi Springfield is the son of heroic mage Nagi Springfield and Arika Anarchia Entheofushia, former Queen of Vespertatia. Shortly after his birth, both his parents were put in positions where they were unable to raise him - Nagi was taken over by a dark entity and Arika's fate is still yet to be revealed. Negi's older cousin, Nekane, raised him in a small village in Wales, England, until his village was attacked and destroyed by demons when he was 4 years old. The long-thought-dead Nagi appeared, rescued Negi and Nekane and then vanished after leaving Negi his staff. Negi then immersed himself in his magic studies. His goal is to become just like his father and to seek him out. After graduating from the Merdiana School of Magic at age 9, Negi, who specializes primarily in wind and lightning magic, was sent to Japan to teach English at Mahora Academy, an all-girls school. During an excursion to the Magic World, he acquired and mastered a very dark type of magic, one that his master, a centuries-old vampire, created and eventually abandoned. Upon dying in combat with his father's enemies, who were trying to destroy the MW, which is situated on the planet Mars on an alternate plane of existence, he was revived and reborn as a "higher being," virtually immortal and unable to be killed in battle. He is said to possess the blood of Amater, the daughter of the MW's creator, in his veins.
Goku was born with the name of Kakarot to parents Bardock and Gine, two low-class saiyan warriors, on the planet Vegeta. The saiyans appear human except for monkey-like tail at the base of the spine. Born with a low power level (5), Kakarot was chosen to exterminate all life on Earth in preparation for an invasion and sale of the planet. Kakarot was found, adopted and renamed "Son Goku" by the elderly martial artist Son Gohan and raised as his grandson in the mountains. As a boy, Goku met Bulma and learned the story of the dragon balls, starting him on a path of adventure that would lead him to seek ever greater strength and fighting power so he could fight deadlier opponents - which brought him enjoyment - see the world and go to new places. Goku is now an adult living with his own family on Earth. He draws on the power of "ki," inner energy that is intensified through constant physical training. After reaching the pinnacle of saiyan power, the Super Saiyan transformation, Goku pushed even further to develop his powers and improve his fighting abilities.
Do their backgrounds matter? Not particularly, but they do play a part in shaping characters and personality.
Both warriors are friendly, outgoing and peace-loving men. They surround themselves with people they care about, as well as rivals they constantly compete with. Both have shown a will to love today's enemy and make them tomorrow's friend. Goku did this with Piccolo and Vegeta, and Negi did the same with Kotaro Inugami and Fate Averruncus, though the circumstances were different in each person's case. However, if peace is disrupted, both are equally quick to come to the aid of a friend at the drop of a hat, drawing on nearly endless reservoirs of strength to overcome any threat. Each leads his own team of superpowered fighters (the Z Fighters and Ala Alba).
Negi possesses a very high IQ. He graduated - ahead of schedule - from a magic school with such a challenging curriculum that only four other students graduated with him. He achieved a Bachelor's degree at age 10, allowing him to become a licensed middle school teacher. He has shown top tier instincts on the battlefield as well as genius-level development off the battlefield, creating original spells and techniques to complement his fighting style and formulating battle plans to outsmart stronger and faster opponents.
Goku, on the other hand, has a rather low IQ. He has never gone to school and does not possess a great deal of brainpower. In simple terms, he is an idiot. However, his superhuman instincts serve him well in battle, as demonstrated by his ability to devise brilliant plans of attack on the fly.
He is an expert in Chinese martial arts, capable of mastering skills in just three hours. He has been known to use magic to augment his physical abilities, but did not seem to need it anymore after mastering Magia Erebea. This enables him to fight on par with the strongest enemies in his base form. He can fight at all ranges: close, mid and long.
Based on depictions in Ken Akamatsu's original manga, Negi is capable of lifting very heavy loads without magic augmentation and his punches are powerful enough to cause devastation. He can likely lift upwards of 100,000 kg of weight, and can punch with megatons of force, likely more, according to the Outskirts Battle Dome Wiki.
Using his Magia Erebea, Negi can absorb his own magic to enhance his abilities, taking on abilities characteristic to the magic he absorbs. By taking in two Thousand Bolts spells, he achieves his most powerful state, Thunder in Heaven, Double Vigor (which somewhat resembles Goku's Super Saiyan 3 form), allowing him to fight and travel at speeds ranging from Mach 440 to upwards of Mach 6,600, or between 150km per second and more than 2,260km per second, according to the Lexicon Negimarium in Volume 27. His thoughts and perception also attain comparable speed. The final skill of his MA (The Great Birth Canal), with proper preparation, also enables him to absorb his opponent's attacks, both ki- and magic-oriented.
Negi possesses enough stamina to fight for days and nights without stopping. He has very high durability, as demonstrated by his ability to withstand megaton-level punches without so much as a flinch (Volume 35, Chapter 318).
He can sense both ki and magic power. His energy reserves are nearly infinite, as Western mages use mana, which is extracted from energy in the atmosphere and subdued via willpower. However, the amount of mana any mage can handle depends on that mage's willpower, according to the Negima Wiki. In other words, the stronger the mage's mind, the stronger the will, and the more magic he is able to wield.
Negi's spell repertoire is extensive, ranging from small-scale attacks against one person to large-scale attacks against armies. While incantations are required to use spells, Negi is well versed in the use of unincanted and delayed spells, recited in advance and stored for future use. This is a vital element of his fighting style. A matter of seconds is all he needs. His magical elements are wind, lightning and darkness, although some occasions see him making use of fire and ice as well. His lightning spells can sometimes have a paralysis effect, and wind attacks have been known to have an occasional stripping effect when enough power is put into them (when Negi sneezes, for example, everyone nearby loses their clothes, which often gets him into trouble).
Finally, Negi is virtually immortal. As seen in Volume 37, Chapter 342, life-threatening wounds heal in an instant. Even if his entire body were reduced to nothing, it would likely reform itself. This is evident from what happened during his final clash with Fate Averruncus in Chapters 327-328.
His specific martial art is never specified, but he is highly adept at close-, mid- and long-distance combat. His repertoire of techniques is small, consisting mostly of techniques that he picked up over the years by observing other people fight, including the Kamehameha, Afterimage technique, Solar Flare, etc.
Although evidence from manga and anime is shaky at best, Goku's perceived lifting strength is at least a trillion kilograms, according to the VS Battle Wiki. This source also puts Goku's striking power at zettaton-level, which is equal to a quadrillion megatons. In other words, while Negi's punches can shatter buildings/cities and small mountains, Goku's punches have to potential to destroy a planet (though that's something he's never done in the source material, so it's debatable). This is a good point to note that the source material of "Dragon Ball Z" contains a few inconsistencies, particularly the 40-ton weights scene from Volume 20, Chapter 234. These numbers indicate his strength at Super Saiyan form, which is 50 times stronger than his base form, so his base form strikes, while weaker, are still beyond his opponent's.
Goku is capable of moving at the speed of light while using the Instant Transmission. In order to use it, however, he has to focus and lock onto an energy source at that location, so using it in battle leaves him open to attack. His fighting speed is upward of Mach 33,000, according to the aforementioned sources. While the edge in speed is obvious, one big question remains: Do Goku's thoughts form at a speed matching his bodily reflexes? Possibly, but this an unpredictable x-factor.
Goku can fight with and sense ki, but he has never encountered a mage like Negi, so it's likely he is not able to sense mana. More importantly: since ki and mana are opposing forces, he cannot fight using mana. However, Goku's normal senses are highly tuned so that even if he's fighting blind, he can usually tell where his opponent is situated. His ki reserves are vast, but they are still finite (as ki comes from within oneself) so the potential to run out of energy puts him at a disadvantage.
Goku's stamina is very high, allowing him to fight for extended periods without rest, although hunger is a factor. If he's hungry, he slows down and cannot fight at full strength. His power and stamina are also tied to his emotions, as illustrated during his battle with Frieza when he was drowning and at death's door, but a vision of Earth's destruction at Frieza's hands forced him back to life and provided renewed vigor.
Goku's durability is beyond superhuman - he can withstand attacks capable of planetary destruction, although they can do considerable damage to his body if they connect properly.
In summation, Goku holds the edge in most areas, including strength, speed and durability, although Negi holds the edge in intelligence and his skill repertoire, so he stands a chance - albeit a small one. To clarify: the version of Goku used here is the version presented in the Trunks Saga, when he had just returned to Earth after a one-year absence. The version of Negi being used here is from the post-Magic World arc, so he is still 10 years old, but has already mastered Magia Erebea, and all of the techniques that come with it.
Setting: a mountainous region, far from civilization (so no innocents will get hurt) with very rugged terrain.
Goku is garbed in his favorite orange gi and blue boots, while Negi wears a dark Chinese martial arts uniform with short sleeves, pants and tight-fitting shoes. His only other gear is a ring on his left index finger with which to channel his magic in place of his staff. He does not have his artifact, but he has used his master's illusion spell to assume a teenager's body to match Goku's size and thus eliminate any size disadvantage.
The two men stand on separate peaks, their eyes locked.
Goku leaps off his rock, which crumbles under his feet as Negi meets him in midair with a furious flurry of fisticuffs. Negi's mastery of Chinese martial arts allows him to deflect some of Goku's punches and kicks, but they soon begin to get through his defenses, with some recoil on the boy's part despite the Magia Erebea softening most of the damage, while Goku is able to block and deflect the majority of Negi's blows. Some get through, but there's no visible damage. After trading blows for about a minute, the two separate and land on the ground, facing each other. Both men smile, enjoying the challenge.
Deciding that his enemy is even stronger than Jack Rakan, Negi knows he has to step it up if he wants to win. He opens one hand, conjures a large energy orb and then crushes it, absorbing the power of his Thousand Bolts spell. His body becomes a mass of lightning as he charges Goku at full speed. Shocked by his opponent's strange transformation, Goku is left unguarded long enough for Negi to sink his fist into Goku's face, knocking him away. Goku flips over and lands several meters away to find Negi has disappeared. He tries to feel him out, but cannot sense any ki nearby. Suddenly, he hears a slight tingle in the air, only to be hit from behind with an elbow jab. He is struck again from the left side, then the right, taking hits again and again in a ruthless onslaught of punches and palm strikes. Angered, he releases an omnidirectional ki burst, slamming Negi into a nearby rock, which breaks upon impact.
Negi recovers quickly, with no visible wounds. He charges again, but Goku counters with an elbow strike before the blow can land, sending Negi tumbling to the ground. Goku then challenges him to try it again. He's figured out a defense - the electrical path Negi uses while in lightning form requires a separation of positively charged particles that Negi's negatively charged particles are attracted to, allowing him to move along the path with tremendous force. Negi's transformation caught him by surprise, but it won't work again. With this, he transforms into a Super Saiyan.
Shocked by Goku's sudden explosion of power, Negi has no choice but to layer a second Thousand Bolts spell over the first and reaches his ultimate form: Thunder in Heaven, Double Vigor. Negi charges again, knocking Goku off his feet and into the air again. Using two fingers Negi and sends an invisible wind spell at his opponent. Goku dodges it, turning to see that the mountain behind him has been pierced all the way through - a large hole about the size of his head replaces what was once solid rock.
Goku grins and sends an invisible ki thrust at Negi, destroying the mountain behind him, but Negi has already moved into Goku's blind spot. An even more intense series of fisticuffs ensues. This time, Negi's strikes land more consistently, thanks to his heightened perception and thought speed. The exchange is about 60/40 with Goku landing more blows and dodging more hits.
Again, the two break apart, but Negi takes immediate action by creating a thousand clones made of lightning magic, completely surrounding Goku. All at once, the clones rush him. Unable to defend against the continuous barrage of attacks, Goku resorts to another omnidirectional ki burst that dissolves all of the clones. At that moment of distraction, the real Negi lands a solid blow to Goku's back using his finishing move, Chihayaburu Lightning, pile driving Goku into the ground with such force that it craters. Negi leaps out to land atop a nearby peak, breathing hard.
With a loud battle cry, Goku blows away the rocks around him and flies up to another peak, his gi is torn and he is bleeding from cuts and scratches on his chest and face. Ripping off his shirt, Goku reaches behind him, powering up a Kamehameha wave. Negi takes the hint and casts his Thunderous Gale spell. The opposing beams collide with great force, ripping up the ground around them. Goku's beam is too powerful and engulfs Negi, leaving the boy nowhere to be seen.
Believing he has killed his opponent, Goku begins to panic, only to be clapped on the shoulder from behind. Negi is there in his base form, grinning as he informs his shocked opponent that he can't be killed that easily, although the regeneration took its toll on his stamina.
Negi jumps back to the ground where they previously clashed and resumes his Double Vigor form. Noting the damage they've both taken, Negi reasons that this fight is nearly over and challenges Goku to one more clash that will decide it all. Goku accepts, powering up a Kamehameha wave even stronger than before. Negi releases two delayed spells and fuses them to form the spell he invented, Titan Slayer - a 7-meter-long spear of lightning energy - and pulls his arm back, as if about to throw it.
At this moment, Goku fires his beam at his opponent, but Negi loads the spear into his right arm and thrusts out his left hand, activating an Enemy Spell Absorption Circle, which he'd laid during a previous assault. He absorbs Goku's beam, the skin of his hand burning away and regenerating continuously from the sheer amount of energy he's taking in. Finally, Goku's power runs out and he cancels the attack, but now Negi has added Goku's power to his own and attacks with a relentless onslaught, pounding Goku into a nearby mountain and doing serious damage to the point where Goku is coughing up mouthfuls of blood. Finally, he jumps back five meters and releases the Titan Slayer spell he had previously stored away. Goku narrowly avoids getting pierced via Instant Transmission, appearing at Negi's side and flooring him with one last blow, sending him skidding along the rocky terrain for several meters.
The two men are battered and weary. Goku's back to his normal form, his energy low, and Negi is having a hard time getting to his feet.
The result of the fight is clear, and Negi bows in defeat, acknowledging Goku's superiority. However, Goku concedes his own defeat and declares it a draw. He can't continue either, so they shake on it, agreeing to a rematch after they've both trained some more.
Goku had the clear advantage in strength, speed and skill, as well as fighting experience, but Negi had already fought an opponent like Goku before and knew that the only way to win was by directly baiting his opponent with a head-on clash that would allow him to turn the tables and bash him into submission. What happened after that "bait and bash" tactic would depend entirely on his opponent, and Goku had the awareness necessary to avoid the lethal spear attack and strike back, but by that time, the adversaries were both thoroughly beaten to the point where they could no longer fight.
Even though there was no clear winner in this case, if we were to use stronger incarnation of Goku from a later arc, and a future incarnation of Negi that has never been revealed by the source material, the battle might turn out entirely differently.
Did this battle scenario and the outcome meet your expectations? Let us know in a comment.