'Dragon Ball Z' Fans Celebrate Goku Day on May 9 — Why That Date Specifically?

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May. 9 2022, Published 2:43 p.m. ET

When it comes to important dates for the popular Dragon Ball anime franchise, few are as important as Goku Day. On May 9, the series and its fans celebrate the main protagonist, Son Goku, with his own dedicated date on the calendar. It makes sense, since the character has saved the world against impossible odds on multiple occasions. His optimistic attitude and never-ending efforts to grow stronger in the face of adversity have certainly earned him his own day. Why May 9 specifically?

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The Dragon Ball franchise first began in 1986 in Japan. However, the series reached international popularity with the premiere of Dragon Ball Z and its subsequent English dub released in the West. Since then, the Dragon Ball series has become one of the most recognizable and beloved anime properties in history. The series has spawned several movies, sequels, games, and a live-action Hollywood adaptation that we all hate! Throughout the series' ups and downs, Goku Day is still important to fans.

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Why is May 9 Goku Day?

Goku Day was first implemented in 2015. Officiated by the Japanese Anniversary Association, the day is mainly used to promote new products and projects within the Dragon Ball franchise. But why May 9 in particular? The answer lies in Goku's name!

May 9 is also 5/9, considering May is the fifth calendar month. 5 and 9 can be read as "go" and "ku" in the Japanese language and alphabet. According to the official Dragon Ball site, it's for that reason that May 9 was chosen as Goku Day.

Goku isn't the only person with a reason to celebrate May 9. Fans have also unofficially marked this date as "Piccolo Day." This inside joke comes from the Japanese dub of the original Dragon Ball anime. In one episode, antagonist-turned-antihero Piccolo declared May 9 as the day he conquered Earth. His plans were eventually thwarted by a young Goku.

While Piccolo Day is more of a gag among fans, we all now recognize May 9 as a celebration of Goku and the Dragon Ball legacy as a whole.

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