While Goku has proven to be stronger than most of his opponents throughout the Dragon Ball franchise, Dragon Ball GT confirms the one villain even Goku can’t beat.
Upon his debut and throughout the first era of Dragon Ball, Goku was a fighter who simply couldn’t be beaten. Practically anyone he went up against was defeated, and if they weren’t beaten right away, they would eventually lose to Goku after some prolonged training. From a world-class assassin and an entire fascist regime to a centuries-old demonic alien, there was no one stronger than Goku on Planet Earth–that is, until some fighters came down from the stars and gave Goku a legitimate challenge. When the Saiyans invaded Earth in Dragon Ball Z, they ushered in a new era for Goku, one filled with fighters who proved stronger than the heroic warrior. This trend continued through Dragon Ball Super as not only did Goku tangle with intergalactic warriors and killer androids, but multiversal fighters and literal gods. However, time and again, Goku still continued to prove that he could best practically anyone he came across–something that wasn’t necessarily true in Dragon Ball GT.
In Dragon Ball GT season 1, episode 21 (written by Aya Matsui, directed by Osamu Kasai, produced by Toei Animation), Goku and Pan are fighting for their lives while they are trapped on the planet M2. M2 is a world that has been completely assimilated by the Machine Mutants, and it is ruled over by the villainous Dr. Myuu who wants to capture the Saiyans and use their power to create a new race of Machine Mutants. In that effort, Myuu has deployed GT‘s strongest Machine Mutant of that time, General Rilldo, who is not only connected to and powered by the entire planet itself, but also has the unique ability to transform someone into a slab of metal and instantaneously teleport them to Dr. Myuu’s lab for experimentation. While Goku put up a pretty good fight against Rilldo over the course of the last few episodes, this episode depicted Goku’s ultimate failure as Rilldo succeeded in turning him and Pan into metal and sending them to Myuu’s lab.
Goku Never Beat General Rilldo, Even During their Rematch
In Dragon Ball GT season 1, episode 23 (written by Junki Takegami, directed by Osamu Kasai, produced by Toei Animation), Goku, Pan, and Trunks break free of Myuu’s clutches and make their escape off M2. However, before they can do that, they must first defeat General Rilldo who is guarding their spaceship. With their combined might, all three Saiyans are able to kill the Machine Mutant with a concentrated blast and successfully get away. While that is good, it doesn’t really redeem Goku’s loss. One-on-one, Rilldo proved to be stronger and more tactically skilled than Goku. In fact, Rilldo’s eventual defeat only speaks to how truly powerful he was as it took the full power of three Saiyans to take him down.
It feels strange that a seemingly insignificant and short-lived villain like General Rilldo is one of the few villains who Goku can’t defeat alone, especially when considering the amount and caliber of villains he’s battled throughout his career–but, shocking or not, the proof is all over these Dragon Ball GT episodes. Goku lost to Rilldo, and he only beat him with the help of two other Saiyans, proving that he couldn’t take the villain down alone–a chain of events that confirms the one Dragon Ball GT villain Goku can’t beat.
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