Image: Toei Entertainment, Bird Studio, Dragon Ball Wikia
Kotaku EastEast is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.  

There has not been a new live-action Dragon Ball announced, but if one were, which Japanese actor would make a good Goku?

In 2009, Hollywood made a live-action version of Dragon Ball called Dragon Ball Evolution. It starred Justin Chatwin as Goku.

According to Anime Anime, Japanese polling site Ranking asked 10,638 men and women ranging from their teens to 60s about which Japanese actor would be best to play Goku.

Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean people in Japan want a live-action Dragon Ball! Rather, if there was going to be one, these actors might be suitable.

Here are the top five:


5. Takeru Satoh (star of live-action Rurouni Kenshin films) - 719 votes

4. Hayato Ichihara (star of Yakuza Apocalypse) - 760 votes

Screenshot: maidigitv


3. Takayuki Yamada (star of Densha Otoko) - 827 votes

Screenshot: maidigitv

2. Masaki Suda (Shinpachi Shimura in Gintama) - 1,714 votes


1. Shingo Katori (Former member of SMAP) - 1,869 votes

Why did Yamada, Suda and Katori top the list?

Yamada has beefed up since his Densha Otoko days, and those who were polled said things like he had the playfulness of Goku or that he could bulk up like the character. Since he often sports a beard, he would be a perfect bearded Goku.


Suda came in at number two, no doubt, due to his ability to change into seemingly any type of character. He’s one of Japan’s most talented young actors—a true chameleon. He doesn’t have the muscle mass (perhaps he could put it on) but he does have experience doing fight scenes as he made his debut in Kamen Rider W.

Shingo Katori isn’t much of a surprise for number one. Those polled pointed out how he has a certain silliness and naivety as well as how his upbeat attitude suits Goku. He’s done a range of acting, including samurai film Zatoichi: The Last. Katori also played Son Goku in the Japanese TV adaptation of Journey to the West. But now, he might be a little too old for Goku.

Interesting casting ideas, but let’s hope this poll doesn’t give Japanese movie producers any ideas!