Flying Nimbus (筋斗雲 Kintōun, lit. "Somersault Cloud") is a magical, yellow cloud that serves as a way of transportation. Goku obtains the Nimbus from Master Roshi as compensation for saving Turtle. It served Goku and his sons well throughout Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, by acting as a way for them to fly around at high speeds without using up any energy. The Nimbus makes sporadic appearances in Dragon Ball Super, and has one last brief appearance, alongside the Power Pole, in Dragon Ball GT at the closing scene of the last episode, when Goku flies off on it. The Flying Nimbus also appears in the parody manga Dragon Ball SD.
Origin and concept
The Flying Nimbus is one of the two items that Dragon Ball's version of Sun Wukong/Son Goku possessed that mimics the prior character of the same name in the Chinese novel Journey to the West. The original Sun Wukong/Son Goku rides on a magic cloud, and the other is the Power Pole, which Wukong/Goku also uses.
In regards to the cloud, which has the same name as the Nimbus' Japanese name in Chinese (筋斗雲, Jīndǒuyún/Kinto'un, lit. Somersault Cloud), it is derived off of the technique Wukong/Goku learned of the same name that either allows him to ride on a cloud and/or leap through the clouds up to a distance of 108,000 li, being roughly 54,000 kilometers.
Despite the distance the cloud/technique can travel up to, Wukong/Goku in the original Journey to the West was told that he was forbidden to use the technique to transport the whole group to India, as the whole journey was meant to be done by foot. Wukong/Goku has used it to simply traverse long distances himself independently however, especially whenever he needed solace, head to distant areas to rendezvous with fellow contacts, or tried to scout ahead for hazards.
Before appearing in Dragon Ball, similar flying clouds appeared in two of Akira Toriyama's previous manga: one is used by Thunder Ogre Goronbo in Dr. Slump, and another similar cloud is used by Tanton's master in Dragon Boy.
Master Roshi gave Nimbus to Goku as a replacement reward for rescuing Master Roshi's Turtle (in the manga and original Japanese anime dialogue, Roshi originally intended to have his Immortal Phoenix grant Goku immortality, but Turtle reminded the hermit that the creature had died from tainted birdseed, this is also used in Dragon Ball: The Path to Power). In the English anime dub, the gift was to be a Magic Carpet, but Turtle reminded Master Roshi that it was at the cleaners. The cloud can only be ridden by someone with a pure heart. Anyone who attempts to do so merely falls through so less moral people like Roshi were unable to demonstrate how to use it due to his lust for women nor could Bulma who was also impure. This is also comically used several other times to reveal the true nature of many others, such as Krillin, who immediately confessed to his adult magazines that he was carrying. There is one exception to this policy, the fact that the cloud can also support inanimate objects lain upon it, which as such are free of any particular alignment. Goku's original Nimbus was destroyed by Tambourine, but he is given another one, this time from Korin after Goku survived drinking the Ultra Divine Water. Korin possesses several Nimbuses, which are stored together as a single large Nimbus. Goku chose a new one from this stock, and this one continued to be used by both Goku and his sons for the rest of the series.
Dragon Ball Z
In Dragon Ball Z, the Nimbus was used by Goku during the Raditz Saga, Vegeta Saga, and Namek Saga. He used the Nimbus to chase down and save Gohan from Raditz, and later to race toward the battlefield to save his friends from Vegeta and Nappa. The Nimbus perhaps most notably saved Gohan from being stomped to death by Nappa. After recovering in the hospital from the injuries he received during the battle with Vegeta, Goku used the Nimbus once more to travel to the Capsule Corporation in order to begin his journey to Namek in the new spaceship that Dr. Brief built. This was Nimbus' last appearance for quite some time, as most characters had mastered high-speed flight by that time (which outclasses the Nimbus' top speed of Mach 1.5) and Goku had learned the Instant Transmission technique by the time he returned to Earth (which outclasses high-speed flight itself).
It isn't seen again until the Great Saiyaman Saga when Gohan used it to fly from Mount Paozu to Orange Star High School, and even raced with it after becoming Great Saiyaman. He later gave it to his little brother Goten after getting the Great Saiyaman Watch from Bulma, which allowed him to fly without the fear of someone recognizing him. The Nimbus is only used by Goten briefly, as he would soon learn to fly after Gohan teaches him. This would be the final time the cloud would appear in Dragon Ball Z.
Dragon Ball Super
The Flying Nimbus makes its first appearance in Dragon Ball Super when Goku uses it instead of flying regularly in the Forest of Terror, because the illusions of previous villains and Bulma would appear again if he flew using his own energy. After Goku and Krillin overcome these enemy illusions, Goku uses the Nimbus to help deliver a big bag full of Paradise Herbs they had collected for Master Roshi as part of their training expedition.
Peaceful World Saga
In the 2004 kanzenban edition of the manga, four new pages drawn by Akira Toriyama were added to the final Dragon Ball manga volume. They depict Goku giving his Flying Nimbus to Uub while they are leaving Papaya Island.
Dragon Ball GT
The Nimbus makes its final appearance in the last episode of Dragon Ball GT, in which Goku says goodbye to the audience and flies away on it.
- Master Roshi: It is unknown if he ever could ride it (though very likely as Turtle was surprised that he could no longer ride it when he gives it to Goku), but he at least owned it before giving it to Goku.
- Goku: Uses it to travel as both a child and an adult.
- Chi-Chi: Was able to ride as a child, as well as during the final episodes of the Dragon Ball anime. She also has one in Super Dragon Ball Z.
- Mermaid: Brought by Goku on the Nimbus to Kame House (in "Goku's Rival").
- Muscular Lady: A woman that Goku found for Roshi (in "Goku's Rival").
- Launch: Flew with Goku once, likely can only do so while in her "good" personality.
- Nam: When Goku rescued him in the episode "The Roaming Lake".
- Arale Norimaki: Seen riding it with the Gatchans in the episode "Penguin Village".
- Gatchans: Seen riding it with Arale.
- Upa: Flew with Goku on it several times, saved him from hitting Korin Tower from Tao's throw.
- Gohan: Saved him from being stomped by Nappa as a child; used his father's cloud as a teenager to travel to and from High School (he even races it as Great Saiyaman); eventually he gave it to Goten.
- Goten: Uses his father's cloud, given to him by Gohan to keep.
- Trunks: In Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3, Trunks is shown riding alongside Goten on the Nimbus cloud at the game's main menu.
- Uub: Pure-hearted reincarnation of Kid Buu. Nimbus was given to him by Goku.
- Otokosuki: Brought over to Kame House by Goku in Dragon Ball SD.
- Earthling Future Warrior: Used as part of the Power Pole Pro transformation in Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2. Given to the Future Warrior by Great Saiyaman after completing Satan House Quest: "Earthling Awakening". According to Great Saiyaman, the incarnation of Goku that lives inside the timeline of Satan House Time Rift gave it to Great Saiyaman to give to the Future Warrior after learning about the heroic deeds that they had done as a member of the Saiya Squad.
- Famicom Jump hero
- Monkey D. Luffy: The cloud caught him in the One Piece x Dragon Ball Z crossovers Kyutai Panic Adventure Returns! and Cross Epoch.
- Tony Tony Chopper: Shown riding in the ending of Battle Stadium D.O.N and in a Dream 9 eyecatch.
- Neko Majin Z: On the cover of the Nekomajin chapters, "Neko Majin Z 3" and "Neko Majin Z 5".
- Masaharu Miyake: The Fuji TV announcer, while commenting with Goku an anime segment in "Nippon Ijin Taishō".
Video Game Appearances
- Dragon Ball: Dragon Daihikyou
- Famicom Jump: Hero Retsuden
- Dragon Ball 3: Gokuden
- Dragon Ball Z: Super Saiya Densetsu
- Dragon Ball Z: Idainaru Son Goku Densetsu
- Dragon Ball Z: Goku Hishōden
- Dragon Ball Z: Super Gokuden: Totsugeki-Hen
- Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Battle 22
- Dragon Ball Z: Shin Butōden
- Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure
- Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku
- Dragon Ball Z: Legendary Super Warriors
- Dragon Ball
- Dragon Ball Z: Buu's Fury
- Dragon Ball Z: Budokai
- Battle Stadium D.O.N
- Dragon Ball Z: Sagas
- Super Dragon Ball Z
- Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3
- Dragon Ball Z: Harukanaru Densetsu
- Dragon Ball: Origins
- Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans
- Dragon Ball: Revenge of King Piccolo
- Dragon Ball: Raging Blast
- Dragon Ball Online
- Dragon Ball: Origins 2
- Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi
- Dragon Ball RPG: Shōnen-hen
- Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z
- Dragon Ball Z: Dokkan Battle
- Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2
In Dokkan Battle, the Flying Nimbus is shown as an Awakening Medal for certain characters. It can be obtained by completing challenges in certain events.
"Oh, it's the new hero! I never expected you would actually be able to find me. No, I guess the power to find people is one of the many things that makes you a hero. As a reward for finding me, I would like to give you a special vehicle. Heh heh... This is a special edition model, not available anywhere else. It's the perfect vehicle for a hero like yourself."
— Oba in Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2
There is a special vehicle capsule that the Future Warrior can obtain based on the Flying Nimbus. Unlike the original Flying Nimbus, this one is an artificial vehicle designed after the Flying Nimbus and like all vehicle capsule's can only levitate slightly above the ground. It resembles the Flying Nimbus in shape though more ridge as it is not an actual cloud and features two small engines underneath that provide it with lift. It can be obtained after completing the main story from Hero Society member and Elite Time Patroller Oba who can be found in a flying around in a circular pattern around Conton City. Oba gives it to the Future Warrior for being able to find him and in recognition of their heroic status. Oba reveals it is a special edition model that is not available anywhere else.
- The Flying Nimbus can fly extremely high. When Goku tried to use the Nimbus to go to The Lookout, Korin said that this was the highest it could go. This is probably because the Lookout is above the clouds.
- Yajirobe attempts to ride Korin's Flying Nimbus, but is not successful showing he does not have a pure heart. The same is true for Bulma, Krillin and Master Roshi.
- Though it was said by an old man at Jingle Village that the Nimbus Cloud cannot be destroyed, Tambourine somehow destroyed it. It is possible that the Nimbus was destroyed because Tambourine used ki, as opposed to the Rocket Launcher that Colonel Silver used to blast it, or because no one as powerful as Tambourine had ever tried to destroy a Flying Nimbus before the King Piccolo Saga in the Dragon Ball series.
- In Dragon Ball: Origins, the Nimbus is shown to fly at over 400mph. Daizenshuu 4 states that the Nimbus' top speed is Mach 1.5.
- ↑ From the AB Groupe dub
- ↑ Subtitles in the European version of Dragon Ball Z: Budokai
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z, 2014
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Dragon Ball chapter 4, "They Call Him...the Turtle Hermit!"
- ↑ Dragon Ball episode 3, "The Nimbus Cloud of Roshi"
- ↑ Dragon Ball chapter 12, "The High Price of Education"
- ↑ Dragon Ball Z episode 201, "I am Saiyaman"
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Dragon Ball kanzenban edition ending (2 April 2004)
- ↑ Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, 2016