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"Tao Attacks!" (しょう!!カメハメVSたいどどん Shōbu!! Kamehameha Tai Dodonpa, lit. "The Match!! Kamehameha vs Dodonpa") is the third episode of the Commander Red Saga and the sixtieth episode in the Dragon Ball series. This episode first aired in Japan on April 29, 1987. Its original American airdate was October 30, 2002.


Goku Hit by Tao's Dodon-Pa 06

Goku takes a direct hit to the chest by Tao's Dodon Ray

The despicable hired hitman, Mercenary Tao, will stop at nothing to complete his mission and earn his huge paycheck. After finding Goku near Korin Tower, he made short work of Bora. Goku will not prove to be so easy. Goku's determined to avenge his friend's death and hang on to the Dragon Balls. Goku strikes Tao first, but Tao easily evades all of his attacks. The difference in their skill and power is not in Goku's favor. Frustrated, Goku uses a Kamehameha, but the attack is easily blocked by Tao and only manages to burn Tao's clothing. Tao enraged retaliates with an aimed Dodon Ray at Goku's heart, which "killed" him (it is later revealed the Four-Star Dragon Ball Goku had in his clothing protected his heart). Tao leaves Upa alive, as well as Goku, thinking he is dead.


Tao talking to Commander Red on phone

Since his clothes were destroyed by Goku's Kamehameha, Tao heads to the nearest town to have them remade by a tailor, giving him three days' time to finish his outfit. Tao contacted Commander Red at Red Ribbon Army Headquarters to inform of his planned three days delay due to "certain circumstances" and confirm his mission's success. He is informed that in fact, he got only three out of four Dragon Balls. Red, very pleased with this, assured that it is not a problem and that they will retrieve the last Dragon Ball from Goku's corpse.


Tao waiting for his new outfit

Upa is seen to have buried Bora and is in the process of burying Goku, but before he could, a soldier sent to get the ball arrives. To both Upa's and the soldier's astonishment, it appears that Goku is bruised but was not killed by Tao. After a failed attempt to finish him off with a shotgun, the soldier gets airborne and tries to contact the base, however, he is made short work by Goku's Power Pole in mid-air. Feeling sorry for Upa's grief due to Bora's death, Goku becomes hell-bent on reviving him using Shenron's power.

To do that he needs to defeat Tao and get his the three Dragon Balls back. Because their skill difference is vast, Goku decides to climb Korin Tower to gain more power. Thus he begins his long journey upwards. Meanwhile, Commander Red informs Tao of strange things happening over that place and orders him to go there at once. Tao reluctant to take any orders refuses and firmly states he will go but after three days' time.

Major Events[]

  • Goku is easily defeated and seemingly killed by Mercenary Tao.
  • Goku is revealed to be alive with the Dragon Ball in his Gi having saved his life.
  • Goku begins climbing Korin Tower.


  • Goku vs. Mercenary Tao
  • Goku vs. Red Ribbon Army soldier






Differences from the Manga[]

  • The fight between Goku and Mercenary Tao is extended for the anime with considerably more hand-to-hand combat prior to Goku using the Kamehameha.
  • Mercenary Tao being taunted by the drunkards and their realization of who he really is isn't in the manga.
  • Commander Red sending a soldier to retrieve the Dragon Ball that Tao missed and his subsequent death at Goku's hands isn't in the manga. In the manga, since Red assumes that Goku is dead, he doesn't have to worry about claiming the ball too quickly.
  • Commander Red calls Mercenary Tao at his suite and tells him to check back at Korin Tower though he refuses as he is not one of his soldiers. This does not happen in the manga.


Updated Missing Arm Band

Reappearing Sleeve

  • The designs of the two drunkards that taunt Mercenary Tao are based on those of the two bullies of the Orin Temple.
  • The shot of Goku firing the Kamehameha is clearly recycled from the Tournament Saga; the outline of the tiles of the tournament ring can be seen on the ground.
  • After Mercenary Tao's clothing is burnt, a piece of his sleeve disappears and reappears throughout the scene with Goku and Upa.


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