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This article is about the 63rd episode of Dragon Ball. For other articles with the same name, see The Return of Goku (disambiguation).

"The Return of Goku" (そんくうぎゃくしゅう Son Gokū no Gyakushū, lit. "Son Goku's Counterattack") is the sixth episode of the Commander Red Saga and the sixty-third episode in the Dragon Ball series. This episode first aired in Japan on May 20, 1987. Its original American airdate was November 6, 2002.



Goku confronts Mercenary Tao

Mercenary Tao returns to the Sacred Land of Korin to find the missing Dragon Ball. Upa, who is still angry over his father's murder, attacks Tao, but Tao dodges and strangles Upa for information on the location of the Dragon Ball. Upa refuses to tell him anything, so Tao throws him at the Korin Tower, but Goku and the Flying Nimbus save him in the nick of time.

Then, Goku and Tao have a rematch, with Tao boasting that he will kill him in only three seconds, but Goku counters his move and dominates the battle. Tao is stunned as to why this is happening as it had only been three days since he had utterly defeated him last. Goku explains to him that he'd spent his days training a top Korin Tower which Tao believed to have just been a myth. Goku effortlessly fights with Mercenary Tao, kicking him in the stomach and hurting him in the process, sending him flying, and kicking him to the ground. Meanwhile, at Kame House, Krillin continues his training while Bulma works on a Scouter Drone which she plans to use to track down Goku.


Tao runs up Korin Tower

As he pops out of the ground, Tao gets mad at Goku that his second suit was torn off and tells him how difficult it is going to be to find another decent tailor. Goku tells him that he should worry about his fighting, not his looks. Tao then launches a Dodon Ray, which Goku blocks with his hands. He then uses a Capsule to bring out a Sword which he uses to attack Goku though he breaks it in half when he strikes it with his Power Pole. When Mercenary Tao learns that Goku's strength increased while atop the Korin Tower, he kicks a rock towards Upa in order to distract Goku long enough for him to begin his climb up himself in order to become stronger. Until then, Goku and Upa decide to wait for him to come back.

Major Events[]

  • Goku begins his rematch with Mercenary Tao.
  • Mercenary Tao begins his climb up the Korin Tower.


  • Goku vs. Mercenary Tao






Differences from the Manga[]

  • The scene where Commander Red watches Tao go back for the Four-Star Dragon Ball and his annoyance for Black not knowing when to hand him his cigar isn't in the manga.
  • In the manga, after Upa throws his ax at Tao, the former does not charge at the latter. There Tao trips him immediately after dodging and strangles him.
  • When Goku explains how he survived the Dodon Ray in the anime, Tao (in the Japanese version) says "I see. Just as I thought" in reference to how he surmised it in the previous episode. This, along with the previously mentioned scene, isn't in the manga. There he just says that Goku got lucky.
  • Tao expressing surprise that Goku countered his punch with his knee isn't in the manga.
  • Upa noting the difference between Goku and Tao's last battle and their current one isn't in the manga.
  • When Goku bounces off Korin Tower and back towards Tao in the manga, he manages to hit Tao and kicks him into the ground, once again ruining his outfit. The anime has Tao dodge the initial strike which causes Goku to slam into a tree, causing a head injury. They continue to trade blows for a while (with Tao's outfit getting tattered) until Goku manages to land a hard right which launches Tao into the air and Goku kicks him down resulting in him getting his outfit ruined like in the manga.
  • The scene at Kame House with Bulma building her scouting plane isn't in the manga. It's also shown that Bulma took back the micro band after realizing what Roshi was doing with it (peeping at her and Launch), which the manga never alludes to.
  • In the manga, when Tao gets out of the hole, his outfit is tattered and he pulls it off. When he gets out in the anime, the top of his outfit is already gone.
  • Tao never attempts to climb Korin Tower to drink the Sacred Water in the manga. There he continues the fight never once thinking that Goku is too strong for him only for him to see the truth when Goku allows him to attack in order to get a sense of his fighting style.


  • Goku got a part of his hair cut off when Tao was using a sword against him. It seemed to grow back by the end of the episode, despite Vegeta's claim later on that a full-blooded Saiyan's hair does not grow an inch from the day the Saiyan is born.
  • After Red insults him for not knowing to hand the former his cigar, Black is shown getting annoyed. This may be a hint that deep down Black does not fully respect his commander which will culminate in his killing of him at the end of the saga.


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