Flying Nimbus (筋斗雲, Kinto'un; 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 its last brief appearance, with 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 Goku possessed that mimics the character Sun Wukong in the Chinese novel Journey to the West. Sun Wukong rides on a magic cloud, and the other is the Power Pole, which Sun Wukong 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 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 in some adaptations of 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 has used it to simply traverse long distances himself independently however.
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.
The Flying Nimbus was originally given to Master Roshi by Korin upon reaching the top of Korin Tower. He, in turn, gave it 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, so Roshi was 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 King Piccolo's offspring 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.
During Dragon Ball Z, the Nimbus was used by Goku during the Vegeta Saga. He used the Nimbus to chase down and save Gohan from Raditz, and to race toward the battlefield to save his friends from the Saiyans, 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 fight with Vegeta, Goku used the Nimbus once more to travel to the Capsule Corporation and begin his journey to Namek in Dr. Brief's Capsule Corporation spaceship. This is Nimbus' last appearance for quite some time, as most characters mastered high-speed flight by that time (which far outclasses the Nimbus' speed), and Goku had learned the Instant Transmission technique by the time he returned to Earth (which outclasses high-speed flight itself).
It is seen again in the Great Saiyaman Saga when Gohan also 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 once, 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. 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.
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 is surprised that he could no longer ride it when Master Roshi 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: is able to ride on Goku's as a child, as well as during the final episodes of the Dragon Ball anime. She also has one in Super Dragon Ball Z.
- A 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.
- 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".
Non pure-hearted riders
- Krillin: flies it with his arms around Goku to keep from falling.
- Bulma: uses a shrinking device to ride in Goku's shirt.
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 (in cutscenes)
- Dragon Ball Z: Goku Hishōden (in cutscenes)
- Dragon Ball Z: Super Gokuden: Totsugeki-Hen (in a mission)
- 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 (in cutscenes)
- 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 (in cutscenes)
- Dragon Ball: Revenge of King Piccolo
- Dragon Ball: Raging Blast (loading screens)
- Dragon Ball Online
- Dragon Ball: Origins 2
- Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi
- Dragon Ball RPG: Shōnen-hen
- Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z (equipable item)
Main article: Dark Nimbus There is a variation called the Dark Nimbus that can be used by impure or evil people. But, as demonstrated on Mercenary Tao, it could be controlled by Korin to fail to work.
- The Flying Nimbus can fly very high. When Goku tried to use the nimbus to go to Kami's Lookout, Korin said this is the highest it can go. This is probably because Kami's 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.
- 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 old man said this to go easy on Goku and gave him his own Nimbus (as he said there were many Nimbus Clouds when he was a child). It is also possible that the Nimbus was destroyed because Tambourine used ki, as opposed to the Rocket Launcher 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 400 mph.
- ↑ Alternate English dub that aired in the UK
- ↑ 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 episode 103, "Tambourine Attacks!"
- ↑ Dragon Ball episode 117, "The Ultimate Sacrifice"
- ↑ Dragon Ball Z episode 201, "I am Saiyaman"
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Dragon Ball kanzenban edition ending (2 April 2004)