"The cat has a name you know! And it wouldn't hurt for you to show a little respect!"
Korin (カリン, Karin) is a supporting protagonist in the Dragon Ball manga and the anime Dragon Ball, who also assists in Dragon Ball Z and makes a brief appearance in Dragon Ball GT. He is a wise cat over 800 years old who lives atop a giant tower, and he is a martial arts master.
His name is derived from K'arin, the Japanese name for the Chinese quince. His tower, the "Korin Tower" (カリン塔 Karin-tō), is a play on a type of fried dough cake called "karinto" (花林糖, karintō), which fits the common theme of the characters being named after foods.
He is widely known to western audiences as Korin, a pun on corn, as opposed to his Japanese name, Karin.
Akira Toriyama used his own cat as a model for Korin and drew him while the cat was sleeping, this is why Korin's eyes are closed (Toriyama's later cat was the inspiration for Beerus). Korin has blue fur in the manga, Dragon Ball Z: Super Saiya Densetsu and Dragon Ball Online. It is changed to white in the anime.
Korin is a Senbyō (仙猫, immortal cat) and is at least 800 years old when he makes his introduction in Dragon Ball. He is a deity who lives at the top of Korin Tower, located right underneath Kami's Lookout. Korin is a legendary figure amongst the warrior-world, hailed as "The God of Martial Arts." This frequently leads to surprise and disbelief for those meeting him for the first time, as his appearance has yet to attain the fame of his reputation.
The young Roshi was the first one of many to climb the tall Korin Tower and train under the legendary Korin. It took him three years to catch Korin and obtain the Sacred Water, which was rumored to tremendously increase one's strength and speed. Later, Korin plays a large role in Dragon Ball, when he trains Goku during the Red Ribbon Army Saga. At later points in the series, Korin lends his assistance periodically to Goku and the Z Fighters by lending Senzu Beans to aid them in their battles.
When Goku enters the Sacred Land of Korin searching for his Grandpa Gohan's Four-Star Dragon Ball, he soon discovers that the ball is held by the native inhabitants, Bora and Upa. Gratefully, Bora gives the ball to Goku and tells him of the legend of the colossal tower, so high that not even airplanes can reach the top; if a person manages to climb to the top and drink the "Sacred Water" held by Korin, the Master of Combat, their strength and speed will be tremendously increased.
In addition to this, Korin is the only one who grows the Senzu Beans which heal wounds and are equivalent to eating ten days worth of food.
Learning of their defeat, the Red Ribbon Army sends the hired assassin Mercenary Tao, who easily kills Bora and overpowers Goku and nearly kills him, if not for the Dragon Ball hidden in his clothing protecting him from Tao's Dodon Ray. After coming to, Goku realizes his need to become stronger and begins the ascent, climbing throughout the day and into the night, sleeping with his tail clinging tightly to the handholds. After a day of straight climbing, an exhausted Goku reaches the top and after a little searching, he encounters the immortal white cat, Korin, who is insulted at the boy's disbelief that he is the legendary master. After reading Goku's mind and finding his intentions pure, Korin tells the boy that he can have the Sacred Water. Goku leaps to grab it, but the cat immediately snatches it away, hooking it to his stick and declaring that the boy can indeed have it if he can take it from him.
Even Goku's superhuman agility is no match for the cat, as he leads Goku on a chase around and around the tower, matching Goku's Afterimage Technique with his own, eventually becoming bored with the "workout" and calling an end for the day. An exhausted, yet curious Goku asks if anyone has managed to reach the water; the cat responds that the only one who did was Goku's old teacher, Master Roshi, which shocks the boy. He is further shocked when, asking how long it took, Korin responds with three years. The next day, Goku awakes to find Korin dumping "garbage" over the side of the tower, including his Grandpa Gohan's Four-Star Ball. Furious, Goku immediately runs down the tower to retrieve it and climbs it again, while the old cat looks on with satisfaction; what took a day previously has now only taken three hours, a sign of the boy's growing strength.
On the evening of the second day, Goku considers taking the Sacred Water from Korin in his sleep but at the last minute, he decides that he would "rather get it fair and square" even though he needed the strength to avenge the murder of his friend at the hands of Tao. Korin, who was actually pretending to sleep all this time, is deeply impressed by Goku's honorable and decent character, and becomes determined to train the boy to his full potential.
After three days of chasing and climbing, a determined Goku finally manages to outmaneuver Korin and take the bottle of Sacred Water from him; after drinking it, however, he does not notice any strength increase at all. Korin informs him that it is just tap water, and that it was Goku's intense exertion that made him much stronger and faster than before. A grateful Goku thanks Korin for the training, and climbs down the tower to face Mercenary Tao again. In an anime filler, after Goku tells Mercenary Tao about the Sacred Water during their second fight, the assassin climbs the tower to get the power for himself. On the top, Korin sensed a wicked man like Mercenary Tao and tricked him, by only giving him the "Sacred" Water without the training, which has no benefits. He then calls and gives Tao a Dark Nimbus, but as soon as Tao almost reaches the bottom, the nimbus (through Korin's control) makes him fall through it rather than let him fly all the way down on it.
King Piccolo released
When Yajirobe carries Goku up the Korin Tower from his first confrontation with the legendary King Piccolo, Korin reveals that he has in fact special water that unleashes the drinker’s inner power, the Ultra Divine Water. However, the water itself is so dangerous that he refuses to let Goku journey to retrieve it until learning that the infamous King Piccolo had been released. After a grueling trek and overcoming numerous obstacles (in anime only), Yajirobe and Goku reach the Ultra Divine Water. Tasting a single drop of the Ultra Divine Water disgusted and was extremely painful for Yajirobe, who then begs Goku not to drink it. However, Goku drinks it deeply, sending him into agony as well. After a couple of hours of agony, the water gave him the power needed to defeat King Piccolo, with Korin in great surprise, but extremely proud of the boy's progress and power.
After Goku defeats King Piccolo, Yajirobe brings Goku to the tower to heal his wounds. Goku tells Korin that Shenron was killed by King Piccolo and there is no way to revive all the people that were killed. Korin tells Goku about the Guardian of Earth who is the creator of the Dragon Balls. Korin tells Goku to use his Power Pole to get to Kami's Lookout way above Korin's tower.
Korin appears in Dragon Ball: Mystical Adventure, which is an alternate retelling of Dragon Ball. When Goku lands in Korin Tower after being defeated by General Tao, Korin gives Goku advice on helping him defeat Tao.
Dragon Ball Z
In Dragon Ball Z, Korin shows up from time to time, giving a Senzu Bean to Goku when he is revived after the battle against Vegeta, and helping the Z Fighters after the battle against the Saiyans. Yajirobe eventually ends up living with him in the tower (in the movie Dragon Ball Z: Cooler's Revenge, Korin wonders why he lets Yajirobe stay).
During the Garlic Jr. Saga, Korin and Yajirobe meet Krillin's girlfriend, Maron. During this period, Maron notably convinced Korin and Yajirobe to cook for her, and played poker with them. He also is shown as having a weakness to being stroked on the chin, as Maron demonstrates when getting him to go her way, although the second time she did this he snapped at her to stop doing that.
A few years later, after Cell has achieved his perfect form by absorbing Android 17 and Android 18, Goku visits Korin after his training in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber to show him his new power by powering up as a Super Saiyan. While Goku charges up, Korin demands for Goku to stop, because if he carries on, his aura would be enough to make the Korin Tower collapse. Afterwards Korin reveals that despite Goku's increase in power and mastery of the Super Saiyan form, Cell's power is still greater than his. Seven years after the defeat of Cell, Goku visits Korin again to get a Senzu Bean for Videl who has been injured by Spopovich during the 25th World Martial Arts Tournament.
Korin was killed either when Super Buu used the Human Extinction Attack or when Kid Buu used the Planet Burst on the planet, but was revived by Porunga. Two years after Kid Buu's defeat, Korin is seen at Mr. Satan's party with Yajirobe.
During the events of the film, Goku ends up being severely wounded by taking the brunt force of an attack by Cooler that was intended for Gohan. In order to help Goku recover while in hiding from Cooler and his Armored Squadron, Gohan had to travel to Korin at his tower, although Korin declined Gohan's request because he did not try to give him a gift (in the original version, it was because Gohan only climbed halfway up the tower). Despite this however, he ended up having to let Gohan get the bean satchel as well as a spare bean anyways, primarily due to Yajirobe's interference (causing them to get into a severe argument).
Dragon Ball GT
Korin makes a cameo appearance in Dragon Ball GT, in episode 40 "Piccolo's Decision", when Kibito Kai saved him and Yajirobe from the Earth's destruction. He is also seen in one of the flashbacks in the final episode of Dragon Ball GT, "Until We Meet Again".
Techniques and special abilities
- Afterimage Technique – Korin uses it, and even claims to be the inventor of this technique.
- Korin's staff – Korin can shoot an invisible ki blast out of his staff.
- Flight – Korin can fly with the use of ki, as seen when he is at Wukong Hospital after the battle against the Saiyans.
- Lightning Bolts – Korin can call down thunder from the sky to stun those who attempt to climb the Korin Tower without following the rules. Korin uses this technique in Dragon Ball: Origins 2, at the end of the bonus level 5-7, when Goku tries to take Krillin and Yamcha with him at the top of the Korin Tower. This technique is similar to Rage Shenron's Dragon Thunderclap.
- Mind Reading – Korin is shown to read Goku's mind when Goku first reaches the top of Korin Tower. He also reads Krillin's mind during the Garlic Jr. Saga.
- Far-Seeing Arts – Technique which allows those who live in the godly realms to see everything that happen in the lower realms.
Main article: Senzu Bean Korin is the only one who grows the Senzu Beans which heal wounds and are equivalent to eating ten days worth of food. Korin Tower is the only place in the world they are grown, and so these magic beans are quite valuable. The Senzu Beans are used frequently in Dragon Ball Z to restore energy in battle, and they save the lives of the Z Fighters many times. The beans are limited in number and are difficult to grow, and so Korin only gives them to the Z Fighters in time of need or before a battle. Usually no more than five are carried at a time.
Video game appearances
Korin appears in during the story of Dragon Ball: Daimaō Fukkatsu, Dragon Ball 3: Gokuden, Dragon Ball Z: Super Gokuden: Totsugeki-Hen, Dragon Ball Z: Idainaru Son Goku Densetsu, Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure, and Dragon Ball RPG: Shōnen-hen. In Dragon Ball: Revenge of King Piccolo, he has to be caught to complete a mission. He also in the Story Mode of Dragon Ball: Origins 2, and is the final secret boss encountered after completing the ultimate challenge in the bonus level 8-8.
In Dragon Ball Z: Kyōshū! Saiyan, Dragon Ball Z III: Ressen Jinzōningen, and Dragon Ball Z Gaiden: Saiyajin Zetsumetsu Keikaku, Korin restores the heroes' health every time they visit him. He also appears in Dragon Ball Z Gaiden: Shin Saiyajin Zetsumetsu Keikaku - Chikyū-Hen, and with Yajirobe at the beginning of Dragon Ball Z Gaiden: Shin Saiyajin Zetsumetsu Keikaku - Uchū-Hen during the heroes' departure for the Dark Planet. Korin is also in the crossover games Famicom Jump: Hero Retsuden and Famicom Jump II: Saikyō no Shichinin.
Korin appears in the Legacy of Goku series, Dragon Ball Z: Budokai, Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3, Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2, and Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans. In The Legacy of Goku II, if the heroes give Korin fish, he will trade Senzu Beans in a 1:1 ratio up to a limit of three Senzu Beans in the inventory while in Buu's Fury he will give money or Holy Water.
He appears in a mini-game in Dragon Ball Z: Battle Taikan Kamehameha where he launches Senzu Beans and bombs at the player. In Dragon Ball Z: Harukanaru Densetsu, he is a support character who gives Senzu Beans when encountered. Korin is also an Assist Character in Dragon Ball Z: Bakuretsu Impact. Korin appears in Dragon Ball Online, and is notably seen in the second cinematic opening trailer for the game, now wearing glasses.
- Japanese dub: Ichirō Nagai, Naoki Tatsuta
- English dubs
- Hebrew dub: Efron Etkin
- Spanish dub (Latin America): Arturo Mercado
- Portuguese dub (Brazil): Fabio Moura (DB), Armando Tiraboschi (DBZ), Fadu Costa (Cooler's Revenge)
- Portuguese dub (Portugal): Antonio Semedo
- In the Hungarian dub of the series and the British dub of the movie Mystical Adventure, Korin's gender is changed to female.
- In the Red Ribbon Army Saga, Goku's Flying Nimbus was destroyed, but when he climbed Korin Tower, Korin told him they can never be destroyed. However, for some reason, in the 3rd Dragon Ball movie, Mystical Adventure, Korin is surprised to see a cloud like Flying Nimbus.
- In Dragon Ball episode 68, "The Last Dragon Ball", Puar tells Oolong a joke about Korin. He says "If Korin were in the Red Ribbon Army, what would he be??", to which Oolong replies "Probably a general." Puar then says "No!! Everyone knows he would be a colonel!!". Referring to Korin's name being a pun of the word "corn".
- Korin is briefly seen in Dr. Slump and Arale-chan: N-cha! Love Comes From Penguin Village where he runs past the screen before Yajirobe does in the opposite direction.
- In the video game Ōkami by Capcom, the cat brush god Kabegami can be reached by climbing a tower that reaches to the skies, similar to the Korin Tower.
- In the Japanese version of the anime, Korin mispronounces Yajirobe's name as "Yajirobi" instead of "Yajirobé".
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