Namek's Explosion... Goku's End? (ナメック星大爆発!! 宇宙に消えた悟空, Namekkusei Dai Bakuhatsu!! Uchu ni Kieta Goku) is the thirty-first episode of the Frieza Saga and the one hundred sixth overall episode in the uncut Dragon Ball Z series. The episode first aired on September 4, 1991. Its original American air date was November 2, 1999.
After defeating Frieza, Goku flies desperately through planet Namek, searching for a way off the dying planet. Meanwhile, King Kai relays the news to Yamcha, Tien Shinhan and Chiaotzu that Goku defeated Frieza, but breaks up the celebration by telling them that Namek is on the verge of exploding and Goku might not make it off in time.
Goku finally manages to find Frieza's spaceship, although it is in pretty bad shape. Despite this, Goku enters and searches for the control room. Eventually he finds it and switches it on, activating the launch sequence. Unfortunately, Frieza's previous claim of Vegeta having wrecked the ship beyond repair proves to be true: the ship dies in the middle of starting up, and Goku only barely manages to escape the ship as it falls into a pool of lava. Goku then screams in frustration after realizing that it is too late. The ensuing explosion puts a strain on King Kai's antennae, rendering him unable to sense Goku anymore. Goku is left stranded on Namek as the planet finally explodes, vanishing completely from the face of the galaxy.
King Kai, once his antennae recover, searches the universe but cannot find Namek or Goku anywhere. King Kai then realizes that Goku has been killed in the explosion. Yamcha uses King Kai's telepathic link to contact Bulma on Earth and tell her that Goku defeated Frieza but did not make it off Namek in time. Bulma, however, seems unconcerned, gleefully telling Yamcha that they can revive Goku and Krillin with the Namekian Dragon Balls, since Porunga can revive someone multiple times (unless the person died of natural causes). Unfortunately, King Kai spoils the celebration once again: Porunga can only revive someone back to the place they died, which means he would send Goku and Krillin back to Namek, or rather, where Namek used to be, where they would just die again from the lack of oxygen.
Hope seems lost for Goku and Krillin. Gohan, Vegeta, Piccolo and Bulma are left devastated. Vegeta hides his remorse for Goku's apparent death by pretending to be pleased and boasting about it. This time, Gohan becomes enraged to the point that he challenges Vegeta to a fight. Despite landing a few good hits, Vegeta subdues Gohan and only stops when Piccolo intervenes and tells him to "back off". Frustrated at Gohan's inability to face the truth like a man, Vegeta flies off. Dende heals Gohan's injuries, but all are still emotionally hurt from the loss of their friend.
- Namek is finally destroyed with Goku seemingly still on it.
- Gohan vs. Vegeta
Bruce Falconer tracks
- "Vegeta Powers Up" - When Super Saiyan Goku tries to activate Frieza's spaceship while Namek is on the verge of exploding.
Differences from the manga
- Vegeta's gloating over Goku's death and his new position as the strongest in the universe which leads to a fight with Gohan is exclusive to the anime.
- In the shot when Vegeta grabs Gohan's hair, Vegeta is not wearing any gloves.
- After Yamcha tells Bulma that Goku didn't escape Namek, this is actually false, Goku used one of the Ginyu Force's space pods to escape Namek, which would later be revealed in "Goku's Special Technique".