Karin (anime character)

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"The cat has a name you know! And it wouldn't hurt for you to show a little respect!"
Karin in "Fight with Piccolo"

Karin (カリン, Karin; FUNimation "Korin", Viz "Karin") is a wise martial arts master who is over 800 years old.

Karin is widely known to western audiences as Korin, a pun on the word Corn, as opposed to Karin, his Japanese name. The word Karin is derived from K'arin, the Japanese word for the Chinese quince. His tower, the Karin 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.


Early life

Karin was at least 800 years old when first introduced in Dragon Ball.[1] He was a deity who lived at the top of Karin Tower. The tower was located right underneath Kami's Lookout. It is a popular misconception to assume the tower and lookout are connected, however, as they are rarely shown together from a distance as separate. Karin played a large role in Dragon Ball when he trained Son Goku during the Red Ribbon Army Saga. At later points in the series, Karin gave his assistance periodically to Goku and the Z Warriors by lending Senzu to aid them in their journeys.

Dragon Ball

Meeting Goku

When Goku entered the Sacred Land of Karin searching for Grandpa Son Gohan's Four-Star Ball, he soon discovered that it was occupied by 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 managed to climb to the top and drink the Sacred Water held by Karin, the Master of Combat, their strength and speed would be tremendously increased.

Learning of their defeat, the Red Ribbon Army sent the hired assassin Tao Pai Pai, who easily overpowered Goku and nearly killed him if not for the Dragon Ball hidden in his clothing. After coming to, Goku realized his need to become stronger and began 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 finally reached the top and encountered Karin, who was insulted at the boy's disbelief that he was the legendary Master. After he read Goku's mind and found that his intentions were pure, Karin told the boy that he could have the Sacred Water. Goku leaped to grab it, but Karin immediately snatched it away, hooking it to his stick and declaring that the boy could indeed have it – if he could take it.

Training Goku

Even Goku's superhuman agility was no match for the cat, as he led 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 asked if anyone had managed to reach the water. Karin responded that the only one who did was Goku's old teacher, Roshi, which shocked the boy. He was further shocked when, asking how long it took, Karin replied three years, holding up three fingers. The next day, Goku awakened to find Karin dumping "garbage" over the side of the tower – including the Four-Star Ball. Furious, he immediately ran down the tower to retrieve it and climbed up again while the old Cat looked on with satisfaction; what took a day previously had now only taken 3 hours, a sign of the boy's growing strength. After three days of chasing and climbing, a determined Goku finally managed to outmaneuver Karin and take the bottle of Sacred Water from him; after drinking it, however, he did not notice any strength increase at all. Karin informed him that it was just tap water. It was Goku's intense exertion that made him much stronger and faster than before. A grateful Goku thanked Karin for the training and climbed down the tower to face Tao again. After Goku told Tao about the Sacred Water, the assassin climbed the tower to get the power for himself. Karin, however, sensed a wicked man like Tao and tricked him by only giving him the "sacred" water without the training, which had no benefits obviously. He then gave Tao a Dark Kinto Un, but as soon as Tao reached the bottom the Dark Kinto Un made him fall through it rather than let him fly all the way down on it.

Piccolo Daimao released

Karin does in fact have 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 legendary King Piccolo had been released – tasting a single drop of the Ultra Divine Water nearly kills Yajirobe, sending him into spasms of agony. After a grueling trek and overcoming numerous obstacles (in anime only), Goku reaches the Ultra Divine Water and drinks deeply, sending him into agony as well, but also giving him the power needed to defeat King Piccolo. After King Piccolo is defeated, Yajirobe brings Goku to the tower to heal his wounds. Goku tells Karin that Shenron was killed by King Piccolo and there is no way to revive all the people that were killed. Karin tells Goku about the guardian of Earth who is the creator of the Dragon Balls. Karin tells Goku to use his Power Pole to get to Kami's Temple way above Karin Tower.

Dragon Ball Z

Karin showed up from time to time and gave Senzu to Goku when he was revived and training the Z Warriors. Yajirobe eventually ended up living with him in the tower.

Dragon Ball GT

Karin made a cameo appearance in "Piccolo's Decision" and was seen in one of the flashbacks in "Until We Meet Again...".


Dragon Ball: Mystical Adventure

Karin appeared in Dragon Ball: Mystical Adventure. He gave Goku advice on how to defeat Tao.

Karin appeared in Dragon Ball Z: Cooler's Revenge.

Video games

Karin appeared in Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure, Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku II, and Dragon Ball Z: Buu's Fury.


Main article: Senzu

Karin is the only one who grows the Senzu, which heal wounds and is equivalent to eating ten days worth of food. Karin Tower is the only place in the world (and perhaps the universe) they are grown, and so these magic beans are quite valuable. The Senzu are used frequently in Dragon Ball Z to restore energy in battle, and many a time they save the lives of the Z Warriors. The beans are limited in number and are difficult to grow, and so Karin only gives them to the Z Warriors in time of need or before a battle. Usually no more than five are carried at a time.


Karin immediately before using his staff to destroy a column.
  • Telepathy – Karin is shown reading Goku's mind when Goku first reaches the top of Karin Tower.
  • Zanzo-ken


Voice actors


Karin's brief cameo in the 7th Dr. Slump film.
  • During the Red Ribbon Army Saga, Goku's Kinto Un is destroyed, but when he climbs Karin Tower, Karin tells him they can never be destroyed. In "Mystical Adventure", however, Karin is surprised to see a cloud like the Kinto Un.
  • In the Goku vs. Tao fight in the Dragon Ball anime, Tao climbs Karin Tower. When he reaches the top, Karin calls and gives him a Dark Nimbus and also drinks the Sacred Water so that he can match Goku's power. In the manga, Karin calls a Nimbus Cloud (a huge one) five Tankobans after Tao is defeated.
  • Akira Toriyama used his own cat as a model for Karin and drew him while the cat was sleeping. This is why Karin's eyes are closed.
  • 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 Karin Tower.
  • Karin has blue fur in the manga and Dragon Ball Online. He has white fur in the anime.
  • Karin's gender is changed to female in the British dub of Mystical Adventure.
  • Karin makes a brief appearance in the middle of the 7th Dr. Slump film where he quickly runs past the screen followed by a quick appearance of Yajirobe who runs past the screen in the opposite direction.
  • Karin is one of the world's best sushi chefs.


  1. Dragon Ball manga, Vol. 8, Page 62. USA, CAN.2003 - ISBN 9781569319277