Pseudo Super Saiyan (疑似超サイヤ人), or referred by the fandom as False Super Saiyan, is a Saiyan transformation that Goku undergoes during his battle against Lord Slug in the movie Dragon Ball Z: Lord Slug. In the film and Daizenshuu, this form was originally labeled as the true Super Saiyan form, but later re-labeled as Giji or "Pseudo" Super Saiyan after the actual Super Saiyan form was introduced in the Dragon Ball manga and Dragon Ball Z anime.
In this form, Goku's irises and pupils are no longer visible, mostly in turn to the power and bleak rage. His body bulks up a little, his hair almost straightens like that of a Super Saiyan, his skin color also appears to have a yellow hue to it, but there is no considerable change in feature other than a red tint to his hair (due to the reflection of the yellow aura on his black hair, his hair is not actually red). He gains a yellowish surge of aura, somewhat but not quite resembling that of a normal Super Saiyan's. In a manner, it could be seen as an incomplete Super Saiyan transformation. In turn, the form somewhat resembles a glorified Kaio-ken form and even makes the same sound as it. However, there are notable differences.
When he transformed into the true Super Saiyan during the fight against Frieza, Goku witnessed the murder of his best friend, Krillin (which was coupled by the fact that Krillin is not likely to be revived with the Dragon Balls, as Shenron had already granted that wish and could not resurrect the same person twice), which drove him over the edge. This ultimate pain was not fully present during the fight against Slug, which is most likely why Goku did not transform fully. The form of False Super Saiyan was shown to be very erratic, and Goku did not seem to be himself because of said erraticism and his whited-out eyes.
During the battle against Lord Slug, Goku's strength began to quickly debilitate. Having no more options, Goku's anger surged, causing him to gain a massive power increase, enough to quickly overwhelm Slug. The form faded after a while; more specifically, Goku seemed to regain his state of mind when Slug ripped his arm off and regenerated it. This may suggest Goku was not in his usual state of mind, as indicated by his pupil-less eyes and his erratic attacks.
One way to put it is that the Pseudo Super Saiyan transformation occurs when a Saiyan has the required physical power but lacks the required mental strife to transform into a Super Saiyan. It is apparent, however, that the form gives a large power increase, enough for Goku, who was being easily beaten previously by Slug, to now quickly overwhelm him.
Video game appearances
The Pseudo Super Saiyan form is referenced in Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3, during the Dragon History battle against Lord Slug: when Goku powers up, King Kai states that he has transformed into a "Super Saiyan" though there are no visual changes.
- King Kai says this transformation is the Super Saiyan transformation in the film and video games.
- Goku appears in a "semi-Super Saiyan" state while in Hell during the filler anime episode "Warriors of the Dead". However, this was a last-minute decision to keep Goku's Super Saiyan powers hidden from Pikkon rather than a simple coincidence, thus his hair was digitally altered from gold to black and his eyes from green to black (in the original Japanese promo for the episode, Goku's hair turns gold and his eyes turn green). Oddly, the aura was left untouched. This ability is a special power named "Super Saiyan power" in Dragon Ball Heroes.
- Broly also displays a similar form in Paragus' first flashback sequence during the movie Dragon Ball Z: Broly - The Legendary Super Saiyan, in which a teenage Broly is running amok, destroying planets unrestrained. The form's hair stands up on end like Broly's Super Saiyan form and has the same reddish tint to the hair as Goku's False Super Saiyan form; however, his eyes retain their pupils. Also, Broly exhibited a similar transformation when escaping the destruction of Planet Vegeta due to his eyes going blank.
- Vegeta's Saiyan Soul power up, that he uses against both Goku and Frieza in the anime, strongly resembles the Pseudo Super Saiyan form. During these instances, he is surrounded by a golden aura, his pupils disappear completely, his hair reflects the gold from his aura, and his ki skyrockets to the point of extreme environmental effects.