Super Saiyan Level 1
Super Saiyan Grade I
Super Warrior (Westwood Dub)
|Debut||Manga: "Life or Death"|
Anime: "Transformed at Last"
|Users||The Original Super Saiyan|
|Color||restraining device)or (w/|
|Similar techniques||Super Namek|
Super Saiyan (超サイヤ人) is an advanced transformation assumed by extraordinarily powerful members of the Saiyan race in the Dragon Ball franchise, as well as Akira Toriyama's later manga Nekomajin and within the Dr. Slump film Hoyoyo!! Follow the Rescued Shark.
The Super Saiyan form first premiered in August of 1991 within chapter 317 of the Dragon Ball manga entitled "Life or Death". It also made its anime debut in 1991, first appearing in Dragon Ball Z episode 95, "Transformed at Last". Within Dragon Ball Z two further transformations, the second and third levels, succeed Super Saiyan, while the premier form also has three additional branch states, two that are ascensions and one that is a mastering of the basic Super Saiyan form. Dragon Ball GT introduced a fourth form, and there are three additional forms related to the Super Saiyan state that appear exclusively in the films: False Super Saiyan, Legendary Super Saiyan, and Super Saiyan God.
The ability to become a Super Saiyan was once considered to be nothing but a legend, as it had not been performed for over one-thousand years. Vegeta stated that a Super Saiyan has achieved a level of power so overwhelming that it could only be maintained in a transformed state. Despite only being told through legend, Frieza, who was considered to be the strongest being of his time, became paranoid over the possibility of truth behind the legend due to the constantly growing power of the Saiyan race. Because of this fear, Frieza came to the conclusion that he must annihilate the Saiyan race by destroying Planet Vegeta, thus apparently sparking the end of the Super Saiyan legend. However, twenty-five years later, the Super Saiyan legend was proven to be true when Goku accomplished the feat during his titanic battle against the evil tyrant, Frieza.
The Super Saiyan transformation comes in response to a need, not a desire. In all known cases, the form has been initially triggered by either desperation or indignation. Any other conditions are unknown, and motivation tends to differ; for example, Goku achieves the form out of anger over the murder of his best-friend Krillin and Bardock achieves the form out of anger after Chilled attacked a Plant child called Berry, while Vegeta achieves the form through sheer frustration at his original inability to achieve it, especially when Goku already had. While training in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, Goku informs Gohan that becoming a Super Saiyan is powered by rage and told him to imagine Cell and then Frieza (after Gohan stated he had never seen Cell) killing all his friends in order for him to transform into a Super Saiyan. As the Saiyans train during Dragon Ball Z, they discover uncharted levels beyond the first Super Saiyan level. The power increases of subsequent Super Saiyan forms are so high that by the Buu Saga, the original transformation has been literally reduced to that of a "child's play thing" (as stated by Vegeta; as both Goten and Trunks can transform and harness the power adeptly at such a young age).
In the main series, all living Saiyan-blooded males after the Frieza Saga manage to reach at least the first level of Super Saiyan. No female Super Saiyans are ever seen in the Dragon Ball manga or animes. However, the Dragon Ball GT Perfect Files implies that Pan has the potential to transform and might have become a type of Super Saiyan never seen before. Female Super Saiyans have since appeared in video games, including Dragon Ball Online and Dragon Ball Heroes.
The Super Saiyan form
"The power comes in response to a need, not a desire"
The first Super Saiyan transformation occurs when a Saiyan who has reached a very high level of power loses himself in a fit of rage. However, the transformation must be triggered in response to a great need, an example being in Goku's case to defeat Frieza. While physical change is not too drastic apart from a slight increase in muscle mass, the power output increase is colossal; the form is said to originally multiply the Saiyan's power by 50x times its normal amount, though it can be inferred that the power increase lessened somewhat, and the standard form became stronger, as new Super Saiyan levels were introduced. Despite this possible decrease in power augmentation brought on by this form, it is still shown to make the user several times stronger (and much more so in sub-forms such as Ascended Super Saiyan and Ultra Super Saiyan). In Dragon Ball Z: The Anime Adventure Game, that the multiplier for the form is 2.5x the user's normal amount of power.
The transformation has a noticeable effect on the Saiyan's personality. Any Saiyan that has turned to the side of good initially becomes ruthless and overcome with rage, and any Saiyan that was already ruthless to begin with has his ruthlessness amplified. This is first demonstrated when Goku turned Super Saiyan, when he went from a calm, collected fighter to becoming a vengeful warrior, hellbent on avenging his fallen friend, Krillin, even at his own peril. Later on, when Vegeta became a Super Saiyan, he became even more rash and belligerent, and became obsessed with defeating the Androids by himself, a drastic change from his smart, covert style he demonstrated in the Vegeta and Namek Sagas. Gohan becomes a Super Saiyan, while training in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, but manages to regain control of his emotions prior to leaving the Chamber. However, the amplified anger that a Super Saiyan experiences returned when he became a Super Saiyan 2. The personality alterations are also on display in Dragon Ball GT: A Hero's Legacy when Goku Jr., a timid boy with no will to fight even in self-defense, saw Lord Yao terrorize the forest and became a Super Saiyan, his personality came full circle, accordingly.
The most noticeable physical change is that the Saiyan's hair becomes golden in color and seems to stand on end, giving it a rising, flame-like appearance. This applies to all of the Saiyan's hair, including scalp hair, eyebrows, and the fur on their tails and as Golden Great Apes. Natural eye color temporarily changes to a greenish-blue, muscle tone becomes more defined, and the skin tone (and clothing) becomes lighter mainly due to the energy and light output of the golden aura. As the natural floodgates of the body are opened with the transformation, excess energy is radiated from the body in the form of a pulsing, flame-like aura. There is also a marked personality alteration, where the Saiyan becomes unusually aggressive and more prone to acting on impulse.
The Super Saiyan transformation also has an interesting, unique effect on Goku's family in addition to its normal effects: the way their eyes are drawn changes slightly. Normally, the outline around the eye is not fully drawn and it circles around about 3/4 of the way the eyeball. When in Super Saiyan, their eyes are fully surrounded by an outline, the same way that all villains are drawn; this is mainly due to Akira Toriyama wanting to show the anger and hatred that must be present for a Super Saiyan transformation. Though, this is not the case for the Full-Power Super Saiyan state, as shown with Goku and Gohan during the Cell Games Saga.
It is theorized by Krillin that the Super Saiyan transformation prevents Goku from performing his Spirit Bomb technique. One must be pure of heart to perform the Spirit Bomb technique, and as a Super Saiyan, Goku's heart is full of rage, although not necessarily contaminated by evil. In the film Dragon Ball Z: Super Android 13!, when Goku becomes a Super Saiyan after gathering power for his Spirit Bomb, he loses control of the energy and instead absorbs it into his own body. During the Kid Buu Saga, Goku assumes the transformation only after successfully creating and throwing the Spirit Bomb, although it could just be that anger no longer filled his heart when he transformed since this took place after he mastered the Super Saiyan form during the Cell Games Saga or that anyone can wield the Spirit Bomb after it has been formed.
Usage and power
The Super Saiyan form multiplies the Saiyan's power by 50x times its normal amount. The form was achieved by Goku after witnessing his best friend Krillin's death at the hands of Frieza. In this form, Goku's power grossly outclasses the evil tyrant's, a feat made more impressive by the fact that, prior to the transformation, Goku was no match for him, even with the Kaio-ken multiplying his power 20-fold. In order to combat Goku's sudden burst of strength and power, Frieza released all natural bodily inhibitions and utilized 100% of his power, only half of which he used to stop Goku's Kaio-ken x20 Kamehameha attack. Though he seemed to gain the upper hand while Goku holds back, he loses faith when he realizes that his attacks are no longer debilitating, with Goku merely shrugging off his most forceful blows. This is evident, because in his 100% final state, Frieza had gained power and speed, but also gained increased energy consumption to the point where his damaged body could no longer handle the amount of power he was controlling.
Two years following the titanic battle on Namek, Future Trunks would arrive from the future along with the ability to transform, much to the astonishment of Vegeta and other present company, and effortlessly disposed of the synthetically restored Frieza, and his father, King Cold.
Some time later, Vegeta also achieves the Super Saiyan transformation, mainly due to his belief that he had pushed himself to his utmost limits without actually transforming and due to seeing that Goku had achieved the form whilst he did not. By his own admission, it was anger at himself that triggered the intense emotion required to transform. He also noted, that he too possessed a pure heart, only one of pure evil as opposed to Goku's good. With this new power under his belt, Vegeta confronts and overcomes Android 19 and Dr. Gero, blithely killing #19 with the powerful Big Bang Attack. However, the Super Saiyan form truly put to the test when the true Androids of Future Trunks' grim prediction, Android 17 and Android 18, arrive. Super Saiyan Vegeta does battle with Android 18 until he is eventually overpowered and even has his arm-snapped by a fierce kick from the deadly beauty. Future Trunks jumps in on the battle, prompting #17 to intervene. The Androids easily defeat both Vegeta and Future Trunks' in their Super Saiyan forms along with the other Z Fighters; Future Trunks in particular being felled by a single blow from #17, as opposed to the trained Vegeta who withstood a much longer and abashing beating, signifying his superior strength. This power is noted by Kami as he brings up the topic of how Vegeta is now more powerful than Future Trunks, who "killed Frieza and his father in an instant."
The limits of the Super Saiyan transformation were pushed even further with the introduction of Cell. With the basic Super Saiyan form now unable to combat the power of the Androids, Goku advises training in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber because he believes that there is a way to ascend past the normal limitations of an untrained Super Saiyan, and in doing so would make them strong enough to take down the Androids. By the time Cell had reached his Perfect Form after absorbing both the Androids, Vegeta, Future Trunks, Goku, and Gohan had all spent time in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, advancing to new Super Saiyan forms. The Super Saiyan's standard output of power would be outclassed by the Ascended and Ultra Super Saiyan stages. Unlike Vegeta and Future Trunks who made use of these stages (which either consumes one's energy rapidly and produce an increasingly higher level of strain, or reduce the Saiyan's speed to nil, with the latter doing both), Goku and Gohan work to perfect the initial transformation after deciding that it was the best form to use overall, prompting their transition into Full-Power Super Saiyan, the concept of making the Super Saiyan form no different in energy output and strain than the basic form of the user's body. The initial transformation and its advanced grades are later rendered obsolete by the introduction of a far more powerful level, Super Saiyan 2 (which is the form used by Gohan to defeat Cell), followed by Goku's introduction of Super Saiyan 3 during the Majin Buu Saga, and finally, Super Saiyan 4, introduced during Dragon Ball GT.
In the special chapter "Trunks The History - The Lone Warrior" and the television special Dragon Ball Z: The History of Trunks, Future Gohan is shown to have gained the Super Saiyan transformation long ago, most likely after witnessing the Z Fighters being slaughtered by the Androids. Therefore, Future Gohan may have assumed his transformation before his present timeline counterpart (by technically a matter of days), although he was far weaker because he was never trained by his father in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber and never mastered the Super Saiyan form. After he is killed, we see Future Trunks transform for the first time (only in the anime, for Trunks seemed to already have attained the transformation rather recently in the original manga), thus showing his original transformation.
Goten and Trunks, sons of Goku and Vegeta respectively, attain the ability to transform at a remarkably young age, again to widespread surprise from the main cast. (Goten, who was about a year younger than Trunks' age of eight, stated that his transformation was so long ago that he was unable to even remember it occurring.) Though their reasons for so easily transforming are never officially stated, the common theory is that it could have been the DNA inherited from their fathers' ability to transform already during their conception, supported by the fact that it took Gohan, who was also a child when he made his transformation, unbearable hardship to achieve (Gohan was born prior to the start of Dragon Ball Z, thus before his father's transformation). However, Vegeta did not have the ability to transform during Trunks' conception (which took place prior to the Androids' arrival), so this could be disputed. A possible reason for Goten's transformation is when he gets frustrated when being trained by his mother. It is then possible that seeing Goten as this and being his rival, Trunks followed suit, with his want to be better than Goten being his fuel.
Their fusion form, Gotenks, seen late in Dragon Ball Z, easily gained the ability to transform into all three levels of Super Saiyan in the series within no more than a half-hour of training in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber (although he has only ever been seen assuming the first and third forms, since he bypassed the second form to ascend to the third level), with the combined energies of Goten and Trunks balancing out the high ki consumption of the final transformation. In Future Trunks' case, he would have been conceived in the Alternate Timeline under very similar circumstances, although it is possible he was not conceived after Future Vegeta became a Super Saiyan, as the alternate counterpart's transformation was never shown. However, despite a younger Future Trunks being weaker than his child alternate counterpart, he was still able to transform at the age of 14 (making him either the youngest or second youngest Super Saiyan in the alternate timeline, depending on when Future Gohan transformed), although he was considerably weaker due to lack of training.
In the last episode of Dragon Ball GT, Goku and Vegeta's descendants, Goku Jr. and Vegeta Jr., are shown to be able to transform into Super Saiyans from a young age, as well. Goku Jr.'s first transformation in particular was shown in the TV special Dragon Ball GT: A Hero's Legacy, aired at around the time that episode 40 was broadcast. This heavily contradicts the Daizenshuu books' explanation that Pan could not transform due to the minuscule percentage of Saiyan blood in her, as being a grandson of the already-1/4 Saiyan Pan would reduce his to no more than one sixteenth, making him almost completely human.
Movie and other appearances
The Super Saiyan transformation made its movie debut in the film Dragon Ball Z: Cooler's Revenge. Goku uses his Super Saiyan power to defeat Cooler, Frieza's older and stronger brother, thus finishing off the family. In the concept art drawn by Akira Toriyama for this movie, Super Saiyan Goku has red eyes.
The Super Saiyan form is also used in the next two films Dragon Ball Z: The Return of Cooler by Goku and Vegeta to combat and finally kill Cooler, and in the film Dragon Ball Z: Super Android 13! by Goku, Vegeta, and Future Trunks to take down Android 14, Android 15, and Android 13. It was also very briefly used by Future Trunks during his match against Tien Shinhan, and then by Gohan, Vegeta and Future Trunks to fight against the Galaxy Soldiers in Dragon Ball Z: Bojack Unbound.
In the next film Dragon Ball Z: Broly - The Legendary Super Saiyan, the Saiyan Broly is also shown to harness the original Super Saiyan transformation, which is what he uses to battle Goku for a few moments when attacking him in the dead of night. He also uses it against Goten and Trunks in Dragon Ball Z: Broly - Second Coming, until he was forced to unveil his Legendary Super Saiyan form once again when fighting Gohan in his Super Saiyan 2 form.
At this point, the movies move into a time period when the original Super Saiyan form has since been outclassed by the more powerful variants, the only users of the basic transformation seen from this point on are Goten, Trunks, their fusion of Gotenks, as well as Gogeta and Vegito.
During the events of the manga and anime side-story Dragon Ball: Episode of Bardock, Bardock is sent back in time during the destruction of his people and becomes a Super Saiyan on Planet Plant while fighting Chilled, an ancestor of Frieza.
During the events of Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, Bills and Whis watch a rendered version of the battle between Super Saiyan Goku and Frieza on Namek. Later, Goku uses the form during his battle against the God of Destruction Bills, although he retains much of the power received from his Super Saiyan God form, thus being able to hold his own as a regular Super Saiyan.
Dragon Ball Online
In Dragon Ball Online, players of the Human race can acquire the transformation through obtaining the Dragon Balls and having the wish granted by Shenron; Super Saiyans being Earthlings in Age 1000. What this means has not been confirmed as of yet (whether an artificial transformation is granted to them or if Shenron is awakening the latent Super Saiyan powers of their origins). The game's other two race-exclusive transformations (the Namekians' Great Namek and the Majin's Pure Majin forms) must also be acquired through summoning Shenron.
Like in the original series, those under the influence of the Super Saiyan transformation discharge golden aura that surrounds their bodies and acquire the trademark green eyes and golden, altered hairstyles (in the game, each Human hairstyle (male and female) has a Super Saiyan counterpart). Players that choose not to allow their avatars age may acquire the Super Saiyan transformation as children or other pre-adult stages. Also, unlike the game's other two transformations, techniques acquired in a Human's base form are still accessible, however, Super Saiyans do not obtain transformation-exclusive skills as the other races do.
Dragon Ball Heroes
Dragon Ball Heroes also features female Super Saiyans.
Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi
Super Saiyans appear again in Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi. In this game players can create characters and customize them with a Super Saiyan aura.
Premature and advanced levels
In Dragon Ball Z, the possibility of a power greater than that of a Super Saiyan is first theorized in the episode "Laboratory Basement", when Krillin and Future Trunks contemplate how Vegeta plans on retaining his dominance in power among the Z Fighters. The first of these new heights in power is the Ascended Super Saiyan stage obtained by Vegeta, Future Trunks and later, Goku. This technique (as well as the Ultra Super Saiyan technique that follows) is essentially a method of enhancing the abilities of a Super Saiyan, rather than a complete departure from it in favor of newer and more unique power. It is not until the Cell Games that this uncharted level of power makes its debut, in the form of Super Saiyan 2. Saiyan characters continue pushing their limits during the series, ultimately discovering a third, and in anime incarnations, fourth level of Super Saiyan. Three exclusive Super Saiyan stages are also featured in the Dragon Ball films.
There are nine variations of the Super Saiyan form, including the standard form itself. The following is a summarized list of the standard, premature, and advanced levels of the Super Saiyan transformation.
- False Super Saiyan: a pseudo-Super Saiyan form resembling a glorified Kaio-ken, with a orange-yellowish surge of aura. It only appears in the movie Dragon Ball Z: Lord Slug, in which King Kai refers to it as the real Super Saiyan form.
- Super Saiyan: the standard Super Saiyan transformation. It is achieved when a Saiyan has a lot of anger, as shown by Goku when Frieza killed Krillin, Vegeta when Goku surpassed his abilities, and Future Trunks when the Androids killed Future Gohan. Broly's Super Saiyan has blue and/or purple hair due the use of a Mind Control Device; his hair has the regular Super Saiyan hair color without it.
- Ascended Super Saiyan: an advancement in the power of the original Super Saiyan state. This is Vegeta's primary state in the Perfect Cell Saga.
- Ultra Super Saiyan: an even stronger advancement in the power of the original Super Saiyan state, however lacks speed as increased muscle size restricts movement. Future Trunks uses this form in the Perfect Cell Saga.
- Full-Power Super Saiyan: the state of mental and physical perfection of the Super Saiyan transformation itself, rather than an advanced stage.
- Legendary Super Saiyan: a level of Super Saiyan which magnifies its user's strength capacity, without drawbacks. Broly is the only user of this Super Saiyan variant, and does not appear in the manga.
- Super Saiyan 2: the second Super Saiyan transformation.
- Super Saiyan 3: the third Super Saiyan transformation. Broly's version in video games was once called Legendary Super Saiyan 3.
- Super Saiyan God: a Saiyan form that grants the user enough power to fight on par with a god, but only for a limited time. It occurs when five pure-hearted Saiyans hold hands and transfer energy to the host. Only appears in the movie Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods.
- Golden Great Ape: a Saiyan Great Ape in Super Saiyan form. Appears in Dragon Ball GT and Vegeta's flashback on Namek in the Dragon Ball Z anime.
- Super Saiyan 4: a Saiyan transformation which occurs when a Saiyan is able to regain control while in Golden Great Ape form. Introduced in Dragon Ball GT.
- Before the Super Saiyan concept debuted in the dub, the term is used in "Stop Vegeta Now!!" by Vegeta, who describes Gohan as "Kakarot's son, the little Super Saiyan." However, the concept of the Super Saiyan already existed in the original version. In the original version, the term is first brought by Vegeta after Raditz was killed by Piccolo. While waiting with Nappa on a conquered planet, the two Saiyans talk about getting all seven Dragon Balls and wishing for eternal life. Before taking off on a year long journey to Earth, Vegeta tells Nappa that only after they have become immortals they will be able to become Super Saiyans. However, in the uncut FUNimation Dub, the term is introduced at the same situation as the original version.
- Goku does transform while having a tail in Dragon Ball GT, but sometimes his tail does not change color to gold, when both the tailed Super Saiyan 3 appearance and the first Dragon Ball GT Perfect Files guidebook cover seem to indicate that the tail should have turned gold. In the video games Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3, Dragon Ball Z: Infinite World, and Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit, for Vegeta in his Saiyan Saga outfit, the tail will not turn gold when Super Saiyan. Also in Dragon Ball Heroes and the Episode of Bardock movie, Bardock's tail remains brown too while it changes its color to gold in one of the Episode of Bardock promotional posters.
- All of Goku and Vegeta's known male descendants have been able to transform into Super Saiyans.
- The terms "Ascended Super Saiyan" and "Ultra Super Saiyan" are actually just common fan terms to differentiate between the two bulked up forms, as they are never named in the manga or anime. However, they are named in the Daizenshuu books as Types or Grades 2 and 3.
- In the Budokai Tenkaichi series, as well as the movie Broly - The Legendary Super Saiyan, Broly's base Super Saiyan Form (before he turns into his Legendary Form) has blue hair instead of the usual gold. This is presumably due to the controlling device his father put on him, as in "Second Coming", his Super Saiyan form had gold hair. This "Second Coming" appearance was made available as a secondary costume in the sequel games, as well as the Legendary Super Saiyan variation, which features whiter skin and torn clothing to match.
- Since its first appearance, the Super Saiyan has become one of the most recognizable images of Dragon Ball Z.
- In Cooler's Revenge, when Goku goes Super Saiyan, a bird that was killed when Cooler prepared to tear the planet apart was revived by Goku's transformation, which implies that Super Saiyans have a degree of healing abilities, although this only appeared in the film and he may have just transferred energy to the dying bird, like when Goku transferred energy to Frieza.
- In "Saiyans Emerge" and Bojack Unbound, a Human is seen with a shirt that says The Super Saiyan.
- Goku has the first transformation into Super Saiyan form in the manga since the Original Super Saiyan. However, it is revealed Broly may have transformed before him in the film Broly - The Legendary Super Saiyan, and the same could be said about Bardock in Dragon Ball: Episode of Bardock.
- While a high power level, intense rage, and a need for more power are all stated requirements for an initial Super Saiyan transformation, exhaustion also seems to play a role. Goku was exhausted from battliing Frieza at Kaio-Ken x20, Vegeta was already exhausted from his own training when protecting his spaceship from a meteor storm, and Gohan was exhausted from resisting Goku's Super Kamehameha. It is possible that the Super Saiyan transformation is in part a more efficient use of the Saiyan's ki, as in real life martial artists use more efficient techiques when exhausted to avoid wasting dwindling energy reserves.
- ↑ Dragon Ball Z TV Special 02 Film Anime Comics, May 31, 1993
- ↑ Dragon Ball: Episode of Bardock, 2011
- ↑ Dragon Ball Heroes, 2011
- ↑ Dr. Slump and Arale-chan: Hoyoyo!! Follow the Rescued Shark..., 1994
- ↑ Dragon Ball Z episode 185, "Awakening"
- ↑ Dragon Ball Z episode 245, "Super Saiyan 3?!"
- ↑ Dragon Ball Z episode 155, "Super Vegeta"
- ↑ Dragon Ball Z episode 168, "Meet Me in the Ring"
- ↑ Dragon Ball GT episode 34, "Back in the Game"
- ↑ Dragon Ball Z: Lord Slug, 1991
- ↑ Dragon Ball Z: Broly - The Legendary Super Saiyan, 1993
- ↑ Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, 2013
- ↑ Dragon Ball Z episode 66, "Goku's New Power"
- ↑ Dragon Ball Z: Bardock - The Father of Goku, 1990
- ↑ Dragon Ball Z episode 95, "Transformed at Last"
- ↑ Dragon Ball Z episode 156, "Bow to the Prince"
- ↑ Dragon Ball Z episode 129, "Upgrade to Super Saiyan"
- ↑ Dragon Ball Z episode 207, "Take Flight, Videl"
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 Daizenshuu 7, 1996
- ↑ Dragon Ball Z: Super Android 13!, 1992
- ↑ Daizenshuu Battle Power Guide
- ↑ Dragon Ball Z episode 120, "Another Super Saiyan?"
- ↑ Dragon Ball Z episode 130, "The Secret of Dr. Gero"
- ↑ Dragon Ball Z episode 135, "Deadly Beauty"
- ↑ Dragon Ball Z episode 136, "No Match for the Androids"