"I know I look like I can, Gohan, but these bulky muscles make it hard to move fast, and if I'm going to beat Cell, I can't have anything slowing me down. I may have great power, but what good is it if I can't catch my enemy? It takes more than brute strength to win a fight."
3rd Grade Super Saiyan (超サイヤ人第3段階, Sūpā Saiya-jin dai san-dankai; lit. "Super Saiyan 1 3rd Stage"), referred to as Super Super Saiyan in the manga, (and commonly referred to as Ultra Super Saiyan by the fandom) is the second branch of advanced Super Saiyan forms, achieved through intense training in the Super Saiyan form. This form is not related to the mastery of the Super Saiyan form (Full-Power Super Saiyan). Like the 2nd Grade Super Saiyan stage, it is a forced increase in the power output of the initial Super Saiyan transformation. All natural inhibitions of the body are completely removed in this state, resulting in 100% utilization of strength and stamina reserves.
In this stage, the Saiyan is similar in appearance to the Legendary Super Saiyan form. The skin of the Saiyan may become slightly redder due to increased blood flow, and muscle size is increased to the point of impracticality. The Saiyan's hair grows bigger, spikier and spreads in different directions. The aura no longer flows upward, but flails outward, with surges of bio-electricity becoming more frequent and prominent. Sometimes, the pupils and irises may temporarily vanish during the transformation.
In the series, the 3rd Grade Super Saiyan form is discovered as an advanced stage of 2nd Grade Super Saiyan (itself an advanced stage of the Super Saiyan transformation) that further increases the physical strength of the Super Saiyan form. However, due to this form being so muscular, whatever speed boost the power up could have given is negated, making the form useless against foes who were faster than the Saiyan to begin with. In addition, the Saiyan's energy rapidly depletes due to the effort needed simply to maintain the transformation. Altogether, the negatives of this stage outweigh the positives.
Usage and power
The power of a 3rd Grade Super Saiyan far surpasses that of a 2nd Grade Super Saiyan.
Believing that he surpassed his father Vegeta in strength, Future Trunks ascended to the 3rd Grade Super Saiyan form to combat Perfect Cell at the behest of Vegeta's defeat. Although he managed to hold his own for some time, Future Trunks was also unable to defeat Cell because of his inability to maintain equality in speed. Because of his inexperience with these transformations, Future Trunks did not realize that his bulky form would be an inhibitor of his ability to battle, a characteristic that was later noted by both Goku and Cell. Future Trunks was told by Cell that Vegeta was aware of this disadvantage as well and it was the reason Vegeta did not use the 3rd Grade Super Saiyan form.
Cell has his own version of the form. He bulks up his muscles when he mocks Future Trunks for using the 3rd Grade Super Saiyan form. When Perfect Cell later fights Super Saiyan 2 Gohan in the Cell Games, he ends up losing his temper and resorts to using his Power Weighted form to increase his physical power, which dramatically lowers his speed and fails to help him win the battle.
Video game appearances
In Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors 2, this form is known as "Super Saiyan 1.5" and can only be used as Super Saiyan Future Trunks' ultimate move, which sees him simply using its massive power output to fire a powerful Finish Buster before reverting as soon as the move is complete.
In Dragon Ball Z: Budokai, 3rd Grade Super Saiyan Future Trunks is called "Super Trunks 2" (as his 2nd Grade Super Saiyan form is called "Super Trunks").
The Budokai Tenkaichi series and Raging Blast series both include this form as "Super Trunks", fitting in line with Vegeta being labelled as "Super Vegeta" when he transforms into a 2nd Grade Super Saiyan. The "Super Trunks" form is accurately portrayed in both series, as body movement and the ability to charge energy are slow to the point of being hindrances, and comes complete with a signature technique called Inexperienced Power Up that mirrors Future Trunks' constant attempts at powering up.
The form is also available for Future Trunks in the Japanese arcade game Dragon Ball Heroes.
- It is hypothesized by Future Trunks that Vegeta is capable of using 3rd Grade Super Saiyan form, but refrained from using it against Perfect Cell, since he knew of its disadvantages. This is likely, as Goku immediately realized the drawbacks of the form after attaining it. In the English version of the manga, Trunks states "So that's why dad chose not to transform this way..." after Perfect Cell defeats him in his 3rd Grade Super Saiyan form, implying that Vegeta was capable of the transformation, but realized (as Cell and Goku did before him) that a transformation that only gives you brute strength is nothing if you cannot hit your opponent.
- Krillin once compared Future Trunks' 3rd Grade Super Saiyan form to a Great Ape, as he said that Future Trunks should not scare him with the transformation since as far as Krillin knew, Trunks was going to go 'Great Ape' on him.
- The Trunks anime comics list Cell as a user of this form and Daizenshuu 2 speculates about Cell's power-weighted form when talking about 3rd Grade Super Saiyan users, due to the similarities between the two forms.