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Legend[]

Yamcha ss

Yamcha a Super Saiyan!

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 (three-thousand in the Ocean dub). 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 of the Super Saiyan because of the constantly growing power of the Saiyan race. Because of this fear, Frieza drew the conclusion to annihilate the Saiyan race by destroying Planet Vegeta (with nearly every Saiyan), thus sparking the end of the Super Saiyan legend. Over two decades later, this legend was proven to be true when Goku accomplished the feat while maintaining this state in his original form during his titanic battle against the evil tyrant, Frieza.

180px-SSBardock-EOB

Bardock a Super Saiyan

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 over Goku. While training in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, Goku tells Gohan that becoming a Super Saiyan is powered by rage and told him to imagine Cell and then Frieza when Gohan said he had never seen Cell, killing all his friends to transform into a Super Saiyan.

Saiyan hybrids are naturally skilled at this, as they have the emotion of Humans (full blooded Saiyans tend to suppress their feelings) with the fighting potential of Saiyans. 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).

Overview[]

120px-Ssj kid trunks 2

Kid Trunks Transformed into a Super Saiyan During Dragon Ball Z.

The first Super Saiyan transformation occurs when a Saiyan who has reached a very high level of power, has a calm and 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, 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. This was made evident by Kibito's inability to even hold the Z Sword (which Gohan in his base form could, and Goku without practice) whilst being far superior to Frieza, normal-form Goku being nearly even with Yakon, an opponent whose power was more than a fourth of Goku's Full-Power Super Saiyan level, amongst other things such as base Future Trunks knocking Imperfect Cell out of West City with a simple kiai. 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).

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, hell bent 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 also became a Super Saiyan, in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, but managed 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 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 (sometimes), 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 first character to achieve the Super Saiyan transformation in the series, is Goku, in the midst of engaging Frieza.

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: 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 when Goku and Gohan are training during the Cell Games Saga.

It is theorized by Krillin that these Super Saiyan transformations prevents Goku from performing his Spirit Bomb technique.[5] 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 since this took place after he mastered the Super Saiyan form during the Cell Games Saga, it could just be that anger no longer filled his heart when he transformed.

Known Transformees and reasons[]

  • Bardock - need to get stronger and protect the Plantian child Berry
  • Jamie - needed to prove himself
  • Goku - needed to avenge Krillin
  • Vegeta - needed to surpass Goku
  • Gohan - Need to get strong
  • Goten - needed to get out of his slight timidness
  • Trunks - unknown
  • Gotenks - Fusion
  • Vegito - need to defeat Buu and possibly to troll
  • Gogeta - Fusion
  • Future Trunks - needed to avenge Gohan
  • Pan - needed to help the Z-Fighters
  • Bulla - unknown
  • Yamcha - Wish granted by Jamie, lost after he was reverted to base form (Temporarily)
  • Amin - unknown
  • Miira - Unknown possibly so he can kill Dial.

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. Two 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.
    • Super Saiyan First Grade: an advancement in the power of the original Super Saiyan state. This is Vegeta's primary state in the Perfect Cell Saga.
    • Super Saiyan Second Grade: an even stronger advancement in the power of the original Super Saiyan state. 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 and Jamie is the only known user of this Super Saiyan variant, and does not appear in the manga.
  • Super Saiyan 2: the second Super Saiyan transformation.
    • True Super Saiyan 2: A form only achieved by Jamie. Like Frieza 100% form it drains energy over time of usage.
  • Super Saiyan 3: the third Super Saiyan transformation.
    • Legendary Super Saiyan 3: a level of Super Saiyan 3 which magnifies its user's strength capacity.
  • Supernatural Saiyan: An unnatural level of Super Saiyan. It can only be obtained once a Saiyan loses their God Ki completely and their ability to harness Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan.
  • Super Saiyan God
  • Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan (SSJJ)
      • Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan Powered-Up
  • Super Saiyan 2 beyond God (SSJJ)
  • Super Saiyan 4: the fourth Super Saiyan transformation.
  • Super Saiyan 5: the fifth Super Saiyan transformation.
  • Super Saiyan 6: the sixth Super Saiyan transformation.
  • Super Saiyan 7: the seventh Super Saiyan transformation.
  • Super Saiyan 8: the eighth Super Saiyan transformation.
  • Super Saiyan 9: the nineth Super Saiyan transformation.
  • Super Saiyan 10: the last Super Saiyan transformation.
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