Dragon Ball Z: Every Saiyan Transformation That Came After The Original Series
- 1 Dragon Ball Z: Every Saiyan Transformation That Came After The Original Series
- 1.1 Super Saiyan God
- 1.2 Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan (Super Saiyan Blue)
- 1.3 Super Saiyan Blue Kaio-ken
- 1.4 Super Saiyan Rage
- 1.5 Super Saiyan Rosé
- 1.6 Perfected Super Saiyan Blue
- 1.7 Evolved Super Saiyan Blue
- 1.8 Legendary Super Saiyan
- 1.9 Ultra Instinct Sign
- 1.10 Ultra Instinct
- 1.11 God of Destruction Mode
Saiyan transformations were a major feature in the original Dragon Ball, but plenty more have been added since the franchise was revived.
How many new Saiyan transformations have been introduced since Akira Toriyama’s original Dragon Ball tale came to an end? Few anime franchises can claim to possess the international appeal and evergreen popularity of Dragon Ball, and even during a period away from the spotlight, the property’s ki signature never disappeared completely. The Dragon Ball anime series ran from 1986 to 1989, swiftly followed by Dragon Ball Z between 1989 and 1996 (though most western viewers would discover it later). Goku’s journey continued through Dragon Ball GT and a few one-off adventures, but these are generally considered non-canon, and a proper continuation wouldn’t arrive until 2013 with Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, and the ensuing Dragon Ball Super franchise.
In Toriyama’s original Dragon Ball Z, transformations were a big thing. From Saiyans bleaching their hair to villains proudly declaring “this isn’t even my final form,” Dragon Ball helped popularize the anime tradition of wild new character designs emerging in the heat of battle. The most memorable is, of course, Goku’s very first ascension to Super Saiyan. From there, Dragon Ball Z introduced higher levels of the form before Gohan unlocked Super Saiyan 2, only to be overtaken by his old man with the long-haired Super Saiyan 3.
Recognizing the fan response to Saiyan transformations, the Dragon Ball Super era has gone into new form overdrive, with Goku and Vegeta cycling through hair colors faster than a teenager trying to annoy their parents. The following fight modes aren’t necessarily exclusive to Saiyans (though some certainly are), but are all transformations Saiyan characters (mainly Goku and Vegeta, if we’re being honest) have achieved since defeating Kid Buu at the climax of Dragon Ball Z.
Super Saiyan God
The first brand spanking new Dragon Ball transformation came during the aforementioned Battle of Gods, and had more than a whiff of the original Super Saiyan about it. According to an old Saiyan legend, a God among the species would wield unimaginable power, but when Universe 7’s God of Destruction, Beerus, comes to Earth to find this fabled figure for himself, Goku and his pals prove unworthy challengers. Through the vast knowledge of Shenron, Goku learns than combining the ki of 5 Saiyans can power-up one of them into a red-haired Super Saiyan God. This form is greatly superior to Goku’s previous Super Saiyan 3 ability, and though it has since been eclipsed (several times over), Goku and Vegeta still return to Super Saiyan God for its speed and energy conservation.
Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan (Super Saiyan Blue)
Another Dragon Ball film; another Dragon Ball transformation. When Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F rolled around in 2015, producers decided to replace the barely-seen Super Saiyan God with something stronger… and bluer. Through training with the angel Whis, Goku and Vegeta not only learn how to use Super Saiyan God at will, but combine the divine form with their traditional Super Saiyan powers. The result is a striking blue-haired design even more powerful than the red – though much more costly in terms of energy. Super Saiyan Blue has since become Goku and Vegeta’s go-to form throughout the Dragon Ball Super era.
Super Saiyan Blue Kaio-ken
Since Super Saiyan Blue is already a mixture of God ki and traditional golden Super Saiyan energy, it was only a matter of time until Goku tossed a third ingredient into the mix. Reaching back into the early days of Dragon Ball Z, Goku revisited the Kaio-ken technique he learned from King Kai and used against Vegeta during their first ever bout. Apparently, Goku could never mix Kaio-ken with traditional Super Saiyan power, but the fresh inclusion of God ki makes a combination possible, though at extreme risk to the user’s body (just like basic Kaio-ken). Super Saiyan Blue Kaio-ken debuted during Goku’s battle against Hit at the Universe 6 tournament, and provided the hero with a stark increase in speed and strength, as well as a red glow combined with the usual blue.
Super Saiyan Rage
The only character to attain Super Saiyan Rage in Dragon Ball continuity is Future Trunks during the battle against Zamasu. The transformation is, however, essentially a plot device to allow Vegeta’s son (then lingering around Super Saiyan 2 level) to catch up to everyone else’s God-like power through being really, really angry. Vexed after watching his home timeline be destroyed by the rampant Zamasu, Trunks’ aura turns into a jagged blend of gold and blue, with the trademark Super Saiyan 2 electricity sparks growing larger. His hair spikes more and his muscles increase, and this allows Trunks to compete evenly with Super Saiyan Blue-level opponents.
Super Saiyan Rosé
Super Saiyan Rosé is merely Super Saiyan Blue performed by a divine being such as Zamasu. For reasons that Dragon Ball Super neglects to explain, the presence of holy DNA turns the usual blue aura into a less-than-intimidating shade of salmon pink.
Perfected Super Saiyan Blue
Appearing only in the Dragon Ball Super manga, Perfected Super Saiyan Blue represents an advancement upon the form first seen in Resurrection F. The transformation debuts during Goku and Vegeta’s fight against a fused Zamasu, and draws out the full potential of Super Saiyan Blue, achieving maximum power for a less costly ki output. Crucially, “Perfected” means Goku can stay in the Super Saiyan Blue transformation without an annoying time limit.
Evolved Super Saiyan Blue
Not to be outdone, Vegeta took the standard Super Saiyan Blue ability up a notch with Evolved Super Saiyan Blue, which Dragon Ball Super introduced during the Tournament of Power saga. The intensity of competing in a multiverse battle royale pushed Vegeta beyond his limits, unlocking a whole new level to Super Saiyan Blue, with darker, metallic hair and a wilder, angrier aura. Vegeta’s Evolved Super Saiyan form is roughly equivalent to Goku’s Super Saiyan Blue Kaio-ken, allowing the prince to maintain parity with his eternal rival, despite not knowing the Kaio-ken transformation.
Legendary Super Saiyan
Technically, the Legendary Super Saiyan was introduced long before Dragon Ball Super, with Broly debuting the form in 1993. Like all the old movies, however, Dragon Ball Z: Broly – The Legendary Super Saiyan is a non-canon affair, and it wasn’t until Dragon Ball Super: Broly in 2018 that the character was first brought into continuity proper. Unfortunately, he’d already been upstaged thanks to another character attaining Legendary status beforehand. Universe 6’s Kale might be an unassuming lower-class Saiyan in her regular state, but while training with Caulifla and Cabba before the Tournament of Power, her true strength emerged – the Legendary Super Saiyan form. This transformation creates a greenish-yellow hue and turns the user into a raging, white-eyed hulk of a warrior with little control over their actions.
Ultra Instinct Sign
Not a form exclusive to Saiyans, but one rapidly becoming synonymous with Goku in Dragon Ball Super nonetheless. Still training under Whis, the angel tells Goku that his fighting potential can only be fulfilled by learning the Godly technique of Ultra Instinct, where a person moves and strikes without thinking. Ultra Instinct Sign is a prelude to the full-fat Ultra Instinct mode, but still allows Goku to dodge attacks smoothly and catch an opponent unawares with eerie precision and calmness. Goku retains his black hair in Ultra Instinct Sign (to the displeasure of action figure companies, presumably), but has a silvery glow around him. Despite being an imperfect transformation, Ultra Instinct Sign is still strong enough to place Goku on Jiren’s level, and can’t be maintained for long periods.
Goku does, of course, come to master Ultra Instinct eventually. The perfected mode triggers a silver-gray hair change (merchandisers rejoice once more) and the shimmer around the user becomes more pronounced. At the time of writing, Ultra Instinct is Goku’s most powerful transformation, and allows him to dodge effortlessly, while ruthlessly attacking his opponent’s blind spots and vulnerabilities. Its downside is the difficulty of accessing and maintaining the form. Goku still can’t freely switch on Ultra Instinct like the angels do (though he almost can with Sign), and there’s a strict restriction on how long he can stay zen enough to use it. Ultra Instinct completely overhauls Goku’s fighting style, with his movements becoming almost water-like in nature.
God of Destruction Mode
The most recent transformation in Dragon Ball is attained by Vegeta during his fight against Granolah, though the groundwork was laid previously during the Tournament of Power. Dueling with Toppo of Universe 11, Vegeta learns that his opponent has been training for a future God of Destruction position. Unable to topple the Saiyan, Toppo whips out a power-up exclusive to members of the God of Destruction club. Since then, Vegeta has been training diligently with Beerus, hoping to find a way of catching Goku that doesn’t involve the very un-Vegeta-like principles of Ultra Instinct. The fruits of that training have now been revealed in the Dragon Ball Super manga, where the Saiyan Prince exploded with strange, rippling energy, emerging with purple eyes and no eyebrows. How strong Goku’s rival has become remains to be seen.