This is a topic that has been debated more often than any political issue out there. Fans of the series have sat down with their friends and discussed the powers of Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, and Dragon Ball GT for as long as the series have existed. We don’t all agree on how the powers work, but there is one thing that most of us can share an opinion on. Dragon Ball GT sucked for the most part. That is why I will not be talking about things that came up in that series alone. On that note, I will not be using information from the official data books either. This first analysis will be based solely on what we would know from watching Dragon Ball Z. Dragon Ball Doesn’t really dive into saiyan powers, so that will be excluded from reference. I will not be including Dragon Ball GT because it sucked and its data book conflicts with the one for Dragon Ball Z. As far as I am concerned, Vegeta’s mustache may be the only good thing from Dragon Ball GT. There are some other things that are nice, but that is the thing that sticks out the most. Enough of the hate, it is time to talk about three very important powers in the series.
This is a pretty interesting power that was in no way stolen from werewolf lore. When a saiyan is exposed to light from the full moon, they transform into a giant beast with enhanced speed and power. One can only enter this form if they have their tail. A saiyan without a tail cannot transform and removing the tail while in the monkey form will cancel it. Without practice, a saiyan will not be able to control their actions while in this state. However, a berserk monkey is still a dangerous one.
This state is very good for combat. Increased strength and speed sound great to begin with and your larger size can be useful if you have to fight a very large enemy or destroy some cities. We do not run into the issue of not having a moon equating to not being able to transform because of a special technique that exists. Vegeta used his energy to create a ball that simulated light from the moon and he was able to transform.
You have to rely on your tail a lot. Why is that bad? It is a weak spot. Grabbing a saiyan’s tail will basically subdue them and it is not a good idea to have your weak spot exposed like that. Also, it takes training to control this form. You have the good guy werewolf dilemma in which the person does not wish to transform and people fear the full moon. Goku and Gohan cannot control this form, so it became dangerous and inconvenient. Finally, it is far to easy to remove a tail. Even though you can magically produce a tail by putting pressure on the small of the back, losing one seems like nothing. If Yajirobe can cut off Vegeta’s tail, then it seems to weak to care about.
Overall, it seems like the tail is the real problem here. I actually wanted to see more from the monkey form in the series, but I guess they would rather show super saiyans than monkey saiyans. The power would have been so much better if tails didn’t suck. However, saiyans do need some kind of weakness because their powers are kind of broken. Vegeta isn’t talking out of his ass when he says that saiyans are the greatest warrior race in the universe. At least the saiyans on Earth live up to that statement. Well, for the most part.
Near Death Power Boost
This is a fun one that people often forget about. When a saiyan recovers from a near death experience and recovers, they will obtain a power boost. That honestly seems pretty broken in my opinion, but it is a thing. Vegeta exploited this ability on Namek even though he was not the one that defeated Frieza.
This is actually a really great ability in theory. All you have to do is escape a fight with your life and recover. You can then fight again with a power boost that should not exist. This would really punish foes that did not finish the job like early Goku. Also, you could “train” by having Goku, Gohan, Vegeta, and Dende enter the Hyperbolic Time Chamber. The three saiyans almost kill each other as many times as Dende can heal them. I do not know what the recharge time is on this broken passive, but repeated use would be stupid to not exploit. I guess the biggest pro here is the fact that you can skip training time as long as you stay alive.
You do have to almost die if I remember correctly. That is really dangerous because that means there is a chance that you cannot recover in time. It is never the right idea to flirt with death. Death doesn’t matter that much in this series as long as the guardian is alive because of the eternal dragon, but I assume that you would not get the power boost if you were resurrected.
This is something that should have been exploited, if at all possible, but wasn’t for good reason. I don’t think that it would have gone over well with most fans if the saiyans decided that training was overrated and that almost killing each other countless times would be better. Even then, training would be required for the finer things like control of the super saiyan state and various other techniques.I would not have cared much, but I understand why they didn’t utilize this one more often.
Super Saiyan Forms
This is what most people care about. The epic power boost that totally isn’t racist. Seriously though, the ultimate power giving you blonde hair and blue eyes gives off an Aryan Race vibe if you ask me. Back on topic, becoming a super saiyan gives the warrior a significant boost in both power and speed. Becoming a super saiyan was a thing of legend until everyone in the series became one and simply being a super saiyan was no loner enough. You can ascend to super saiyan levels two and three in this series in order to obtain even greater power. The key to unlocking this power, at the first stage at least, is great rage. The saiyans are a warrior race.
Being a super saiyan is full of advantages. You get a huge power and speed boost on a ridiculous level. It is easy to hide your power level from enemies because the power boost does not occur until you transform. Even though this is the epitome of saiyan strength, the list of pros isn’t really that long. You get a power and speed boost, but that is the understatement of the century. Just know that being a super saiyan basically makes all of the other Z Warriors obsolete in the middle of the Cell Saga. Piccolo could not fight Cell.
This list is going to look longer than it really is. No one stops each other from powering up in this series, but the charging time is technically bad. Standing in one spot and screaming should be a bad thing to do in the middle of a fight. Until a saiyan trains strenuously in his super saiyan form of various levels, it does take a bit to transform. You are also very noticeable due to the blonde hair, but that was really only a problem for Gohan in high school. Finally, a super saiyan can be too powerful. Goku released so much energy when he became a super saiyan level three for the first time in the series that he was fucking up the planet. Oh well, those don’t really matter in this series.
Overall, this is just a great ability. The cons would matter outside of anime, but they give us multiple episodes to accommodate power boosts. Cell even took time to force Gohan into his full power. I can understand Goku letting Frieza do that because he is an idiot, but the Cell thing surprised me. The super saiyan thing was cool because we all wanted to see more forms as soon as Goku said that being a super saiyan was no longer the plateau. I am still waiting on a super saiyan level four that isn’t from Dragon Ball GT. The only thing that I did not like about the super saiyan thing was the attention that it got. The non-saiyan fighters kind of sucked after a while. Oh yeah, and Trunks and Goten did not deserve to be super saiyans. They did not train nearly enough and they reduced the ultimate power in the universe to a child’s plaything.
Overall, the saiyans have some interesting powers. Their overwhelming power is what makes them great, but I honestly think that other people have cooler abilities and techniques. After a bit, just becoming a super saiyan became a little boring for me. I guess the fact that most fights ended with a spirit bomb or Gohan toying with an enemy is what got to me. If we got more fights like the one between Dead Goku and Majin Vegeta, then I would have liked the series much more as it pertains to the saiyans. That was a cool fight and I can only blame the animation budget limiting battle scenes for so long. Also, I would have liked to see more monkey form. That is what I have to say. What do you think?