Super Saiyan 4 is Dragon Ball’s best-designed transformation


Dragon Ball GT’s Super Saiyan 4 manages to combine elements of the original design of Goku and Super Saiyan to create something new.

Witnessing new transformations and seeing characters reach new levels of power is one of the Dragon ball‘s biggest calls. There is constant speculation in the community as to which character will attain new form and what powerful new abilities he will acquire. There are also heated debates about which transformation is the most powerful or the fastest. Sometimes these debates are about the best-designed transformation, and in this regard, a transformation is sadly overlooked.

While he may not be the strongest and comes from a controversial series, Super Saiyan 4 stands out from all of the other transformations in the franchise. Dragon ball gt was a polarizing series in the fanbase with very vocal supporters and detractors. Regardless of his opinion on the history of Dragon Ball GT, there’s no denying that Super Saiyan 4 left an impression. Even now that Dragon ball gt has been over for years, the transformation still makes appearances in other series, like Super Dragon Ball Heroes. Fans are still drawn to the look of Super Saiyan 4, and for good reason.


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A unique look for Saiyans

Compared to all the other Saiyan transformations that have been featured in Dragon ball, Super Saiyan 4 is clearly the odd duck. Super Saiyan 4 breaks with the established trend of changing hair color and special aura. This departure has bothered some fans, but that’s exactly why the transformation is so great.

Super Saiyan 4 is much more memorable than a form like Super Saiyan 2, which is only slightly different from the base Super Saiyan. Super Saiyan 4 has more personality and reveals aspects of the characters. From a visual standpoint, Super Saiyan Blue looks more like a reissue of the previous designs. When the characters light up and reach a new form, the design has to signify this change of power. The greater the change in look, the better the change in power is communicated.


Of course, the more different the look, the better the design, this is not a hard and fast rule. There are many examples of extremely unique transformations that don’t make great designs. Frieza transformed several times on the planet Namek, but it was only his final form that became memorable. All of his other transformations have been largely forgotten and ignored by the fandom. However, Super Saiyan 4 manages to be something new while still feeling like a Saiyan transformation.

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A natural evolution of the Saiyans

If we showed a person who knows nothing about Dragon ball an image of a normal Saiyan and an image of Super Saiyan 3, they might not be able to tell that these two forms are related in any way. Super Saiyan 4 solves this problem in an elegant way. This transformation appears to be the next natural step in the evolution of a Saiyan.


Super Saiyan 4 retains the black hair and monkey tail that all Saiyans are born with. A layer of fur developed all over the body, making Super Saiyan 4 look even more ape-like. The hair is wilder without getting ridiculously long and crazy, like with Super 3. The entire design of Super Saiyan 4 looks like the meaner, taller brother of a normal Saiyan. It’s something different and more powerful, but still in the same family.

A reminder of the past

In Dragon ball gt, Goku reached the level of Super Saiyan after taking control of his Golden Great Ape form. The great ape form had for the most part ceased to be important in the main series after Vegeta transformed into one during the Saiyan Saga. After that, the great ape’s form is seen as more of a hindrance than a truly useful transformation. Dragon Ball GT makes the Great Ape form useful again by merging it with the Super Saiyan form. The design of Super Saiyan 4 is inspired by Dragon ballto create something great.


Dragon ball started as a semi-adaptation of Travel west – a famous Chinese novel centered on Sun Wukong, the Monkey King. Goku was originally going to be a full-fledged ape to better match Sun Wukong’s story. This design was eventually changed, but Goku managed to keep his tail. By giving Goku more monkey functionality in Super Saiyan 4, he is reverting to his original design. In other words, Super Saiyan 4 makes Son Goku the King of the Apes he was always meant to be.

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