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The Saiyans (サイヤ人, Saiya-jin; FUNimation "Saiyan") are an endangered race of aliens. They are a naturally aggressive warrior people who are supposedly the strongest fighters in the universe. Nearly all of the Saiyans are obliterated by Freeza.

The Saiyans play a central role in Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball GT after it is revealed that the protagonist, Son Goku, is actually a Saiyan sent to destroy Planet Earth.

Name meaning

Main article: List of name origins

The word Saiya-jin comes from the word yasai (野菜), Japanese for vegetable, followed by the suffix "-jin" (人 or じん), thus making it a Japanese demonym. Saiya-jin may or may not also be a play on the word yajin, Japanese for wildman. Essentially, Saiyan is an English translation of the word, but literaly Saiya-jin would mean vegetable person or vegetable wildman.

The Saiyans Vegeta, Nappa, Raditz, Kakarrot, Paragus, Broly, and Bardock all have names that are puns on various vegetables.[1]

In the original Japanese, Saiyan is pronounced Sigh-ya-jin, while in the English dubs it is pronounced Say-an.



The Saiyans arriving on Planet Plant in Dragon Ball GT.

Although the manga does not tell of the origins of the Saiyan race, the complete history of the Saiyans was revealed in the anime. It is also a central theme in the Baby Saga of Dragon Ball GT. The complete Saiyan history was also revealed in Plan to Eradicate the Saiyans. The Saiyans were also discussed heavily during the Vegeta Saga. This causes for three different explanations as to the history of the race.

The Prehistoric Saiyans (原始 サイヤ人, Genshi Saiya-jin) were a group of barbaric aliens who shared a planet with a race known as the Tuffles. During the Vegeta Saga of Dragon Ball Z, King Kai describes the Saiyans as living in the arid wastelands, while the Tuffles lived in great cities, employing advanced technology. One day however, the Saiyan's attacked, vowing to conquer the Tuffle's great cities, and to extinguish the race. This sparked a ten year long war (described in greater detail below).[2]During the Baby Saga of Dragon Ball GT, Baby described the history of the Saiyans war with the Tuffles in a different manner. He states that the Saiyans first arrived in mysterious space-pods, and attacked the Tuffles in cold blood. He states they were lead by King Vegeta, and upon the rising of the full moon, the Saiyans assumed their Great Ape transformations, and completely wiped out the Tuffle race in a single night.[3] The OVA, Dragon Ball Z Side Story: Plan to Eradicate the Saiyans, reveals another Tuffle survivor, Dr. Raichi, who describes the horrors of the war in a similar fashion to the one King Kai tells. However, whilst explaining, Vegeta states the Tuffles used the Saiyan race as slaves (something he never stated other than in this OVA).[4] These three stories did not appear in the original manga.

The only history of the Saiyans predating their conflict with the Tuffles was that pertaining to the Super Saiyan legend. The Original Super Saiyan appeared approximately 1,000 years (3,000 in the FUNimation dub) prior to the Namek Saga, and is described by Vegeta as a Super Saiyan who could only retain his status in the transformed state. He appears to have lost control, and gave in to his destructive primitive desires, and destroyed himself with his own power.[5] Where the surviving Saiyans migrated to was never revealed, but eventually it is evident they somehow found their way to Planet Plant (and thus the events mentioned above unfolded).

War with the Tuffles

Main article: Saiyan-Tuffle War

A Great Ape destroying a Tuffle city.

As mentioned above, King Kai explained the story of the Saiyan race to Goku during the Vegeta Saga. He explained that around 720 Age, a civil war broke out. The Saiyan Army tried many times to overthrow the Tuffles, but were unsuccessful, sparking a ten year conflict on the planet. Although the Saiyans were bigger in size, and physically far superior, they were fewer in number compared to the Tuffles. The Tuffles had a trump card in the form of their advanced technology to read the power levels of the Saiyans, and advanced weaponry such as blasters to hold them off. Then, around 730 Age, the Saiyans were able to transform into Great Apes thanks to the full moon that only appeared once every 8 years on the planet, with this, they finally annihilated the Tuffles, and had the planet renamed (Planet Vegeta) after their commanding hero.

Meeting other races

The Saiyans meeting the Arcosians.

King Kai goes on to explain that after their victory, the Saiyans built a rocket ship, and traveled to a nearby planet called Arcose (named only in the FUNimation dub), where they came in contact with the Arcosian (little is know about this race as they are only mentioned once and in little detail, and only named in FUNimation dub). These aliens had money, and technology, but their planet was unsuitable, so they hired a group of Saiyans to take over a planet for them, and in return they would share their technology with them. Over the years, the Saiyans also learned how to use the Tuffles' advanced equipment, and became smarter, and less barbaric, although they still lusted for fighting, and destruction.

Annexation by Freeza

Main article: Kanassan conflict Main article: Invasion of Planet Meat Main article: Genocide of the Saiyans

A Saiyan attacking a planet.
Kid Vegeta and King Vegeta watching Saiyan Attac Balls leave for other planets.

Around 731 Age, about a year following the Saiyan victory over the Tuffles, the planet was conquered, or annexed by Frieza's empire, and the Saiyans (like many other races) were drafted to serve as soldiers in Frieza's military under the Planet Trade.[6] Due to the Saiyans' innate strength, and penchant for violence, they were considered to be useful mercenaries, and assisted in the conquering of many planets, or if assignment called for, eradication of the planet's population (even Saiyan children were considered powerful enough to conquer some of the weaker planets, such as Planet Earth[7]). Eventually, seeing how quickly some of the more gifted Saiyan warriors were gaining power through battle, Frieza grew concerned with the potential of the Saiyan race, and thought that they would grow strong enough to face him, or even become the fabled Super Saiyans, able to defeat him in battle.[8]

Thus, the maniacal warlord destroyed Planet Vegeta, in 737 Age, nearly eradicating the Saiyan race. Only four pure-blood Saiyans survived the destruction: Kakarot (Goku), Vegeta, Nappa, and Raditz, as they were not on the planet at the time. Once the latter three discovered that their planet was destroyed, Frieza lied to them that an asteroid had hit their world, and offered them continued employment in return for eventual wealth.

Over two decades later, the Saiyans were later finally avenged when Goku defeated Freeza on Planet Namek.[9] Freeza later met his final end on Earth a year later when Future Trunks killed him.[10] In the anime films, four more Saiyans had survived the catastrophe: Turles, Broly, Paragus, and Tarble.


One of Akira Toriyama's memos showing a bit of Planet Plant and the rocky homing areas used by the Saiyans.
Saiyan's rocky home as seen in "The Legend of the Saiyans".

It is revealed in the Dragon Ball GT Perfect Files that the Saiyans place of origin is unknown, but may exist in the far reaches of space.[11] Planet Plant was conquered by the Saiyans after the defeat of the Tuffles, and thus, they renamed their new planet, "Vegeta".

The planet has a natural gravity that is 10 times that of Earth which helps give Saiyans a greater natural strength than most races. [12] This is unrealistic since in reality ten times gravity would cause their entrails to collapse under their own weight.

After the warlord Frieza decided that the Saiyan race could potentially pose a threat to his tyranny, the planet was completely obliterated from space, taking most of the Saiyan race with it. Planet plant's first inhaitans had a elixer that could heal any wound this is used in the Healing chamber.

Military force

Main article: Saiyan Army

Prior to their obliteration, the Saiyans possessed a powerful military, the Saiyan Army (named only in the FUNimation dub). As of 737 Age, the Saiyan Army was under the command of Nappa (also stated only in the FUNimation dub), who was its most powerful general.[13] The Saiyan Army was employed under Freeza's Force and the tyrant would use the Saiyan warriors to conquer planets for him. It is also apparent that the Saiyan Army employed various ranks based on battle powers. The only ranks mentioned in the series were elite-class and low-class. The military force met its final destruction when Freeza committed his Genocide of the Saiyans, with the force's only survivors being Vegeta, Nappa, and Raditz.



Saiyans are outwardly very similar to any other Humans, with the exception of their monkey-like tails, and a larger muscular build. They are commonly seen to have deep black hair, although there have been rare occasions when they have also been shown to have brown hair.[14]

Vegeta states that the hair of a pure-blooded Saiyan does not deviate from its appearance the day the Saiyan is born.[15] However, it is apparent their hair can fall off, this is why Nappa is bald (he is shown with hair in Dragon Ball Z: Bardock: The Father of Goku; somewhat contradicted by the fact that young Vegeta is shown with strands of hair hanging in front of his forehead, but later has his characteristic widow's peak). This is not the case with half-Saiyans such as Gohan, Goten, and Trunks who are shown to have several different lengths of hair, and wear their hair in different styles throughout the series.

Saiyans also all appear to have dark eyes, though half-breeds do not always share this trait as Vegeta's son, Trunks, and daughter, Bulla, inherited blue irises. Goku Jr., Goku's great-great grandson inherited dark blue irises as well.


Chichi pulling Goku's tail (his weakness at the time).
Gohan's first Saiyan tail

All pure-blooded Saiyans are born with tails, monkey-like in appearance and covered in brownish fur.[14] The tail is a particularly sensitive area for Saiyans who had not trained it. When grabbed or injured, it causes great pain to the owner, and temporarily immobilizes the whole body. However, Elite-class Saiyans trained themselves to overcome this weakness - such as Vegeta and Nappa. However, it is possible for low-class Saiyans to train their tail's as well, as seen by Son Goku when he was preparing for the 22nd Tenkaichi Tournament on Papaya Island. After training, his tail was unaffected if grabbed.[16] The tail is very prehensile and can be used to grasp things, much like certain primates do.

The tail also provides a unique gift in that it allows a Saiyan to transform into an Great Ape if exposed to the Blutz Waves of a full moon.[17] If the tail is removed, this power is lost. All Saiyans have the ability for their tail to grow back, unless it is permanently removed. It seems to grow back for unknown reasons. Gohan's tail grows back during the fight with Vegeta, notably when the artificial moon was present.[18] The same goes for Goku as well when he is a child, it grows back at seemingly random occasions. Vegeta even states in the manga that his tail will grow back after it is cut off by Yajirobe. However, it never grows back for unknown reasons.

Son Gohan is the only half breed Saiyan seen with a tail in the series. Other half breeds like Trunks, Future Trunks, Son Goten, and Bulla are not seen with tails. The reason behind this is never explained in the series, but it is possible they were simply removed at birth.

Strangely enough, where Tenshinhan regained his lost limb when he died, Goku and Vegeta never regain their tails after death. The tail grows longer as the owner gets stronger. This is clearly seen in Dragonball GT when Goku transforms from SSJ 3 to SSJ 4.


Saiyans tend to share common personality traits, even at young ages. Being war-like people; they share an innate enjoyment for conflict and fighting; choosing violence over peace with other races. Even Goku retained his love to fight after his amnesia, but satisfied that love through competitive sport, rather than barbaric slaughter. Saiyans are typically very aggressive and hard-headed, with short explosive tempers. Saiyans appear inclined to be arrogant at times, leading them to allow enemies to gain advantages in battle just for fun. It appears (as demonstrated by Vegeta, Nappa, and Bardock) they have a tendency to let their emotions get the better of them when roused in stimulating situations – resulting in them at times making rash decisions. They also appear to lack sympathetic emotions as though by choice rather than by nature as shown by their relative lack of fear of death and uncaring attitude towards family members (example being Raditz brutal beating of his long-lost brother Goku, and Vegeta's indifference to his father's death). Clearly, Vegeta nor Nappa never showed any signs of sympathy for their fallen comrade Raditz when he was killed, they merely laughed and stated that he was only a "weakling", although Nappa did suggest bringing Raditz back to life with the Dragon Balls. Vegeta and Nappa themselves had a good degree of camaraderie between them, but Vegeta did not hesitate to kill Nappa later on when he displayed weakness after being crippled by Goku. Most Saiyans also possess a keen fighting sense and understanding of battle, which allows them to acquire many new skills such as overcoming the weakness of their tails, learning to detect ki, and achieving new fighting forms and transformations.

Bardock appears to be the exception to the uncaring attitude of Saiyans. In Dragon Ball Z: Bardock: The Father of Goku, Bardock was shocked and saddened at seeing his crew, as well as his best friend Tora, slaughtered by Dodoria. Bardock's final words before dying were "This is for all the people we killed in your name." (he only states this in the FUNimation dub. It is never present in the original manga or Japanese dub). He also states that he was not all evil (FUNimation dub only). After the destruction of Planet Vegeta, Bardock spoke to Goku from the other side saying, "I wish I could have held you in my own two arms." (FUNimation dub only). Even Vegeta himself later expressed emotion, such as when he was dying from his wounds inflicted by Freeza and when Future Trunks was killed by Cell.


Goku pushes apart an entire mountain by using his incredible Super Saiyan 2 strength.

Saiyans naturally possess exceptional strength – far greater than that of other humans and alien races – and are quintessentially built for fighting.[14] They are capable of easily lifting hundreds of times their own weight (Goku, before receiving Turtle Hermit's training, was able to lift Bulma's car in the first episode of Dragon Ball at the mere age of twelve). The naturally high gravity of Planet Vegeta develops their strength further making them incredibly strong at young ages. Even weaker Saiyans are capable of conquering most planets alone. Through tough training, Saiyans are able to reach new levels of power, and the more intense training and fights they go through, the stronger they become. Saiyans can most likely(if you take what Piccolo said about Frieza being able to destroy planets true or not; as seeing Goku in his Super Saiyan form easily dominating Frieza effortlessly in his untrained Super Saiyan form ) can destroy a whole planet with just physical strength alone.

If a Saiyan survives a near-death experience through extreme injury to the body, then, when the body recuperates, the Saiyan grows much stronger than they were previously, their body adapting to compensate for the damage dealt. The duration of recovery does not seem to hinder this ability as Saiyans have healed through natural, technological and mystical means and still gained substantial increases in strength. Saiyans also appear able to heal from injuries at a faster rate than normal humans and possess a greater deal of durability to damage.[19]

Saiyans also possess a natural affinity to the manipulation of Ki allowing them to utilize flying and energy-based attacks with incredible ease as well as unlock great depths of power when needed, or lending energy to others in battle when it's actually necessary. Lost energy is regained by the Saiyan in a very short span of time, regardless of the amount of energy lost. Sometimes, the energy the Saiyan regained is multiplied, as noted by their power level. One of the best examples of this ability are the fights between Vegeta and Zarbon. In their first encounter, Vegeta was able to dominate Zarbon, but after Zarbon transformed, he was unable to defeat him. However, after the near-death experience, Vegeta was able to fight and kill Zarbon even in his transformed state.

Saiyans put a heavy emphasis on strength and fighting ability when it comes to importance in their society. In fact, they will excommunicate Saiyans who do not show potential to assist in their violent ways, even alleged "royalty," such as Tarble.[20]


The Saiyans also have great speed and agility. They can fly as fast as the worlds fastest automobile, and they superhuman speed is so great, Goku, a Saiyan himself, while on Namek, was able to get to Gohan and the others in just seconds. They also have much faster reflexes than an average Human; reflexes so fast that they can avoid a bullet or energy beam without much of a problem. Super speed can easily be seen in their fighting skills; their movements occur in fractions of seconds which are not visible to average Human eyes. Their agility is also substantial in their battles and training. These movements can be improved by training, transformations, and other methods. These natural powers of speed and reflex make nearly all Saiyan hand-to-hand combat very fast.


Goku eating.

Saiyans were also noted for being ravenous trenchermen with seemingly insatiable appetites. Due to their enormous strength and intense aura, the Saiyans' energy and nutritional intake needs were a great deal higher than Humans. They were often shown eating plate after plate of food, resulting in many dishes piling up (a recurring gag throughout the series), often eating more food than logically possible. Goku, when he was only 12 years old at the end of the 21st Tenkaichi Tournament, hastily consumed a 50 course meal (57 in the dub) in one sitting and still had room for dessert. They had no preferences when it came to food, although they appeared to prefer meat over anything else.[21] This was hinted at when Vegeta munched on the flesh of an alien creature on the planet he and Nappa were on before they departed for Planet Earth. Note that this was not restricted only to full-blooded Saiyans, as even the normally polite Gohan was shown eating large quantities of food.[22]

Despite advice to the contrary, Saiyans tended to eat large quantities of food immediately before a big fight. They did not seem to suffer the cramps that Humans did by doing that. In fact, it seemed to improve their game.[23]

At times, however, their appetite seemed to work against them. If Goku went for too long without something to eat, he would become too weak to do much of anything. It is unknown if other Saiyans, such as Vegeta, suffered from this weakness.

Aging, lifespan, and growth

Goku, a full-blooded Saiyan, at the age of 15, 23, and 28. Notable differences in muscularity are seen in the course of 13 years.

According to the Daizenshuu, Saiyan's lifespan is about the same as an average Human, (70 to 90 years, with exceptions, of course). Unlike Humans, Saiyans remain in their youth and prime much longer. As explained by Vegeta near the end of Dragon Ball Z, they stay young longer so that they can enjoy battle longer.[24] This is seen when Nappa, who was Vegeta's attendant when Vegeta was a child, is in his prime still long after Vegeta has become an adult, but in actuality, Nappa is roughly 50 years old during his arrival on Earth.[25] Chichi complained of this in Dragon Ball GT when Goku was reduced to a child, thus making the fact that she was getting older faster that much more apparent.[26] This is again demonstrated in the DBGT finale when Pan is seen one hundred years later still strong, but with gray hair despite being only a quarter Saiyan.

As far as growing is concerned, this differs by Saiyan as it does with Humans. Most full-blooded Saiyans appear to grow in spurt phases, as seen through Goku, the only full-blood ever entirely shown progressing to adult-hood.[27] While slow growth does occur, it is just that – slow. Saiyans appear identical to that of a human baby and in their early years, and appear to grown at similar rates. At the age of 12, Goku takes the appearance of what a Human would look like at the age of 7 or 8. This is most notably showcased when Bulma clearly believes Goku to be that young, but is shocked to find out he was actually 12 years old.[28] However, when a 5-year-old Vegeta is showcased in Dragon Ball Z: Bardock: The Father of Goku, he looks around the same age as a 12-year-old Goku, clearly showing the difference in growth patterns of Saiyans. Goku however, even at the age of 15, has still hardly grown at all, the only differences are he has become a bit more muscular, taller, and his limbs have grown a small portion. By the age of 18, Goku had undergone his largest spurt phase. He became significantly taller, leaner, and muscular, taking the appearance of the average human at his age. As an example, the 15-year-old Goku had gone from being half the size of the 19-year-old Human Yamucha, to nearly matching him in size three years later.[29] As stated before, this differs from Saiyan to Saiyan. Vegeta, who is five years older than Goku, is shorter and smaller overall, while Raditz, Goku's older brother, is far more muscular and taller.

Saiyans appear to undergo one final growth spurt between the ages of roughly twenty to thirty, when the body seems to finalize its physical maturity. Growth in muscle mass can clearly be seen, with even some height gained. Goku and Vegeta are clear examples of this. Goku appears to have greater depth to the chest, neck, shoulders, and thighs, with other muscles increasing in size and definition after that. This can clearly be seen during the Frieza and Androids sagas, Goku appears more muscularly built then he did during the Saiyan Saga, as well as taller. Vegeta also makes a transition, he appears to even grow in height a bit, which can be seen when comparing him in the Saiyan Saga to him in the Majin Buu Saga.

It is unknown if any other drastic physical changes occur after this, as no Saiyan over the age of 60 has been clearly showcased, so it is unknown how a Saiyan above this age would change.


Saiyans have a sexual reproduction system compatible with that of normal Humans, as they are able to produce fertile offspring together. The full-blooded Saiyans seen in the series are never shown to have mothers, though there have been some mentions of them. When Raditz tells Goku about the destruction of their home planet, he mentions that "their parents" died along with it. Also, at least in the anime, Nappa clearly states that he had a mother. Female Saiyans have been seen, including the (presumably) pure-blooded Saiyan, Fasha, and a number of unnamed female Saiyans in a bar.


Saiyan families appear to be far different to that of a traditional human family. Children are kept in pods as infants and monitored by doctors whilst their parents are usually occupied on mercenary missions.[30] Even as infants, their natural strength means that they are capable of conquering planets like Earth single-handedly and so it is unlikely they spend much, if any time with their parents or siblings. Saiyans do tend to have close relationships with their friends and comrades however, with whom they do spend a great deal of time in battle. Of the (pure-blooded) Saiyan families seen, none have had close relationships except Vegeta and his father.

Notably, in Dragon Ball Z: Bardock: The Father of Goku, Bardock was asked by Tora if he remembered what day his newborn son was born. He replies, "No, but that was a long time ago," (possibly referring to his elder son Raditz). Fasha then goes on to say that it was the day before, and that he should go see him.


Gohan, the half-Saiyan and half-Human warrior, in his Super Saiyan 2 form during the battle against Cell.

Due to their similar physiology, Saiyans and Humans are capable of interbreeding. While this was always possible, it became necessary for the survival of the Saiyan race when all the female Saiyans were exterminated. The resulting offspring generally possess the same enhanced strengths of the Saiyans, developing their abilities far more easily than Humans, but lack the same drive and instinct for combat.[27] Hybrid Saiyans possess the potential to become Super Saiyans, but it is unclear how many generations removed from their Saiyan ancestor a hybrid can be before the transformation becomes unavailable to them. This is principally called into question because of Pan's supposed inability to transform as she is only quarter Saiyan, yet in the special Dragon Ball GT: A Hero's Legacy, descendants of Goku and Vegeta are able to turn Super Saiyan, despite their Saiyan heritage being even more diluted than Pan's.

It is unclear if these hybrids possess a naturally greater potential than their Saiyan parents. Gohan repeatedly demonstrated a 'hidden' power that, when harnessed, made him more powerful than even Goku or Vegeta, and when he and Goku trained to battle Cell, he not only caught up to Goku, but overtook him when he achieved the Super Saiyan 2 transformation. [31] Also, he, Trunks, and Goten were able to make the transformation to Super Saiyan at a far younger age then their parents, with Trunks and Goten showing such ease at obtaining the first form that they treated it almost like a "child's play thing (as stated by Vegeta in the FUNimation dub". Goten and Trunks' fusion as Gotenks shows much, much more ease in obtaining even the final form, entering the Room of Spirit and Time whilst being unable to make the first transformation. In no more than about a week in the room, they emerged as a fused Super Saiyan 3.

A Hybrid Saiyan's potential may be held in check by the fact they lack the same desire for combat as pure Saiyans, and thus tend not to train as much, in times of peace, as a pure Saiyan would. For example, Gohan actually became less powerful during the seven years between his battle with Cell and the emergence of Buu, allowing Goku and Vegeta to catch up to and then surpass him.[32] It is also during this time that both Goku and Vegeta make the transformation to Super Saiyan 2 as Gohan did, with Goku surpassing it to ascend to Super Saiyan 3, the last form displayed in the canon manga and in the Dragon Ball Z anime.

Further, it is unknown if quarter Saiyans, such as Pan, have a lesser potential than half Saiyans or pure-blooded Saiyans due to their further diluted heritage or if their comparative weakness, exhibited by Pan, is simply the result of lacking the Saiyan drive to train coupled with growing up in peaceful times. The latter would seem more likely as Bulla, Vegeta's second child, appeared to be no stronger than Pan despite her stronger Saiyan heritage.

Due to Pan and Bulla's apparent weakness, and not demonstrating the ability to transform to Super Saiyan, it is unclear if female Saiyan hybrids are weaker than male ones or if this is simply a reflection of them lacking the same instincts as pure Saiyans combined with not finding themselves in a situation likely to trigger the transformation.

Sense of smell

As evidenced in Dragon Ball, Saiyans have a very keen sense of smell. When Goku and Krillin are looking for the rock that Roshi had thrown into the jungle, Goku is able to smell the rock's scent. Goku even claims his sense of smell is similar to that of a dog's (which is far superior to that of a human).[33]


Great Ape

Main article: Great Ape Main article: Golden Great Ape

Great Ape Gohan

Their tail also grants a Saiyan special transformations. Though a painful weak-spot for lower-class Saiyans (most upper-class Saiyans appear to have trained to eliminate the weakness), the tail allows a Saiyan to transform into a giant Great Ape beast with tremendous power when looking at a full moon. The Saiyan grows incredibly in size and tenfold in strength while drastically changing in appearance. If the tail is removed, this ability is lost. In this state, some Saiyans have limited control, but their aggressiveness is at its peak and they often become mindless animals fueled by destructive rage.[17]

The newer form of Great Ape that appears in Dragon Ball GT, Golden Great Ape, is the far stronger transformation of the Great Ape. Their offensive capacities have become much greater, and their rage is even more intense than the Great Ape's. While in the Golden Great Ape state, the power and strength of a Saiyan increase extraordinarily. Only a few Saiyans achieved this transformation: Goku, Baby Vegeta, and Vegeta.[34]

Super Saiyan

Main article: Super Saiyan

Goku is the first to achieve the Super Saiyan transformation after witnessing Krillin's death at the hands of Freeza.

The most powerful ability of a Saiyan, however, is the ability to drastically augment their speed, strength and energy by transforming into a Super Saiyan. The ability is rare and difficult to achieve normally, but gives the Saiyan unbelievable enhancements to their normal abilities. Saiyans possess several Super Saiyan transformations, each different in appearance and the power they provide. For the majority of the Super Saiyan forms, the Saiyans muscle mass increases slightly, their irises turn bluish-green and their hair turns golden in color. There is a second form, and third form of Super Saiyans and even a fourth and final form was achieved where the Saiyans body becomes covered in a crimson fur, the hair becomes darker and longer, and the irises alter color, (although the eye color appears to be different for each Saiyan).

Female Saiyans have never been shown to be able to transform into Super Saiyans within the anime, but the upcoming computer game Dragon Ball Online changes this fact, as Female Super Saiyans will be appearing.[35]


Saiyans have an inborn need to fight. Most Saiyans will spend their lives training to become stronger so that they can prove themselves in battle. When Frieza hired the Saiyans as his planet pirates, he knew of their amazing fighting skills and used that to his advantage. However, Frieza began to notice how powerful the Saiyans were becoming and began to fear that one day one of them would overwhelm him as the most powerful being in the universe. This eventually lead to Frieza's destruction of Planet Vegeta and all the Saiyans on it. Saiyans like Goku and Vegeta are frequently seen training and improving their fighting skills to keep up with each other's skills and the appearance of new, more powerful foes.[14]

Many of the Saiyan and Saiyan/Human hybrids that appear throughout the series possess extreme fighting potential. It is also very common for them to develop the ability to transform into Super Saiyans at childhood, thought to be particularly likely when the hybrid's Saiyan parent had achieved the transformation prior to conception.


Main article: Battle Armor


Attack Ball

Saiyans have small space pods that are only big enough for one person.[36] When more than one person is sent to a planet, each warrior has a pod to themselves, who fly alongside each other in a group. It is unknown what fuel the space pods use, and there is no visible exhaust area for the fuel's waste to be expelled from (though when they fly they have an energy aura around them). However, the computers operating the pods seem to be very sophisticated, and can even change course in space, despite there being no visible means of doing so (in the real world, spaceships must either slingshot around a large gravity source, such as the Moon, or must have some object to push themselves away from, per the Third Law of Motion, "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction"). The passenger appears to be in stasis during travel, upon reaching a destination air is pumped into the pod and revives the occupant.

During the Namek Saga, Doctor Brief was able to obtain the space pod that Goku was in when he landed on Planet Earth and was able to use reverse-engineer it in order to build a larger spaceship. Goku would then have room to train on his way to Planet Namek.[37]


After battles, Saiyans are placed inside a rejuvenation tank. It has high-caliber performance, being able to completely heal even a gravely injured person on the brink of death in 30 to 40 minutes' time. After a Saiyan is healed from a great injury, it has been said by Vegeta numerous times that they will become stronger. The healed soldier can then immediately return to the battlefield.[38]


  • Though Frieza stated that Goku could not survive in the vacuum of space, and most of the series has him wearing a spacesuit when venturing into the vacuum of space, there have been several instances where Saiyans have been in airless environments with no ill consequences. Early in the series, Goku took Monster Carrot to the moon. Towards the beginning of the Vegeta Saga, both Vegeta and Nappa were seen outside of their Saiyan pods while Vegeta destroyed Arlia. In Dragon Ball Z: Bardock: The Father of Goku and a flashback in the Frieza Saga (both in the anime and the manga), Bardock was seen in orbit of Planet Vegeta when confronting Frieza. During a flashback in the Android saga, Vegeta can be seen training on an asteroid, which would be impossible to have oxygen on, right before becoming a Super Saiyan. Finally, in a flashback in the movie Dragon Ball Z: Broly: The Legendary Super Saiyan, both Broly and Paragus are seen in an asteroid field. It could be possible that Frieza was bluffing and Saiyans could breathe in space, since Goku grew up on Earth, even he would have not known about that. Though King Kai seems to also believe Saiyans can't breathe in space as he instructs the Z Warriors not to revive Goku with the Dragon Balls, because he would appear in space.
  • There are only eight pure-blood Saiyans in Dragon Ball Z who survive Frieza destroying Planet Vegeta. They are Goku, Vegeta, Nappa, Raditz, Broly, Paragus, Turles, and Tarble. Tarble is the only pure-blood Saiyan not to die in Dragon Ball Z.
  • Saiyans are often associated with monkeys. Goku is called "monkey boy" when he is a kid, and Frieza and his henchmen frequently refer to Saiyans as monkeys.
  • Vegeta mentions in the episode "Saiyans Emerge" that the hair of a pure-blooded Saiyan will never change after one is born, however, as children Goku and Vegeta's hair changed. In the movie Bardock: The Father of Goku, Vegeta did not have a widow's peak, and in Dragon Ball Goku's hair covered half of his forehead.
  • In Dragon Ball Online, it is explained many Humans on Earth are now part Saiyan, giving those few the possibility of attaining the ability to transform into Super Saiyans.[citation needed]
  • When King Kai is telling the story of the Saiyans, It shows the Saiyans were Super Tall, Or either the Tuffles were super small.



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