So while the Dragonball series has plenty of transformations, it’s easy to remember some of the initial transformations to Super Saiyan. These transformations are typically filled with intense emotion and incredible action scenes; however, several others were not so amazing. Now for this list I”m ranking the very first transformation to the original Super Saiyan form. This list will include all Dragonball content up to the end of Dragonball Super Tournament of Power.
Goten and Kid Trunks
While I like both of these characters, their transformation to Super Saiyan was a rather quick and uneventful experience. Due to Goku and Vegeta knowing the transformation when they were born they seem to have inherited the transformation and made little effort to master it. While it’s cool to see how the transformation can be passed down, when compared to the emotional transformations of other Saiyans, these two really don’t stand a chance.
While his transformation to Super Saiyan 2 was one of the most amazing transformations of the entire series, his initial Super Saiyan transformation was not. It was in a very controlled environment where Goku taught his son how to channel his emotion to trigger the transformation. In this moment the real magic was not in the transformation but seeing Goku and his son Gohan actually spend some time together. It was a great scene and an amazing moment but the transformation was quick.
One of my favorite Saiyans, but unfortunately a lackluster transformation. This transformation established a way of transformation which involved moving the kai in one’s back to a center point. This method really takes away all of the emotion from the transformation. The only reason why this isn’t in last place is due to how intelligent the character was for figuring this out with very little mentoring. It’s a great thing the most boring transformation was backed with one of the more entertaining Saiyans.
This is where we start to see a change in quality of transformations. Cabba’s transformation was in mid fight with Vegeta who antagonized Cabba to force the transformation out of him. Very similar to Gohan’s transformation, it was awesome to see Vegeta become a mentor for someone. What makes this moment so much better was Cabba’s real reaction to what he thought was an actual threat to his planet and loved ones and the ferocity that he unleashed once he transformed. He gave everything he had when he transformed and it made for a fun to watch battle.
Vegeta requires a bit of explaining. When we first see him transform it is an amazing and powerful moment; however, the first transformation we saw was not the first time he transformed to Super Saiyan. When he narrates how he learned the transformation he talks about how it gets so frustrated and fed up that he actually stops caring about the transformation and that revelation forced the transformation out of him. It was an emotional and powerful moment. While it did not have a lot of action it made up for it with the amazing acting from Chris Sabat playing Vegeta.
While Bardock’s transformation is not part of the main continuity of Dragonball, we do get to see what would happen if he learned how to achieve Super Saiyan. When the Frieza ancestor Chill kills Bardocks team, Bardocks goes into a fit of rage and transforms to a Super Saiyan. What made this moment so epic was the sheer beat down Bardock gave Chill after transformation. He literally threw Chill around in a manner similar to the Hulk and Loki in the first Avengers movie. Bardock attacked without mercy, took hits without a care and showed himself to be an unstoppable force.
Kale’s transformation was the most powerful of the universe six Saiyans and what makes this one stand out was how her form was different. Instead of a normal super saiyan, Kale gets her own variation called the Berserk Super Saiyan where she assumes a muscular form and loses all control and starts beating on almost everything in sight. This form was so powerful that Cabba and Caulifla had to fight as hard as they could to control her and Caulifla was even force to briefly turn Super Saiyan 2 just to contain Kale.
This moment was so powerful. Future Trunks sees his mentor Gohan die, and with the threat of the androids still lurking and Gohan dead the sorrow really sets into poor Trunks. He bursts with a surge of emotion as he screams his heart out and the transformation just bursts out of him. This combined with the setting and music made for an intense scene that is only amplified because Eric Vale did such a great job portraying Trunks sorrow with every line.
No surprise here as Goku takes the top spot. Goku’s transformation was amazing. The music, the build up, the lightning. Goku sees his friend die and just loses all control as the transformation happens. At this point we have seen Goku desperately try to defeat Frieza but nothing is working then at the shock of every fan that has not read the manga, like myself, Goku erupts a new form which was revolutionary to those who had no idea this was coming. This was the symbol of the end of one of the most legendary battles in all of anime and will always tower above all transformations.