Dragon Ball is an anime with plenty of interesting design choices. The most iconic one is the Super Saiyan transformation, the ultimate form for residents (and descendants of) of the planet Vegeta. We love to watch Goku, Vegeta, Trunks, Gohan or Goten getting a powerful makeover, but...have you ever wondered why our originally dark-haired (or purple-haired) heroes turned blonde when they achieved this coveted level? I definitely have.
Fortunately for all of us who were always curious about that, the creator of the franchise, Akira Toriyama, has finally given us an explanation behind the perplexing color scheme... turns out, it has to do with practicality. He explained:
“I gave him blonde hair so that it wouldn’t be as much work for my assistant. He spent a lot of time blacking in Goku's hair, and I had to erase over it. It was a real pain…”
I don't know about you, but I find it ironic that the color scheme of the most powerful transformation in the #DragonBall universe, was intended to make things easier for others.
Previously, the Super Saiyan state had been surrounded by controversy, as fans theorized it was based on the Aryan philosophy. In case you don't know, Nazism was built around the belief of the Aryan race—typically blond-haired and blue-eyed—being a master race, and that Germanic people were the most racially pure people from it.
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So it was argued that the Super Saiyan transformation, being the most awesome display of power in the cartoon, was a coded metaphor for blonde, blue-eyed people being the perfect race. Essentially, the conspiracy theory claimed that Dragon Ball was promoting Nazi beliefs. With such a disturbing view for the design, it's nice to finally have the true explanation for it.
Recently, the franchise introduced two new hair colors for the transformation: Red for Super Saiyan God and Blue for Super Saiyan Blue (shown above). However, the most iconic appearance remains, without a doubt, the blonde hair.
I have to say, it's funny to realize that the most iconic things in pop culture often aren't actually planned, but are just an accident or a way to make things easier for the people developing them.
What did you think of Toriyama's explanation? What's your favorite Super Saiyan level? Let me know in the comments!