The original design of Super Saiyan 3 never appeared in the anime

What’s special about the Saiyans from the Dragon Ball anime are their different Super Saiyan forms. Super Saiyan 3 (SSJ3) is the first in the series to have a drastically different appearance. But originally the SSJ3 wasn’t supposed to be that different from the previous Super Saiyan levels.

What is the Super Saiyan 3?

  • The level can only be achieved by those who have previously achieved the SSJ and SSJ2 and trained hard for years.
  • The first Saiyan to show this stage in the anime is Son Goku. Gotenks, the fusion of Goten and Trunks, remains the second and final Saiyan in the anime to transform into an SSJ3.
  • The Saiyans suddenly get a huge head of blonde hair on their heads. That’s why they lose their eyebrows.
  • In return, the eyebrow area stands out slightly and the look becomes darker than usual.
  • The SSJ3 was rarely seen in the anime. The Saiyan power appeared even more rarely.
  • But the design we know from Super Saiyan 3 is not what the creator of Dragon Ball originally planned. Akira Toriyama actually wanted a more subtle design for the SSJ3, which we now know thanks to a look at the original drawing.

    Presumably the SSJ3 will not make an appearance in Dragon Ball Daima next year. You can see the trailer for the anime here:

    In Dragon Ball DAIMA, Son Goku and his friends shrink

    More videos


    This is what Super Saiyan 3 could have looked like

    In an original drawing, the original SSJ3 and the stage that appears in the anime can be seen side by side. On the left is the shape that Akira Toriyama actually intended for the transformation. On the right is the one we know from the anime.

    If Toriyama had stuck to his original idea, the transformation would have been more oriented towards the first two stages. The hair has just gotten a little longer and still looks on end. Also, it looks like the eyebrow hairs haven’t fallen out.

    The artist nicolasrivas920 grabbed the original sketch and created a version of the SSJ3 that could appear in color in the anime:

    © nicolasrivas920

    What’s noticeable in the picture is that Son Goku would have looked less threatening thanks to the original design. The artist may have ultimately decided on the design with the missing eyebrows to make Son Goku appear even more mature and powerful.

    The jump to SSJ4 is huge again: the Saiyans’ hair turns black again and they have a monkey tail. By the way, the version in the anime is not by Akira Toriyama, but by another artist.

    Outside of the anime series, Super Saiyan 3 was seen in films such as Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn or Dragon Ball Z: Wrath of the Dragon. He also made several appearances in various video games, including the Budokai series and Dragon Ball Heroes.

    Are you interested in more Dragon Ball episodes? Then you should watch the new anime Dragon Ball Daima, which will be released in 2024:

    Dragon Ball: New series of the cult anime starts in 2024 and lets Son Goku and Vegeta shrink again