Dragon Ball: Is Super Saiyan a Technique Gifted by the Gods?

Dragon Ball Super's latest arc has raised major new questions about the nature of the powers that [...]

Dragon Ball Super's latest arc has raised major new questions about the nature of the powers that Saiyan heroes Goku and Vegeta fight with. Both Goku and Vegeta are headed down their own respective paths of power, with Goku embracing the divine technique of Ultra Instinct that's been mastered by the angels. Dragon Ball fans have been wondering how the power of Ultra Instinct compares to the Super Saiyan transformations that both Goku and Vegeta have mastered. Well, the latest chapter of Dragon Ball Super's manga has answered that question in a big way - but that answer has only raised new questions about the true nature of Super Saiyan.

The question now is: was Super Saiyan a technique gifted by the gods?

Warning: Dragon Ball Super manga SPOILERS Follow!

The latest arc of Dragon Ball Super is "Granolah the Survivor" which both looks back at the history of Freeza and the Saiyans, while also exploring where the franchise will be going next with its Saiyan powers and the larger Dragon Ball lore surrounding them. In the latest chapter of Dragon Ball Super, Goku has to go all-out to battle Garnolah, who has wished his way into becoming the strongest warrior in the universe. In order to hold his own in the fight, Goku has activated Ultra Instinct while he's in Super Saiyan God form - the first time we've seen the two fight techniques working in unison. As Vegeta observes, when Goku taps in Ultra Instinct while in SSG, it makes UI that much faster, stronger, and more precise.

So how does a mortal transformation enhance a divine fight technique?

Dragon Ball Is Super Saiyan a Godly Power Technique Explained

When Goku first manifested Ultra Instinct during the Tournament of Power, it seemingly had little or nothing to do with Super Saiyan. In fact, Goku's entire problem mastering UI was that the technique requires tranquility in the face of intense battle and emotion - whereas Goku first achieved Super Saiyan through experiencing intense emotional trauma (Freeza killing Krillin).

Now that we know that Super Saiyan can actually enhance what Ultra Instinct does for a fighter, the complementary nature of the two powers doesn't seem coincidental. Super Saiyn (and especially Super Saiyan God) came with some serious mythological lore that has never been fully explained in canon: namely, the idea of a Saiyan achieving god-like power in order to defeat Evil Saiyans (or evildoers). SSG was always presented as a flawed state of power that came with a strict time limit, while SSJ was such a powerful state that it required transformation.

The more we learn about Ultra Instinct and divine powers in general, the more it all sounds like an echo of Super Saiyan. The current Dragon Ball Super arc has revealed that there are various kinds of divine powers that exist; angels use the tranquil focus of Ultra Instinct in battle, whereas Destroyer Gods use the violent Hakai technique to erase targets from existence. Now that we know the divine powers give out different forms of power to different kinds of beings, it's not at all a stretch to surmise that the Saiyan race was truly "chosen" to be the strongest mortal warriors by being handed access to a divine power that's totally unique to them.

It's an expansion of the Dragon Ball mythology that only enhances the characters of Goku, Vegeta, and all other Saiyans - while setting the stage for characters like Broly and Kale and their Legendary Super Saiyan potential to finally flourish (and make sense) within canon.

Dragon Ball Super's new movie is coming in 2022. The manga releases new chapters free online every month.