Dragon Ball: Every Main Character’s Strongest Transformation (2024)

It’s easy to think of transformations in an exclusively Dragon Ball Z context, but main characters have been transforming since the franchise started. It doesn’t take long for Dragon Ball to reveal that Goku transforms at the sight of the full moon, and by the end of the series multiple main characters have their own unique forms that they can tap into. So long as they’re Saiyan, of course.

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In a way, transformations actually speak volumes for those which can’t transform. Goku, Vegeta, and Gohan can rely on forms to get stronger, but the likes of Krillin and Piccolo mainly need to rely on their own merits. At the same time, that’s not to say the Saiyans don’t work for their transformations– Vegeta works twice as hard as anybody in every step of his training. The main characters of Dragon Ball have been transforming for ages & their transformations have only gotten more powerful in Dragon Ball Super.

8 Son Goku: Ultra Instinct

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Goku has been struggling to master Ultra Instinct since the Tournament of Power and it seems like the Moro arc is finally allowing him full control of the form (for the time being at least.) Merus’ death has finally given Goku the insight to understand how to trigger Ultra Instinct. Rather than tapping into his emotions, Goku needs to process them calmly.

Only with a clear head can Goku trigger Ultra Instinct, a transformation that raises Goku’s awareness to divine levels. Completely independent of Goku’s Saiyan nature, Ultra Instinct emphasis Goku’s skill as a martial artist above all else.

7 Vegeta: Super Saiyan Blue Evolved

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Vegeta ends the original Dragon Ball considerably weaker than Goku, a simple Super Saiyan 2. As of Dragon Ball Super’s Moro arc, Vegeta’s since caught up to Goku and done a relatively good job at keeping pace– even if Goku does have Ultra Instinct when all is said & done. Vegeta’s latest transformation was triggered during the Tournament of Power.

By pushing Super Saiyan Blue even further, Vegeta evolves the form into the appropriately named Super Saiyan Blue Evolved. The anime shows SSBE more or less analogous to Goku’s Super Saiyan Kaioken 20x, but it’s still a noticeable step up for Veget and one the manga’s since adapted.

6 Son Gohan: Ultimate

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Gohan holds the distinction of being the only main character in the original series whose strongest transformation has absolutely nothing to do with Saiyan biology. Gohan’s arc had always focused on his potential as a martial artist and the Majin Buu arc brings out all of Gohan’s latent power in a symbolic ritual.

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While Gohan doesn’t get to defeat Majin Buu in his Ultimate form, it’s still an important beat for his character that signifies Gohan’s superiority over the rest of the cast. At the same time, Dragon Ball also makes a point about how raw power isn’t everything, so it’s fitting Ultimate Gohan nonetheless loses. As of DBS, Gohan’s choosing to prioritize Ultimate over Super Saiyan in his training.

5 Future Trunks: Super Saiyan Rage

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Dragon Ball Super may not treat Future Trunks’ story with the respect it ultimately deserves (greatly downplaying the theme of hope that defined his characterization in the Cell arc,) but the anime does go out of its way to beef Trunks up in terms of Battle Power.

Not only is Trunks introduced as a Super Saiyan 2 (who refined the form to be as strong, if not stronger, than Goku’s SSJ3,) he gains a new form near the end of the arc. Motivated to protect everyone still alive in his timeline, Trunks taps into residual God Ki and triggers Super Saiyan Rage– elevating him to near God level.

4 Son Goten & Trunks: Super Saiyan

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Goten and Trunks are introduced in the Majin Buu arc with quite a lot of fanfare. Dragon Ball makes a point of the significance of the next generation as early as the 21st Tenkaichi Budokai, which is exactly what Goten and Trunks represent alongside Gohan. They’re so far ahead of the past generation, in fact, they become Super Saiyans with minimal training and no emotional trigger.

This is done to set up Goten and Trunks’ potential (along with tying into core themes at the end of Dragon Ball,) but they never get a chance to get any stronger in their unfused states. Beyond that, Dragon Ball Super has kept both characters comfortably in the background. Super Saiyan’s likely to remain Goten and Trunks’ strongest form for the foreseeable future.

3 Gotenks: Super Saiyan 3

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It’s important to remember that fusions in Dragon Ball are their own characters with their own individualities– even if most of them are a bit flat in terms of personality. Of the main fusions, Gotenks is by far the most brimming with character, a young boy with an enormous ego and even larger Battle Power.

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Even though Gotenks merely felt Goku tapping into Super Saiyan 3 as Goten & Trunks, he’s able to remember the act and transforming into a Super Saiyan 3 during his fight with Evil Buu. SSJ3 Gotenks is so powerful that he nearly kills Majin Buu inside the Room of Spirit and Time. Despite how overwhelmingly strong Gotenks is, however, he’s never actually won a fight.

2 Vegetto: Super Saiyan Blue

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Vegetto’s strongest form in the original Dragon Ball is the standard Super Saiyan and he’s still by far the strongest character in the manga. Buuhan goes from the most powerful villain in the series to a plaything for Vegetto. Vegetto, like Gotenks, has never won a fight, but it’s a bit more respectable in this case. Vegetto’s main plan was to defuse Buu, not kill him after all.

Vegetto’s since returned in Dragon Ball Super where he triggered Super Saiyan Blue during his fight with Zamasu. Even though Vegetto doesn’t finish Zamasu off, his one appearance resulted in one of Dragon Ball Super’s best fights. Whether or not Vegetto will be seen again remains suspect, especially since there’s a new fusion in town.

1 Gogeta: Super Saiyan Blue

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Canonized as of Dragon Ball Super: Broly, Gogeta is the result of Goku & Vegeta performing the fusion dance and he’s supremely powerful. Gogeta’s able to fight the increasingly strong Broly without breaking a sweat, tapping into new forms of Super Saiyan as needed. Even in his base form, though, Gogeta’s on a level no other character has been depicted at as of yet (perhaps giving something Beerus to worry had he seen the fused fighter in action.)

Gogeta eventually ends the fight in Super Saiyan Blue, nearly obliterating Broly before the battle’s over. The only reason Broly survives Gogeta’s onslaught is because Cheelai wishes him off planet Earth with perfect timing. One more second and Gogeta would have fried Broly on the spot.

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Dragon Ball: Every Main Character’s Strongest Transformation (2024)
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