The first new transformation introduced in Dragon Ball Super remains one of the most enigmatic in the long-running Dragon Ball franchise. First seen during the animated film Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, which was then adapted for television as the first story arc in Super, Goku gained the ability to transform to gain significant new levels of power and abilities by becoming the crimson-haired Super Saiyan God. However, soon after its debut, the new form was superseded in subsequent animated films and story arcs by Super Saiyan Blue, leaving much of the explanation and potential of the previous transformation a mystery.
With the form resurfacing towards the end of the animated series and the latest animated film, Dragon Ball Super: Broly, here's an overview of the form, including its origin, abilities and notable usages.
Super Saiyan God: Goku's New Transformation
Upon his introduction in Battle of Gods, Beerus, the God of Destruction, easily outclasses Goku's most powerful form at the time, Super Saiyan 3, in a brief skirmish on King Kai's planet. Shortly thereafter, Goku learns from the Eternal Dragon Shenron that the form of Super Saiyan God can be achieved by harnessing the power of six Saiyans. Before staging a rematch with Beerus back on Earth, Goku has Vegeta, Gohan, Trunks, Goten and the unborn Pan channel their energy into him, allowing him to transform.
Upon the completion of this process, Goku successfully undergoes the transformation, returning to his regular size in contrast to the more muscular Super Saiyan 3, with his hair retaining its normal style while turning bright red, along with his eyes. Additionally, in this form, Goku gains a fiery golden aura while his skin turns visibly paler, signaling Goku's metamorphosis into a form far more powerful than had ever been seen before.
Super Saiyan God in Dragon Ball Super
Significantly more powerful than Super Saiyan 3, the new state allows its users to become charged with godly energy but rapidly draining its users' own energy reserves to maintain the transformation. While increasing its users' strength, the state appears to be an even bigger defensive boost, giving Goku enhanced awareness of incoming attacks and allowing him to fight Beerus to a standstill until he grew exhausted from maintaining the form.
Despite reverting to his normal state, Goku's prolonged usage of the new form had residual effects, allowing Goku to battle Beerus without transforming into a Super Saiyan God again. After training under Beerus and Whis for a time, Goku is able to master the new form, making the transformation at will and sustaining it for longer than he had during its initial usage. Undergoing the same training as Goku, Vegeta later shows himself capable of making the transformation as well, without the same power-lending ritual Goku used to make it the first time.
Other Notable Appearances of Super Saiyan God
Following the form's debut in Goku's battle with Beerus, Goku uses the Super Saiyan God transformation sparingly, especially after the introduction of Super Saiyan Blue, unveiled during a rematch with a resurrected Frieza. In this form, Goku is able to fight the assassin Hit, with the latter fighter using his full power. During the Tournament of Power, Jiren is able to effortlessly deflect all of Goku's blows while in the form, though Super Saiyan God proves to be more than a match for Caulifa and Kale, forcing the two alternate universe Saiyans to fuse into Kefla against Goku.
The most recent usage of Super Saiyan God is seen in Dragon Ball Super: Broly with Vegeta taking the form to overpower the titular Saiyan warrior in his base state. Outmatched, Broly transforms and is able to outperform Vegeta in his new form, though the Saiyan Prince only suffers minor injuries.
Enigmatic and the first major sign of new, more powerful transformations to come during the Super era outside of the traditional Super Saiyan transformation progression, Super Saiyan God takes Saiyan transformations to a whole new level, both visually and in terms of raw strength. A notable addition to the franchise, Goku's initial transformation showed fans that even decades since its debut, Dragon Ball still had plenty of surprises to come.
Dragon Ball Super Volume 7 is out on Blu-ray now.