Feature image uses original fan art by @DBZTrev
The latest Dragon Ball series, Dragon Ball Super, has added a whole host of new characters and elements to Akira Toriyama's beloved franchise, from the existence of parallel worlds to new forms like Super Saiyan Blue and Ultra Instinct. However, one of the most intriguing new additions to the fan-favorite anime is the alternate dimension Super Saiyan Kefla.
Debuting during the series' final story arc, the Tournament of Power, the character is actually a fusion between two Saiyans, Caulifa and Kale from Universe 6. The character is easily the most powerful fighter from Universe 6 and fights Goku to a standstill, nearly defeating him before being surprised by Goku's nascent abilities in his newfound Ultra Instinct form. In a way, Kefla represents all of Dragon Ball Z's major Saiyan tropes done well and making her one of the most fascinating characters introduced in Super.
What is Kefla's Background?
Kefla's Caulifa and Kale are immediately recognizable as Saiyans, the alien race first introduced at the start of Z, with their trademark spiky, dark hair, strict warrior code and love of combat. As such, they quickly form a begrudging sense of respect with Universe 7's Saiyan fighters, Goku and Vegeta, with the latter promising to restore Universe 6 rather than let it be erased from existence should it lose in the Tournament.
However, in an intriguing inversion of the Goku/Vegeta dynamic, which saw the two men as bitter rivals before becoming firm (if constantly competitive) friends, Kale and Caulifa declare each other to be best friends and train each other to become the strongest they possibly can, rather than engage in an outright competitive rivalry.
More impressively, the two characters are the first female Super Saiyans in the Dragon Ball canon. While the powered up transformation has been a hallmark of the franchise for decades with progressively more powerful forms, outside of several non-canon video games, the transformation had exclusively been used by male Saiyan characters.
What Are Kefla's Powers?
Both characters can not only transform into Super Saiyans, but also a bulkier form resembling Broly, colloquially known by fans as a Legendary Super Saiyan form. This increases raw power at the expense of speed. Additionally, both characters can turn into the formidable Super Saiyan 2 form, forcing Goku to transform into a Super Saiyan God, the male fighter lacking the stamina to sustain Super Saiyan 3.
In Goku's more powerful state, the two fighters were forced to use the Potara earrings to fuse into Kefla, a new being of immense strength. The Potara earrings and concept of fighters fusing into new characters had been introduced towards the end of Dragon Ball Z, with Goku and Vegeta using a similar set of earrings to fuse into the powerful Vegito after being outmatched by a transformed Majin Buu.
The fused Kefla easily overpowered Goku, forcing him to transform into Super Saiyan Blue, but still visibly outclassed by the Universe 6 fighter, even while using the Kaio Ken technique in his transformed state. It was only through the timely use of his Ultra Instinct form that Goku was able to surprise Kefla and defeat the fused fighter by knocking her outside of the arena while simultaneously ending her fusion.
Could Kefla Become Dragon Ball's Most Powerful Super Saiyan?
In bursts, Kefla had been able to more than hold her own against Goku's Ultra Instinct form, the most powerful form yet seen in the entire Dragon Ball canon. And given the Saiyans' tendency to grow stronger following each battle, and Kale and Caulifa vowing to attain new levels of power following the tournament, their inevitable return may hint a significant power increase for both in their individual and fused states.
In an anime series long dominated by male characters, Kefla is not only the strongest female character in all of Dragon Ball ,but also the single, strongest Saiyan character to date for the long-running franchise. With nods to everything from Broly to Potara fusion, she embodies the biggest fan-favorite elements of the series while forging a new path forward for the series as it moves into a future after the events of Dragon Ball Super. And unless Goku and Vegeta get significantly stronger themselves, this new fighter is going to leave them in the dirt because Kefla certainly won't take Goku's Ultra Instinct for granted in the eventual rematch.