|Super Saiyan 4|
|Rōmaji||Sūpā Saiya-jin Fō|
|Manga Debut||Chapter #2|
|Anime Debut||Dragon Ball GT, Episode #34|
|Game Debut||Dragon Ball: Final Bout|
Super Saiyan 4 (超サイヤ人フォー, Sūpā Saiya-jin Fō) is a heightened transformation belonging to the Saiyan race. Appearing only in the anime side story series, Dragon Ball GT, Super Saiyan 4 is treated as a successor to Super Saiyan 3, though it is more accurately the direct successor of the Golden Great Monkey transformation. Due to this unique characteristic, the form is considered to be a form apart from the traditional Super Saiyan line of transformations.
In terms of appearance, Super Saiyan 4 is perhaps the most drastic change seen from any Super Saiyan transformation. Due to its relation to the Great Monkey Transformation, the form bears resemblance to a compressed version of the Great Monkey form—scaled down to the size of a Saiyan and altered to appear more humanoid.
In this form, the Saiyan's hair lengthens (though not to the degree of Super Saiyan 3), their body becomes covered in fur, and they gain shadowing around their eyes and eyelids. All of these attributes, as well as eye color, vary between the Saiyans using the form; the tail also alters color to match their new fur.
Uniquely, the form appears to provide the user with new clothes, as well as typically depriving them of their shirts. Gogeta is the one known exception to this; he retains his Metamorese clothing in his fused state. Additionally, should the user be wished into a child state through the use of Dragon Balls, this form returns them to their adult state for its duration.
To achieve Super Saiyan 4, a Saiyan needs to regain control over their body while in a Golden Great Monkey state. This form combines the reasoning mind of a Saiyan with the tremendous power of a Great Monkey, resulting in a powerful Saiyan warrior. The power increase that this form grants is astronomical. When Gokū fought Super Baby as a Super Saiyan 3, the match was decidedly one-sided in favor of the Tsufruian. However, transforming into a Super Saiyan 4 greatly increases the power of a Saiyan, drawing out their battle power to the utmost limits, similar in essence to the Potential Release used by Son Gohan. This, then, allowed Gokū to overwhelm Baby.
Despite being referred to as a Super Saiyan form out of convenience, due to the fact that the form is branched of from the Golden Great Monkey transformation, the Super Saiyan 4 is technically independent of the original Super Saiyan line. As a result, Super Saiyan 4 carries with it some distinctions that set it apart from other Super Saiyan transformations. Unlike the three forms proceeding it, no additional training was needed to master the form. Super Saiyan 4 does not appear to drain its user of their stamina or strength very rapidly, as Gokū and Vegeta were able to maintain the form with seemingly little effort.
It is not, however, without its similarities. As with all transformations of the Saiyan race, when a Saiyan enters this state, they still lose some of their ability to reason. Gokū himself stated this to the Seven-Star Shenron.
In Other Media
See also: Dragon Ball Heroes: Victory Mission
Creation and Conception
The Super Saiyan 4 form was designed by Toei Animation's character designer Katsuyoshi Nakatsuru. In Dragon Ball Anime Illustration Collection: The Golden Warrior, Nakatsuru states that there were various opinions about the final design. It was Nakatsuru's idea to make the body red, and as "GT" was made as a continuation, the hair was taken in a different direction than Super Saiyan 3, and made wild. The red fur was chosen because Nakatsuru believed that color to be strong, and wanted to leave that kind of impression. He originally made a gold haired version of the form, but settled on black when he decided black and red made for a more dynamic color scheme.
- Despite not designing the form himself, Toriyama did draw a sketch of Super Saiyan 4 for the GT DVD Box Set.