For many people, myself included, it’s hard to imagine a time when Goku wasn’t able to turn Super Saiyan or some other more powerful version like Super Saiyan God or Super Saiyan 4. At this point, it seems like he was always able to do it, but of course, he wasn’t born with the ability. So what episode does Goku go Super Saiyan?
Goku first goes Super Saiyan on Namek while fighting Frieza during episode 95 ‘Transformed at Last’. After watching his best pal Krillin get killed by Frieza, Goku explodes in anger and transforms into a luminous yellow-haired Super Saiyan.
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Foreshadowing of the Legendary Saiyan form
Although fans had to wait until episode 95 to witness the transformation themselves, it had long been foreshadowing and highly anticipated by everyone. The primary motivation of Frieza destroying Planet Vegeta and most of the Saiyan race was due to rumours of this powerful form. Prince Vegeta had also grown up on stories of legendary Super Saiyan and spent most of his life trying to be the first Saiyan in living memory to achieve this. So unbeknown to Goku he was fulfilling a legacy hundreds of years in the making!
How does one become a Super Saiyan?
Before Goku, no one knew how to be a Super Saiyan, but afterwards, even little kids were able to do it! The most basic requirement is you must have Saiyan DNA. We see Half-Saiyan/Human hybrids achieve this but don’t witness the quarter Saiyan Pan achieve it, but she should be able to if she gets a little stronger. You also need to be trained in martial arts. Although Goten and Trunks proved you don’t need to be super strong, you still need to be way stronger than any human. And the final ingredient is you need a catalyst. Some external event to help you out. For most Saiyans its an extreme bout of anger. For other Saiyans, it’s showing them the tingly back sensation… Either way, there seems to be an element of rage/learning involved as well as being a Saiyan and having the relevant ki.
That’s my Krillin!
Luckily for Goku had the perfect motivation to go postal. So picture the scene. You travel millions of light-years to a random planet, maybe to get Dragon Balls to revive your dead pals. You arrive to learn that your son and best pal have been in the fight of their lives just trying to survive, and barely did with help from the very guy who killed your friends. You get knocked pillar to post by Frieza’s goons and have gone several rounds with the Frieza geezer himself. Then the cold-hearted bastard explodes poor Krillin in front of your very eyes…
So this was the first time Goku turned Super Saiyan but certainly wouldn’t be the last. We see him go Super Saiyan 1,2,3,4 God and Blue, but who knows what the future holds for Goku and this transformation. Will he abandon the form altogether? Will he go Super Ultra Instinct?