12. The Super Saiyan form was invented to save time

super saiyan

The Super Saiyan transformation might be the most iconic thing about an iconic show, partly due to its simplicity. In Dragon Ball Z, Goku getting to the next level was represented by his hair being blown up and turned into a bright shade of yellow. But according to an interview, Toriyama only decided on the look of a Super Saiyan for practical reasons. 

Before we get into it, take a look at regular Goku and Super Saiyan Goku, as they appear in print. 

super saiyan

The biggest difference is obviously Goku's jet-black hair, which turns blonde in Super Saiyan form -- but in the manga, blonde is represented by blank white space. As it turns out, the Super Saiyan hairstyle was designed that way because filling in all of Goku's hair with solid black ink took a long time. Toriyama figured that if the made the transformation change his hair color, his assistant would have to spend far less time in the tedious process of making sure the entire hairdo was colored in. Who knows what Super Saiyans might have looked like if DBZ had been created in an age of Photoshop and fill-in paint bucket tools. 

 

BONUS! A behind-the-scenes look at the key animation frames for Vegeta's heroic sacrifice

via (sigh) SLUT_MUFFIN