From Academic Kids

Saiyan, or Saiya-jin (サイヤ人) in the original Japanese anime and manga, refers to a fictional race from the Planet Vegeta in the manga Dragon Ball/Dragon Ball Z and the anime Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball GT. The name is an anagram of yasai, which is Japanese for vegetable.



In the manga, the distant history of the Saiyans is not described. In the Dragon Ball GT anime however, it is described that there were two separate races on Planet Vegeta: the Saiyans and the Tuffles (Tsufurujin). The Tuffles and the Saiyans fought a civil war, but the Saiyans were victorious thanks to their ability to turn into their oozaru forms at the full moon.

At some point, the planet was conquered or annexed by Freeza's empire and the Saiyans were accepted into its armies of many races and used for conquering planets. Eventually Freeza began to get concerned with the potential of the Saiyans and eradicated the planet, killing almost the entire Saiyan population. Only Prince Vegeta, Raditz, Nappa and Son Goku, being off-planet at the time, survived. (In the Dragon Ball Z movies, Turres, Paragus and Brolli were also able to survive the planet's destruction.)

Appearance and Biology

Saiyans look very similar to humans except that they are born with brown furry monkey-like tails, are incredibly strong, and have the ability to transform into their ape-like oozaru form when exposed to full moonlight. Otherwise, they can easily be mistaken for a full-blooded human.

Biologically, Saiyans must also be very similar to humans. Human doctors examined and treated Goku, but did not remark that they found anything out of the ordinary. However, owing to their considerably greater physical strength - they tend to burn many more calories than humans and are well-known for their ravenous appetites; males probably have larger appetites than females. If heavily exerted, a Saiyan can consume enough food to feed many hungry people, in one sitting. Saiyans also have the ability to interbreed successfully with humans (see below) without an apparent difficulty, meaning that their genetic material must be very similar.

Full-bloods have unusual spikey hair-styles which maintain their form and length from day of maturity (as stated by Vegeta in the manga); styles and lengths seem to vary greatly between individuals - with some being shared by the same family line. It doesn't grow past its original length, but will grow back if cut. All pure-breed Saiyan hair color is black. Half-bloods tend to display more human-hair traits.

When young or still well within their prime, a Saiyan's tail if amputated, will regenerate (within minutes or even seconds)- notably when placed in a situation of extreme panic (probably a biological defense mechanism - presumably to give a boost in strength, increasing their fighting chance in self-defense situation). The tail is their only known physical weakness: grabbing it hard causes Saiyans great pain and immobilizes them until it is released. Those of the highest class train themselves to overcome this weakness, however. Traditionally, they wear their tails firmly wrapped around their waists like furry belts so they are always prepared for battle.

Super Saiyans

There is a Saiyan legend that says every three millennia an ultimate warrior will arise who cannot be defeated. Son Goku was this warrior, called a Super Saiyan. However, the transformation to Super Saiyan is later discovered to not be unique to a single individual: with intensive training, all Saiyans in the series are able to attain this state. (And, with the exception of Pan and Bra, they all do.)

Partial Saiyans

Over the course of the series, it was routinely demonstrated that Saiyans and Humans have the ability to interbreed and produce fertile offspring, though similar interbreeding is not demonstrated with any other races in the series.

Partial Saiyans are different from full-blooded Saiyans in that some of the Saiyan-esque features are occasionally recessive. For example, some Half Saiyans (Son Gohan, for example) retained the Saiyan's monkey-like tail, but others (Trunks, Son Goten) did not. The only 1/4th Saiyan, Pan, also did not have a tail even though her father did. The reason Goten, Trunks and Pan did not have a tail at birth is unclear possibly because they were permanently cut off when they were born or because their fathers were cut off permanently and their genes changed. In addition, it is discovered early on that a 1/2 Saiyan/Human combination appears to be inherently more powerful in potential than their full-blooded counterparts, even though with intensive training the relative power levels seem to even out. (This increase in power is possibly responsible for the relative youth in which half Saiyans were able to reach the Super Saiyan state, though that alone does not fully explain the relative ease in which later characters are able to make the transition. It may be that Super Saiyan is an inheritable trait, in which those children who were born after their fathers became Super Saiyans can make the transformation without effort.) In the canon of the manga, it is unclear whether a character less than 1/2 Saiyan could become Super Saiyan. In Dragon Ball GT however, characters that were only 1/16th Saiyan were able to perform the transformation.

Character Lists

List of Full Saiyans

  • Bardock (father of Son Goku)
  • Serippa - female on Bardock's team in the DBZ anime special "Bardock The Father of Goku"; the only one on the team besides Bardock, named and designed by A. Toriyama - thus should be considered canon.
  • King Vegeta
  • Nappa
  • Raditz
  • Son Goku; whose original Saiyan name is Kakkarot (Kakarotto in original Japanese version).
  • Vegeta
  • Vejitto

List of Full Saiyans (non-canonical)

(Last three are Bardock's other team-mates; appearing in the Bardock TV special)

List of Partial Saiyans

List of Partial Saiyans (non-canonical)

Character is the result of a Saiyan fusion, not a separate character ja:サイヤ人


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