SUPER SAIYAN

Rumors of a Super Saiyan 5 transformation first appeared online in the late 90s. Though it was never official, it left behind a sizable legacy.


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From the moment it was first introduced, the Super Saiyan transformation completely changed the power dynamics in Dragon Ball. The legendary transformation served as a massive power boost for Goku and other Saiyans who would unlock the same power, helping them and their allies through seemingly impossible conflicts. While many variants have been introduced over the years, one of the most memorable ended up being nothing more than a hoax.

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Super Saiyan 5 has never been achieved by any character in the series, but images of it exist online. While GT introduced the Super Saiyan 4 form, it was never considered canon due to series creator Akira Toriyama’s lack of involvement in the anime. Rumors of Super Saiyan 5 started spreading sometime around GT’s run, and while nothing came of it, it remains a recognizable design to many fans.

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The Origins of Super Saiyan 5


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Images of what seemed to be Goku as what was being called Super Saiyan 5 first began to spread around the internet in the late 90s. The source of the image was unknown for years, but was eventually tracked down to a Spanish video game magazine called “Hobby Consolas”. The Madrid-based publication was founded in 1991, and maintains a sizable readership.

The artwork often cited as proof of Super Saiyan 5’s existence is nothing more than fan art by David Montiel Franco. Franco penned the image in 1998, when he was 17, and revealed in an interview with Polygon that the character in question wasn’t Goku, but was in fact an original character named Tablos. The goal for Franco was to expand upon Dragon Ball’s lore, adding to what had been established in the original series alongside GT.

It’s easy to see why fans were fooled by the image. Franco’s art looks about as authentic as any official piece of concept art one would expect from Toriyama or Toei, and the design builds off the characteristics of Super Saiyan 4 in a believable way.

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The AF moniker included alongside the original Super Saiyan 5 image also took on a life of its own, as many fans assumed that the image was a teaser for a new series that would succeed GT. Many speculated that the series, After Future or Alternative Future, would be its own anime series, setting forums ablaze with what turned out to be nothing more than speculation, rumors, and hearsay.

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Fake episode guides and lists sprung up alongside what looked to be official promo art featuring characters like Gohan and Vegeta, giving more credibility to the hoax. The images were attributed to Studio Tomita, which many thought would be handling the new series, and in turn, succeed Toei Animation. This was once again unfounded, as the real Studio Tomita was nothing more than a fan or fan group that put out incredibly authentic-looking fan art.


Fan Reaction & Legacy


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Though the AF mentioned alongside Franco’s fan art was nothing substantial, the buzz if formed inspired other fan works, most notably Dragon Ball New Age and Dragon Ball Multiverse. An actual AF fan manga eventually came to be, written and illustrated by Toyble. While it’s never been directly confirmed, many assume that Toriyama’s handpicked successor and Dragon Ball Super mangaka Toyotarou was the artist behind the series.

The success of Toyble’s AF, alongside another series by Young Jiji is part of what kept the AF rumor alive. Their incredibly impressive Toriyama-style makes their works seem authentic, offering fans some hope as to the fabled series’ legitimacy.

The Super Saiyan 5 inspired AF rumors came at the height of Dragon Ball’s popularity overseas. Plenty of fans never felt the need to question the information coming their way, with many just excited to see the series continue on. As the years went on, the rumors proved themselves to be just that. But that hasn’t stopped Dragon Ball AF or Super Saiyan 5 from maintaining relevance among the fan base.

They inspired countless fan works and illustrated just how passionate Dragon Ball fans are when it comes to the long-running franchise. Tough Super ended up continuing the series years after the rumors first started, many fans still look back to Franco’s fan art with fond memories.