The Dragon Ball lore is as deep and as vast as any anime lore in history because the entire storyline dates back to the 80s. Since then, there have been plenty of things that happened to Goku and his friends. Of course, he has continued to unlock new transformations and power levels ever since unlocking Super Saiyan, and we did see him unlocking Super Saiyan 4 in the Dragon Ball GT anime. But, considering that Super Saiyan 4 is a GT transformation, is it canon to Dragon Ball?
Super Saiyan 4 is not canon to Dragon Ball because it was revealed during the events of the non-canon Dragon Ball GT anime that Akira Toriyama had little to no contribution. It is also worth mentioning that Dragon Ball Super, which is the canon continuation, has already contracted the events of Dragon Ball GT.
While there were plenty of fans of Dragon Ball GT, the thing is that it still remains an alternate timeline that no longer follows the same storyline that happened in Dragon Ball Z because Dragon Ball Super is now the official continuation. In that regard, even Super Saiyan 4 was never canon as Dragon Ball Super has deviated from the conventional Super Saiyan transformation.
What Is Super Saiyan 4?
We know for a fact that the Dragon Ball anime has always focused on Goku and his friends getting stronger and stronger as they face new enemies that they can’t defeat using their current powers. This became clear when Goku, a powerful fighter from the Saiyan alien race, was able to unlock the Super Saiyan transformation in the fight against Frieza, which was one of the longest fights in anime history.
Ever since Goku unlocked the Super Saiyan form in Dragon Ball Z, he and his companions continued to unlock new forms that made them even stronger than they were before. His son, Gohan, was the first to unlock Super Saiyan 2 against Cell. Meanwhile, in a fight against Majin Buu, Goku unveiled Super Saiyan 3, which was the strongest Super Saiyan transformation in Dragon Ball Z.
Of course, the Dragon Ball Z anime ended with the defeat of Kid Buu through Goku’s Spirit Bomb. But the thing is that the anime storyline continued with Dragon Ball GT, which premiered just shortly after Kid Buu’s defeat in DBZ. This time, the story is set several years in the future after Kid Buu was defeated, as Goku was reverted back to his child form because of a wish that Emperor Pilaf made using the Dragon Balls. As such, he, Trunks, and his granddaughter Pan are now on a quest to collect the Black Star Dragon Balls all over the universe so that they can undo what Pilaf did.
Throughout their adventures, Goku and his companions encounter a Tuffle named Baby, who has the ability to create parasites that can infect other people. On top of that, he can also infect a host himself, as he chose to use Vegeta as a host. Using Vegeta’s power, Baby became even stronger than before and was able to easily overpower Goku until he unlocked Super Saiyan 4. So, what is Super Saiyan 4?
Unlike Super Saiyan 3, Super Saiyan 4 is not a transformation that was derived from the original Super Saiyan form. Instead, it is a form that combines the very essence of what a Saiyan is by tapping into the base nature of the Saiyan’s Great Ape form. In that regard, the only way for a Saiyan to achieve this form is to turn into a Great Ape and transform into its Super Saiyan version, which is called Golden Great Ape. And after turning into a Golden Great Ape, the Saiyan has to overcome his beastlike nature to return to his standard humanoid form and ultimately unlock Super Saiyan 4.
The Super Saiyan 4 form that Goku unlocked was strong enough to give him a decisive win against Baby, even after he turned into a Golden Great Ape using Vegeta’s body. Of course, this became Goku’s standard form until the end of the Dragon Ball GT, as he used it to fight the likes of Super 17 and the Shadow Dragons. In fact, a fully powered Super Saiyan 4 was able to overwhelm Syn Shenron, who was the strongest of the seven Shadow Dragons that Goku fought.
Is Super Saiyan 4 Canon?
Even though the Super Saiyan 4 transformation became a favorite among different Dragon Ball fans because of how unique it is compared to the regular Super Saiyan forms, the thing is that it was never canon. That’s right. The Super Saiyan 4 form is not part of the Dragon Ball canon due to the very fact that Dragon Ball GT was never canon.
The reason why GT was never recognized as part of the Dragon Ball canon was the fact that Akira Toriyama, the creator of the manga series, never created GT and had little to no involvement in the project. It also was never based on the original manga that Toriyama created, even though GT was made to be a continuation of the Dragon Ball Z storyline.
Can Goku Turn Into Super Saiyan 4 In Super?
Of course, there’s also the fact that Dragon Ball Z was ultimately continued with the canon storyline Dragon Ball Super, which Akira Toriyama personally works on. As such, Super Saiyan 4, being a product of Dragon Ball GT, was never canon.
On top of that, Toriyama has decided to create his own advancement to the Super Saiyan transformation by creating the Super Saiyan God, which is a divine transformation that allows Goku and Vegeta to channel their Super Saiyan powers to become a Super Saiyan God or simply Super Saiyan Blue.
Toriyama also went on to create other transformations that no longer followed the standard Super Saiyan branch. That is why Goku now has the Ultra Instinct state, which can be unlocked by anyone who has trained hard enough to reach this level of power. Meanwhile, Vegeta has unlocked Ultra Ego, which is the form he took after he was able to train with Beerus to become a Destroyer God. And even Gohan himself branched out from the Super Saiyan form when he unlocked his Beast form, which is the strongest of his Potential Unleashed state.
All that said, there is no longer any room for Super Saiyan 4 to become part of the canon, considering that the newer transformations have already departed from the Super Saiyan branch. On top of that, the newer transformations are already much stronger than Super Saiyan 4, given the fact that they rival the powers of the gods.