- This article is about the ability to become stronger. For the energy, see Saiya Power.
This power allows a Saiyan to recover from harm in relatively short periods of time. During which, the Saiyan will imprint on the injuries and/or experiences and instantly learning from it. As it does, their minds and body adapt to the said struggles, allowing their instinctual methods and natural resistance to noticeably improve, which also increases their physical might as they recover, thereby lessening the chances of the problem happening again. The more severe the damage they recover from, the more significant the improvements will be, effectively making prolonged battles more favorable to them. Saiyan Power seems to increase noticeably after each use.
It is shown that accessing godly ki can greatly enhance the usage of Saiyan Power. It allows one to heal at accelerated rate of mere seconds and likewise prove a noticeably more potent increase in power and efficiency. Even mere moments of pain or struggle will cause a quick and noticeable boost. When fully transformed into a divine form, the Saiyan is shown able to survive most otherwise-fatal injuries and likewise able to regenerate from the damage.
As noted by Vegeta, a Saiyan cannot increase their power from self-inflicted wounds. Although, this is disputed by Goku's power increase while healing from his extreme gravity training and by Cell powering up after his self-destruction. However, it is possible that Goku's boost came from a blast he didn't control. Another possibility is that the extreme gravity training took its toll on Goku. In the case of Cell's self-destruction, it is possible that his Saiyan attributes were improved akin to his Namekian attributes allowing him to regenerate well-beyond a true Namekian's capabilities.
There also appears to be a lack of consistency on how potent the increase in power will be, for example: Vegeta's power level only went up moderately after healing against Goku; going from 18,000 to 24,000, while Goku's power level went up massively after he was injured in the battle with the Ginyu Force; going from 90,000 to 3,000,000 with a single boost.
After the events on Namek, the power gained by Goku and co. from Saiyan Power as a result of near-death experience became negligible. After Gohan is healed by Dende in his battle with Super Buu, Buu notes that Gohan did not appear any stronger than before. In the Dragon Ball Super manga, Future Trunks theorizes that Saiyans can only increase their power from this ability up to a certain point. This theory came from the fact Vegeta already reached well-beyond normal Saiyan limits and faired no better in a second round against Black after healing from his previous beating against the latter.
"Around and around he goes...working his body and Ki almost to death and then refreshing himself by eating the Senzu... Whether he realizes it or not, Goku is living and reliving one of the primal cycles of the Saiyans... Gaining strength by facing and overcoming death!"
— Narrator in "Premonitions of War"
After Vegeta healing from his severe beating from Recoome, Vegeta's strength skyrockets to match First Form Frieza (power level 530,000). When Gohan healed from his pummeling by Second Form Frieza, Vegeta was left very impressed by the growth, to which Gohan's new power proved able to momentarily pressure Third Form Frieza, inciting the tyrant to use his Fourth Form. Once letting Krillin gravely injure him and then healing again, Vegeta could see and react to Fourth Form Frieza's movements and attacks, until he begins to put in even more effort. After recovering from battling Captain Ginyu, Goku's power level reached 3,000,000, enough to pressure Frieza's initial might in Fourth Form. When Frieza began decimating Goku with 50% power, Goku's continued struggles let him advance enough repel Frieza's grip on him and use a x20 Kaio-ken. In the anime, when spurred by a vision of Vegeta, Goku's strength increased enough to pressure Frieza into fighting seriously with 50%.
During the extreme battle between Super Saiyan Goku and Perfect Cell, the latter who was partially created from Saiyan cells, King Kai noted that despite the exhaustion the two were going through, their power was actually growing the longer the battle went on. Later, when Semi-Perfect Cell self-destructed on King Kai's Planet, his being completely imprinted from the experience. This let him recreate his Perfect Form without needing Android 17 and 18, as well as greatly amplifying its power to the point that Cell's aura now emanated blue electrical sparks, as Cell achieved the Super Saiyan 2 form, referred to as Super Perfect Cell. Ultimately, his newfound Super Perfect state let him equal Super Saiyan 2 Gohan's might who previously toyed with Perfect Cell.
In Dragon Ball Super, Super Saiyan God Goku benefited greatly from Saiyan Power, letting him survive the God of Destruction Beerus' repeated thrashings and even a hole in his chest from the Destroyer's lethal jab. In addition to surviving and letting him continue battling, his repeated healing allowed Goku to constantly increase his power and subsequently adjust to the godly form's capacities and hold his own against Beerus.
During the Tournament of Destroyers against Hit, while struggling at first to combat the assassin's Time-Skip, with each exchange, Goku gradually adjusted to Hit's tactics until he began repeatedly blocking and counterattacking Hit's assault. Vegeta also begrudgingly noted the similarities between Saiyan Power and Hit's Pure Progress.
In the anime, Goku Black made liberal use of Saiyan Power as part of his plan to insure his rise as the strongest warrior in the multiverse, deliberately keeping his power low enough for his foes to inflict enough damage on him to imprint on. From this, it ultimately allowed him to obtain his Super Saiyan Rosé form and likewise enhance his techniques. In the anime, seemingly due to his natural access to godly ki, his Saiyan Power was especially potent, letting him seemingly never get tired from how fast he would recover. While base Black was heavily damaged by Super Saiyan 2 Goku, upon recovering, base Black fought on par with Super Saiyan Blue Vegeta while virtually unfazed by the latter's attacks. When taking a savage assault from an enraged Super Saiyan Blue Goku, once recovering, Black's power boost evolve his energy blade, letting him quickly defeat Goku. Later, when Future Trunks unlocked Super Saiyan Rage, while initially the hybrid was unfazed by Super Saiyan Rosé Black's attacks and soon simultaneously pummeled Black and Future Zamasu, once Black recovered from the assault, his power increased to quickly overwhelm Future Trunks again. Interesting enough, Goku Black doesn't need to be healed to gain an increase, as long as he has even a short amount of time to recover, he can freely make use of Saiyan Power.
In the manga, while requiring Future Zamasu's help to heal, his power still jumped tremendously each time. Initially, Black was seen struggling to keep up with Super Saiyan 2 Vegeta while using Super Saiyan himself and ultimately left badly beaten up. Once healed by Future Zamasu, Super Saiyan Black gained a slight advantage against Super Saiyan Blue Vegeta.
During the Tournament of Power in the anime, as he began recovering from fighting Jiren, Super Saiyan God Goku was able to calmly overpower Legendary Super Saiyan 2 Kale and Super Saiyan 2 Caulifla simultaneously. Also, Caulifla, who was a crude brawler, began quickly adjusting to Goku's more experienced maneuvers, becoming more efficient in her combat skills and methods as Goku continued to pressure her.
During the second fight against Jiren, Goku seemingly fully recovered and held his own with only Super Saiyan Blue, whereas before Goku couldn't even compete with X20 Super Saiyan Blue Kaio-ken. At the same time, as Vegeta continued to take Jiren's assaults, he gradually saw through the foe's attack patterns, eventually able to evade and land blows of his own.
In the anime, while using Ultra Instinct -Sign-, Goku's Saiyan Power was greatly enhanced, allowing his power and efficiency to increase at an alarming rate as he continues to fight against a foe of comparable or greater power to himself. The gods of Universe 11 are astounded that Goku is able to gain on Jiren so quickly as he gradually begins to overwhelm Jiren before his untimely regression to base form. This eventually resulted in him completing Ultra Instinct. In the completed Ultra Instinct form, Goku's power grew to levels that far exceeded even the Gods of Destruction. Goku was able to easily outclass Jiren at his full power. When Jiren broke through his own limits, now facing Goku at an equal level and pressure him. As Goku recovered from the assault, Goku's growth again allowed him to overwhelm Jiren and essentially defeat him. Even more, as Goku began recovering from the after-affects of overusing Ultra Instinct, at only base form Goku was able to fend of the battered but still fierce Jiren when fighting alongside Frieza.
In the near final moments of the tournament, Vegeta, in his Super Saiyan God SS Evolved form, was able to hold his own against Top in his God of Destruction Mode. After recovering from Top's assault, Vegeta was able to push this power even further, overpowering Top's Sphere of Destruction and eventually defeating him.
During the Tournament of Power in the manga, Potential Unleashed Gohan took on Super Saiyan Kefla by himself. Despite being overpowered in the beginning of their fight, Gohan was able to push back and even fight evenly with Kelfa from then on. As noted by Piccolo, the intensity of the tournament not only helped Gohan regain his battle sense, but it also let him grow considerably stronger than before the tournament started.
In Dragon Ball GT, during Goku's battle against Eis Shenron he was frozen solid by the Shadow Dragon. Originally, Goku required Nuova Shenron's aid to escape. Afterwards however, Goku became completely unaffected by the foe's attacks next usage as he instantly broke free while completely unfazed from the event. To which, Goku noted firmly that the same technique does not work twice on him. Later, against Syn Shenron, despite being blinded by Eis, once recharged by the other Saiyans' ki, Goku adapted so completely from Syn's previous assault that just using his other senses let him react to all of the Shadow Dragon's attacks effortlessly.
In Dragon Ball Z: Broly - Second Coming, it was noted by Gohan that Broly grew significantly stronger after recovering from his loss against Goku. The fact that Broly appeared stronger in only Super Saiyan than his previous usage of Legendary Super Saiyan implies that Broly tapped into Saiyan Power.
In Dragon Ball Z: Bardock - The Father of Goku, it was noted by doctors that which each mission he returned from, especially when needing medical attention, he was showing a considerable increase in power. His power level was reaching 10,000. It was even noted prior to the Genocide of the Saiyans that Bardock's power has come to rival King Vegeta.
In Dragon Ball Z: The History of Trunks, originally Super Saiyan Future Gohan struggled against even 1 of the evil androids (Future Android 17 even noted that he used less than half of his power). By the battle at the Super World amusement park, Future Gohan was able to fight on par with Future 17 and gradually overwhelm him, shocking the foe and forcing him to team up with Future Android 18 to defeat him. Later after recovering, despite having lost his left arm, Future Gohan proved able to overpower both androids simultaneously at their full power, ultimately forcing the tireless androids to instead exhaust Future Gohan to defeat him. These improvements for Future Gohan seemingly came from accessing Saiyan Power.
In Dragon Ball Super: Broly, Broly used this ability to constantly grow stronger during various fights, which implies his growth rate was superior to that of the average Saiyan's, as Vegeta noted that Broly learns as he fights, as well as Goku noting in a terrified tone that Broly was getting stronger after the latter ascended into his Super Saiyan form.
Video Game Appearances
In Dragon Ball Z: Super Saiya Densetsu, when a Saiyan reaches less than 5 HP, using a full heal item on him (like a card of Kami) will result in him receiving a Saiyan Power and raise his level by 1. This can be used early on against Raditz, to boost Goku's level extremely high. Also in the game, there is a glitch with Saiyan Power: if a player chooses to level Dende to level 3 (9999 exp earned twice), Dende can heal a character as well. Should he heal a Saiyan that is at 5 HP or below, the Saiyan receives the Saiyan Power, but not the level up. This allows certain characters like Gohan or Vegeta to be boosted to higher-than-usual power levels. Using the Moon Card on Gohan, however, restores his power level to the level it should be.
In Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z, a customize card named "Saiyan Power" can be equipped onto a character and raises their attack power every time they are knocked out.
In Dragon Ball Xenoverse, Saiyan Power is one of the Saiyan race's unique traits. When a Saiyan falls in battle, and is revived, either through teammate assistance or a Battle Item, they gain a large power boost that lasts for the duration of that battle. A Saiyan Power effect can be applied to non-Saiyans through Z-Souls such as Vegeta's "Saiyans are a Warrior race!" or through Super Perfect Cell's "That was a handy miscalculation".
"How many life-or-death battles have you been through? After all, Saiyans get stronger when they're on the verge of death. You keep getting stronger, too, so you must've nearly kicked the bucket any number of times, right? I've also nearly died... or should I say, actually died a number of times, heh heh heh."
— Goku talking about Saiyan Power with the Saiyan Future Warrior in Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2
In Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, Saiyan characters can receive Saiyan Power in the same manner as they did in Xenoverse. Goku Black also possess the Super Soul "This pain will make me stronger!". During the Unknown History Saga, as Super Saiyan Bardock: Xeno fights with Mira inside the Time Rift he had trapped himself and Mira within, Mira notices that Bardock is growing stronger as he fights. This combined with the alterations Towa had done to his body while he was brainwashed implies what allowed him to ascend to Super Saiyan 2 and then Super Saiyan 3 to defeat Mira. As part of the Super Pack 1 DLC, Cabba grows stronger like other Saiyan characters do in Xenoverse 2. Interestingly, he will reference this after being revived by saying "I feel great!". This indicates the Saiyans of Universe 6 also possess the ability to receive a Saiyan Power boost like their Universe 7 counterparts.
In Dragon Ball Legends, Shallot is mortally wounded by Third Form Frieza. After being given a senzu bean by Vegeta however, his power increases enough for him and Vegeta to force Frieza into his Final Form.
- This Saiyan ability is popularly, yet erroneously called Zenkai (全開 Zenkai, lit. "Full Release" or "Full Throttle") by the western fandom. The term Zenkai (全快) meaning "complete recovery" was used in Goku's explanation of Vegeta getting more powerful after having almost died, this is presumably the origin of the term. Zenkai (Full Throttle) was notably used in the first Dragon Ball Z ending theme, "Detekoi Tobikiri Zenkai Power!".
- While this ability is unique to Saiyans, other characters have exhibited similar abilities:
- The Meta-Coolers' Rebirth trait allows them to instantly correct any flaw that allowed the unit to take damage, ultimately making them stronger and more efficient than before, similar to a Saiyan Power boost.
- Pure Progress is an ability that can only increase either the user's raw might or general skill. Despite this, it is noted by Vegeta to possibly improve the user faster than a Saiyans' own natural growth. This was seen by Hit's skill growth driving Goku to unleash his imperfect Kaio-ken. Likewise, Ganos' strength growth was deemed very dangerous for Goku and Team Universe 7 by Master Roshi.
- Fused Zamasu's immortality in the manga gave a very similar affect to this. When Fused Zamasu's fusion time was up, Fused Zamasu's cells were breaking apart into Goku Black and Future Zamasu inside his body. Due to them being virtually the same person, once Future Trunks sliced the partially defused Fused Zamasu in half, granting both warriors the other's respective powers and ultimately the both separately mutated back into a full-power Fused Zamasu. Even more, when Vegeta tried to split the two Fused Zamases in pieces, they instead formed into clones, becoming Infinite Zamasu. Fused Zamasu and (in the manga) Infinite Zamasu are both half-Saiyans.
- While the dub incorrectly implies that Saiyan Powers only occur with Elite Saiyans, Goku a Low-Class Saiyan, receives them many times. This is confirmed by how Krillin states how Goku always grew ever stronger after recovering from fighting devastating battles.
- Additionally in Bardock - The Father of Goku, the doctors note how Bardock's power level had increased after healing. Like his son, Bardock is a low-class Saiyan.