I have been pretty bedridden the last couple of days, which let me catch up with some games, tv series, anime and my thoughts… one of these thoughts went to Dragon Ball. I saw a bit about Krillin and wondered.. what would the next level of evolution look like for him. So I decided to let my brain come up with a way humans could transform.. and here is what I came up with.
Step 1: Pinkie’s Guideline for Transformation
Now how do I tackle this problem?! Well first of all we need to make the transformation a functional one! Of course I am delving in the realm of fan fiction here but I would not want to turn humans into something they are not. So no giant form, or them suddenly becoming rubber or something. It would also need to do something. I can say humans get a 10x power boost and their hair turns purple and skin turns pale.. but a 10x power boost will not make any difference and besides that there are possibilities to just use Kaioken for those levels of output. The tricky part here is that we can easily not actually provide a transformation for humans themselves. After all we could just say humans and saiyans are clearly compatible as they can interbreed, we may have the same forefathers and humans have a saiyan-like transformation as well. It would not even be that far fetched.
This would not really allow humans to stand on their own though. Not only do Saiyans already have a faster base growth, there is also issues like Zenkai boosts, the power boost Saiyans get after they have been defeated. Humans don’t have that so just giving humans a golden form of their own.. would not feel right. Then there also would be the fact that humans getting blond hair and blue eyes and calling themselves a person which has transcended humanity is a bit iffy! Yet neither are the main reasons I opted out of this route! No .. the real reason is Gohan! Well him , Goten and Trunks to be exact. Hybrid Saiyans are made a big deal… However in my eyes the show does very little to establish humanity in Gohan, Goten and Trunks. It is merely reflected in their personality. If we give humans a transformation however.. I want it to be able to coexist with a Super-Saiyan transformation. This will mean that there will be big changes in the story and Goku and Vegeta might just take a back-seat towards the Hybrids later on.
The third factor I am taking into consideration is that it has to keep humans relevant to the story. During the Saiyan Saga, humans were not relevant.. and only during the Namek Arc did Krillin have a few fights where he would be relevant. After that, it all goes down the drain fast. I do not say humans are weak but clearly they can not top the Saiyans in terms of sheer power. We must find a way to equal the playing ground at least a bit. Of course the series only started to be be transformation heavy on Namek, and I do not want to make the Super Saiyan moment less Iconic.. so transformations have to come after that. Yes.. most likely there will be gold! As golden Frieza is an ultimate form as well I might as well keep the theme up a bit. Either way… it does mean that this power is more or less stumbled upon.. as if a human had extra abilities people were aware off, it would have come up earlier.
The fourth and final factor I will need to take into consideration is that this transformation works both in Manga and in Anime, Dragon Ball is a Multi Media franchise after all. So stuff like an eye colour change, or the aura taking a faintly other shape will not be enough we have to make something up that people can instantly see and go like “oh heck yeah Krillin is using his transformation” Something that looks badass but also is unique to humans. That was quite a task..but I think I have come up with a great solution, that feels very in line with humans and martial arts alike.
Step 2: Coming up with “type” of transformation
Now to make a unique transformation and keep humans relevant let’s take a look at all the other races that we know that do have transformations and how they work. First of all there are of course the Saiyans, who transform by anger/emotion. The power works as an enhancement. It boosts their power level by several factors, the amount of energy needed and wasted depends on what form they are in. Then there is the Frieza race, who transforms based on mostly innate talent. The race has access to extreme raw power and the transformations are sealed as it were to keep one from being destroyed by their own power. The transformation works like a metamorphosis and is reached by unleashing power.
The Namekian transformation is lesser known and it literally allows a Namekian to grow. As Namekian’s do “grow” as plants and are genderless this makes sense. It mirrors them well. Then there are the androids, who in some cases transform. Cell, Android 13 and Android 21 had access to transformations.. and while all work in slightly different ways, the concept of their transformation is Augmentation. The biggest asset of this transformation is to give them a higher reserve of power.. it is additive transformation. Meaning it is the sum of several parts not the multiplication of one. The Majin transformation basically is exactly the same as that of the Androids, one adds parts to gain that parts strength.
Saiyans seem to be the allrounders, that get better at what they already do. The Frieza Race gets more destructive as they transform and the androids, even Cell are slightly more defensively focussed. Android 17 is known for his barriers, but Cell uses these as well, 19 and Gero absorbed energy in a defensive capacity as well. Namekians trough the series from Z onwards mostly work as guides. Piccolo is more so a teacher and a Mentor rather than a fighter. Kami has always been a guide and Dende works as a healer. Majins are a bit of a mirror match fighter idea. While we later also see other transformations like magical girls nearly all of the transformations fall either in the “healer, Fighter or Tank” archetypes. So with humans I wanted to go with the fourth option… support. Clearly the show is about Goku, Gohan Vegeta and the likes and that will not change. So for humans to have a transformation it would need to be one that can help the main characters.. but that also can turn Gohan into an absolute beast of a warrior.
How do we do this?! Well Saiyans are a race of Barbarians, a race of soldiers and warriors they grow through fighting. Namekians work like plants, they grow like plants.. so how do humans grow like earthlings? We evolve. We adapt. This adaptability is shown as the factor that keeps humans in the fight. Even in Dragon Ball Super this is shown. Roshi and Krillin perform fairly well as fighters in the tournament of power.. (as well as Tenshinhan) because they fight smartly. So the human transformation will allow them to do that.. it will allow them to “evolve”. As such it will trigger in situations of near death.. Like a Zenkai boost.. but before the actual injury! If you are about to die or confronted with death you can “evolve” It can be explained as the reason why women can suddenly move steel beams when trying to save their baby from a burning home, and how people escape from near death situations by the sheer will to survive. Darwinism and the will to live triggers this transformation. So it might not be to much of a surprise that the first human we see transform in the series would be Yamcha.
Step 3: How does it Look, How does it work?!
The transformation will happen during the beginning of the Android Saga, when Dr Gero finds Yamcha and starts draining his life. We flash back to how Yamcha was killed by the Saibaman which now instead of a meme will act like a trigger. Yamcha, Grabbed by Gero finds himself in a fairly similar situation. He is grabbed in a hold and can sense death is coming. However this time his body reacts instinctively. The Dr is draining his Ki but suddenly that Ki begins to take shape. It turns golden and rather than just being a field of energy it takes a shape much closer to Yamcha’s body.. as it forms two extra arms. Golden translucent arms that Yamcha can move as his own.. and he can fire an energy blast with them?! Yamcha uses this ability to escape, damaging Dr Gero, who now is forced to retreat a bit earlier. Goku catches up sensing Yamcha’s Ki rise and the rest of the story would follow the normal trend for a while.. but a surprised Yamcha stands there with an evolved Ki Aura.
Humans adapt… and even in D&D or in most other fiction they are always depicted as a race that is good at fitting in.. at adapting to new environments to overcome new dangers. So since the Ki of other races reacts to their state of being it makes sense that that of a human would be as well. Grounded in the concept of evolution, while it would not evolve the human itself, one skilled enough with Ki to create energy blasts can use their own live energy to evolve their life energy.. to adapt it. These transformations I will base on the Bodhisattva.. the goddess of compassion. The Saiyan transformation has some potential overlap to Chakra and I thought it would be fun to keep a eastern influence to the transformation as well, that works well with the schooling in the Dragon Ball world. Being the voice of compassion and sympathy these transformations do not focus on raw power but allow a fighter to use his own strength to overcome and adapt.
Later forms could include a third eye, linking back to Tien’s history and his people never fully closing that off, that unlike Ultra Instinct would work more like Tsuna from Hitman’s Reborn Hyper Intuition allowing you to see when blinded, or allowing you to see enemy weaknesses. A third form could be a flaming aura that could punish an enemy from engaging in Melee too much, which once again seems to be a weakness of the humans. Divine Hands, Divine Eye and Divine Fury could later potentially lead into humans adapting it to god ki and potentially Ultra instinct as well.
Best off all.. this would all work on Gohan. When Cell broke his arm when Gohan saved Vegeta from perfect Cell, instead of just learning Super Saiyan 2, he could have learned Divine hands as well..showing Gohan is indeed.. not just like his father he is human as well.. wielding their transformation. Divine Eye he could awaken in his fight with Basil, in the Tournament of Power Exhibition Match. Divine Fury Gohan could learn either during the Buu Arc to shield himself from being absorbed by Majin Buu.. OR during the Tournament of Power when he fights Dyspo.. who mostly relies on Melee attacks.Unlike other transformations, humans can get theirs in random order. Krillin for example would probably Awaken Divine Wrath first, Tien Divine Eye and Yamcha like explained would be the perfect candidate for Divine hands!
Being able to shoot two beams might not seem very powerful, but Humans have the ability to bend their Ki beams, so shooting two could lead to a pincer attack. A Ki beam is always higher than the power level of the human wielding it as was revealed in several magazines. A double Masenko fired at the same target might not do much.. but two bending Kamehameha’s striking from the front and back.. would have HUGe benefits. Looking for a weak spot in an attacking would allow humans to use techniques like the destructo disc or Yamcha spirit ball to be way more precise and effective sealing punches away works great against henchman .. and let’s be honest here, the humans will still be fighting the henchman still!
A lot of techniques would have implications during the Moro Arc as well, humans could use Divine Eye to work a bit more in an exposition fashion so Beerus and Whis could actually stick to their principals of not meddling. Divine Wrath can be used to shield against the new Android introduced in that arc and Divine hands can help Gohan use his new shield technique.. while also taking potshots at enemies from behind said shield! It will keep humans relevant without changing the power levels to much!
So how would you give humans transformations in Dragon Ball?! Have you ever thought about it? What did you think about my idea? Let me know in the comments! Now I am gonna see if I can develop Divine pillows, so I can take the best naps! Shine on my little lights! Oyasumi!