While Super Saiyan is iconic for Gokuno shape fits Dragon Ball’s Vegeta more … than ultra ego. Despite how the ultra-powerful transformation seems tailor-made for the Saiyan Prince, a series of old sketches by series creator Akira Toriyama reveal that it shares more than a passing resemblance to Goku’s original design for Super Saiyan. 3.
After Goku unlocked the silver Ultra Instinct form, fans were eager to see what Vegeta’s equivalent would be. Their prayers were answered in Dragon Ball SuperVegeta’s 74th Chapter debuted Ultra Ego against the universe’s strongest warrior, Granolah. While Vegeta ultimately lost that fight, the form left a mark on fans as it suits Vegeta perfectly. Unlike any other transformations he can access, Ultra Ego is completely unique to Vegeta. With its ability to absorb damage and immediately reflect it back, there’s no doubt that Ultra Ego is objectively Vegeta’s strongest form. It’s ironic then that the basis of Ultra Ego’s design is eerily similar to the one that first belonged to Goku.
In Dragon Ball – Super 30th Anniversary Story Book fans of the global sensation are getting a closer look at some of series creator Akira Toriyama’s early sketches for the character designs. Eagle-eyed readers may spot two early Super Saiyan 3 prototypes. One of them resembles the current Super Saiyan 3 design with the slanted forehead and ridiculously long hair, though this early design also incorporates a tail. similar to Super Saiyan 4. The design next to it is much more remarkable, giving Goku a slanted forehead and blown out spiky hair. It’s hard at first to tell it’s Goku, because this early version of Super Saiyan 3 so closely resembles Vegeta and his latest Ultra Ego form. However, since Vegeta never goes Super Saiyan 3 in the original dragonball manga, and that design doesn’t have Vegeta’s widow pic, the design is definitely Goku.
Although the two designs are remarkably similar, it’s almost certainly a coincidence, unlike the fact that Toriyama recycles all ideas. In fact, Ultra Ego was not Toriyama’s creation at all. In an interview (aired on Twitter by dragonball DCSCHronicles fan account), Dragon Ball Super Artist Toyotarou explained his process for creating Ultra Ego and had it approved by Toriyama. In this interview, Toyotarou does not mention any inspiration from this early Super 3 design, essentially confirming that their similarities are a happy accident.
In the end, it’s for the best that Toriyama went for the long-haired Super Saiyan 3 form that fans are familiar with. It’s much more visually distinct from Super Saiyan 2 than that original design. Yet it is tempting to wonder what Vegeta ultra ego would look like dragonball had used this original design for Goku’s Super Saiyan 3.
Next: Even Dragon Ball Fans Don’t Know Goku’s Real Name (And It’s Not Kakarot)
Source: Dragon Ball – Super 30th Anniversary Story Book, DBSCronicles
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