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15 Things You Didn't Know About Saiyans In Dragon Ball 

Anna Lindwasser
Updated July 13, 2020 4.9k votes 1.3k voters 153k views 15 items

The Saiyan race is one of the most important species in the world of Dragon Ball. These incredibly powerful individuals are few and few between after Frieza destroyed their home planet. They boast astonishing abilities, the most noteworthy of which includes the ability to go Super Saiyan, and include many of the series' main characters, like Goku and Vegeta. 

Most DBZ fans know the basics, but there are also probably some things that you didn't know about Saiyans. For example, did you know that Goku's brother Raditz has attacks with themed named? They're all named after days of the week. Another interesting fact - in Akira Toriyama's first draft of the manga, Goku was a monkey. Not a human with a monkey transformation, just a straight-up monkey. 

Which of these bits of Saiyan trivia interested you the most?

Super Saiyans Are Blonde For Meta Reasons
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Photo:  Studio Pierrot

One of the most noteworthy visible traits of a Super Saiyan is their bright blonde hair. There's a reason for this design choice that has nothing to do with the series itself - it's actually totally meta. Akira Toriyama had this to say

“I gave him blonde hair so that it wouldn’t be as much work for my assistant. He spent a lot of time blacking in Goku’s hair, and I had to erase over it. It was a real pain…” 

Goku Has Never Actually Defeated Vegeta
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Photo:  Toei Animation

One of Vegeta's defining characteristics is his desperation to surpass Goku. Because of that, it might come as a surprise to learn that Vegeta has never actually been beaten by his rival.

In DBZ, the two of them fought twice, once during their first encounter and once when Vegeta was possessed by Babidi. Both times, the win went to Vegeta. It's hard to say what, if anything, will make Vegeta feel like he's truly come out on top. 

They're All Named After Vegetables
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Photo:  Toei Animation/Wikimedia Commons

Traditional Saiyan names are all based on vegetable names. In some cases, this is obvious to English speakers - Vegeta clearly sounds like the word 'vegetable' and Nappa is a type of cabbage. Broly is supposed to sound like broccoli, and Raditz sounds a lot like radish. Goku's Saiyan name, Kakarot, bears a strong resemblance to the word carrot.

What might not be so obvious is that the word 'Saiyan' itself has a vegetal origin. In the Japanese version of the series, they're called 'Saiya-jin.' Saiya is an anagram for 'yasai' which means vegetable in Japanese. 'Jin' means person. So, the name for their race literally means 'Vegetable People.'

Vegeta Planned To Give His Daughter A Saiyan Name
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Photo:  Toei Animation

Both of Vegeta's children, Trunks and Bra (known in the dub as Bulla) are named after undergarments. This naming theme comes from their mother's side of the family. 

Vegeta didn't care what Bulma named Trunks, since he wasn't especially invested in the whole family thing at the time, but when Bra was born he really wanted her to have a Saiyan name. He chose Eschalot, a name based on a vegetable that was shaped similarly to the way Bra's head was shaped at birth.

Bulma named her without consulting him - understandable given his behavior during her first pregnancy, but still a bit insensitive given the fact that Saiyan culture has been almost completely destroyed.