Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero Gives Piccolo His Own Version of Super Saiyan

The Dragon Ball franchise has always had transformation baked into its concept, going all the way back to Goku’s transformations into his Great Ape form. This became especially prevalent in Dragon Ball Z and the ensuing Dragon Ball Super, as Goku and his Saiyan allies kept finding new variants of Super Saiyan to achieve.

Now, the franchise’s other signature alien fighter — Piccolo — has gotten his own answer to that boost. Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero formally introduces the Orange Piccolo form, which is both impressive and quietly a pretty good joke about the nature of transformation in the series.

Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero introduces a new group of androids constructed by Dr. Gero’s grandson Dr. Hedo. With Goku and Vegeta otherwise occupied and unable to get involved in the conflict with the resurgent Red Ribbon Army, it falls to Piccolo to rally a defense against their machinations. This includes a bit of subterfuge on his and Pan’s part, as well as luring an academic-minded Gohan back into the fray.

Part of his plan ultimately involves getting his own power-up, courtesy of the wish-granting Shenron. This allows Piccolo — a strong fighter whose capabilities have been dwarfed by his Saiyan peers — to gain a new amount of power to draw upon. The dragon unlocks Piccolo’s full potential (similar to Gohan and Krillin’s experience on Namek), and even gives him a new transformation.

This power boost ultimately gives Piccolo the ability to access the new form during his battle with Gamma-2. Similar to Super Saiyan, the transformation comes with a change in color — albeit the Namekian doesn’t get any spiky new features. Instead, his eyes become red and his typically green body turns orange. His jaw becomes more defined, and he gains a glowing energy version of a Namekian symbol on his back.

An impressive endurance boost comes with this new form, as Piccolo is able to withstand blows that had sent him flying just minutes earlier. His increased size and mass doesn’t translate to any new speedy attacks, but Piccolo’s strength and durability allow him to tank a lot of damage — which proves to be a crucial part of the ultimate strategy to defeat Super Hero’s final threat, Cell Max.

In an interesting detail, Orange Piccolo’s appearance actually bears some similarity to other transformations in the franchise. Piccolo bulking up in body mass calls to mind the Super Saiyan 1.5 form introduced during the “Cell Saga” — a similar power boost for Saiyans that provided additional strength (albeit at the cost of mobility). Piccolo’s jawline and cheeks are tweaked slightly by the transformation and actually give him something of a similar appearance to Lord Slug, the Namekian villain of the classic Dragon Ball Z movie Lord Slug. But for a character who has consistently been a fan-favorite hero, it’s a long overdue power boost that puts him more on par with the likes of Goku, Gohan and Vegeta.

Orange Piccolo is also something of a fun subversion of typical Dragon Ball transformations, which plays well with the rest of Super Hero’s more comedic tone. The transformation doesn’t change Piccolo’s personality at all (as opposed to the colder, clinical shift Gohan’s new forms seem to induce in battle), and he remains the group’s problem-solver.

Piccolo doesn’t notice the shift in his body tone, and ultimately refuses to call the move his “Super Namekian” form or give it a unique title. Instead, this impressive new peak for his fighting prowess is just dubbed “Orange Piccolo” because he can’t be bothered to think of anything better. Still, it’s exciting to see him gain such new potential — and it’d be exciting to see him utilize this boost in future storylines.

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