All Dragon Ball fans remember it, the first time we saw a Super Saiyan in Dragon Ball Z. It was one of the most miraculous things many of us had seen at that point in the series. Goku becoming angered, really angered, after the evil Frieza killed his best friend Krillin. We saw flashes of golden blond and then, finally, Goku took his power to new heights as a Super Saiyan.
Is having golden blond hair associated with being stronger? Nope, we’ve seen in recent episodes Goku with his black hair in Ultra Instinct is way more powerful than in of his Super Saiyan forms. The true reason for why Super Saiyan hair is golden blond? Well, according to Hiroyuki Nakano, the 11th and current editor-in-chief of Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine the reason is completely different. Nakano-san appeared on a program called Nonstop earlier this week on Japanese television station Fuji TV as part of a feature to mark the 50th anniversary of the magazine.
There he revealed, echoing the statement of Dragon Ball’s original creator (Akira Toriyama), that it is must easier to draw a character with golden blond hair as opposed to black hair in manga. Toriyama-sensei’s assistants were busy when the decision was made to make Super Saiyan Goku’s hair golden blond and Toriyama-sensei wanted to eliminate the labor involved in coloring characters’ hair black, golden blond hair helped with work efficiency.
As many fans know, manga is usually published in black or white. Nakano-san explained that it is difficult and labor-intensive to color hair black in manga. When it is time to draw gold or golden blond Super Saiyan hair, it can remain white in a typical black-and-white manga chapter. Black hair has to be colored black everytime. Additionally, a character in manga having golden blond hair also simplifies the design and eliminates some fine details needed to fill in with black hair. In other words, the change in color cuts back on the labor involved in drawing the character.
Dragon Ball was a weekly manga when it was published back in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Nakano-san added that every minute and second is precious when drawing manga that is serialized weekly. He said that reducing time on certain parts of the process by even a little allows creators to “spend time on story and drawing cool pictures.”