Saiyans (サイヤ人, Saiya-jin) are a humanoid warrior race from the Planet Vegeta. They are well known for their pride and for being unrivaled in physical combat. They are also famous for their legend; the warrior known as the legendary Super Saiyan.
The Saiyans are human-like aliens, with monkey-like tails, from the South Galaxy world of Vegeta. They are born with the ability to manipulate and utilize their Ki and possess an innate lust for battle.
Like some other alien races, Saiyans have the ability to transform. On a full moon, their eyes absorb the Blutz Waves given off by the moon's light and store it in their tails, allowing them to transform into enormous monstrosities known as Great Apes.
Rare members of the race who reach exceedingly high power levels are able to transform into the legendary Super Saiyan form, but those Saiyans are few and far between.
Saiyans also possess several unique traits that are specific to their race:
- Lasting Youth: Saiyans outwardly age very slowly. While they have the lifespan of an average Human, they remain in their youth far longer so that they can fight for longer periods of time. For example, a fifty year-old Saiyan can look as if he were in his twenties or thirties. A fifteen year-old Saiyan can appear, at times, to be twelve.
- Enhanced Durability: Saiyans are noticeably tougher than their Human counterparts, being able to take beatings that would crush human bones and even survive energy blasts that would vaporize a human with only minor burns and damage.
- Zenkai (全快, Full-Recovery): A well noted ability of the Saiyan race; members of the race are able to actually grow significantly stronger after surviving a near death injury. A small Zenkai is given to a Saiyan after each battle they compete in, which means that Saiyans actually grow stronger from each fight they're in.
- Ki: All Saiyans are born with the ability to use their energy. They use this energy to fly and produce powerful energy blasts from which to attack their enemies with. They can also use it to increase their power levels to fight opponents of particularly high skills.
- Tail: All Saiyans are born with a monkey-like tail. This tail acts as a way to balance themselves as well as the catalyst for their Great Ape transformations. Initially, a tail can weaken a Saiyan if grabbed, however, with training such a weakness can be overcome.
Most Saiyans appear to be identical to average humans, with the addition of their tails and a slightly larger muscle build. Most Saiyans are born with jet black hair and dark eyes. A pure-blooded Saiyan's hairstyle also never changes from the moment they are born.
Saiyan Battle Armor: Most Saiyans wear what is known as Saiyan Battle Armor. It is made of a stretchy, yet durable, material which allows them to enter their Great Ape forms without destroying the armor. Most Saiyan battle armor has dual shoulder plates and plates that shield the groin-area. However, the newer model of Saiyan battle armor lacks these plates and instead have two shoulder straps. This armor also comes in a variety of colors.
According to legend, the Saiyans did not originate on Planet Vegeta, but on another world in the South Galaxy. However, the first Super Saiyan destroyed their world, forcing the rest of the race to flee to Planet Plant. There, the Saiyans encounter the indigenous Tuffles and began a long conflict with them. As Planet Plant's full moon appeared, the Saiyans became Great Apes and annihilated the Tuffles, claiming the planet for themselves and renaming it Planet Vegeta.
Saiyans are trained, from the moment they can walk, to be warriors. Depending on their power levels at birth, the Saiyan can receive special training or almost no training. They are taught to master their Ki in combat, how to fly, how to negate the weaknesses of their tails and how to control their Great Ape forms.
After destroying the Tuffles, the Saiyans managed to steal and master much of their leftover technologies.
- Scouter: Most Saiyans are incapable of sensing energy, without the proper training. To overcome this disadvantage, they use the Tuffle scouters, which allow them to detect and measure power levels.
- Attack Pods: Saiyans also utilize orb-shaped spacecraft, known as Attack Pods, to travel to other worlds. These spaceships have no known weapon systems on them, but are known to travel fairly quickly, as they can cross galaxies in less than a year.
Because their physiology is nearly identical, Saiyans, humans and Shikumians can inbreed to create half-breeds. These half-breed Saiyans have characteristics of both races and are, many times, more powerful than either of the original race. Unlike full blood Saiyans, half-Saiyans can change their hairstyle rather easily. They also possess more variations of of hair and eye color. Furthermore, because they possess human emotions, it is far easier for them to ascend to the Super Saiyan state. Also, while some hybrids possess Saiyan tails, not all of them are born with one.
- The name is a Japanese anagram of yasai (野菜), which is Japanese for vegetable, followed by the suffix jin (人 or じん) which is a Japanese suffix for person. Saiyajin may also be a play on Yajin, the Japanese word for wild man. Essentially, "Saiyan" is a more direct English translation of the word. In the Japanese, "Saiyan" is pronounced "Sigh-ya-jin", while in the English dubs, it is pronounced "Say-an".