‘Dragon Ball GT’ continues to divide ‘Dragon Ball’ fans nearly thirty years after its original release. For some, it is a different way to enjoy the characters of their favorite series; for others, it is a non-canon story that adds nothing to the main saga. Either way, the anime gave us one of the most impressive and powerful transformations up to that point with the Super Saiyan 4 level, first by Goku, with Vegeta joining him shortly after at that new level of power, creating the Gogeta Fusion. And at that time, Toriyama himself - who was not directly involved in the series - shared his own vision of a character made by another designer.
This is Goku Super Saiyan 4 by Akira Toriyama
A few years after the end of ‘Dragon Ball GT’, Toriyama dedicated a few words to the anime on the occasion of its release on DVD. The Mangaka thanked the fans for supporting the series and buying this home edition and added a small illustration of Goku Super Saiyan 4 in his own style:
“Being a lazy bum by nature, I was absurdly happy when I managed to safely finish up Dragon Ball’s serialization, and finally be released from Deadline Hell. The TV anime people wanted to continue for just a little bit more, but I just couldn’t do any more than that… And so, I left the Dragon Ball anime completely up to the anime staff, story and all. That was Dragon Ball GT,” Toriyama explained at the time.
“For ‘GT’, all I did was just come up with the title, design the initial main cast and some of the machines, and also do a few images. However, I was able to rest easy handing things over to the excellent staff, who had continued on Dragon Ball for all this time. In particular, the animator Nakatsuru-kun is amazingly skilled, and mastered the peculiarities of my drawings in no time at all, to the point where there were even times when I couldn’t tell whether I had drawn a certain character design, or if he had. For instance, one of Nakatsuru-kun’s designs was ‘Super Saiyan 4,’ which appears in GT, and the picture above is a portrait that I drew looking off it. Did I draw it well?,” Toriyama asked fans.
Next year will see the release of ‘Dragon Ball Daima’, a new story within the canon of the main saga that has a small major similarity to “Dragon Ball GT”: the rejuvenation of not only Goku, but all the main characters of the series.