Raditz Transforming Into a SSj2Dragon Ball AF Preservation SocietySSj5 Goku Shadow Boxing

Cyborg 18 in a Fighting Stance.Cyborg 18 in a Fighting Stance. Welcome to my digital museum dedicated to the Dragon Ball AF phenomenon! This page is best viewed on Internet Explorer 4.0 or later, at a screen resolution of 800x600 or higher. It may not render well on primitive devices such as Windows 2.03 personal computers, tree stumps, or smartphones. You can click the Internet Explorer 4.0 button if you need to upgrade! Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0

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Dragon Ball is one of the most popular and long-running anime in the world. With the original two anime (Dragonball and Dragon Ball Z) running from 1986 to 1996, and the follow-up Dragon Ball GT anime keeping the story going until its untimely cancellation near the end of 1997, speculation quickly began to abound about whether this was truly the end of the road, or whether something else was on the horizon.

With Dragon Ball just emerging as a star in the west, and most people having little information to go on beyond the still-in-progress English dub, rumours from other fans (and their uncle's dentist's cat who allegedly holds down a job in Japan), and (at best) comically inaccurate fan-subtitled bootlegs of the original Japanese version, the international Dragon Ball community was the ideal incubator for comical and pervasive misinformation.

Although a lot of the misinformation circulating around on tackily made Geocities/Angelfire/Tripod websites were relatively run-of-the-mill codswallop such as terrible fansub mistranslations (Freeza as "Furiza", Dabra as "Doubler", Ultimate Gohan as "Mystic Gohan", etc) and rumours about the uncut Japanese version containing sex scenes (quite similiar to the rumours of Sailor Moon and friends being shown nude while transforming in the Japanese version of that anime), the Dragon Ball community was unique in, at one point, harbouring a widespread hoax about an entire nonexistent series that was supposedly on the horizon in Japan: Dragon Ball AF (allegedly short for After Future).

In spite of the fact that there existed absolutely no evidence for AF whatsoever aside from a series of fan-made drawings and (often-terrible) photoshop edits, usually recolouring existing images to create a "new" SSj transformation, as well as widely differing fan-made synopses of the series, the AF rumours persisted aggressively for years. Part of this was the complete lack of accurate information back in the day (something that seems unimaginable today with highly reliable resources such as Kanzenshuu and easy access to the subtitled Japanese version of the anime), but another part was that a lot of fans just wanted to believe, and to bring their crazy ideas (most of which were, admittedly, just unimaginative new Saiyan transformations) for the series to life.

I am not ashamed to admit that I dedicated quite a lot of time to "researching" and speculating on Dragon Ball AF back in the day as a very excited child fan of the series. Seeing as the primordial websites dedicated to this phenomenon are either long gone, or utterly obscure and buried, I thought I would create a humble little digital museum here dedicated to preserving as much AF fan art from that era that I have or could find, as well as any historical context or thoughts I have to share on them.

I am aware that there is a sea of modern day AF fan-art, but I am making a point of limiting the content on this page specifically to images that were created back in the era when the AF hoax was still being widely proliferated. I have also purposefully given this page an extremely bare bones and basic design, in line with the AF sites back then. Many, if nost most, of which were hastily slapped together by excited fans whose knowledge of HTML was quite primitive. In my opinion, this made those old sites even more soulful.

Click on the thumbnails in order to see the full version of the picture. PLEASE BE PATIENT AS THE IMAGES CAN TAKE A WHILE TO LOAD ON A 56K CONNECTION!!!
Original SSj5 Goku Image.
SSj5 Goku, Again.
SSj Pure Boo.

It's impossible to do a summary of the Dragon Ball AF phenomenon without touching on the picture that arguably started the craze. Although rumours abound of Dragon Ball AF urban legends spreading all the way back in 1997, when Dragonball GT ended, the phenomenon truly exploded after one David Montiel Franco, a Spanish Dragon Ball fan artist, submitted the now-infamous "SSj5 Goku" fan art to the magazine Hobby Consolas.

Depicting a tall man with unruly long silver hair, fur, and a Saiyan tail, along with a Dragon Ball AF logo on the bottom right, this piece of artwork was provocative and high-quality enough to usher in a storm of speculation after an anonymous individual scanned it from the magazine and posted it online.

Interestingly, despite what just about every single instance of this image on the Web claimed, the character depicted was not, in fact, Son Goku, but a completely new character named Tablos. This is understandably difficult, if not impossible, to see on the highly-pixelated copies of this image that were available then, Tablos is noticeably taller than Son Goku, is wearing unique earrings, and has noticeably different facial structure.

The fact that the figure in this fan art is wearing an entirely different outfit than anything Son Goku has ever worn is another obvious issue, although it was usually explained away with either Son Goku training with/under Shen Long and being given a new outfit in the process, or Son Goku having fused with Shen Long himself.

Although clicking on the thumbnail will only show a typical pixelated copy of the file that was prevalent on the Web back in the day, you can also look at the full-sized version that emerged many years afterward by clicking here. Looking at the two versions side-by-side, it's clear both that the artwork depicts an original character, as well as why so many people believed the pixelated copy was actually Son Goku.

Another image of SSj5 Goku that saw a lot of distribution back in the day. Unlike the one that was actually Tablos, this one was indeed meant to be a representation of Son Goku.

This is one of my all-time favourite AF pictures. Obviously, I have an obsession with the colour pink so that was part of it, but the utter ludicrousness of this entire concept is astounding.

Giving a unique, pink-coloured Super Saiyan form to Majin Boo, complete with what appears to be a pink-dyed SSj2 Goku wig plastered on top of his head. Not only is Majin Boo not a Saiyan, but his species isn't even capable of having hair!!!

Some instances of this image attempted to explain away its oddness by claiming that Majin Boo absorbed someone who is capable of going Super Saiyan. This explanation does not jive with the fact that Boo had already absorbed a full five people with hair in the canon series, including three Super Saiyans, without so much as growing a strand of hair in the process.

Alternate SSj Majin Boo.
SSj4 Gohan holding a book.
SSj6 Gohan holding a blue ball.
A less common alternate version of the aforementioned SSj Majin Boo image.

Not every piece of AF fan-art was a tacky edit job! This popular depiction of SSj4 Gohan was created by a group of Japanese fan artists known as Studio Tomita.

Among their other work, they had produced two images that were appropriated by fans as proof of Dragon Ball AF's existence due to their high quality making them feel convincingly official.

In a comical turn of events that occurred at some point, some fan decided to further appropriate Studio Tomita's SSj4 Gohan fanart by lazily recolouring his hair and fur to yellow, and replace his glasses/book with a sparkling blue ball. This all-yellow recolouring of SSj4 was commonly considered to be what the SSj6 transformation looked like.

SSj Pan with a Dragon Ball AF logo.
SSj Pan sitting down.
Pixelated SSj5 Vegeta.

OK, so this is just a very poor recolouring of a famous shot of Pan that isn't fooling anyone. It was nonetheless quite cool to see back in the day. Furthermore Pan taking over as the main character would make the most sense after GT, so it's fitting to see her finally transformed and posing as if she's the face of the series.

Dragon Ball Super may have finally given us two female Super Saiyans in the form of Caulifla and Kale, but back in the day they were completely nonexistent. Toriyama had allegedly said that he couldn't figure out how to draw one, in spite of how basic the transformation is.

A pretty cool representation of SSj Pan, aside from the fact that her eyes are still black and her eyebrows are missing. I do like the way her hair looks like far more than in the other image. It looks like actual Saiyan hair. SSj5 Vegeta. Fans interested in this concept were very lucky that more talented fan artists with an interest in AF emerged after the old days.

SSj7 Goku.
SSj8 Goku.
SSj9 Goku.
SSj7 Goku, apparently. OK, so it's a shoddy recolour of a famous shot of SSj3 Goku after he first transforms on-screen, but hey, the artist changed the background and added some cool lightning!

And then there's this. Opinions were divided as to what form this was supposed to be, but I recall reading that this was SSj8 Goku. Featuring partly golden (as in the first three forms) and partly silver (as in SSj5) hair, this is one of my favourite AF fan arts.

I realise it would probably look absolutely idiotic in action, but I'll be darned if it doesn't look quite sublime in this tiny, zoomed-in, pixelated format. I will also note that Son's outfit has changed once again for some reason, this time to blue and black. Either Chichi bullied him into switching up his wardrobe, or every transformation now inexplicably confers its own outfit.

This edgy Photoshop of SSj3 Goku features dark red hair, demonic red/black eyes, a black outfit, and a glowing rune on his forehead. This was supposed to be SSj9, and I believe was supposed to cause the user to become evil due to having become too powerful. Or maybe his psyche just couldn't withstand being debased by having to wield these god-awful transformations any longer.

SSj10 Goku, hulked out and utterly unrecognisable.
Vegeta, now a King, wearing his father's royal outfit.
Vegeta, now a King, flying through space in a navy/lavender armour and cloak.

I don't think anyone aside from whichever lunatic created this fan art themselves can possibly have any insight as to why they thought it was a good idea. This was apparently supposed to be SSj10 Goku, and the artist certainly took pains to, er, commemorate this milestone.

Featuring a gargantuan, Hulk-esque increase in both muscle and height, a hairstyle that looks more akin to a set of greatswords, silver-coloured skin, and yet another new outfit, this form is not even recognisable as Son Goku (or any other known Saiyan) anymore.

Thank whichever God you pray to that Son Goku never made it up to SSj100, or presumably he would just erupt in a planetary mess of tentacles, hair, eyeballs, and Saiyan tails.

This is the other Studio Tomita artwork that was appropriated as "AF proof", depicting Vegeta wearing his father's outfit after having apparently finally achieved the title of King.

The issue of how he managed to become King if his species is just about extinct can perhaps be answered via a mass-resurrection via the Dragon Balls, but I am more curious as to why he inexplicably has a full head of hair again.

Another very well-drawn depiction of Vegeta as a king, although this time clad in a unique navy/lavender-ish armour and cape instead of the one his father wore.

I remember being intrigued by this one as a child and attempting to find information as to why he had suddenly achieved this title but it does not look like it was ever followed up on. This may have been another piece of unrelated fan art that an enthusiastic fan thoughtlessly pilfered.

Raditz as a SSj, grinning.
Raditz as a SSj with one hand raised.
Raditz transforming into a SSj.

Easily one of the best AF Photoshop jobs out there. This popular fan art depicted Raditz as a Super Saiyan, with a halo over his head and an apparent wrecked city in the background behind him.

Although it's unclear how he was meant to be a relevant character seeing as he is at least three or four forms behind the main characters, this image was incredibly convincing back in the day and had a lot of us waiting with bated breath for the glorious return of Son Goku's evil brother.

Another popular and well-done depiction of Super Saiyan Raditz, although not quite as convincing as the former. Raditz was criminally underused despite being the main character's only sibling, so it's no surprise that a lot of fans wanted him to return in AF. Yet another picture of Raditz from AF. This time, he appears to be in the middle of his first SSj transformation. Much like the original SSj picture, this one depicts him in a dark and ruined city, indicating both pictures were either done by the same artist, or that one at least inspired the other.

A pixelated edit depicting SSj Nappa.
A basic drawing of Nappa as a SSj.
Picceta: the fusion of Piccolo and Vegeta.
Much like his fallen comrade Raditz, Nappa would also rise again and achieve the Super Saiyan transformation in AF. Unfortunately for Nappa, Raditz clearly splurged the entire "fallen Saiyan returns as a Super Saiyan" art budget before poor Nappa could get to it. Super Saiyan Nappa once again. Appears to be a mediocre drawing using Nappa's face in-between powering up against Son Goku, and using his Giant Storm to send him flying upwards. I... what? It's been over 20 years and this image still baffles me. Not only did someone think it was a good idea to have Piccolo and Vegeta fuse with each other, but they believed in the idea hard enough to actually do a decent job depicting this ridiculous fusion.

Vegeta in his Cell Games outfit with cyan hair and aura.
SSj Bardock with his arms crossed.
The fusion of Tenshinhan and Yamucha, grinning cockily.

Despite the fact that this image is ostensibly an entirely accurate depiction of SSj Blue Vegeta from the Dragon Ball Super anime (at least after he went back to wearing his old outfit after the Universe 6 arc), this is actually a genuine fan-made image created to hype up AF.

I actually have a pretty funny anecdote regarding this image specifically. Around the time I got into the AF craze, my parents were experimenting with making homemade t-shirts by buying white-coloured ones and manually imprinting things on them at home. Wanting to look cool and ahead of everyone else, I joined in on the fun and make my own shirt with this image file and the Dragon Ball AF logo.

Needless to say, it has been quite amusing how accidentally ahead of its time this silly little edit was.

Speaking of AF concepts that would later become (semi-)official, here's a relatively well-made depiction of SSj Bardock from AF. Although he has yet to achieve this form in the canon anime/manga, he has been shown achieving it both in numerous Dragon Ball games, and in the greatly reviled Episode of Bardock movie.

This image of Yamhan, the fusion of Yamucha and Tenshinhan, was quite popular back in the day. Shockingly enough, like the previous two concepts, this one also came true in a sense.

Despite the duo never fusing in the series, a very similiar fusion (just with a different hairstyle) did actually appear in multiple Dragon Ball games, starting with Budokai 2. Although he was dubbed "Tiencha" in English translations, his original Japanese name was actually the exact same one that AF fans gave him!

Vegetunks, the fusion of Vegeta and Trunks, wearing a stylish navy, paper bag brown, and white outfit.
Another shot of Vegetunks.
SSjG3 Trunks with green hair and a yellow aura.
I revile most fan-made fusions because of how often they are tacky if not outright ludicrous. This fusion of Vegeta and his son Trunks (possibly the future timeline one?), Vegetunks, may be trying a tad too hard to look cool, but I cannot help but love it. A rare second image of Vegetunks. May or may not be by the same artist as the original. No one knows what this is supposed to be. Although at its core, it is a very lazy recolour of SSj Grade 3 Trunks during his fight against Perfect Cell, it's been described as everything from a new Future Trunks form, to a picture of Broly, to a picture of an entirely new character.

The fusion of Boo and Freeza, looking like Boo (South Kaioshin Absorbed) wearing a Freeza suit.
A skinny and tall Boo/Freeza fusion.
The fusion of Boo and Janemba, wielding a sword.
Saiyans don't get to have all of the fun. In addition to going SSj (as depicted earlier), at some point in AF, Boo apparently fuses with Freeza, as depicted in this fan art. An alternate, more elegant depiction of the Freeza/Majin Boo fusion. Everything else aside, the "Majin with a tail" does feel a tad reminiscent of Majin Android 21, who Akira Toriyama later created for the FighterZ game. In addition to merging with Freeza, Boo also gets to merge with his fellow infantile eldritch lunatic Janemba. Given that Janemba's existence allowed Freeza and the other dead villains to escape from Hell the last time he was around, I can see how a vaguely coherent plot could be created from all of this.

A cute little fusion of Pure Boo and Cell.
A highly pixelated close-up of Freeza/Coola fusion's face.
A sloppily drawn fusion of Cell and Freeza.
The fusion of Pure Boo and Cell. No idea how this was supposed to occur, but it actually looks pretty cute. ^-^ The fusion of Freeza and his brother Coola. Presumably, this screenshot of AF was leaked after a spy tried to take a photograph of the inside of Toei's studio from an outpost on the Moon using an old flip phone camera. A sloppily drawn fusion of Cell and Freeza, looking almost like someone took apart action figures of both of them and haphazardly put them back together.

Android 22, what appears to be a humanoid, feminine robot with a Vegeta hairstyle and a three-fingered metal left hand.
A tanned SSj Kuririn.
A goofy edit of Yamucha as a SSj, cheerfully walking around in his Boo arc outfit.
A drawing of an odd new Artificial Human known as Android 22. In the artist's defence, at least it's not another new form and/or fusion of existing characters... SSj... Kuririn? Let's look past the obvious fact that Kuririn isn't even a Saiyan and laugh at the fact that he inexplicably has a tan from a transformation that is known for lightening its user's skin. Another Super Saiyan Earthling. This time, Yamucha ascends. I cannot come up with a quip that can do this ludicrous image justice.

Son Goku with long grey hair and pure red eyes, dressed in a red black/outfit.
A fully grown up Cell Junior or a blue-skinned new form for Cell.
An unknown shirtless with wild hair and a tail.
Another evil-looking new SSj form for Son Goku, complete with a customary outfit change. This one is actually a rather good drawing. To think that one of the greatest official drawings of Cell was butchered to create this. This was allegedly either a new form for Cell, or a grown-up Cell Junior. Although Gohan killed all seven Cell Juniors that we saw Cell spawn (in the anime, due to an error, he actually killed 8!), it's possible he spawned some off-screen at some point. A fancy drawing of... someone... in some form. Usually this image gets assigned to Broly in either "Ultimate/Mystic" form or any random SSj form from SSj4 beyond, although I recall it also being assigned to Son Goku and Trunks before as well. One has to wonder how these sorts of debacles begin...

The fusion of Vegetto and Gogeta.
A fusion of Kuririn and Son Goku, with one arm raised in triumph.
SSj8 Trunks with wild red hair and a green cloak.
Gogetto - the fusion of Son Goku and Vegeta's two fusions (Vegetto and Gogeta). The obvious questions here being "how?" and "why?" And on the exact opposite side of the spectrum, here we have a fusion of Kuririn and Son Goku. Presumably, Kuririn roped Son into this after deciding he really wants to experience what it's like to useful for half an hour. This image was commonly peddled on AF sites, usually with the claim that it is SSj8 Trunks. Both back then and now, I strongly suspect this art is not even related to the Dragon Ball franchise.

SSj6 Goku with red fur and wild white hair.
SSj3 Vegeta smirking arrogantly.
SSj3 Vegeta angrily flying.
Another take on SSj6, this time on Son Goku and with white hair and red fur. A very pixelated but not too shabby SSj3 Vegeta. As most fans are aware, although this form never appeared in any canon series, Vegeta did obtain SSj3 in multiple Dragon Ball games. Given that SSj3 is widely outclassed by SSj4 and dangerous to use due to its energy consumption, there would be little reason to give Vegeta it in a sequel to GT aside from pure fanservice. Another nice SSj3 Vegeta drawing, this time with less pixelation.

A close-up of what appears to be SSj7 Goku.
A SSj4 Goku with green hair and fur.
SSj7 or SSj9 Gotenks with long red hair.
Presumably a close-up shot of SSj7. Just a tiny, edgy recolour of a shot of SSj3 Goku. Yawn. A shoddy and obvious green recolour of SSj4 Goku, usually advertised as "SSj6 Goku". Either SSj4 Goku ate Broly to gain his powers, or he fell into a vat of radioactive sludge and gained mutant superpowers.

And now we have parade of a bizarrely common phenomenon on AF sites - images of chibi Gotenks utilising transformations that are only supposed to exist in AF. Obviously this stemmed from a combination of most people behind these edits having no drawing ability, and the fact that adult Gotenks had never been shown.

I do wonder however, how any of the people behind these works believed they could fool anyone with them, given that Goten and Trunks were already in their mid-20s (23 and 24 respectively) at the end of GT, and any fusion of them in AF would surely not resemble his 7 1/2 year old former self from Z.

Anyway, comparing it to images of other AF forms, I am guessing this is meant to be SSj7 or SSj9.

SSj4 Gotenks standing confidently.
SSj7 Gotenks doing a thumbs-down gesture.
SSj4 Gotenks posing triumphantly.
SSj4 chibi Gotenks. Miraculously, neither physically aging, nor utilising a transformation that appears to age child users into adults, is enough to raise him below the age of 7 1/2. SSj7 Chibi Gotenks. Or what appears to be an attempt to create SSj4 Gotenks from SSj Gotenks before the artist realised they were unable to give him long hair. Gotenks' gesture says it all. Another instance of SSj4 Gotenks. Also chibi but now also in the exact same pose as he was immediately after first turning SSj3 on-screen. It's kind of remarkable how pervasive the AF hoax was considering how many of the images of it did not even attempt to look legitimate.

Gotenks with long red hair and yellow eyes.
SSj4 Trunks with purple hair and red fur.
SSj5 Raditz with a raised fist, wearing a new grey/black armour.
SSj5 Gotenks, apparently, but with no fur and with long red hair and glowing yellow eyes. SSj4 Trunks with purple hair and red fur. Actually looks really good aside from how tiny it is. SSj5 Raditz (the man is the ultimate late bloomer, apparently). I'd make a joke about how his armour seems more reminiscent of Tullece's, but then these AF forms do seem to all come with their own wardrobes...

A ridiculous, pixelated attempt an edgy new form for Vegeta.
SSj4 Trunks with red fur and black hair, and wearing Trunks'/Vegeta's Cell Games armour.
SSj6 Gohan giving a thumbs up gesture.
"Hell Vegeta". The final form of the 13 year old's edgy original character. Another attempt at SSj4 (Future?) Trunks. Curiously, he appears to have only lost the sleeves to his armour instead of being entirely shirtless like every other SSj4. SSj6 Gohan, except an actually original and well-done drawing this time around.

SSj6 Vegeta with yellow hair, yellow fur, a tail, and... an ape head?
A close up of Son Goku with long, highly contrasted blue hair and black eyes.
A hyper-pixelated and bulky SSj4 Broly with his fists clenched.
SSj6 Vegeta, except... dear God WHY?!?! A close up of Son Goku with ridiculous looking blue hair and edgy black eyes. Apparently this was an alternate take on SSj8 Goku. A supremely pixelated SSj4 Broly.

A close-up of SSj4 Broly.
SSj4 Broly, with a design based on his SSj form.
SSjG2 Vegeta sloppily recoloured to have grey hair and a red outfit.
SSj4 Broly, once again a recolour using a very well-known image (this time of LSSj Broly) as a base. Perhaps this is LSSj4 Broly? Another SSj4 Broly, this time using his regular SSj form as a base. Actually looks pretty cool. "SSj5" Vegeta. It's difficult to tell where I should even start making fun of this one. A hideous, ultra-pixelated re-colour of SSjG2 Vegeta's iconic transformation scene against Semi-Perfect Cell.

SSj3 Vegetto.
SSj Tweety Bird, looking angrily at the camera.
SSj3 Vegetto, complete with a forehead large enough to comfortably land an airplane on. This one is obviously a silly joke, but I am including it here both because I love it and because I actually saw it on at least one Dragon Ball website's "AF Pictures" page back in the day. To my dismay, there was no accompanying "AF synopsis" page explaining the tumultuous "SSj Tweety Bird" arc.

Most Dragon Ball AF fan art may have been wildly unimaginative, but I think all but the most cynical fan would admit that there were some interesting ideas put forth. The allure of AF was ultimately enough to spawn multiple fan mangas. Among those was an unfinished one by Toriyama's official successor Toyotaro, then named Toyble, which delved deeper into the lore of the Dragon Balls and Evil Dragons, and showcased Son Goku as living in a Ryuoshin Realm outside of the cosmos after the events of GT along with Yi Xing Long (Syn/Omega Shenron), Shen Long, and the other Dragons.

While I certainly have absolutely no interest in watching an anime about SSj8.5 Son Goku and SSj9.1 Vegeta battling the Seventh Form of a three-way fusion of Freeza, Cell, and Android 19, I do think that AF was a massively missed opportunity. Dragon Ball has always been a series that candidly and fearlessly pushes forward into the future, warts and all. A series that introduces you to children and then shows you how they grow up, start families, drift apart from each other, grow old, and so forth. GT is perhaps the bravest example of this.

In today's era of Dragon Ball especially, where the cast inexplicably appears to be stranded in a timeless void for 131 episodes and 4 movies for nostalgia/marketing reasons, it would be fascinating to see how the series would handle the frontier of AF - where Son Goku is gone, the Dragon Balls are gone, Piccolo is gone, and Vegeta is becoming an elderly man. Whether Pan, Bra, Gohan, Oob, Trunks, or Goten would ultimately be the one to take up the mantle as Earth's new protector, it could truly be an adventure like none other.

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