I’m sure you’ve seen those kinds of people at the gym. The ones that hog up every single machine or squat rack, putting almost max weight on everything, but barely moving them during the workout while grunting and screaming like a madman thinking they’re entering a new zenith of ‘Beast Mode’. Then when they’re finished, they chug an entire water gallon worth of protein shake and walk around like they have wooden planks for legs. It makes you wonder how anyone can possibly move around with such bulky muscles. Well, we have that try-hard bodybuilder given form in Dragon Ball Z. Ultra Super Saiyan.
With the new oncoming threat of the Androids followed up by Cell, Goku and the Saiyan gang were determined to cross the Super Saiyan border and find the next great transformation to push the series along. At this point, regular old Super Saiyan was becoming vanilla with everyone now being able to transform into the once thought impossible legendary warrior. Someone needed to rise up. Vegeta even had an inspirational moment you would see in an 80’s movie as he staked his desire to ascend.
During this time the gang would stumble upon the next level of Super Saiyan while training in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber (or Room of Spirit of Time if you’re a stickler for the Japanese version). Super Saiyan Second Grade. Vegeta would utilize this form to absolutely shit on Semi-Perfect Cell and make him beg for mercy.
Until Vegeta choked and allowed Cell to transform into Perfect Cell. This Second Grade form of Super Saiyan is pretty simple in terms of what it does. It's a forced increase in power of the Super Saiyan state, amplifying speed and strength as well as bulk but only a little bit. This does also mean stamina is a bit harder to maintain. The aggressive nature of the Saiyan is increased as well, which explains why Vegeta was such a cocky shit while fighting Cell, and also calling himself ‘Super Vegeta’. When Vegeta was knocked out of commission by Cell, Trunks went full-on roid rage, powering up to the Third Grade of Super Saiyan. Otherwise known as Ultra Super Saiyan. Now this sounds good, right? It’s an even bigger power up compared to Second Grade so power and speed should be even higher, yes? Well, not exactly.
While Trunks looked like Mark McGuire in 1998, filled to the brim with power, his speed plummeted. He couldn’t hit Cell, flat out (fun fact, while he does hit Cell a few times in the anime, he doesn’t even touch him in the manga). Trunks, now lovingly known as Chunks in this form, thought he could simply overpower Cell using this Ultra Super Saiyan body. Meanwhile, while this fight is going on, Goku stumbles upon this form while training with Gohan. Does he end up using it?
He throws it in the trash where it belongs. It's like leveling up your Pokemon, seeing it can learn a new move, then opting not to learn it because its garbage. Think Dynamic Punch for example (100 power but 50 accuracy, AKA its shit). Like a running back with too much bulk (looking at you Eddie Lacy), Trunks was outclassed and even made fun of for even thinking about using this flawed form.
So, Cell knows this form is shit and should never be used even if you’re getting your ass beat. He experienced it first hand while fighting with Trunks. You would think he’d be calm, cool, and collected when pressed against the wall by a Super Saiyan 2 Gohan? Right?
Nope. He crumbles under the pressure like how the Atlanta Falcons crumble with a 4th quarter lead. Turning into a thicc boy would even cost him his Perfect Form via vomiting out Android 18. We would come to see that Super Saiyan 2 is the true next form of Super Saiyan in every single way. Power, speed, and stamina conservation. We wouldn’t see Ultra Super Saiyan until Dragon Ball Super, almost in a gag like fashion.
For rookie Super Saiyans Caulifa and Kale, they didn’t know this form was shit, they were a few arcs and even a whole series behind. Thankfully, Goku would teach them the lesson the Cell Saga taught us. That Super Saiyan 2 is the way to go.
Ultra Super Saiyan would somewhat get flashier in the form of Super Saiyan Rage. And guess who uses it. Trunks. The key thing is though is that he powers up into Ultra then Rage, and when the blue aura of Rage appears, his roids disappear? I don’t know, it looks weird when powering up.
I mean, I guess its a win for Ultra Super Saiyan but it's a glorified bench player in this case. If there's anything to take away from this, don’t do roids, don’t be that guy at the gym, and the Cell Saga was cool.