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The pan-forma merge completed itself. The normal enhancements paled in comparison to this feeling. This was beyond adrenaline. This was fire with all of the heat and none of the agony. Burning in glory, flirting with death, certain in the strength of their two minds.

"The plot of Dragon Ball Z revolved around a shifting power balance between its heroes and villains, and so when a character did hit a new level of power, it was a major turning point in the story, and these moments were conveyed through Dragon Ball Z's now-iconic transformation scenes. Because of how the show framed its heroes and villains, the transformations of both archetypes were drastically different. When a villain transformed, it was a nightmare, the worst possible case scenario, as the gap in power now widened into an abyss. A villain's transformation was also either something they always had access to, or could only be achieved through external means, such as Cell consuming the androids or Buu absorbing other fighters, and this worked very differently to how the heroes transformed. Heroes' transformations, for the most part, were internal, something that could only be achieved through massive amounts of the aforementioned training, or having to push through some deep emotional barrier that would then allow them to unleash their true potential, and because of how these moments were framed, they felt monumental, both because the heroes finally had a ray of hope in the face of the villains, as well as being deeply significant to the personal narratives of these characters, and the reason for this is that these scenes represented major moments in our characters' lives, the culmination of months, years, or even lifetimes of training and struggle, instances where a character's entire existence is changed and they finally become what they were meant to be. And, as a teenager, where you were constantly unsure of every aspect of your physical and emotional identity, these transformations were a powerful fantasy to believe in. The idea that we all had a massive amount of latent potential inside us that could be unleashed in an instant and change everything.
Super Eyepatch Wolf, "The Impact of Dragon Ball Z"