Dragon Ball’s “Power Levels” are Nonsense: A Detailed Analysis

Dragon Ball is one of the most successful franchises in the world, and it will remain like that for a very long time. The show is amazing for many anime enthusiasts, and we’re not here to downgrade its value. We’re just eager to point out one important aspect, hoping that numerous Dragon Ball fans will stop their endless debates about which character or transformation is stronger: power levels are practically nonsense.

The concept of power levels as a way to measure the strength of fighters was introduced back in the Saiyan Saga of Dragon Ball Z, and it lasted only until the Frieza Saga, the next arc of the show. One of the last instances, when we heard something about a precise power level in Dragon Ball, was when Frieza achieved his first transformation while fighting the Z warriors on planet Namek. The evil intergalactic emperor said that he had a fighting power of over 1 million at that point, which meant huge.

Power levels cannot be taken seriously in Dragon Ball. And say what you want about Dragon Ball Super, the continuation of Dragon Ball Z for the most part, but Super proved that power levels are nonsense. A lot of fans were clearly upset about the “ruining” of power scaling in Dragon Ball Super, but the entire franchise had its own problems with power levels from its very beginning. Let’s explain why:

Master Roshi destroyed the Moon

Younger Dragon Ball fans might not know that long ago, in the first Dragon Ball series when Goku was a kid, Master Roshi actually destroyed the Moon with a Kamehameha blast during the World Martial Arts Tournament. He did it in order to cancel out Goku’s transformation into a Great Ape. That event proved how amazingly strong Master Roshi can be.

About two arcs later, King Piccolo, who was supposedly dozens of times stronger than Master Roshi, destroyed an entire city with a blast and rapidly started to breathe heavily. How could Piccolo put in any effort for the destruction of a city when Roshi, who was supposedly far behind when it came to their power levels, was able to destroy the whole Moon? The Moon is about one quarter the size of Earth, which means that it should take a lot of power to destroy it. This is just one example to prove that power levels are nonsense in Dragon Ball.

Not to mention that in Dragon Ball Z, all the fighters were supposedly literally thousands and millions of times stronger than Master Roshi, and their attacks only did small damage to the Earth when they accidentally landed on the soil. Is that another mystery of Dragon Ball, or was it just another way to adapt the franchise in a somewhat reasonable way to keep its continuity?

Goku alone is apparently stronger than Vegitto

Let’s remind ourselves of another example from Dragon Ball Super. When the Z warriors traveled to the future along with Trunks to deal with Zamasu and Goku Black, Goku and Vegeta had to use the fusion technique at some point while using the Potara earrings. The two warriors merged into Vegito, while their adversaries, Zamasu and Goku Black, became Merged Zamasu. Vegito fired a Super Kamehameha at Zamasu, and the attack had almost no effect at all on the villain. Later on, Vegito defused back into Goku and Vegeta, as the fusion was able to last only for a short while. Goku alone took Merged Zamasu head-on and fired a Kamehameha wave at him. Surprisingly enough, the attack managed to seriously damage the villain after piercing his big ball of energy. The reasonable question at this point is the following: how could Goku alone be able to inflict damage on Merged Zamasu when Vegito, who is the merged form of both Goku and Vegeta, wasn’t able to do anything to the villain? This is just one example out of numerous from Dragon Ball Super to prove that power levels are nonsense.

The real problem

The real problem at this point in Dragon Ball is the transformations. Why waste any time, energy, and a ridiculous amount of hair colors for all those “new forms,” when it’s obvious that power levels are practically nonsense in Dragon Ball? Just stick to the base forms, or at least stop pumping out “new transformations!” There’s practically no justification for all those repaintings of hair or skin colors, as the show can’t be credible anymore after what we’ve seen in Dragon Ball Super. But guess what? Dragon Ball needs to sell new toys and figures, which is why the writers kept bringing new and ridiculously designed forms.

No, we can’t take power levels seriously anymore when it comes to Dragon Ball. Any fan of the franchise who doesn’t like to deceive himself will agree on that easily. Dragon Ball was a lot more fun back in the first series with Goku as a kid, as there weren’t any precise power levels mentioned there.

During this fall, Dragon Ball will have a brand new show called Dragon Ball Daima, and it’s interesting to see how that show will shape the course of the franchise.

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