What matters in a Dragon Ball fight? Power levels and forms explained

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Goku in the Dragon Ball Super poster. Pic credit: IMDB

Dragon Ball fans love to argue about matchups. It’s the air we breathe, and there’s no end to the combinations.

But why do some of the fights end the way they do? For example, why did Goku have to resort to using God Ki in a sparring match against Future Trunks when he was using Super Saiyan 3, and Future Trunks was in Super Saiyan 2?

Isn’t the point of most new forms to be stronger and faster than previous forms? And isn’t it always a safe bet to assume that Goku will win 99% of his fights?

I have nothing but respect for power scalers. But I choose a different way to handle Dragon Ball.

One that doesn’t break my brain and focuses on simple things. Like the plot and how the bad guy must lose so, we can start a new arc.

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Black Frieza vs. True Ultra Instinct Goku and Ultra Ego Vegeta is no contest. The Black Frieza power level difference is just that overwhelming. Pic credit: VIZ media

Why the plot matters but doesn’t always make sense

Take any arc from Dragon Ball Z and up, and you can break down the story without having to watch/read everything. Goku is still looking for his next fight but might have to hide it from Chi Chi.

The peaceful atmosphere will typically shatter during the first chapter/episode. Someone or multiple people from our main cast will die.

Goku, Vegeta, and friends will attempt to stop the new threat, except when Vegeta is evil. And round 1 against the main threat never ends well.

This is as it should be because Dragon Ball always has balanced fighting/action, character development, and tension. Even the 90s movies have done this, but not every part of the series has perfected the balance for everyone.

My favorite part of Dragon Ball Super is the Future Trunks/Goku Black arc. Of course, I’m aware of the flaws, but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying it.

As for the current manga-only events, I liked how Frieza showed up and one-shot everyone. Here is a real threat done right.

We knew he would show up sooner or later, but how many expected Frieza to be that strong? But then Goku laughed it off and didn’t appear to take the threat seriously.

I’m hoping Dragon Ball Super takes a darker turn once the manga finishes adapting the Super Hero movie. Chapter 89 is coming on January 19, 2023, and as much as I love seeing Trunks and Goten get screen time.

The prequel doesn’t feel like their story.

Never let your guard down!

Power levels don’t always matter in Dragon Ball because every character in modern Dragon Ball hides their power or is too weak to matter. And then you have the moments where someone could end the fight quickly but don’t because they got too cocky.

Many of these situations are used for comedic purposes and to intensify the tension. But sometimes, a quick fight outside a movie or special is best.

Especially when there are new transformations or fusions involved. Could Super Saiyan 3 Gotenks beat Super Saiyan 3 Goku?

Can Future Trunks or Broly go Super Saiyan God/Blue? How can Goku and Vegeta top their newest forms?

Did Frieza prepare for fusions, and will he go after Broly? I love how they constantly reinforce a simple truth for all the flaws Dragon Ball has.

If you get careless, you’re dead.

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