I haven't watched Dragon Ball in detail, but I think something like this has never been explained and it doesn't make sense to me at all.

It took all Dragon Ball for Goku to go from power level of 10 to a maximum of 950 in his fight against Raditz. However, in much less time than what took Dragon Ball to happen, he managed to get to 8000 in base form to fight Vegeta in relatively little time, and then to 300000 in base form in even less time to fight against Freezer, and so on...

It's obvious that if you get better training methods, you can improve faster. However, I think something like that doesn't make sense in this case even for an anime. I'd like to know if there's an in-universe explanation for this exponential growth in power level.

  • 5
    Nope.​​​​​​​​​​ May 14, 2015 at 14:56
  • 2
    The reason for their exponential growth is because new enemies keep appearing exponentially more powerful than the last. Logically, the Z fighters should've died fighting Vegeta which would've meant the end of the story. Obviously, the author didn't want that so he made the Z fighters grow exponentially. The author is always God of his own work. So no, there is no reason other than "the author just ran out of ideas".
    – Nolonar
    May 14, 2015 at 15:30
  • 3
    Can anyone explain their close vote on this question? I think it is a reasonable question, from the point of view of someone who doesn't watch Dragon Ball.
    – nhahtdh
    May 14, 2015 at 19:06
  • @user54325: I have edited the question a bit to make it a bit clearer. Please edit it yourself if I accidentally change the meaning of the question. Thanks.
    – nhahtdh
    May 14, 2015 at 19:28
  • 1
    @Nolonar One reason I respect Toriyama as an author is that he's always totally up front about that in interviews; he fully admits that all the transformations and fusions and power ups were just plot devices to explain how the heroes triumphed against seemingly impossible odds.
    – Torisuda
    May 14, 2015 at 23:12

3 Answers 3


One possible answer is that Saiyans get way more powerful than before if they agonize (and survive). It's called Zenkai. This ability is found in pure Saiyan, half-blood and even Cell.

One example is when Gohan fights Cell, kicks him around, but refuses to kill him. This allows Cell to recover and get way stronger than before, making it very difficult to Gohan to kill him, even with help of other warriors, Vegeta and even dead Goku. In retrospect, Gohan could have single-handedly kill Cell, but he didn't do so at the beginning of their fight.

Not by coincidence, this "ability" make every fight involving Saiyan longer and with plot-twists.

Source: Zenkai - Dragon Ball Wiki

  • Welcome to the Manga & Anime SE. Could you summarize what you think is most relevant from your source to backup your answer? This way people understand what you mean, without having to read through the wiki page themselves. May 14, 2015 at 18:10

Saiyans become more powerful from battle, especially if they're injured. They also become more powerful every time they are presented with a challenge that is above them. So when Goku was killed by Picollo (when fighting Raditz) he became more powerful, even though he had died. Saiyans also become more powerful through anger and the training from King Kai also helped. As for the rest of the Z fighters, they always became more powerful from some sort of training (Kame's lookout, King Kai) or power given to them by a character that has the ability to unlock their potential (like the elder guru did for Gohan and Krillin on Namek).


Aside of Zenkai, which is one of the reasons why Goku increased his power very fast, another reason is they started to use training under heavy gravity.

Before the battle with Goku, Goku trained with King Kai in a planet with a gravity 10 times stronger than Earth's. That made him able to increase his power very fast. Also after that, Goku made Bulma's father to built a device which created an artificial gravity field of 100 times stronger than the one of the Earth. With that device and the Zenkai from the battle with Vegeta, Goku was able to raise his base power level from 9,000 to 90,000. Vegeta also demanded Bulma's father to create a device with at least created a gravity field of 300 times stronger of the one on Earth.

Moreover, Goku in particular learnt from King Kai a technique called Kaioken. With Kaioken he was able to multiply his power level. When he applied kaioken times 2, he was able to raise his power level from 90,000 to 180,000, in the battle with Ginyu. But he was able to raise kaioken even up to times 20.

In his battle with Freezer, he was already 3,000,000 in base form due to a zenkai he got after being beated almost to death and having to recover in the medical machine. So applying a kaioken times 20 over that, it made him to have a power level of 60,000,000 during a short period of time.

And aside of that, saiyans have transformations which apply to them multipliers. The super saiyan transformation has a multiplier of times 50. So when Goku transformed, a times 50 multiplier was applied to his base form power of 3,000,000 during that time . Meaning he got a power level of 150,000,000 when fighting with Freezer in super saiyan form.

The power levels of Goku I mention, you can see them stated in this list.

List of power levels

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .