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I personally find this to be one of the major plot holes on dragon ball which makes any intention on defining their real powers pretty hopeless, although if there's something that explains it, which I'm not aware of, then it's not a plot hole.

I mean, depending on the situation if their ki based attacks hit something the effect can greatly change according to the situation, it can destroy just some landscape, a huge amount of it, a planet, a solar system, a galaxy...

If their energy attacks just destroy some landscape then there's no point in using them against enemies that could stand to something that would destroy a galaxy, so there's no reason for them to be used and it would be pointless. If they cannot control their destruction output everytime that there's a fight with their current power level the whole universe would be destroyed if some amount of ki based attacks are used in the fight and don't exactly go directly to one of the fighters.

But maybe they can control it according to their will of how much destruction they want them to cause.

Is there something that explains that seemingly relative destructiveness of their ki based attacks?

Thank you.

  • I always just assumed it was based on Density of energy. It doesn't make any sense if the only way to deal more damage was to make the blast bigger, because then its less energy in the area you actually want to hit. – Ryan Jul 18 '16 at 16:24
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I do not think they are any in-universe explanations for that. I have actually noticed some inconsistency in the damages the Z fighters can generate when fighting.

However, it is important to note that Dragon Ball is an old Shonen manga (first chapter was released in 1984). Back then, authors were not so rigorous and consistent with the plots and power levels as in other more recent mangas. Akira Toriyama regularly (and casually!) admits he has introduced many plot-holes in the Dragon Ball series.

On a side note, when Goku defeats Frieza, he is about 150,000 times stronger than when he fought Raditz. How much stronger is Goku in Super Saiyan Blue form? I reckon it can be difficult to be consistent when such exponential strength growths are involved.

From the latest Dragon Ball Super episodes, I suppose it is safe to say Akira Toriyama has not changed his approach to mangas and does not pay much attention to such minor inconsistencies.

  • where did that 1000 times stronger statistic come from? His power level was arguably at about 1000 for raditz, but the current most canon number for SSJ was 150,000,000 when he beat freeza. how is that 1000 times stronger. – Ryan Jul 18 '16 at 16:08
  • @Ryan from memory I thought SSJ was about 1 million, my bad. But well, that proves my point even more – solalito Jul 20 '16 at 8:24
  • If you don't remember, Frieza boasted his power level was at about 1 million after his first transformation. Outside of that, Indeed its hard to say the reasoning. I just assumed it was based on density because the higher the density, the more damage that was inflicted in the volume consumed by the blast. I recall Vegeta used FInal Flash agaisnt perfect Cell, which spread out to be almost as big as planet earth after many many miles due to its power. High density in the center, but so much uncompressed energy that it expands rapidly. – Ryan Jul 20 '16 at 15:33
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This could all be wrong, but I have a theory based on previous information.

Remember Videl and when she first formed an energy ball, how she could barely add energy to it. The same thing applies here, except that everyone else is ripped. No one ever measures how much energy they put into Ki-based attacks, but we can easily assume it will be only as much energy as they can use, at most. In order to measure how much, we have to consider how strong everyone else is, in comparison to Videl. If she were put at the bottom of the scale, even above Hercule Satan, then based on everyone else's current power level, we can measure how much energy they all have.

To determine how much energy is pumped into any Ki-based attacks, therefore defining if each amount is different and determining if Z fighters control the power of their Ki-based attacks based on which attacks they use in the 1st place, we would need to use Videl's attack as a basic scale, assuming she is the weakest above Hercule. It would require a measurement system based on weighted power, but it would help accurately measure the attacks' power, based on what does how much damage to whom in particular.

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