Bussani wrote:What if "battle power" (the numbers a scouter gives) is a measure of the amount of ki, but "size of a ki" (what the Earthlings feel) is--just as an example--the amount of ki multiplied by how much effort is being put into using it, or how fired up that amount of ki is? That way, Earthlings would feel a difference between Nappa standing around and Nappa preparing to punch Tenshinhan's arm off, but a scouter wouldn't; at the same time it would mean that both scouters and natural ki sensers would be fooled by someone hiding their ki (which would lower both the amount and the effort, of course). The two would still sensing the same thing--ki--but there would a fundamental difference in the way they interpret it. It's kind of like having a machine that measures the volume of a sound for you, but that can't tell you whether it's a high or low frequency. If I look at it that way, all of the above makes sense to me.
Finally, one example you guys didn't mention was Gohan trying to sense Videl in the Buu arc. Presumably she can't hide or increase her ki at will, as she doesn't even know what ki is at the time, yet Gohan can't pick her ki out of all the other human auras until she starts fighting. It does seem to lend itself to the idea that ki is just clearer or easier to detect when a person's all fired up, doesn't it?
Yes, I agree with this. I've always explained it as being more like surfacing their ki, rather than an actual ability to control it at will. And I borrowed someone else's analogy of an ocean being splashed up, so it looks like it's bigger and more fierce, but the size actually hasn't changed at all. And as for the Videl example, I think it might be a similar thing to what Nappa was doing, just without an aura, since she doesn't have any understanding of ki by this point.
Talking of which, I don't know whether or not this is worth mentioning, but despite never doing it in the manga or anime (to my knowledge), in Sparking! METEOR
, Videl actually has the ability to fire off a small close-range ki blast, even though it only seemed as if Gohan's ki training only entailed the ability to fly. Which makes me wonder that, in the main continuity, Videl probably could
develop into a really great fighter with Gohan as her teacher, but also, imagine what would happen if she trained under Roushi, climbed Karin Tower, and had her skills honed by Kami and Mr. Popo?
You see, even though she didn't do much in the way of forwarding the plot other than persuading Gohan to enter the tournament (a role that could've been filled in by anyone, like Chi-Chi, or even just Gohan himself deciding to participate for money or whatever), I think she had some potential. It's just a shame that it was at the very end of the series, and she didn't see how she improved, or could've
And I apologize for going off-topic; it's just something I like to think about.