Battle Power Guide

Fake Battle Powers

Battle powers were likely to become ingrained in Dragon Ball fandom enough as it was, but with the first two “seasons” in seemingly-endless repeats on North American television from late 1996 to late 1999, that portion of the series perhaps unintentionally made it seem that the concept was more important than it was meant to be. While the series itself abandoned battle powers, (particularly English-speaking) fans found it their duty to produce additional numbers to define additional power-ups and characters.

Plenty of fans have an appropriate amount of fun making lists, backing up their guesstimates with solid reasoning and mathematical theories. Other fans turn to the more nefarious side of things, either making up numbers and spreading them in a convincing way that inadvertently spreads misinformation, while others go out of their way to fuel the fires of other arguments by crafting “fake” battle powers and statements about battle powers. By producing lists that act as the basis for other arguments, they get one-step-removed from further scrutiny and fall between the cracks of research and verification.

On this page we will take a look at some supposedly “official” battle powers that are either unsubstantiated rumors or outright fakes. There are countless such rumors throughout the Internet, but these are some of the most well-know, well-spread, and well-crafted pieces of misinformation.

The Fake V-Jump Scan

Sometime during 2010, images began circulating around the Internet of what usually claimed to be a page from V-Jump showing the battle powers for various characters, including post-Freeza arc characters like Cell, Gotenks, Super Saiyan 3 Goku, and Boo. Early versions of the image had the bottom cut off so that you could not see the actual numbers given for the post-Freeza arc characters, but later versions included the whole page. The question is: does this page come from V-Jump or some other official source?

In short, no. There is not the slightest chance that this is a page from V-Jump or any other official Shueisha publication. There are many giveaways. First, these Jump publications and various Dragon Ball books are aimed at kids, and therefore utilize furigana, phonetic script indicating how the various kanji should be read, since children are still learning the reading for everyday kanji. The Japanese writing in the image however contains no furigana. Most tellingly, it does not even include furigana over the number 3 in “Super Saiyan 3” to indicate that it should be read as the English word “three” rather than the Japanese san. This is an instance where even publications aimed at adults would typically use furigana, since in Japanese it is an atypical reading for the numeral and needs to be pointed out, as opposed to an ordinary reading which would only need to be specified for children.

Another important thing to note is that there is nothing in the image itself indicating that it actually came from V-Jump. Nobody who has made that claim has ever explained how they know the image’s source, or even said which issue of V-Jump it was featured in. Many fans of Dragon Ball and other Jump series in the West will buy V-Jump regularly, and it is hard to imagine how a feature like this would escape the notice of people who regularly write about each new V-Jump’s contents. Compare the information (or lack thereof) available on this image versus how information spread on the recent Episode of Bardock manga that ran in V-Jump. There were all sorts of photographs not only of the manga but of the entire V-Jump issue itself. Why has nothing like that turned up for this battle power image? If you did follow the run of Episode of Bardock in V-Jump, you might notice how this battle power image looks nothing like an actual page from V-Jump (or Weekly Jump, for that matter). Just look at the extremely simple page design, lacking in the color or glossy pizzazz typical of V-Jump. It is hard to imagine V-Jump or let alone any other actual magazine featuring such a cramped, bare-bones page. It also seems a little strange that a real publication would allow the images of Super Saiyan and Super Saiyan 3 Goku’s hair to cover up so much of the profile labels for the other characters. The whole thing just does not look very professional, which is only the tip of the iceberg.

On that note, it is also rather striking just how little writing of any sort is shown in the image. For each character it just lists their name and battle power number, and sometimes specifies if the character is in a specific form or is from a particular part of the series. Even these specifications use the smallest number of words possible. A blank sample profile on the upper left-hand side explains this setup, using the phrases “image”, “battle power”, and “character name” rather than complete sentences. There is also the odd fragment “の戦闘力表”, “[something]’s battle power chart”, possibly indicating a missing left-hand page. Compare this to real pages from Jump or any Dragon Ball guidebook, which include captions and explanations all over the place, even (or especially) when it is just useless things like noting that Goku is a lot stronger than the other heroes during the battle with Vegeta.

Besides the lack of furigana and general sparseness, there are certain other things in the Japanese writing that seem a little off. For one thing, Ōzaru Gohan is labeled as Ōzaru Henshin-tai (“Great Ape Transformed Form”), a somewhat awkward phrase not used in the series or guides. Cyborg Tao Pai-pai is labeled as “210 (匹敵する)”, “(comparable to) 210”, another awkward phrasing — it would really be easier to just write “約210”, “approximately 210”. King Cold’s name is also incorrectly written as コールド大王 rather than コルド大王. In this character’s case, コールド is how the actual English word “cold” is written in English, while King Cold’s name is written without the elongation mark. This difference is never really indicated in alphabet spellings of the character’s name because there is no real way to shorten “Cold”. Even worse, Jheese’s picture is for some reason labeled as “Recoom”, which likely comes from a mistaken copy-and-paste from a Japanese text page rather than simply typing the wrong name by hand.

Furthermore, the second Piccolo (“Ma Junior”) is labeled “Piccolo Junior”, as he is in the FUNimation English dub but not in the original Japanese series. The only Japanese source we have seen use the phrase “Piccolo Junior” is the anime guidebook Tenka’ichi Densetsu, which uses it to describe the second Piccolo as a child, immediately after hatching from his egg, rather than the adult Piccolo — presumably this is because Piccolo only took on the alias “Ma Junior” at the 23rd Tenka’ichi Budōkai, so it would not technically be applicable to him as a child. Finally, both the pictures of Goku at 260 and 180 are labeled as “Vs Piccolo Daimaō”, while the Ōzaru Goku is incorrectly labeled as being at the 22nd Tenka’ichi Budōkai. Presumably the Ōzaru Goku mistakenly got the label intended for Goku at 180.

Overall, the image contains many mistakes both major and minor, and likely was not made by a native Japanese speaker. Interestingly, second-form Freeza’s battle power is given as 1,200,000, exactly 1% of his full power. There is a line in the FUNimation English dub where second-form Freeza says he is only using 1% of his total power, but no such line is actually in the Japanese version. 1% actually is not that bad of a guess, since second-form Freeza is said to be “over 1 million” in the main series and his official full power is 120 million. It is not impossible that a Japanese fan would know of this dub line and incorporate it into their battle power chart, or independently happen to come up with the idea that second-form Freeza was using exactly 1% of his full power. However, coupled with the various mistakes, the sparse writing, and the use of “Piccolo Junior”, it seems most likely that the image was put together by a non-Japanese person with limited knowledge of the Japanese language, and who was primarily familiar with the FUNimation English dub of the series.

We take no issue with information sources on international adaptations when sourced as being from that sole international adaptation. We also take no issue with friendly, fun, and fantastic guesstimates when, again, labeled as such. The problem with the image is that it is being passed off as something official from V-Jump, rather than just fan speculation no different than the other countless fan battle power lists throughout the Internet. To be fair, as mentioned earlier, the image itself is not marked in any way as being from Jump, so it is possible that the person who made it did not actually intend to deceive anyone, or at least to deceive anyone by citing that one particular source. Most of the battle power numbers in the image are ones already given in the series or other official sources, and even the few new ones seem to be based mostly on the kiri reading given in the series (with the assumption that 1 kiri = 1 million battle power) and the multipliers for the higher Super Saiyan forms published in the Super Exciting Guides. Perhaps a fan just made it as a compendium of the various official information on battle powers released over the years. On the other hand, since the image seems to have been made by someone with limited Japanese knowledge, why would they have bothered writing it in Japanese unless they were trying to pass it off as some official chart not available in English?

Whatever the intentions of whoever made it, the image has been frequently cited as an official battle power list from V-Jump. Remarkably, at the time of this writing, if you enter “V-Jump” into Google, one of the top suggestions offered is “V-Jump power level list”. Since the only actual such list to appear in V-Jump‘s nearly 20 year history is the mid-Freeza arc one that only has original numbers for Vegeta, Kuririn, and Gohan, it seems likely that what’s got everyone in a Googling frenzy over this fake image is that it supposedly gives official battle powers for the likes of Cell and Boo.

Here is a list of all the original battle powers featured in the image. They are not particularly bad as far as fan-made battle powers go, but please remember that they are no more authoritative than the theorizing of any other fan.

Goku (versus Raditz): 910
Piccolo (versus Raditz): 890
Gohan (versus Raditz): 2,500
Ōzaru Gohan (versus Vegeta): 10,000
Transformed Zarbon: 30,000
Gurd: 10,000
Recoom: 40,000
Jheese (accidentally labeled “Recoom” in scan): 42,000
Butta: 43,000
2nd Form Freeza: 1,200,000
Piccolo (after merging with Nail): 1,200,000
Vegeta (battle with Freeza): 2,500,000
King Cold: 90,000,000
Super Saiyan Trunks: 150,000,000
Super Saiyan Vegeta: 200,000,000
Super Saiyan Goku (Cell Games): 3,000,000,000
Super Saiyan Gohan (Cell Games): 2,500,000,000
Super Saiyan Grade II Vegeta: N/A
Cell: 4,000,000,000
Super Saiyan Gotenks: N/A
Yakon: 800,000,000
Majin Boo (evil): 32,000,000,000
Super Saiyan 3 Goku: 24,000,000,000

Japanese Wikipedia Battle Powers

The Japanese Wikipedia pages for Dragon Ball can be a wonderful resource, because Japanese fans have firsthand knowledge of various things obscure in the English-speaking world, like the numerous Dragon Ball games never released outside of Japan, things mentioned in Jump while Dragon Ball was running, or ways in which Dragon Ball has turned up in more obscure bits of Japanese pop culture. Japanese fans, however, are no more infallible than English-speaking ones, and not everything you read even on Japanese Wikipedia is true.

Back when we were first putting the “Battle Power Guide” together, there were many mentions on Japanese Wikipedia of extra battle power numbers given in Weekly Jump or V-Jump. Some of these turned out to be true. Some of them we were already pretty sure were false, or others that shall not be named because we do not want any more bogus rumors spreading around the English-speaking fan community. Some sounded credible enough — even without scans floating around or firsthand citation from someone saying, “Yes, I own that issue!” — so we felt reasonably safe including them, even if we did note that they were only so far attested by Wikipedia and should be taken with an extra grain of salt. At that point in time of producing the guide, scans of these extra Jump features were starting to turn up, so we felt it was likely that we would be seeing more confirmation before too long. In the years since the “Battle Power Guide” went up, and with friends in Japan tracking down every single last issue of Weekly Jump that Dragon Ball was published in, nothing has turned up and these battle power numbers have been removed from Wikipedia.

As noted before, anyone is capable of removing things from Wikipedia, so this does not necessarily prove they were false… but since no other source for them has turned up, it seems increasingly likely that they were. Until anything new turns up, these numbers — supposedly all from a 1990 issue of V-Jump — are stuck here.

Tao Pai-pai, when he first appeared: 110
Gyūmaō: 97
Chiaotzu (unclear when; probably the 22nd Tenka’ichi Budōkai): 84
Chi-Chi: 137