In a fighting series, why is it problematic to discuss the power-scaling of the characters?

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Re: In a fighting series, why is it problematic to discuss the power-scaling of the characters?

Post by Thani » Sat Mar 06, 2021 11:31 am

Agreed with that, but the problem here is mostly caused by the level of escalation that DB went through the years. Honestly, if people aren't on the level of beings capable of destroying entire universes (God of Destruction level, basically), then they really won't pose a threat to our current main characters.

And it's going to be hilarious when the number of people, barring the literal gods and cosmic entities of the multiverse, capable of such feats starts hitting the double digits - doubly so if they eventually become no-name canon fodders for our heroes.

Thankfully, as it stands, we only have a couple of confirmed ones: Jiren, Broly, FP Moro, and UI Goku. And now apparently Granolah in the future, making it four known mortals capable of Universal destruction and one future possibility.

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Re: In a fighting series, why is it problematic to discuss the power-scaling of the characters?

Post by TheSaiyanGod » Sat Mar 06, 2021 2:04 pm

BWri wrote:
Sat Mar 06, 2021 10:36 am
It remains absurd when you consider that even throwaway fighters have to be planet busters to be relevant to the combat scenarios. And when you get to the point where even silly characters such as many of the ToP fighters or even characters whose lives wouldn't naturally lead to them being so powerful, such as Caulifla being a simple gang leader instead of, IDK, some intergalactic conqueror then you wonder how, why, and for what purpose these characters are so strong when naturally they'd be no stronger than DB Roshi, Raditz, or Saiyan arc Nappa or Vegeta. Then it becomes clear that it is strictly for the purpose of streamlining things for the writers.

Don't get me wrong, I can definitely see that they are at least trying with some of the characters to explain their strength. The best they've done with this so far is with Moro's prisoners as their power is just an extension of his power which is power stolen form countless worlds. That's far better than the ToP where you have to wonder how so many characters are as strong or stronger than Namek era Frieza. It would help if the story gave you some indication of their backstories like with the U6 Namekians (anime) or day to day like with the Pride Troopers (anime).

For instance, was Botamo some Majin Buu level threat that Cabba and Frost had to stop? Was Magetta some historic warrior that defended his people from world ending threats? Does Ribrianne and her crew fight eldritch abominations on a daily basis? Are the Trio De Danger galactic space nomads that destroy and pillage wherever they go, is that how they're stronger than an android saga Super Namekian and a Namek saga space tyrant? Every new fighter adds a ton of questions and unless they are simply born strong like Frieza or Buu, we need a hint as to why they can go toe to toe with a cast who've been demigods since Goku fought Piccolo Daimou.
The point is that, in my opinion, the growing presence of super powerful enemies makes sense precisely because these warriors are from other universes. I would agree with you if they showed up at U7 because we saw that Freeza ruled the universe for decades with no one to oppose him at all. And when we speak of other universes, we speak of a totally different context and which we are largely unaware of. In the case of the U6 Saiyans, they are in constant combat and have had a lot of time to evolve (since their race has not been exterminated) and the testament to this is that they no longer have a tail (which according to Toriyama, just gets in the way when the Saiyan reaches a certain level of strength). And yet they didn't even know about Super Saiyan (so they spent all that time perfecting their normal forms). Frost, by the way, is also a conqueror like Freeza and is of the same race as him. Yes, Freeza and Cold were freaks even within their clan, but nothing suggests that the same is not true for Frost. Cases like Botamo and Magetta are also unknown (in the case of Magetta, he is of a specific race already known to the Kaisohins). In fact, they did not provide information about most of the fighters, but what makes their strength believable is precisely because they are included in contexts different from those experienced by U7 warriors.

BWri wrote:
Sat Mar 06, 2021 10:36 am
Jiren needed a better explanation or at the very least a better presentation than what we got. His powers weren't really all that special. He was just a really strong version of a basic mortal fighter. He didn't have limitless ki, he just had a lot of it. He didn't constantly get stronger, his baseline strength was just absurd. He didn't do anything wild to attain that strength. He just trained really good. His training wasn't really outlined. It's fine that he attained his strength through training, but what makes him so special over someone like Tenshinhan? Tien also trains like a madman but apparently he's still one of the weakest fighters in the ToP. So what makes Jiren special? They never explained that, which is ultimately why Jiren's character is so unappealing for so many and why his strength also seems forced for the plot.

Broly is similarly unsatisfying for me. Don't get me wrong, it's fine as is. I can make Broly make sense all day with headcanon because they've done enough to leave the watcher to fill in the blanks. My problem with this is, it's not enough. Because whenever we make headcanon, Toriyama-san seems to dismiss these notions on a whim or just out of forgetfulness. So it's up to them to provide a conclusive explanation to the mechanics of these fights and powerups. Leaving them vague doesn't work anymore. We need some insight into the details of Saiyan biology and why Broly's body is reacting in the way it is as opposed to other Saiyans we've seen before. Just calling him a demon Saiyan is fine but is his body literally reacting to Goku and Vegeta? Is this the nature of zenkai and the crazy boosts we've seen before? Is god ki also causing this reaction?

Zamasu was perfect. We need more villains like that. Moro made sense too. They explained things just enough with those two to where you can buy into how their powers escalated.
The point of Jiren's strength is precisely that. A warrior who reached an incomparable strength by himself (although apparently he knows Belmod and Marcarita from the beginning, so who knows if he ended up learning something from them) and who serves as a wall for Goku and the others to overcome. I don't think that all characters from other universes need explanations of why they are so strong, as I said they are supposed to have different experiences and should not be measured by the U7 metric. Jiren's problem is mainly his lack of personality and the fact that he is generally just boring and bland.

Broly's case bothers me because I intrinsically don't like the concept of the character, who borrowed the main points of his strength from the DBZ films. Toriyama gave him a more interesting background but the character itself is like Jiren and does not offer interesting interactions except to serve as a powerhouse to face the heroes. And the way he just increases his power out of nowhere (not in the conventional way that Saiyans get stronger) seems just contrived to me (I understand that he is a different Saiyan, but I don't particularly like his character concept since DBZ )

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Re: In a fighting series, why is it problematic to discuss the power-scaling of the characters?

Post by Cipher » Sun Mar 07, 2021 5:21 am

Late to the party.

It depends on how the "power-scaling" is presented, and how minute fans get.

I think it's perfectly valid, and can even be kind of fun when there are slight ambiguities, to work out how characters line up to one another in a general "who's stronger, and who's roughly in this tier" sense. In a series like DB, making those general relationships clear and consistent for readers is also an element upon which a lot of the drama is hung, so it's not an exercise divorced from simply experiencing the story.

On the other hand, once it gets down into the minutia of exact mathematical formulas, incorporations of real-world physics (only ever as they're convenient, of course), and analyzing individual kicks, punches, and expressions in moments where the thrust of the story and relative standing are already perfectly clear—then that becomes a game for its own sake, independent of simply experiencing and discussing the story, and while it's perfectly fine that there are those who find it fun as its own exercise, I don't think it's possible to have a functioning message board without making sure it's put into its own box to be kept out of other discussion.

For as extended as even more general discussion on the subject can get, I also don't think there's a way around removing it from non-strength-discussion-dedicated threads as well. You just can't have other conversations if each one might give way to analyzing strength relationships that might be tertiary to whatever the intended focus of the discussion might be. Usually a topic being clearly established will take care of that on its own, but when I think of something like episode- or chapter-reaction threads, those would be far too easily dominated by strength discussions were that entire line of conversation not moved into its own spot.

I almost feel like OP is saying, "Well, what else is there to discuss, even, in a series that's all about setting up fights?" As in, the game of working out who-could-beat-who is all the value the series has for conversation. But at that point ... why aren't you just on a sports forum? There must be something else that draws you to DB besides providing tools for a who-could-beat-who game, and allowing sufficient space for discussing those elements kind of requires setting aside said game into its own space lest it dominate, given the back-and-forth nature of the long debates it invites.

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Re: In a fighting series, why is it problematic to discuss the power-scaling of the characters?

Post by BWri » Sun Mar 07, 2021 9:57 am

TheSaiyanGod wrote:
Sat Mar 06, 2021 2:04 pm
The point is that, in my opinion, the growing presence of super powerful enemies makes sense precisely because these warriors are from other universes. I would agree with you if they showed up at U7 because we saw that Freeza ruled the universe for decades with no one to oppose him at all. And when we speak of other universes, we speak of a totally different context and which we are largely unaware of.
This is specifically my problem. Even if we just go by feel, universe 7 feels like its had a much more contested time than the other universes. Frieza starts off knowing much more than Frost (100% Final Form and Golden) just as Goku and Vegeta know much more than the universe 6 Saiyans. Piccolo with 3 Namekians composing him is rivaling 2 Namekians from U6 who've fused with what may be the bulk of their entire race. This implies that universe 7 has higher levels of combat knowledge thanks to their history of recent battles. The story goes out of its way to say that this knowledge gives them many advantages including a tremendous overall power advantage and yet, seemingly lacking this history of high level combat, characters from other universes come into the plot at a level they need to be to be relevant to these U7 demi-gods who the plot is also telling us are special and almighty because of their combat history. It's awkward and its only that way because they want to rush things.

I think, if they weren't going to offer additional details for these universes, which they should if they want us to care about them, but even if they remained light on the details, I think they could have offered a better presentation to clue us in on how all these goofballs became world ending powerhouses. Maybe the angels or Grand Priest could have offered a little commentary of the acts they'd previously committed to get to this point such as "That Son Goku's made his way here after defeating some of his universes most powerful foes. What impresses the most is that they're all his teammates now."
In the case of the U6 Saiyans, they are in constant combat and have had a lot of time to evolve (since their race has not been exterminated) and the testament to this is that they no longer have a tail (which according to Toriyama, just gets in the way when the Saiyan reaches a certain level of strength). And yet they didn't even know about Super Saiyan (so they spent all that time perfecting their normal forms).

Which is cool, but its an undersold concept. The constant combat we saw from the U6 Saiyans was Caulifla, a gang/bandit leader robbing a group of car riding, gun-toting Saiyan soldiers. That level of combat seems rather tame for a race that's supposed to be overall stronger than the likes of Nappa/Raditz, etc. It makes me think that the level of combat isn't above what we saw at the start of Dragon Ball. So it's bad presentation. Why would a simple bandit and a gun toting soldier need to be planet busters? That is an important story to tell, not some unimportant detail to be swept under the rug. Of course, the soldier isn't a planet buster. He stops fighting as soon as Kale takes his gun. But if these are the skirmishes that Caulifla is having on a daily basis, with warriors who can't even use ki, then why would she be anywhere close to the current U7 cast in terms of power? Yeah, U6 has a different biology but why wouldn't that just make her as strong as Great Ape Kid Goku during the Pilaf arc? Their lives have similar levels of activity against foes of seemingly similar levels and so she'd just have his Oozaru power in her base form or some permutation of that. For what in-universe reason would she need to be several billions or trillions or however many -illions of times stronger than that?

Caulifla's gang also uses guns and was similarly fodder compared to Cabba. So these U6 powerhouse Saiyans seem practically pedestrian outside of a specific handful.
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Re: In a fighting series, why is it problematic to discuss the power-scaling of the characters?

Post by Yuli Ban » Mon Mar 08, 2021 2:56 am

To expand on what I said before, it's not even that the characters kept getting stronger.

It's that things like the U6 Saiyans and Manga Roshi happen.
U6 Saiyans have no understanding of Super Saiyan and yet as soon as Cabba unlocks Super Saiyan, he's even with Super Saiyan Vegeta. It's just implied that U6 Saiyans are that strong with nothing else stated.
Caulifla then goes Super Saiyan following Cabba, but at least she makes sense because she's supposed to have extreme potential. Until she then goes Super Saiyan 2 by accident. It's not a gag or intended to make light of Super Saiyan like Goten and Trunks; it just... happens. It happens so she's strong enough to pose a threat in the ToP. No character growth like the A-list Saiyans, no goofy gag or funny irony about the "legendary" form being cheapened like Goten/Trunks/Goku Jr./Vegeta Jr.
Kale's fine, until she tosses around Super Saiyan Blue Goku like he's nothing. It's not even like Super: Broly (and holy shit, let's not even get started with this literal "we embraced the plot hole" of a character that is Super Broly); she's based on Z Broly. So how?
Speaking of Super Broly, what the fuck. At that point, the writers just had to embrace the fact they didn't care about consistency. Nothing about Super Broly made sense. Z Broly made sense. He was born a Super Saiyan, impossibly strong, impossibly difficult to control. He appeared at the perfect time, when the senshi were incredibly strong but not above Super Saiyan 1. And his form was "legendary" as in the full-power Super Saiyan form with the innate Saiyan battle lust as spoken in U7 Saiyan legend. Super Broly has nowhere near the same build-up, doesn't even reach the "legendary" form until the last 5 minutes of the movie, and yet is fighting on par with a Super Saiyan that could probably one-shot Boo-saga Fat Boo and then has this Ikari state allegedly like a humanoid Oozaru that puts him on par with Super Saiyan Blue. Z Broly tanked a killing blow to the neck from Super Saiyan grade 2 Vegeta while in his restrained Super Saiyan form and that still made more sense than whatever was going on here.

But the single most egregious example beyond all others, the character who just shat all over DB power scaling forever world without end amen, is Muten Roshi. He does pseudo-Ultra Instinct, action without thought, and dodges Jiren.

He dodges Jiren.

Roshi dodges Jiren. The Walking Power Level. Jiren has no problem wiping him out afterwards, but WHAT.
WHAT.


I don't even give a shit about "sit back and just enjoy it" if it so totally breaks my immersion like that.

It would have at least been funny if it was, I dunno, Goten! Like if Goten was such a nothing character that he literally weaponized "nothingness".

First of all, lol.

Second of all, that's bullshit. Even when it was a gag manga, it had more consistency than that. And we're talking about a gag manga from an artist that made breaking the fourth wall his religion and would have made Dickbutt a martial artist if it existed at the time." If I wasn't supposed to accept consistency, why was there narrative consistency for 30+ years? That's not how it works! That's not how any of this works! That sort of argument is the definition of that thread, "Do Dragon Ball fans enforce low standards?" And no, it's not a widely shared argument, but I have indeed seen it be used unironically.

Because otherwise you have to accept that if Roshi faced off against Raditz or Nappa, he'd have been able to do the same thing. That he could have done secret off-screen training never once mentioned before in order to effortlessly dodge Freeza or avoid Cell's attacks. You're not going to look me in the eye and tell me that anyone other than the five diehard Roshi stans on Earth have accepted that before Super. It would have been pure fanfiction-tier writing no matter how well you dress it up.

"Hey guys, it turns out Roshi didn't actually teach the senshi everything he knows and has the ability to dodge things so perfectly that he can even hold his own against Super Boo!"

"So behind which library do you get your supply from?"


See, that sort of stuff's why power scaling in Super is so whacked. The closest analog in DB/Z I can think of is Tenshinhan using his kikoho to suppress Cell in his second-form, and even then he only stalled Cell long enough for 18 to escape and this action wasn't even taken seriously in universe either. It didn't make much sense there either but it didn't completely trash the consistency of the series because he wasn't doing anything that was completely unexpected. He wasn't actually damaging Cell or teaching anyone anything new. And I get that we also had to do some implications-for-narrative with the Saiyan boys because it was never explicitly confirmed that the strength of their parents determined the strength of their offspring; we just had to run with that (it would have greatly helped if we saw more from Bra and Pan to confirm this).



The more toxic power scalers who make themselves miserable over numbers and trying to figure out whether Super Saiyan Blue Kaioken x20 has a power level of 5.35 decillion or 5.36 don't help, but it's this bizarro inconsistency baked into the series itself that really caused all these problems.
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Re: In a fighting series, why is it problematic to discuss the power-scaling of the characters?

Post by UpFromTheSkies » Mon Mar 08, 2021 9:49 pm

UltraInstinctRorikon wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:03 am
This series is a series about fighting and has been for a very long time. Displays of power, overcoming opponents who have greater power, the world will end up having some form of balance designed around who's stronger than who.

Dragon Ball as a series is not one with significant plot at least compared to a lot of seinens. It's a shonen and relatively simple in nature just with a imaginative world, but the character's personalities and traits for the most part are really simple and most of the talking points is regarding the fighting or stopping the big bad.

So I ask you, why is it shunned to discuss power-scaling when the series is heavily focused on this fighting aspect?
It's problematic because it was never meant to to taken seriously or analyzed. People forget Dragon Ball is a gag series at heart, and while it might have some serious moments, it's just not meant to be taken seriously overall so there are going to be inconsistencies when analyzed

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Re: In a fighting series, why is it problematic to discuss the power-scaling of the characters?

Post by Cipher » Mon Mar 08, 2021 11:30 pm

Yuli Ban wrote:
Mon Mar 08, 2021 2:56 am
"Hey guys, it turns out Roshi didn't actually teach the senshi everything he knows and has the ability to dodge things so perfectly that he can even hold his own against Super Boo!"
I mean, maybe if he were facing Super Boo within the confines of a non-lethal tournament.

Anyway, we can’t have power-scaling in other threads because when we allow it, people write novels on why the Turtle Hermit shouldn’t be able to dodge Jiren.

Re: U6 Saiyans: We see how strong the Earth Saiyans become over a single generation (even without doing anything, a la Goten and Trunks), so just extrapolate that onto a Saiyan world with a much longer history that didn’t die out. With Kale and Broly, counterpart characters, if the series tells you twice over that being freakishly strong is their shtick, I’m not sure why it needs doubting. Might as well wonder why Freeza is so strong from the start.

Even I couldn’t avoid taking the bait here, so you see how quickly it gets out of hand, especially with different aspects of power-level communication bothering different people. The series will never please everyone, but it will make for distracting debates wherever that discussion is allowed.

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Re: In a fighting series, why is it problematic to discuss the power-scaling of the characters?

Post by BWri » Tue Mar 09, 2021 3:07 pm

Cipher wrote:
Mon Mar 08, 2021 11:30 pm
Re: U6 Saiyans: We see how strong the Earth Saiyans become over a single generation (even without doing anything, a la Goten and Trunks), so just extrapolate that onto a Saiyan world with a much longer history that didn’t die out. With Kale and Broly, counterpart characters, if the series tells you twice over that being freakishly strong is their shtick, I’m not sure why it needs doubting. Might as well wonder why Freeza is so strong from the start.

Even I couldn’t avoid taking the bait here, so you see how quickly it gets out of hand, especially with different aspects of power-level communication bothering different people. The series will never please everyone, but it will make for distracting debates wherever that discussion is allowed.
Again, the problem is in the presentation. The series tells us these beings are this strong and leaves it at that. Which is fine ... in a different series. Here, it's just unsatisfying. In a series where the fighting is most of the story and where your level of power gatekeeps you from certain opponents, elaboration on a fighter's history is vital. Explanations that used to be just fine early on simply don't work as the power escalates. If a pure human earthling comes into the plot suddenly as strong as Jiren without any explanation or special training or powers beyond mortal ki, you're telling me that wouldn't create some kind of alarm bells in your head that something is off with the storytelling?

If anything, they miss the opportunity to tell a better story.
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Re: In a fighting series, why is it problematic to discuss the power-scaling of the characters?

Post by Cipher » Tue Mar 09, 2021 3:48 pm

BWri wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 3:07 pm
If a pure human earthling comes into the plot suddenly as strong as Jiren without any explanation or special training or powers beyond mortal ki, you're telling me that wouldn't create some kind of alarm bells in your head that something is off with the storytelling?
Nothing in the series has bothered me yet, but you’re right. If that thing that has not happened in the series happened, it would bother me. Truly damning.

Incidentally, people questioning how the androids could just be stronger than Freeza was a thing for a very, very long time. I feel like it still is, even. The kinds of fans who aren’t satisfied with Super’s reasoning for the literal handful of characters on its highest cosmic level are the same fans who would and have been taking issue with any characters on the series’ highest echelons of power from our first “strongest in the universe” onward.

But no character in DB or DBS yet has been entirely out of the blue—there’s always at least a passing glance as to why this new character can be big-deal strong, and it’s always been minimal but there for fans to accept or not given the mode of the series.

Power-scaling presentation issues that I think operatively harm the series are things like what I think we wound up with in the Super anime—where back and forth waffling on Goku and Vegeta’s base powers left it genuinely unclear how a multitude of (key) characters compared to each other or the scale of its universe on even the most general relative level. That can affect enjoyment in a series where the basics of “A is stronger than B by a lot” is a cornerstone of much of the drama—as can a lack of convincingly consistent presentation to that end (though as Turtle Hermit and Jiren illustrate, what’s convincing will vary by the fan; I think that flies in context; obviously others don’t). But the issue of not accepting the series’ reasoning for why a new character can be up there doesn’t factor in, I feel. And those who need to take issue with that particular aspect have been doing so since well before Super.

Freeza is just strong. The androids are just strong (there’s justification—they’re androids, but beyond that they’re just strong). Kale and Broly are just strong (there’s justification—they’re one-in-a-bajillion freak Saiyan mutations, and we’ve seen how strong Saiyans can get, but beyond that they’re just strong). DB’s always forward-looking with its stories, and the joy of it is what it does for drama and character work from there.

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Re: In a fighting series, why is it problematic to discuss the power-scaling of the characters?

Post by BWri » Tue Mar 09, 2021 4:29 pm

Cipher wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 3:48 pm
BWri wrote:
Tue Mar 09, 2021 3:07 pm
If a pure human earthling comes into the plot suddenly as strong as Jiren without any explanation or special training or powers beyond mortal ki, you're telling me that wouldn't create some kind of alarm bells in your head that something is off with the storytelling?
Nothing in the series has bothered me yet, but you’re right. If that thing that has not happened in the series happened, it would bother me. Truly damning.
Yeah, well, same concept. Some sort of consistency is nice.
Incidentally, people questioning how the androids could just be stronger than Freeza was a thing for a very, very long time. I feel like it still is, even. The kinds of fans who aren’t satisfied with Super’s reasoning for the literal handful of characters on its highest cosmic level are the same fans who would and have been taking issue with any characters on the series’ highest echelons of power from our first “strongest in the universe” onward.
They just have to tell that story. That's really it. Trying to handwave it at this point is the problem. I'd love to witness the story of how a street thug got so incredibly strong. That sounds fantastic. Tell that story. At least allude to it. But it's not there, not even in thought or conception and that's the problem.
But no character in DB or DBS yet has been entirely out of the blue—there’s always at least a passing glance as to why this new character can be big-deal strong, and it’s always been minimal but there for fans to accept or not given the mode of the series.
The fans shouldn't have to do all the heavy lifting. Especially with a series as fickle as DB, where things can often be retconned on a whim. I find your explanation of Caulifla's powers to be just fine. That one little detail about her parentage would change a lot. I could even just accept that tailless U6 Saiyans are all as strong as Goten and Trunks by default but the story goes out of its way to show us that this isn't the case. For instance, if the Saiyan soldiers Caulfla fought seemed on par with some of the powerhouses we saw in DBZ, great! Now I see why U6 Saiyans are so strong if even the mundane grunts fight on the level of elites like Vegeta. But instead in both manga and anime, the mundane U6 Saiyans looked no different than mundane U7 humans. They even use guns.

**somehow missed the stuff below
Power-scaling presentation issues that I think operatively harm the series are things like what I think we wound up with in the Super anime—where back and forth waffling on Goku and Vegeta’s base powers left it genuinely unclear how a multitude of (key) characters compared to each other or the scale of its universe on even the most general relative level.
This does take away my enjoyment too, but I think the lack of proper reasoning/logic for a character's strength ends up harming the series more because it not only presents the series as rather shallow but it also misses tremendous opportunities to tell engaging stories. Each of these powerhouses is a mini Goku or could even be a full blown Goku mirror and to get to this point, their histories should be just as interesting as his own. But what he get is, well, nothing.
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Re: In a fighting series, why is it problematic to discuss the power-scaling of the characters?

Post by TheQuestioner » Sun Mar 14, 2021 2:47 am

I haven't read the replies, but I might as well put my two cents in. I think power-scaling is a very important part of Dragon Ball, it is something I really enjoy doing and talking about. I think there are a few main problems that I constantly see occurring when it comes to power-scaling discussions though, in the Dragon Ball fandom at least.

A lot of people tend to hyper-fixate on the power of the prominent characters and treat it as if it is the most important attribute of them. A good chunk of people gets mad when their favourite character is proven or argued to be not so strong or capable at fighting. They ridicule those with opposing viewpoints even if they have a point. I'm sure we all know the topics, "SS4 vs SSB", "GT vs Super", "Goku vs Sonic", "Goku vs Superman", and so on. They just care too much about things they shouldn't.

My second issue is also something that people shouldn't care too much about. It's the meta, a lot of times fans just make teams and become really huge, this also causes others to take those sides. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it becomes an issue when people just believe blindly something simply because it's popular without even looking into it properly. Or worse, they think they're the right ones just because it's the meta. It gets even worse when you're being pressured to conform to the majority simply because it's the majority and you don't want to upset the meta. From my experience, a lot of widely held beliefs when it comes to Dragon Ball are a load of crap, which is what made me just not care for the fandom in general.

This goes to the third flaw that comes to mind, people... Don't really pay attention and can be annoying. A lot. I'm not talking about the ones who make slip-ups here and there, it's ok to make mistakes. I'm talking about the ones who wank Goku to be the strongest character ever in anime, hell fiction. The ones that somehow downplay Dragon Ball to just planetary. The ones that push for shit like infinite speed and multiversal human characters. The number of people who lack the basic ability to just pay attention to something as simple as the original Dragon Ball manga's power-scaling is ridiculous to me.

The final problem is, a lot of people really aren't going to change. These are just the major ones, there are probably quite a bit more flaws you can find if you actively engage with the general community. I don't for the most part, I choose not to, partially because of these. All these issues will persist till the fandom literally dies, which most likely won't happen for a long time at least.

And those are pretty much my main problems.
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Re: In a fighting series, why is it problematic to discuss the power-scaling of the characters?

Post by theherodjl » Sun Mar 14, 2021 6:15 am

My biggest issue with DB's power scaling is that it treats everything as though it were made of explodium. Starting in the first arc of DB, Roshi could blow up a mountain by using a full power kamehameha. Only one arc later, this same move could now just blow up the moon as though there's no discernible difference between the two. In DBZ, the story makes it a mission to inform the viewers that planets and possibly even the sun/solar system can now just go "boom!" whenever there needs to be some tension and/or something to raise the stakes. Then in DBS, all pretense of limitations on what DB characters could destroy is dropped and now the universe/multiverse/timelines as defined by DB can be destroyed on a whim. To top it off, we have various sets of wishing balls that can just restore a setting of explodium back to normal anytime...just so it can all explode all over again.
Its just frustrating to see characters fight intensely within a comparatively-small area but then leap to universal annihilation just by deciding to "get serious". Hadn't they been serious prior to deciding that the destruction of all that can be seen now needs to come into play???
:crazy:
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Re: In a fighting series, why is it problematic to discuss the power-scaling of the characters?

Post by TheQuestioner » Sun Mar 14, 2021 4:12 pm

theherodjl wrote:
Sun Mar 14, 2021 6:15 am
My biggest issue with DB's power scaling is that it treats everything as though it were made of explodium. Starting in the first arc of DB, Roshi could blow up a mountain by using a full power kamehameha. Only one arc later, this same move could now just blow up the moon as though there's no discernible difference between the two. In DBZ, the story makes it a mission to inform the viewers that planets and possibly even the sun/solar system can now just go "boom!" whenever there needs to be some tension and/or something to raise the stakes. Then in DBS, all pretense of limitations on what DB characters could destroy is dropped and now the universe/multiverse/timelines as defined by DB can be destroyed on a whim. To top it off, we have various sets of wishing balls that can just restore a setting of explodium back to normal anytime...just so it can all explode all over again.
Its just frustrating to see characters fight intensely within a comparatively-small area but then leap to universal annihilation just by deciding to "get serious". Hadn't they been serious prior to deciding that the destruction of all that can be seen now needs to come into play???
:crazy:
I'm honestly ok with that treatment if the treatment progressed nicely, which it didn't in DBS. It's a supernatural martial arts adventure fantasy story. I usually expect there to be insanely strong people, my bigger issues are how the story can be inconsistent with the power-scaling at times and how certain fans just dismiss moments where someone should have destroyed something substantial but just say "ki control" even when it makes no sense.
Regardless of whoever is right or wrong, be civil to civil people.

"A true martial artist doesn't fight to win; they fight to better themselves."

"When I tell my students a true martial artist strengthens their mind and body, I mean their OWN body! Not one they have stolen from somebody else!"

"Move well. Learn well Play well. Eat well. And rest well. That's the Kame Sennin way!"

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Re: In a fighting series, why is it problematic to discuss the power-scaling of the characters?

Post by Thani » Mon Mar 15, 2021 1:09 pm

TheQuestioner wrote:
Sun Mar 14, 2021 4:12 pm
theherodjl wrote:
Sun Mar 14, 2021 6:15 am
My biggest issue with DB's power scaling is that it treats everything as though it were made of explodium. Starting in the first arc of DB, Roshi could blow up a mountain by using a full power kamehameha. Only one arc later, this same move could now just blow up the moon as though there's no discernible difference between the two. In DBZ, the story makes it a mission to inform the viewers that planets and possibly even the sun/solar system can now just go "boom!" whenever there needs to be some tension and/or something to raise the stakes. Then in DBS, all pretense of limitations on what DB characters could destroy is dropped and now the universe/multiverse/timelines as defined by DB can be destroyed on a whim. To top it off, we have various sets of wishing balls that can just restore a setting of explodium back to normal anytime...just so it can all explode all over again.
Its just frustrating to see characters fight intensely within a comparatively-small area but then leap to universal annihilation just by deciding to "get serious". Hadn't they been serious prior to deciding that the destruction of all that can be seen now needs to come into play???
:crazy:
I'm honestly ok with that treatment if the treatment progressed nicely, which it didn't in DBS. It's a supernatural martial arts adventure fantasy story. I usually expect there to be insanely strong people, my bigger issues are how the story can be inconsistent with the power-scaling at times and how certain fans just dismiss moments where someone should have destroyed something substantial but just say "ki control" even when it makes no sense.
I think the best recent example was in the Broly movie. Broly, after powering up to his Ikari state, and losing his mind, recklessly fired a blast that Vegeta dodged - Goku then said that the whole planet could have been destroyed if that attack landed anywhere.

Then Broly, after becoming MUCH more powerful as a SSJ, and even MORE insane, started launching a barrage of ki blasts that HAD to be even more destructive than his previous blast. But none of them really did much to the Earth, only big explosions.

Yeah, it's completely arbitrary at this point. Broly didn't even know how to fight, let alone learn how to control his ki, and yet he was deliberately avoiding destroying the planet with his out-of-control power while being clearly insane and berserk? Hard bargain to sell. If DB were truly consistent, any of those blasts, sent at full power, should have destryoed the Earth and, hilariously, even the Solar System considering how much Broly dwarfs Super Perfect Cell at this point.

So you pretty much have to just close your eyes and roll with it. The writers certainly don't care that much.

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Re: In a fighting series, why is it problematic to discuss the power-scaling of the characters?

Post by theherodjl » Tue Mar 16, 2021 1:05 am

Thani wrote:
Mon Mar 15, 2021 1:09 pm
I think the best recent example was in the Broly movie. Broly, after powering up to his Ikari state, and losing his mind, recklessly fired a blast that Vegeta dodged - Goku then said that the whole planet could have been destroyed if that attack landed anywhere.

Then Broly, after becoming MUCH more powerful as a SSJ, and even MORE insane, started launching a barrage of ki blasts that HAD to be even more destructive than his previous blast. But none of them really did much to the Earth, only big explosions.

Yeah, it's completely arbitrary at this point. Broly didn't even know how to fight, let alone learn how to control his ki, and yet he was deliberately avoiding destroying the planet with his out-of-control power while being clearly insane and berserk? Hard bargain to sell. If DB were truly consistent, any of those blasts, sent at full power, should have destryoed the Earth and, hilariously, even the Solar System considering how much Broly dwarfs Super Perfect Cell at this point.

So you pretty much have to just close your eyes and roll with it. The writers certainly don't care that much.
That also bugs me. Everyone, everywhere, are all somehow in "agreement" to not cause mass destruction to their local celestial bodies and the cosmos...and we're just expected to accept that. We got guys who can destroy the Earth millions of times over yet they only actively cause the destruction of one millionth of the Earth's mass even when they're out of control.
Everything is made of explodium whenever they get serious and simultaneously, its also not when they go insane and lose conscious control of their actions. Its a frustrating contradiction.
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Re: In a fighting series, why is it problematic to discuss the power-scaling of the characters?

Post by TheQuestioner » Tue Mar 16, 2021 2:05 am

Thani wrote:
Mon Mar 15, 2021 1:09 pm
I think the best recent example was in the Broly movie. Broly, after powering up to his Ikari state, and losing his mind, recklessly fired a blast that Vegeta dodged - Goku then said that the whole planet could have been destroyed if that attack landed anywhere.

Then Broly, after becoming MUCH more powerful as a SSJ, and even MORE insane, started launching a barrage of ki blasts that HAD to be even more destructive than his previous blast. But none of them really did much to the Earth, only big explosions.

Yeah, it's completely arbitrary at this point. Broly didn't even know how to fight, let alone learn how to control his ki, and yet he was deliberately avoiding destroying the planet with his out-of-control power while being clearly insane and berserk? Hard bargain to sell. If DB were truly consistent, any of those blasts, sent at full power, should have destryoed the Earth and, hilariously, even the Solar System considering how much Broly dwarfs Super Perfect Cell at this point.

So you pretty much have to just close your eyes and roll with it. The writers certainly don't care that much.
To be frank, I wouldn't even care if the ki control argument didn't exist. Things like not causing destruction even though you're solar system level are pretty standard when it comes to fiction with superhuman combat as far as I'm aware. It's so painfully bullshit but people still accept it. That's what really gets to me. Just accept it as a pretty minor part of the show and move on, don't try to come up with inconsistent excuses just to defend it.
Regardless of whoever is right or wrong, be civil to civil people.

"A true martial artist doesn't fight to win; they fight to better themselves."

"When I tell my students a true martial artist strengthens their mind and body, I mean their OWN body! Not one they have stolen from somebody else!"

"Move well. Learn well Play well. Eat well. And rest well. That's the Kame Sennin way!"

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Re: In a fighting series, why is it problematic to discuss the power-scaling of the characters?

Post by Kataphrut » Tue Mar 16, 2021 3:47 am

I had this thought a while back that DBS has been using characters being strong enough to fault spacetime as the new feat of strength when being able to destroy a planet/solar system just isn't enough. We had it in the anime version of Goku vs Beerus, multiple examples of it in Hit's fights, and Gogeta vs Broly in the movie. It seems like a really cool benchmark...until your remember that Super Buu and Gotenks did it before any of them. So how far have we really come? Oh, Dragon Ball FighterZ has a unique dramatic finish where Gogeta 4 and Blue have a beam struggle and it shatters reality? Big whoop, Super Buu could have done that if you just told him he couldn't have any candy.

Incidentally, this is why Hit vs Dyspo is actually the best fight involving Hit in either medium. It's the only one that doesn't fall back on "they're strong enough to override Time Skip" as an easy out to beating him. Every Goku fight, and Jiren's fight with him pulled that shit- Dyspo used an actual inventive strategy.

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Re: In a fighting series, why is it problematic to discuss the power-scaling of the characters?

Post by PerhapsTheOtherOne » Sun Apr 11, 2021 6:54 pm

I remember back when DBS was still airing, and one of the ToP episodes in particular was really overtaken in its discussions by "OMG this power scaling doesn't make sense, this episode sucks!" to the point that almost nothing else was being discussed.

Was it one of the Cyborg 17 episodes? Might've been one of those ones, or perhaps the one with Krillin and Goku.

Anyways, it got bad enough that KaiserNeko of TFS came in and shared his wariness of the sheer aggressiveness that people were debating the topic, citing how much people lost sight of all the other great aspects that other people who weren't as involved in the power-scaling debate were talking about, myself included at the time.

In essence, it's problematic to discuss power-scaling when it's to the detriment of any other discussion.

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Re: In a fighting series, why is it problematic to discuss the power-scaling of the characters?

Post by Yuji » Sun Apr 11, 2021 7:20 pm

Personally, I only take issue when discussions about how strong character x should be after y amounts of training overtake discussions over the narrative significance of said character's usage.

I think fans at this point should recognize that power has been so ridiculously escalated that there's no possible explanation to bring up one of the weaker or mid tier fighters up to the upper echelons of strength that will appease everyone. I personally thought #17's power boost in the manga was, for example, believable, whereas his boost in the anime was a bit more far-fetched. Even so, I think the discussions about power should serve the narrative. All the power boosts will no doubt be somewhat sketchy, the series doesn't adhere to rigorous formulas, so discussion should be focused on whether or not that sacrifice in suspension of disbelief benefits the story or not. I think people would be hard pressed to argue that #17's boost, anime or manga, believable or not, didn't serve the narrative. But of course this doesn't mean that we should disregard internal consistency and make every character super powerful, this would retroactively diminish the weight and impact of previous arcs and their antagonists and main characters. A balance should be made between the way power escalation is believable according to in-universe rules and how it benefits the story being told.

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Re: In a fighting series, why is it problematic to discuss the power-scaling of the characters?

Post by Saturnine » Mon Apr 12, 2021 2:12 am

SupremeKai25 wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:11 am
You can discuss whatever you want and power-scaling and power levels debates are not shunned in any way, look at the Strength and Versus threads in this forum which are very big megathreads.

However, when judging a character, I don't give any relevance to power levels. To me, a character's most important aspects are their design, personality, ideology, and abilities. Not where they rank in an arbitrary power-scale.

For example, Moro is pretty strong, he even merges with an Angel's power, but because he has a trash design, a trash personality, and laughable motivations, I hate him.
Dunno about that "trash design ", really. He decinitely breaks the mold, at least the pre Seven-Three merger form. Toei on their own have shown to be practically incapable of devising a character that wouldn't borrow from designs previously made by Toriyama, so Moro's facial structure at the very least was refreshing.

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