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Dragon Ball Z: The Strongest Fighter in the Series, Revealed

Dragon Ball Z

Becoming the world’s strongest is so important in the Dragon Ball mythos that it’s even the title of one of the movies..

If there’s one thing the Dragon Ball franchise definitely isn’t lacking, it’s mighty warriors eager to fight at the slightest provocation. But who among them is really the strongest fight of them all? Today we’re going to tackle that all important question and you might be surprised to learn that Son Goku has some competition. Of course, there’s the concept of power levels but that can only take us so far, as even series creator Akira Toriyama is well aware of. We’ll take a look at some heavy hitters including the Angel Whis and Beerus, the God of Destruction. Even though Beerus is a deity, he still hasn’t mastered the art of Ultra Instinct, which might be the single most impressive technique in the whole show. There are benevolent warriors and then there’s a whole host of insidious characters such as the wicked Demon King Piccolo, or enemy Broly who only became canon semi-recently. We’ll talk about why Goku meeting Kami was such a game changer and how it affected the progression of the series. If you’re a fan of the franchise, you might just find yourself watching those battles with a whole new appreciation for the concept of strength. There are a ton of mighty warriors to pick from, but which one of Akira Toriyama’s creations do you think is the strongest?

 

today we’re looking at what makes the

strongest fighter in Dragon Ball

alrighty time to gauge the strongest

fighter in the wide wide world Dragon

Ball lore it shouldn’t be too much

trouble just gotta tune up that old

power scatter we got lying around and

perfect now we just need our good old

pal Kok who do one of his patented

power-ups and and second thought it

might be better to just lose the

Scouters for now yeah as it turns out

the concept of strength in the Dragon

Ball universe is actually a bit more

complicated than just slapping an

arbitrary number value onto a fighter

and calling it a day not that plenty of

fans haven’t tried doing just that

series creator Akira Toriyama has spent

literal decades weeding the long and

complex tale of son Goku and his journey

to become the strongest dude around and

even he thinks the fans fascinations

with power levels is a bit much but I’ll

get to that later in the early days of

Dragon Ball when Goku was just a teensy

tiny Saiyan a good portion of his

enemies fought at a relatively

believable level at least when compared

to the rest of the franchise it was at

this more grounded tier that the whole

idea of power levels actually made a bit

of sense the power scaling of Dragon

Ball and the earlier years of Dragon

Ball Z was actually kind of linear it

kind of the newer bigger badder boys

would show up wow Goku and the gang with

some big display of strength and then

Goku would train his little monkey tail

off in order to overcome them however

this progression seemed to come up

against a bit of a ceiling by the time

Demon King Piccolo hit the scene piccolo

was built up to be this unstoppable

otherworldly force whose power couldn’t

entirely be understood the dude 360

noscopes Shenron for Tommy’s sake

spending all that time trapped in a rice

cooker didn’t even slow the guy down in

a narrative sense King Piccolo was the

perfect closing act to the original

Dragon Ball run he was the yang to come

yen and his defeat at the fist of Goku

was this dynamic shift in the Dragon

Ball Pantheon throughout all of Dragon

Ball Goku had been slowly climbing the

power roster higher and higher toward

the rank of godhood and by finishing off

piccolo senior he took his first real

steps into that godly realm impressed by

Goku strength and fearing the arrival of

piccolo jr. Comi took the young sand

under his tutelage for three years it

sure

for the most part Goku had always been

leagues ahead of his friends but his

leaps in strength it always seemed

somewhat attainable Krillin had always

been a Goku’s tail and he even managed

to give him one monkey of a fight at the

World Martial Arts Tournament while

Crillon didn’t quite hit the same growth

spurt that Goku did don’t forget that

he’s still an incredible fighter by

human standards it’s not his fault his

best friend’s a super-strong space alien

but it was commies training that

signified the beginning of Goku’s true

meteoric Rises and power by defeating

the demon and training with an actual

God Goku effectively transcended the

world of Dragonball mortals the drive

does transformation even further home

Toriyama finally updated Goku’s design

into the adult we all know and love

today to say that the 23rd World Martial

Arts Tournament was a doozy would be

quite the understatement it became

immediately obvious that Goku and

piccolo jr. were in an entirely

different league from the other fighters

yeah that chen guy was a wild card but

turns out and he was God all along now

that’s the kind of WWE level switcheroo

that I am here for the ancient grounds

of the World Martial Arts Tournament

were reduced to dust and Goku emerged

victorious I’ll be it bruised and

battered over the ultimate evil for most

followers of Dragonball at the time this

seemed like a pretty reasonable place to

finish off the series go co-ed

officially risen above any other fighter

the whole world had to offer and was

even offered the role of commie with

cheap declined the once vast sprawling

world of Dragon Ball had become small

and manageable

after all if Goku is stronger than the

strongest bad guy the earth had ever

seen where else could the series go yeah

turns out there are aliens now and Goku

is one of them

with the arrival of raditz and

Dragonball Z in general Akira Toriyama

and company managed to pull off the

seemingly impossible

they not only figured out a way to

prolong Goku’s adventures but also

pivoted away from Dragon Balls goofier

background towards the mature sci-fi

style Z is known for one of the issues

with expanding the universe of

Dragonball was obviously that of power

scaling if they were going to introduce

even bigger badder guys how could they

effectively demonstrate their threat

levels by the end of Dragonball piccolo

and Goku had already demonstrated their

ability to wreak considerable havoc upon

the world around them sure you could

have bad guys showing up blowing up

whole cities and continents but

eventually you’ll run out of planets to

fight on this is where Toriyama came up

with the now-famous and tube some

overplayed concept of the power level

Toriyama himself has admitted that he

came up with the idea of power levels in

order to make things a little bit easier

for readers of the manga to follow it’s

an effective trick especially when

looking at reveals like nappa and

Vegeta’s power levels early on on one

side you have this hulking brute of a

guy like nappa with a power level of

4000 absolutely stomping Earth’s

Mightiest Heroes only to find out that

his strength is dwarfed no pun intended

by these seemingly tiny Vegeta ranked at

18,000 this simple new method of quickly

establishing the fighting strength of

any character was certainly novel

it allowed readers and audiences to

quickly understand exactly the kind of

threat that their heroes were facing but

also it came with a few caveats in the

very first example of power levels in

the series were introduced to Raddatz

posting a level of 1500 the unfortunate

farmer who discovered ratted ship clocks

in at a much less impressive 5 right off

the bat we’ve got an easy-to-understand

metric an average human carries a power

level of 5 while a trained Saiyan

warrior is apparently 300 times that

amount and when Raddatz reveals Goku’s

base power level 334 were already met

with the first and most confusing flaw

of the Dragon Ball power level system

and one Toriyama had even predicted he

foresaw that power levels could become

an inconvenience for the creative team

moving forward because if audiences had

concrete numbers for strength fights

could be decided even before they could

begin

and that is why Toriyama gave the Z

fighters the ability to alter their

power levels at will thus keeping the

metrics for their actual strength much

more ambiguous right off the bat we saw

Goku’s power levels swing from a measly

334 wearing weights all the way up to

924 while firing off a kamehameha

against his brother it was only through

the combined efforts of Goku and piccolo

that Raddatz was finally defeated

leaving his ominous warning of the

approach of two even more powerful

Saiyans now before we move forward we

need to look back to the original Dragon

Ball series to start putting together a

better picture of just how unreliable

power levels really are die Zen shoes 7

an extensive encyclopedia of Dragon Ball

lore released in 1996 revealed a great

deal of information regarding power

levels in the earlier years of the

franchise let’s take a quick look at a

few of the ratings revealed in that book

according to the source Goku only had a

power level of 10 during the Emperor

pilaf saga and much more shockingly his

great ape transformation only boasted a

measly 100 fast-forward to early DBZ and

we see Gohan’s oozaru wiping the floor

with piccolo who should technically have

a power level around 400 and that guy

blew up the moon all this is to say that

power levels can get real confusing

really quick regardless of the various

inconsistencies power levels remained a

useful tool right up to the end of the

frieza saga we saw Goku’s base

suppressed power level after training

under King Kai at 5000 already beating

out nappa one interesting note from the

Saiyan saga is that apparently yeah a

ruby of all people had a power level of

970 according to knives n xu7

that’s stronger than Goku firing off a

super kamehameha during the piccolo jr.

saga I guess that’s where a diet

composed almost entirely of Senzu beans

will get you anyway by the end of the

Saiyan saga

we witnessed power levels reaching

upwards of 20,000 as Goku utilize the

kaio-ken to multiply his strength

against the hilariously surprised Vegeta

moving forward into the Namek and Frieza

sagas power levels only serve to creep

ever upwards at the lower end of the

roster we saw Crillon and Gohan with

similar levels around 1500 while

fighting freezes minions

Vegeta though hot off is matched with

Goku hit Namek with a power level

between 19,000 and 24,000 only to see

astronomical progression in a shockingly

short amount of time

Bijan puts Vegeta’s power level after

facing Roku Matt a whopping two hundred

and fifty thousand ten times the

strength he had a short time earlier and

these jumps are nothing compared to a

few other characters we see Crillon

jumping from 10,000 to 13,000 between

his fights with gold oh and Riku and

then skyrocketing to 75,000 facing off

against Frieza that is 50 times increase

in power from his arrival on Namek again

just to put things into perspective

Vegeta at 18,000 back on earth had more

than enough power to destroy an entire

planet and yeah we know tera gnarly it

might not actually be canon but the old

things confusing and weird

regardless after fighting Goku and

coming to within an inch of his life his

power level only increased a few

thousand Krillin on the other hand saw

his power increase from about one rad

it’s just under a fully powered up Goku

after training at 100 times earth

gravity

Krillin and that’s nothing compared to

the numbers Goku and Frieza start

flashing around later we see Goku fresh

out of his healing tank feeling great

around 3 million only for Frieza to jump

from five hundred and thirty thousand in

his base form to sixty million in his

final form at half power the final

matchup of the frieza saga sees a Super

Saiyan Goku rated at 150 million against

a 100% Frieza pumped up to 120 million

after all of these gargantuan leaps and

power it’s pretty clear just how broken

and convoluted a power scale really is

in the Dragon Ball universe which is

great timing because pretty soon

afterward Toriyama steered away from

that metric but the time of the androids

cell and Buu saga as everyone pretty

much agreed that power levels in the

traditional sense were completely

defunct at that point the whole reason

for Toriyama adopting them in the first

place had been upended we saw power

levels swinging wildly pretty much

landing wherever they needed to in order

to service the plot again Krillin

gaining the power of 50 Raddatz in just

a few days just does not

make sense it’s exciting to read or

watch but it’s ludicrous

and that’s okay Dragon Ball has always

been ludicrous it’s a story about grit

determination and overcoming the odds no

matter what of course our heroes were

going to make these leaps in power they

had to it didn’t have much else of a

choice

and frankly if they couldn’t pull it off

the franchise wouldn’t exactly be what

it is today so thankfully for some and

annoyingly for others Dragon Ball super

brought the franchise back to its roots

treating overall strength and the power

of fighters more is this fluid dynamic

force of will rather than some kind of

measurable fuel source Dragon Ball super

revels in its weirdness in a way when

beerus flicks the super saiyan 3 right

at a goku at King Kai’s place he’s also

kind of knocking the whole obsession DBZ

had with transformations and power-ups

all together and that’s not to say that

DBZ never acknowledged the problem with

bigger beefier transformations we

certainly aren’t forgetting the whole

ultra saiyan thing in the cell saga

supers whole direction starting with

battle of the gods seems to be focusing

a lot more on that pursuit of godliness

that we touched on back in part 1 that’s

a kind of obvious considering how

basically the whole series is about the

highest tier of gods in the franchise if

you focus on certain design choices in

Super you’ll definitely notice a trend

towards slimmer lighter form factors in

our heroes this is especially clear in

the art direction for Dragon Ball super

bro Li well in Goku and Vegeta’s case at

least

roley’s beef and going nowhere this

approach to fighting strength is far

from just being an aesthetic one though

Dragon Ball super flows a lot looser

than Z did at least in terms of

comparative power levels it seems like

any given character is able to tap into

an almost limitless well of power when

they truly need to one of the most

visible examples of this comes in the

form of Goku and krillen sparring in

preparation for the tournament of power

a lot of our examples send a circle back

to Crillon ha either way this bald

little guy managed to hold up a few

seconds of a Kamehameha showdown against

Super Saiyan blue Goku and just to be

clear we’ve seen estimates that Goku

Super Saiyan blue form

caps out somewhere around 7.5

quadrillion that’s a 7 out of 5 followed

by 14 zeroes ignoring the fact that the

entire planet would probably dissolve

under the R of that kind of power the

fact that Crillon was able to withstand

literally an instant of even low effort

kamehameha is well inconceivable and

it’s not the only time something like

this happens in this series Master

Roshi’s apparently been hitting the gym

hard and his off time because he pulls

some pretty wild maneuvers during the

tournament of power the guy takes on

Frost the universe 6 freeze a

doppelganger seemingly in his final

transformation I mean he doesn’t fare

well but he gets in a few hits which is

way more than anybody expected look at

the end of the day when looking at power

scaling and comparing the fighting

strength of Dragon Ball characters it’s

safe to say the field is pretty stacked

countless people have made countless

videos trying to quantify or measure the

might of fighters and a lot of those

people make really excellent points but

the reality of Dragon Ball is that

strength really is more of a measurement

of someone’s untapped potential and

their desire to grow and if we’re going

to use that as a metric I think we all

know pretty darn well who the title

should go to that’s right

Icarus get on up here yeah big lovable

dragon Matt come on it’s it’s Goku you

all saw it coming he might not be the

most exciting or unexpected answer but

it’s true from a certain point of view

nobody in the entire Dragon Ball

franchise has quite the same unyielding

passion to improve just for the sake of

improvement nobody else shares his

childlike sense of wonder and incredibly

dangerous habit of challenging literally

anybody to a fight time and time again

Goku has proven himself more than

capable of overcoming impossible odds

with that classic carefree grin and a

big ol thumbs up it’s just what the guy

was born to do now if you want to talk

straight-up muscle punches big boy

strong guy stuff it’s pretty safe to say

at least at this point in the Dragon

Ball canon the strongest fighter in all

of universe 7 is brawling I mean come on

the guy punched open the fabric of

reality while fighting Koji de bruit is

literally strength incarnate the team

behind Dragon Ball super burly actually

did a fantastic job depicting the best

version of burly thus far don’t

we never actually got to see the

conclusion to that fight since Broly was

whisked away to never-never land by

Shenron for all we know he could have

tapped into some other reservoir of

rocket sauce just as Gogeta was getting

ready to land the finishing blow they’ll

almost certainly be revisiting Broly at

some point but for now the upper limit

of his power is still up in the air

although I still firmly believe that

given enough time and training even

Broly would eventually fall to the

plucky little Saiyan that could Goku and

there you have it the strongest fighter

in all of Dragonball at least in our

opinion is son Goku what do you think of

our analysis on fighting strength

are there any characters you’d nominate

to be the best let us know in the

comments and don’t forget to Like and

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