Power Level

Power Level

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Updated Dec 10, 2017 at 04:19AM EST by Y F.

Added Nov 19, 2015 at 02:10PM EST by MScratch.

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Power Level is a concept originating from a Japanese manga Dragon Ball that refers to a measurement used for a fictional character's' combat ability. On the internet, it is often used to compare the strength of fictional characters.


The term "power level" was first used in Chapter 195 of the Dragon Ball manga, released on October 17th, 1988, when Raditz, after arriving on Earth, measures the power level of a farmer that was nearby[1]. Raditz uses a tool called a scouter to measure the power level, which is five.[2] According to Dragon Ball Wiki,

The first and last power level read by a scouter in the manga is "5". The first time occurs when Raditz lands at Earth and uses his scouter to examine a hostile farmer to see if he is any threat to him. The last time occurs when King Cold's soldier Iru reads Future Trunks' power level as 5 (as Future Trunks was hiding his true level); this is the last time a Scouter appeared on the main series.


Power level was first defined in Urban Dictionary in 2004 by the user Snowlevel; however, the most popular definition was recorded in 2013 by the user bfruit, who wrote, "In anime-related forums, most notably /a/, it refers to the fact that one watches anime or reads manga. It is usually used in the context of keeping it a secret from others."[3] This definition is closer to that of the related meme Hide Your Power Level (see below). On September 13, 2013, the user TeslaBolt uploaded the Dbz Power Level calculator to the MIT Scratch board; since that time, the tool, which is used for measuring power levels, has received over 8,000 views.

Power level debates are common in a variety of subreddits, including /r/whowouldwin,[4] /r/leagueoflegends,[5] and /r/pokemontrades.[6] According to the archive desustorage, the term "power level" has been used on /a/ more than 2,200 times.[7]

Hide Your Power Level

“Hide Your Power Level” is an expression is often used to describe a user who is hiding their affiliation, skills or hobbies (like video games or anime) to avoid being labelled negatively. The expression is commonly used on 4chan’s /a/ board to describe users who hide their otaku interests and lifestyles to avoid being called a weeaboo or an otaku.


Over 9000!!!

“Over 9000” is a popular catchphrase derived from the Japanese manga anime series Dragon Ball Z that is typically used as an innumerable quantifier to describe a large number of something like “several”, “lots”, “butt loads” and even the metric “ass tonne”.

Search Interest

External References

[1] Dragon Ball Wiki – The Mysterious Warrior From Space

[2] Dragon Ball Wiki – Scouters

[3] Urban Dictionary – Power Level

[4] /r/whowouldwin – search: power level

[5] /r/leagueoflegends – search: power level

[6] /r/pokemontrades – search: power level

[7] DesuStorage – search: power level

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Top Comments

Jon the Wizard
Jon the Wizard

Remember the most important fact about power levels: Power Levels Are Bullshit.

No, seriously. That's their point is that by relying on them, the villains always underestimate whoever's power level they're comparing to.


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