Death Battle - Analyzing weapons, armor, and skills on the Internet since 2010.

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Dr. Ricearoni

Cease this maidenless behavior
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Their picks are usually so boring. They should do Star Fox vs Bucky O' Hare, or Gohan vs Superboy. Who the hell is that fat old female magician?
Bit late but they actually already did starfox vs bucky o'hare Im pretty sure.
On the subject of boring picks, raise your hand if you're tired of capeshit battles. Wow Omniman vs Homelander so cool.
 

SSj_Ness

Time to rape organized crime
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Bit late but they actually already did starfox vs bucky o'hare Im pretty sure.
On the subject of boring picks, raise your hand if you're tired of capeshit battles. Wow Omniman vs Homelander so cool.
Oh sweet, I'll have to check out Fox vs Hare.

I'm also tired of them gimping DB characters. First Goku losing to Superman, then Vegeta to Thor. They have a hardon for capeshits curbstomping DBZ in particular.
 

Random Internet Person

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Bit late but they actually already did starfox vs bucky o'hare Im pretty sure.

They have.

On the subject of boring picks, raise your hand if you're tired of capeshit battles. Wow Omniman vs Homelander so cool.
And they’re also the same type of hero: what if Superman was an asshole?
I'm also tired of them gimping DB characters. First Goku losing to Superman, then Vegeta to Thor. They have a hardon for capeshits curbstomping DBZ in particular.
I guess that’s what happens when you actually analyze comic scenes from decades ago that were probably done because…epic. Also, you had those guys losing to an alien powered by the sun, and a Norse god.
 

SSj_Ness

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I guess that’s what happens when you actually analyze comic scenes from decades ago that were probably done because…epic. Also, you had those guys losing to an alien powered by the sun, and a Norse god.
They don't analyze DB properly though. DB is all about Goku's journey to improve, but they completely dismiss that. So for example, they scaled SS4 Goku up by using his Saiyan Saga speed feat on Snake Way and just slapped the SS4 multiplier on it.

That means they ignored his growth not only from all following Z & GT sagas, but even his Saiyan Saga improvement (he got a zenkai boost immediately after fighting Vegeta).

Their excuse was some obscure guidebook Toriyama signed off on, which implied Power Levels weren't reliable, even though the entire series is based around the concept of those going up constantly by leaps and bounds (even though the specific numbers came and went quickly).

Tldr; They nerf DB characters to a fraction of their actual abilities based on a debatable statement from a guidebook, and cherry pick capeshit feats.
 

Random Internet Person

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They don't analyze DB properly though. DB is all about Goku's journey to improve, but they completely dismiss that. So for example, they scaled SS4 Goku up by using his Saiyan Saga speed feat on Snake Way and just slapped the SS4 multiplier on it.

That means they ignored his growth not only from all following Z & GT sagas, but even his Saiyan Saga improvement (he got a zenkai boost immediately after fighting Vegeta).

Their excuse was some obscure guidebook Toriyama signed off on, which implied Power Levels weren't reliable, even though the entire series is based around the concept of those going up constantly by leaps and bounds (even though the specific numbers came and went quickly).

Tldr; They nerf DB characters to a fraction of their actual abilities based on a debatable statement from a guidebook, and cherry pick capeshit feats.
Didn’t they mention that the power levels was more of a narrative then anything?

Also, they did mention Goku’s desire to improve, but also that Superman is basically always a cut above everyone by his very design, and is something unobtainable and out of everyone’s league, which is what GvS 2’s end analysis was about, so it’s not like using different feats and forms would change anything, even Ultra Instinct.

Also, the reason they used Snake Way and other similar feats was because of the way GT was written and assumptions being made with a future form (and that there’s a future golden Superman that’s basically God which means that prime Goku has to be used) and that Dragon Ball doesn’t really have a great way to clearly measure feats and skills.
 

Local FloRida-man

Heard you like the wild onez
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Also, they did mention Goku’s desire to improve, but also that Superman is basically always a cut above everyone by his very design, and is something unobtainable and out of everyone’s league, which is what GvS 2’s end analysis was about, so it’s not like using different feats and forms would change anything, even Ultra Instinct.
I always hated this reasoning because it only makes sense to people who already think superman is better than everyone. It's a tautology: "superman is stronger than everyone because superman is stronger than everyone. So says I, a fan of superman." If you don't already belive the hype then the logic doesn't work.

DC had to buy out Shazaam's company and then literally write Captain Marvel to be weaker to finally stop people asking who's stronger. The entire "Superman is the best" sentiment is just in-house corporate policy, not popular sentiment. It's astroturf bs.
 

Gisvarg

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I always hated this reasoning because it only makes sense to people who already think superman is better than everyone. It's a tautology: "superman is stronger than everyone because superman is stronger than everyone. So says I, a fan of superman." If you don't already belive the hype then the logic doesn't work.

DC had to buy out Shazaam's company and then literally write Captain Marvel to be weaker to finally stop people asking who's stronger. The entire "Superman is the best" sentiment is just in-house corporate policy, not popular sentiment. It's astroturf bs.
It isn't good reasoning. I can buy "Superman beats Goku due to overwhelming speed and versatility" because that's reasonable, but character core doesn't work in debates. Death Battle is supposed to be measuring of things characters do and overcomplicated calculations based on autistic empiricism, not platitudes or themes or character cores. Those would only matter if they help contextualize a feat a character did, but by no means should a theme or character core be the feat itself.

Not to mention their description of Superman does him no justice and is pretty insulting and reductionist. They basically belittled 25 years of complex development of a character as though it was 25 stagnant years of Superman being this god steamrolling all opposition and never losing and how boring and one-note he is.
 

SSj_Ness

Time to rape organized crime
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Didn’t they mention that the power levels was more of a narrative then anything?

Also, they did mention Goku’s desire to improve, but also that Superman is basically always a cut above everyone by his very design, and is something unobtainable and out of everyone’s league, which is what GvS 2’s end analysis was about, so it’s not like using different feats and forms would change anything, even Ultra Instinct.

Also, the reason they used Snake Way and other similar feats was because of the way GT was written and assumptions being made with a future form (and that there’s a future golden Superman that’s basically God which means that prime Goku has to be used) and that Dragon Ball doesn’t really have a great way to clearly measure feats and skills.
But PLs aren't just a narrative tool, they literally determine who can win and who can't. It's not the only factor, but it's the main one by far. Other considerations are weaknesses (e.g, Saiyan's tails), strategy (e.g, planet busting), and species specific traits (e.g, Namekians can regenerate).

The reason Jiren buttfucked everyone is because he was just overwhelmingly powerful. Nobody's strategies or special traits could help close the gap. Hit was not that much stronger than Goku so when he used Kaioken he shot up past his PL and that rendered Time Skip ineffective.

These things can't be ignored. To completely dismiss PLs is to dismiss a core mechanic of DB. Also, the "Superman always being a cut above everyone" thing isn't even true (he's lost before), but he does have some of the thickest plot armor ever. Thing is, you can't calculate plot armor nor give it to him in a versus match, so their reasoning was retarded.

DB is in a weird place with feats, a lot of it comes down to using the earlier feats that have PLs associated with them and scaling up, and making estimates based on statements for later sagas.

For example, say Death Battle wanted to know how fast Goku was in the Frieza saga; they would just take his 8,000 PL feat and slap SS1's 50x multiplier on it ignoring his growth. In reality, he was at 3,000,000 at that point, so 375x faster than he was when he ran Snake Way, which they would ignore. That's a major downgrade but it's how they decided to do things since they're ignoring PLs.

Of course, after Frieza it's hard to get an estimate on how much stronger Goku got.
 

Gisvarg

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But PLs aren't just a narrative tool, they literally determine who can win and who can't. It's not the only factor, but it's the main one by far. Other considerations are weaknesses (e.g, Saiyan's tails), strategy (e.g, planet busting), and species specific traits (e.g, Namekians can regenerate).

The reason Jiren buttfucked everyone is because he was just overwhelmingly powerful. Nobody's strategies or special traits could help close the gap. Hit was not that much stronger than Goku so when he used Kaioken he shot up past his PL and that rendered Time Skip ineffective.

These things can't be ignored. To completely dismiss PLs is to dismiss a core mechanic of DB. Also, the "Superman always being a cut above everyone" thing isn't even true (he's lost before), but he does have some of the thickest plot armor ever. Thing is, you can't calculate plot armor nor give it to him in a versus match, so their reasoning was retarded.

DB is in a weird place with feats, a lot of it comes down to using the earlier feats that have PLs associated with them and scaling up, and making estimates based on statements for later sagas.

For example, say Death Battle wanted to know how fast Goku was in the Frieza saga; they would just take his 8,000 PL feat and slap SS1's 50x multiplier on it ignoring his growth. In reality, he was at 3,000,000 at that point, so 375x faster than he was when he ran Snake Way, which they would ignore. That's a major downgrade but it's how they decided to do things since they're ignoring PLs.

Of course, after Frieza it's hard to get an estimate on how much stronger Goku got.
Death Battle pretty much made Superman be what that Cosmic Armor thing in Final Crisis was, a walking plot device made to only ever win. Except that's not Superman. They very intentionally pointed towards one Superman incarnation, not Superman as a whole, but still went on to act like it was the thematic idea of Superman fighting.
 

Random Internet Person

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It isn't good reasoning. I can buy "Superman beats Goku due to overwhelming speed and versatility" because that's reasonable, but character core doesn't work in debates. Death Battle is supposed to be measuring of things characters do and overcomplicated calculations based on autistic empiricism, not platitudes or themes or character cores. Those would only matter if they help contextualize a feat a character did, but by no means should a theme or character core be the feat itself.

Not to mention their description of Superman does him no justice and is pretty insulting and reductionist. They basically belittled 25 years of complex development of a character as though it was 25 stagnant years of Superman being this god steamrolling all opposition and never losing and how boring and one-note he is.

But PLs aren't just a narrative tool, they literally determine who can win and who can't. It's not the only factor, but it's the main one by far. Other considerations are weaknesses (e.g, Saiyan's tails), strategy (e.g, planet busting), and species specific traits (e.g, Namekians can regenerate).

The reason Jiren buttfucked everyone is because he was just overwhelmingly powerful. Nobody's strategies or special traits could help close the gap. Hit was not that much stronger than Goku so when he used Kaioken he shot up past his PL and that rendered Time Skip ineffective.

These things can't be ignored. To completely dismiss PLs is to dismiss a core mechanic of DB. Also, the "Superman always being a cut above everyone" thing isn't even true (he's lost before), but he does have some of the thickest plot armor ever. Thing is, you can't calculate plot armor nor give it to him in a versus match, so their reasoning was retarded.

DB is in a weird place with feats, a lot of it comes down to using the earlier feats that have PLs associated with them and scaling up, and making estimates based on statements for later sagas.

For example, say Death Battle wanted to know how fast Goku was in the Frieza saga; they would just take his 8,000 PL feat and slap SS1's 50x multiplier on it ignoring his growth. In reality, he was at 3,000,000 at that point, so 375x faster than he was when he ran Snake Way, which they would ignore. That's a major downgrade but it's how they decided to do things since they're ignoring PLs.

Of course, after Frieza it's hard to get an estimate on how much stronger Goku got.

Death Battle pretty much made Superman be what that Cosmic Armor thing in Final Crisis was, a walking plot device made to only ever win. Except that's not Superman. They very intentionally pointed towards one Superman incarnation, not Superman as a whole, but still went on to act like it was the thematic idea of Superman fighting.


So this is taken from the actual episode, if only to get their exact words.
Wiz: FALSE! In the Japanese manga, Goku's power level at that time was 8,000. But it doesn't even matter because power levels are absurd. "The entire point of introducing them was to show how unreliable and meaningless they were". [Kanzenshuu] By relying on power levels, the villains constantly underestimated the heroes. Therefore, using them to judge Goku's abilities is pointless. Besides, the Daizenshuu says that—

Boomstick: Dai-what now?

Wiz: The Official Dragon Ball Encyclopedia. It states power levels eventually become immeasurable, not because they are so high they can't be measured, but because the characters, and hopefully the audience, have realized just how futile these numbers are.

Raditz: I'm still ten times stronger than you are!

Goku: That may be true, but strength isn't the only thing that matters.


Wiz: We cannot judge Goku by his power level, nor can we through power scaling, the theory that he can achieve the same feats as lesser Dragon Ball characters. Goku's abilities are tailored to his personal training and experiences, not to mention anatomy.

Frieza is shown against Super Saiyan Goku, telling that the planet will blow up.

Frieza: I can breathe in space and you can't.

: So, Superman's feats and skills are definitively measured. However, Goku's are not, and are difficult to judge. Not only does Dragon Ball heavily abuse cinematic time, but Goku's final adventures in Dragon Ball GT are incredibly inconsistent due to his untimely transformation into a child.

From the wish from Pilaf from the Black-Star Dragon Balls, accidentally turned Goku from an full-grown Saiyan to a Saiyan child.

Goku: Wow, the room got a lot bigger somehow.

Wiz: As ki is dependent on the physical body, his child form likely could not handle his own ki, sending his power into flux.

Goku: It can't take it. It's too weak. My older body was more developed.

Boomstick: And obviously, we're not using future Goku 'cause that would require a ridiculous amount of assumptions. Not to mention we'd have to use future Superman, who's pretty much God! So, like Superman, we need to judge Goku in his prime.

Wiz: After experimenting with dozens of different theories, we discovered an iron-clad method to finding Goku's limits, which we call the Gravity Formula, based around his training in increased gravity. Due to his style of training and Saiyan heritage, Goku increases his abilities proportionate to the amount of force he trains under.

King Kai: Saiyans are born with the unique ability to fight anywhere.

Wiz: While in base form, Goku could lift just under 40 tons. This is equivalent to 586x normal Earth gravity, which we will use in the Gravity Formula along with the Super Saiyan multipliers to calculate Goku's maximum potential.

(Note: The Gravity Formula goes as follows: 1g of base form*586*50*2*4*10)

: Wiz: Now we can keep throwing feats and equations around, but in the end, numbers cannot measure what Goku and Superman are capable of. They are both ultimate heroes, solutions to daunting problems and achievers of the impossible. The difference is at the core of their character. Goku has never been invincible; he has very clear limits and must overcome those limits to solve the problems at hand. That's the whole point. On the other hand, Superman's story is not about the fight to become the best, but of an immigrant facing the challenge of home versus heritage. After accepting his alien side, Superman has reached his full potential, which under the endless power of the sun is essentially limitless. In short, "Superman is as strong as he needs to be". [Superman Homepage] So, what happens when you pit a man with the power to break any limits against another who has no limits in the first place? Well, only one has limits to give at all.

Boomstick: Goku just Kaio-can't keep up with the Man of Steel.

Wiz: The winner is Superman.

And the second go round is just them driving the last aspect home further.
 

Gisvarg

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I've watched both episodes. That's what they say about Dragon Ball and Superman, but that doesn't mean it is correct.

-Scaling is a necessity for Dragon Ball and even DB recognized it an have dumped that as early as #18 vs Marvel. Nowadays if they did Goku vs Superman 1 they would have accepted scaling used it and have SS4 Goku at galaxy level and far faster than light from scaling.

-IIRC Ben admitted in a blog that gravity formula seemed best at the time. He probably only used it because he trapped himself in a corner by "no scaling," and looking at how other Saiyans deal with gravity training, it's not consistent whatsoever.

-Numbers can measure what Goku and Superman are capable of. Ben was using rational themes instead of empirical evidence, which he admitted in the aforementioned blog. Superman also isn't made to be invincible, guidebooks admit there are things he cannot achieves and characters he cannot out-strength. What matters is he still tries and due to his nature of always doing what is right, the plot bends to his will and the enemy always ends up making a miscalculation, their weakness is revealed, Superman achieves a temporary powerup, or the cavalry always arrives at the darkest moment. This is in-verse, and it doesn't matter as this wasn't Goku vs Superman as a composite. It is a very specific canon (1985-2011 Superman and DBZ Anime + GT Goku) which don't reflect a meta-commentary. It's just the most famous versions of Goku/Superman.

Nowadays they would argue Superman beats Goku due to being a larger level of universal, being much faster, and having superior versatility. Which is reasonable and wouldn't particularly bother me. It's not like Toriyama or Toeii have given Goku anything truly impressive in the past few years. Ultra Instinct is pretty underwhelming and Superman had a similar technique 20 years prior.
 
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Random Internet Person

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-IIRC Ben admitted in a blog that gravity formula seemed best at the time. He probably only used it because he trapped himself in a corner by "no scaling," and looking at how other Saiyans deal with gravity training, it's not consistent whatsoever.
I think back then he’s mentioned how the show was mostly him and Chad and whatever animator(s) they could get, and research standards and methods weren’t as good as later episodes. He even said that if Yang vs Tifa happened now, Yang would lose.
 

X-Shaped Weeaboo

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I always hated this reasoning because it only makes sense to people who already think superman is better than everyone. It's a tautology: "superman is stronger than everyone because superman is stronger than everyone. So says I, a fan of superman." If you don't already belive the hype then the logic doesn't work.

DC had to buy out Shazaam's company and then literally write Captain Marvel to be weaker to finally stop people asking who's stronger. The entire "Superman is the best" sentiment is just in-house corporate policy, not popular sentiment. It's astroturf bs.

This is exactly why a huge number of these episodes bother me even when the person I want to win does.

The Megaman Battle Royal: Loved it for all the fan-service but not only was .exe's win predicated on non-canon material that is constantly breaking the rules of the story it's supposed to be based on, they didn't even follow the rules that particular canon's lore themselves to begin with. (The Internet in Battle Network is a vague visualization of what happens in the world Megaman inhabits, it is not a literal approximation.)

Hiei vs Sasuke: Yeah I'm glad Hiei won, but he didn't win for reasons that showed what makes people love that character and what makes him special. It was just "Big number uwu". No mention of how Hiei's battle strategy systematically deconstructs and dismantles the advantages of opponents that might be stronger than him, no demonstration of his Demon physiology that in-universe gives him strict advantages that the world of Naruto doesn't account for, and nothing of the self-improvement and self-immolation Hiei is infamous for in his greatest struggles which causes him to massively become more powerful in fights he should logically lose. (Because for being the stoic bad-ass character in the roster, Hiei's entire story is about how he pushes himself farther than anyone else would.) Just "Big number", it doesn't show any real respect to the characters when they don't demonstrate who they are in the fight and why people love them.

Shao Khan vs Akuma: Even something so mundane as two villains fighting is squandered here. There's barely anything interesting going on that people who love these characters could chew on besides the fan-service of going "Oh there's THAT attack". Shao Khan acts like a normal brute, Akuma has almost NO personality, and none of the charm, wit, humor, or style that made want to see these characters clash is demonstrated. Hell, why is THIS fight in particular 3-D? These two characters are boss fights from games that DEFINED 2D Fighting Games! It just doesn't come across as anything to do with the franchises these two came from outside of the bare minimum. We don't even get to see a full fatality; The screen is in first person perspective when Shao Khan finishes Akuma. Lame.


The opposite of this is why the match-ups people love are so beloved:
Pop-eye vs Saitama
Wario vs King DeDeDe
TJ Combo vs Balrog
Jiraya vs Master Roshi
Beerus vs Galaxia

This is generally more in line with what people want when they watch Death Battle. These fights have the autistic number crunching while also providing the characterization that makes us root for characters in the first place. Who cares how big of a stomp Wario vs DeDeDe is? It was an extremely entertaining battle that gave both characters time to shine and demonstrated who they really are at the core.

Instead the Death Battle team does everything in it's power to *sound* right more than anything else and that's a drag.
 

Random Internet Person

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This is exactly why a huge number of these episodes bother me even when the person I want to win does.

The Megaman Battle Royal: Loved it for all the fan-service but not only was .exe's win predicated on non-canon material that is constantly breaking the rules of the story it's supposed to be based on, they didn't even follow the rules that particular canon's lore themselves to begin with. (The Internet in Battle Network is a vague visualization of what happens in the world Megaman inhabits, it is not a literal approximation.)

Hiei vs Sasuke: Yeah I'm glad Hiei won, but he didn't win for reasons that showed what makes people love that character and what makes him special. It was just "Big number uwu". No mention of how Hiei's battle strategy systematically deconstructs and dismantles the advantages of opponents that might be stronger than him, no demonstration of his Demon physiology that in-universe gives him strict advantages that the world of Naruto doesn't account for, and nothing of the self-improvement and self-immolation Hiei is infamous for in his greatest struggles which causes him to massively become more powerful in fights he should logically lose. (Because for being the stoic bad-ass character in the roster, Hiei's entire story is about how he pushes himself farther than anyone else would.) Just "Big number", it doesn't show any real respect to the characters when they don't demonstrate who they are in the fight and why people love them.

Shao Khan vs Akuma: Even something so mundane as two villains fighting is squandered here. There's barely anything interesting going on that people who love these characters could chew on besides the fan-service of going "Oh there's THAT attack". Shao Khan acts like a normal brute, Akuma has almost NO personality, and none of the charm, wit, humor, or style that made want to see these characters clash is demonstrated. Hell, why is THIS fight in particular 3-D? These two characters are boss fights from games that DEFINED 2D Fighting Games! It just doesn't come across as anything to do with the franchises these two came from outside of the bare minimum. We don't even get to see a full fatality; The screen is in first person perspective when Shao Khan finishes Akuma. Lame.


The opposite of this is why the match-ups people love are so beloved:
Pop-eye vs Saitama
Wario vs King DeDeDe
TJ Combo vs Balrog
Jiraya vs Master Roshi
Beerus vs Galaxia

This is generally more in line with what people want when they watch Death Battle. These fights have the autistic number crunching while also providing the characterization that makes us root for characters in the first place. Who cares how big of a stomp Wario vs DeDeDe is? It was an extremely entertaining battle that gave both characters time to shine and demonstrated who they really are at the core.

Instead the Death Battle team does everything in it's power to *sound* right more than anything else and that's a drag.
Honestly, I’d say that explains a lot, although I’d say a lot of opinion hinges on feelings toward the characters and/or IPs being featured in an episode, assuming DB hasn’t gotten to the point where people come to be preconditioned to hate anything they do, justified or not.

As for your love examples: I’d say Saitama vs Popeye was probably the best way Saitama could have been featured in the show, and Balrog vs TJ Combo was just so damn good. From taking actual boxing styles into account, to treating and animating things like an actual title fight, to the music flowing well, everything about that I think is Death Battle when it’s hitting on all cylinders. Not sure if that’s the magnum opus for them, but I’d say that’s an episode you gotta put in the “must watch” and “best episodes” list if you ask me.