‘Dragon Ball Super’ Episode 86: How Much Is Too Much In Power Level Liberties? [Opinion]

Dragon Ball Super Episode 86 featured the first time that Son Goku and Android 17 sparred with each other. While the two powerful characters’ fight was beautifully choreographed and directed, numerous fans of the longtime anime were up in arms over the power scaling of the fighters, with many stating that the nerfing of Goku’s Super Saiyan Blue form has gotten to a point where it is already ridiculous. Thus, it begs the question, did DBS really cross the line when it matched No.17’s power level with Goku’s strongest form?

Power levels among the main characters in Dragon Ball Super have been pretty liberal since the series began. When Frieza was reintroduced, he was so strong that he gave SSJB Goku a huge fight before he fell. That was after just a few months of training in the anime’s timeline. Future Trunks is another notable example, with the fighter being able to beat Merged Zamasu without reaching Super Saiyan Blue level at all.

During this time, fans of the anime have been split, with many stating that the usual logical liberties of Dragon Ball Super are getting a bit out of hand. Numerous viewers, in particular, have been quite aghast at Future Trunks’ sudden power-up, considering that the young fighter has technically not even reached Super Saiyan 3 levels, and yet, he stood on even grounds with a transformation that was supposedly far beyond mortal levels.

Nevertheless, the Dragon Ball franchise has always been quite liberal with the power levels of its characters. Dragon Ball Z, for one, dedicated an entire arc to defeating Frieza, and the villain was defeated in mere seconds during the introduction of the Androids saga. With regards to Dragon Ball Super, however, many fans have stated that the liberties are becoming a little bit, well, liberal.

Take Android 17, for example. The last time that the character was shown in the series was back in Dragon Ball Z. The non-canonical Dragon Ball GT series aside, No.17 has never really been depicted as one of the series’ strongest fighters. If any, No.17 was utilized in DBZ as a means to introduce and boost the character of Perfect Cell, who went down in Dragon Ball history as one of the franchise’s most formidable and memorable villains.

During No.17 and Goku’s fight in Dragon Ball Super Episode 86, the two fighters were shown to be trading blows as if they were equal. Even after Goku powered up to SSJB, No.17 was able to withstand and counter the Saiyan’s attacks. This must mean that the Android has reached god-level powers over the course of the last ten years or so in the anime’s timeline. While such a development could be explained by the fact that No.17 was training nonstop since he last appeared in Dragon Ball Z, the massive power-up that the Android seemed to have reached defies a little bit of logic, DB or otherwise.

After all, back in Dragon Ball Z, it was stated that Androids have a finite power level, which means that after a certain point, No.17 was not supposed to have gotten stronger anymore. Then again, it is also possible that No.17 might have been embedded with some of Cell’s DNA after he got absorbed back in DBZ, which would practically eliminate his limits.

In a lot of ways, No.17’s sudden power-up is a plot device that is being utilized by Dragon Ball Super as a means of boosting the characters that would play a significant role in the Universe Survival Arc. The Universe 7 team, after all, is supposedly comprised of fighters that are the strongest in every sense of the word. In order to do this, Dragon Ball Super would really need to take liberties with its plot. The anime, however, would need to balance itself out a bit more if it is aiming to please its fans, both longtime and otherwise. As for Android 17’s sudden power-up, it might be a bit too much, at bit this point in the anime’s plot, these liberties are a necessary evil.

[Featured Image by Toei Animation]