21 Ways To Measure Anime Power Levels

Shonen battle anime: a welcome ground for fighting, tournaments, training, increasingly stronger enemies, lots of growling/grunting, and impossible stakes. They all vary in some way, but most require one major element: power levels. A power level is simple. It is how the characters of the series identify who is stronger than who. Without them, how could you fill episodes full of reactions by other characters to those power levels?

Power level 3

Anime worlds try to avoid copying off each other. And since the power level system is usually very central to a battle anime story, they try to create their own, with lengthy and often unnecessary explanations.

So let’s look at the top ways different anime measure power levels. (Note: I’m not using the official English translations for these anime power levels, as I don’t know them all. Feel free to add the official English in the comments).

Naruto

21. チャクラ (chakra)

Bleach

20. 霊圧 (spiritual pressure)

DOG DAYS

19. 輝力 (blaze power)

Hunter X Hunter

18. オーラ (aura)
17. 念能力 (will-power)
16. 念力 (will-power)

One Piece

15. 覇気 (spirit power)
14. 賞金首 (bounty reward – used to measure power)

Yuyu Hakusho

13. 霊能力 (spiritual power)
12. 霊力 (spiritual power)
11. 霊気 (spiritual energy)
10. 妖力 (magic power)
9. 魔力 (magic power)
8. 妖気 (magic energy)

Ruroni Kenshin

7. 剣気 (sword energy)

Miscellaneous anime (leave in comments if you know anime titles that use them):

6.超能力 (supernatural power)
5. 神力 (divine power)
4. 心力(mind power)
3. 法力(miracle power)

Dragon Ball Z:

2. 戦闘力 (battle power)
1. 気 (energy)

What is the difference between all of these terms?

I’m not big enough of an anime otaku to be qualified to properly answer this.

However this Japanese guy is, and has fully broken down all these different types of ways of measuring power levels and compares them against each other. He even created this highly sophisticated and handy graphic:

Power Level

Consider his page to be one of the most valuable Japanese lessons you will ever have. It was also created on Geocities, and looks like it was made in the 90s, which of course makes it so much cooler.

Which are some of your favorite types of power levels? Which don’t you really like? Any other good ones missed here?



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Adam

Adam

Founder of Jalup. Spends most of his time absorbing and spreading thrilling information about learning Japanese.

Comments

21 Ways To Measure Anime Power Levels — 13 Comments

      • I found out that the kanji for マゴイ is 魔力, but that doesn’t really help answer your question. My guess is that it’s mostly made up (although “magoi” is the name for a species of fish though to originate in the Middle East and so there might be something there).

  1. There’s 波紋エナジー (ripple energy) from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.

    I will mediate on that power level diagram and try to unlock its true meaning. I feel that if you can understand that picture and its full implications you have reached anime enlightenment! (wait is that actually a good thing? never mind…)

    Also this should be required listening when reading this article: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDmqDipQn9A

    • Anime enlightenment is always a good thing. I have faith in your determination to reach that point.

      And ripple energy does sound pretty cool.

  2. Ah! Just thought of one!

    The Absolute Terror Field/synchronization level from Neon Genesis Evangelion.

      • A.T. フィールド!

        I’d have to delve more deeply to figure out synchronization level. I haven’t watched the show in fifteen years or something…yet I listened to the theme song so much I can still remember the lyrics. I think it was the first Japanese I learned purely phonetically just through repetition…

        …holy crap, the immersion method works!

  3. Adshap, do you know the game shows Qさま and くりぃむクイズ ミラクル9? How well do you think you would perform if you were a guest?

    • Yes, i have seen them before. Let me give the cocky answer and say I think I would do extremely well haha.

      I used to watch quiz shows like this with Japanese friends, and especially when it came down to anything kanji rated, I would usually blow them out of the water.

      That being said, I can understand the actually pressure of the contestants on the show is probably pretty intense.

      You got a spot lined up for me? Haha.

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