One Piece: Why the power level system would've never worked

From top to bottom, Lucci, Kaku, and Jabra's Doriki levels as seen in the One Piece anime. (Image via Toei Animation)
From top to bottom, Lucci, Kaku, and Jabra's Doriki levels as seen in the One Piece anime. (Image via Toei Animation)

While most One Piece fans hail Enies Lobby as one of, if not the best completed One Piece arc to date, the arc certainly isn’t perfect. One of the arcs biggest flaws is the Marine power system Oda tries introducing in the arc.

Pirates have bounties to measure their strength, yet fans have no way to gauge the strength of Marine soldiers because of their lack of bounties. Called Doriki in the subs and simply Power Level in dubs, the scaling method was used by CP9 to measure their power relative to each other.

Thankfully, the system didn’t stick around beyond this arc as it simply wouldn’t have worked in the grand scheme of things.

Note: This article reflects the opinion of the writer and contains spoilers.

One Piece’s attempt at a power level system would’ve never worked in the long-term for a variety of reasons

The Doriki system

The Doriki system is explained in the One Piece manga. (Image via Shueisha Shonen Jump+ app)
The Doriki system is explained in the One Piece manga. (Image via Shueisha Shonen Jump+ app)

The Doriki system worked on relative power strength, with the basis of Doriki being an average armed Marine soldier with a power level of 10. The system classified anyone above 500 as being superhuman, with Rob Lucci having the highest CP9 ranking of 4,000 Doriki.

The system could also account for those weaker than the baseline, with CP9 commandant Spandam ranking in at a nine. One of the system’s major flaws was that it doesn’t account for the strength from Devil Fruits, yet the stat boosts that Zoan types possess can create a problem here.

Why it wouldn’t work long term

I often refer to the assessment of Doriki as a litmus-test for One piece fans. If one thinks Kaku and Jabra are close/equal in overall power because of their base Doriki measurement, then they have failed and need to reread Enies Lobby/water 7. I've spoken about Kaku's…

Until the Enies Lobby arc, One Piece’s main power level system was the bounty system. Bounties main flaws are that they are less indicative of physical strength and more-so a valuation of how dangerous one is to the World Government. A perfect example of this is eight year old Nico Robin having a bounty of 79 million Berries.

Nevertheless, the bounties still paint a fairly accurate picture of relative strength. To become a threat to the World Government, a pirate needs the strength to travel the Grand Line and make waves along the way.

One of the main reasons the Doriki system wouldn’t work long term is because of how much more relevant bounties are. The bounty system gives fans the indication of both roughly how strong a pirate is, as well as how dangerous they are to the World Government. The Doriki system essentially forgoes the latter classification.

Another main reason the Doriki system wouldn’t work long term in One Piece is that most of the time, the Straw Hats are fighting against other pirates. Outside of Enies Lobby and Marineford, the crew doesn’t find themselves opposed by the marines too often.

To give a pirate both a bounty and a Doriki rating is somewhat like putting a hat on a hat; it’s simply a superfluous stacking of unnecessary and irrelevant rankings which hardly adds anything new.

In summation

One Piece’s bounty system has been and seemingly will always be, the main power level system in One Piece. While Doriki was introduced in the Enies Lobby arc, this power measurement system is never mentioned or used again.

Even if it were used beyond the Enies Lobby arc, the system would be irrelevant outside of the Enies Lobby and Marineford arcs. Every other arc has the Straw Hats fighting other pirates, meaning the bounty system is a much more relevant and effective way to compare strengths.

Although the Doriki system won’t be present, fans can continue to support One Piece by checking the series’ official release every Sunday at 11AM EST on various Shonen Jump platforms.

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Edited by Mason J. Schneider
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