Water, Earth, Fire, Air and a whole lotta kick-ass
So, your Player Character
just got an Invincibility Power-Up
, anime hero unlocked a Super Mode
, or your essay is due in an hour and you drink a Red Bull.
How do you represent the sudden increase in power
? With circles and spheres.
It can be in the form of a debris cloud
that envelops the character, a Chunky Updraft
that circles the character like electrons around an atom, a full-body halo
that radiates from him, a barrier
of any stripe,
a cyclone spiraling upwards, or maybe Instant Runes
following the character around like a celestial spotlight. Point is, it's got circles and therefore it must
This is possibly because a circle (in 2D) and sphere (in 3D) are the shapes any equally distributed outward pressure will form.
Not to be confused with the Sphere of Destruction
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Anime and Manga
Live Action TV
- The Kamen Rider Dragon Knight transformation effect looks a great deal like the page image. The sphere forms, the circle (actually two in one) appears at waist level, and they slowly flip, suiting the Rider as they pass over. When the circles have gone 180° and are one again, the effect ends. A monster or rival Rider unfortunate enough to be too close when the henshin field bursts forth from the belt will be thrown backwards.
- Several Kamen Riders get a sphere effect. And these spheres are crazy impenetrable, repelling any charging monster or its weaponfire.
- The spellcasting effect in Final Fantasy VII looks like this.
- Ōkami has this appear several times. The Saotomi orbs which circle princess Fuse and later you, the Vengeance Slips which protect you from attack, the Godhood barriers, the Bead weapons which circle Amaterasu's neck and the various enemies with orbiting stone heads/skulls.
- In Sonic the Hedgehog, Tails's super form features four superpowerful Flickies (magical birds) that encircle him and constantly rotate around him, destroying anything that comes near him.
- In Kingdom Hearts II, whenever a character levels up they are briefly surrounded by a sphere.
- The Aero spell, typically an air-elemental offensive spell in Final Fantasy, is instead a spherical shield in the first Kingdom Hearts.
- Reflect/Barrier/Dark Barrier projects a spherical Beehive Barrier whenever he guards.
- Xemnas's ultimate attack in the first game's Final Mix involves forming one and strafing Team Sora with energy beams. It's reused for his Limit Break in days. In Dream Drop Distance, this is Ansem / Xehanort's latest trick with his Guardian.
- Taken to its logical extreme in Final Fantasy X in which the entire levelling system is based around spheres.
- Pikachu's Final Smash attack in Super Smash Bros. Brawl turns him into ball lightning. Large, fast, and almost uncontrollable by any but the most skilled players.
- The Art of the Invincible Fire Wheel in the NES Ninja Gaiden games, which is a set of three fireballs that orbit Ryu's body for a short amount of time.
- Mega Man X's Rolling Shield projects a sphere of pressure around him, protecting him from harm.
- For that matter, the classic Mega Man uses the Reverse Shrapnel variety for his shields: Leaf Shield, Jewel Shield, Skull Shield, Junk Shield (which can also be fired outwards,) Crystal Shield...
- Two notable examples from the Tales series are Sync's Harrowing Gale and Tison's Infernal Lord Mystic Artes.
- Phaeton has several abilities that use this effect.
- Aang from Avatar: The Last Airbender once made one from all four elements, it's the reason fans now call him Planet Aang.
- Avatar Wan, the first Avatar, uses it to contain a powerful dark spirit, and Avatar Korra later does the same when it frees itself again. Notable as they cast it on the enemy rather than around themselves.
- In Transformers: Beast Machines, the heroic Maximals are surrounded by personal spheres of light when their Sparks are temporarily empowered by the Matrix, allowing them to plow through the Vehicons like lightning-fast wrecking balls. Sadly, it doesn't last.