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Aura Vision

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The ability to perceive normally invisible Life Energy of others, often colour-coded for good/evil, emotions, amount of life, Power Levels, etc. Often presented as an advanced form of Ki Manipulation, but can also be attributed to Functional Magic, Psychic Powers, spirituality, or sufficiently advanced technology.

Auras can be seen as a glowing outline or coloring on a character's skin. For extra clarity, the character/Monster of the Week's vision may be shown in black and white to make the auras more distinctive.

Super-Trope of Detect Evil. Sister Trope of Enemy Scan and The Force Is Strong with This One. When the Aura is representative of something else, see Editorial Synaesthesia, Power Glows, Fluorescent Footprints or Battle Aura. Compare to Vein-o-Vision, which shows the heart rate and blood pumping inside a body.

Not to be confused with actual auras, which are visual or neurological aberrations that occur before the onset of a migraine.

For other information displays within a person's field of view, see Heads-Up Display, Stat-O-Vision, Killing Intent and Infrared X-Ray Camera.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Black Clover: When his vision is taken by Catherine's Ash Curse Magic, Yuno hones his magic sensing, allowing him to see mana in the form of a flock of winged beings to sense her location and defeat her.
  • Castle Town Dandelion: This is the king's Royalty Superpower, which allows him to see Colour-Coded Emotions.
  • Every version of Hyakkimaru from Dororo compromises his blindness with his ability to see life energy. While he can't distinguish gender, he still gets general form and is able to see the level of corruption their souls have taken.
  • In Dragon Ball Z the main cast has the ability to sense ki. Many enemies, on the other hand, require Scouters to detect Power Levels.
  • Goblin Slayer: Sword Maiden is blind, but retains her ability to see auras, which allows her to navigate in spite of her handicap.
  • In Hunter × Hunter, a person's aura is normally invisible to everyone save for Nen practitioners, who gain the ability to see it as part of their basic training. Nen practitioners, in turn, have developed techniques that mask their aura from their peers, as well as to bypass such countermeasures.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure has a curious example in Part 5. After the battle with Secco, it is revealed that Buccierati's body has deteriorated, deteriorating his sight and hearing. However, he had an ability to see the spirits of the people around him (For example, he was about to be run over by a car, but he could only see the car's driver). Diavolo exploits this by masking his spirit with that of his daughter, who joined with Buccierati.
  • Maken-ki!: People naturally assume Minerva is blind because she can't open her eyes and carries a walking stick. But she can "see" just fine, due to her ability to see Element which exists in all things. Ouken Yamato possesses the same ability; making him the only other person, besides Minerva, who's capable of seeing what Himegami actually looks like. And it's how they both knew she was Dead All Along.
  • In Naruto:
    • The Hyuga clan's Byakugan is both X-Ray Vision and Aura Vision: it sees the chakra networks inside people.
    • The Uchiha clan's Sharingan grants a weaker version of this ability, allowing the viewer to see the general flow of chakra in an individual rather than the specific network.
  • Users of Observation Haki in One Piece can perceive the presence of living things around them in the form of brightly colored auras. They can't make out any physical characteristics though, only a general form. This ability can also be used to sense the strength of other living things.
  • In Pokémon: The Series, Riolu and Lucario can sense auras to read people's emotions and see when blindfolded.
    • And there's Ash's and Sir Aaron's power, as shown in the Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew movie. Interestingly, it is called "the wave" in the original version. Some would say Rui from Pokémon Colosseum and Yellow from Pokémon Adventures manga have similar powers (despite appearing first).
    • Ash has been shown to still have the power. It's just that he doesn't train them and has no special equipment to channel them (he probably left Aaron's gloves behind after the movie) so they are rather underdeveloped and not really good for anything, except finding runaway Riolu. He develops it more after catching his own Riolu in Journeys, which evolved into a Lucario later on.
  • Record of Ragnarok: Jack the Ripper was born with a special right eye that lets him see people's auras, which change color according to their emotions. One reason why he kills is that he likes seeing the color of fear.
  • In Soul Eater several characters are able to do this by having an ability to see another person's soul (which is typically several times the size of their body if they have any level of power) called "Soul Perception". One of the protagonists, Maka, can even use it to track people. As others can do it (some of the kids, and common amongst the staff) it's not what makes Maka a special case; that would be the fact she can possibly use it to see through witches' Soul Protect. One other character had that ability, and he died because of it.
  • That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime: The Extra Skill "Magic Sense" allows for this by sensing magicules in the air and within living beings. In fact, this was Rimuru's primary mode of "sight" for some time post his reincarnation since slimes don't have eyes.
  • Coco from Toriko, due to his special eyes which can see a greater variety of light spectrums than normal humans, has the ability to see the electromagnetic waves around living beings, which are artistically depicted as an aura. As a fortune teller uses this to foretell the future fate of that person by interpreting its shape, volume, color, etc.
  • In Umi Monogatari, Kanon has an "evil aura" that everyone can see and comment on. It tends to flare up when she's nervous.
  • Variable Geo: Yuka's allows her brief glimpses into her opponent's psyche, as she withstands their attacks, which is how she learns what's troubling them. Then she returns their Ki while blasting them with her own, thereby purging them of any negative emotions.

    Comic Books 
  • Blackjak of Atari Force temporarily had this ability with the organic eye that the Tazlings had given him.
  • Green Lantern: The Black Lanterns can apparently see where individuals fall on the emotional spectrum at any one time; in order to harvest a person, that individual must be driven entirely towards one emotion or another (given that we're talking super zombies here, it's more often than not fear). Failing that, the Black rings often try to possess the bodies and mimic the memories of friends and loved ones of their victims to screw with their heads before ripping out their hearts.
  • One of the few Psychic Powers remaining in Hellcat is the ability to detect mystic energies.
  • Linda Tavara from the Heroes graphic novels can also absorb people auras, killing them and giving her their power.
  • The Incredible Hulk: The Big Guy can see astral projections. As a creepy gravedigger who may or may not be the Devil (or a Devil) explains, it's because the Hulk is born from Bruce Banner's childhood trauma. Seeing astral projections is a way of making sure he'll see if the ghost of Brian Banner is nearby.
  • In the French Comics Les Légendaires, one of the heroes uses it as a vision substitute after the Big Bad ripped her eyes.
  • Madman can do this as well, it seems. "Bad vibes" is a phrase he often uses.
  • The Marvel Comics The New Universe character Justice could read auras to determine if people were good or evil.
  • Thomas from the "Bride and Groom" arc of the Nightwing series can see auras and can control people by manipulating them. He mostly uses his powers to find victims that are suitable for his beloved Violet to drain the life force from.
  • Vyking, leader of Strikeforce: Morituri, was able to detect nearby lifeforms.
  • In Supergirl story Demon Spawn villain Nightflame can sense the titular heroine because Supergirl's aura guides Nightflame towards her.
  • Briefly, Superman had this power.
    • It, and all of Superman's vision powers, are given quite the spotlight in the Superman origin graphic novel Superman: Birthright. Whether another form of the many frequencies of light Clark can see or something else entirely, all living things emit an ethereal glow that tragically fades as soon as they die. The aura is equally strong for all animals, and is mentioned as influencing Clark's decision to become a vegetarian.
  • "It's All In How You Frame It" from The Twilight Zone Dynamite is about a Corrupt Corporate Executive trying on a pair of prototype smartglasses that he discovers allows him to see the aura of people's souls. After being denied help from a monk, he looks in the mirror to find he has no aura.
  • The graphic novel Walk In, where everyone has a different colored aura.

     Fan Works 
  • Advice and Trust:
    • Unsurprisingly, Rei, her being a Half-Human Hybrid. The special thing about her Aura Vision is that it allows her to see everyone's bonds. For example, Asuka and Shinji's loving relationship is like a blazing fire to her eyes.
    • Kaworu can do something similar, except he hears bonds rather than just seeing them.
  • In The Apprentice, the Student, and the Charlatan, energy sensing is apparently a skill anyone can learn, though unicorns learn it most easily as they are more sensitive to magic around them. In addition to simply sensing magical energy, some of the practical applications include knowing when someone is lying, concealing themselves up with magic to hide it, and an ability to sense who other ponies are based on their aura, assuming they already know who they are. Protagonist Nova Shine gets the most opportunity to show his skill with it off.
  • Boldores and Boomsticks: Since Weiss's use of multiple types of Dust makes many moves redundant, she is studying with Riley and Lucario to learn this ability from them.
  • In The Bridge, an alicorn spell can make one's aura visible to the spell user or others. The transformed kaiju and Azusa Gojo still have an aura shaped like their true form, instantly cluing Celestia into they not being normal Equestrians. The Element of Harmony Bearers and Alicorns have a much brighter aura than normal Equestrians.
  • In the Worm x Dishonored crossover fanfic, A Change of Pace, Taylor gets a version of Dark Vision that allows her to see through Grue's Darkness and through walls with this effect.
  • Colosseum of the Heart: Sora has the same ability to see Shadow Pokémon as Rui in Pokémon Colosseum.
  • Daniel from A Crown of Stars can see other people's auras, their colors and perceive how damaged they are. When he meets Asuka he says that her soul is "radiating pain like a city on fire".
  • In the Dćmorphing series, Hork-Bajir can see the Dust (golden particles that gather around sapient beings), which they call hrala. Turns out the Chee had this ability too, but they disabled it after their creators went extinct.
  • In the Domoverse, Blind Seer Caroline sees emotions and uses that to substitute for her sight.
  • Frail Equilibrium: Tess' ability to see auras is what lets her immediately know what Dante really is.
  • God of Hate: Erendorah can see some kind of light coming from people, with the ones we know to be Shifters having a different glow to them. It's what allows Eren to expose the Warrior trio, once he's able to compare their auras with Ymir's.
  • Hanging Ten Saga: The Kahuna seems to have this ability to read people's auras, the first time this was displayed was when he shook Ben's hand and sensed many of his auras that represented each of his alien forms.
  • In Incarnation of Legends, Odin has the ability to perceive the souls of others and determine what color they are. He's eager to try to recruit Bell after seeing his completely pure soul, but he turns his nose up at Kojiro's, comparing looking at it to watching a rainbow while drunk and drowning, with so many twists and turns that it's nauseating. Odin apparently uses this ability quite a bit, which his own Valkyries consider disgusting and almost perverted as he's judging all of them by their souls.
  • In Legacy (Sekiro/Kimetsu no Yaiba), Kiyoshi's clan, the Ametsuchi, had the innate ability to perceive the chi of others. Kiyoshi believed that he was the only one left who could until he meets Wolf. As a result, the elemental effects of the different Breath styles are explained as an expression of the chi of a particular demon slayer.
  • Lavender Lace, the protagonist of the My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks story A World of Illusions, can see imaginativeness. The Great And Powerful Trixie glows like a beacon to her perceptions.
  • No Charm Equal: As a Cupid, Harry is able to see the romantic potential auras of humans, which are color coded by how open they are to a romantic relationship. There are other branches of Cupids who can see familial and platonic relationship auras.
  • Trixie Lulamoon has a spell to let her see magic in RainbowDoubleDash's Lunaverse. Especially useful because her primary way of learning spells is seeing others cast them and copying what they're doing. Not so useful when she looks at an alicorn performing magic, though. The last time Trixie watched Luna raise the moon, she was blinded for days.
  • Read the Fine Print (Evangelion): Rei sees souls as glowing lights. She finds Shinji and Asuka disturbing because he is "lightless", whereas Asuka's "light" is blinding (since he sold his soul to her. Long story).
  • Shows up in the Danny Phantom/Beetlejuice crossover story, Say It Thrice. Distinctively different than Danny's Ghost Sense, some ghosts can sense things about other ghosts and supernatural stuff. According to Betelgeuse's narrative, ectoplasm-based ghosts practically have a spotlight on them while humans have a faint aura (though the ones who get involved with the supernatural are a little brighter). Apparently, Danny, being half-human and half ectoplasm-based ghost, is really distinctive.
  • In the work Strandpiel by A.A. Pessimal, eight-year-old Ruth Smith-Rhodes-Stibbons has a terrifying "dream" where she revisits a desperate fight from many years before she was born; she is forced, by a malevolent external agency, to spectate the desperate fight her mother hadnote  with a brutal psychopathic killer intent on murder. Despite being terrified, Ruth — who has a streak of magic inherited from her father, Ponder Stibbons — realizes everybody has an aura and can be seen as enclosed in a halo of colored light. A gifted artist, she resolves to try and paint this later. Ruth watches as the angry and evil colors surrounding the killer gather themselves. And then send out lightning flashes of scarlet light aimed at that part of her mother where her unborn sister is. She also sees her mother's Battle Aura put out everything it can to deflect this. She realizes, then, that fights are not just conducted on the physical level with swords. Being the daughter of an Assassin, she grasps this too.
  • In Thousand Shinji, Shinji is capable of seeing souls due to his Tzeentchian training. When he met Asuka, he could see — and taste — her soul before seeing her physically: "She was bright and active and so filled with beautiful rage and pain and confidence and so many delicious emotions to experience."
  • The Assassin's Creed and Temeraire crossover fanfiction Trade Winds, as narrated by a post-Assassin's Creed III Desmond, heavily features the Assassins' Eagle Vision from the former work. The Chinese delegation from the second novel of Temeraire know what Eagle Vision is — they call it the "Dragon's Eye" — and can tell Desmond has it, which gets him into hot water because they believe the ability to be limited to the Imperial Family and dragons, of which Desmond is neither. Things get even more complicated when William Laurence develops the ability independently during the events of the story when he's in his thirties, and still yet more complicated when Laurence and Desmond are fed a serum that enhances their Dragon's Eye/Eagle Vision and makes them see auras in even more colors than the AC-canon's red, blue, gray, and gold.
  • In the Transcendence AU, Willow Pines has a form of the Sight where she can perceive people's emotions as colors. Dipper has the same power, due to his demon powers, and helps teach Willow how to manage it.
  • In the Undertale Fan Fic Visiontale, posted on Archive of Our Own, monsters and humans use this to check each other's stats.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Avengers: Endgame, once a time-travelling Thor tries duping his mother, Frigga reveals that given her upbringing by witches, "I see with more than eyes, you know that."
  • In The Matrix sequels, Neo can see Smith's aura when Smith hitches a ride into the real world. Neo retains this ability even after he becomes blind, allowing him to see the Machines.
  • Ivy Walker from The Village. She's blind, but she can see some people's auras.

  • The Arts of Dark and Light: The brethren of the Order of Saint Michael have the gift of detecting magic, so that they can more easily combat it. This is called the Fifth Eye, and manifests as them seeing auras around wizards and magical artifacts, whose colors and brightness depend on the type and magnitude of the magic.
  • Adam R. Brown's Astral Dawn features ethereal beings with many abilities. The high spirits can perceive a mortal's aura. Caspian can go even further and perceive a spirit's aura outside of a body. The Aash Ra can perceive auras at this level as well.
  • In Aunt Dimity: Detective, Finch's resident Wiccan Miranda Morrow says she reads auras; she says this ability showed her that Nicholas Fox, Lilian Bunting's nephew, was a police officer. In Aunt Dimity Goes West, local Colorado psychic Amanda Barrow says much the same and actually sees the ghost of Cyril Pennyfeather standing behind Lori in her shop.
  • Emily from Avalon: Web of Magic can see the "magical auras" of people with, well, magic.
  • Some magic-users in The Bone Season have this ability, which allows them to identify other magic-users and gives them an idea of what their powers are.
  • After she becomes the Chosen of Asmodeus, Farideh of Brimstone Angels gains a version of this ability that lets her see how corrupt a given individual's soul is and by extension, how close they are to falling into Asmodeus's sphere of influence as well as what magical powers and god or gods have touched them in a significant way.
  • Cornelia Karlsson in The Case Cornelia Karlsson has this. It allows her to see a person's character and magical abilities. Her friend Ville notably has none because he is not human.
  • One of a number of potential magical abilities in The Curse of M. People with Aura Vision can see auras, but they can also manipulate them, which alters their target's perception; when Ratiri runs out of money in Canada, he passes off all manner of strange things as cash. This is ultimately what gets him caught and sent to the Institute.
  • One of the characters in Deep Secret is a new-age-ish woman who claims to be able to read auras and keeps button-holing people and telling them their aura is in a terrible state. After spending some time with her, the protagonist (who has real magical ability and training) determines that she really does have Aura Vision, but her own psyche is so messed up that she can't see through it when she tries to read other people.
  • The basic ability of magic users in the Deverry series. All magic comes from life-force, so if you can't see auras, you can't see magic.
  • In Dora Wilk Series, every magical can see magic auras of people, with an aura being specific to a person. Some, like Bogna, start to see it only when a person having an aura is about to die.
  • In Dragon Bones, Oreg can do this, to an extent. (It is of limited usefulness, as some people, like Ward, had their magical talent deactivated by extreme violence, and can't access it; such things Oreg can't see.) Ward is able to sense magic, too, but in his case, he can only sense magic he knows. Oreg (who is bound to, and something like the Genius Loci of the castle Ward grew up in) doing magic feels to him like something filling the empty spaces in his soul where his home used to be.
  • Dragonvarld: People who have the dragon magic can see through the realistic illusions which Draconas disguises himself with. They see a shadowy shape around him of a dragon, his true form.
  • Some players in Dream Park can request a visible status check hologram to be displayed around each character and NPC: "check auras".
  • Wizard's Sight in The Dresden Files is this, but has the catch that the memory of it never fades. The full true nature of the world around you, including Things Man Was Not Meant to Know, will always remain as fresh as the instant you saw it, and every time you use it, one more wonder or horror is added to the list of things you're as good as still looking at forever. Wizards who overuse their Sight go insane as a result. Nonhumans can have an aura that can actually drive wizards insane — this is one reason to make and use creams that penetrate Glamours.
  • Valkyrie Cain has this after her magic gets re-booted in The Dying of the Light. When it originally manifests, she sees her own aura as white, Skulduggery's as red, vampire auras as blue, and Darquesse's aura as silver. By the time of Resurrection, however, she sees most auras as orange. Skulduggery still has a red aura and Neoterics (sorcerers with strange, non-standard powers) have different colored auras. The two show are a slightly different shade of orange (a sorcerer with a unique adaptation of a pre-existing power) and smoky grey (a sorcerer with the power to turn people into psychopaths).
    • A common symptom is that one starts seeing ghosts, which can be spooky if the person doesn't realize what they are. Saints, channeling a divine Presence, can have very strong glows: In the Curse of Chalion Cazaril is told that he is like a burning city. Shamans and spirit warriors will often be able to smell these auras instead, as an inverted Visible Odor.
  • Aura vision is generally the first sign that someone has magical talent in The Farside Trilogy. If you learn to use it properly, it can tell you what sort of person you're looking at, and their emotional state. It's used to guide therapy in the right direction, and can even be used to see ghosts when they want to be seen.
  • This is one of the powers of vampires in Mario Acevedo's Felix Gomez novels.
  • Dragonbait has this power in Azure Bonds instead of the paladin's traditional "detect evil" ability.
  • In the novel Golden by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Lissy not only sees auras, but she also has the ability to manipulate them. She can matchmake people, thwart a bad guy, and disentangle a siren from her prey if necessary.
  • From Good Omens, Anathema Device, occultist and professional descendant, is psychic enough to see auras. She, unfortunately, misses the Antichrist's, "for the same reason that people in Trafalgar Square can't see England."
  • The Tila in Robert Reed's Great Ship universe have extremely fine structures in their optical nerve which are so small that they are affected by quantum changes; the Tila perceive this as a faint aura or haze around objects, which they interpret as being glimpses into thousands and thousands of alternate planes of reality.
  • In the Green Hills series, Deirdre sees auras around some people, especially her future husband.
    Rhys: She sees auras around people or somethin'. Says she saw Cal lit up like a glowing white beacon from across the room beckoning her.
  • In Stephen King novel Insomnia, as the protagonist's titular insomnia gets worse he begins to see auras coming from everything, from plants to people, and can even see when they're about to die. Eventually he realizes he can siphon aura from people to replenish himself.
  • Journey to Chaos:
    • Mages can learn the spell "Magic Sight" which enables them to see mana in the world around them. This is useful for spotting hidden runes, magical amplifiers, and other supernatural things like invisible people.
    • The "Third Eye" technique practiced by Retina and Tiza turns their own aura into an additional eye with which to see the world. It also works on ambient mana instead of reflected light like a physical human eye.
  • Michael's ability to feel magic in things develops into this at the end of the first book in the Knight and Rogue Series. He treats this new, incredibly convenient power like the end of the world.
  • In The Legendsong Saga soulweavers gain this when they give up their regular sight during their final initiation.
  • Moon (1985): Computer technician Jonathan Childes's reawakening extrasensory faculties, when roused by similarly able people, offer glimpses of their auras.
  • Others in the Night Watch (Series) books are able to see and read people's auras. The Others' auras reflect their allegiance. The Light and the Dark ones have their auras' primary colors reflect this. Uninitiated Others have grey auras. Humans have fairly simple, smooth auras, almost like an eggshell. One of the first things the Other initiates are taught is reading and remembering auras. In Last Watch, Anton uses a computer database to search for auras. Since magic and technology don't exactly work together, he has to use a search function to filter the results based on key parameters (e.g. is there a sharp curve at the top?). To actually enter an aura into the database, the Night Watch employs a low-level Other who's a professional painter. It frequently takes up to 3 days to get a detailed image of an aura that can then be scanned into the computer. When the Watch equivalent of an APB is sent out, the patrolmen memorize the aura image and compare it with the passersby.
  • The character Morning Star from the Noble Warriors Trilogy by William Nicholson is able to read peoples "colors", an aura that hangs around them that can tell her what they are feeling.
  • Others: Psychic healer Louise Broomfield, in private investigator Nick "Dis" Dismas's aura, senses the residual trauma of a childhood incident in which he lost an eye.
  • Pact has an interesting variation-rather than auras, the Sight allows practitioners to see the connections that tie people together, which can be cut to create a Perception Filter, or manipulated as a form of Emotion Control.
  • In the Paradox Trilogy, Novascape Starchild's plasmex power allows her to perceive auras.
  • Characters with powers in The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series have Aura Vision. As well as Aura Smelling.
  • In Shadow of the Conqueror, Lightbringers and Lightbinders have the ability to sense Light, and its presence throughout almost all of the world gives them a second means of seeing, as well as the ability to trace magic and an imperfect means to Detect Evil.
  • Shatter the Sky: In book two, Maren begins seeing dragons' essences, a bright glow around their bodies.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • There's an equivalent for this in some of Timothy Zahn's books. Jedi can feel someone's presence or "sense", which is like a second face which changes to reflect emotions and mental states — if someone has a sudden idea or comes to a resolution, a Jedi will notice. It's an equivalent because it's not really visual — Luke talks about "listening" and feeling someone's sense, though he does mention a few times that it's dark.
    • Matthew Stover's Revenge of the Sith novelization has a genuine version, however. Count Dooku looks upon everyone present during his final duel with the Force and sees Obi-Wan as a window into a sunlit meadow, Anakin as a thunderstorm, and Palpatine as a black hole.
  • In Thieves' World, Nikodemos once demonstrated that a Bandaran Adept can not merely see an aura, but reliably track known individuals by traces of aura left on the environment through the city (i.e. mess of spurious signals). Then again, Niko "Stealth" is the spec. ops. guy in the elite company, so it's one of the powers he needed to refine.
  • Tree of Aeons: As a sentient tree, Matt doesn't have any eyes, and begins his new life in a black void. However, a druid eventually gives him the [Lesser Spirit Vision] skill, allowing him to perceive at least faint outlines of the people around him. He still can't see mundane objects, and thus can't read, but it's better than nothing.
  • Nearly all spirit users in the Vampire Academy series demonstrate the ability to see auras.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 7 Yüz: Celebrity hypnotist Oşa of "Hayatın Musikisi" possesses the power to both see and feel auras, which he uses to guide his clients to a path of self-actualization. Or so he claims.
  • Played with in Are You Being Served?. Miss Brahms is trying to convince a customer to buy a horrid cardigan:
    Customer: I'm not sure it's really me.
    Miss Brahms: Oh but it is madam! You see, everybody has an aura what goes with their personality. Some people have an aura what is pink, others have an aura what is blue. And as soon as I saw madam, I said to myself, madam has an aura what is purple with white stripes.
  • Tara in Buffy the Vampire Slayer sensed that Buffy wasn't really Buffy, after Faith did the body switch in "Who Are You?" because her aura was "fragmented", as if someone had forced something into it that didn't belong.
  • Chappelle's Show: Played for Laughs in Dave Chappelle's infamous Rick James sketch, when Charlie Murphy mentions that Rick James had a "kind of aura" around him. Cue shot of James surrounded by an orange glow.
  • Auras in Charmed (1998) are seen only by demons who steal the sight of children. They then use their new-found Aura Vision to seek out people who are supposed to do great good, and kill them before they do.
  • In Frasier, Daphne claims to be a bit psychic, and can see auras around people.
  • Referenced in the first episode of Friends, when Ross tells Phoebe to "stop cleansing my aura". Whether Phoebe can see auras or not is never made clear, since it's never brought up again.
  • Bo from Lost Girl found an invisible fae using this. Given that she is a Succubus, its probably Sex Aura Vision.
  • The Outer Limits (1995): In "Alien Radio", Stan Harbinger gains the ability to see the aliens that live inside the bodies of certain humans. He typically sees a golden outline of the alien superimposed over the relevant human.
  • Bridge Carson in Power Rangers S.P.D.. With his gloves off, he can wave his hands and see auras, which of course correspond to their character. Once he described a suspect as "burnt umber."
  • Riverdale: In "Unbelievable", Betty learns she can see the auras of people who are threats, such as criminals and serial killers. The auras appear as a red light around the enemy she sees.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: Geordi La Forge can see an electronic aura around his friend Data, and it is suggested than he can see similar things around people.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): The episode "The Purple Testament" is about a soldier who can see the auras of men who are about to die. At the end of the episode, he happens to glance at a mirror...

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • The game has a bit of everything, so it should not be surprising that The Complete Psionic's Handbook of AD&D 2 ed. has Aura Sight power working as a limited range life detector and allowing to appraise level and discern alignment and Aura Alteration, to make a fake aura disguising the same traits or remove curses and similar effects.
    • According to Azure Bonds, saurial holy warriors mostly resemble paladins but instead of Detect Evil they got much better "shen sight" that allows to discern not merely "all the myriad types of evil" or absence thereof, but subject's spirit strength as well as attitude and motivations up to which emotion or influence suppresses which. In a color coded form. The obviously downside of sensitivity is that a city gives too much noise: in Masquerades Dragonbait was overwhelmed by a crowd so that even detecting thugs seeking to murder him among the relaxing and drinking folk was hard.
    • Some Forgotten Realms spells have similar side effects: [Stavros's] Life Bolt makes from the caster's lifeforce a bolt harming The Undead and colored by Chaos-Law part of the caster's alignment; Rainbow Shield applies another spell to those attacking the caster in meleenote  and is colored by the caster's current emotions.
  • GURPS: The Detect power can give any character this power, mages get a minor version for free with Magery.
  • Pathfinder: The spell deathwatch lets the caster see auras around other beings that shows whether they're healthy, wounded, fragile (5 hit points or lower), dead, undead, or none in the case of constructs.
  • Psionics: The Next Stage in Human Evolution:
    • The Power Vision talent allows espers with osmoses to see if a person has power points and, if so, roughly how many.
    • Scryers with the Psychometry talent will see a glow around objects and locations that were part of distinctly emotionally charged events.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Daemonic creatures, including the ones hiding inside people, see this way all the time. Because of this, they are never affected by low light situations.
  • Warhammer: This is how Cygors see the world, with spellcasters glowing particularly brightly. This often ends badly for the spellcaster, since the Cygors do so enjoy killing them.
  • The World of Darkness:
    • New World of Darkness: Almost every sort of supernatural character has some form of aural perception.
      • Hunter: The Vigil: The Devil's Eyes implant allows its recipients to perceive the emotional states of others as colored auras around their bodies. These include most expected emotions (anger as bright red, calm as light blue, envy as dark green, lust as deep red, confusion as a mess of mottled colors, etcetera), as well as some more unusual states (a supernaturally controlled being has a generally muted aura, a psychotic individual a swirling cloud of color, and a nonhuman monster feels subtly "wrong").
      • Mage: The Awakening offers the most, since Mages can not only perceive someone's nature and emotional state but can also falsify auras or completely erase an aura.
    • Old World of Darkness: A power common, in one way or another, to all supernatural beings. It comes with an extensive chart of colors relating to emotions. Supernatural auras have their own modifiers (a vampire's colors are pale, a werewolf's is frantic, a ghost's flickers like a dying candle...).
    • Vampire: The Masquerade: A vampire can learn to do this. This can be used for various purposes, from reading emotions to identifying a vampire who has committed diablerie (stole another vampire's power by sucking out his soul — a vampire equivalent of cannibalism, considered the most heinous crime).

    Video Games 
  • In the Alien vs. Predator FPS games, Xenomorphs have the passive ability to see life forms' auras: humans are surrounded by a blue glow, other Aliens with a red one, while Predators have a green aura. However, Synthetics have no such glow, which occasionally allows them to get the drop on what is otherwise an apex predator.
    • Although the manual suggests they are perceiving pheromones.
      • The Predator's vision modes are similar in that humans give off body heat while synthetics and xenomorphs have detectable electrical fields.
  • Assassin's Creed:
    • Altair and, later, Desmond from Assassin's Creed both have this ability. (referred to as Eagle Vision) You can use it to tell if people are hostile (red), friendly/ have important information (bright blue), neutral (white) or an assassination target (gold)
    • Expanded on in the sequel, where in addition to the above uses, it now highlights hiding spots, reveals secret glyphs, and plot-relevant NPC's you need to tail leave a glowy trail.
    • Expanded further in Revelations, in which Ezio can see where important enemies have been making it easier to figure out where they are.
    • In the multiplayer, the Templars have something similar called Templar Vision.
    • It's eventually revealed that "Eagle Vision" is a product of interbreeding between the Isu and the primitive humans. Unlike the humans without five senses, the Isu had a fully-developed sixth sense called "knowledge", allowing them to perceive things normally hidden to us.
    • Averted with Bayek, who doesn't have the ability. Instead, he uses an actual eagle to spot enemies for him, while seeing through the eagle's eyes with Psychic Powers. Connor's daughter Io:nhiòte has the same ability.
  • Batman: Arkham Series: Batman has built-in lenses in his cowl that when activated give him an almost X-Ray like view of any nearby characters or surroundings. Enemies carrying guns are marked as entirely red. Anyone else, whether they be enemy or not; are marked as light blue. Objects that can be affected by one of Batman's tools are similarly highlighted. Every other playable character has a version of this. The Joker in Arkham Asylum has to stand in place to use his X-Ray Specs as well as be in First-Person mode. Others have less advanced vision, especially those without access to WayneTech such as Catwoman and Harley Quinn, whose vision doesn't highlight armed enemies apart from unarmed ones.
  • Battlefield Heroes: A temporary ability allows players to see an aura outline of other players through walls and buildings.
  • Beyond: Two Souls: Jodie's poltergeist-like companion spirit Aiden can see glowing, color-coded auras around people. Blue is the standard color, meaning that Aiden cannot directly affect the person in question. Red indicates that the person can be choked, orange indicates that they can be possessed, and green indicates a sickness or injury that can be healed. Purple is Jodie's color and the color of the spiritual "umbilical cord" that connects the two. Additionally, memories connected to certain objects show up as glowing green wisps.
  • BloodRayne: Rayne can use this to assess health and if someone is aware of her presence. It returns in BloodRayne 2, sans awareness sense but with the added ability to see and access vampire gates, pinpoint objectives and indicate climbable surfaces.
  • Dead by Daylight: Both the Survivors and the Killers can unlock Perks and/or Items that let them see the auras of allies, enemies, and objectives.
  • Dishonored has the Dark Vision ability, which makes it easier to see in dark areas and highlights enemies through walls as well as showing their cone of vision. Upgrading the ability also outlines objects that the protagonists can interact with, both environmental objects and pickups such as money and weapons, making them easier to notice, as well as showing a "premonition" of the path a walking NPC will take (if an NPC is walking from point A to point B, point B will be marked by an orb of light, and the path that the NPC will take to get there will be marked by footprints on the ground)
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind has the Detect Animal spell. Using it causes creatures to appear as blips on the mini-map.
    • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion expands it to Detect Life, allowing you to see enemies as a vague, pink, cloudy form, even in darkness or through walls. 'Life' is also fairly broadly defined, as undead and nonbiological enemies such as Wisps are also detected.
    • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has two spells (which are Colour-Coded for Your Convenience) and a shout with this effect. "Detect Life" does just that (With blue for allies/neutrals and red for enemimes), while "Detect Dead" will show undead as well as dead creatures (Blue for (un)dead non-enemies and sleeping undead, orange for dead enemies). The the Shout "Aura Whisper" also allows you to see all creatures which are not dead, but display friend and foe alike as red.
  • Evolve: The monsters can use their scent ability to see the outlines of various things through walls. It's also color-coordinated, wildlife is yellow, dangerous creatures and technological items are orange, hunters and their tracks are red, and map objectives are purple.
  • Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon: Rex's Cyber Eye tags, tracks, and identifies enemies and animals.
  • Final Fantasy XIV: in Heavensward, Y'shtola gains the ability to see the aether around her after being rescued from the Lifestream. Unfortunately, it becomes the only was she can see: the aforementioned trip through the Lifestream robbed her of her vision, so without the ability to see aether, she's completely blind. It is also stated that seeing the aether around her will reduce her lifespan.
  • Friday the 13th: The Game: Jason's "Sense" ability highlights counselors in red. The more fearful a counselor is, the more easily they will show up when Sense is activated. If counselors are hiding in a house, the house will be highlighted. Jason can also see expanding circles that indicate noise generated by the counselors, an ability that isn't reliant on his Sense skill.
  • Half-Life 2: The titular superpowered psychopath from the mod The Hidden: Source has an "aura view" vision mode, letting him easily spot other players in the dark or even through obstacles and walls.
  • Halo:
    • Halo 3: ODST uses this as an IFF system.
    • The Promethean vision in Halo 4 allows users to see through walls and identify enemies for a period of time before it has to recharge; Promethean Knights can also use this ability.
  • From Hitman: Absolution onwards, 47 has "Instinct", which was initially used to slow down time, highlight useful tools, NPC's, items and guard paths that 47 can use to his advantage, and was a perishable resource that required KO'ing people to replenish. Beginning with Hitman (2016), it can be used without any limits, removes the ability to see guard trails, and is more used for seeing where a target is in a level, and Hitman 2 nerfed Instinct to no longer slow down time when it's activated.
  • In Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, your crewmate Visas Marr is a Miralukan, a Force-Sensitive species that due to the bizarre ambient lighting of their homeworld, evolved to see entirely by the Force and have only empty vestigial eye-sockets where a normal humanoid being's eyes would be.
    • If the Exile gets on good terms with Visas Marr, she will teach you this ability. During the trip to Telos at the end of the game, she will ask to the Exile to meditate with her whilst using Force-Sight, so they can see each other as they really are.
    • Your mentor Kreia likewise mentions that her own overuse of this ability is how she lost sight, although given her deceptive nature and her frequently telling of only half-truths, this might be taken with a grain of salt.
  • In Left 4 Dead, you can see outlines of your team-mates that tell you of their status.
    • In Versus mode, members of the Infected team can also see the survivors' auras, which clues about their health.
    • Realism mode in the sequel removes the aura visions for an added challenge.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, at the cost of making him nearsighted, Link's senses can be honed so he can see spirits, insects of darkness, and digging spots when in wolf form. The game claims it's just a visual representation of his keen sense of smell while in wolf form, but the manga adaptation refines it to be a more supernatural power specific to the Sacred Beast (hence the third-eye pattern on his facial fur).
  • In The Matrix: Path of Neo an old Chinese herbalist is capable of aura feeling. He, at first, says that because Neo's aura feels stronger than a human's, he must be a demon, he's not...minutes later the herbalist meets an Agent and gets set straight on who the metaphorical demon is.
  • Anyone with the right skills in Nexus War games can read the approximate morality of others, though there are demonic powers that allow evildoers to blend in and appear saintly. Evildoers don't tend to care whether they attack good or evil enemies, so just learning morality-detecting skills are generally considered a sign that a character is seeking to be good.
  • Persona 5: The "Third Eye" ability lets you see the danger level of enemies, which receptacles are hiding treasure, and the identities of potential Confidants by displaying various color-coded auras around the person or item in question.
  • The Persistence: You can channel dark matter to briefly see the auras of enemies and hazards through any walls or objects in your sight.
  • Pokémon Colosseum: Rui is the only character able to see the dark purple glow Shadow Pokémon give off. Or, she was until Michael gets his scouter-esque Aura Reader in Gale of Darkness.
  • Primal Carnage: The Oviraptor has the ability to see the outlines of the humans, as well as if their health is low, and of any traps they've placed down, for a few seconds. This allows it to pick out the more vulnerable targets, which is a vital skill since the Oviraptor is a Fragile Speedster with the least amount of health among the dinosaur classes.
  • [PROTOTYPE] has Infected Vision, allowing you to see active/inactive infected, and water towers that are currently incubating hunters. It also has Thermal Vision, which highlights heat signatures (non-combatants aren't highlighted).
  • Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy: Nick Scryer, allows him to see levels of awareness, the past, aura beasts and stealth mines.
  • Sable's Grimoire: Sable can see aether by concentrating.
  • Sniper Elite 5: By sitting down and concentrating, Karl can hear enemies moving around, and see their white outlines. Somehow, collectibles appear with yellow outlines.
  • The Spirit Engine 2: Pyan Pau claims to have this, though we must take his word for it. Mostly it tells him there's something wrong with Ionae, in case it wasn't already obvious.
  • Stormland, being a game where you're a robot, allows you an upgrade that sees enemies hiding behind walls and corners as yellow silohouttes. Their firearms and collectible items meanwhile are rendered as blue.
  • Tsukihime: Nanaya Kiri in supplementary material has eyes that can detect the emotions and, apparently, the humanity of people he's near. It's unknown how this really helps him apart from "this guy, Kishima Kouma, is immensely dangerous because his aura is bright red." Blue and silver are similarly inhuman but are noble and possessed by allies.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines: The Auspex power reveals people's auras regardless of intervening barriers, distinguishing normal humans from supernaturals and showing whether they're alert or aggressive.
  • Warcraft: Demon Hunters have their eyeballs burned out of their sockets and replaced with magical demonic fire, usually covered with a blindfold. This lets them see magic and spellwork. In gameplay terms, it allows Demon Hunters in World of Warcraft to see enemies that are invisible or on the other side of a wall.
  • Werewolf: The Apocalypse — Earthblood: By phasing into the Penumbra, Cahal can see things hidden from mortal eyesight: all living creatures are visible as glowing forms regardless of cover, and this additionally reveals the presence of silver (as jagged, glowing white shapes), Bane possession (as writhing purple tentacles emerging from people), and spirits. However, physical objects aren't visible in this state, meaning that Cahal needs to return to his mortal senses when he wants to move around.
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt: Geralt can use his Witcher Sense to locate important clues and objects. New interactive objects are highlighted in a red glow. Objects that have already been interacted with will glow yellow.
  • Yandere Simulator: Yandere Vision functions similarly to Eagle Vision. People Yandere-chan has taken pictures of and gotten info from Info-chan about show up in green, Senpai shows up in pink, rivals and those who have witnessed Yandere-chan do nasty things show up in red, and people who have seen Yandere-chan acting suspicious show up in yellow. Objects also show up in Yandere Vision, useful ones being outlined in cyan and parts of corpses being outlined in orange. Yandere-chan herself is outlined in black when she uses this power.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY:
    • Both RWBY: After the Fall and RWBY: Before the Dawn explore Fox's ability to "see" his environment despite being blind. He has mastered an advanced Huntsman's technique for sensing Auras; combined with his telepathic Semblance, he can "see" minds and Aura patterns, helping him to pinpoint both the identity and location of people around him. He can even sense the similarities between Auras that might suggest familial ties.
    • Ren's Semblance gives him the ability to mask people's emotions, fading their Auras to make them look visibly grey. This makes them invisible to the Grimm, which are attracted to negative emotions. In Volume 8, his Semblance evolves to allow him to unmask people's emotions. His masking ability kicks in first, greying out everything, then unpeeling an emotion which manifests the target's Aura as coloured flower petals that move in specific ways. Each colour and direction of movement combine to create a pattern that refers to a specific emotion. For example, rising red petals represent anger while falling blue petals represent unhappiness.

  • El Goonish Shive:
    • Dan Shive shows us how it's done in one installment, where a "Bloodgrem" gets a good look at Elliot's power level.
    • Anyone powerful enough glows from the perspective of the reader, so this is nothing new for Shive.
    • The character Luke, introduced well after the "Bloodgrem", has a spell that allows him to use this trope to sense magical power. It is made explicit that this is how Luke sees it, and not just for the readers' benefit. He freaks out when he runs into Grace, who has an aura in orders of magnitude larger than anything else he's seen (most of the time he just sees people "highlighted" by their aura, but hers fills half the room). And this was when she was in one of her less powerful forms. And then he looks at Tedd's aura, which is powerful enough to momentarily blind him.
    • Tedd can literally see magic if he concentrates hard enough. Unlike Luke, he can see the various subtle differences between spells and enchantments and make intuitive leaps on how it works. It even works on itself.
    • Tara the Griffin can see auras, right down to family relationships and various types of arcane power. It's how she knew Elliot was Cheerleadra, for example.
  • Magick Chicks: As an esper, the ability to sense and read auras is but one, among many, of Faith's talents. However, her psychic acuity isn't without its drawbacks and can act as a double-edged sword. Such as when she became the victim of a psychic assault from Hecate which caused her to have seizures and briefly blackout. When she regained consciousness, she'd been left physically weakened and temporarily without her powers.
  • Flayer in Mindflayed began to see aura traces when he developed his mental powers... well, some of them.
  • In Moon Crest 24, Lucy has this ability in the form of reading heat signatures, which enables her to see ghosts.
  • Various updates of Morph E have "Mage Sight", a button in the corner of the panel which will alter it to see the comic with the eyes of a mage. So far it has been used for Mind Sight to show a character being mentally manipulated, Life Sight to see living beings, Prime Sight to see the magical aura exuding from people and enchanted objects and Spirit Sight to see spirits which have latched on to people.
  • Vanity Thorn from Sequential Art can apparently see Auras as well as ghosts.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: Finnish mages have this ability. Actually, as most Finns can use spells to a degree in that universe, having enough innate power to see spirits in addition to this is necessary to be officially regarded as a mage.
  • To clarify that Bam from Tower of God has a subconscious sense for Shinsu, he sees a white, milky aura around Anaak. Because of this, he picks her for a bet he had going on with Lero Ro and says his choice was based on intuition.
  • Tina from Wapsi Square, who find reading emotions easier than figuring out expressions and body language.
  • In Widdershins, Gren can smell magic. Also, O'Malley can see the spirits that makeup magic and emotion as physical entities.
  • In Your Throne Perion apparently has the ability to see whether somebody is a murderer by the shadows that surround them.

    Web Original 
  • The main character of Kakos Industries develops this sort of ability due to what is called an "imbalance of Evil" in his system. He is able to see shadowy images of malevolent energy that follow people around and project their memories if he is to stumble into it. Also doubles as a case of Detect Evil as he is a Card-Carrying Villain who finds the power to be a sign of him being a superior Evil being.
  • Trayen from Phaeton gained this power between series, he uses it to see elemental forces, it can also be used for empathic forces but the elemental forces tend to engulf these before he sees them.
  • Shroud of the Whateley Universe has this, among other powers. She can't see normal light, but she can see the emotions people have, along with being able to 'see' magic and some mutant powers.
    • There's also Cyberkitty, who can see electromagnetic waves, and Fey, who also sees emotions.
  • Chevalier of Worm can see the trigger events of other parahumans when he looks at them, and sometimes aspects of their powers as well.

    Western Animation 
  • Ty Lee from Avatar: The Last Airbender claims to have this ability, as she occasionally makes reference to the colors of other people's auras. While at the circus, she remarks that her aura has "never been pinker!" One season later, in "The Beach", she says that Mai's aura is a "pale, dingy, gray...." Considering Mai's personality, this is hardly surprising. No word on what color the other characters' auras are, though, since it never really came up outside of those two instances. It's really ambiguous whether she really has this power. Mai doesn't believe her, and for what we saw, Ty Lee just makes obvious statement about the person's mood. Plus, she's not exactly reliable.
  • Shirley from Tiny Toon Adventures has this power, as seen in How I Spent My Vacation.
  • Dawn from Total Drama Revenge of the Island has this ability to read people's backstories.
  • The dragons in Wakfu have this power. Grougaloragran used it to find a suitable adoptive parent for Yugo, and can also Detect Evil with it. Eliatropes can learn to do this too, and Yugo is taught by Adamaï while they travel by themselves. Likewise for Nox's cube vision. Justified in that the cube is closely related to Eliatropes.
  • In the first season of Winx Club Bloom discovers that when she's on Earth, she can see people's auras. This power was shown again in an episode of Season 2, but it seems that the writers forgot that she had this power in Season 4...

    Real Life 
  • There have been frequent claims that what Kirlian effect (a.k.a. Gas Discharge Visualization) allows to photograph are auras. Matter of naming convention, of course.
  • Not auras, exactly, but many aquatic animals such as sharks, dolphins, and platypuses are able to detect the electrical energy generated by the nervous system of living animals using their ampullae of Lorenzini, effectively functioning as a "life-detector".
  • Some other animals, including snakes and mosquitoes, can see infrared light, which radiates off of living animals. It might as well be Aura Vision — to one of these animals, you will appear to glow. Mosquitoes can even use it to find good spots for biting.
  • Michael Crichton claimed he had this in his autobiography Travels.
  • Various psychics claim to possess this, and may also offer services to "improve" or "repair" your aura.
  • There is a medical condition related to migraine called hemicrania sine dolorosa (HSD). This is a disturbance to the visual field which, in a full-blown migraine, is suffered alongside a crippling headache. Luckier sufferers of HSD get only the visual disturbance and light show without the headachenote , although there may be a "tightening" of the head and a sense of an alternate state of reality intruding. The visual disturbance takes the form of a growing circle of jagged-edged light radiating out from a single point. As it grows into a circular aura of dancing light, everything within it looks pale and washed-out. It is impossible in this state to drive a car, for instance, and rest is advised as with a migraine sufferer. The Fortean Times explored this phenomenon, and offered space for the suggestion that many visions suffered by Christian mystics might well have been due to HSD, trying to look at the world through an aura of dancing light, and the state of altered reality and hallucinatory perception engendered in the brain at the same time.
  • Since sufficiently advanced living things emit all sorts of EMR, it's quite possible to extract all kinds of information from it, down to emotions and current activity. Provided you can get a clear enough signal — which is currently a problem at any range practical for spying. Lie detectors and encephalograms work like this among other things — not to mention medical thermometers.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Detect Magic


Batman's Semblance

(SPOILER WARNING) Batman's Semblance enhances his vision to allow him to see his surroundings in an infrared-like vision where he can see things such as hidden objects or weak points.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / TrueSight

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