So, your Player Character just got an Invincibility Power-Up, your 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 be powerful.
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, although the two often do overlap, or the alternate magic system Sourcebook Spheres of Power, though you could build one with those rules. Compare Orbiting Particle Shield.
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann twists this trope with Spiral Power, which is depicted with small spirals that appear from the aura.
- Mew and Mewtwo in Pokémon: The First Movie.
- Hayate's ascension as the Queen of the Night Sky in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's, which was marked by her being surrounded by a sphere of white light.
- When pissed off, the Phoenix King Saffron from Ranma ½ begins radiating a sphere of blinding-white heat which he then uses to build up his ultimate technique.
- Dragon Ball Z:
- It combines this with Sphere of Destruction when Cell attains his Perfect form, rendering himself temporarily invulnerable and taking out a chunk of countryside to boot.
- Also, Android #17's barrier of ki forms a perfect sphere around him.
- Frieza is surrounded by one of as part of his own final transformation; in the Dragon Ball Z: Budokai games, the entire process is abbreviated into him calling it up, then cracking out of it like an eggshell.
- Broly often creates these to survive indefinitely in environments with no air, such as the depths of space or deep in molten lava. He also regularly forms forcefeilds during combat.
- Mahou Sensei Negima!'s Ku Fe emits one in a really intense arm wrestle.
- Shows up in Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple whenever the Seikuken is activated.
- Souls in Soul Eater usually take a spherical form. Some characters can see the souls of living beings, and depending on the strength of that being the soul can be anything from a tennis ball sized sphere in the chest area (normal people) to a sphere around the creature and the entire city it's in (the Shinigami).
- In Brave10, the form Isanami's Defence Mechanism Superpower takes is a growing black energy sphere emanating from her.
- My Little Pony: Equestria Girls:
- In Rainbow Rocks, for the final battle, the ultimate move of the Rainbooms singing in unison generates a rising rainbow beam made of the Magic of Friendship, which coalesces into a multicolored sphere of twirling energies. And then a huge pair of glowing wings emerge from it, prelude to the summoning of a giant Winged Unicorn made of light.
- In Friendship Games, two Transformation Sequences involve glowing spheres of magic. Twilight reacts by struggling against it and screams for help, while Sunset willingly embraces it.
- Kamen Rider:
- Several Kamen Riders get a sphere effect. And these spheres are crazy impenetrable, repelling any charging monster or its weaponfire.
- 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.
- 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.
- And of course, Yami, the God of Evil is what seems to be a gray fish in a spherical fishbowl with a Humongous Mecha outer shell. The latter comes from being the creator of Technology.
- In Video Game 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.
- Pokémon emerge from a sphere when they Mega Evolve.
- 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.
- Sonic's is the same, but much easier to control.
- 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...
- One of the spiritual successor of the series, Azure Striker Gunvolt uses a flashfield to attack, which is basically a sphere of electricity.
- 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, as seen on the page. It's the reason fans now call him Planet Aang.
- The Legend of Korra: 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.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- In the Pensieve Flashbacks of the episode "Princess Twilight Sparkle Part 2", the Elements of Harmony when rotating around Celestia in the first flashback, and then again, around both Luna and Celestia in the second (earlier) one, form a Sphere of Power.
- In "Twilight's Kingdom Part 2", the Mane Six imbued with the Rainbow Power are surrounded by a bright, multicolored sphere that Lift them in the air and is completely impervious to Tirek's attack. Then, after defeating the villain, it expands into a World-Healing Wave.