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Swirling Dust

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When your Battle Aura is sufficiently charged and you're preparing to call your attack, or if you're a mage and you're invoking a particularly complicated spell, a wind will almost always whip around your feet, kicking up little wave-like peaks of dust in a perfect circle around you, possibly flaring out the hem of your Badass Longcoat or Badass Cape, if you have one. Female invokers of this trope with sufficiently long hair will also have it billow and lift from the wind, but it'll rarely ever do so unfashionably or inconveniently (like obstructing their face).

If the writers have to surpass whatever power is responsible for swirling dust, they'll frequently resort to a Chunky Updraft. The guiding principle behind both of these is Sphere of Power. Not to be confused with Smoke Shield, when large amounts of dust shield attackers, nor with Deadly Dust Storm, when the causes are natural. May also occasionally manifest as a Super-Speed-originated trail. Sister Trope of Swirly Energy Thingy for energy whirlpools that aren't necessarily the result of a battle aura.


Anime & Manga

  • Ah! My Goddess: It's not dust, it's all of Keiichi's possessions.
  • Ascendance Of A Book Worm: Powerful magic will cause gusts of wind to blow out from the caster. Myne unleashing her power to heal the Earth causes a dust tornado to appear around her, blowing dust around the nearby spectators.
  • Black Butler: Tons of black feathers swirl around Sebastian when he is in his demonic true form.
  • Bleach: When Ichigo uses his Bankai for the first time, it creates a massive tornado of dust visible from miles away.
  • Dragon Ball Z: Charging up or using ki always moves some dust and makes things go fly. Sometimes, to the extent of giant swirling clouds that greatly obscure visibility.
  • Inuyasha: In the anime, Sesshomaru flying is represented as a sparkling dust cloud.
  • Juuni Senshi Bakuretsu Eto Ranger: Bakumaru does this when preparing his special spinning sword strike.
  • My-HiME: Several of the girls get a dust swirl when they use or activate their HiME powers.
  • Naruto: Every chakra usage generates varying levels of dust. For example, a simple water-walking jutsu makes nearby grass bend slightly. Exaggerated with Naruto's fourth level of Demonic Possession; it flattens a metal bridge and a square mile of a forest as a side effect of his raging, corrupted chakra.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi: There's a swirl of dust kicking up around Negi when he casts a spell in the Title Sequence.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: In "Love is Destructive", Shinji's EVA goes through its awakening. It creates a gigantic AT Field, wrecking the already destroyed city and NERV facility as well as kicking up the mother of wind updrafts.
  • One Piece: In the anime, Luffy's use of Haki causes a rapidly expanding wind or pressure wave that makes loose items such as paper, dust, leaves, or hair blow away as if caught in a sudden gust.
  • Saint Seiya: Shun's Nebula Stream attack requires him to swirl his Cosmo around himself in order to paralyze his enemy.
  • Tales of Phantasia: In the OVA, this happens around the edges of Klarth's summoning circle right as he finishes "purifying the area".

Fan Works

  • Ambition of the Red Princess: Unlocking the [Leaf Shield] causes leaves to swirl around Naofumi
  • JoJo New Universe: Rex Falcon's Stand creates winds that kick up powerful dust storms that are nearly impossible to break through.
  • My Little Pony Chronicles: Whenever Gusty's power causes dust to be blasted off, it's a good sign that you might want to take cover and pray for safety.

Films — Animation

  • Turning Red: The first red moon ritual involves swirling leaves around the chalk circle as it's being activated by Mei's family's chants.

Films — Live-Action


  • Faeries' Landing: Usually present when any of the faeries' are casting spells.

Mythology & Religion

  • Beti-Pahuin Mythology: Nze Medang's son, Efoua Medang, has the capacity to fly surrounded by a whirlwind.
  • Tuareg Mythology: Needing a diversion to rescue his sister from bandits, Adelasegh makes the two fastest horses run around in circles while one of them has its eyes irritated and the other a bone stuck on its hoof. He makes the bandits believe it's an equestrian dance. This tale is the Ur-Example and something of an Unbuilt Trope.

Video Games

Web Comics

Web Videos

  • Judging By The Cover: A recurring element found in several posters is a form of this Yahtzee dubs "bombfetti", usually swirling dust, sparks, or other particles to surround characters standing completely still. Yahtzee generally considers this a poor, clichéd use of this trope as it reads as a lazy attempt to emphasize action in scenes where no action properly exists.

Western Animation

  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Justified. Aang, as the Avatar, can control the four elements, so when the Avatar State kicks in, the wind, water, and/or earth around him are going to swirl. This is most prominent in its debut, "The Southern Air Temple", and in the series finale, "Sozin's Comet, Part 4 - Avatar Aang". In the former, Aang's mere presence obliterates the room he's in and causes quite the winds. In the latter, it's much more controlled because Aang manages to remain aware of his actions.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In the fourth season's finale, "Twilight's Kingdom – Part 2", Twilight Sparkle gets powered up with the magic of three other alicorns. She's so overloaded with power that just getting ready to fly causes this effect.
  • Star Wars Rebels:
  • Thunder Cats 2011: Swirling dust is the first indicator of Jaga's Clerics' Speed Blitz of a Dynamic Entry.
  • Winx Club:
    • When Stella is fighting Knut and his ghouls, she unleashes an area-of-effect spell that knocks several ghouls and generates a small dust updraft while it's charging.
    • Bloom's bursts of raw magic tend to have this effect as a consequence of having an expansive radius. They knock out whoever pissed Bloom off as well as blast off a big cloud of dust. It, fortunately, does little property damage.
    • When Bloom awakens her first fairy transformation out of fear, her hair, the grass, and some dust are waving as if tousled by a draft. A pair of rings of magic accompany the special effects.