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Attention, Big Bads: this is probably the point where you should give up.

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 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.

Examples of Sphere of Power include:

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.

Tabletop RPG

Video Games

  • The spellcasting effect in Final Fantasy VII looks like this.
  • Okami 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 Sonic Adventure, Super Sonic gets one in the true final level.
  • In Kingdom Hearts II whenever a character levels up they are briefly surrounded by a sphere.
  • 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.

Western Animation