|Please note that this is the Dragon Ball Universe Wiki's article on the Spirit Ball. If you are looking for the article on Yamcha's technique referred to as the Spirit Ball in the dub then you should head to Turning Life Bullet.|
|Literal English||Life Ball|
|English TV||Spirit Bomb
|Other||Light of Humanity|
|Manga Debut||Volume 18, Chapter 212|
|Movie Debut||Movie 5|
|Game Debut||Dragon Ball 3: Legend of Gokū|
|Type||Life Cultivation Technique|
The Life Ball is a Life Cultivation Technique that is widely considered to be one of the strongest techniques used in the Dragon Ball series. It is a powerful energy sphere created by the Kaiō of the North and later taught to Son Gokū.
Considered to be the ultimate technique of the Kaiō of the North, as well as the trump card of his student, Son Gokū, the Gench'i Dama is regarded as a powerful technique geared toward the destruction of the victim. What sets the Life Ball apart from most ch'i-based techniques in the series is that it is fueled by the energy gathered from one's living surroundings. The user, who must be at internal peace, focuses their thoughts on living beings around them — animals and plants, anything with a life force — and pulls on their energy. The accumulated energy gathered by the user is gathered at a specific point. In earlier uses, Gokū could only gather enough energy toward his clenched fist, but other times, he would raise both hands upwards and hold his palms out flat so as to focus the accumulated energy into a massive sphere above his head.
The actual range in which one may actually be able to gather energy for the Life Ball is not quite clear, whether there exists an innate restrictive range that one alone may be able to reach or if it is a range that is dependent upon the skill of the technique's user, but what appears to be certain is that the range does seem to depend upon the user's ability to sense the energy they are seeking to borrow. For Gokū, he demonstrated the act of borrowing energy from planets near Namek on his own, and years later, managed to acquire energy from the living beings on Earth with the help of the Kaiō of the North's telepathy.
Life Ball is a technique which can only be performed by a mind undisturbed by negative thoughts; in other words, a pure heart, which is what makes Gokū such an excellent user of the technique, and possibly explains why the Kaiō of the North never taught the technique to the other members of Dragon Team that had trained under him on his planet. It is also due to this that Gokū becomes unable to use the technique while in his Super Saiyan state, as the rage and savage Saiyan tendencies induced by the transformation make the heart and mind clouded.
- Like all ch'i-based techniques, the effectiveness of the Life Ball is dependent upon the amount of energy pumped into it. As such, an insufficient amount of energy will not be enough to eradicate the enemy, as was the case with Freeza when the Life Ball failed to finish off the tyrant due to all of the Nameccians being dead at the time and the only source of energy for Goku to gather was microorganisms in that solar system.
- The time it takes to accumulate the energy for a Life Ball is considerable, as each time Gokū has used the technique, he required distractions in the form of a Taiyōken or his comrades fighting the target of the blast to properly form the sphere. Therefore, if an enemy spots Gokū before the technique is finished forming, it can be disrupted and the energy dispersed.
- Just as its user must be pure of heart, the Life Ball is a technique which can not harm those of similarly pure hearts. As such, those that are not dragged down by negative intentions can actually deflect the Life Ball and allow it to bounce off harmlessly from themselves, which was the case of when Son Gohan deflected the technique with his hands and sent it flying toward Vegeta.
In Other Media
In the movie, Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Battle!! The Three Great Super Saiyans, Gokū created a Life Ball of similar size and power to the Extra Large Life Ball from the energy of Earth; however, instead of releasing the sphere, Gokū absorbed it into his being as a Super Saiyan and destroyed No. 13.
In the anime-only Dragon Ball GT, Gokū also managed to pull on energy from all over the entire universe with the help of all four Kaiō from each of the four cardinal directions. Therefore, these incidents add credence to the idea that the restrictions of gathering energy depend solely on how far the user is actually able to conceptualize and focus their thoughts on the desired source of energy, as with the help of telepathy, this range can be enhanced.
- In the Nicktoons airing of Dragon Ball Z Kai, the "Life Ball" was named the "Spirit Blast", as opposed to the normal localization of "Spirit Bomb". This is more than likely due avoiding references to explosives within the technique's name. A similar case happened with the Garlic Cannon, called the "Galick Gun" in the dub, being renamed "Galick Blast".
- Despite being one of the strongest technique in the series, in the three occasions that this technique was used in the manga, the power of the Life Ball itself was never strong enough to kill its victim.
- Due to his claim of being able to use it in the anime and manga, the video games often given Cell the ability to use the Life Ball. His dialogue in Dragon Ball XenoVerse ("I told you I could do it if I wanted to!") is a direct call back to his claim.