Dragon Ball: What Does Goku's Spirit Bomb Do Exactly?

In the great annals of anime history, few series have the gall to stall for time in the way that "Dragon Ball Z" regularly did. In a show that became famous for dragging out story arcs to the point where re-cut versions have been officially authorized for release, the Spirit Bomb is one of the earliest indicators of what would become commonplace for the series.

A move that is commonly charged for multiple episodes, Goku (Masako Nozawa/Sean Schemmel) first used the technique on Vegeta (Ryo Horikawa/Christoper Sabat) back in Season 1 of "Dragon Ball Z" after learning it from King Kai (Joji Yanami/Schemmel) in the afterlife. From there, the Spirit Bomb would pop up multiple times throughout the anime and its sequel series, "Dragon Ball Super." 

But what actually is a Spirit Bomb? Well, the Spirit Bomb is a technique that can be used by someone pure of heart like Goku to summon the energy of the planet and anyone or anything willing to offer their support. It has four different forms, or variants, namely the Fusion, Large, Super, and Universal Spirit Bomb. And though it varies in power and effectiveness depending on the form and situation, it is essentially a massive ball of energy that remains one of the most well-known moves in the franchise's history due to it commonly being used as a last-ditch move in battle.

The Spirit Bomb is one of Dragon Ball's most famous attacks

To really understand the Spirit Bomb in "Dragon Ball," though, you need to understand how Ki works. Ki is a force that resides within every living being and is the basis for all of the explosive and flashy techniques that the franchise is known for. In desperate times, a warrior of pure heart can call on and amass a gigantic ball of this energy and use it to defend the planet.

Though the technique has been known to fail several times in spite of its reputation throughout "Dragon Ball Z," it was most famously used to defeat Kid Buu (Kozo Shioya/Josh Martin) at the tail end of the sequel series. In that case, all the people of Earth offered their support to Goku, finally allowing his Super Spirit Bomb to defeat the powerful and seemingly unstoppable villain.

Most recently, Goku used the attack against Jiren (Eiji Hanawa/Patrick Seitz) in the Tournament of Power arc of "Dragon Ball Super," where it failed yet again, however. Still, with the manga series ongoing and plenty of material for the current series to adapt in the future, it's possible that we could see a successful version of the Spirit Bomb once again in the anime adaptation.