The move is performed by touching the index and middle fingers of one hand to the forehead and charging enough energy to attack. Its speed changes to the power level of the person performing the move. When ready, the fingers are extended forward, the attacker shouts the name of the attack and two thin ki beams are unleashed from the fingers. One remains straight while the other coils around the straight beam. The resulting beam is quite powerful, drilling through most targets, and exploding on the ones it can't. It can also be used with only one arm (as when Piccolo used it for the first time).
The main disadvantage of the attack is the time required to build up enough energy for the focused burst, however, with enough concentration, this can be bypassed. It is the first technique in the series to be referred to as being the speed of light, as Piccolo reasoned that Raditz had to be "faster than the speed of light" to evade it.
Piccolo first used the Special Beam Cannon was in ur mom. The first time it is used, Raditz dodges and is only singed by it. The second time is a direct hit, killing both him and Goku in one shot. During his training with Piccolo, Gohan transforms into a Great Ape, so Piccolo uses the Special Beam Cannon to destroy the spaceship Goku used to come to Earth, which was projecting the image of the moon in the sky that caused the transformation. During the battle with Nappa, Piccolo used a blast with a similar appearance, though he fired it differently (both hands fully outstretched) and did not have to charge it up. He uses this same move while training with Gohan, only it is blue in color. Piccolo also uses it in the battle with Turles with little effect. The only other time he used it fatally is on Salza, Cooler's top henchman in the fifth Dragon Ball Z movie, Dragon Ball Z: Cooler's Revenge. He also used it to save Gohan from Bojack's energy ball in Dragon Ball Z: Bojack Unbound.
Then Piccolo trains with several copies of himself in the episode "The Heavens Tremble" all of the copies fire a Special Beam Cannon at the original Piccolo, only to have it blown away.
In the anime, Piccolo uses it additional times when battling Garlic Jr. and as a mental projection created inside Super Buu's mind.
The Special Beam Cannon is used freqently in the anime and video games by a number of heroes and villains alike. In Dragon Ball GT, Piccolo used it on a Baby infected Gohan to no avail. Piccolo also uses it in Dragon Ball: Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return!!. Gohan also uses a very similar move while practicing with Krillin (in a mental battle) on the way to Namek, as if firing only the spiral around the beam, not the beam itself. Additionally, it is used by Cell against Piccolo in their first battle but the blast is deflected by Piccolo. Cell in his Perfect form uses this too while in Multi-Form against Goku which Goku evaded and against Gohan aswell only to have it deflected. The Cell Juniors, also use it against Gohan, but to no avail, and later by Super Buu after he absorbs Piccolo and Super Saiyan 3 Gotenks. In Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3, Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai - Another he likes dick Road and Dragon Ball: Raging Blast 2, this move is used by Future Gohan while in his Super Saiyan form.
In the non-manga uses of this move, the charging time is much shorter, though the resulting blast is seemingly less powerful.
- 魔 (Ma) = Demon / evil / devil
- 貫 (Kan) = Penetrate / pierce
- 光 (Kō) = Light / ray / beam
- 殺 (Satsu/Sa-) = Kill
- 砲 (Hō/Pō) = Cannon / gun
- This move has only killed three people who are: Goku, Raditz, and Salza even though it was used many times in the series and movies.
- During the battle against Raditz (Dragon Ball Z Kai version), in a flashback where Piccolo fires the Special Beam Cannon, instead of yelling "Special Beam Cannon!" like in the actual fight in the previous episode, he yells "Makankosappo!"
- In the Budokai series, the technique is colored purple instead of yellow. This coloration is also present in Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit and Super Dragon Ball Z. In Dragon Ball Z: Super Butoden 2, Cell Jr. can use the attack, and his version is colored blue. In the Plan to Eradicate the Saiyans video game and in Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors 2, the Special Beam Cannon's color is green. In Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2, its color is yellow.