Created By: Larkmarn on March 23, 2013 Last Edited By: Larkmarn on April 3, 2013
Troped

Power of the God Hand

A name, title, item, or skill is referred to as the God Hand.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
God Hand (or Godhand, or God's Hand) is a popular name for a person, item, or skill, almost exclusively in Japanese media and usually related to melee combat.

The appeal of the name is obvious. By comparing one's hand to that of a god's, it makes it seem like one can do impressive feats with them. For those who fight with their hands, obviously it's an appealing notion. Additionally, it evokes the idea of the "hand of God", while still being concise.

The reason this is primarily a Japanese-media trope is because the Japanese tend to use "god" in their names without considering it as blasphemous as western audiences.

Compare Red Baron, which this often gets used as when it's a title. When it's a weapon, it's usually a Power Fist.

Examples

Anime and Manga

Film
  • Twister: In-universe, an F5 tornado is refered to as "The Finger of God".

Literature
  • Michael Carpenter in The Dresden Files is known as "The Fist of God." Unlike most of the Japanese examples, this isn't just a boast; Carpenter is a Knight of the Cross and empowered by God to fight evil (his sword is made from a nail from the Cross).

Live Action TV

Tabletop Game
  • Magic: The Gathering: Not In-Universe, but used as fanspeak. A different definition of "hand" than most uses of this trope, but a "God Hand" is generally considered seven cards that, when drawn, will defeat an opponent in the first round. The exact definition of a God Hand can sometimes be a source of great contention.
  • In a post on the Role Play Online site (rpol.net), a poster demonstrated the game-breaking potential of the Hulking Hurler Dungeons & Dragons class by taking advantage of every possible loophole to create a monstrously powerful character, Urldred the Mountainthrower. His weapon was an eighteen-foot nickle-iron meteorite he called the Fist of Heaven.

Video Games
  • Obviously the game God Hand, where the title refers to a legendary warrior's actual arm. The trope name comes from a line from the game's ending theme song.
  • Kun Lan, Big Bad of the game Killer7 has the title "God Hand." At one point he catches a bullet shot at his hand and uses its momentum to fly away. It's a weird game.
  • A recurring Fist-type weapon in the Final Fantasy series is called the Godhand (God's Hand in Final Fantasy VII). It tends to be among the most powerful weapons of its type, and often has a Holy attribute.
  • Another Squaresoft game, Ehrgeiz, has a progagonist nicknamed Godhand.
  • The best Fist-type weapon in Phantasy Star Online is called "God Hand." It's actually popular since it provides a slight boost to all stats while still keeping the unarmed animation, which for some Casters is the fastest.
  • The most powerful Strike attack in Persona 3 is called God's Hand. This is more literal than most, as it involves a giant golden hand striking from above!
    • The skill returns in Persona 4 as the second strongest single-target physical attack.
  • One of three Advanced classes in Dragon Quest VII is called the Godhand.
  • Lenny in Shadow Hearts: Covenant makes a pact with a demon and becomes "Godhand."

Visual Novel

Real Life
  • Mas Oyama, Korean-born (but spent most of his life in Japan) Karateka was nicknamed "Godhand." He is the probable trope-maker.
  • Hirohito Furui, the keyboard player from the J-Rock band GARNET CROW, is nicknamed "Godhand" for his playing skill.
  • A rare subversion in Argentinian soccer player Diego Maradona. He was nicknamed The God's Hand not because of his ability as a soccer player but by the fact that he managed to score a goal with his hand (the most obvious possible infraction) in a very important World Cup match without getting caught, leading to Argentina ended up winning the match thanks to that unruly play. In other words, his God's Hand was his ability to cheat with that hand without getting caught, or that the score was really thanks to the Lord Himself hitting the ball. It's actually a disparaging nickname in this case.
Community Feedback Replies: 22
  • March 23, 2013
    Damr1990
    On Fate Stay Night, God's Hand is the name of Berserker's passive ability wich grants him a total of twelve lifes and Nigh Invulnerability one for each of the twelve labors Heracles realized in his life combined with the fact he's A God with high stats, Super Strength,enhanced even more by the berseker class, this makes him one of the more dangerous servants of the war...except when it doesn't
  • March 23, 2013
    justanotherrandomlurker
    Film
    • Twister: In-universe, an F5 tornado is refered to as "The Finger of God".
  • March 24, 2013
    BlackDragon
    Lots of these... Black Jack is referred to as 'The Surgeon with Hands of God'. Micheal Carpenter from The Dresden Files is titled 'The Fist of God'.

    Actually, that second example there is just about the only case I can think of where this isn't a boast, but rather an official title. (Micheal is a Knight of the Cross, selected and empowered by God Himself to stand between the innocent and the darkness.)
  • March 24, 2013
    TrueShadow1
    • The most powerful Strike attack in Persona 3 is called God's Hand. This is more literal than most, as it involves a giant golden hand striking from above!
      • The skill return in Persona 4 as the second strongest single-target physical attack.
  • March 24, 2013
    Larkmarn
    Yeah, I considered the Dresden one but it's so different in theme (since, as you mentioned, it's more literal since he has the actual power of God backing him... but actually I think it would highlight the difference between Japanese and American use of God quite well. I'll add it.
  • March 24, 2013
    MorganWick
    If this is just the use of the name, is it really a trope?
  • March 24, 2013
    Larkmarn
    That's a good question. I maintain that even if the repeated use of the name doesn't qualify it as a trope (which I personally think it does, but even I have to admit I'm biased. But we have tons of tropes that are simply "names that show up multiple times"), there's also the very specific connotations of the nickname, implying that there's something divine at work, and the character/item/skill has some connection to a higher power. Plus, you have the whole east-vs-west thing in the meanings of God/god, which I think is interesting in of itself.
  • March 24, 2013
    zizoloziz
    We have Always V Sexy out there already, which is just the use of a letter. Arguably, it could be a coincidence that there are lots of attractive characters with names that start with V, and they could make tropes for the rest of the letters too.

    We already have several more tropes dedicated to naming conventions that are far more questionable than this one. At least "God's Hand" will generally imply a similar thing with every use- in contrast, Scarlet Fever has examples all over the board. "God's Hand" is almost always meaningful when used as a name, and there's a low chance of coincidentally using the trope. I would say it is tropeworthy.
  • March 25, 2013
    Larkmarn
    Agreed, it's specific, it has intentional connotations, and it's not prone to misuse. I don't see a problem with it.
  • March 26, 2013
    Stratadrake
    What about swapping the words around and calling it something along the lines of the Hand Of God?
  • March 26, 2013
    Larkmarn
    That makes it sound too much like the trope is about actual Divine Intervention, rather than something meant to invoke it.
  • March 26, 2013
    Boston
    Card Games: In Magic: The Gathering, many players have heated discussions about what exactly constitutes a "god hand" -- usually seven cards that would allow you to kill your opponent on your first turn -- and, more importantly, how likely you are to draw such a hand.

    (Probably not limited to Mt G.)
  • March 27, 2013
    Stratadrake
    ^ That's just fanspeak talking, not an actual example.
  • March 27, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    ^ The trope description says word for word: "By comparing one's hand to that of a god's, it makes it seem like one can do impressive feats with them." I can't see, why that couldn't go in the Real Life section...
  • March 28, 2013
    Stratadrake
    Let me rephrase that....

    It's not an in-universe example from Magic The Gathering. However, on second thought I don't see any reason it can't be noted under MTG as a meta-example (being a fanspeak term).
  • March 28, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    ^ Yeah, as I said, "I can't see why it couldn't go in the Real Life section".
  • March 28, 2013
    Larkmarn
    Sorry, I misunderstood. I think it should still go under Tabletop Gaming, but I'll make a note that it's meta and not in-universe.
  • March 28, 2013
    CosmeF
    A subversion in real life would be Argentinian soccer player Diego Maradona. He was nicknamed The God's Hand not because of his ability as a soccer player but by the fact that he managed to score with his hand (the most obvious possible infraction) in a very important World Cup match with the referee (and almost everyone) somehow missing it, even if it was pretty obvious in hindsight, and Argentina ended up winning the match thanks to that unruly play. In other words, his God's Hand was his ability to cheat with that hand without getting caught, or that the score was really thanks to the Lord Himself hitting the ball(though no one has stopped to think why would God decide to intervene in something as banal as a soccer match and in top of that to cheat). Since only goalkeepers are the only soccer players that use the hands, calling a soccer player The Hand of God wouldn't really make sense.
  • March 28, 2013
    Larkmarn
    Added. Cut out some of the stuff since the entry is reeeeeeeeeeeeally long.
  • March 28, 2013
    acrobox
    • Digimon Adventure: Though it's original name was Heaven's Knuckle, Angemon's signature attack was called Hand of Fate in the English Dub.
    • G Gundam: Domon's Shining Gundam's, signature move was the Shining Finger. He's second Gundam, the God Gundam, appropriately had a powered up version called God Finger. This is Lost In Translation as all instances of "God" were changed to "Burning" in the English Dub. They didn't rename the series to "B Gundam" however.
  • March 30, 2013
    Lumpenprole
    In a post on the Role Play Online site (rpol.net), a poster demonstrated the game-breaking potential of the Hulking Hurler D&D class by taking advantage of every possible loophole to create a monstrously powerful character, Urldred the Mountainthrower. His weapon was an eighteen-foot nickle-iron meteorite he called the Fist of Heaven.
  • April 3, 2013
    Larkmarn
    I personally think this is ready for launch, thoughts?
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=nzo0vwcb0pgo7rc4fwm81sot&trope=PowerOfTheGodHand