Created By: EpicFightingTroper on December 23, 2010 Last Edited By: EpicFightingTroper on January 1, 2011
Troped

War Arc

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Page Type:
Trope
The war arc is a story arc that concerns two or more large-scale factions(City-sized at least) in conflict with one another, with the protagonists being involved somehow.

The scale will usually be very epic, with politics usually playing a role.

Expect to see a Big Badass Battle Sequence

Anime and Manga
  • The Whitebeard War saga in One Piece
  • The Shinobi World War Arc in Naruto
  • Bleach: The war between the Soul Society and Lord Aizen's Arrancar.
  • The Arachnophobia arc in Soul Eater.

Comics
  • The Green Lantern has the Sinestro Corps War (Green Lantern Corps vs Sinestro Corps), War Of Light (7 different Corps against each other) and Blackest Night (everybody against Black Lantern Corps)
  • Chaos War is this for Incredible Hercules
  • Cosmic Marvel has multiple war arcs in last few years. Annihilation is war between Negative Zone and Universe, Annihilation Conquest is Phalanx Invasion on Kree Empire, War of Kings is war between Kree nad Shi'Ar empires and Thanos Imperative is war between The Universe and Cancerverse.

Literature
  • Books 21-25 (and beyond?) of the Gor series are focused on the war between the city-state of Ar and Cos, the island Ubarate. Tarl, our protagonist, is on the side of Ar; but Cos won the war...so far.
  • Mercedes Lackey has The Mage War in her Valdemar books.

Live-Action TV
  • Two Star Trek series did this and one would have, if not for Executive Meddling.
    • Season 3 of Star Trek: Enterprise has the Enterprise racing to stop an attack on Earth.
    • Deep Space Nine had the Federation at war with the Dominion.
    • The Star Trek: Voyager writers wanted to make "Year of Hell" a season-long arc, but the executives said no, and it was instead made into a two-parter.
  • Deep Space Nine actually had two war arcs: The Dominion War, and the war between the Federation and the Klingon Empire (before both sides discovered they'd been played like cheap fiddles)

Web Comics

Western Animation
Community Feedback Replies: 19
  • December 23, 2010
    peccantis
  • December 23, 2010
    DAN004
    The videogame equivalent would be The War Sequence.
  • December 23, 2010
    ZombieAladdin
    Comic Books: The Green Lantern story Darkest Night concerns a war between the Black Lantern Corps and all of the other lantern corps allied together.
  • December 23, 2010
    Arivne
    Anime and Manga
    • Bleach The war between the Soul Society and Lord Aizen's Arrancar.
  • December 23, 2010
    Octagon8
    Web Comics
  • December 23, 2010
    Kalkiranthesecond
    does red vs blue count?
  • December 23, 2010
    troacctid
    You don't need to say "Will ALWAYS have a Big Badass Battle Sequence" like it's a requirement for the trope. How about a more neutral "Expect to see a Big Badass Battle Sequence."
  • December 23, 2010
    randomsurfer
    Books 21-25 (and beyond?) of the Gor series are focused on the war between the city-state of Ar and Cos, the island Ubarate. Tarl, our protagonist, is on the side of Ar; but Cos won the war...so far.
  • December 24, 2010
    EpicFightingTroper
    In response to Kalkiranthesecond:

    Red vs Blue TECHNICALLY fits the trope, but this trope is usually played for drama, not laughs, so I can't decide whether it plays with, subverts it, parodies it, or what?

    EDIT: Okay I'm gonna add Red vs Blue as a Played For Laughs example. Anyone not cool with that?
  • December 24, 2010
    ParadiscaCorbasi

    Also, it's impossible to prevent a war that's already in progress. So the Avatar example would be more "stopping" or "ending" the war.
  • December 26, 2010
    Roxor
  • December 26, 2010
    randomsurfer
    Would the Marvel Civil War (or Secret Wars) count?
  • December 27, 2010
    EpicFightingTroper
    I'm not really sure where Secret Wars falls under as it was an organised bout(even if by an alien). As for Marvel Civil War, it depends whether the Secret Avengers and their enemies can be described as "large scale factions".
  • December 27, 2010
    EricDVH
  • December 29, 2010
    AFP
    Deep Space Nine actually had two war arcs: The Dominion War, and the war between the Federation and the Klingon Empire (before both sides discovered they'd been played like cheap fiddles)
  • December 31, 2010
    nrjxll
    Still a little unclear on this trope: is it when the premise of a series is about a war (which I'm pretty sure we have tropes for) or is it about an individual story arc focusing on a war? The examples seem mixed. Description probably needs expanding as well.

    Also, no offense meant, but the "usually found in shounen series" part seems like Fan Myopia to me. War story arcs appear in many other genres and types of fiction.
  • December 31, 2010
    Sorator
    ^I read it as an individual story arc focusing on a war - this may overlap some with the idea of a series focusing on a war (especially if it's not a series but a single installment with only one story arc in the whole thing), but they are still separate tropes.

    Also, second the Fan Myopia - this is not genre or medium specific by a long shot (as you can see from the current examples, neh?).

    Definitely Needs A Better Description - I'd be hesitant about posting it as is, because just how much war and how big do the sides need to be to qualify for this? Adding more examples may define it better, as well.
  • December 31, 2010
    EpicFightingTroper
    Alright, I've fixed the problems you were complaining about. The forces have to be large enough to go toe-to-toe with a city, at least.

    These probably make the Red Vs Blue example invalid, isn't it? Ah well, it wasn't a very strong example anyway.
  • December 31, 2010
    PrimoVictoria
    There is no such thing as Darkest Night

    Comic Books:

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=p43gt5mczxko6ggoqwlqan6g