Created By: Onitatsu on December 14, 2012 Last Edited By: Onitatsu on February 15, 2013

Gimmick Weapon

Seemingly normal weapon with a special trick.

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Do We Have This One? Needs More Examples Needs a Better Description Needs a Better Laconic.

Almost always a melee weapon, they usually take the form of another, seemingly normal weapon (like a sword or a staff) but hide a gimmick that can make them deadlier in battle. Guns are rarely seen in this category, as most of the time they may fall under Abnormal Ammo.

Very common in action-focused works, especially Manga or Literature. In a setting where magic-enhaced weapons are common, these kind of weapons may be given to the resident Badass Normal to further enhace his status. On the other hand, in settings where magic is absent, these kind of weapons tend to be used by Villains or sometimes secondary allies or characters. In the case of villains, this could be because the "deceiving" appearence of these weapons may suit a villain better, while the Hero, being more "honest and straightforward" will use a normal wepon.

See also Trick Arrow, Bifurcated Weapon and Whip Sword. Often ends up being an Impossibly Cool Weapon, but not always.


  • In Rurouni Kenshin there are some, including Cho's Renbato ( a sword with two blades on the same side), Kamatari's Great Scythe (a special mix of scythe and flail with multiple uses), Genbu's six-sectioned staff. Then there's Otowa, whose arsenal is mostly composed of these. All of these guys are villains, while the main characters mostly uses normal weapons.
  • Gamaran has them in spades, including:
    • Divine Spear Beninuki (Crinsom Extractor): The scythe-like blades protunding on the side can be used for a huge variety of attacks.
    • Divine Spear Kuyo (Cosmic Influence): A "Tube Spear": thanks to a tube attached to it, the user can istantly withdraw the spear after a thrust, and even spin it (in a restricted area).
    • Murderous Sword Ginkuruwa (Silver Enclosure): A very odd weapon with two blades (one short and straight, the other one longer and curved) which, according to the wielder, is used to distract the enemy and catch him offguard. We never see it in action.
    • Murderous Sword Aogasumi (Azure Mist): Two thin blades built to be very light for fast attacks.
    • Riko's sword Genbou: A katana with a serrated edge, made for parrying enemy swords.
    • Shinsuke's sword Souenmaru (Twin Flame Ring) looks like a rather odd-built katana. The Gimmick here is the hole on the hilt where another identical blade can be added, turning the katana in a sort of broadsword with a unique fighting style.
  • In the first Bleach movie, one of the villain has a huge broadsword... which is actually a scabbard for a Whip Sword. A canonical example is Ikkaku's Shikai, which is a three-sectioned glaive, and a Melee Type Zanpakuto, hence it doesn't use "magic" at all to attack.
  • Real Life example: the Sanjiegun, also known as "Three Sectioned staff" may count, compared to the normal staff. Most of the chained weapons (e.g the Kusarigama or the Meteor Hammer) may require a lot of tricks and skill to be used properly.
Community Feedback Replies: 14
  • December 14, 2012
  • December 14, 2012
    The Badass Normal part of the description just seems to clash with most of the examples. Some of them are from a canon without magic (Kenshin, real life), two are magical (Bleach, Naruto), and only Gamaran seems to fully fit.

    Just doesn't seem to be well-defined, and too similar to Impossibly Cool Weapon.
  • December 15, 2012
    ^ not quite. Impossibly Cool Weapon is a weapon which focuses only on it being cool and flashy-looking. This is more about seemingly ordinary weapon whose abilities stem from their actual design/built/structure. Whip Sword for example, looks like swords but are actually whips. Of course, the text can be re-written if you wish so and have a better idea, I'm always open. Ando to KZN 02 yeah, Bifurcated Weapon tend to fall in this category.
  • December 15, 2012
    Possible inversion: several Discworld books mention that everyday tools (awls, shovels, toolboxes...) and farming implements (hooks, pitchforks, hoes...) are never considered weapons until wielded by an angry mob, at which point an enemy trying to get through said mob comes out as mincemeat.
  • December 16, 2012
    I've tried a make over. How about now?
  • December 21, 2012
    Even with the makeover the Naruto one doesn't seem like an example as it seems to just... be a sword.
  • December 22, 2012
    ^ It mentions a gimmick about being made for decapitating people, though it might be Informed Ability, I'm not sure myself.
  • December 23, 2012
    ^ Aah, screw it, I removed the Naruto example: likely, Kishimoto intended it to be a gimmick weapon, but wasn't successful.
  • January 1, 2013
    Bump. A little help here?
  • February 8, 2013
  • February 11, 2013
    In Spellsinger, Jon Tom's weapon looks like a Simple Staff, but it's in fact a collapsible Blade On A Stick that can spring out.
  • February 11, 2013
    Compare Mechanically Unusual Class, which is this trope applied to the Character Class System instead.

    Video Games:
    • Fallout 3 has a couple of examples. A Brotherhood Outcast weaponsmith was trying to improve on the standard missile launcher. Instead, he ended up creating the Miss Launcher, a unique version with greater damage at the cost of it having no propellant. It takes practice to use it, but it makes a fairly good grenade launcher equivalent. The other one is the Experimental MIRV, a unique Fat Man mini-nuke launcher that fires a spread of the things. Decidedly Awesome But Impractical with a side helping of There Is No Kill Like Overkill.
  • February 15, 2013
    • In one Zorro comic, Zorro fight a swordsman with a deadly reputation but who seems, (at least by Zorro's standards) rather average. Then the swordsman shows that his blade has a trick to extend or retract with the push of a small lever on the handle and nearly skewers a surprised Zorro.
  • February 15, 2013
    In Mar Ginta's weapon is actually just a ball and chain, but he does manage to pull off a few unpredictable moves with it.