There are clues a creator can apply to a pair of characters to indicate that that they are opposites in some way. One of those is to give the characters opposite handedness, making them more than just metaphorically mirror images.
Expect to see tropes like Evil Counterpart
, Evil Knockoff
, Cain and Abel
, Polar Opposite Twins
, The Lancer
, or The Rival
and Rival Turned Evil
. Also expect to see a lot of parallels in their respective characters and stories - they are as much alike as they are opposites. Commonly, they will represent what the other could have become, had they made different choices or had slightly different luck.
Note that in Real Life
, 20% of twins (including identical twins) have opposite handedness, which may be part of the origins of this trope.
Most often, the character with the left hand will be the evil one
, or at least less of a hero than the right-handed character.
See The Southpaw
for when being left-handed is advantageous. Often overlaps with A Sinister Clue
, in which left-handedness is visual shorthand for being evil.
Compare Hair Contrast Duo
, where another physical characteristic is used to symbolize the contrast between characters.
[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
- Quite Literally in "Let's Get Invisible!" from Goosebumps. Lefty's counterpart in the mirror world is right-handed and he switches places permanently with Lefty.
- Played with in The Prisoner TOS episode "The Schizoid Man". Number 2 creates an exact double of Number Six and uses him to confuse Number Six into thinking that he's the double. The Villagers use aversion therapy on Number Six to turn him from right-handed to left-handed. The double is right handed, which he uses to claim that he's the real Number Six.
- Vocaloid brings this out with Len and Rin Kagamine, opposite-gender mirrors of each other or Half-Identical Twins (depending on who you ask). Their genderswaps even look a lot similar to the twin. This trope is most evident in Fanon works involving these two, as their official characterizations are virtually nonexistent.
[[Myth, Legend, and Oral Tradition]]
- An Iroquios legend states that the world was created by a pair of twins. The right-handed twin made the landscapes, plants, and animals. The left-handed twin created snakes, thorns, and storms.
- Luciana and Aegiana of Yggdra Union who, despite being identical twins, have opposite handedness. Red Oni, Blue Oni is in full effect for these two.
- The Final Fantasy series is quite fond of this trope:
- Final Fantasy IV:
- Kain, who is in many ways a "what could have been" for right-handed hero Cecil. Both share a very similar backstory, and both vow to fight against Baron, but Kain ends up Brainwashed and Crazy and fighting for Golbez, while Cecil narrowly avoids that fate and becomes a Paladin.
- Cecil's unknown brother Golbez from the same game is left-handed, and only through luck did Cecil not end up in Golbez's villainous role.
- Twins Palom and Porom, who are Polar Opposite Twins in both personality and powers, with one being a Black Magician Boy and the other being a White Magician Girl. Palom is the left-handed twin, and far less nice than Porom, although he is by no means a villain.
- Similarly, in Final Fantasy VII and Crisis Core, Sephiroth is left-handed while both Cloud and Zack are right-handed. They are in many, many ways warped mirror images of each other.
- In Final Fantasy Dimensions, Nacht and Sol are both orphans chosen by the Crystal. Right-handed Sol is the leader of the Warriors of the Light, and is an Idiot Hero Genki Boy, with blond hair, and a name that means sun. Left-handed Nacht is the leader of the Warriors of the Dark (although Dark Is Not Evil in this game), and is The Stoic, with dark teal hair, and a name that means night.
- An interesting variation occurs in the Kingdom Hearts series. Protagonists Terra and Riku have many, many parallels, including sharing the same role in a Two Guys and a Girl trio, complete with same Theme Naming. They both are destined keyblade wielders, both are misled and manipulated by Maleficent and Xehanort, and both succumb to the Darkness in their hearts. But while Terra is lost to his inner Darkness and becomes a Xehanort host, Riku conquers his inner Darkness and uses it to defend the Light, thus escaping Terra's fate. The variation occurs in that both characters are actually right-handed, but nearly all Terra's powers of Darkness manifest through his left hand, while Riku's manifest through his right.