If a character regularly uses a sword of some sort, then the show's opening credits
or Stock Footage
will almost always include a shot of that character's face reflected in the highly-polished steel of the blade. Another common usage is to have the character's opponent(s) reflected in the blade as a reaction shot.
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Anime and Manga
- Pictured above is Shana from Shakugan no Shana. Although that's not Shana being reflected.
- Utena, Touga and Saionji in Revolutionary Girl Utena
- Sakura in the TV series version of Sakura Taisen.
- G Gundam doesn't actually do this with its hero Domon ? rather, the sword blade reflects the faces of his eventual companions.
- The manga of Naruto uses this during a Not So Different moment between Naruto and Gaara: in the aftermath of a fight, the two are facing each other across a giant frog's knife planted in the ground. We see a shot of each of them with half their face visible behind the sword and the other half of their opponent's face reflected in the blade.
- Yamcha in Dragon Ball's intro.
- Variant: The opening theme of Princess Resurrection features Hiro's reflection in the side of a chainsaw.
- In the manga of Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple, Shigure Kousaka turns the blade reflection to practical use, using it to see what is behind her. Her only blind spot is the part of the blade reflecting her face.
- While not in the opening credits, Juliet in Romeo X Juliet has a shot of her looking at her reflection off the sword, in the rain during a thunderstorm.
- Soul Eater: When the human-weapon hybrid Soul is in his weapon form and needs to comment on something to his wielder, his face will occasionally be shown as a reflection on his blade.
- Most of the other weapons in soul eater do the same.
- There's also a neat effect in the anime, where the reflection on the blade turns from that of Stein grinning, to an image of the Weapon Spirit also grinning.
- The Twelve Kingdoms: Youko's reflection in her sword moves the plot at several points. The sword does not seem to be bound by the laws of specular reflection :)
- In Princess Tutu, when Fakir and Mytho get into a sword fight, Mytho sees his reflection in Fakir's sword, leading him to realize what he's become.
- In Dragons Fire And Ice during a duel with the two protagonists, there is a moment when it appears that one stabbed the other while on the ground. The next shot inverts the trope by showing the sword's reflection in the victim's opening eye.
- In Disney's Mulan, Mulan's face is reflected as she unsheathes a sword before she gives herself an Important Haircut.
- The cover art has the blade reflecting Mulan's male disguise, while paradoxically she's standing in her original costume behind it.
- In Mulan 2, when she is mourning over Shang's death, she is looking at a sword and when lightning flashes, she sees his face reflected in it before she drives the sword into the ground.
- Expanded upon in Kill Bill 1, when the Bride uses her mirror-polished blade to inspect all angles of a Mook formation.
- Taken from one of its main inspirations, the Lone Wolf and Cub film series, in which Ogami Itto uses his sword to look behind him without alerting a pair of ninjas sneaking up on him. He kills them.
- In the classic film Lawrence of Arabia, Lawrence uses his dagger blade as an impromptu mirror to check out how he looks in his snazzy new white robes; it was a Throw It In moment from actor Peter O'Toole.
- In Blade Trinity, when Hannibal King is explaining the origins of Drake/Dracula to Blade, we're treated to a shot of both Drake's human and monster face reflected in the blade shot that's in the creepy stock footage/bloodbath/Fetish Fuel moment.
- In the game-based film DOA Dead Or Alive, Helena dual-wields katanas, using one as a mirror to look behind her at the surrounding Mooks.
- The Heroes of Olympus: Piper Mclean uses her dagger Katoptris as a mirrior like its previous wielder, Helen of Troy.
Live Action TV
- Heroes does it this late in the first season when Kaito Nakamura instructs Hiro in the use of the Sword of Kensei
- Suikoden III gives this trope a small shuffle, as well: in its opening video, the sword of the main character Geddoe reflects—look closely!—The Chick in his unit, known only as Queen.
- A similar scene appears in the opening for Suikoden V, with Miakis.
- Guilty Gear XX: Accent Core's new intro gives a moment of Blade Reflection to Ky Kiske, who is facing Sol Badguy at the time.
- Final Fantasy X-2 does this when a character changes into the warrior class.
- In the Kakera Asobi version of the opening to Higurashi no Naku Koro ni: Matsuri, the last shot is of the reflection of a dying cicada in a sword, followed by a glint on the sword and a reflection of someone who looks like Rika. It's actually Ouka, Hanyuu's daughter.
- On the Quest For Glory V boxart, our hero reflects the titular dragon on his blade.
- The Neopets video game, "The Darkest Faerie," has the Big Bad's face reflected in the hero's sword on the box art
- In the Super Robot Wars video game series, whenever Sangar Zombolt uses his BFS Zankantou's ultimate attack, the target of the attack will be reflected on the blade as the camera pans up on it. This only applies to the Zankantou used by the Grungust Type-3 and the Dy Gen Guard.
- In Devil May Cry 4, this trope provides the only proof that Nero's Devil Trigger doesn't quite take the form of Nelo Angelo, as many fans speculate. For those dedicated enough to fully clear the game, the game-clear art for Hell or Hell difficulty shows it reflected on Yamato's surface in full color - color that is mostly red, the reflection being Dante's DT form.