A character attacks with a rapid series of slashes or stabs, either with a bladed weapon or with natural claws
. Taking the speed part Up to Eleven
and into outright Super Speed
territory results in the following two subtypes
- Split-Second Blade Spam: Where the attacks are pseudo-simultaneous—the observer cannot tell that there are multiple slashes being executed.
- Simultaneous Blade Spam: Superficially the same as Split-Second Blade Spam from the observer's perspective, but explicitly being truly simultaneous.
Blade Spam is oftentimes the mark of Master Swordsman
-type characters (or the equivalent for other kinds of weapon-users
) in many works, and usually take the form of striking a given target from several different angles/directions—typically the eight cardinal and ordinal ones—within the span of a second
of Spam Attack
. More Dakka
is the Gun Counterpart
, while Beam Spam
is the laser/magic counterpart. Compare Storm of Blades
, for when several
blades are rapidly thrown
at the target. If someone does this unarmed, that's Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs
Standard Blade Spam
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Viral's Enki-series Gunmen have swords as their primary armament. Invokes this trope with two blades, then four, then literally takes the trope Up to Eleven with Viral's Tengen Toppa in Lagann-hen, armed with thirteen swords (and a kanabo) simultaneously. Bonus points for having split-second Blade Locks between spams.
- Often featured in the Final Fantasy series as the main sword wielding character's most powerful Limit Break, examples include:
- A common Special Attack/Desperation Attack among sword/claw-wielding Fighting Game characters.
- This is a staple in RPGs, usually part of Dual Wielding and dubbed "Flurry". Examples to be found in Knights of the Old Republic and Dragon Age.
- This is the default mode of attack for high-level Weapon Masters (a warrior Prestige Class kit) in Dungeons & Dragons. Able to fight equally well with both hands and using the attack/round tables of a Bare-Fisted Monk, a level 16 Weapons Master gets 6 strikes per round (about 6 seconds) with a single weapon, 12 when Dual Wielding, and you do not want to get in her way when she's buffed with Haste.
- The 4th edition mid-level ranger exploit "Blade Cascade" originally allowed a properly dual wielding ranger to once per day simply keep attacking a target until it dropped or they missed (whichever happened first), all as one action. It was later errataed to allow a maximum of five such attacks, period.
- The Akisazame (Tiger Teeth/Sword Rain) sword technique in the Tales Series, which makes the user stab at the enemy repeatedly, then finish with a final strike that varies from user to user.
- Exalted: Extra Action charm + daiklave = lots of pain for someone.
- Link can use the stabbing version throughout the Super Smash Bros. series, and gains the slashing version in the form of his Triforce Slash in Brawl.
- Dante in Devil May Cry 3 has Million Stab (for Rebellion) and Million Slash (for Agni & Rudra) combos.
- The Pokémon move Fury Swipes is a claw-based variant of this.
- Ars Arcanum and its variants in the Kingdom Hearts series tend to be of this nature.
- Sora's Heartless Form from KH2 and Riku's Darkest Fears link from DDD both grant them claws and faster movement. Both of these forms replace the normal keyblade melee combos with close-range bare-handed Blade Spam.
- Castlevania: Symphony of the Night has the Crissaegrim sword, which unleashes a flurry of around five strikes every time you swing it. It's not Split-Second as individual slashes are clearly animated and visible, and it's not fast enough to quite be Simultaneous. It is however fast enough to be the most damaging weapon in the game despite having nowhere near the highest attack power.
- Mitsuru's strong attack in Persona 3 has her deliver a slash, and then a rapid series of stabs from her one-handed sword. When she gets a critical hit, she does the same, except with a even longer rush of stabs that finishes with a kick to the nads that knocks the foe over. Noticeably contrasts with the main character's critical hit animation with the same weapon type - he only delivers three separate, powerful blows.
- In Fire Emblem Fates, Marth attacks with a rapid series of rather painful-looking stabs.
- Mega Man Zero 3 has the 1000 Slash EX Skill, where Zero stabs the opponent repeatedly with the Recoil Rod. After-images of each stab appear to add to the hit count, as a way to stand up to its name.
- In Bayonetta 2, this is how the titular character's Demonic Unicorn Summon, Diomedes, finished off its enemies, by using the absolutely massive BFG it has as its horn to slice and dice them as part of a Quick Time Event.
- In Dark Souls 1, the strong attack combo on Ricard's Rapier is a flurry of weak stabs. For this reason it is favoured among players who buff their weapon with magic or elemental damage, since these buffs work by adding a flat amount of damage per hit rather than simply buffing the weapon's stats.
Split-Second Blade Spam
- Claymore has two techniques that are this, Windcutter and the Quicksword. When used properly, the Quicksword technique is so fast that its creator (Ilena) can block attacks "undetected"; that is, her arm moves at such a speed that it looks like any attack against her is hitting some kind of invisible barrier rather than her sword, which is being drawn, used, and sheathed so quickly that literally no motion is detected.
- Ginkaku Uneri from Katanagatari is an Iaijutsu Practitioner that can use his sword, Zantou Namakura, to strike five times a second.
- In BlazBlue, Taokaka can do this with her claws.
- Hiei's Curb-Stomp Battle with Seiryuu in YuYu Hakusho. He cut Seiryuu in 16 places so quickly that Kuwabara couldn't see it at all, Kurama saw it as a single attack, and even Yusuke only saw eight slashes.
- Sakuya Izayoi from Touhou is capable of Split Second Blade Spam, as shown in her Wound Sign "Inscribe Red Soul" and Scarred Soul "Soul Sculpture" spellcards.
- Fate of the Lyrical Nanoha franchise is capable of doing this with her Super Speed and Laser Blade. When she does it, the viewers will only see the aftermath of her slashes after she dashes past the target. Specific instances include her Speed Blitz against Numbers Cyborg Sette that left Sette's Battle Boomerangs in pieces, and her first attack on Huckebein's Deville that left him littered with slash wounds.
- The Hiten Mitsurugi-ryuu secret move Kuzu-Ryuusen("Nine-headed Dragon") from Rurouni Kenshin, utilizing Hiten Mitsurugi-ryu's signature God-Speed to launch 8 slashes and one stab with such speed that the strikes appear to be simultaneous.
- Goemon from Lupin III does this all the damn time. If we're lucky, we get to see three or four slashes, but usually there's a dozen made from just drawing and sheathing his sword. The man knows how to make use of his Absurdly Sharp Blade.
- From Bleach we have Gin's bankai: Its a a sword that can extend from wakizashi-sized to an 8-mile sword with near hypersonic speed. Even one of his techniques is to extend and contract it in a stabbing fashion like a machine gun.
- Iaijutsu Practitioner Asbel from Tales of Graces does this for his Level 3 Mystic Arte/Blast Caliber. He first beats down the opponent before dashing forward and drawing his sword leading to multiple hits.
- Misa's Tsurugi technique from Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae has her performing a series of powerful, lightning-fast katana slashes.
- In Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Raiden can do this thanks to Blade Mode. This is best shown in the cutscene before the first level, where he makes what looks like a single slash, only for the targeted object to fall apart into multiple pieces.
- The novelization of Revenge of the Sith describes the lightsaber duel between Mace Windu and Palpatine as a blur of darkness in which Windu's blade appeared to be in seven places at once. His fighting style, Vaapad, is an ordinarily Dangerous Forbidden Technique that he designed to accomplish this. This one's actually justified, since both are powerful Force users who can use Super Speed while fighting.
Simultaneous Blade Spam
- Two examples from the Fate/stay night franchise:
- Tsubame Gaeshi, signature technique of the 5th Grail War's Assassin; three slashes whose combined angles of attack explicitly block off any attempt at evasion. And Assassin gained it because he so relentlessly persevered in his countless attempts to devise a technique to kill a swallow while in flight, that reality basically gave in and granted him partial access to the "Second Magic", which is described as "multi-dimension refraction phenomenon".
- Later Fate material introduced the Sakura Saber (a Gender Flip of Souji Okita), whose own signature move is the very similar yet fundamentally different Mumyou Sandanzuki; where both techniques are simultaneous triple attacks, Assassin's is a triple slash meant to be unavoidable, while Okita's is a triple thrust meant to be unblockable. Apparently, raping the fabric of reality with a sword is just a thing japanese swordsmen can do in this setting.
- Nine Lives (Japanese gloss: "Shooting Hundred Heads"), a Noble Phantasm of the 5th Grail War's Berserker (a.k.a. Herakles); the actual NP itself, derived from Herakles' feat of defeating the many-headed, nigh-immortal Hydra with his bow and arrows. It was never used by Berserker himself, but when Shirou in the Heaven's Feel route used Projection to adapt the NP for his own use, the resulting "Nine Lives Blade Works" was composed of eight simultaneous slashes from different directions in one instant, followed by a stab to the center, all done with Super Speed. And each strike was considered a lethal A-ranked blow to Black Berserker.
- In the later video games Fate/unlimited codes and Fate/Grand Order, Heracles is capable of using Nine Lives; however, due to being summoned under the Berserker class and thus losing his motor skills, he can only use it as a Split-Second Blade Spam (compressing a hundred slashes into the span of a few seconds) instead of its true usage above.
- In more recent iterations of The Compilation of Final Fantasy VII as well as Kingdom Hearts and Dissidia: Final Fantasy, Sephiroth seems to be able to strike his opponent several times with only a few tactically-placed slashes of his Masamune. In Kingdom Hearts II, he possesses a move called Flash, where he dashes past Sora; if you don't use the Reaction Command to block it, Sora eats about 7-9 slashes. In Dissidia, his slashes inflict upwards of four blows at a time (his Octoslash, in particular, hits eight times in spite of Sephy only swinging five times).
- The Toujin (Battle Blade) attack in Yaiba can do this, but with ethereal blades which distract the opponent.
- The "Multi Strike" spell in Fable I lets a single strike connect up to five times at once, multiplying the effect of any other buffs the Hero has.
- In Soul Eater, Mifune can do this with his "infinite sword style" moves. Not only can he trap his opponent by pinning them down with some of his many swords but he can make each sword strike multiple times by making them vibrate.
- Erza from Fairy Tail can do this with her exquip primarily with her heaven wheel armor.
- In Nurarihyon No Mago there is bad guy Kidomaru, who trained his swordsmanship to produce techniques that got faster and faster until the number of strikes became impossible to block or evade (the fastest technique was aptly named 'Void' for being able to reduce its victims to nothing). It was stopped thanks to Kurotabo's ability to produce the instant variant of this trope, using the infinite weapons inside of his robes as a wall to parry and catch Kidomaru's own two blades.
- Digimon Frontier has Korikakumon, whose Avalanche Axes attack deals out many consecutive slashes, but the hits all connect at once.
- The Stand Silver Chariot in Part 3 of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is extremely quick and can spear coins and flames on its sword with a single strike and is more than capable to do a standard spam attack. But when Polnareff, its user, sheds its armor Silver Chariot gains a massive boost in speed at the cost of being much more vulnerable. But the boost is so fast that it makes it seem that there are several stands at once and its extreme precision lets it carve markings into his opponent's face without killing him.