Blade Spam

aka: Split Second Blade Spam
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.

Sub-Trope 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.


Examples

Standard Blade Spam

  • 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.
  • The Final Fantasy series give us Cloud Strife's Omnislash, Squall Leonhart's Renzokuken (specifically, the Lionheart Limit Break), Tidus' Slice & Dice and the much stronger Blitz Ace and Lightning's Army of One and Legion of One.
  • 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 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.

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.

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".
    • 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 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.
  • Digimon Frontier has Korikakumon, whose Avalanche Axes attack deals out many consecutive slashes, but the hits all connect at once.

Mixed

  • 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.


Alternative Title(s):

Simultaneous Blade Spam, Slashathon, Split Second Blade Spam