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It doesn't matter how many bullets were fired or how largetheir calibre, you won't see entrance wounds, exit wounds or any blood at all anywhere on or near their targets. Shooting victims simply fall down, leaving neat and clean crime scenes. The only way you can tell a shooting victim from a poisoning victim is that the latter will usually be grimacing. It's almost as if they were made of sawdust instead of flesh.
A subvariety of this trope allows for a small amount of blood, looking more like a ketchup stain from a particularly sloppy lunch, to mark the location of a wound. This will sometimes lead to such absurdities as a character with a cut lip conspicuously dribbling blood, while another character who is shot to death is shown with his/her wounds bone-dry!
This was a common trope in Action Series, Adventure Series, and Crime and Punishment Series until recently; for various reasons of taste and censorship, blood was never shown no matter how thoroughly perforated the victim was. Of late, though, shows like CSI and Law & Order have begun to be more explicit/realistic about just how messy most violent deaths are.
Fantasy and some historical works, similarly, will not show blood even when someone is stabbed or cut. In some examples (particularly shows geared towards younger audiences), swords and other bladed weapons will seemingly only be used to clash against each other, and never be shown to draw blood. Two swordsmen will exchange blows for several seconds, but the telling blow will be a kick or shoulder block to knock the opponent down. Scenes of the aftermath of a battle will show broken or dropped weapons, discarded shields, fallen banners, dozens of arrows, and the occasional helmet or three, but never any bodies.
A second, somewhat more humorous variation is to depict a relatively harmless conflict or game, such as Dodgeball, Paintball matches, or Water gun fights, as if it were a real war or slaughter. Complete with dramatic slow-motion scenes, over-acted last words, and splashes of paint or water where blood would spray.
May be justified in a science fiction setting using Energy Weapons, although it's a common misconception that the massive heat produced by the beam would instantly cauterize the wound before it had a chance to bleed. This is not necessarily the case. While a laser in a movie may just knock over people with little signs of blood or burning, it's best not to dwell too much on what the wounds from such a weapon would really look like...
See also Pretty Little Headshots and As Lethal as It Needs to Be.
Contrast High-Pressure Blood when the amount of blood is unrealistic by being excessive. Compare Symbolic Blood when they use a substitute involving robots or fantastical creatures that have something resembling blood. If the viewer is given the choice of having this or not, it is Adjustable Censorship. Usually goes hand-in-hand with Never Say "Die", a Disney Death, and a Disney Villain Death.
Noir is surprisingly bloodless for having a pair of gun-wielding assassins as heroes. This was originally done to placate TV censors, but was not added back into the DVD run after audiences seemed to find the effect artistic. Blood was present when you saw Kirika bleeding at the beginning of Episode 7: "The Black Thread of Fate" and all over the floor in Mireille's flashback to her parents' death, which greatly added to the impression of an intentional artistic choice, reflecting how death had changed from tragedy to business for her.
Most of Death Note's early episodes tend to avoid this trope, with occasional exceptions like when Kichiro Osoreda was run over by a car after attempting to hijack a bus, or when Matt was gunned down by Takada's bodyguards. Most deaths in the series are caused by mystically induced heart attacks, so this makes sense. Mikami and Light's deathaverts this.
Slayers is mostly bloodless for 2/3 of a seasonal run, even when Gourry slices up a regime of baddies. While it allows joke characters to return, the last parts of a season manage to kick up the level of blood and cast aside this trope - notably, the second anime season warranted Clothing Damage for most of the villains, and then, in a memorable scene later on, Amelia gets a near-fatal, bloody wound from a demonic attack.
The movies and OVA series play this trope completely straight. Any manga and the light novels, on the other hand, avert this.
Kara no Kyoukai plays with this in the fifth movie. Usually it doesn't shy away from showing lots of blood, but a scene at the beginning of the movie of Tomoe stabbing his mother is surprisingly dry. This is then turned around and we find out that the lack of blood indicates that something else is going on, and later when lots of blood appears the effect is rather jarring.
Revolutionary Girl Utena falls straight into this in the series finale, where a character gets stabbed in the back with a sword, and there is zero blood. Clean through either a lung or the stomach. Possibly justified by the fact that said character is wearing black, which blood would not readily show up on. However, there is no blood on the sword, nor is the character lying in a puddle of their own blood. There isn't even clothing hole where the sword went through. The only thing to indicate they even got stabbed in the first place is heavy breathing and cringing. Also, for a series that centers around constant sword fights, the swords never hit an opponent during fights, just the other sword or their opponent's clothing or hair.
Except when Touga gets sliced down the back outside an official Duel—he does not bleed, but later requires extensive bandages and a sling. With other things in the series, it's easy to draw the conclusion that the Duel Arena literally does not allow anyone to bleed or die without losing their rose.
Claymore uses this for stylistic contrast. Fights are shown with fairly little blood but several scenes show an extremely brutal aftermath.
Hellsing surprisingly, uses this in it's TV series incarnation. In the Manga by which it's based, and the later produced OVA series, there are a LOT of blood everywhere whenever anyone, human or vampire is killed. Due to situations with the censors, however, the TV series had to do something to minimize the amount of gore. The solution was to make the Vampires Alucard shoots turn to "Sand" or "Ash" as they die. Some blood was added for the DVD release, but the series is surprisingly low on blood for being a show about vampires.
The episodes where the Talismans show up; despite both Uranus and Neptune getting injured (the former shot by apparently invisible darts and the latter ripping herself free from some sort of thorny vines), neither bleeds.
Averted in the first season, where Nephrite bleeds quite a bit before he dies, though the blood is green.
...but also played straight with Jadeite, who gets run over by a jumbo jet but only has a few scuffs to show for it.
There's a few instances in early episodes where Sailor Moon gets scraped or cut by a youma, drawing a small amount of blood that then goes away one shot later.
Also averted with Taiki, one of the alien Sailor Starlights, bleeds briefly after squeezing a rose, poking his/her hand.
Averted in Sailor Moon S when Neptune fights in front of Uranus for the first time and receives several large, bloody gashes on her back for her trouble. Played straight and averted later in Stars when all of the sailor soldiers suffer bloodless deaths yet several bloody hits are landed on Galaxia. Seiya's injury later in Stars also counts as an aversion.
The Reborn anime acually didn't have a problem with showing blood early on during it's adaptation of the Mukuro arc. It's like after this particular arc, the animators found it too gruesome for the kids watching the show so they turned to Bloodless Carnage afterwards. During this arc, Gokudera for example took a few needles to the chest, yet his shirt began turning blood red afterwards from the injury. Looked even MORE painful then ANYTHING the anime dished out afterwards where the only times you ever see blood again is during the Varia arc when Yamamoto gets slashed across the chest in his Ring duel and much later on during the Future arc when Hibari tries to pet his porcupine box weapon, but accidently gets his hand stabbed. Everything else is straightforward Bloodless Carnage.
Both of Hiro Mashima's manga, Rave Master and Fairy Tail, suffer this in their anime incarnation. Especially Rave Master, which had one fight scene without blood for every 3 that had it. It's especially grating in one scene in Fairy Tail, however, when one of the characters is supposed to be impaled, but does not bleed, and then tries to stop the bleeding anyway.
Let's see... we have:
Natsu is hit by Erigor'sEmeraBaram wind magic, which is supposed to shred him to ribbons. It doesn't even scratch his clothes.
Gray is impaled by Lyon with a whole Ice Tiger from his belly and yet doesn't bleed.
Aria and many other people are sliced across the chest by Ersa's sword, but the wounds are nowhere to be seen.
Gray uses the Seven Ice Blades dance to slice Fukuro, yet the latter doesn't show signs of any wound.
Finally, Ikaruga, the queen of this trope. In the manga, her attacks leave huge gushing wounds on her enemies. In the anime, she says she cuts the enemies' nerves without slicing the skin. Rule of Cool?
Ultear stabs herself and looks no worse afterward.
Thankfully, being a bloodless anime didn't affect a certain scene that occurs during the Gray vs Ultear fight; could even be considered a subversion of this trope. The scene in particular is Gray resorting to freezing his own blood as weapons after realizing that Ultear can make all of Grays ice moves irrelivant thanks to her time magic. The initial slash of Gray cutting his skin was censored, but the blood is still seen mixing with the ice as his ice blades slowly changes to crimson red. As for why this scene was given special treatment, it's most likely because it plays an important part to Gray's turnaround in the fight or it was just simply too Badass to censor fully.
As if to make up for all of the above, Taurus cutting off a tentacle of Earthland Byro's monster octopus during the Starry Sky Key filler arc results in two giant gouts of blood.
As the anime version of Bleach goes on, it has shifted more toward this than its usual blood geysers in the name of censorship (which doesn't really work anyway if limbs are being severed).
For example: episode 193, where the characters would have coughed up blood in the manga, but are made to cough copious amounts of...spit? Or stomach acid?
An especially noticeable example is how when Kira fights Abirama, he cuts his head off yet his sword has no blood on it, despite flicking the blade around as if he was trying to get off some excess liquid.
The Studio Bones series Heroman shows no visible blood or serious injury from it's numerous fight scenes. The closest you can get is the green goo that drips out of the Skrugg when they are beaten or 'killed'.
The survival game in School Rumble in the original manga. Justified because well, it's a game played with BB guns. The anime adaptation originally had a few scenes with blood shown, but the dub apparently decided to take it all the way and show a pool of blood for every "death".
Toriko's anime suffers from this, becoming quite noticeable in the Ice Hell arc — Bogie Woods's sacrum being popped out is accompanied by a stream of sparkles. It's started to let up on this starting with the Four Beasts arc though.
Despite the amount of violence with in the show, in every series of Pretty Cure so far, no one bleeds, but you can tell if someone's hurt when their clothes are dirty. So far, there has been one, very small, very minute, very easy-to-miss subversion: One scene in HeartCatch Pretty Cure! featured Cobraja getting a cut on his face. The act of the cutting itself produced an incredibly small spurt of blood.
Chirin No Suzu is a pretty violent film however it has almost no blood in it, and the protagonist suffers no visible injuries despite all the beatings he receives.
Weiß Kreuz uses this extensively in its first TV series, with a few very small exceptions, and one case of Clothing Damage from gunshots without visible blood, as if imitating bloodless black powder squibs.
Kingdom: Zig zagged in the anime adaptation. In duels between named characters, there is blood. But in large scale battles, defeated soldiers are simply sent flying.
Dragon Ball Z, when Raditz blows Piccolo's arm off. There's a couple of reddish-orange drops, but that's it.
Spider-Man villain Carnage is supposed to commit horribly brutal murders, but almost every victim shown looks clean, the only proof of death being torn clothing.
The Warrior Cats graphic novels, which is very odd because of the amazing amount of blood and violence in the original novels. There is some blood in Rise of Scourge when Scourge kills Tigerstar, but it goes over the scene so quickly, and there is so little blood it's ridiculous (especially considering the original version where Scourge rips Tigerstar open, causing him to bleed to death nine times).
Even one of the illustrators, Don Hudson, thought this was odd. In the first Tigerstar and Sasha volume, rabbits, squirrels, and frogs are killed onscreen without a drop of blood, but apparently the editors didn't even like a clean dead rabbit:
I am working on the Cat book for Tokyopop and I am at an interesting point in the story. The story involves Feral cats and life in the wild. A Feral cat stops and kills a wild hare as described in the script. I drew the layout and it was approved, but at a certain point, the powers that be wanted a change. The dead rabbit looks too creepy. I understand that the pre-teen market may not be into dead rabbits, but why write it into the script? They wanted me to change the angle to obscure the hare, messing up the storytelling. My compromise was to turn the rabbit around, and closing his eyes. It's not dead, just sleeping! No trauma, just a sleepy, knocked out bunny. (Comparison of original and revised sketches◊)
War comics approved by The Comics Code can take this to ridiculous and disturbing extremes—entire battle scenes go by without a drop of blood. Or with Marvel Comics, where people would bleed black goo.
The British Commmando Comics. In almost 2000 issues, soldiers are shot, stabbed, squashed, run over by tanks, collide their aircraft with cliffs, even one SS mook take a grenade to the face without so much as a drop of blood or dismembered body part.
In a 1954 MAD feature about a BowdlerisedFilm of the Book, a character being shot to death pleads, "Aim it where the bullet holes won't show!" Afterwards, the killer expects there to be blood all over everything (as in the book) but realizes that there's no blood at all since he's in a movie.
Wolverine's claws would, when used on any 'normal' living creature or person, produce awe-inspiring gore. Blood would spurt, organs would be hanging out of the remains, etc. This is rarely depicted (although to see what Wolverine's fights look like in all their detailed gory glory, pick up the most recent series of X-Force; or buy the Uncaged Edition of X-Men Origins Wolverine).
While Nth Man: The Ultimate Ninja , as a Comics Code-approved title, avoided graphic depictions of blood or gore, it never hesitated to show the brutality of combat or the senseless deaths of war, including the aftermath of a mass execution.
This is a staple of the works of Sergio Aragonés, which help emphasize their cartoony nature. Even a title centered on wanton destruction and warfare like Groo The Wanderer will seldom show anything more than someone clutching their abdomen while (black) blood oozes between their fingers.
Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Comic are both considerably more violent then most versions of the series, but they lack any blood whatsoever. Several characters are caught in explosions, but appear only bruised - one example is when Antoine is caught in an explosion and goes into a coma. We only see his limp hand in the last panel, and later on there are lots of bandages covering up his injuries. In the Sonic Universe arc 'Total Eclipse', Shadow is beaten almost to death, but only takes 'scratches'.
Virtually any fight in Diamonds Cut is this because of the budget limitations, but this is especially prominent during the M’s death: not only is there no blood spilt, as camera lingers over his body, but the window remains absolutely undamaged when it should by rights have been broken by the sniper’s bullet.
The Legend of Total Drama Island uses the variant of describing a game like a real battle. Much of the game action in the dodgeball match, especially in the first game, is written in the style of a battle scene from The Iliad, which is probably one of the most blood-drenched epics of all time. There is a minor subversion in that Lindsay does bleed after being hit in the mouth.
Film - Animated
Kung Fu Panda 2 has Lord Shen using throwing knives to dispatch a few antelope guards and the Wolf Boss, but no blood is shown. This is despite the latter being hit directly in the throat.
In Bambi, when Bambi's mother is killed by the hunters, we actually do not see her dead body once Bambi realizes that she is dead. However, we do get to see a quail bleed to death later in the film.
When Gaston stabs the Beast, there is no blood on his knife, although blood does appear on the Beast's shirt shortly afterward.
In Disney's The Lion King, Mufasa's dead body appears to be in perfect condition… even though he fell a considerable height from a cliff, and then got trampled by a herd of wildebeest; at most he appears to be just a bit beat up and his whiskers are bent.
When Ben is killed in Barnyard he gets fatally wounded from a severe coyote mauling, like Mufasa aside from a bit of blood on his mouth and some bruising he is in otherwise seemingly good condition.
In The Princess and the FrogRay's death is surprisingly clean considering he was slapped to the ground and then stepped on by Dr. Facilier, as when Louis finds him all the damage that seems to have been done is some brusing and a black eye. If someone would do this to one of his species in real life it would be quite messy.
Warped in Tangled. When Eugene / Flynn is stabbed there is no blood on the dagger. However, when Rapunzel inspects at the wound there is blood seeping over his shirt.
In Disney/Hercules, Megara pushes Hercules out of the way of a falling pillar, only to be crushed herself. There is no sign of ANY injury, even though it kills her.
At the end of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, JudgeClaude Frollo actually falls off a balcony and to his death in the fire below; for some reason we do not see his charred remains on the ground once Quasimodo, Esmeralda, and Phoebus finally emerge out of the cathedral unharmed.
At the end of The Pebble and the Penguin, when Drake is crushed to death by his own boulder, if you pause at the right moment as he is killed and the boulder rolls away you can easily tell that there's nothing underneath.
The Fox and the Hound plays with the trope. The bear is shot and bitten and both wounds are shown red with blood, but as soon as the shot cuts away the wounds vanish.
In the Twilight films, more notably in Eclipse, vampires seem to never bleed when being dismembered and decapitated. Instead, they seem to shatter, which while in the colder scenarios might be because according to the makers the heads freeze instantly, doesn't really make sense in other places. Obviously it aids to keep the ratings low. The books and Word of God describe the vampires as crystalline, having bodies like marble or granite in quality, and their only bodily fluid to remain is venom.
The Dark Knight Saga uses this to keep its PG-13 rating. It's not as much not being blood, as the worst injuries aren't shown in great detail and are only on-camera very briefly. This eventually gets rather ridiculous, since it's a brutal movie except for the bloodless part. The Joker even gives a Glasgow Grin to a guy, and there's no bleeding.
Inception is almost entirely bloodless with the exception of a main character getting hit by a single bullet. Since his wound is of major importance for the following scenes, its examined closely, but even so it's very small with a relatively small amount of blood.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is particularly bad about this. Not a splash of red in an enormous pitched battle scene. In a more up-close and personal scene, when Peter is jumped by Maugrim the wolf, he impales the wolf and is pinned under him for nearly a minute; despite this, there's very clearly no blood anywhere on the wolf, Peter or the sword. Strangely, the film retains Aslan's line from the book reminding Peter to clean his sword.
In the BBC version of the movie, the entire screen turns red during Maugrim and Peter's fight. When Peter stabs him, there is no blood.
This happens in the second movie too. A man gets his throat slit and not only does he die instantly rather than bleeding out, but no blood was involved at all. Perhaps it was because a mouse wielding a mouse-sized sword was the one that hit him.
However, blood is shown outside of battle scenes such as Edmund's healing or Miraz being held at swordpoint.
The slaughter of Frank Castle's extended family in The Punisher (2004) film is almost bloodless, the only exceptions being himself (though he obviously survives), his father and several goons. In the director's commentary, Jonathan Hensleigh explains that watching over two dozen innocent men, women and children being brutally gunned down would have been even harder to watch had blood packs and squibs also been used.
This trope is very common in the pre-1990s James Bond films. Mooks are always shot in the chest by Bond, die instantly, and go down cleanly with nothing more than a mild grunt.
Golden Eye has bloodless deaths as well, most notably when Bond shoots all those guards in the Russian prison.
There are rare exceptions. Bond headshots a Soviet soldier in Octopussy, and the entry wound and trail of blood are very obvious. In a few instances, entry wounds and squibs can be seen (such as in the tanker battle in The Spy Who Loved Me). The film Licence to Kill was notable in that it showed more graphic and realistic violence than the series had before.
A particularly strong example of the trope in action is in Quantum of Solace where Bond murders a disabled bad buy by stabbing his femoral artery and letting the man bleed out, yet not a drop is seen on Bond or, even, the floor.
Live and Let Die goes so far as to have the main villain inflate like a balloon and then burst. And yet still no blood.
Despite having one of the biggest body-counts in action movie history, Equilibrium is for the most part bloodless with its violence. In fact, it pulls off an unusual variation. Every bullet impact is shown, often in loving slow motion, but with black powder squibs. The only blood squib used in the film is for a particularly brutal broken arm. This gets slightly surreal when the main character slices a chunk off one of his opponents, which then slide off (again in slow motion) without a trace of the red stuff. Meanwhile, his sword is beaded by a single drop of white fluid.
Spoofed in Hot Shots! Part Deux — there was a scene where Charlie Sheen's character, a Rambo parody, shot up dozens and dozens of enemies while a body count was tallied. Not a single drop of blood was even seen onscreen during the faux carnage. But after the tally passed about 100, a caption called the movie "more violent than RoboCop"; after more kills, "more violent than Total Recall (1990)"; and after about 250, called it "the bloodiest movie ever". Not bad for PG-13. Topper does have a record number of kills in that movie. It's actually 103 according to body count lists, and the higher ones came out later.
Also spoofed in UHF. During George's Rambo fantasy sequence, he sweeps an automatic rifle along a line of Mooks on a hillside. A moment later, they bloodlessly collapse simultaneously.
While The Matrix has some blood, at the end of the first movie we see agent Smith pump Neo full of lead from his Desert Eagle. Now, maybe tiny .22 bullets would indeed cause the tiny wounds and minimal blood loss we see in the scene, but the smallest bullet a Desert Eagle can shoot is the .357 magnum, and a magazine's worth of those in the chest would practically tear a torso to shreds.
Actually, it wouldn't. Bullets of .357 (or .44, or .50 AE) caliber are indeed wider than .22 bullets, but they are still no wider than a pencil (or a fat pencil in case of up-sized DE's). .357s are about 9mm, .44 is 10,9mm, and .50 is 12,7mm. Added kinetic energy they possess, or their number, or closeness of impacts, don't give them some magic bursting power to obliterate the elastic human envelope; ten .357 bullets will leave exactly ten neat, penny-sized holes in a body even when spaced closed together. Internal damage and blood loss will be severe, no doubt. But no shreds.
In Star Wars, there are many instances of people getting limbs or heads cut off during lightsaber duels, but there is never any blood. This is justified, as lightsaber wounds show visible cauterization from the heat of the blade.
The first use of lightsaber by Obi Wan in Episode IV, however, is quite bloody — there is a whole puddle of blood on the floor of the cantina when Ponda Boba gets his arm cut off. This has been Hand-waved as Aqualish having blood with different properties from human blood. On a meta level, the bleeding arm in Episode IV was a deliberately disturbing shot, along with Beru and Owen's charred skeletons, that were added by George Lucas to Avoid the Dreaded G Rating; in the rest of the series, there is no blood from lightsaber dismemberment at all.
Another exception is when Obi-Wan kills Darth Maul in Episode I. There's a quick spray of blood when the cut is made.
The short-lived web series, A Clone Apart parodies this, where an inexperienced Clone Trooper (named Danson) is listening to a superior's account that all their training (which Danson never received) never quite prepares you for all the screaming and the blood in the middle of combat. Then the following exchange occurs between him and his best friend, Biff:
Biff: Don't worry Danson. He's lying.
Danson: (relieved) Really?
Biff: There won't be any blood. Laser fire cauterizes the wound. You'll be dead before ya get a chance to bleed.
Danson: *makes distressed noise*
Moves into Fridge Horror in the case of decapitation. Cauterization of the wound by a lightsaber traps enough blood in the brain for a victim to survive up to 30 seconds before dying.
Plenty of people get shot or stabbed in Hellboy, but only two of them bleed: the mountaineer whose blood was used to bring Rasputin back from the dead, and Karl Ruprect Kroenen, who bled sand. In HB's fight with Sammael, he beats it over the head with a payphone, causing change to fly everywhere, much like blood would. The change standing in for blood in the fight with Sammael was quite intentional so as to avoid the R rating. Ron Perlman originally suggested that Hellboy use a gumball machine. The same is true for the sequel, in which Strauss bleeds ectoplasm.
A staple of classic Westerns. Sam Peckinpah made The Wild Bunch so bloody in reaction to this, stating that he wanted to show "what the hell it was like for someone to get shot."
Also many early gangster movies — as squibs weren't used to simulate bullet hits until the 1957 film Run of the Arrow, the victims would be seen twitching on the ground without wounds. Such bullet hits (e.g. into nearby walls) were done with live rounds. In one incident, machine-gun fire ricocheted into the place where James Cagney was supposed to be (fortunately he'd refused to stand there, even though it was 'protected' by a bulletproof shield).
A prime example for this is the film-within-a-film Angels With Filthy Souls in Home Alone, where Johnny empties a whole Tommygun drum into Snakes' body and we only see him twitching on the floor.
Despite being given more freedom in slicing people up than in the animated adaptations, Wolverine's rampages in the movies were conspicuously devoid of blood. Perhaps most notable is an instance in the first movie where he stabs Rogue in the chest. We're given a very clear close-up of the exit wounds on her back, but even those don't have any blood coming from them. What's more, when she turns around, we see that her shirt isn't even torn. Perhaps absorbing his healing ability extended to her nightshirt? Just the back of her shirt is torn (that's where we see the wounds).
This is in full force in X2: X-Men United, where Wolverine slashes, impales, and generally slaughters about a dozen of Stryker's soldiers storming the school, with not a single drop of blood spilled.
In X-Men: First Class, there was no blood when Shaw shot Erik's mother. Azazel's massacre of the CIA agents, Shaw's death and Charles getting shot also had either minimal blood or none at all.
In The Wolverine, the scores of Mooks that find themselves on the pointy end of Wolverine's claws don't bleed note Though there's plenty of blood flying around in the "Unleashed" edition. However Wolverine bleeds, though it doesn't mean much since he's Nigh Invulnerable even with his gimped healing factor.
There is a surprising lack of blood in X-Men: Days of Future Past, only some of which is justified by the mutants. For example, Iceman gets decapitated and Colossus gets ripped apart, but since they are in their "iced-up" and metal forms respectively when it happens, there is no blood. At the same time, the Sentinels impaling the normal-ish mutants like Blink don't so much as spill a drop, and Mystique gets a bullet through the leg yet walks it off with only a few drops spilled here and there.
Though Orcs bleed aplenty, do you remember seeing one ounce of red human, elf, or dwarf blood in the entirety of The Lord of the Rings saga? The aftermath of the battle at Minas Tirith was surprisingly dry. Apart from the odd soldier slumped against a wall with blood in his mouth. Bloody faces and minor wounds appear occasionally in the films, but serious injuries and battles are always bloodless. However, Peter Jackson, delighting in carnage, has gotten around this principle as much as possible, and there are plenty of gruesome sights such as disembodied body parts and rotten-looking ghosts.
In the first of the "in the ring" wrestling matches in the lucha film Santo vs. la Hija de Frankestein ("Santo vs Frankenstein's Daughter"), the TV announcer talks about how much Santo is bleeding from his opponent's illegal hits. Uh, what blood? (This may have been a case of Stock Footage, as later in the film both Truxon and Ursus are shown bleeding.)
The Quick and the Dead — Gene Hackman's evil gunfighter character thinks he won a gunfight with The Lady, but looks down to see a neat hole through his chest, with light coming from his back and wind whistling through this gunshot wound that looks more like a clean bloodless tunnel. Pure Sam Raimi silliness. Ironic, from the man who made Evil Dead.
The Longest Day manages to show the entire D-Day operation without any blood. In part, this is probably because blood doesn't look good in black-and-white.
In Sergeant York, Pusher gets blown up with a grenade and is not only in one piece but completely free of blood.
Gettysburg: Gen. Garnett rides towards a cannon as it fires at him and then we see his horse emerge riderless from the smoke. Overall, though, the film does show quite a bit of blood.
Reworkings of R-rated action franchises to PG-13 movies result in this. Cases in point: Live Free or Die Hard (only John McClane bleeds in the wide cut) and Terminator Salvation (since a Terminator is covered in living tissue, damaging him is◊ not◊ pretty◊; the fourth really tones it down◊).
The Golden Compass. Although people's lack of blood when dying can be attributed to their turning into the mystical dust, when Iorek Byrnison rips the polar bear king's jaw off, there is no blood. It's the killed humans' daemons that turn into golden sparks when killed, not the humans themselves. Ironically, this special effect probably allowed the filmmakers to embrace this trope more fully than usual, because they didn't even need to show anyone's body falling to the ground to confirm that a blow was lethal. If a daemon goes "poof", somebody bit it.
The Black Hole offers an example even more egregious than the Elephant example quoted above: Alex Durant is gored through the chest by Maximillian's high-speed saw-claw, and not a drop of blood is seen. Even Kate, who is standing right next to him as this happens, comes out clean as a whistle.
In Salt, there is no blood in the movie, save for when Angelina Jolie's character gets punched in the nose. And then she's just gushing the stuff.
At the beginning of Woody Allen's early film Bananas, El Presidente is shot several times, point blank, with a big gun, and there's not a drop of blood.
This happens at the end of Gran Torino when Walt is by shot by a variety of pistols and sub-machine guns. All that is seen is trickle of blood running down his arm, which is odd considering the movie was going to be R-rated no matter what the content of that scene was.
Despite being the movie adaptation of one of the Bloodier and Gorier games of its time, Mortal Kombat was surprisingly blood-free, even when the characters were stabbed through the chest or knocked into a spike pit.
Strangely inconsistent in High Noon, where a fistfight halfway through leaves Kane covered in blood, but those killed in the gunfight at the end just fall over.
In Iron Man, dozens are people are killed throughout the film, without any blood splatter whatsoever. Presumably this was to give it a lower rating.
Resident Evil. In the first movie several characters are sliced into pieces in the Red Queen's Laser Hallway but there's no blood at all. Possibly justified because the laser beams cauterized the wounds, but still… Notice though, the guy who got cubed, they took the focus off of him.
In John Q., the heart donor who's wheeled into the O.R. for organ harvest looks like she's fresh from the hair salon, not a highway collision sufficient to render anyone brain-dead.
Lampshaded by director Stephen Sommers in his commentary on the huge gun battle in The Mummy Returns. In the first movie even though Rick shoots a couple of Ardeth Bay's men at close range on the ship no one bleeds, in fact the only time anyone bleeds is at the end where Rick has some blood on his mouth and shoulder and Imhotep bleeds from his sword wound.
The TMNT movies. Also true in the cartoon, but not so with the comics.
Mystery Team. Most of the carnage is implied, culminating in:
Police Officer: Someone stole that man's face!
Django was banned in several countries because of a scene where someone's ear is cut off in full, bloody detail. Despite this, the gun battles are completely bloodless, even when people are riddled with dozens of bullets. Only one person killed by a gun bleeds, and he bleeds out his mouth instead of from his wound.
In Universal Soldier: The Return, no one bleeds when they were shot. Well, except Romeo and one UniSol. The rest of the series, especially Regeneration and Day of Reckoning, were awash with blood and gore.
Battlefield Earth: The film is clean of blood, despite limbs and head being blown off of both Psychlos and humans.
In Star Trek Into Darkness Harrison's hands and clothes are surprisingly clean for someone who just popped a man's head like a tomato. Damn you, PG-13 rating!!
In the TRON franchise, Programs fade from existence when they de-rez. Fatal wounds shatter them like safety glass, leaving decaying voxels behind. Wounds look like pieces carved out of their bodies and scars are like dead pixels on an LCD screen. The fact humans bleed and Programs do not became a big plot point in TRON: Legacy Of course, Disney used this for flying a metric ton of crap past the radar including gladitorial combat, gaping head wounds, mass murder scenes, Cold-Blooded Torture, and an entire a first-person shooter.
So the Wizard lost no more time, but leaping forward he raised the sharp sword, whirled it once or twice around his head, and then gave a mighty stroke that cut the body of the Sorcerer exactly in two.
Dorothy screamed and expected to see a terrible sight; but as the two halves of the Sorcerer fell apart on the floor she saw that he had no bones or blood inside of him at all, and that the place where he was cut looked much like a sliced turnip or potato.
"Why, he's vegetable!" cried the Wizard, astonished.
"Of course," said the Prince. "We are all vegetable, in this country. Are you not vegetable, also?"
Justified in Sword Art Online due to being set inside a video game. The avatars don't bleed because they have no blood. Plenty of people die, though, and when that happens, they shatter and Disappear Into Light.
One of the creepier properties of Shardblades in The Stormlight Archive. Since Shardblades don't cut living flesh, instead severing the soul and burning out all the nerves below the "cut" (or all the nerves in the body if you hit the head or spine), there is no blood from the use of the things.
Live Action TV
The Tomorrow People: In "The Revenge of Jedekiah", John and Elizabeth are gunned down by soldiers with fully automatic assault rifles. Not only do they (barely) manage to survive their injuries, but when we see them sprawled on the floor, there isn't a trace of blood.
An episode of Touched by an Angel featured several flashbacks to a blood-free crime scene. All the while, the character who was recalling it was whimpering, "There was so much blood!"
The Avengers actually made a point of not showing blood, to maintain the lighthearted tone of the series, despite numerous deaths by gunshot, stabbing, explosion and so on. There were some episodes where a little blood was shown, but they were few and far between. In one episode, we are led to believe a character was mauled to death by a tiger; the victim's clothes are in shreds, but there's no blood at all.
In "The Assassin", an episode of MacGyver, a woman gets stabbed by an assassin and has no blood on her whatsoever. This kind of thing seems to happen in most episodes where someone is shot or stabbed. People die within seconds without doing much bleeding.
Spaced included a particularly amusing example of the second variation, a paintballing sequence played like a gritty war film. And also included this amusing gunfight with which produced little blood (except the spurting at 44s).
The Community paintball episodes also employ the humorous mock-carnage variant.
Best example: Power Rangers — out of nearly 800 episodes, only one had blood, and then only three drops.
It's now up to two!
Three if we count alien blood. Tyzonn gets wounded when we first meet him.
Four, actually. In Power Rangers Time Force, Eric is shot while unmorphed, and he is later seen with a bloody bandage covering the wound.
The show is surprisingly bloodless for a series where people die on-camera every episode, often for vampire-related reasons (which generally involve, well, blood). Especially egregious are a scene in the first season where a person is eaten alive with no blood spilled, and another in the second where someone bleeds to death bloodlessly.
The whole "vampires neatly go poof into dust when staked through the heart" thing was done in part so the cute blonde heroine wouldn't be leaving a trail of bloody corpses wherever she went.
There are some aversions, i.e. "Your shirt..." This wasseason 6.
There are a few plain old slit throats - but very little red.
Both Hercules The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess were both usually bloodless. With Hercules, it usually made sense, given that he had a strict view on Thou Shalt Not Kill. Still it can be jarring with the constant sword fights and random mooks that get stabbed and slashed. If someone bled, it was usually for drama. Even with Xena, who had no such qualms about killing her enemies, she rarely ever got blood on her sword.
Ubiquitous in Doctor Who, even when they're using real guns.
And one of the worst examples in the new series being when a woman gets crushed with a gargoyle, and when we see her she is entirely intact with only a small trickle of blood coming from her mouth, and still able to give some Last Words
Another example in the new series would be in "The Christmas Invasion", when the Sycorax Leader cuts The Doctor's hand off during a sword fight. One would think that losing a hand would cause at least SOME blood loss, but nope.
Averted from series 11-16. All sorts of nastiness from impalements to decapitations, graphic gun shot wounds and even the gruesome aftermaths of Dinosaur and killer robot attacks were shown with brutal, gory detail.
In an episode of The Return of Sherlock Holmes, a victim is shown being stabbed. However, the camera forgot to cut away before the stage knife was pulled out, showing no blood at all.
There is never any blood visible in Robin of Sherwood, no matter how horrific the wounds which should be inflicted. Usually, they used the standard "chop in the stomach while the victim's back is to the camera" technique, but missed it in an episode where Robin was fighting the Flemish mercenaries who killed Will's wife. It's a bit surprising to see the main villain keel over dead after having a sword dragged across his belt, clearly not cutting anything.
There is surprisingly very little blood on the BBC's Robin Hood, sometimes to the point of distraction. The most notable example is when Maid Marian is run through with a sword and spends the next ten minutes presumably bleeding to death, all without spilling one visible drop of blood or even growing pale. She even wrenches the sword from her own belly, yet again without any blood, which should be clearly visible considering she's wearing a white dress.
In an episode of Miami Vice entitled "Definitely Miami", Crockett and Zito open fire on Ted Nugent (that episode's Big Bad) after he attempts to lure Crockett to his death. Despite the fact that both of them are firing several rounds from two different angles, and with Crockett standing up and unloading his entire cartridge into Nugent, there are no bullet wounds or blood stains of any kind! Amazing!
In Legend of the Seeker, almost every episode includes Richard and Kahlan fighting and killing Darken Rahl's soldiers, but while blood is sometimes shown on the blades afterward, little if any blood seems to be gushing from wounds during battle. Then again, when people get their throats cut, there's plenty of blood gushing from the wounds.
The episode "Trenches of Hell" from Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, features a depiction of the battle of The Some in WWI, despite mortars falling all over the battlefield over soldiers, there not a single drop of blood seen.
Merlin never depicts any blood. It either cuts away or just plain doesn't show any, even in instances where there would logically BE blood (e.g. a sword fight). There are a few exceptions to this - in "The Beginning of the End", Mordred is shown bleeding after being wounded, and Arthur's blood has been shown every time he's been injured.
In an episode of the tokusatsu version of Spider-Man, Amazoness and her mooks shoot up a bunch of men with guns. Yet, no blood or bullet wounds or anything else that would come with shooting happens. They just fall down.
Another toku example is Kamen Rider 555. 555 is an Anyone Can Die series where the monsters' method of operation involves outright killing civilians onscreen until found and dealt with. However, those killed by Orphenochs simply turn to dust. Orphenochs do the same upon eating Rider Kicks but with an explosion. Impalement is shown via X-ray-ish scenes similar to Romeo Must Die, and never is any blood left on the weapon. It's got an astonishingly high body count to never show any victims bleeding. (Now, there's a little blood if you get punched in the face, maybe.) Decade has every single rider shown killed in a vision simultaneously, yet there is not one drop of blood. However there is a somewhat small reason behind it. It is entirely possible that they all bled when they died, but we couldn't see it through the suits. In the Rider War World they seem to be vaporized.
The A-Team. While a little blood showed here and there, the series was infamous for inflicting the most extreme mayhem on bad guys... who always crawled away a bit shaken.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - particularly after the arrival of Worf - featured bat'leth and mek'leth combat on a regular basis. Apparently, slamming the blade into the armoured belly of a charging Klingon bezerker is instantly fatal - but bloodless.
Phaser-fire in the Star Trek universe in general. Stun leaves no marks, kill leaves a small burn at the point of impact, maximum setting leaves a second of glowiness and then nothing. No blood from the series' many shootouts. Explosive Instrumentation is much less likely to leave your Red Shirt looking like he's just napping, occasionally averted with impressively nasty burn makeup. Non-disintegrating kill shots were also treated inconsistently, ranging all the way from fairly impressive pyrotechnics(without blood) to the standard invisible wound. In "The Magnificent Ferengi", we see someone get shot with the latter (lack of) effect, but then see an unmissable burn when his body appears later.
While Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. isn't shy about showing violence and the resulting aftermath, the Night-Night guns and ICE Rs allow the characters to engage in gunplay while keeping the body count low since targets are knocked out, rather than outright killed.
Highlander to a point. Sure, we'd see sword cuts in the flesh and some blood when someone was injured, but at no time did we ever see the bloody mess you'd really have with a beheading. Of course, the beheadings themselves were never shown, but the victor usually came away with very little blood spatter on them.
Emergency!: The producers had to abide by a "no blood" rule to get the series greenlighted, so even injuries where you'd expect some level of blood had very little to none.
Enforced in CMLL, which has long refused to air matches where blood is spilled without editing the blood out first. This did not stop Mexico City mayor, Lic. Ernesto Uruchurtu, from banning televised professional wrestling matches during his term.
When the entire WWE decided to go rated PG, it also decided to stop any match where anyone bled in order to close them back up with medical tape. While backlash from the fans put a stop to this practice, spots intentionally set up to make a wrestler bleed now range from discouraged to banned out right.
Most games with elemental spells or powers. Fire/frost/lightning is commonplace but few games depict enemies realistically burning to death, getting electrocuted or turning into a fleshy pulp after the water in their cells freezes into sharp ice needles. The first electric chair executions were far from clean, up to and including heads on fire, and they were trying to implement this trope.
The Final Fantasy series as a whole largely practices this trope:
Final Fantasy VII is full of battle scenes with combatants being attacked with enormous swords and machine guns and the like, with no blood. Outside of gameplay and in related works, it's also often the case, but varies. It really could just be down to the graphics. I mean, try rendering 3D blood in cut-scene with technology like that back then?
A symbolic point in the original game was that, when Sephiroth stabs Aeris, there's no blood on the blade. However, when Cloud kills Sephiroth at the end, blood is pouring down his face. Then again, Cloud had had just cut Sephiroth fifteen times straight through the body with a sword the size of a man — a faceful of blood is nothing compared the small bloody chunks which should logically have ensued.
This is also partially justified by Sephiroth's Masamune (supposedly) being so sharp that it cannot draw blood. The bloodstains and snake could be explained by having Sephiroth cut up the victims, so blood would flow naturally out of the chopped bodies and the snake was impaled on a tree.
In Final Fantasy VII's Compilation, in the various depictions of the game's backstory, Cloud stabs Sephiroth straight through the back with a sword wider than his torso with no sign of blood or even a wound (!), and Sephiroth impales and hefts Cloud on his own sword, again with no blood. Yet, Crisis Core ends with Zack dying in an appropriately copious pool of blood after having been pumped full of enough lead to kill Godzilla. Despite the rest of the game unrepentantly embracing this trope. My head hurts now.
Cloud's many battles in Advent Children involve villains being clouted with his BFS repeatedly without any visible damage, despite said weaponry cutting off pieces of skyscrapers, and the only blood in the entire film is a tiny trickle when Cloud is shot in the face at point blank, which simply knocks off his sunglasses. Made of Iron indeed. At the climax of Advent Children, Cloud cuts Sephiroth right through repeatedly with a new version of Omnislash, leaving no marks and only drawing dark smoke instead of blood, which could be justified by Sephiroth being a Humanoid Abomination. Soon after, Cloud gets shot through the stomach, but all he does is stumble forward. The Blu-Ray director's cut fixes some of this, adding bruises to skin and letting plenty of blood flow during Sephiroth's stabbing sessions (which this version has more of).
Final Fantasy VIII too has largely bloodless carnage as well, except for the opening battle, where Squall gets a huge bloody scar ripped across the front of his face.
Final Fantasy X follows in suite with the rest of the series. No matter who gets stabbed, shot or blown up, blood is never seen. Justified in a few cases, as the victims are fiends or Unsent - creatures that don't actually have physical bodies.
Final Fantasy XIII has cutscenes where people are pumped full of machine gun bullets and don't bleed. Occasionally, they don't even get that badly hurt, in a rare Gameplay and Story Integration of Guns Are Worthless. Like VII and VIII, the game averts this at one point: After the party defeats Rosch a second time, he has blood all over his face.
Most of the Mooks that get shot are wearing armor. It could be partly justified.
Kingdom Hearts, full stop. It's got a sword-like key that can slice clear through buildings and yet not draw a drop from the more flesh-and-blood enemies, among the other weapons and attacks to those same targets. Otherwise, however, it's justified in that the majority of enemies you face throughout the games are The Heartless, which presumably have no blood. Subverted a few times in the manga, as a few characters are shown to bleed, though this almost never happens to the main characters.
The stabbing scene in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance — "Is this… all there is? No challenge? No resistance?" No blood?? All Fire Emblem games do this, despite the massive melees between characters who almost all use edged weapons. Early games could accredit this to technical limitations. The later ones, however, were probably primarily to keep the rating down and maintain the tone of the game, which is not realistic at all in the first place. Subverted in Fuuin No Tsurugi - Hector's portrait is shown with blood after his fight with Narshen and Brenya.
The Ace Attorney games frequently give you crime scene photos, and they are always a lot less bloody than you might expect.
Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney features two of the most extreme examples: in case 3, a man is shot in the shoulder by a .45-caliber weapon and left to eventually die of blood loss. You are actually the first to find him at the scene and get to hear his last words. The Hand Cannon sort of mussed up the shoulder area of his suit a little, and the "pool of blood" he's lying in is more like a puddle. In case 4, a man is shot right in the forehead at point blank range. The crime scene photo looks like he's sleeping, only there's a hole in his forehead about the size of a quarter, out of which is leaking about as much blood as what one would expect from a shaving accident. Judging from the pillows behind him, there doesn't appear to be an exit wound at all.
Bludgeoning wounds are one of the most common causes of death and one never sees a spot of blood or caved in skull.
While the purposefully cartoonish and low-detail graphics may have something to do with it, the deaths in Ghost Trick are extremely clean. You never see any bleeding from gunshots or crushed bones from having something heavy fall on them. Cabanela's death in particular, since between the explosion that leaves him nearly incapacitated and being shot in the chest (or the Non-Standard Game Over if you swap the hard hat and smash in his face), you'd think he'd at least get a stain or two on that white coat.
Another instance that is flagrant in hindsight: early in the game, the main characters come across a black cat, but don't notice anything odd about it. At the end, it's established that the cat had been shot dead less than an hour beforehand. This fact is vital to The Reveal. Well, Sissel did say that he'd prefer a black coat to a white one because it wouldn't show the stains.
The SoulCalibur games are defined by a bunch of people hitting each other with really sharp/big/painful weapons, yet during battle, no one bleeds, bruises, or even gets cut. People must have been stronger back in ye Olde Middle Ages. Although large amounts of shiny, fluorescent…energy does seem to explode out of a fighter when they get hit. Soul Calibur IV probably alleviates this issue a bit by letting the armor take the damage (though the intent was most likely for Fanservice).
In City of Heroes and City of Villains, no matter how much you sliced an enemy up, or punched, or shot, or made them catch on fire, or froze, they won't have any slashes, bruises, burns or have ice on their body. That's because no one is ever killed in COH / COV - they are "defeated" (and presumably teleported away to justice and/or the hospital). It is, after all, T-rated. In fairness, the game never explicitly says what happens one way or the other, meaning you can decide if you have hero who just lets the medicom take over, (Or in the case of villains, one supposes just kidnaps them and uses them as hostages/leaves them in Bond-Villain deathtraps) or if they're... Darker and Edgier, shall we say. This might be allowable with the Super Strength or Energy Blast powersets, but becomes particularly egregious when one is using katanas or fireballs.
Lampshaded hilariously in Mercenaries. If a certain mission is failed (i.e. The building with the VIP inside is turned into smoldering rubble), the VIP will exclaim with his dying words: "I'm dying...not bleeding...stupid T rating."
In The Elder Scrolls games there is the blood splash effect, but only when you're hit. Corpses won't have any wounds on them, and if you get shot with an arrow, you wouldn't bleed afterwards or really even notice it besides the health bar drop. You could run around town (at your normal pace) without anybody caring that you have an arrow in your gut, head, arms, legs, or any part of your body! Your Personality level wouldn't even go down if you engaged in conversation with an arrow stuck in your face!
Going to third-person view after a battle against a few archers will reveal that your character is a walking pin cushion, with dozens of arrows protruding all over your body, none of which hamper movement in the slightest.
Everybody of demonic origin (including the protagonist) in Devil May Cry officially has the power of "regenerates so fast wounds don't show up", although blood is seen on cutscenes. The regeneration is limited — possibly the only example of Hit Points explained in-world.
Or is made of non organic materials. Onimusha is also somewhat guilty of this with the demons being mostly dark aura.
Despite taking a bullet between the eyes at point-blank range in DMC 4, Sanctus really has nothing to show for it. Well, he was dead for a while. He was just reborn later in the game as an Angel, supposedly.
Most Japanese light gun games are bloodless. Even the iconic House of the Dead 4 wasn't that bloody.
1 had plenty of gore that was held back only by hardware limitations. 2 was an absolute splatterfest, arguably the goriest arcade game ever. 3 toned it down considerably. For 4, Sega apparently wised up to the fact that creating the image of chaos and bloodshed was more important than gore flying all over (plus it made a lot of the enemies a total pain to kill), so while the city is pretty gruesome, you're no longer painting it red.
GHOST Squad is particularly guilty of this. In one part late in the game, a knife fight ensues. If the player wins, he is shown bloodlessly slitting his opponent's throat with gusto.
Would you believe Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe is less graphic than the original MK? On consoles that have the processing power to handle real-time gore, there is never any visible sign of damage. Even the fatalities are mostly bloodless.
Interestingly, even in the goriest game of the series, Mortal Kombat 9, the Story Mode not only doesn't allow finishing moves (since killing people would create quite a few paradoxes with the cutscenes immediately after) but the battle scars that fighters accumulate in the other modes do not appear. The fighters finish the fights as dapper as when the first round started (and yet the viciously brutal X-Ray attacks are still available to the challengers). The REST of the game, on the other hand...
In the N64 game Win Back, hits on enemies were indicated by green flashes, or a red flash if you scored a headshot (which could kind of look like blood sometimes). Dead enemies would flash on and off and vanish after hitting the floor. It became especially ridiculous during cutscenes — in one you meet a dying member of your squad who claims to be "just resting." The main character replies "In a pool of blood!?" despite the surroundings being spotless. In another scene an unfortunate civilian, shot by the terrorists, dies after helping you...and flashes on and off and disappears, during the cutscene.
Despite all the sharp weapons and other implements flying around in Tales of Symphonia and its sequel, the one time blood shows up in either game is in Derris-Kharlan, at the scene of The Judged. Lloyd is invisible to two of the characters in the party, and must prove to them that he is not an illusion. He wounds himself, and his blood, now visible, proves he is there. The OVA, on the other hand, is quite violent.
This tends to be a trend for the Tales Series in general. If there's any blood, it typically shows up only in the animated cutscenes, and only in the especially dramatic ones (Such as the deaths of Asch and Alexei).
Tales of Xillia 2 however, while still retaining the trope in battle (Outside of the new Bleed status ailment), subverts it much more frequently then other games in the series, in line with its Darker and Edgier nature.
The Super Smash Bros. series has some characters that use swords, guns, and explosives, yet no visible signs of any kind of damage appear, as the characters are Living Toys. This is averted with Master Hand though, as when he is blasted by Tabuu, bloody scrapes are clearly seen on it. The same goes for the Capcom vs. series. Gameplay-wise, fighting games tend to follow this trope. However, thereareexceptions.
The Force Unleashed, left and right. Your character has a lightsaber. No matter how hard you swing it, it doesn't even leave a mark on the wall, much less actual enemies- particularly strange when one considers one of the selling points of the game on higher-end consoles was realistic physics and material simulation, such as, say... destructible environments. Maybe he just set his saber to stun. For fun, compare with the Jedi Knight series from Jedi Outcast onwards. Your lightsaber leaves a mark, even when idling and just scratching the wall. It disappears after a while though, but the effect lingers for longer than… oh say... the 2 seconds of what you get in TFU. Justified, as it has been stated that the lightsaber cauterizes the wound.
Ace Combat series. Then again you are in a plane throwing missiles at other vehicles, not, say, pulping infantry.
Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII has a pretty bad instance of this, besides the spotless corpses that litter various warzones: Rosso the Crimson buries her hand up to the wrist in Vincent's chest, and yet there's not a drop of blood, when, ratings be damned, it should have been fountaining from the wound. It follows up with a case of Alien Blood, in which Vincent impales Azul. Once again, there's no blood from the wound, although he does cough up a few drops of something...purple...? Are only good guys and Sephiroth allowed to have red blood in these games?
May be justified with the sharp knives in question, which may or may not be magic bullets shaped as knives. Also, you can't really expect damage to show up on such a small sprite, and red things fly everywhere anyways, so who's complaining?
The Lego Adaptation Games have characters breaking into Lego pieces upon death, and getting better immediately afterward.
TimeSplitters maintained this for the most part in the first two installments of the series, at least during gameplay, which makes the Bloodier and Gorier third game (which also introduced the Inflator) all the more jarring.
Rayne: You saw the blades, what did you think was going to happen?
Red Steel 2 is made of this. You stab, slash, shoot, one move has you grab a downed enemy and smash their head into the ground killing them instantly. All without a drop of blood. There IS a liquid that pours out of them, particularly visible with the finishing move to the chest. It's yellowish, however, so it could be censored blood or something else entirely.
In Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 2: The Siege of Spinner Cay, when Morgan LeFlay slices off Guybrush's pox-infected hand for the Marquis De Singe, Guybrush screams in pain and covers up his wrist stump, but no blood spurts out from his stump. Weird!
It gets even weirder in Chapter 4 of the same game, when Guybrush finds Morgan fatally stabbed in the chest by her own Blade of Dragotta, and yet there's no blood on her body, inside or out, at all (even though he later claims that she was "coughing up a lot of blood at the time"). And after she dies, he sadly takes the blade from her chest; that blade, surprisingly, has no blood on it or anywhere else in De Singe's lab at all (even though De Singe later claims that "There was blood all over the floor instead of being packed neatly in vials where it belongs!")!
During the De Singe confrontation scene, when the mad doctor tries sedating Elaine, she stabs him in the chest before he laughs maniacally and says, "Behold the power of the Jus de Vie!" She then pulls her sword and his chest wound glows... although no blood is shown on his chest OR on her sword.
And near the end of the same chapter, when LeChuck fatally stabs Guybrush in the chest with the Cursed Cutlass of Kaflu, there's no blood on the cutlass' blade, or on either side of Guybrush's body or clothes, or anywhere else in the Flotsam Island Jungle, from his being tossed onto an encased wind idol up until his death.
While The Legend of Zelda series frequently plays this trope straight, after the final battle of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Ganon coughs blood at the camera and then collapses. After he falls, his red cape falls through his body and spreads out on the ground, looking suspiciously like a large pool of blood. But only in the first releases of that game. In later versions, the blood is changed to green gooey stuff.
The first villain in Tsukihime wiped out a whole hotel full of victims and left no trace behind. This is not for Bowdlerising purpose, said villain is so blood-thirsty to the point of decanting every last drop of blood and flesh in his reach. The bloodless carnage also served to provide a clue to another villain with a completely different conduct, which evidently, also falls into this trope: He sucks the victim completely dry of blood, but he leaves the corpse.
Destroy All Humans! usually justifies this by restricting you to weaponry that destroys your enemies too thoroughly for there to be any blood, disintegrating or incinerating them outright. For the head explodings, though, they use Green Blood.
In Dungeons nothing bleeds. You can have a hero mauled by monsters, run straight in a buzzsaw trap and get killed but still no blood.
In Shadow the Hedgehog there is no blood OR gore. Sega planned on adding it in, but decided not to add it so the game would be rated E10+ instead of M or T. You can't even actually KILL anyone besides the aliens (GUN soldiers just lie on the ground and call out for help.) Even though it is implied that in a few of the endings you killed Eggman by breaking his neck or destroyed the human race.
The first five games in the Tomb Raider series zig zags with the trope. Specks of blood can be seen flying when Lara shoots an enemy or she gets shot by an enemy gunner during the game. In cut scenes, there is no blood at all. Tomb Raider Legend and onward omits blood completely, despite the fact that the entire series always had a T rating. However, this is made up for the very gruesome death scenes (while still lacking blood) that occur should you fail a quick time event.
In Brain Dead 13, despite all the horrible ways to die, none of them show any blood or gore. The only exception is that there is a scene with the red blood in the transfusion bag, and that is in the resurrection scene when Lance gets his blood back in the "Vivi's Salon" sequence.
In Fur Fighters, "Fluff" flies out whenever an enemy (among others) is shot, making this game good clean fun.
In addition to there being no blood whatsoever in the early PlayStation titles of Medal of Honor, sometimes if you killed an enemy with a rocket from a Bazooka or Panzerfaust, he might even do a backflip mid-air and land on his face.
The bowdlerised version of No More Heroes removed all the blood (despite keeping in the swearing and sexual content) so every enemy killed would instead explode into ash when killed. This also translated into the cutscenes, resulting in some Narm.
There is no blood in Wolf. Meat is red, but that's as much blood as you'll ever see. The process of killing an animal - whether that's you killing your dinner or a hunter killing you - results in zero blood. Anyone who's ever seen a nature documentary of wolves around an elk knows the process of disembowelment and subsequent feeding normally results in blood covering the wolves' faces, or sometimes their entire front ends if they climb inside the carcass to get after a particularly tasty morsel.
The Assassin's Creed games as a whole adhere to this trope to a surprising degree, considering the point of the game is bloody assassination. The ketchup-stain variation of the trope is in full effect—sometimes when you get hit, you bleed for a few seconds before the stain disappears! You can stab, slash, and even break bones complete with crunchy sound effects, but bleeding is almost always minimal. When you kill animals for their hides, there's a Gory Discretion Shot when you skin them—and that's probably the goriest part of the game, since you're able to see red bones and rib cages afterward.
Justified in The Matrix Path Of Neo as no matter how enemies get shot, stabbed or blown up their bodies disintegrate back into the Matrix's code. The only time you see any blood is during the in-game cut-scenes.
In the 2001 Xbox launch title Fuzion Frenzy and its sequel, many of the minigames involved blowing up other players with explosives, shooting and blowing up other players in tanks, or meleeing other players either with punches or kicks or with makeshift bludgeons. The second game even had giant hammers to whack other players with, pushing other players into incoming asteroids, using flamethrowers on other players, and making other players fall into lava. Yet the characters suffer nothing more than falling down and (sometimes) being eliminated from the minigame. Of course, this IS an E-rated game, which justifies this trope.
In Erfworld, nobody bleeds at all. At all. And there have been some pretty grievous wounds inflicted in Erfworld, including multiple limbs torn off, a man hit in the head with a crossbow bolt that entered trough his eye, a dwagon's head ripped off, a dwagon's jaw being ripped off, a dwagon eating several marbits alive, and several dozen Woodsy Elves being torn limb from limb. Not one single drop of blood has been seen.
Most off-putting is when we see several badly wounded dwagons, damaged to the point that their muscles and bones are exposed. And still they don't bleed.
Given that The Order of the Stick is a stick figure comic, the trope is justified. Stabs and slashes leave red marks on the victim (so you can tell that the person was hit), but we never see blood splatters, and more serious wounds such as decapitations have no blood marks at all (maybe except Miko being cut in half, but there is still just the wound mark, no blood splatter). This comic is one of the most obvious ones.
Omnitopia The Playground uses an art style similar to the Order of the Stick. Within the first fifty strips, characters get hit on the head with a club, stabbed in the chest with a sword, and get their heads chopped up with little to no blood appearing aside from the occasional red mark showing when an attack hit.
RWBY. Justified: Every human character in the setting has an Aura which comes from the human soul and, as Jaune Arc puts it, "works like a forcefield". Hence, despite all the bullets and Absurdly Sharp Blades whizzing around, human characters never take serious hits unless their Aura is depleted. The only person to be actually physically hurt from an attack on-screen so far is Weiss Schnee, who got a cut over her left eye during her battle with the giant knight.
In Samurai Jack this trope is in effect when Jack fights organic creatures, rather than the oil-spewingMecha-Mooks. They are never messily ripped to pieces as the robots are, just given a bloodless slash from his sword or obscured by an explosion. Magical beings tend to turn to dust or vaporize. And Jack himself never seems to bleed, no matter how he writhes in pain and screams in agony as his clothing is ripped away. (Although he does have visible wounds.)
Justice League uses blood rarely, for dramatic scenes only as well. Epitomized in "Chaos at the Earth's Core", where two armies of sword-swinging warriors clashed, with several soldiers getting cut down on screen, with nary a drop of blood to be seen. Though throughout both series, crisp, clean, and often brutal action sequences combined with a punishing and varied series of sound effects (and good voice acting) makes the viewer almost feel the impacts, blows, punches, explosions, magic, bullets, etc. It feels a lot more violent than it is showing.
Though, speaking of DC Comics in animation, there's a fairly shocking aversion in Superman: Doomsday. Though blood levels are fairly low throughout the movie (It is Superman, after all), at one point in a pivotal fight scene Doomsday punches Superman so hard he vomits blood. After some of it sprays Lois' face. From a distance.
One episode where this was cleverly used, however, was "The Enemy Below", where Aquaman cuts off his own hand to save his infant son. In order to avoid the amount of blood, what did the animators do? They had him wrap the stump with the baby's red cloth, which appears soaked when he shows up at the palace.
In the Splicers episode of Batman Beyond, Terry rips Ramrod's nosering off resulting in no ill effect to Ramrod. No blood, no nothing, he's perfectly fine.
The pilot episode did show Terry with a bloody mouth during a battle with The Dragon.
Disney's Pocahontas uses bloodless carnage, and unintentionally draws attention to it in the song "Savages," where one of the Powhatans wonders "if they even bleed." They don't, but neither do the Powhatans. Particularly noticeable when Kocoum is shot and killed, apparently by a phantom bullet; despite having fallen back into water, there's no hint of blood or any indication of a wound at all.
The Nostalgia Chick: "But Christian Bale is ever at the ready and manages to shoot Kocuam right in the, um… spirit?"
This is used straight in the first battle sequence in Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight (with orcs being blatantly stabbed with no blood), but then avoided in a later battle scene where splashes of red follow sword slashes. But then, given the odd mix of traditional and CGI animation, consistency was probably not to be expected. The Dragonlance settings has no Orcs, it was probably a Hobgoblin or Draconian.
Disney's Tarzan features this twice, where Clayton shoots Kerchak, and shortly afterwards shoots Tarzan. In both instances, the areas where the wounds should be are shown, but are missing both blood and the wounds themselves.
Redwall has Matthias cuts off Asmodeus' head onscreen, but nary a drop of blood appears. In the TV series, this is subverted with Cheesethief's death, and in the graphic novel as well, where Asmodeus bleeds excessively.
Hulk Vs. Thor uses this, though since so few apparently died it might just be them being invulnerable. Hulk vs. Wolverine is notable in that it's the first non-comic appearance of Wolverine to not use this.
In Brother Bear Kenai kills Koda's mother by stabbing her with a spear and judging by the force of the blow, she should've been bleeding pretty heavily, and later when Denahi finds the spear it has not a single drop of blood on it. Ironically, its Lighter and SofterDirect-to-Video sequel has Kenai bleeding when Nita's fiance Edka tries to kill him.
The first three seasons of Family Guy were mostly bloodless in their violence. A notable example is when Big Fat Paulie is assassinated by a rival gang and is pumped full of machine gun rounds with not a single drop of blood being spilled, although occasionally averted, like in the first chicken fight.
In Star Wars: The Clone Wars anything except for the droids will fall over dead when killed, no wounds anywhere. This is probably because the droids don't have any blood in them so they can be sliced in two or ripped to pieces.
As they are both Darker and Edgier, both Ben 10: Alien Force and Ben 10: Ultimate Alien have a concerning amount of violence, all without blood. It's still technically a kids show, but in episodes like Time Heals and Fused when Ben gets the complete and total crap beat out of him in a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown (which seems to happen to him a lot), a little bit of blood would make sense, even when he's an alien. After all, they made a big deal out of "Ben can get hurt now!" in the very first episode of Alien Force.
In Teen Titans Robin spends all of the episode "Haunted" being beaten into a piece of raw hamburger by Slade. By the end he's got tons of bruises and scrapes, but still not an ounce of the red stuff to be seen. Though, to be fair, Robin's costume is red, so there might be some there that we just can't make out.
Invader Zim allows organs and the like to be fully exposed and other disturbing content, but not a drop of blood except for the Bloody Gir image. Averted in "Game Slave 2" where Gaz watches a promo for a video game which covers the entire screen with vampire piggy blood. Danielle Koenig mentions this on the commentary, where they previously had to change the colour of the word diarrea from brown to red, which ultimately made it look a lot worse than previously intended. "Red things can be red, but brown things can't be brown."
Blood almost never showed up in Young Justice, no matter how severe the physical violence. Two rare examples would be Red Arrow bleeding from the nose and mouth after being beaten up by The Flash, and Mercy Graves bleeding from the face after her battle with Arsenal. Fake blood seems okay on the show, since it's been used to fake deaths quite a few times with no attempts to hide it.
Used to a ridiculous extent in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2003. Particularly notable examples include the episode "Same as it Never Was", which features characters getting sliced, stomped on, and blown up on screen with nary a drop of blood on their corpses, and another where Leonardo loses his temper and slices Splinter across the forehead during a spar. Splinter immediately grabs the spot and later is shown with bandages, but nothing, not even a red line, can actually be seen. Justified when Leo beheads the Shredder. Said character isn't actually human, just a robotic body, so it would make sense for there to be no blood.
Averted on Dink, the Little Dinosaur. In the fourth episode of the series, entitled White Beauty. A dinosaur that has been outcast from society gets into a fight with Tyrannor, and Amber runs off to get help. When the gang comes back to the scene of the battle, there's a trail of blood that they follow to where the dinosaur is hiding out.
During The Siege of Thundera. A sky full of arrows, Claudus cutting through a wave of Lizards, even Claudus getting stabbed In the Back and falling into pool of water, not one drop of blood is found.
Played With in "Song of the Petalars" the Cats cut and shoot through Lizard troops bloodlessly, but Tygra's shots are shown to pierce the Lizard's bodies.
Generally justified in BIONICLE, as the biomechanical Toa and Matoran don't have blood. However, that doesn't explain why, in the movie The Legend Reborn, Mata Nui could cut off the tail of a Vorox (an organic, mammalian creature) and have only a few sparks appear. Most likely the writers either didn't know better or didn't care.
The Futurama Season 6 episode "The Prisoner of Benda", a man gets his arm cut off by a flying sword, only to show a series of rings representing his skin, body mass and bone. Season 7 partially averts this in "The Tip of the Zoidberg", where a torso-separated Leela is hopping by the waist in small pool of her own blood. In "A Farewell To Arms" both Fry and Leela get an arm ripped off, and neither bleeds.
The Adventure Time episode "Princess Monster Wife" has the Ice King stealing body parts from various princesses in order to make his wife, including the heart and intestines.
Though not carnage, per se, Code Lyoko had one scene in which Yumi had cut her hand on broken glass. Though scratches were seen, blood was absent
Conan The Adventurer makes heavy use of this, with the protagonists all wielding starmetal weapons that instantly banish the enemy Serpent-men to the Abyss. This is even made into a plot point; in the last three episodes, when the doorway between worlds is opened, the Serpent-men do still disintegrate on touch, but reform close by and almost instantly, making their numbers truly limitless. Something that is also shown in an early episode with a Bad Future plot.
The French educational cartoons of the Il était une fois... franchise rarely show blood. This in spite of the messy battles that happen in multiple occasions, with people dying on-screen from weapon wounds.