If you can do something more impressive than just throw a punch, your attack(s) must have an equally impressive name. More than that, you have to call it out as you launch the attack. It doesn't matter if it's a martial arts move, a magical spell or your secret superweapon, if you can't say its name, it just isn't nearly as cool or effective. Also, expect plenty of echoing to come with it, and (if a fighter is feeling particulary bombastic) dramatic... *pauses* ...WITHAYELLATTHEEND! A standard feature of practically every Magical Girl, high fantasy, or martial arts anime.
The origins of this phenomenon are at least Older Than Print, and probably much older. The idea that words can grant power is a cross cultural phenomenon that shows up frequently in the earliest tales of swords and sorcery. Members of the Sinitic ethnolinguistic family in particular tend to ascribe special importance to the power of written characters, and the belief that special words can invoke control over supernatural power permeates their folklore (just ask your local Shinto, Buddhist, or Taoist practitioner if they've donated to a shrine or temple to have a talisman written lately). The magic power of spoken and written words was also a key concept in Ancient Egyptian religion and Ritual Magic.
In terms of realism, this has some ground as traditional and even some current practitioners of martial arts hold the belief that accompanying statements and/or vocal noises alongside execution build up their chi, thereby increasing the power and efficacy of their moves and techniques. Put less spiritually, saying a phrase at the right time during an attack ensures proper breathing. A call used for this reason is known as a kiai. The naming of attacks also served a more practical purpose as many martial arts schools, Chinese ones in particular, used to be secret societies. The passing down of techniques was done orally and giving them esoteric names often facilitated this transmission. In addition, kiai has the potential to startle the opponent and give you an opening.
This is also often combined with a spellcaster's Invocation, with the final part of the incantation being the name of the spell, cried out just as the spell is triggered (Spirit of Fire, gather into my hand and incinerate my enemies! FIREBALL!). A character who grows in power will eventually graduate to being able to do the initial incantation mentally, turning the final trigger into this trope completely.
A variant has a Combat Commentator recognizing the attacks being used (usually with a line like "That's the legendary such-and-such-and-something-or-other technique!") and explaining them to any other characters watching (and the audience, of course). When the person launching the attack spends time doing the commentary, however, they may be guilty of Talking Is a Free Action. And, are hopefully in a comic, manga, melodramatic or animated show rather than doing this in Real Life.
Another variant, primarily found in video games, displays the attack name on screen as it is being executed, without a vocal "call". This typically happens in games where there is no voice acting; the call is implied. In fact, flamboyant attack/technique names are pretty much a trope in and of themselves.
However, used properly and skillfully it can be an effective and compact narrative device. There isn't really a simpler way to let the audience know that Captain Kirk's next phaser blast isn't supposed to kill the alien, or that Judge Dredd's next bullet is supposed to go "boom". Especially in manga, it's particularly difficult to let the reader know what special attacks are used without either motion or color, so having the characters say it is probably the most practical solution.
For a long time, only flashy Finishing Moves or powerful Limit Breaks were considered worthy of calls. Two well-known examples are Kenshiro spelling out the spectacular death he just dealt to his foe and Son Goku's signature "KA... ME... HA... ME... HAAAAAA!!" A few pro wrestlers did this as well ("Power bomb!"). It wasn't until the advent of Fighting Games, particularly Street Fighter II, that shouting out every little spinkick and ki ball became standard practice.
Super trope of Invocation. Sister Trope of Magical Incantation. May overlap with Big Word Shout, Screaming Warrior, Roaring Predator. In a group, it sometimes overlaps with Attack Pattern Alpha.
For a very villainous variation, see To the Pain. For battle cries or shouts, see Kiai and Battle Cry. When violently subverted, it's Talk to the Fist. (Mostly) has nothing to do with Calling Your Orgasms. When your opponent is calling your attacks, it's Combat Clairvoyance or Kung-Fu Clairvoyance.
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Terry Crews in certain Old Spice commercials. Among his calls is "BUILDING KICK!"
Anime... & MANGAAAAAA!!
We could save you a great amount of time and just say every Magical Girl, Shōnen, and Super Robot anime ever, but if you prefer specific examples, keep reading.
Mercilessly spoofed in Abenobashi Mahou Shoutengai. At one point the protagonistic duo get to pilot a giant robot, which they control... by shouting random stuff. "Wossname juuuuuump!"
Accel World has Cyan Pile's SPLASH STINGER, as well as a few others.
Air Gear has a subversion: when Storm Riders are doing normal, albeit complicated, tricks, they scream the trick's name at the top of their lungs, likely because they want to show off. However, in a fight, special moves are very rarely called, although they typically get subtitles when they're first shown. The only time this trope is really played straight in a serious fight is when some people use a certain attack which paralyzes an enemy without touching them, or even requiring the user to adopt a specific pose, so the calling of the attack is justified cause the audience needs to know what's going on.
Lampshaded in Angel Densetsu with Heizo and his tendency to seriously use progressively idiotic names for often-simple techniques.
Heizo: You avoided my Koiso-style Kobujutsu Secret Technique Demon Slayer Destruction Fist... You are indeed a mighty demon. Curse you.
Ikuko: Does that technique really exist...?
Ikuno: Of course not. Heizo's just talking out of his ass.
The Area 88 TV series had calls like "Fox Two" and "Guns" being added to the English dub, possibly to fit audience expectations from American movies.
Lampshaded in Asagiri no Miko, where Seiko constantly mocks the nonsensical names of the other characters' signature moves. She also refuses to name her own move, but the other characters do it for her.
Tomo: Yomi's crazy flexible 'cause her body's made of almost nothing but fat! Yomi: DOUBLE CHOP! (Yomi double-chops Tomo on the head) Quit being so damn rude!
Bastard!! Ankoku no Hakai Shin feature this a lot; all spells and techniques are shouted before casting or using them.
"Burning in the depths of the pits of darkness, let the fires of hell take you, Let the fires become my sword and strike you down! Venom!"
Subverted in Battle Programmer Shirase, when Shirase used his Double Compile technique for the first time in the series: the background turns into a yellow blur, the camera pans around him, he called "HISSATSU!! Double compile!!"... and sat back again, listless as usual, stating "that's really unnecessary"... before overloading a top-of-the-line supercomputer, causing it to blow up, with a cellphone.
Spoofed at one point in Beelzebub, where the main character calls a punch and a kick by impressive names... despite them being an ordinary punch and kick. His Non-Action Guy sidekick even dutifully starts making nonsense up to Combat Commentator about it.
Blade of the Immortal has what could be a parody of this; the only called attack is Rin's FLIGHT OF THE GOLDEN WASPS!... Which almost never works the way it's supposed to, and is called out as useless by other characters at least twice.
There was also a bandit in the very first chapter who announced a special moved called "HEAVEN ABOVE HELL BELOW" which was basicly him swinging his two swords horizontal, he used it to slice an innocent in half. Afterwards he was very quickly stylished cut appart (in shape of a manji) by the protagonist without any kind of attack name.
Brilliantly spoofed in the anime Blazing Exchange Student. The hero's opponent and rival in love uses his 'Insect-Squashing Punch' to knock the hero out. Later, when the hero is preparing for a Rocky training, his stuff gets run over by a train, inspiring him to create a new attack for the rematch and prepares to demolish his rival with his 'Takizawa Kokugen (Railway) Punch', only to be promptly K.O'd by the 'Sacchu (Insect-Squashing) Punch' again because it takes less time to say. The girl they're trying to impress, however, is dissatisfied by the name 'Insect-Killing Punch', and convinces the rival to rename it the 'Ibuki Finishing Blow Golden Victory Finish', and he goes into the next match with tears pouring down his face because he knows he'll be clobbered before he can finish saying it.
Bleach takes this a step further, by explaining that knowing the name of an attack is required in order to access its full power. Kidô spells in particular have not only their name, but also a number, the type of kidô, and an often lengthy incantation. Shinigami who are very skilled and familiar with the spell can drop a verse or two, but it can significantly reduce the overall power.
In order to transform their swords into stronger forms, Soul Reapers usually have to call out a short phrase followed by the name of their swords, while activated Bankai needs merely for them to say "Bankai", though they still tend to say the Bankai's name after releasing it. Like with kido spells, if the Soul Reaper is strong and skilled enough, he can activate his sword without saying anything at all.
In a more traditional application of the trope, Renji really likes it. "Howl! Zabimaru!" can be heard about six times per minute when Renji is fighting, though only because Renji seems to like saying it rather than because it's actually necessary.
Charlotte Chuhlhourne's attacks tend towards being overly long to the point where he trips up using one. And then lampshades the standard explanation of this trope by claiming the attack's power was cut in half.
Charlotte's attacks also spoof the need to call attacks, as he's using lengthy names to call out punches, kicks, and standard ceros, which most Hollows don't even call out.
Subverted partially by Yumichika, who calls his zanpakuto with a fake name in order to annoy it enough to not transform into it's true form, which would cause his fellow members of Squad 11 to look down on him, because it is a kido-type zanpaku-tou.
To use their resurreccion, Arrancars have the same ritual that Soul Reapers use for shikai.
MASHIRO KIIIIIIIICK!! KIIICK!! KICK! KICK!"
Parodied constantly in Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo where every single attack is given a name, often ridiculous.
Furthermore, in the original Japanese version, "ougi" is almost always attached to the attack name in question. Most of the time it's "X Shinken Ougi", where "X" is the specific name of the "fighting style", but there have been times where it was just "ougi" without the "Shinken". In all cases in the dub, it's rendered as "Super Fist of the X".
While most attacks are called in Busou Renkin, Captain Bravo once memorably subverts the usual pattern by attacking first, and then calling it.
Tokiko lampshades Kazuki's tendency to do this during his fight against Washio, telling him that calling his attacks gives his opponent an ample opportunity to counter (something at which Washio excels). Kazuki then justifies it by saying it feels more powerful that way.
Cardcaptor Sakura does this; however, it is necessary for her to call the name of the card in order to summon its powers. Indeed, there are times when she can barely get the word out in time to perform the necessary action.
Despite being a mostly serious mecha series, once in a blue moon, someone may call an attack. Episode 10 of R2 was notable for having two such occurrences in one episode; Toudou's "Shadow Longsword!" and Kallen's "Radiation Wave!"
In Death Note, Light prefers to smile silently while writing in the Death Note, whereas Mikami Teru loves to shout "Sakujo!" ("Eliminate!") after writing each name.
In the English translation, Mikami Teru says "Delete!" instead.
Happens with most protagonists in D.Gray-Man, except for the ones whose weapons are actually part of their bodies.
Though even many of them call out their attacks, for example protagonist Allen Walker's "Cross Grave" or Suman Dark's "Break Wind" and "Break Storm".
Of course, it's not always clear how much of the time they're saying things out loud and how often they're just thinking the trigger phrase, since it all reads the same in the manga.
Seen in the various Di Gi Charat series, mostly with Dejiko's "Me-kara Biimu" or in English, "Eye Beam!"
Done in all the incarnations of Digimon — to the point that some have theorized a Digimon literally cannot attack without saying the attack's name. They added several attack calls in the dub. Power Echoes is in full effect, too.
A notable exception is in Digimon Frontier where the dubbers removed an attack's call. In this case, Kazemon's Ass Kicks You attack was never formally announced (though it was informally referred to as a "Love Tap" the first time it was used); presumably because they didn't want to call extra attention to a Stripperiffic character doing a butt-thrust. Since it made it seem like Kazemon did this on her own apart from her standard attack list, this made for weird Dub Text.
Later in the series this trope is averted when Magna Garurumon attacked Cherubimon in the middle of him calling his "Storm of Judgement" attack.
In earlier episodes of Digimon Adventure, Agumon didn't call out "Pepper Flame/Breath", instead simply making an enthusiastic-sounding roar noise (mmMMM-PAAH!)
This is kind of strange at some points where they do it when their mouths are full of fire or whatever they're using at the time.
Indramon calls his Horn of Desolation attack while blowing the horn. It should be noted, however, that whatever they look like, Digimon are actually computer data.
In moments of Dangerously Genre Savvy, Angewomon in Digimon Adventure has cut off another Digimon mid-sentence with her own attack. Yes, she still calls out the attack, but she interrupts them to do so and says it faster than they did. Both cases set up a killing blow, incidentally.
Parodied with Hercule/Mr. Satan, a normal human who shouts a ridiculously long name for a normal punch.
Not only that, he forgets what he called it the first time when he needs to say it again, so he calls it something else that's just as ridiculously long.
In a tournament arc when Goku was a kid, he called a punch, a kick, or a chop with Rock, Paper, or Scissors. When his opponent revealed that he knew the technique, and was able to defend against it (having actually been the man who trained Goku's grandfather), he switched it up.
The majorly cocky "Gotenks" who actually created a huge list of attacks with comedic names. None of them were any bit more successful than Hercule's/Mr.Satan's. Except maybe those two attacks. But those didn't really happen.
Dragon Ball Z loves to parody this trope. Recoome, a member of the Ginyu Force, has a silly name for every one of his attacks.
Krillin, in keeping with his Butt Monkey status, is the only character who seems to actually be hindered by calling his attacks. He has what would be an incredibly broken technique, the Kienzan, that can literally cut through anything (the only time it ever hit yet failed was in filler). Even people vastly stronger than he is. Naturally, since he's not The Hero, Krillin never lands a good hit with it, in part because he's compelled to loudly yell "KIENZAN!" whenever he uses it...even when trying to ambush somebody from behind!
Lampshaded in Team Four Star's Dragon Ball Abridged with Piccolo pointing out how shouting out their attack strategy for the enemy to hear probably isn't the best idea.
Also in Abridged, Piccolo tries to say his attack's complicated Japanese name (Makansappopo) before finally giving up and just going with "Special Beam Cannon!" In the "Abridged Kai" video, this is modified to him just spouting random syllables.
In Episode 36 Vegeta calls his "Big Bang Attack", which is mocked by Tien and Piccolo in the next episode. Piccolo and Nail then spend half the episode bouncing ideas for names off one another.
Lampshaded in Episode 20 when Krillin fights Recoome.
Krillin: Does every move you have start with...
Recoome: ... kick!
Toriyama himself has said in an old interview that he doesn't particularly like it when characters shout attack names before performing said attack, saying that "in a battle of life and death, there's no way you can say the name of each technique. You'd be done in while yelling the technique's name". The aforementioned Mr. Satan and Gotenks are examples of Toriyama lampooning this.
The best example of the lampooning is Recoome's most powerful attack: the Recoome Ultra Fighting Miracle Bomber. Goku intervenes and attacks Recoome in the middle of calling out this attack! As a result, the only way to see this attack is to perform it in the Dragon Ball Z games.
There's also the most well known example: KAAAAAAMEEEEEEHAAAAAAMEEEEEEHAAAAAAAAAAAA!
Yet averted with Future Trunks who does not call his attacks during a fight. They get named in the video games.
Spoofed in Dragon Half. When the King gets angry, he pulls a nearby rope and yells, Crushing Press!, dropping a huge weight on his target (usually his incompetent advisor) labeled "Ye King's Wrath".
Similarly, in El-Hazard: The Magnificent World, priestess Afura Mann performs an impressive air-based attack which fellow priestess Shayla-Shayla calls the "Big Sucker Gas Slash". This prompts Afura to complain, "It's my attack! I want to name it!" Later in the OVA she does name it, calling it the "Badger Slash".
Generally averted in Eureka Seven, though Anemone does call out her "Vascud Crisis" attack. Played for laughs in the soccer episode, where Moondoggie calls out over-the-top "attack" names when taking a shot.
Kind of justified with the Up to Eleven version of that move, "Vascud Swell", as she needs the aid of 6 "amplifier" mechs and has to let them know before she uses it, so they can set up.
Excel♥Saga has a group of "super" civil-employees whose attacks are activated by a combination of brightly colored spandex clothing and yelling out nonsensical English phrases. Some gems include: "BEST ELECTRON!" "SCOT BOMBER!" "CATHARSIS WAVE!" (Ironically enough, it was used to hurt people.)
Excel herself occasionally shouts "Excel kick" and similar lines when kicking or using other attacks.
Eyeshield 21. Yeah, in American football. This also greatly exaggerates Talking Is a Free Action. We've got Devil Bat Ghost, Devil Bat Dive, Devil Laser Bullet, Devil Backfire, Devil Stungun, Devil Bat Hurricane, Devil 4th Dimension, Delinquent Deathblow, Gentle Prince Spin... Spear Tackle, Trident Tackle, Shuttle Pass, Zero Gravity Run, the Swim, Rodeo Drive, Roping Rodeo Drive, Quickdraw Pass, Delta Dynamite... The list goes on.
And this also applies to game plays. Criss Cross, Dragon Fly, Devil Wishbone... Or techniques in general, like the Rip.
Subverted in that it's the announcer who does the calls; after all you can't really expect characters like Shin or Akaba to suddenly yell in the middle of the game.
Fist of the North Star does this often, prominently displaying the kanji of the technique's name at the bottom of the screen as it is said. However, the attack names are typically shown after the attack has been completed (there are exceptions, though), and in some cases the names are spoken by a narrator rather than the character. Sometimes the attack is even described in detail by the narrator in freeze-frame, like a Combat Commentator.
In Fushigi Yuugi, Tasuki's fan requires an incantation for it to shoot fire, so he's one of the few characters who regularly gets to call his attack.
The Future GPX Cyber Formula series has the drivers using their Nitro Boosts by calling out their car's commands like Hayato's "BOOST ON!" and "SPIRAL!", Shinjyo's "PEACOCK/PHOENIX/ICARUS WING!" and Randoll's "MESSER WING"!
Averted in Gamaran despite being a shonen about fighting. The characters usually names the attacks outside of the battle or to their partners in case of a combinated attack. However, when someone performs a special attack the name is "thought".
Every GaoGaiGar brave robo calls not only their attacks, but supporting tools, like the Dividing Driver, Dimension Pliers, and Eraser Head.
In fact, it could almost have a song where most of the lines are this trope...
Arguably subverted with the uber-Hotblood GGG Chief, Taiga, who has been seen calling his own attack when he pulls a club out of his golf bag to beat on some zombies. "TITANIUM HEAD DRIVER!"
GEAR Fighter Dendoh's attacks are called so hard the name is usually visibly flashed across the screen as they're being performed.
The titular mecha from Gear Fighter Dendoh has reality itself declare the name of the attack, in stylized lettering visible only to the audience.
"Gekigan Punch" and all the other attack names used by some pilots in Martian Successor Nadesico from its Show Within a Show, Gekiganger 3. In actual fact, the attacks in question are perfectly ordinary science-fiction (or mundane!) devices like Deflector Shields and machine guns, and the pilots call their attacks for the simple reason that they happen to be otaku. One (non-anime-fan) character in the show actually wonders whether the weapons are voice-activated.
In Super Robot Wars, Gai (and only Gai) has all of his Aestivalis' attacks renamed to things like "Gekigan Shoot", "Gekigan Sword", "Super Gekigan Sword", and so on, on the menu. Akito's Distortion Attack / Punch, and only that attack, is labeled Gekigan Flare.
Justified in Getter Robo: the reason attacks are called out is because the robots' operating system uses them to ACTIVATE the attacks, which makes a LOT of sense. What's easier, shouting "GETTER BEAM!" and having your robot fire? Or having to press switches, throw levers and turn knobs to do the same?
Only in the Shin Getter Robo vs. Neo Getter Robo OVA. The other series don't bother with this, or at least don't mention it outright.
Bonus points for calling her attacks in English. "HOMINGU REEZAAAA!" "BUSTAAA MISSAIRU!"
But Noriko is also the biggest Otaku in outer space (subtly implied in the anime itself outright stated in the extras). So her attack names are likely partly due to fangirl-ism. Thought that still has to make one wonder about Jung.
Spoofed in the Gunnm manga. While in the middle of an emotional conversation, Gally (or Alita, depending on translation) is attacked by a guy on a motorcycle. She throws him, bike and all, off of a balcony, without a pause in the conversation. When asked what the name of that throw was, she responds, "Um... the Two-Wheeled Biker Throw."
Played straight in both series though. Most special attacks have names, even thought other characters call their names by seeing them, or the character using them announces them in their head.
Which creates another spoof in Last Order when Gally's replica Sechs, uses a special attack based on his liquid based body, by quickly expanding the body to eight times it's size and then compressing it again, releasing the energy of the attack into the enemy. The commentator quickly calls it the "super diet punch" much to Sechs annoyance.
Harukanaru Toki No Naka De manga and anime adaptations inherited some of the attack spells used in the game, especially the ones for Combination Attacks. Oddly, at least in the Hachiyou Shou TV series there are instances of the Hachiyou using their newly-awakened Elemental Powerswithout these, yet later they are shown "unlocking" the same skills again, this time with the proper incantations.
While Himechan No Ribon isn't a fighting manga/anime Hime-chan does shout various things when fighting, such as "SPECIAL HIMEKO KICK!".
Both played straight and parodied in History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi: almost each martial artist calls his attacks, even Akisame and sometimes Shigure. Most of the time the names are conventional and mutuated from the original martial arts, but then, when it comes to their "finishing moves" you'll discover the sheer brutality of Akisame's "FORCED INTO AGONIZING POSITION DESTRUCTION HELL" or Apachai's "Might-be-slightly-better-off-if-dead-punch".
Obviously master of cowardly escape and deceit Haruo Nijima also calls his "attacks": "Nijima escape", "Nijima shock baton", "Nijima Human Shield"... you get the picture...
Every special move in Inazuma Eleven, complete with subtitle as a shout out to the original game it's made from, with a few exceptions when the moves are being debutted for the first time. In such cases, Magane will name them.
Played with in Inazuma Eleven GO Galaxy, where Minaho uses this trope to his advantage with a technique named "Asoko ni UFO" ("Over There's a UFO"). It's pretty much what you'd expect from the name. Hilariously, it actually works. 3 times in a row. On the same two opponents.
Most of the main characters in InuYasha call their attacks. Kagome doesn't actually name her sacred arrow attack, though she frequently utters the catchphrase "Hit the mark!" when firing.
The series has a few examples, though the characters do eventually refrain from yelling every attack (unless you count "ORAORAORAORAORAORAAAAAAAAAA!" as an attack yell). Sometimes this can be fun due to the Theme Naming. Trish in Golden Wind has the Stand Spice Girls. Her attack? "WANNABEEEEEEEEEEEE!"
Kekkaishi is one of the worst offenders here. Making a kekkai and bringing it to Metsu without saying anything would probably be faster. But listening to the voice actors yelling "Ketsu! Ketsu! Ketsu! Ketsu!" like crazy for multiple targets can be fun.
Seraphim loves to shout "Tsubamegaeshi Secret Sword Technique!" whenever she uses it in various ways. In one episode, she develops a brand new technique and shows some respect to Ayumu by letting him name it if they survive. She then proceeds to use it while shouting "Untitled Secret Sword Technique!"
The names of any of the powers used in The Law of Ueki have to be verbally called upon. Which makes you wonder how a character whose power requires him to hold his breath for it to work seems to do both with no problem.
Magic Knight Rayearth prefers this trope even though characters prove from time to time that it's not necessary and that they can merely summon magic at will (as shown a few times in battles between Nova and Hikaru).
On the other hand calling the Rune Gods names' is a must for the girls' transformations. You'll end up hearing RAYEAAAAARTH! three times per episode due to that little tidbit...
The dub changes attack names to the point where 'Lightning Call!' becomes 'Light ball! Come forth!'. Even two word attacks like Hikaru's 'Fire Arrow' get an IYAAAAAAH! (complete with capital letters) at the end. The attacks come out sounding at the very least strange.
While the series is normally full of attack-calling, the trope is parodied by Jack Rakan, who invents then charges absurd amounts for new, unique Finishing Moves. One of his ideas for Negi is "Extreme Ruler Burning Heat Thundering Dragon Erupting Flash Demon Tempest Rakan Fist", which he immediately discards for being too long to use in a fight.
Later on, we see him during a battle, making up names as he goes, such as "Hidden Blade Surfing Rakan! (Newly Named)".
And the Rakan For-The-Hell-Of-It Right Hand Punch.
Most of his called moves are "(newly named)", except any kind of skirt flipping or general female harassment ones.
He even renames existing moves; such as when he renamed "Shinmeiryuu Hidden Technique, Zanmaken: Ni no Tachi" as In Celebration of my First Kiss with Ojou-sama Special! so that Setsuna could use it without worrying that the technique was too high for someone of her status to use.
Likewise, during the first Tournament Arc, when the host specifies that spell incantations are forbidden, one of the martial artists participating in the event asks if Calling Your Attacks is allowed... and everyone responds with glee when he is informed that it is.
Turns out Nagi wasn't much better than Rakan when it comes to this.
Averted (most of the time) in Mai-HiME. The girls never shout out their attacks when simply using their Elements, and even only Natsuki and Midori use vocal commands when preparing their CHILDs' most powerful attacks. The manga version, on the other hand, plays the trope completely straight.
Though by and large subverted in Mai-HiME, a few characters are known to do this. One seems to be an affection parody of Sailor Moon anyway. The other simply calls out what sort of ammunition her mecha-wolf ought to use in a given situation.
And Tetsuya Tsurugi, main character of the sequel, Great Mazinger. "Mazinger Blade!" "Thunder Break!"
And Duke Fleed, main character of the SECOND sequel, UFO Robo Grendizer: "Space Thunder!" "Melt Shower!" "Antigravitatory Storm!".
In Rockman.EXE, Operators name all their chips, declaring "Slot IN!", as they... well, slot them in. It's possible that this is done to warn the Navis that their arm is about to change into a bladed yo-yo of death or some such. The Navis themselves call out not only their chips, but their default attacks.
G Gundam. Domon's "Shining Finger" (and, later, the "Erupting Burning God Finger") is not only accompanied by its name, but also always, without fail, is preceded by a chant, which has gained Internet popularity. Other fighters call their attack names, but most do not take nearly as long to recite.
Made even more crazy a few times in the finals. Domon would recite the first part of his chant, his opponent and/or partner recites the second part followed by Domon using the God Finger.
When Domon does the "Shining Finger Sword" attack in Super Mode or Hyper Mode, the chant doubles in length. That version, and a video of it, are at the top of this page.
Mobile Suit Gundam 00 usually avoids this, but Michael Trinity couldn't resist shouting "Fangs, fly!" whenever launching them, and everyone shouts "Trans-Am!" when that system is activated, leading some fans to wonder if the system is voice-activated. Tieria usually announced when he was firing his "Burst Mode" bazooka, but this could simply be a warning to his allies, as said Burst Mode is extremely powerful, and not something you'd want to get hit with, Gundam or no.
Subverted when Ino fakes Sakura out by calling her possession technique (complete with sound effect!). Sakura dodges... into a trap, which holds her down so Ino can use the real technique.
Whenever Hughes Gouli of Overman King Gainer uses Ninpou he shouts out the attack, its spoofed when Gouli does this while hotwiring a train transporter and calls it "BLAZING CAR", later spoofed when while fighting a Brainwashed and Crazy Gouli, Adette uses "Female teacher Ninpou Shedding Sking", after she escapes from Gouli using her Winter Coat as a decoy (she still had her Stripperiffic outfit on underneath) and defeats Gouli by kissing him.
NEEDLESS is made of this and wacky characters who use it gratuitously. Some of the more hilarious cases are:
DOPPELGANGER!!!DOPPERUGENGA!!! (written backwards for whatever reason) Furthermore, the one with this power is one of the female main characters, so expect to hear it in any episode. Yes, you have a shapeshifter as a good guy.
It's even more egregious with the main hero: his power is memorizing the ability of other Fragment users, and he also copy the Calling Your Attacks part.
Subverted with Kuchinashi: she never say anything, but the screen is filled with stylized attack declaration anyway whenever she use her power.
BTW, this anime has nothing to do with Loveless mentioned above.
Every character who makes an attack more complicated than shooting a gun or punching... and sometimes even then; this includes poking them with a finger of course the "poke" has the force of a bullet behind it. Occasionally subverted by Usopp, who will miscall his attacks to throw his enemies off.
Usopp subverts this trope further in his and Chopper's battle with Mr. 4 and Ms. Merry Christmas when he calls out an attack while impersonating Ms. Merry Christmas's voice, tricking Mr. 4 into swinging his bat into his own partner's face.
Completely averted by Mihawk, who is one of the few characters who DOESN'T call his attacks.
Also averted by Don Krieg, who is famous as a master of sneak attacks and duplicity. Krieg has names for his various attacks, but they are given in public Just Between You and Me speeches after he has already used them. He also pulls Usopp's trick of announcing the "wrong" attack to throw opponents off guard.
On the way to Enies Lobby, Luffy and Zoro debate what they're going to call the combination of Luffy's Gum-Gum Cannon with Zoro's 108 Pound Cannon, and settle on "Gum-Gum Three Hundred Pound Cannon" because Luffy decided that doubling 108 and saying "Two Hundred and Sixteen" was too long.
Lampshaded during the Zoro/Kaku fight where Kaku, just getting used to his recently acquired devil fruit Giraffe powers, starts making up names on the fly for his moves, One of them is called pasta machine.
As noted with Mihawk, this gets played with when it comes to more serious characters or those who are...well...above calling their attacks. Whitebeard, a decent chunk of his crew, the Admirals (from time to time), and a decent amount of others all display this.
Zeo from the Fishman Island arc does this, while invisible. Brook ends up attacking the source of the voice. Yes, Zeo's not very smart.
In the anime, it's the trainers who call the attacks to order the Mons.
The Team Rocket trio's Meowth typically calls out his own attacks. This leads to one wondering if there's any difference between him clawing people's faces, and him clawing people's faces while yelling "Fury Swipes," each time leaving identical marks. In one episode where he joins a battle he actually jumps back to the trainer's position and issues commands to himself before jumping back in and doing the attack.
New character Bianca has a habit of calling out attacks that the Pokémon doesn't even know.
One could justify that as most trainers can't telepathically order their Pokemon, it's the only way to give commands. Ash once does suggest to a trainer in one episode that the reason he's having a hard time getting his Farfetch'd to follow commands is because he's getting the name of the attack wrong (calling it "Cutting" when it's actually "Cut").
Jessie also sometimes calls attacks the Pokémon doesn't know. In "One Trick Phoney", she orders a Charizard to use Poison Sting, confusing it and making everyone Face Fault. She then orders it to use Dig, and to everyone's amazement, the Charizard does so. In a latter episode, she tries to make her Seviper use several attacks it couldn't possibly know including Blaze Kicknote Seviper is a snake.
The Pokémon showboat episode implies that the Pokémon do this, but we can't tell because of Pokémon Speak and the dubbing process.
Many of the avatars in Popcorn Avatar will shout out the names of their abilities as they are being used.
Played (surprisingly) straight in the Pretty Sammy series. Oddly enough, everything that Sammy does is accompanied with "Pretty Coquettish Bomber" regardless of what effect it does. Pixy Misa also has Calling Mistakes/Mystics and Pixy Sexual/Lovely Fire (depending on what translation you go by), but significantly less variety in her abilities.
The Prince of Tennis is filled with these occurrences. More recently, one character has named his move "Super Ultra Great Delicious All-Out Mountain Storm". Yes, the adjective "delicious" used for a tennis move. Some say this is a sign that the author has lost it.
When you consider that the match where the aforementioned "attack" was used was a 40 minute, 1 point match, where the 2 players ended up hitting the halves of split tennis balls at each other, then yeah, it's fair to say the author has a few screws loose.
Princess Tutu does this once in the first episode; she summons a field of flowers to break Mytho's fall from a window while saying "Waltz of the Flowers" (at the same time that the actual Waltz of the Flowers is playing in the background). In every other instance, though, her vocalizations in combat (as far as ballet can be called combat) is more along the lines of Talking The Monster Through Its Problems.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Mami has her "Tiro... Finale!" This is the only called attack in the series. Though, the girls of the Kazumi Magicaspinoffmanga all have their own called attacks. Turns out, their leader Michiru, the girl from whom Kazumi was cloned, was inspired by Mami and she insisted the other should do that too because Mami was just so cool doing it. The Expanded Universe has some of the other girls mock Mami for her use of this trope.
The anime Ragnarok has the magic spells called out as well.
Akira hibiki from Raideen: "GOD GORGON! MULTIPLE ARROWS!"
While most of the time this is played straight, there is the strange matter surrounding "Kachu Tenshin Amaguriken", roughly translated as "Imperial Broiled Chestnuts Roasting in an Open Fire". That is the name of a training exercise to increase hand speed, but it led to Ranma using an unnamed Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs attack in all his subsequent battles. The creators of the anime and video games mistook the training's name for the attack's name, and so Ranma began to call out "Kachu Tenshin Amaguriken" when he used the attack. He actually only calls it out a few times in the anime (and even does it once in the manga); it's in the fighting games where he shouts "Amaguriken!" every time he uses it.
Also heavily spoofed by many of the Fake Special Attacks Genma comes up with — typically the more frightening the name, the more ridiculous the "attack". For example, "Howl of the Wild Hound" is yelling insults at your opponent like a dog behind a fence, while "Crouch of the Wild Tiger" is bowing and scraping for mercy.
Not to mention the Saotome Style Ultimate Technique, which consists of screaming "ULTIMATE TECHNIQUE!" really loud, then running away while your opponent is still surprised, and thinking up a new strategy.
Spoofed in Rune Soldier Louie: Louie is little more than a brawler to start with, but he's already named his basic right cross; he calls this attack enough that it practically counts as a Catch Phrase ("Louie Punch!").
Rurouni Kenshin's Himura Kenshin generally will call out "Hiten Mitsurugi", the name of his swordfighting school, and then the name of the technique he's using, most commonly "Ryu Tsui Sen".
In the anime Kenshin would say "Hiten Mitsurugi-style" before attacking, only actually saying the name of the attack as it landed, or after it had done its work. Naturally, since Hiten Mitsurugi has many, many different attacks, this does little to help his opponent. Most of Kenshin's early fights ended with one application of Ryu Tsui Sen, a simple downward jumping cut.
Aoshi Shinomori describes his Kaiten Kenbuu technique while he's using it, only announcing the name after the attack.
In the fight against Enishi, he demonstrates how tough of an opponent his is by matching Kenshin move for move in his fastest attack on one occasion, and punching Kenshin in the face before he can finish getting even the Hiten Mitsuryugi name out on another.
In Sailor Moon attacks can be thrown without naming, if one needs the element of surprise. One episode had Minako / Sailor Venus impersonating Sailor Moon — in this case, she used her own normal attack, but with a different incantation. They do name their attacks most of the time, though, leading to phrases such as "Starlight Honeymoon Therapy Kiss!" and "Star Gentle Uterus!". The Codename wa Sailor V manga gave Minako a lot of such phrases — some are genuine magical incantations, some are just said for extra coolness. Such incantations also tend to be spoofed in side stories ("Garlic Attack!").
Not only did the English dub rename every attack (despite already being in English) they also were horribly inconsistent. Giving attacks a name they gave a different attack, using something completely unrelated ("Mars Fire Ball Charge" in place of "Evil Spirits Begone!") or just plain wrong! Dic was fairly constant about what they were called despite being renamed (aside from a few early oddities like "Mars Fireball Charge"), while Cloverway would change episode to episode, Such as "Venus Love-Me Chain" being called "Venus Love-Me-chain" or "Venus Love-Me Chain Smash" or "Venus Love-Me Chain Encircle".
This also commonly happens whenever the team performs one of their "Science Ninja Techniques" such as the most prominent one "Kagatu Ninpo Hinotori" which temporarily converts their God Phoenix battle aircraft into a shrieking giant firebird.
Spoofed in Scrapped Princess, where the mechanics of magic rely on the user speaking the name of the spell aloud; the magician Raquel is virtually unbeatable in a magical fight because her spells all have really short names.
The original novels explain that she's actually running an emulator spell all the time which enables her to cast long spells with a few words (think of it as a macro) but requires an incredible skill and capacity for magic.
Parodied in Seikimatsu Darling. When Shikibu and Ogata play ping-pong, Shikibu finishes with an incredibly dramatic wind-up to his "Super Special Ultra High-Grade Certain Kill Shikibu Smash." It sends the ball across the table at an extremely slow speed, so, naturally, Ogata misses and loses the game.
Justified in Shadow Skill - it's required for Kuruda Annhilation Techniques.
Also spoofed in Shinkon Gattai Godannar!!, which is itself an Affectionate Parody of GaoGaiGar (most obviously) and other Humongous Mecha series. It's rare to hear the same attack called out twice (beyond the trademark SOUL BREAKAAAAAH! and HEART BREAKAAAAAH!)... and a large part of the opening song in both seasons is dedicated to singing about the attacks.
Subverted when Lina begins the lengthy incantation for her famous Dragon Slave spell, blurts out "etc. etc. etc." in the middle and then rapidly casts it with no apparent difference. Other times in the series, it's shown that a spell can be cast with just calling out the name, but is usually less powerful.
In interviews with the creator, how this ties into the rules of magic in the world were even more blatantly spoofed, with the creator mentioning that Gourry Gabriev has nearly the same magic capacity as Lina, but would never make a good sorcerer because he's so stupid as to be incapable of memorizing the incantations necessary to utilize it.
Although the anime loves to have fun with Calling Your Attacks and incantations in its filler and comedy episodes, in the more serious story arcs the exact phrasing of the incantations has a big effect on the effectiveness of the spell: after learning the true nature of the Lord of Nightmares, Lina subtly changes the incantation of the Ragna Blade and makes it much more powerful (and more difficult to use). In the novels she does the same to create a perfect version of the Giga Slave (in the anime the incantation for the perfect Giga Slave is unchanged in the English subtitles and dub).
More explanation on the rules of magic in the Slayers universe: mastery of magic in the Slayers setting is accomplished by skill with "Chaos Words", the incantations. The more powerful a sorcerer is, the less words they need; simply invoking the name is all the good wizards actually need to cast a spell. And if they use more Chaos Words then they actually need, the power of the spell is amplified further. This also means that only the very best wizards in the world can actually cast a spell without even speaking its name.
Which is why a guild wizard (Karuas) in Next was impressed when Lina used Levitation instantly. And once she scared off bad guys by casting what looked and sounded like a fireball spell, but is revealed to be a simple light spell after they've run away — which requires casting Lighting itself silently.
Not just for spells. "LIGHT COME FORTH!" is shouted by Weapon of Light users and makes the weapon more effective
The special attacks of the twelve zodiac family in Sumomo Mo Momo Mo need long incantation-like names to be yelled before use. Amusingly enough, the names seem to be made up each time; rarely are the same ones used twice.
Like so many other anime tropes, spoofed in the first episode of Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu with the "Mikuru Beam". Haruhi, our resident unconscious Reality Warper, gets so into it that the supposedly fictional attack temporarily becomes a real ability.
Also, on the Remote Island two-part episode, Haruhi calls out her table tennis serve.
There's actually a justified version of this, although it's hard to catch. As a living interface with the data entity that runs the galaxy, Yuki Nagato's power comes from incanting SQL commands really, really fast.
Parodied in Tari Tari. "Mango Beam!", "Curry Punch!"
This seems to be a necessity in the Rule of Cool-driven world of TTGL. Pre-Time Skip, the only time that an attack's full name isn't fully shouted (Certain Kill/Finishing Move: Giga Drill Breaker) or accompanied with a motivational speech, it fails epically. Not only that, but Kamina's attacks in episode 2, are so strong they break Gurren's limbs, and the punch sent 2 mech flying like a couple kilometers.
Tokyo Mew Mew not only calls their attack, but their weapons. "Strawberbell! Reborn... Strawberry Check!" Strangely, though, they only seem to actually call out the weapons just before they attack, not every time they summon them. Also, in at least one episode four Mew Mews were shown using their attacks without incantations. Pai, one of the aliens, has a variety of named attacks — unlike the Mew Mews', these are "called" in Japanese, not in English. In the manga, even the Blue Knight got one of these.
Transformers: Robots In Disguise had the same set of The Powers That Be as Digimon. Naturally, almost all attacks were announced, some as simple as naming the weapon, and some a bit fancier. (In fact, in one episode, Sky-Byte was unable to transform because he was carrying the MacGuffin in his mouth and couldn't say "Sky-Byte, terrorize!") The other Japan-original Transformers series do it to some degree, but RiD takes it the farthest.
In Transformers Cybertron, Thundercracker sometimes comes up with ridiculously overblown names for simple attacks, such as running up and punching someone, to the point that it actually gets commented on. What's funny is, they actually are pretty effective.
Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle is usually serious about this, but spoofs it on one occasion: Kurogane uses his Hama Ryuuojin without shouting its name, and Fai calls him on it.
Fai: You could at least announce your technique's name, Kuro-sama! Kurogane: Screw that.
Mostly played for laughs in The Violinist of Hamelin ("Tchaikovsky SUPLEX!"), though the anime prefers to play it straight. Fansubs give us a particularly Narmful example: one fansub translated one of Trom Bone's signature moves, "Scissor Slash", as... "Jesus Slash". Hmm...
Yaiba does this with almost all his attacks. It's rarely done by the bad guys though.
Almost all Duelists in Yu-Gi-Oh! call out the attacks of their monsters and any Spell or Trap Cards they play.
The English dub sometimes makes up attack names.
Played for laughs in the Jounouchi vs. Marik duel - Jounouchi gets control over one of Marik's monsters. Since he doesn't know the monster, he doesn't know its attack's name. Marik is generous enough to tell him that the proper name of Lava Golem's attack, "Golem Volcano" (Marik's an egotist, after all), but Jonouchi ignores him and makes one up - Jounouchi Fire!. The reaction of his friends marks one of the rare instances in which Yami Yugi is drawn in a semi-chibified style◊.
The 4Kids' dub omitted the joke, replacing it with some generic duel comments.
Parodied/lampshaded (at least in the English dub) by the Pharaoh in his duel with Dark Marik: Dark Marik was too busy calling out his monster's attack to notice that Pharaoh had activated a card to negate the damage.
In the Yu-Gi-Oh! R manga, uring Jounouchi's rematch with Bandit Keith, Jounouchi takes control of Keith's monster Fiendish Engine Omega and names its attack "Jounouchi Crusher". This is even lampshaded by the manga.
In YuYu Hakusho, not only are attacks called, but the first time an attack appears, its name is also given in a caption, often accompanied by a freeze frame while the narrator explains the nature and history of the attack. The narrator is at least justified in that the series is just Someone re-watching all the tapes of Yusuke's cases and adding in commentary.
Nearly every Humongous Mecha series has at least one scene where the pilot of a Mech will call out the attack, even if merely by its name. For example "High mega cannon! HASSHA!" — basically, "High Mega Cannon! FIRE!" — all the way up to Sousei No Aquarion's Mugen Punch (Infinite Punch) — a punch with effectively infinite range (in one episode, it actually punches an enemy into the surface of the moon, becoming the "Moon's Surface Infinite Punch" if I recall) among others. By far the most common called attack in the Humongous Mecha genre however is the good old Rocket Punch, where the forearm detaches and flies at the enemy before returning.
The Super Robot Wars series have tried to integrate this silliness into the traditionally more realistic Real Robot genre by making these attacks voice-activated. Then there's mecha Fanboy turned mecha pilot Ryuusei Date, who not only calls out his attacks, but will often rename them. If the player assigns him to pilot a different mecha, he'll rename that mecha's attacks too. In the most recent games, his "disease" has apparently spread to Mai Kobayashi ("Queen of Kicks") and Latooni Subota ("Tonfa Princess"), both of whom adopted this habit because they have a crush on him.
Lampshaded to a degree in the anime adaptation Super Robot Wars OG: The Inspector episode in which Kyousuke demonstrates his now (in}famous "Ultimate Gespenst Kick", as just before he launches the attack an on-screen prompt actually instructs him to shout the attack name, which the normally stoic Kyousuke does with dramatic hot-bloodedness.
The Macross functions as a truly epic-scale Humongous Mecha for purposes of this trope, including a Megaton Punch attack that is always called. The climactic moment of the war in both the series and The Movie involves another called attack. Although this is somewhat justified, as a commanding officer is giving an order to be carried out by the crew.
For that matter, firing the main cannon of the Cool Ship always involves a direct (and yelled) order from the captain, which typically names the weapon explicitly. "Lohengrin, FIRE!"
However, this trope is not only justified but necessary for attacks with a particularly large effective range — it does the good guys no good to shoot their own troops, and calling it out can be a sort of warning.
Sousei No Aquarion is especially egregious about this; not only do the characters call their attacks, but pretty much every time a never-before-seen attack is performed by the heroes, a special frame comes up displaying the name of the attack. Examples.
In Magic: The Gathering, the first step in casting a spell is to announce it, which includes naming all its targets, costs, etc. Not announcing your spells properly is a rules violation since it is considered public information that you need to present to your opponent fully.
"Mooshu fist! Kung pow attack! Twice cook palm! Happy famiry head bonk! General Tsao rooster punch! House special kick in nards!"
Alan Grant seems to like this trope. See Batman in the one-shot graphic novel The Scottish Connection.
In one of the earlyish Deadpool issues, Deadpool is trying to get Wolverine to fight him (don't ask), and Kitty Pryde sasses him by saying Wolverine doesn't have time to play Deadpool's "little game". In reply, Deadpool asks, "Speaking of games, you ever play Street Fighter?" And then he Shoryukens her. (And then it is fighty time.)
Also in the early issues of the Deadpool series, when he fought against Bullseye, Bullseye started making up names for his attacks when he uses improbable weapons just for fun. There's a reason He and Deadpool get along.
Doctor Strange does this a lot, although it could just be part of the spell casting process. If he is unable to use his voice, he is unable to use most if not all of his magic.
In one Invincible story, it's revealed that to summon a new stone shell for his body, the recurring villain not reallyturned good guy Titan yells "Rock On!" This inspires our hero to try saying "Invincible PUNCH!" the first time he hits a guy in their team-up battle. Titan calls him on it, he explains, and it never happens again... except once in The Pact when he's decking an old man who was admitting to owing him a debt of gratitude. (No, he's not being a Jerk Ass, it was the last person he ever wanted to help.) The Pact guys don't exactly like it (the name, not the punch) either.
Judge Dredd often calls out the names of his trick bullets whenever he fires his Lawgiver. This actually led many readers to erroneously assume that the gun was voice-activated (which in the movie it was).
In an issue of Marvel Comics' She-Hulk, the Boomerang shouts out the names of his trick boomerangs as he throws them. Shulkie asks "Are those voice-activated or something? Or is this just some kinda Japanese anime riff?"
Johnny Alpha from Strontium Dog does much the same thing. "Number Four Cartridge!"
In her solo miniseries, Vixen shouts out the name of the animal that she is using the powers of.
Smasher: Accessing hyper-strength upload from my exospecs. (Drax punches Smasher in the face) Drax: Accessing fist.
In X-Men either Colossus or Wolverine will call out for the Fastball Special before it's performed. Justified in that neither Colossus nor Wolverine are telepathic; they have to signal to each other when to do the attack or you just have Colossus flinging Wolverine around without his consent or Wolverine jumping into Colossus's arms for no reason.
In another early 2000 AD title, Flesh, the characters would sometimes narrate their own fight scenes. "I'll use my whip to cut this giant spider in half." "I'll kill this spider with my hook... Yes, got it, right in its rotten heart!" * Cringes*
In Naruto The Abridged Series, they parody this by having all the characters call their attacks with such entertaining names such as "Old Man Monologue Attack" and "Pudding Dragon". Then it's subverted with the "Heart Exploder Death Seal", with actually steals people's souls.
"DRAMATIC HOKAGE FIGHT JUTSU!!!" "How often could that possibly come up, that you would need to name a technique for it?"
In the Pony POV SeriesDark World, Traitor Dash tends to do this with her attacks, even after ultimately performing a Heel-Face Turn. Twilight also does it from time to time, but does it a good bit more in her pegasus form Halflight Noon because she based the transformation off of Rainbow Dash, thought she also points out it's more practical to call them after you perform the attack.
In the fanficStreet Fighter vs. Mortal Kombat (links to two separate MSTs by one group; the original is presumed to be lost), the fight scenes have the characters Calling Their Attacks a lot. Every time this happens (and we do mean every time), the attack name gets its own paragraph and is rendered in all-caps. It reaches the height of unintentional hilarity when one of the 3 Ninjas (it's that kind of fic) attacks with a "SHIN KICK."
In Kitsune no Ken: Fist of the Fox, some of the fights include characters who call the names of certain maneuvers they execute on their opponents. These moves are shown in bold-type print to indicate when it's supposed to be a signature move.
In the Austin Powers series, Austin always says "Judo chop!" whenever he chops a Mook on the head. Despite the fact that Judo is a martial art based on throwing people to the ground, and doesn't have chops. Other characters do this as well, such as Felicity Shagwell to Fat Bastard right before she kicks him the groin.
This may be a spoof of the James Bond novel Goldfinger, where the villain describes Karate as "a branch of judo".
It could be from a The Flintstones James Bond parody episode where Fred and Barney are hauling ass through a villain's secret base and plowing through the biggest Mooks with judo chops while yelling "A Judo Chop Chop!"
In fact authentic Judo does teach the "judo chop" (called tegatana ate, 'hand-blade strike') but it is not allowed in competition judo. It is only allowed in 'kata' (drills or exercises). Its use in Austin Powers is a spoof of the fact that the "judo chop" was a now-narmish staple of 60s spy shows.
In Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Flint becomes overly excited during his first snowball fight and begins pegging anyone in sight with snowballs while screaming "SNOWBALL!" just before letting loose.
The sequel reveals that problem with this. When Lucy Wilde of the Anti-Villain League shows up on Gru's doorstep, he tries to freeze her. She counters with a flame-thrower and explains:
Lucy: You know, you really should announce your weapons after you fire them, Mr. Gru. For example... (shoots Gru with a tazer) lipstick tazer!
One player in The Gamers calls a shot to the groin, but as he calls it to the DM, this is an out-of-universe example.
Tang Lung (Bruce Lee):*Kicks thug in face* Movement number four: dragon seeks path.
Played straight in Legend of the Drunken Master where Wong Fei Hong consistantly calls his attacks.
Played with in Once Upon a Time in China and America. The hero's assistant gets in a fistfight with a non-Chinese speaking cowboy, and (atypically) doesn't call his moves, but simply howls abuse at him. Later, when the cowboy switches sides and picks up a few moves, he "calls off" the moves by shouting what he heard before. ("Who the hell do you think you are?!")
There's also one scene where, as a part of his strategy, Wong Fei Hung calls out the name of a move and then does a completely different, which causes his opponent to complain. When the opponent attacks again, Fei Hung calls out the same move and actually does it this time, nailing the opponent. When the opponent complains again, Fei Hung mocks him, basically saying "Yeesh, you complain whatever I do! You sure are hard to please!"
Pacific Rim: Gipsy's Elbow Rocket and the Typhoon's Thundercloud Formation. The former is justified as Raleigh telling Mako to activate it; the latter is more of an example of the triplets' coordination. But mostly it's just Rule of Cool and a Shout-Out to the film's inspirations.
The western comedy The Villain, features a scene where protagonist "Cactus Jack" Slade is in a Western saloon gratuitously punching people in various ways, and naming the attacks: "Uppercut. Right cross." Finally, he gets a taste of his own medicine and then some: "And that's a two-by-four."
Inverted the first big fight scene in Bruce Lee's Way of the Dragon, where he calls his moves after the fact as an extension of his earlier "Chinese boxing" lessons to his friends.
In the Belgariad, they use The Will and The Word to perform Magic. This trope is partially subverted by the fact that it doesn't really matter what word is used. Example:
Belgarath: Push? Garion: You said to say push. Belgarath: I said to push. I didn't say to say push. Garion: It [the rock] went over. What difference does it make what word I used? Belgarath: It's a question of style. Push sounds so?so babyish. After all, Garion, we do have a certain dignity to maintain. If we go around saying "push" or "flop" or things like that, no one's ever going to take us seriously.
In the second series, Belgarion restores a shattered door with "door". Belgarath is not particularily impressed then, either.
The Dresden Files has wizards use this for focusing purposes. Its indicated that it must use a language the caster is not fluent in, otherwise the difference in thoughts between when it is used for spellcasting and when it is used for conversation would disrupt the focus. Harry Dresden uses Latin, tough other wizards have been seen using more obscure or mythical languages instead.
Dog Latin, actually. Harry's actual Latin is pretty shabby, but it's still the language the White Council uses at meetings. Can't have some idiot blowing up the Merlin by accident. Elaine uses Dog Egyptian, and other wizards use Dog Sumerian. I imagine esperanto might be a good candidate for casting in a real language.
Harry Potter: Played straight at first, but justified in that you have to say the name of the spell in order to cast it. However, it gets subverted when a major portion of the sixth-year curriculum turns out to be learning how to cast spells without calling them, specifically so that you don't alert your enemies as to what you are doing.
In a non-verbal variant, a martial arts master in Piers Anthony's Incarnations series once battled an entire dojo, one opponent at a time, by using various judo moves in the same order as these techniques are traditionally taught. This challenger just happened to be the Incarnation of War, so he handily wiped the floor with his opponents, even though they'd worked out the pattern after the third or fourth combat.
In Eragon, spells must be cast by saying their name. These casts are even context-sensitive: saying "Brisingr" while preparing a campfire will ignite it, whereas screaming "Brisingr!" while firing an arrow will make you fire an explosive arrow. This is a result of the local rules of magic.
Originally, it was entirely based on what you willed to happen. When someone gets distracted, this could be very bad. After a particularly horrible accident, an entire race used all their life force to make it so you could just say what you were going to do (in a language that is now only used by elves) and that's what would happen. It still wasn't foolproof. Eragon gave a baby a blessing that was supposed to shield her from misfortune. His grammar wasn't very good, so he accidentally made her a shield from misfortune, but it's easier to learn good grammar than to never get distracted.
It wasn't the magic system's fault that Eragon didn't know the grammar rules of the language.
In The Lord of the Rings, there are the Words of Command, which are extremely draining. While most spells observed in the text require no verbal activation, spoken spells are also alluded to by Gandalf in various places.
In Raising Steam, Sergeant Detritus screams out "PIECEMAKER" before he fires his crossbow. Justified in that the Piecemaker is a 2000lbs siege crossbow, and he needs to warn his allies so they aren't made into pieces.
Many, though not all spells in Septimus Heap work like this, like when Marcia Overstrand in Magyk tells DomDaniel to disappear into the Marshes.
Plyed with in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Relaunch novel Demons of Air and Darkness, when the Jem'Hadar soldier Taran'atar battles a Hirogen. At one point, the Hirogen asks Taran'atar why he's not pressing his attack. Taran'atar does not answer, and finally the Hirogen says that if Taran'atar won't attack, he will - making the Jem'Hadar wonder why the heck he would announce his own attack rather than just doing it.
Captains of especially large vehicles in the Warhammer 40,000 novels often shout orders a good deal louder than they might really need to. But then, if you had the chance to yell "Nova cannon! ACTIVATE!" would you pass it up?
In the same vein of the above Spider-Man movie example, in season 2 of Heroes, when Peter is trying to figure out how to shoot lightning from his hands, he says things like "Lightning! Go, Lightning!"
In Justified Boyd Crowdar yells "fire in the hole" whenever he fires a RPG or throws a firebomb. It is a habit he picked up learning explosives handling while working in the coal mines. He does not actually want anyone to get hurt during those attacks and when he actually wants to kill someone he does it quickly and quietly.
Then there was Johnny B in the short lived Misfits of Science blasted stuff with his electric powers while singing Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode".
In The Office (US), when Michael is calling his mom to tell her about his fake engagement to Holly, Andy Bernard exclaimed "speaker phone" as he hit the aforementioned button so all the office could hear.
In Power Rangers it's most common for the name of the weapon to be called, rather than the effect. "Delta Max Striker!" "Power Sword!" However, there were a few situations where they'd name the attack too — which made the use of more tricked-out weapons painful to watch. "Lunar Cue!" [Takes out weapon] "Break mode!" [Re-forms it] "Laser Pool!" [Creates phantom pool table, puts Power Crystals on it] "Lunar Break!" [Launches them] Can we say overkill? It's part of the show's Merchandise-Driven nature: gotta make sure everything gets its name announced so the kids know what to beg the 'rents to go buy.
Has been taken to the extreme in the seasons under Bruce Kalish where even the guns are voice activated. That's right. Whether you call them guns or blasters or anything else, these weapons with quite noticeable triggers (y'know, devices which are operated via the finger) require the user to shout: "LASERS!" in order to make them fire.
Parodied once in Gekisou Sentai Carranger; the Monster of the Week, SS Paman, tried to use his ultimate attack (which included shout outs to past Sentai robo finishers). Unfortunately for him, it was so long that the Carrangers just went ahead and killed him with the RV Robo.
Somewhat lampshaded by Ryotaro in Kamen Rider Den-O. Kintaros, the team's Gentle Giant, calls out the name of his attack ("Dynamic Chop") after using it, causing Ryotaro to remark on this. Later on in the show, the Imagin tell Ryotaro to come up with a name for Liner Form'sFinishing Move...while he's in the middle of performing it. Confused and pressed for time, he shouts out "Densha Giri!" (Train Slash), and instantly his teammates bemoan his lack of sense.
Although as Ryotaro responds, "Train Slash" is definitely more creative than Momotaros' method of attack naming, "My Final Attack Part ___/___ Version."
Gets a more deliberate lampshade in Kamen Rider Double, where Double's Memory Breaks don't require attack-calling (as seen with Skull and Accel), it's just a quirk of Shotaro's. When Double gains FangJoker Form, Shotaro has Phillip (who controls FangJoker) name its Memory Break on the spot before they execute it.
In the Billy Joel song "A Room of Our Own", following the second chorus, Billy calls out "Bridge!" just before the bridge begins.
Bullet for My Valentine does this in one of their songs (Waking the Demon), in said song, just before the guitar solo starts, the singer calls out SHRED!!!.
Devin Townsend casually says "Wank" before his guitar solo in the song "Planet Of The Apes"
Dick Valentine of Electric Six will occasionally declare "Solo!" before the band plays, well, a solo.
Hibria's "Tiger Punch" has a chorus like this: "Tiii-geeer punch and lightspeed attack!"
Ringo Shiina of Tokyo Jihen calls out "Gitaa!" before guitar solos in Ringo no Uta and Himitsu, the opening tracks of the band's first two albums.
The Combat Commentator version is present in most promotions of Professional Wrestling, with the ringside commentators talking about the move, its history, and how utterly devastating it is. As well, most wrestlers, while not explicitly calling their signature moves, do have a particular pose or set-up they perform to signal it. The late Mr. Perfect actually did call his signature move, turning towards the camera and saying, "Now, you're going to see a Perfect-Plex," before executing the maneuver.
Perfect's call was parodied/subverted by jobber Reno Riggins, who would have a brief surge of offense, then pause to shout "Get ready for... a RenoPlex!". This would inevitably give his opponent more than enough time to recover and beat the tar out of him.
Wrestlers frequently "signal" the impending move with signature gestures (Ex: Shawn Michaels will "Tune Up The Band" — a long, drawn out, ring stomp — before attempting his "Sweet Chin Music" superkick.)
Bret Hart, eternally characterised as a master technician, used a variation of this with his Five Moves of Doom — "calling" his Sharpshooter by using the same group of set up moves in sequence. It's now common enough to have become a trope of its own.
Sean "X-Pac Heat" Waltman's crotch chops before the Bronco Buster.
In the indies, it isn't uncommon for wrestlers to literally yell out the name of the move they're about to hit before executing it. (Or attempting to, as the case may be.) Christopher Daniels, for instance, sometimes shouts "Angel's Wings!" before going for that finisher, Chris Hero shouts "Death Blow!", and on one occasion Bryan Danielson screamed "AIR...PLANE...SPIN!" before doing this.
In many live-action roleplaying games, it is necessary to call the damage done by an attack before it lands.
Similarly, it is sometimes necessary in LARP events to call out specific attacks. For instance, a backstab might do 5 damage, but the dagger would only do 1; in that case, the player might be required to say "Backstab - 5" instead of only the damage dealt to inform the victim he's not cheating. Calling out attacks is also used in LARPs that have magic; since there is no actual effect, and since the effects can be more elaborate then simple damage (a sleep spell, for instance), spell names and effects need to be called out.
In kendo, naginata, and similar arts, one must call out the body part one intends to strike as the blow hits, or one does not receive points for the hit.
Then there's the story which claims Babe Ruth pointed to the center field bleachers at Wrigley Field in Chicago in the fifth inning of Game Three of the 1932 World Series. On the next pitch, he hit a home run over the center field bleachers. Newsreels of the game do show Ruth pointing right before he hit the home run, but's it's not clear where exactly he pointed.
In "8-ball" pocket billards, when you are permitted to sink the 8-ball (which is after all balls of your pattern have been sunk), you must invoke this trope and call the pocket you're going to sink the 8-ball into. If you sink the 8 but into the wrong pocket, you lose.
The priests of Kor, the god of war and slaughter in The Dark Eye, have the power to harness all the damage their first eight strikes would do and use it all on the final ninth strike. While they are doing this, they will start counting from one to nine, so any enemy familiar with this cult will know what's coming. Doubles as a Death or Glory Attack.
In Dungeons & Dragons it's used several times, unsurprisingly given that here's always a reminder.
4th edition actually invites this, with all attacks having names like "White Raven Strike".
Even moreso withe the "hellish rebuke" warlock power, an attack that takes the character's angry shouting (with a seemingly expected performance by the player), turns it into fire and hurls it at an opponent.
Weird spell requires the caster to inform the victims that "their doom is now upon them" in a language they understand. Justified, since it's a phantasm.
Parodied in the Forgotten Realms novel Silvefall, though in such context it's likely to be a joke about RPGT/cardgames. At least, they call after respective attacks.
"Wild magic stone brings down antimagic shell," the Red Wizard said calmly, for all the world as if he were describing a move in a chess game. [...] "Laeral's Cutting Hand," she announced, her tones a mockery of his own.
Also, spells require different components (Verbal, somatic, material, experience or focus), and some, but not all require a verbal component.
Dragon #289 has a big set of tables to generate random names for martial arts attacks.
In the comics in between chapters in any Exalted book, the characters sometimes shout out the name of the Charm or spell they are using. All Charms and spells also have names like "Flight of the Brilliant Raptor" and "Hungry Tiger Technique," practically begging for this treatment.
In GURPS: Martial Arts there is an optional rule where calling out a name for your attacks gives a penalty to the opponent's defense. You can also call out the name of a defensive move in order to counter this.
Another optional rule, in GURPS Thaumatology, makes curses easier to cast and/or harder to resist if the caster announces them beforehand.
Saying "check" and "checkmate" in chess. Also, writing your attacks - it has been known for players, even some grandmasters, to write down their moves before making them on the board, although that practice has now been ruled banned.
There probably isn't a wargame where you can roll the attack before announcing which unit is attacking, its target, and the details of any options they may have when attacking.
Arc Rise Fantasia: A number of spells and excel acts just have the characters saying the names of their spells/attacks when initiating them, while other times they just make up their own names for attacks that already have their own names.
Every playable character in Arc The Lad: Twilight of the Spirits does this. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. A few preface the attack name with a little verse: "O Wind, Grandpa's sword the power of Justice! Windslasher!" "Feel my RAAAGE! Firestorm!" "O Icy Blizzard, rage of the Storm! Blizzard!"
Despite being practically an Interactive action anime, for the most part, this is surprisingly avoided in Asura's Wrath with the exception of Wyzen, who tends to yell out KURIKARA FUDO UCHI when using an attack where he falls from the sky massive arm gauntlet first. He's the weakest overall of the 8 Gaurdian generals, in a bit of BrutalIrony.
In Atlantica Online, all player characters call their magic skills every time they use them, on the lines of "[Enemy's name]! Take this! [Magic's name]!". Even with healing spells.
Baten Kaitos: In the GC version, before every finishing move.
In Eternal Wings, Xelha and Mizuti, your magic-users, call every spell they use. Which gets very, VERY annoying when you get to the point where you can make them cast eight or nine spells in a row.
It's a Fighting Game, so one would expect characters in BlazBlue to call their attacks. Many do so, and do it well ("Baden Baden Lily!" should sound silly, but it works note It's Rachel. She can make ordering tea the most badass thing ever.). Special mention goes to Hot-BloodedHighly VisibleLarge Ham Bang Shishigami, who often calls out more poetic names than his moves actually have and even goes so far as to announce "This is an ukemi!" That's right. He yells loudly to let his opponent know he's getting up after being knocked down.
Sometimes, the names Bang calls out for his attacks aren't even the right names. Ex. "Critical Super Crash!" for "Bang's Unstoppable Double Palm Thrust." He even has two slightly different names for an attack based on whether it is being used on the ground or in the air.
Against personal rivals, the voices change to something relevant to the character pair.
"Baden Baden Lily!" becomes "Kneel before me, Ragna." (Rachel vs. Ragna)
"Fenrir, don't fail me! Nemesis stabilizer!" becomes "You're no longer my superior Jin Kisaragi. You're under arrest!" (Noel vs. Jin) or "Ragna the Bloodedge... YOU'RE STUPID!!" (Noel vs. Ragna)
"Arctic Dagger!" becomes "Red Devil my ass!" (Jin vs. Tager)
Even Makoto has this. Particle Flare alternates between two lines normally, but there are five variants.
"Watch this, friend! This is my... BEST SHOT!!" (Noel) "I'll show you... everything... that I've learned!" (Jin)) "Tsubaki!! Please wake up... with this one last blow!!" (guess) "'Superior' my ass! You're lower than dirt! It's time for a mutiny!!" (Hazama) "You're a colonel, and I don't give a crap! EAT IT, CREEPER!!" (Relius)
Playing Bujingai involves Gackt calling his magics as he cast them.
In Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, when playing as Charlotte, she will call out the name of any spell if you super-charge it before releasing. Whenever you switch between Charlotte and Johnathan, the character shouts the name of the other character. Also, whenever you use a combination spell, both characters will simultaneously shout the name of the spell.
Both of these carry over into Castlevania: Harmony of Despair, although since Charlotte loses her spell charging ability, now she just yells out attack names whenever she casts something. Unless she's still yelling out the name of the last attack she did.
In Order of Ecclesia, sometimes Shanoa will call her magic attacks, usually with simple words like "Flame!" or "Lightning!" When playing as Albus, however, he calls the name of almost everything he does as loud as one possibly can.
You'd think a series as wonderfully OTT as Devil May Cry would exhibit this gratuitously. You'll be wrong. Averted in 1 and 2, where Dante speaks only guttural warcries as he uses his moves. Subverted in 3, where he gets them wrong. Quite wrong. Perhaps the most glaring example is the super-uppercut "Real Impact", where he ends up shouting "Rising Dragon", a differently executed uppercut for which he only spares said guttural warcry.
Similar to this trope, however, in the 4th installment, Dante will call out the names of his styles as he changes to them if he's standing still ("Trickster!" "Royal Guard!" "Gunslinger!" "Swordmaster!") with an accompanying pose. If you use the style swap mid-combo (and you probably will), he says a cut-down version and skips the pose so as not to interrupt himself, ie. "Sword!" When switching to Vergil's Dark slayer style, which he acquires late in the game, he calls out something other than the style's name. You still get a pose though.
Some of main characters and cameo characters in the Disgaea series call their attacks (Though sometimes only with the Japanese audio on). Notable examples include Zetta's "ZETTA BEEEAM!" and Kurtis' "ROKETTO PAUNCH!"
In Disgaea D2, Flonne becomes "Pure Fallen Angel of Love, Flonne" during the penultimate chapter. She proceeds to constantly scream out her attack names or technique names in overly flamboyant ways. Laharl at one point asks if that is necessary, to which Flonne admits what she's yelling is actually completely irrelevant to the use of her powers. Laharl then yells at her to stop. Additionally, Laharl points out that most of the battles in said chapter were due to Flonne's flamboyant yelling which keeps attracting enemy attention.
Cecil:[using Saint's Dive] Beneath the light... COMES JUDGEMENT! Kain:[using Rising Drive] Engrave! DRAGON'S FANG!
In Dota 2, most of the Heroes (some more than others) often either say the name, effect of, or a slang term for their spells immediately after casting them, especially spells that are used specifically against enemies, as long as they don't just outright taunt them (or make anIncredibly Lame Pun at them).
Tusk will say some variation on Walrus PUNCH! ("x Punch!") accompanied by large red text reading "WALRUS PUNCH!" next to his target every time it's used on a hero. (On a creep, though, he'll say something like "Disappointing punch!" or "Moderately painful punch!" accompanied by small blue text reading "Penguin Punch!" next to it.)
Skywrath Mage often says the exact name of his abilities upon using them, most of which have low cooldowns, and all of which are castable spells.
Surprisingly not done for the loveable and extremely hammyMotor Mouth Storm spirit, despite saying something literally every time he uses his no-cooldown ultimate. Same thing goes for his other low-cooldown abilities.
Taken Up to Eleven with Rubick (who can steal spells) and has a bunch of lines recorded for when he's casting other hero's skills, potentially letting him call out attacks for just about every single spell in the game, only depending on how extensively Valve has recorded/will record additional lines for him in the future.
All the playable characters do this in Eternal Sonata, although only after racking up twenty-four consecutive hits. Some (such as Beat or Polka) use simple phrases, others (Viola, Frederic) make slightly lengthier statements and some (Falsetto and March) almost hit full-on soliloquy territory. Compare these two:
Beat: This is it for you! Fire Blast! Falsetto: By lightning and thunder will you be thrown. By wind will you be scattered! Heaven and earth! Howling Thunder!
Ability names are displayed when used in Final Fantasy Tactics, but occasionally the character using them will call them out with a descriptive preface. "Destruction of nature, gather in flame...Fire!" Removed from the English version of the PSP remake.
Llednar Twem of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance pauses before his strike, but after charging energy, to say exactly what he is going to inflict upon the main character. The attack, Omega, is illegal to use in the area, and the Judgemaster takes the time when Llednar is reciting a descriptive poem to arrest him.
Llednar always calls his attack when using Omega, but the objective in all previous battles with him is to stay out of Omega's range.
Used somewhat inconsistently in the Dreamcast RPG Grandia II. Several characters do call out their moves, such as the main protagonist Ryudo doing so in a typically Dragon Ball Z-style. Others incorporate the move's name into a more natural sounding sentence, while Millenia just makes unrelated snarky comments.
The first Grandia did this to an extent as well, where each character would sometimes issue a bad pun or one-liner before casting a magic spell.
This trope is subverted and played straight in all Grandia games. Some spells and special attacks are just called by name, but with others, exactly what the castor says depends on his or her personality. For example, in Grandia III, these are what the following characters say when they use Heal or Healer on themselves:
Yuki: I'll be fine.
Alfina or Dhana: I call upon the healing power of the stars.
Miranda: This should feel refreshing!
Alonso: Time to juice up!
Ulf: What would I do without this?
Guilty Gear's biggest offender is Sol Badguy by far, but every character has one or two attacks they like to shout out in Gratuitous English, mostly their signature moves like Ky's "RAIDO ZA LAITONINGU!" or Potemkin's "HEAVENLY POTEMKIN BUSUTAAAH!"
The Halloween Hack: Unlike the typical Mother final boss, Dr. Andonuts announces his attacks in a dramatic fashion, telegraphing everything he does.
Many of the characters in the Kingdom Hearts series will do this, especially boss characters, although series protagonist Sora seldom if ever calls out the actual name of the technique he's using ("Deepfreeze" for Blizzard, "Wind" for Aero, etc.).
For Sora and Donald it seems to be linked to using magic and thus could be a normal part of spellcasting.
Optional SuperbossSephiroth's calling of his attacks was notoriously difficult to understand, leading to his most powerful technique "Descend Heartless Angel" being almost universally misheard as "Sin Harvest."
The characters in The Legend of Dragoon call the names of Dragoon magic before hitting opponents with it. They also call the names of their regular Combo Attacks, albeit after having whacked the enemy with it.
Legend of Legaia: The three playable characters always shout out their attack names, but in Japanese, as there isn't an English language track. A few of the attacks have multiple incantations, though, and a very select few are in accented-English, such as Tornado Flame. The sequel has English voice-over work, and the characters also announce all signature moves.
In Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, you got the callout only if the super ended the fight (hey, old school!). The exception was Dan's Super Taunt, for obvious reasons. Marvel vs. Capcom only said "Hyper combo finish!", although you did get to see the name of the super on the screen.
Cyber Akuma didn't get his supers called. At least not in the PSX version. Instead we got "Hyper Combo Finish!"
Particularly jarring in the live-action So Bad, It's Good movie (the first one), where most of the actors are Western, and the only character who calls their attacks is (wait for it) British fighter Cammy, who inexplicably shouts "Front Kick!" when she does one of her special moves, which is... er, a front kick.
"Thrust Kick" was the name of her "Cannon Spike" technique in the international versions of Super Street Fighter II until it was changed back in the Versus and Alpha series. The "Front Kick" is most likely a Mondegreen on the actresses part.
Mischief Makers has THE Beastector, who call out the names of their respective vehicles, "Beast Change!" for them to transform, and Lunar also yells his vehicle's name when transitioning to the final part of his boss fight (and "You're mine!" for some of his melee attacks, making him the most vocal of the three). He also does the only sort-of calling the attack in the final boss fight, when THE Beastector is fighting in their combined vehicles. When the robot jumps into the background and performs the Mazinger-like chest beam, Lunar yells "Through fire, justice is served!".
And then there's Priscilla who uses this trope in a comic way in of her Events, shouting "Flower Hurricane !!" when throwing flowers around her, and "Double Flower Hurricane !!" when the player joins her.
In Namco × Capcom, Some characters call their attack names when attacking
Some of the characters in No More Heroes, including Travis, play this perfectly straight... but more noteworthy is Destroyman, a send up of Toku heroes who deconstructs or parodies this — his weakness is specifically that his overblown posturing and egregious attack calling makes it easy to see his attacks coming, dodge, and counter.
Destroyman can't help it, even if he knows it's the flaw in his battle strategy. His weapon, the SFX Converter, is made so that it'll automatically do an attack by calling the attack. He needs to call out the attacks or he can't use any attack except his melee attack.
Travis seems to have stolen some of his attack names from the Show Within a Show anime he's fond of, given that its main characters are Blueberry, Cranberry and Strawberry...
Shinobu does this too with attacks like "Sonic Sword!", "Bloody Sundae!", and "Black Tuesday!".
Dr. Letz Shake gets in on this a little in the sequel, despite the Robo Speak. "BATTLE CRY!"
Bungie's heavily anime-influenced game Oni, which greatly encourages fisticuffs over gunplay and does its best to run the gamut of asian sci-fi's most entertaining tropes. Both the protagonist Konoko and bad guys call attacks. Konoko (voiced by Anime regular Amanda Winn Lee) has "Devil Spin Kick!" and "Rising fury!", and even low-level mooks, Strikers in the nomenclature of the game, have "Strikerrrrr-SLAM!". Everyone gets cool reverb effects, particularly the Furies (female strikers) with "Tennnnnn-SHADOW!" punch combos.
Spoofed a few times in Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan: the ramen chef in the "Linda Linda" stage of OTO1 has "Ultimate Secret Techniques" for cleaning, cutting vegetables, and making noodles, while the barber in the "Julia ni Shoushin" stage of OTO2 calls out the hairstyles he's doing.
In Persona 3, the character will occasionally shout out the names of their personas when summoning them. Which makes sense for the main character, who can change personas at will, but why would the other shout them out? Occasionally the characters will say something other than their persona's name during a Critical Summon, but a few are annoying.
Yukari: I SWEAR ON MY LIFE!!!
This applies to Persona 4 as well. The only attack call that's 100% consistent is the obligatory shout of "PERSONA!", which is both noncommittal and quite effective. Also, the whole attack calling thing is kind of awkward if you have Satan or Lucifer equipped at the time...
While calling the actual names of the attacks used is averted in the RPG, it is played straight in the 2D fighting game, Persona 4 Arena. Special and super moves based on skills in the in the RPG sometimes have their names called out by the characters when used.
Phantasy Star Online 2 has an odd example in the form of the Dragon EX, who's much more talkative then the other boss dragons, as it telepathically calls out the fancy names of some of its mostly mundane looking slashing attacks that it performs using its sword/shield arms.
Phoenix Wright's "OBJECTION!". Anything that can set others to physically mutilating themselves, if not outright EXPLODING, constitutes as an attack.
Inverted in Prototype, where Cpt. Cross's calling out of his need to reload, and hence inability to attack, shows to the player when to start counterattacking.
Psychonauts parodies this, in its Godzilla pastiche level "Lungfishopolis", with a boss named Kochamara who is a master of this technique. His shouts include "Mighty RAM!, "Mighty ram GROUND VERSION!" "Hard to avoid AREA ATTACK!" and the notorious "Overly intricate COMBINATION!"
Don't forget "Deadly TRIANGLEBEAM!"
Disco Kid in Punch-Out!! for the Wii will shout "Here it comes!" before making swipes. It's almost easier to list the fighters who don't call their attacks when it comes to the Wii version.
A short story on the Rift website describes historical warrior Won Odego yelling "Strike like iron!" and "Way of the Mountain!" when activating paragon abilities.
RuneScape is mostly free of this trope, but certain Dungoneering bosses will call their attacks, warning players of what is coming. To'Kash the Bloodchiller is the first one players are likely to encounter, with three calls for his special attack: "Sleep now... In the bitter cold" a few seconds beforehand, "DEEP FREEZE!" as he encases the player(s) in ice and "I will shatter your soul!" when he smashes said ice. Experienced players use this against him and leave the room until after he's finished the attack. Har'Lakk the Riftsplitter will also call his portal attacks, with "A flame portal will flush you out!", "Taste miasma!" and "This will cut you down to size!", summoning an area of flame, poison or stat-reducing goop.
Skies of Arcadia: Most of the techniques used by the heroes and some of the bosses use their name or a form of it in a phrase during the attack itself. They also call attacks made by their ships.
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars has a status condition called mute, which prevents affected characters from using special attacks. They are also shown with a bandage over their mouths, suggesting this trope.
Being an amalgamation of a great many Humongous Mecha anime, Super Robot Wars has more of this than even entire series of fighting anime. Although just about everyone does it, Original Generation character and Ascended FanboyRyusei Date has a particular joy for doing this, even when simply letting off a couple shots in a Real Robot, to the point where he initially gets some funny looks from the other characters. It seems to be infectious, as those same characters end up using this trope more and more as the games go on.
A somewhat odd example exists in that there is technically an attack that everyone calls out, no matter their predilection to doing so normally. TheinfamousGespenstKick seems to cause pretty much anyone who uses it to suddenly become markedly Hot-Blooded and scream the name of the attack at the top of their lungs. Hilariously, the anime suggests that the reason everyone does this is that they actually have to shout it out in order to execute the Gespenst Kick properly.
The more comedic characters occasionally get the attack names wrong, or just make something up because they don't remember.
Captain Falcon — originally of the F-Zero racing titles — calls out his painfully slow (but extremely powerful) signature move, the "Falcon... PUNCH!!!" (He also calls a faster "Falcon Kick" attack.)
Also, in Brawl, when Snake fights Falcon and uses his codec, he and Otacon lampoon this by saying they've always wanted to do something...unlike what you're thinking, they do a laudably over-the-top "FALCON PUUUUUNCH!" "FALCON KIIIIICK!".
In the same series, Ness calls out his "PSI" moves: "PK Thunder," "PK Fire," & "PK Flash."
Kirby, after copying Falcon's or Ness's powers, also calls out the attack names, but in his insanely cuter, higher-pitched voice. "Fawcon Punch!"
In a strange example, if Kirby copies R.O.B. he'll yell out "BEEEEP!" when firing his laser eyes.
Likewise, when copying Pikachu's powers he calls out "Pikachu!" just like the Mon is so known for.
Brawl adds Lucas (which follows Ness) and Ike, who calls his signature move, Aether. Some other characters also call their Final Smashes.
Every game in the Tales Series uses this whenever a character uses a special move. In case of spellcasters, high-level spells often include a lengthy chant during the casting. And yes, that includes Tales of Phantasia on the SNES, courtesy of the Flexible Voice Driver.
Tales of Destiny 2 (the actual Japanese-only Destiny 2 for PS2, not the renamed Eternia) spoofs this practice by giving Loni Dunamis a Limit Break consisting of 15 kanji, which also has the unique property of having the ingame title pop up one kanji at a time when it is used.
The same move would later be given to Malik Caesar in Tales of Graces f, where it's made even more over the top by changing the camera angle as each part of attack's name is announced. It's known as "Tremorous Celestial Sundering Shredding Light of Cyclonic Butchery" in the English version. Or "Tremorous Celestial etc." for short, because the full name is too long to fit in the artes menu.
To reduce redundancy, Tales of Vesperia introduced more than one shout for artes, and Raven completely averts this trope with most of his melee artes. Destiny Remake and Hearts likewise have characters say different things for every use of an arte beyond the first (usually a grunt or a simple battlecry), since their systems allowed freestyle comboing, including spamming, something most games in the series don't have.
I'LL BLOW YOU AWAY! DESTRUCT-DESTRUCT-DESTRUCT-DESTRUCT-DESTRUCT-DESTRUCT-DESTRUCTION FIELD!!! If that doesn't get your blood boiling, nothing will.
Repede is a badass dog and cannot talk, but his artes still have names. The first time he does his Mystic Arte, it shows up as ???. This triggers a skit where the other character debate over what to name the move. They settle on "Slash!" and this becomes its new title.
Hermana of Tales of Innocence actually yells "Puuuunch~" and "Kiiiiiiick~" for some of her moves.
Team Fortress 2: Saxton Hale lives and breathes this trope, though he usually prefers to yell his own name rather than the name of his attack.
It's possible that the Pyro is calling out the name of the Hadoken in its taunt kill, but since it's The Unintelligible all anybody ever hears is a muffled yell.
The Engineer announces himself whenever he's building a Teleporter, Dispenser, or Sentry (and also cries out if any of them get sapped our destroyed).
All of the Mercs also call out the names of any spells they acquire while playing in Helltower (the Halloween Payload Race event).
Fifi in Tiny Toon Adventures: Defenders of the Universe calls out her special attack whenever she uses it. "Le Odor of Love!"
The Touhou series is pretty unique among shmups in that most of the bosses' attack patterns are all different named attack spells, with the spell name displayed onscreen when it is cast. Various supplementary material for the series explicitly states that, whilst the use of named spells is not necessary to practise magic (or swordsmanship, or exorcism, etc), it was codified as a form of ritualized magical combat in the distant past.
According to some supplementary material, the main character herself modified the combat to the system used in the games sometime between the fifth and sixth games (that is, of course, assuming the first five games are even canon).
Utsuho Reiuji does it with bright yellow CAUTION! signs and a warning klaxon.
In Valkyrie Profile 2 Silmeria, all characters call out their Finishing Move at the end of their little speech while performing it. For mortals and einherjar, the speech ends with "Finishing Strike: (name of attack)". The gods finish with the shout "Divine Assault: (name of attack)".
This is also done in Valkyrie Profile, with the addition of Suo's call of 'Ougi!', Badrach's 'Deathblow', and Jun's "Mugen no kensen, Blade Art, Senko-Jin!" Not to mentiong the mages who call all their spells... and go into a full invocation for Great Magics...
In Vattroller X, most characters summon a creature when they use their Smart Bombs. Zoro however, having nothing to summon, just has a bunch of text appear over his head instead.
In Viewtiful Joe, the first time you fight Captain Blue, he shouts, "Captain Blue kick!" For some reason, he does not do this in the next battle.
Other characters get into it, too. Joe calls out his "Red Hot Kick!" move, while Alastor calls out almost all of his moves.
In the Wing Commander franchise, fellow pilots often announce torpedo attacks. Judging by Real Life example below, that's a decent imitation of standard dogfighting protocol.
The Wonderful 101: Wonder-Red does it constantly. It's even parodied in the final attack where he starts to recite his ridiculous super extra long attack name. Wonder-Blue tries to get Red to attack already but only gets punched in return.
In World of Warcraft, bosses tend to do this - mainly the reason is to give the player some time to dodge a devastating attack.
For example: BOOOOOOOONNEEEEEE-STOOOOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRMMMMM!
The first two games of the Xenosaga series did this, but only for the tech attacks in Episode I and the double attacks in Episode II. In Episode III, however, the attack names are replaced with a nice little phrase before the attack. Ex: for KOS-MOS's D-TENERITAS attack, after she is fully awakened as Mary Magdelene, she says, "Relinquish your pain unto me."
.hack does this of course. It's simulating an MMORPG so it's justified.
Notably, many Japanese 2D fighting games, such as Street Fighter and The King of Fighters feature characters that shout the names of their signature attacks, famous examples from both being the Hadouken and the Genocide Cutter, respectively.
The voice quality sometimes lead to amusing Mondegreens (Sonic Boom/Alex Full! Tiger Uppercut/Tiger Robocop!).
Naturally, this was done in the Marvel vs. Capcom series of fighting games, which features Western superheroes shouting out their attack names even when they never do so in the comics.
FOOT DIVE! HIGH KICK! HIDDEN MISSILES! PLASMA BEAM! MOLECULAR SHIELD!
Speaking of Marvel, even the X-Men Legends games and Marvel Ultimate Alliance, which are developed by Western companies and are not fighting games, had the characters call their Xtreme super moves' names. Even more ridiculous when you consider that none of the Marvel moves in MvC had names as silly as Deadpool's "Merc's Revenge" in the latter game. And yes, he shouts it in a serious manner. Well, as serious as Deadpool gets, anyway.
Sometimes the same attack would change names between Legends 1, Legends 2, and MUA, though some characters did get new ones.
Romancing SaGa 3 invokes this by having the attack's name in a speech bubble above the character's head before they initiate the attack. However, this also occurs when a character gains a stat bonus.
Egoraptor's series Girlchan in Paradise!! parodies this to no end. Shiken-batsu-baku-matsu-hatsu-datsu technique!
Tucker from Red vs. Blue does this after he gets his sword, saying either "swish" or "stab" for either sort of attack. He only knows those two.
"What's to understand about swish, swish, stab?"
Parodied in the Siblings cartoon "Half Beard": Rob shouts "HALF BEARD, GO! FORM OF...HALF OF MY BEARD!" (complete with Speed Stripes) in his beardy duel with Rival, only to make his half beard float around the latter.
The Flash anime Xin subverts this: the only guy who calls his attacks is the weakest one there.
"Indentured Players" in Alien Dice are apparently required to command themselves to make moves. Lexx calls out every move or power he or his dice use, even when his move-calling could potentially tip the battle in his foe's favor.
In Antihero For Hire, Baron Diamond takes this to absurd extremes, with "Diamond Knuckle" ("That's just a regular punch!"), "Diamond Pivot", "Diamond Wall Grabbing Move," and so on in that vein.
Lampshaded beautifully: At one point Shadehawk sincerely thanks Baron Diamond for yelling "DIAMOND DRILL" before using said move on him, specifically stating that if Diamond hadn't called the attack, it would have hit Shadehawk and killed him. Yeah, Shadehawk won that fight.
In Evil Plan, Amazingman improvises the Amazing Punch during his first battle. The minions only realized he was a super hero after he invoked this trope.
Mocked quite entertainingly in thesethreestrips of Exploitation Now. Tentacle Monster to captives: "Anybody up for a game of Monopoly or something while we wait for her to finish shouting the name of her ultimate attack?"
This Commissioned strip "Fur Thong Ninja vs Cthulhu Ninja Zombie" parodies this, calling all the attacks and defences, including "The Stab on the Road to Madness!" and "Mandatory Crotch-Exposing Opening Strike Leap Of Doom!"
Done under the influence of large amounts of drugs in Girl Genius
Zola: Chophead Tinybits!
In Goblins characters have often been seen calling their spells. It turns out, however, that in the Thuntiverse, you HAVE to call your spells for them to work — when Kore's throat is injured, he can't use Lay On Hands to heal it without a great struggle.
Gold Coin Comics does this all the time, when a character is about to use a special skill or spell.
Cory: Luke, What have I told you about calling your attacks?
The Order of the Stick does this, as parody, for both spells and special combat maneuvers, having characters ironically shout out "Sneak attack!" and the like (which is fine as the other person failed their spot check), and, after a "Great cleave!" attack is used overly much, snickering about great cleavage.
Subverted and lampshaded later by Elan's evil twin Nale, when he performs a Sneak Attack without calling it out, then says "Oops, I was supposed to say 'Sneak Attack' there, wasn't I?"
Also subverted by V calling his attack without actually casting anything.
Also, due to the spell-casting mechanics, magic users apparently have to call all their attacks.
Haley was drawn into combat with a group of thieves who have a tendency to yell out "Sneak Attack!" when they perform a sneak attack. With the introduction of a fighter class mook, said mook yells out "Power Attack!" when he attacks and is immediately informed that he shouldn't yell out his attacks. The fighter then complains that the rogues get to yell out things when they attack.
One strip reveals that the 10 minute casting time for a certain spell is spent simply chanting the name of the spell over and over.
In Tower of God, Ignition Weapos like Black March, Narumada and Green April will only release their special abilities when their name is combined with the command to attack (ie, "Black March, IGNITE!"). Since this happens in the heat of battle, there will be shouts.
The main character, Baam, is notable for largely Averting this trope. In a world where most everyone loudly declares their techniques or intentions as they fight, Baam almost never so much as whispers his attacks. He only really says the names of his attacks when he's using techniques he's copied from others.This holds true even five years later, when he goes under the name of Jyu Viole Grace.
Invoked in Wonder Momo - Classic Momo/Momoko's mom needs to explain to the new Wonder Momo and Amazona how to use their special attacks. The lesson is as follows: leap into the air and announce the attack's name. The rest apparently takes care of itself.
In the podcast audio drama The Account, being knighted grants a person a number of special abilities, among them a "weapon" of magical energy that's traditionally named and proclaimed when it's used. The protagonist's is Burst Punch, which more experienced knights find a tad lame.
Aimee: Hailey, you mind not giving each of your attacks a name? It sounds....stupid....
The web fiction serial Dimension Heroes makes fun of this trope in one scene where Rob tells his fellow Dimensional Guardians that they must make up attack names to shout out while in battle. When asked why, he's unable to give a good reason. He then asks the much more experienced warrior Wyn why he does it. The Guardians wait intently for the warrior's response, and are subsequently disappointed when he mutters simply, "Because it's cool."
In Sonic F, Knuckles does this after playing too many fighting games, much to the annoyance of Sonic. Oddly enough, the second time doesn't help Sonic avoid it as he's too distracted to hear Knuckles screaming.
Whateley Universe example: In two different stories, when the ninja Five-Bad Band attack, their leader constantly calls out his signature Ki attacks. Lampshade Hanging ensues, because Chaka is learning the moves as fast as the ninja is calling them out.
Since then Chaka has been using a wide variety of called, anime-style attacks, including C Haka Chaka Bang Bang, a ki-blast, and her Kiai attack, which is a calling attack. For christmas she recieved a pair of power gloves which supercharge one attack per day, and that attack must be called.
When the gaang are sparring, Sokka tries to get Aang from behind (who can tell he's there anyway) while yelling "Yaaaaaaaaw, SNEAK ATTACK!" to be instantly blocked by Aang who responds, "Sokka, sneak attacks don't work if you yell it out loud."
There was also the very poorly performed bit where Katara pretended to be an Earthbender, and when Aang lifted up a rock, she yelled "Earthbending Style!" It even had the background made of streaks.
And then in "The Ember Island Players", the actor playing Katara destroys Actress!Aang's magic bubble with the words "Waterbend: Hiyah!"
He explains this as trying to strike fear into his enemies.......
It became so common for it to do it, that when he changed into an alien that couldn't say its name, Gwen did it for him.
Captain Planet and the Planeteers: The Planeteers had to say their element in order to activate their rings. Of course, this happened whether they actually wanted to use them or not, such as when Wheeler off-handedly said "fire" and a small fire broke out.
On Code Lyoko, Ulrich will often shouts "Impact!" when hitting a monster with his sword. Odd fires his "Lazer Arrows!" and Aelita her "Energy Field!" while calling said names — though it isn't obligatory. The exception is Yumi, who maybe said "Telekinesis..." once in Season 1 and never bothered afterward.
In Defenders of the Earth, the Phantom frequently calls on "The Power of 10 Tigers" before performing a feat of great strength.
In Dexter's Laboratory, when Deedee and Dexter get turned into monsters, they both call their attacks when fighting each other.
In The Fairly OddParents: Channel Chasers, Timmy and Vicky end up in an Anime style show and do this with every attack. Cosmo and Wanda also do it for several things. Apparently, it's just how that universe works.
Inspector Gadget's command of "Go, Go Gadget—(insert gadget name)" could count; he's warning people that he's about to activate a gadget, knowing full well that it might not work according to plan...
This would actually be a subversion, since whenever Gadget actually needed a gadget to work, it didn't. So he would call his attack, only to attack in a different way, and fail nonetheless.
In the Jackie Chan Adventures cartoon series, the villain Hak Foo flambouyantly parodies this trope by inventing names for every action he takes, combat or otherwise; in hindsight, the names really are just flowery similes describing the action in question.
"Lion Slaughters Two Lambs!" (kicking two heroes aside to grab the talisman they were leaping for)
"Bunny Flees From Vicious Jackals—!" (running away scared)
"Snake Cuts Grass!"
One of his most recurring lines is "Angry Crow Takes Flight!" any time he so much as jumps.
Uncle: "Thank you for sharing, Angry Crow!" (counters Hak Foo's attack)
"Flying Monkey Snatches Magic Box!" - Not an attack; he was just announcing what he was seeing.
Lampshaded and subverted even during his debut episode, where he called "Elephant Thrusts Its Leg...!" but then delivered a punch when his opponent was anticipating a kick. (Since elephants are quadruped, their front legs correspond to arms, so the simile still works)
During one episode set in space, when he discovers his momentum hampered by the lack of gravity, he adjusts his attack names accordingly. "Tiger Prowls! ...through ... pudding...?" (slow motion punch)
Robin Hood Daffy makes a noisy quarterstaffnote "Actually, it's a buck and a quarter quarterstaff, but I'm not telling ["Friar Porky"] that." fighter: "Ho! Ha ha! Guard! Turn! Parry! Dodge! Spin! Ha! Thrust!" (And then he hits himself.)
One of the oldest western examples is Hanna-Barbera's Peter Potamus and his "Hippo Hurricane Holler". In this case, the call is the attack, but still...
The Powerpuff Girls (usually the leader Blossom) call out group attacks like Acrobattack, Cherry Bomb, and Furious Flaming Feline, obviously so the others know what attack they're using.
On SWAT Kats, Razor would usually shout out the missile being fired, as he fired it, even if it wasn't a new one. Though that could be justified because of the nature of some of their missiles so T-Bone would know what not to do maneuver-wise to keep from disrupting it.
A good half of the dialog that occurs in a typical episode of Xiaolin Showdown consists of various characters calling their elemental attacks and shouting out the names of the various Shen Gong Wu. Justified in the case of the latter since saying the name of the Wu is what activates its powers.
In later seasons, largely starting when Chase Young enters the picture, Omi in particular begins to call his nonmagical attacks as well, since Chase teaches him how to do it. The most famous one is "Repulse the Monkey" which is Chase's, and later Omi's, signature move (indeed, at one point Omi realises that someone is allied with Chase when he uses Repulse the Monkey), but later on the moves become more ridiculous, with such moves as "Grasshopper Doing Dog-Paddle", "Dogs Playing Poker" and "Spider Doing The Hokey-Pokey".
Ah, yes. "Sparrow Eating Hot Dog". Good times... good times...
Which ironically is a parody/subversion: it was random gibberish designed to confuse Chase Young.
Then there was "Duck Flipping Burgers." In fact, every one of these attacks (barring "Sparrow Eating Hot Dog") are an actual move, which was confirmed via Dojo's book of fighting moves.
Amazo from Young Justice has to say the name of whatever Justice League member whose powers it has copied before it can use them. Given that Amazo is a robot, and that this was his first ever appearance within the continuity of the show, this is more understandable than most examples. Although this provides a clue to Amazo's weakness, and the team use that to defeat it.
Captain Marvel would sometimes announce or reference which of his powers he was using at a time, whether it was using the Power of Zeus and Speed of Mercury to drill into the ground, or cite the Wisdom of Solomon as the source of his good advice.
In She Zow both SheZow and Tara do this, naming their attacks as well as using them.
Comedian Dan Cummins does a sort of variation of this. When telling jokes he sometimes provides the names of them at the end, though this is sometimes simply to extend the joke.
According to the Other Wiki, Wong Fei Hung "was known to state the names of the techniques he used while fighting."
Far more common than you'd believe. In a fight you're always telling an observant opponent what you're about to do through body language. Whether you're going to throw a punch, a kick, or a really complicated technique the movements of your body are broadcasting exactly what you're going to do.
"Fire in the hole!" Translation: something's about to explode real soon, so you'd best find some cover and block your ears.
And the related "Frag out!" when throwing a hand grenade.
Inverted with "Grenade!", which is your buddy calling the enemy's attack when he spots something small, round and explodey headed in your direction.
Likewise, "Incoming!", warning of incoming mortar rounds.
Also inverted for "Reloading!" and any variations; you're informing others that you're currently unable to attack because your weapon is out of ammo.
Loudly proclaiming attacks helps in situations when you need to organize the fire from a large number of sources. Volley fire, be it from English longbows, gunpowder cannons or artillery is simply more effective if it can be directed. A good pair of lungs and yelling certainly helps to be heard over the din of battle to do so.
Most martial arts accompany an attack with a kiai (a shout), because there is a biomechanical advantage in exhaling sharply (and thus tensing the torso muscles) when striking. Boxers learn a similar technique. In kendo (among others) it's common to shout the part of the body that you're striking at, such as "MEN!" (head), "KOTE!" (hand), or "DO!" (torso). Under some organizations' rules, this is part of the scoring process; failing to call a target or calling the wrong target causes the hit to be ignored. This is done to ensure that a fighter with poor technique cannot swing wildly to attempt to get points through pure luck. The fighter must clearly state at the time of the attack what he is attempting to strike.
Pilots of Western Air Forces typically call out warnings when launching weapons. A call of "Fox Two!" for example, warns nearby friendly aircraft that the pilot has fired an infrared guided missile (most often an AIM-9 Sidewinder). "Fox One" means a semi-active radar air-to-air missile (usually an AIM-7 Sparrow) has been fired, whereas "Fox Three" means that an active radar missile has been fired (usually an AIM-120 AMRAMM, aka the "slammer"). "Guns Guns Guns" means the aircraft's guns are being fired.
Although, considering that only friendlies and not hostiles can hear the radio calls, there is considerably less risk of warning the enemy of what's going on. Apparently this doesn't translate to the less realistic flight sims, though, where every aircraft seems to be broadcasting on the guard (public) channel.
If we count the command to fire, then most modern vehicular weapons would apply, although the call is meant to be heard by the vehicle crew and accompanying friendly troops. Sometimes, the last thing heard on the radio before everything is drowned out by exploding shells/rockets/missiles is a calm voice on the radio: "Commence firing".
According to the other wiki, in some states, one has to announce the intent to use deadly force before they can legally be justified fighting back in self defense against an attacker.
In wartime, if one side has a strong enough air force, they may preemptively announce their attacks on particular targets, which serves two purposes: It allows civilians (or deserting enemy troops) in the area to get out of harm's way (no doubt causing traffic congestion problems for the defenders to deal with at the same time), while also essentially declaring that there is nothing the defenders can do to stop you, even with advance warning. Take care not to do this unless you actually can attack the target with impunity, of course.