Cutting Through Energy

Cutting through energy is when a character uses a Implausible Fencing Powers to slice through Pure Energy. Whether that means stabbing through Deflector Shields, parrying a Kamehame Hadoken, or being able to harm Energy Beings, this trope applies whenever someone is able to cut through something that should be insubstantial like it was a physical object.

Successfully cutting energy usually requires Implausible Fencing Powers, but may be at least partially Justified by using an Applied Phlebotinum weapon like a Soul-Cutting Blade or a Laser Blade — a blade of Pure Energy can presumably cut through other things made of Pure Energy because it Takes One to Kill One. Still, expect this trope to be restricted to the Master Swordsman — and with truly absurd amounts of skill, they'll be able to pull it off even with completely blunt equipment. Combat Clairvoyance is often used in place of (or in addition to) pure skill with a blade, as well — it's easier to put your sword exactly where it needs to be (to hit a resonance point in the energy matrix, or something) if you can see where it needs to be a few seconds in advance.

See also Parrying Bullets for deflecting projectiles (energy or material) with melee weapons, and Beam-O-War for defeating an energy attack with another energy attack.


Examples

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Gundam
  • In Touhou Bougetsushou, Watatsuki no Yorihime cuts through Marisa's Master Spark with her sword. Noted as doubly impressive because of how fast the beam was travelling towards her.
  • One Piece: In a series filled with Implausible Fencing Powers, "Foxfire" Kin'emon has them all beat for sheer impossibility. The man can cut explosions.
    • Subverted during Rayleigh's fight with Kizaru, the living light-man; the former managed to harm the latter with his feet and later a normal sword. The subversion comes in the secret behind it - Rayleigh uses Haki (the Armament version) in his attacks, that lets him (or anyone, really) safely hit anyone with Devil Fruit powers including Kizaru.
  • Lupin III: Goemon, the gang's resident Samurai, has been known to cut things like lightning bolts and tornadoes in half with his trademark Absurdly Sharp Blade.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Silver Chariot is capable of skewering flames on its blade, to show off Polnareff's fencing skills. This, of course, never comes back into use.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima!: Kurt Godel manages to cut Negi... while Negi is made of lightning.
  • Samurai 7: the samurai can do basically whatever the hell they want with their katana, up to and including deflecting Wave Motion Guns — though only the most skilled of them can pull that one off.
  • In Sword Art Online, Kirito eventually learns how to use his sword to cut through spells.
  • The Runesave from of the Ten Powers sword in Rave Master has this as its unique function. It can cut anything that normally can't be cut, like magic, smoke, water and the like.
  • Naruto: Kakashi's Raikiri (Lightning Cutter) technique apparently got its name from how he once cut a lightning with the technique. Oh, and it's done with his hand. Lightning chakra-filled hand, but still.

    Comic Book 
  • Camelot 3000 ends with the reincarnated King Arthur using the very point of Excalibur to split an atom. This initiates a nuclear explosion.
  • In Snarfquest, Telerie Windyarm gains her name from her "sword that can split the wind," which is capable of deflecting magical blasts or chopping them straight out of the air.

    Literature 
  • In the Discworld series, Death's scythe and sword are both said to be capable of cutting daylight. In Reaper Man, he uses sunlight to sharpen his scythe in preparation for a battle with his replacement, and demonstrates its quality by slicing the words of another character while they are being spoken.
  • In Forging Divinity, Taelien demonstrates the ability to cut through magical fire with an ordinary sword.

     Film 
  • The Jedi Knights and Sith of Star Wars are all about this. They routinely use their light-sabres to deflect and parry incoming "blaster" fire. Now while Mythbusters was able to completely bust the myth that the heroes could possibly dodge incoming blaster fire, ala Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy, a throwaway segment shows an actual Star-Wars stunt choreographer who coordinates the light-sabre duels was able to use a simulated light-sabre (a wooden practice sword to be precise) to deflect simulated blaster projectiles about 20% of the time, in fact, actually deflecting the very first projectile without practice or preparation. So it certainly seems plausible for Jedi and Sith to be able to do it, not only due to superior sabre training, but the canon explanation of having superhuman reflexes and Combat Clairvoyance thanks to the Force.

    Video Games 

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CuttingThroughEnergy