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Mirrored Confrontation Shot
Three types of mirroring... wait, can you mirror things in three ways?

A stock pose seen in cartoon openings, movie posters, video game box art, comics covers, paintings, this is a shot that pits two teams against each other on opposite sides of the screen. It can be a massive group shot, featuring all the series' heroes and villains, or show just two characters— all that matters is that the two sides are facing each other and look ready to strike.

Usually the left and right side are evenly balanced and evenly matched. The characters across from one another tend to be evil counterparts and are often mimicking the other side's pose, and suggesting Counterpart Combat Coordination.

This trope can be used for thematic reasons, to emphasize how the characters are Not So Different and the villain is the dark mirror of the other, but it's just as likely to be a dynamic version of the Team Shot with villainy added for spice.

Compare Juxtaposed Halves Shot (where half of two characters sides/faces are juxtaposed to or beside each other), Fearful Symmetry (where both characters involved are usually shown in profile in an ongoing Blade Lock), and Versus Character Splash (where two characters' faces are are briefly shown in a Splash Screen as a prelude to a battle in a Fighting Game).


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • The last page of Chapter 12 of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Striker S The Comics, which was a lead-in for the massive battle that will occur in Episode 16 of the anime.
  • One Piece does an interesting take on this. the cover for manga volume 21 Utopia has the remainder of the Baroque Works' agents (Mr. 0/Crocodile, Miss All Sunday/Nico Robin, Mr. 1/Daz Bones, Miss Doublefinger, Mr. 2 Bon Clay, Mr. 4, Miss Merry Christmas) lined up and looking right, and volume 22 Hope! has the Straw Hats and allies (Luffy, Zoro, Sanji, Nami, Usopp, Chopper, Vivi, Karoo, Eyelashes) the same way, looking left. When the two covers are combined, (21-22) the result is a Mirrored Confrontation Shot. Later on in the anime, this same shot was used when Ivankov talks about the Alabasta incident to Bon Clay.
    • The cover art for the DVD version of Episode 0 does a more classic version, between Luffy and Shiki.
  • The latest intro (Season four) of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds has Jack, Yusei and Crow against the Infinity Trio.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! LOVES this trope. It can be seen in MANY times throughout various openings and clips in the second anime series, GX, and even 5D's. I specifically recall Yami Yugi getting shots like this with Marik, Pegasus, and Bakura. And, it's a typical closing frame for any time a duel with the season's Big Bad is about to start.
  • In Monster, Johan's "scenery of the end" is a shot of him and Tenma facing off, with the rest of the world literally removed from the picture. That their poses are not mirrored is an obvious thematic choice.
  • Katekyo Hitman Reborn! uses this trope about twice. First against the Varia, and then the Milliefiore.
  • The opening for Fresh Pretty Cure! had, at one point near the end, one of these with the initial three heroines at the right and the initial Labyrinth trio at the left. After Setsuna's Heel-Face Turn, it changes so she is located at the other side with the Cures, with her spot in the original shot filled in by Norza.
  • The first opening theme for the Diamond/Pearl saga of Pokémon features Ash and The Rival Paul with their respective teams; before the opening changed to reflect the events of future episodes, it is symmetrical (in a sense): they both have a Flying-type, an Electric-type, and a primate-based Pokémon.
    • Lately, this has been occurring more often during matches, where the scene will cut to a view showing a shot (like this one) with both Trainers facing and glaring at each other.
  • Digimon Xros Wars: The Young Hunters Leaping Through Time has it in the opening, with Team Xros Heart facing off against their rival team of Hunters.
  • In Planetes, the secondary characters are presented like this, first a group on the left side and then another on the right side, their positions expanding outwards in an accordion-like fashion. It's interesting because both groups have friendly, or at least neutral but supportive characters, but those in the first group tend towards a more antagonistic streak —and, due to the nature of the Evolving Credits, some members of this first group will eventually shift into the uniforms belonging to their Heel-Face Turn status.
  • Black★Rock Shooter had this in the show itself between Insane Black★Rock Shooter and Strength.

    Comic Books 

    Film 

    Literature 
  • The cover of the Warrior Cats novel, A Dangerous Path by Erin Hunter.
  • There's a stock silhouette image that can be seen as either two people facing each other, or a vase/urn. I Am America (And So Can You!) contains an asymmetrical parody of it, with the question, "Is this Paul Begala arguing with Robert Novak, or just a very poorly constructed vase?"
  • Done between Captain Carrot and the Silver Horde in The Last Hero.

    Pinball 
  • In F-14 Tomcat, the player character "Hitman" and the antagonist General Yagov adopt this pose on the playfield.
  • In Terminator 2: Judgment Day, the T-800 and the T-1000 are facing off against each other on the far wall of the playfield.
  • Buzz and an angry golfer are shown facing each other on the slingshot bumpers in No Good Gofers.

    Tabletop Games 
  • This is used in Magic: The Gathering in several "clone" cards showing the cloned and the clone, such as Morphling and, of course, Clone.
    • Duel Deck art design have this in mind, with the foil cards in question using the art on the box.
  • Exalted: One of the illustrations in Return of the Scarlet Empress shows the Forces of Hell on one side versus just about everyone else on the opposing side.

    Video Games 
  • Some game covers (like Marvel vs. Capcom) have hints of this
  • The PSP theme for Dissidia: Final Fantasy (and presumably the box-art) uses this, with all the heroes on the right, villains on the left. (Link.)
    • The box-art is a little different: The standard side is all the characters from the Cosmos side facing left. Removing the box-art and flipping it over displays all the characters from the Chaos side facing right. Even the screenshots are mirrored: the Cosmos side shows Cloud preparing to strike, the Chaos side shows Sephiroth preparing to strike.
  • The case for Super Smash Bros. Melee.
  • The Good vs. Evil boxed set for City of Heroes featured this sort of image with the game's main NPC heroes and villains rushing at each other.
  • The covers of the first two WarCraft games.
  • Metal Wolf Chaos gives us this.
  • The box art to Tatsunoko vs Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars has this.
  • Mortal Kombat 3 and Mortal Kombat 4 have one-on-one pre-fight confrontation Vs. shots.
  • The Japanese and European cover art of Persona 3: FES does this with the main characters on the right side, and their corresponding Personas facing them from the left. It's a particularly brilliant shot because at first glance it looks like a bunch of heroic high-schoolers facing off against gruesome, godlike monsters, when in reality it's a literal mirror showing the two sides of the same person.
  • The promotional image of Shin Megami Tensei Imagine seen as the header for the main Shin Megami Tensei trope page, with angels and Messians standing on one side, devils and Gaians on the other, and the player caught in the exact middle.
  • The US and EU box art for the NES version of North and South show a blue soldier and a grey soldier butting heads, along with their horses.
  • The Boss Subtitles of Guacamelee! are presented in this fashion.
  • The cover of the Sega Genesis game, "Batman: Revenge of the Joker" features Batman facing against the Joker.

    Webcomics 

    Web Original 
  • There is a least one shot of the Nostalgia Critic and the Angry Video Game Nerd doing this, in cartoon form.
  • The Great Showdowns Tumblr blog features cute pictures of heroes and villains from movies facing each other, accompanied by a quote, but not the titles of the movies pictured.

    Western Animation 

    Other 
  • You see it all the time on football broadcasts with the helmets of the two opposing teams facing off in 3D. (Sometimes clashing together and exploding in a manly shower of sparks and lightning and fire and explosions and lots of testosterone and things.)
  • A lot of posters for Professional Wrestling pay per views feature this trope. For a classic example see the poster for Wrestlemania III.

Milking the Giant CowStock PosesMona Lisa Smile
Minimalistic Cover ArtCover TropesOrange/Blue Contrast
Leg ClingFilm PostersMisplaced-Names Poster
Midfight Weapon ExchangeFight SceneMook Chivalry
Lone Wolf McQuadeImageSource/Live-Action FilmsLooper

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