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Power of the God Hand
"My arm, my arm, my arm, my arm, my arm! I summon up the power of the God Hand!"

God Hand (or Godhand, or God's Hand) is a popular name for a person, item, or skill, almost exclusively in Japanese media and usually related to melee combat.

The appeal of the name is obvious. By comparing one's hands to those of a god, a fighter makes it seem like he can do impressive feats with them. For those who fight with their hands, obviously it's an appealing notion. Additionally, it evokes the idea of the "hand of God", while still being concise.

The reason this is primarily a Japanese-media trope is that the Japanese tend to use "god" in their names without considering it so blasphemous as western audiences do.

Compare Red Baron, which this often gets used as when it's a title. When it's a weapon, it's usually a Power Fist (see Stock Weapon Names).


Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • The Big Bads of Berserk are called the God Hand. They are the five most powerful demons in the Berserk universe, and they answer to the Idea of Evil, the closest thing this universe has to a God.
  • Barely averted in Mobile Fighter G Gundam, with the Mid-Season Upgrade's primary attack being the God Finger, despite the fact that it's either a Facepalm Of Doom or a Hand Blast. Averted entirely in the English dub, which changes it to Burning Finger.
  • The titular surgeon from Black Jack is referred to as "The Surgeon with the Hands of God" for his ridiculous ability in the operating room.
  • Digimon Adventure: Though its Japanese name was "Heaven's Knuckle," Angemon's signature attack was called "Hand of Fate" in the English Dub. By any name it's a Hand Blast which can overwhelm enemies who gave the entire team a lot of trouble. At least in season one; it's nerfed in season two.
  • Not a weapon or fighting technique, but it still counts: Go plays are called "hands", so in Hikaru no Go all of the high-level Go players (Sai in particular) are looking for the "hand of God".
  • Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple, Akira Hongo of YAMI's One Shadow Nine Fists is known as God Fist.
  • In Machine Robo: Revenge of Cronos, the Baikanfu's Finishing Move is named God Hand Smash.
  • The Big Bad of Samurai Champloo Kariya Kagetoki is known as the Hand of God due to his skills.
  • Parodied in Kamisama No Memochou, where Narumi is called "God Hand" by Souchirou's gang members because they are fantastically computer illiterate and he knows how to run a virus scan, so he inevitably has to fix their computer after they visit too many sketchy porn sites.
  • Fist of the North Star has some connotations to this concept.

Film
  • Twister. In-universe, an F5 tornado is known as "The Finger of God".

Literature
  • Michael Carpenter in The Dresden Files is known as "The Fist of God." Unlike most of the Japanese examples, this isn't just a boast; Carpenter is a Knight of the Cross and empowered by God to fight evil (his sword is made from a nail from the Cross).

Live-Action TV

Tabletop Games
  • Magic: The Gathering: Not In-Universe, but used as fanspeak. A different definition of "hand" than most uses of this trope, but a "God Hand" is generally considered seven cards that, when drawn, will defeat an opponent in the first round. The exact definition of a God Hand can sometimes be a source of great contention.
  • In a post on the Role Play Online site (rpol.net), a poster demonstrated the game-breaking potential of the Hulking Hurler Dungeons & Dragons class by taking advantage of every possible loophole to create a monstrously powerful character, Urldred the Mountainthrower. His weapon was an eighteen-foot nickle-iron meteorite he called the Fist of Heaven.

Video Games
  • Obviously the game God Hand, where the title refers to a legendary warrior's actual arm. The trope name comes from a line from the game's ending theme song, which is a gigantic, hilarious Ear Worm.
  • Kun Lan, Big Bad of the game Killer7 has the title "God Hand." At one point he catches a bullet shot at his hand and uses its momentum to fly away. It's a weird game.
  • A recurring Fist-type weapon in the Final Fantasy series is called the Godhand (God's Hand in Final Fantasy VII). It tends to be among the most powerful weapons of its type, and often has a Holy attribute.
  • Another Squaresoft game, Ehrgeiz, has a protagonist nicknamed Godhand.
  • The best Fist-type weapon in Phantasy Star Online is called "God Hand." It's actually popular since it provides a slight boost to all stats while still keeping the unarmed animation, which for some Casters is the fastest.
  • The second-strongest Fist-type weapon in Disgaea is called "God's Hand".
  • The most powerful Strike attack in Persona 3 is called God's Hand. This is more literal than most, as it involves a giant golden hand striking from above!
  • One of three Advanced classes in Dragon Quest VII is called the Godhand.
  • Lenny in Shadow Hearts: Covenant makes a pact with a demon and becomes "Godhand."
  • Mamoru Endō, main character in soccer RPG Inazuma Eleven has a special technique known as "God Hand" which creates a giant hand out of his energy. Naturally, he primarily plays as goaltender, the one position allowed to use their hands.

Visual Novels

Real Life
  • Mas Oyama, Korean-born (but spent most of his life in Japan) Karateka was nicknamed "Godhand." He is the probable trope-maker.
  • Hirohito Furui, the keyboard player from the J-Rock band GARNET CROW, is nicknamed "Godhand" for his playing skill.
  • A rare subversion in Argentinian soccer player Diego Maradona. He was nicknamed The God's Hand not because of his ability as a soccer player but by the fact that he managed to score a goal with his hand (the most obvious possible infraction) in a very important World Cup match without getting caught, leading to Argentina winning the match thanks to that unruly play. In other words, his God's Hand was his ability to cheat with that hand without getting caught, or that the score was really thanks to the Lord Himself hitting the ball. It's a disparaging nickname to his detractors, but his fans and worshippers use it in a complimentary and only partially-ironic fashion.


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