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Weapon Across the Shoulder
aka: Blade Across The Shoulder
You should know not to mess with a dude who rests his sword this awesomely.

A popular pose for swordsmen, gunslingers, or any other title that is describing a specific weapon user. This is when someone who forgoes carrying a sheath or holster and instead lets their weapon rest lazily slung over their shoulder when not in use. This is often invoked by characters whose weapon diagonally Sticks to the Back. It carries the I-Don't-Give-A-Damn effect while making the weapon look cooler. Much like Gun Twirling, this is purely for Rule of Cool since anyone in this pose runs the risk of hurting themselves. It does have some level of practicality: a particularly large blade or gun is difficult to hold in any other way.

Because of the presence of katanas, this has become a popular Eastern media trend. Related to Stab the Sky and Staring Through the Sword.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Ichigo of Bleach loves this. The sheer size of his sword make accidentally cutting himself unlikely, as the sharp edge is above his head level.
    • Kenpachi will often be seen with his shikai, a rusty old katana with a heavily chipped edge, slung across his right shoulder and his little pink-haired girl lieutenant Yachiru on his left.
  • Zelgadis of Slayers does this sometimes. Having skin like rock, he can let the sword rest on the sharp end if he likes (probably damaging the blade).
  • Eishun Konoe of Mahou Sensei Negima! has been seen doing this. Also Jack Rakan on the photo of Nagi's group Ala Rubra.
  • Guts of Berserk is also fond of doing this. The Dragon Slayer isn't sharp like most BFS's, and mainly generates cutting power through its mass and the blinding speed with which the freakishly strong Guts swings it. Parodied in the English outtakes: Guts places his sword on his shoulder, and his voice actor starts screaming in agony.
  • Mimiru from .hack//SIGN.
  • Zabuza Momochi of Naruto, like anyone else using a BFS and carrying their sword diagonally, is partial to this.
    • Kisame Hoshigaki, another BFS user, also does this. Though as his sword doesn't so much cut as shred there's less risk of decapitation.
  • Rena Ryuugu from Higurashi no Naku Koro ni does this with her cleaver.
  • Inuyasha has done this, but rarely, since his BFS transforms back to a normal sized katana when sheathed. So he only does it when he's taking a wait-and-see attitude towards the action being over.
  • Kayin and Eiji from the Battle Arena Toshinden OVA do this.
  • The iconic shot from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann depicts Kamina resting his katana on the shoulder like this.
  • Alto in Macross Frontier does a different version: instead of fully resting his weapon on his Valkyrie's shoulder, he only puts the muzzle onto it; he's an ex-Kabuki actor and does a pose from thatnote , prompting Bobby to remark that he looks beautiful even in Battroid mode.
  • Early in the series, Sanosuke carries his massive zanbatou sword over his shoulder as he heads to face Kenshin.

    Comic Books 
  • Chakaal the warrior-woman in early issues of Groo The Wanderer. Since her neck is drawn quite thin and her sword is very thick it always surprised me that she didn't manage to decapitate herself accidentally.
  • Snow White does this in one issue of Fables. With the Vorpal Blade. Sheriff Bigby promptly tells her why that's a bad idea.
  • Gennosuke from Usagi Yojimbo carries his katana like this. A better idea than most examples, since his sword has a sheath, but one still wonders why he doesn't tuck it into his belt along with his wakizashi.

    Film 

    Literature 

    Live Action TV 
  • During the roll call for Samurai Sentai Shinkenger, Shinken Red and Shinken Pink do this when they announce their names. (To a lesser extent Shinken Yellow too.)
  • The title character of Angel often has his sword slung over one shoulder like a baseball bat, or resting behind his neck across both shoulders, while he and the rest of the gang are doing a Power Walk.
  • Highlander also has occasional use of this stance, rather naturally, though sometimes Duncan would also bring his up so it was resting against his arm, pointing upward, but still ready to bring into use if he had to.

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • The page picture in BFS of Cloud Strife has this. Sephiroth often holds his impossibly long sword this way as well, probably because it would scrape grooves in the ground if it was held in any kind of sheath, and lop off the knees of anyone standing next to him every time he turned a corner.
  • Dante of Devil May Cry does this very often... on the sharp side of the blade. He never seems to notice, even though extra material says his sword is sharp enough to cut through anything in human existence.
    • It's implied that Rebellion is an Empathic Weapon, so it may be a case of it simply not wanting to cut its own master; the times Dante is injured with Rebellion, it's from someone else taking it from him and stabbing or throwing it at him.
    • DMC4 has non-sharp variants for both player characters; Nero rests his sword across his shoulder like Dante does in multiple cutscenes, but is in no danger of cutting himself because it's a single-edged blade. Dante likewise rests Yamato across his shoulders during a late-game cutscene, which is again no danger because A) it's a katana, and B) it's in its sheath
  • In the Fire Emblem games for Gameboy Advance, this is the battle pose for mercenaries, berserkers, fighters, journeymen and post-promotion Hector, though mercenaries are the only of these to wield swords; the rest do it with axes.
    • Post-promotion Hector can use swords too (Though in his case they look like BFSs).
    • In the Tellius games, Greil carries his axe like this. His son Ike will pick up the habit upon promoting to Vanguard, for both swords and axes. He also has it as one of his idle animations in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
  • Subverted in Muramasa: The Demon Blade with Kisuke as he has the blade sheathed when carrying it over his shoulder.
  • The idle animation for two-handed weapons in Age Of Decadence has them rested on the shoulder.
  • Yuri Lowell from Tales of Vesperia does this in the opening movie, his character artwork, and a few victory poses.
  • Any class that can equip the Sword class weapons in Phantasy Star Online can do this if you walk instead of run.
  • Motochika from Sengoku Basara carries his enormous bladed anchor like this. Keiji does this too, though his sword is normally sheathed across his shoulders, and Yoshihiro rests the blunt edge of his gigantic sword this way sometimes.
  • All of the three Agarest Senki 2 protagonists do this trope. Doesn't matter what kind of weapon it is.
  • Dan Smith in Killer7 rests his massive revolver on his shoulder.
  • In reference to the above, Leon in Resident Evil 4 is shown in the inventory screen to hold the Hand Cannon in this manner.
  • Angela from Rusty Hearts.
  • Large weapons like the Greatswords, Greataxes, and Great Hammers are held this way in Dark Souls.
    • In Demons Souls, any large sword being only one handed will be held on the shoulder, which makes more sense as it would be dragged across the ground otherwise.
  • Kratos loves this one.
  • Travis Touchdown does this in No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle with the third blade. Death Metal also does this with his blade in the first game. Justified with Death Metal since it was the non laser side, while Travis most likely angles his off of his body.
  • King Dedede does this with his hammer while idling in the Super Smash Bros.. series. As mentioned above Ike also does this with his broadsword.

    Webcomics 

    Real Life 
  • Renaissance Landsknechte are often depicted this way, with their Zweihaender slung over their shoulders.
  • In Real Life a pose very much like this is an actual stance in Joachim Meyer's German school of swordsmanship, known as the guard of wrath or zornhut. This actually more of a reactionary pose than an example of this trope.
    • A less extreme example in vom tag, with the hilt generally held much lower, but the blade still resting against and point over the shoulder.
  • With large claymores and other 4'+ weapons, they generally were not carried in complex sheathes on the back. Instead, they were carried resting against the shoulder while marching, similar to a soldier's rifle in later times. Just don't trip over anything, OK?
  • In Italian longsword fighting, the standard posture is called Posta di Donna (guard of the woman), which consists of holding the blade across your shoulders at such an angle that you can see the tip and far third out of the corner of your eye.


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alternative title(s): Blade Across The Shoulder
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