Main Absurdly Sharp Blade Discussion

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03:00:54 PM Oct 22nd 2012
Pretty much every Highlander episode with a beheading...most swords, with the possible exception of a katana, can't sever a human head in one stroke.

Can I clean this one up? I'm pretty sure most any sharp sword with a decently heavy blade could sever bone and flesh.
11:34:18 PM Feb 18th 2013
You'd be right, actually. I collect knives, and I know a fair deal about blades. Most any sharpened sword or heavy blade could sever a human head with a single blow from a skilled swordsman.
06:56:52 AM Nov 28th 2011
edited by LarryD
Setsuna of Mahou Sensei Negima! has Implausible Fencing Powers, and thus should not be cited here.
06:58:57 AM Nov 28th 2011
Did you fix it?
04:11:03 AM Jun 23rd 2011
After removing this trope from another page because the weapon in question was magical, which is specifically excluded in the description of this trope, I went looking through the examples. a huge number of them relate to magical weapons. or even weapons MADE of magic. is there some dispute over what the trope is supposed to cover (it seems to me that it's supposed to be "otherwise 'normal' weapons that can cut things way more easily than should be possible"), or are people just loading the page with bad examples?
06:58:42 AM Nov 28th 2011
There's no dispute. This trope is about natural weapons that are simply sharper than they should be. Magical weapons are not examples and should be removed from the page.
07:11:56 AM Dec 27th 2012
edited by Lophotrochozoa
What do you think about these examples?

  • The subtle knife from His Dark Materials. One side is so sharp it can slice though any matter effortlessly, including Sky Iron. The other side is so sharp it can slice through the boundaries separating other dimensions. Both edges are so thin and sharp that the end of it can't be seen with the naked eye. It also comes with a special scabbard, which really just holds the grip well.

    • The sword Roland uses to kill the bogles in Wintersmith is literally made out of sharpness.

I perceived the former example as magical and the latter sounds magical from the description.
08:29:51 PM May 30th 2011
I can't seem to find the link, but here's an interesting take on the "swords beat bullets" subtrope. Not too long ago an amateur sword enthusiast mounted a modern reproduction katana in a vise and shot it with his trusty .45 to see what happens. The sword actually did split the bullets with relatively minimal damage to the blade, which actually makes good sense since steel is a lot harder and tougher than lead.
10:09:57 PM May 28th 2011
The deleted content I mentioned in my edit summary:

    Real Life 
  • To prepare a slide for an electron microscope, a diamond blade is used to get a less-than-paper-thin slice. Once properly sharpened, it's about a hundred atoms wide or so, and it will slide through your hand as easily as through the air.
  • Knapped obsidian blades are a small and measurable number of molecules in thickness. And while diamond is the harder material, obsidian can be made sharper. The greatest of care should be used in handling obsidian knives and arrow points etc because they can remain truly Absurdly Sharp even centuries after being made and will cut you badly with even the slightest touch. The drawback of course is that being basically an exotic form of glass, they wear out quickly in use.
    • Obsidian blades are still used in eye surgery when a clean cut is needed.
    • Anthropologists and paleontologists have "tested" the technology available to Stone Age humans by using hand-knapped obsidian blades to butcher an elephant's carcass.
  • Single-layer graphene is probably the sharpest blade that can be made with conventional matter. It's a single atom thick, thinner than you can get pretty much any substance without distributed electron orbitals to stiffen it, and it's essentially the strongest material known that operates on that scale. Per unit area, it's stronger than diamond, though diamond is superior at greater thicknesses, due to graphene's weak inter-layer binding.

05:38:25 AM May 29th 2011
Given that most people's experiences with saws and blades are the normal steel things you find in your toolbox or knife drawer, these examples count, as they are much, much sharper than anyone expects.
09:28:36 AM May 31st 2011
These are exactly the kinds of things that are employed in fiction, the only difference being that they exist in real life. Are you suggesting that monomolecular blades in fiction don't count? Given that this is reality moving into previously fictional realms, this is exactly what a Real Life should be.
03:04:41 PM Oct 22nd 2012
I agree with Worldmaker and Deremo. Even the sharpest metal razor blade edge can still be touched safely if handled gently, so something that can slice that quickly and easily qualifies.
08:40:51 AM May 26th 2011
Cut the following examples because they're more of the man wielding the sword and not the sword itself:

  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, King Bradley's sword is capable of cutting though people, walls, cannon shells, and in one case, the armored window of a tank. Interestingly, he seems able to do this with ANY bladed weapon, having achieved similar results with a pair of perfectly average knives. This can be chalked up to his "ultimate eye" seeing whatever flaws there are in the material, and cutting right into them.
  • Sakata Gintoki from Gintama has a wooden sword. He bought it from a homeshopping-channel. With his sword he can slash through robots, normal katanas and God knows what more. He's just like that.

This one was cut since I don't know how to fix it, as it seems to go back and forth between "it's the sword" and "it's the wielder":

Ax-Crazy Blood Knight Captain Zaraki Kenpachi has not only cut through other swords on occasion, but a few times has been seen to cut through buildings with a single swing. That is, he cut through a line of skyscrapers by swinging his sword around to try and kill the main character. Naturally, it didn't work.
  • Kenpachi's cutting ability seems to be less to do with his sword and more to do with the man himself. Keeping in line with his habit of weakening himself to draw out a fight (eyepatch, bells on hair to warn people hes close, using one hand on a two handed sword, giving people the first cut etc.) from a purely material standpoint his blade is awful. Its notched, dull and looks half blunt - its just being carried around by Captain Violence. Kenpachi probably could have gotten the same effect on the buildings using a spoon.
    • It's pretty much outright stated it's all Kenpachi's strength that allows his blade to cut through things, as he does not know the actual name of his blade, meaning it's still in it's sealed form (and thus have zero special effects). Some sources state that it's already in it's shikai form, since that's what happened with Ichigo (who, for a long time, didnt know the name of his sword either, but it remained in shikai state), but there is no indication of it, since the blade literally has no other special abilities.

If someone can help with the latter and provide additional examples for Bleach, please do so.
01:58:08 PM May 22nd 2011
While its interesting that Michael Meyers from Halloween can cut through anything with a kitchen knife, please note that this trope is about the knife, and not with what someone can do with it.

Don't keep adding the example, as it doesn't apply.
09:01:30 PM Jan 20th 2011
In Star Wars Episode 1, that fuckin' shit where they cut through two blast doors...
10:03:52 PM Jan 22nd 2012
SquarePegRoundTrope - they were using lightsabers, which by definition don't count as Absurdly Sharp Blades.
11:23:55 AM Jun 27th 2010
Regarding X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the quote states the cut is made "...despite applying what appears to be no more than the force required to move an unrestrained arm." It could be noted that since the skeleton of the arm has just been covered with a metal, that is established in the film to be extremely heavy (when the Wolverine sits on a motorcycle which almost collapses under his weight).