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Absurd Cutting Power

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A blade made from one of Coyote's teeth. Technical analysis: "really damn sharp".

"The Sword of Heroes! Said to be so sharp you can cut yourself just by looking at — Ow!"
Po, Kung Fu Panda

Absurd Cutting Power is the ability to slice and dice things that would normally be able to resist being cut. There are any number of ways to achieve this — technology, magic, extremely high-quality blades, or an incredibly skilled character doing the cutting are all possibilities. Usually involves lots of Clean Cuts and Single Stroke Battles. Expect to find that Like Cannot Cut Like — something with absurd cutting power usually won't be able to cut something else with absurd cutting power.

Subtropes of absurd cutting power:

Other methods of obtaining absurd cutting power:



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    Anime And Manga 
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, the homunculus Lust's "ultimate lance" ability extends her fingers into long blades which can cut perfectly cleanly through anything, even though they are clearly 3/4 of an inch thick for most of their length.
    • Pride's shadows can cut or pierce just about anything - and under normal lighting conditions, they can reach just about anywhere.
  • In Saint Seiya, Shura's Excalibur (the strongest weapon of the saints, which can cut through anything, be it flesh, armor, attacks or dimensions) consists of.... his limbs, most frequently his arm. Yes, it is imbued with cosmos, but it's still an arm.
  • Naruto:
    • Anyone can turn any weapon into one of these by applying Lightning or Wind Chakra.
    • And then there's Raikiri, which we've seen cut through even a Bijuu's chakra like a hot knife through butter- something not even Orochimaru's legendary Kusanagi blade could do. Raikiri also supposedly cut through lightning, hence it's name ('Lightning Blade')
  • Dragon Ball Z's Z-Sword subverts this. Everyone thinks the reason it's legendary is because it's impossibly sharp and unbreakable, but it turns out to be something else entirely.
  • Many swords in Yaiba are really, really sharp. Justified, because they're magical.
  • In One Piece, this is true for almost all swordsmen. For example Mihawk can do this, partly because he is the best swordsman in the world and also because his sword is absolutely huge. Later arcs show that swordsmen can channel Armament Haki into their blades, letting them cut through nearly anything. Zoro demonstrates this by cutting a living mountain in half.
  • Kazuma in Kaze no Stigma does this with Razor Wind, effortlessly slicing through buildings as if he was cutting cheese with a knife.
  • Bleach: Zanpakutō and other Energy Weapons can cut almost anything, even mountains and buildings. Their limitless potential is restricted by their wielder's spiritual limitations. Notable weapons include Zaraki and Nimaiya's blades. There is nothing Zaraki's zanpakutō cannot cut,note  whereas Nimaiya's blade is considered a failure - its sharpness is so acute it cuts by accident. As a result, no sheath can contain it and it has to be stored in a special gelatinous substance.
  • The Elder Sister-like One: In the second chapter, Chiyo forms a knife from her hair-tentacles and comically slices through the cutting board.

    Comic Books 
  • In Supergirl story Demon Spawn, villain Nightflame's flaming sword is imbued with magic which allows it slice through anything: cars, buildings, dimensional barriers...

  • The Brightest Shadow: Reasonably competent warriors using sein can cut through iron, strong warriors can cut through armor, and it's unclear what the limits would be in the hands of a master.
  • Larry Niven's short story "Not Long Before the End" features Glirendree, "the most powerful sword in the world". It can cut through anything and makes its wielder immune to all magic. On the other hand, it is also a parasitic demon forced into the shape of a sword that leeches its user's life away, giving him no more than about a year of glorious victory before killing him of old age.
  • In Lin Carter's Dragonrogue, the hero, Kesrick, has a sword that, because of the magical gem in the pommel, can cut anything — even adamantium.
  • The eponymous Sword of Truth can cut through anything that its wielder perceives as an enemy — and unless you can find the strength to kill something you love will not touch an ally. Here, at least, it's explicitly magical. Needless to say, it's dangerous in the wrong hands.
  • In The Tale of the Five novels by Diane Duane, when Segnbora is literally at death's door, she acquires a sword made by her ancestor from a fragment of that door, named Skadhwe. Skadhwe can literally cut through anything and lacks both a hilt and a flat (and is implied to have a will of its own), which would be a problem in wielding. So Duane adds the exceptions of "not its current owner", and "not anything its owner doesn't want it to cut", making Skadhwe probably the most convenient and least scary example of this trope.
  • In the Forgotten Realms there is the sentient sword Khazid'dhea, a blade that wants nothing more than to be wielded by the greatest swordsman there is (and to prove this by having said swordsman kill every other swordsman in the world). It is telepathic and can reshape its hilt to its owner's desires and incidentally inspire its wielder into a berserker frenzy if it gets bloodthirsty enough. It can also take chunks out of stone and never needs sharpening. Its name means, in the Drow tongue, "Cutter".
  • The three Swords of the Cross in the The Dresden Files are absurdly sharp, on top of being indestructible, having incredible holy power, and being the focus of the Knights' even stronger abilities. At one point Dresden decides to test out one of the Swords by dropping drinking straws on it; their own weight makes it shear cleanly through them.
    • Taken Up to Eleven now that Fidelacchius is now a Laser Blade and, essentially, a lightsaber of the Lord.
    • Also displayed by the Warden's swords - Warden Ramirez cleanly cuts the throat of one villain, and it takes a moment before the damage is even visible. They are also used a couple of times to cut through magic, but this seems to be a separate ability, only employable by the person the sword was made for, and, in any case, seems to be more of the order of disruption than actual cutting.
  • 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.
  • In Wintersmith the sword Roland uses to kill the bogles is literally made out of sharpness.
  • Shardblades in The Stormlight Archive can cut through anything non-living except other Shardblades and Shardplate as easily as passing through air. It doesn't cut through living flesh, but instead "kills" any extremity it passes through by severing its connection with the rest of the body, making it paralyzed and useless. If it passes through a vital part of the body, the victim is killed instantly — burning out their eyes in the process. The exact mechanism for this is as of yet unclear, but it's implied that Shardblades cut the soul instead of the flesh.
  • In Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age, the nanosword that Nelly, the female protagonist, creates. It is capable of cutting through almost any material.
  • The Heritage of Shannara introduced The Stiehl, a magic knife that can cut through anything. Stone, metal, even magic, there is nothing that The Stiehl cannot penetrate.
  • In Shadows of the Limelight, Vidre can produce glass daggers that will slice through a falling hair.
  • In Shadow of the Conqueror, turning a sword into a sunucle magically increases its cutting power, resulting in swords that can cleave through any physical substance that isn't also a sunucle, made of darkstone, or part of a Shade's body.
  • Dawn, the sword of House Dayne in A Song of Ice and Fire was said to be made of Thunderbolt Iron, and was so sharp, when Arthur Dayne knighted Jaime Lannister, the sword cut Jaime's shoulders.

  • In Iron Man 2, Ivan Vanko's electric whips can slice through cars. Tony's do-it-yourself particle accelerator emits a Laser Cutter beam that slices through his lab wall and some shelving and cabinets as he's aligning it. note 

    Video Games 
  • The Keyblade in Kingdom Hearts. Even the Kingdom Key, which has a blunt edge, can cut through buildings in Kingdom Hearts II. The explanation is that the actual blade is the magic around it, thus, no matter how blunt it may look, the weapon cuts like a well-crafted sword. Some keyblades, though, have explicitly sharp heads, and are basically fancy axes (and the original Infinity +1 Sword, Ultima Weapon, was a sword with a strange guard around the blade).
  • Anna's BFS from Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis can somehow cut open reality, allowing her to enter other dimensions for her special attacks.
  • Sanger Zombolt's Zankantou from Super Robot Wars can cut through pretty much anything. Mechs of both human and alien origin, giant flying battleships, even a mountain formed for the purpose of pulling off a Combination Attack. The man said it himself, there is nothing his blade cannot cut.

  • In Gunnerkrigg Court, the Coyote Tooth. "The keenest blade you will ever find! Be careful with it, because it could cut the very earth!" . Annie and Kat "did some tests on it and found it to be really damn sharp". That is, they sliced through a steel beam like it was butter, and dropped a steel bearing on the edge and it continued the fall in two pieces. After Parley accidentally cuts Robot in two with it, it peels Shadow off the floor when she drops it.
  • In Gosu, any gosu wielding a bladed weapon fits this, with these gosu being able to cleanly slice through thick trees, boulders and cliff faces easier than pulling a hot knife through butter.
    "In the hands of a gosu with great inner ki, even a dead leaf can become a weapon that can pierce iron plates."
  • Rice Boy: In the fourth act, Rice Boy learns a Word of Power that allows him to cleanly bisect anything by shouting at it. Which includes necks.
  • The God of High School has Yu Mi-Ra, who can turn anything remotely resembling a sword into this, cleaving through steel like a knife through butter. Give her a real sword and she's cleaving through mountains, skyscrapers, and clouds even when they're not her actual target!
  • Kill Six Billion Demons: the art of Cutting is all about this. Maya ten Meti wields the Maybe Sword, a broken sword with only an inch or two of blade remaining. Yet with a single swing, the sword's nonexistent edge cuts an angel clean in two, and then continues cutting through the floor, the back wall, the ceiling...
    • The works of her teacher, Meti ten Ryo, implies this power is not a product of the sword itself but rather an Enlightenment Superpower built on an understanding of Sword Lore and the art of Cutting. Meti at one point apparently decapitated fifteen men with a piece of driftwood, which implies that Maya's Maybe Sword is maybe not a sword.
      Beware the swordsman who carries no blade.


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