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Lightning/Fire Juxtaposition

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Two plumbers, and neither of them have water powers?

"I brought the Black Bulls' Special Assault Duo! This is Mister Magna, who has Flame Magic, and Luck, who has Lightning Magic!!"
Asta, Black Clover

Fire. An elemental force by nature and longtime rival to water (and by extension ice). However, some writers remove water, and electricity has been poised to rival the burning element. Therefore, two partners, rivals, or Foils would have one of them become associated with flame, and the other lightning.

This might be because the two forces are similar yet different, Fire and Electricity are both forms and sources of energy. Both are destructive in an uncontrolled state. Both give off light. Both are symbols of life — lightning of the giving of life, and fire of the saving of life. Both are symbols of power. Both have been used as symbols of divine anger. Both have been used to represent technological advancements. Lightning is direct but short, fire takes its time. Lightning can set things on fire, and fire used right can generate electricity. Both are part of an elemental trinity. People of ancient times used to think that lightning was celestial fire. These reasons are used to underscore the similarities aspect.


Another use of this trope is to symbolize ideals and truths, using them as foils instead of characters. Fire is used to symbolize man's beginnings (Prometheus brought fire to man, and with it intelligence), home, purification and strong feelings. Lightning symbolizes loss of ignorance (The Tower was struck by a bolt of lightning), divine punishment, destiny, epiphany and Man as he is now. Both can also symbolize creativity, divine powers, destruction, and energy.

A Sister Trope to Fire/Water Juxtaposition and Light/Fire Juxtaposition. If combined with the latter, you may get Fire, Ice, Lightning. See also Life/Death Juxtaposition when one of those elements has a creation motif and the other a destruction motif. Compare Elemental Rivalry.



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     Anime and Manga 
  • Bakuten Shoot Beyblade: F-Sangre is a team consisting of twins Julia and Raul Fernandez. Julia handles Thunder Pegasus and Raul wields Flame Pegasus.
  • Black Clover: Luck and Magna are best friends and often fight as a duo. Luck uses Lightning Magic to form gauntlets and greaves to fight at great speeds; Magna uses Flame Magic to form a bat out of fire and throw explosive fireballs. Personality-wise, Luck is an eccentric, bloodthirsty fighter while Magna is a short-tempered delinquent.
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba: Tanjiro with Hinokami Kagura and Zenitsu with Thunder Breathing, the earnest and brave with the cowardly but courageous, as the series goes both brothers-in-arms actually take inspiration from one another to grow more powerful in their battles against ever more dangerous demons: Tanjiro applies some basic knowledge of the Thunder Clap and Flash he learned from Zenitsu to finish Upper-Rank 4 Hantegu off, and Zenitsu’s own 7th Form: Honoikazuchi no Kami is actually named after a fire dragon, despite it being a Thunder Breathing technique.
  • Digimon
    • Digimon Adventure 02: V-mon's Armor evolutions are the fiery Fladramon and the electric Lighdramon. They are attained through the Digimentals of Courage and Friendship, respectively, which were inherited from The Hero and The Lancer from the previous adventure (although, The Lancer's Digimon's actual elements are blue fire and ice).
    • Digimon Tamers: Two of The Four Gods are Qinglongmon, a blue dragon with electric powers, and Zhuqiaomon, a red bird with fire powers. They take opposite approaches to the matters of dealing with Culumon and the D-Reaper; Qinglongmon thinks sending Culumon, the catalyst for evolution, out of the Digital World slows the D-Reaper, while Zhuqiaomon wants Culumon back at any cost so Digimon can evolve and be strong enough to fight the D-Reaper.
  • Fairy Tail:
  • Gamaran: The two deuteragonists Gama and Zenmaru are specialized in the Ogame School styles based on Lightning (speed) and Fire (power), and their roles become much clearer after the timeskip.
  • Highschool DXD: This is played for drama. Akeno Himegami is from a Shinto family that uses fire magic, but because she is born from a Fallen Angel father who is known for using electricity, she leans more towards lightning instead. Her fallen angel blood ends up causing her to be seen as a disgrace by most of the other Himegami's to the point that her mother is killed for giving birth to her in the first place, forcing Akeno to go on the run and eventually meeting Rias Gremory.
  • Inuyasha: One Monster of the Week is a pair of twins with intertwined bodies who are always fighting for the control of the body. One of them uses a sword that sparks lightning, and the other uses a conch that breathes fire. Another Monster of the Week was the Thunder Brothers, one attacked with fire and the other with lightning.
  • Lyrical Nanoha: There is a special ability called Mana Conversion Affinity, which allows a mage to spontaneously convert his/her mana into electric or thermal energy at will (though a single person can only do one of these, with a single known exception).
    • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's: Fate Testarossa(-Harlaown), who has lightning-type MCA, is repeatedly pitted against Signum, the leader of the season's "villains" who has fire-type MCA. Although their enmity doesn't last the season itself, their friendly rivalry continues far beyond that.
    • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid: There are Harry Tribeca, who has fire-type MCA, and Victoria Dahlgrün, who has lightning-type MCA. They have a really strong rivalry and are Foils to each other, as in case of Slobs vs. Snobs, Harry is a Delinquent leader and pretty much ordinary, and Victoria is The Ojou with ancestral connections. Their rivalry seems to started when they once fought in the DSAA Inter-Middle Championship, with Harry losing to Victoria. Ironically, Rio Wesley has both fire-type and lightning-type MCA.
    • Nanoha and Fate's clones, Stern the Destructor and Levi the Slasher are not rivals. Like their originals, they are partners and best friends. However, they have very contrasting personalities, since Stern is the Material of Wisdom who possesses high intelligence and has a stoic personality, and Levi is the Material of Power who possesses great strength, but lacks skill and she's the Dumb Muscle with an energetic personality.
  • My Hero Academia: Midoriya's quirk, One For All, surrounds his body in an aura that surrounds his body with green electricity. His rival Bakugo's quirk, Explosion, lets him create powerful and fiery explosions.
  • One Piece: Charlotte Linlin has two powerful subordinates: Prometheus the miniature sun and Zeus the cloud. When she uses them in combat, Prometheus turns into a raging fireball while Zeus shoots lightning from his body.
  • Pokémon
  • Soul Eater: The students are grouped into teams consisting of three meisters and their weapons which tend to form Freudian Trios. One minor group consists of Kim Diehl & Jacqueline Dupre as the id (fire), Ox Ford & Harvar D. as the superego (lightning) and Kilik & Pot of Fire and Pot of Thunder as the ego (one of the pots is fire based, the other is lightning based). Kilik is also an example on his own, since using two elements symbolises that he's really good at synchronizing with weapons ( at one point he's able to wield four partners at once, when most meisters can only manage one).

    Asian Animation 
  • BoBoiBoy: BoBoiBoy's lightning and fire duplicates have a rivalry about who is stronger. They both adopt aggressive attacks, but the former is more of a serious loner while the latter is more explosive and wrathful.

    Comic Books 
  • West Coast Avengers: The Living Lightning fights Human Torch in his introduction and his powers make him a dangerous counterpart of the Golden Age hero. At the same time, he's shown as a foil: he's younger, originally a human and the son of a revolutionary, while Torch is an older android who often worked for the government.

    Fan Works 
  • In Dragon Ball Z: Dynasty, Android 17 and 18 develop Super Modes based on lightning and fire, respectively, called Turbovolt and Terrablaze, based on the flaws of their Infinity Energy Engines (17's produces a surplus of electricity, 18's overheats).
  • In Infinity Train: Seeker of Crocus:' Chloe Cerise and Specter serve in this regards. Chloe is a Fiery Redhead with a cloak that gives her the power to unleash the fires of the Ars Goetia demon Marchosiasnote  whereas Specter is the stoic lightning user due to him having a bond with his living lightning bolt denizen partner Easter.
  • In Kaleidoscopic Grangers, Ariadne and Ginny serve as this; although Ariadne often employs fire as well, Ginny is easily associated with it due to it being her go-to weapon and after she burned down a portion of the Forbidden Forest (and rather ironically develops pyrophobia due to this event), while Ariadne often uses lightning and even has a thunderbird tail feather wand as her second wand, which causes storms when she is stressed. Ariadne's Code Name is also Lightning.

  • Godzilla:
    • Ever since Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, King Ghidorah, the Arch-Enemy of Godzilla, has been portrayed as having lightning-like "gravity beams" as his Breath Weapon, while Godzilla has his fire-like "atomic breath."
    • The HALO jump scene from Godzilla (2014) has the soldiers diving down to a San Francisco engulfed in flames and smoke. As Ford Brody is scanning over the city the closer he gets, he catches sight of Godzilla, who would otherwise be really hard to make out from the dark, smoke-covered city were it not for the frequent flashes of lightning that brighten the view.
    • Also from the same film the MUTOs have their EMP attack, and Godzilla has his Atomic Breath.
    • In King Kong vs. Godzilla, King Kong suddenly has the ability to absorb and release electricity as a contrast to Godzilla's atomic breath, this is because the film was origionaly going to be Godzilla vs Frankenstein's Monster.
  • Iron Man 2: The Big Bad, Ivan Vanko, uses electric-powered whips in battle. Iron Man 3 has Tony fighting the Extremis soldiers, who use a Psycho Serum to give themselves fire powers.
  • Lincoln: There is a scene where Lincoln is arguing with his wife on the morality of going to war. There is lighting flashing through the dark window on Lincoln's side, while there is fire burning in a fire place next to the wife. Lincoln is arguing going to war to stop slavery and stop an insurrection. Meanwhile, his wife is arguing that the lives of young soldiers and consequently their families are at stake. It seems that the use of lightning and fire shows that both are serious arguments-but both have different connotations. Lincoln's lightning might represent both the "divine" justice needed to be done and Lincoln's strong ideological stance. His wife's stance is depicted as a fire-place, usually a symbol of home, and fire as a symbol of truth, indicating there would be a high cost to pay for the war. It may also represent male vs. female. (And maybe ideal justice vs. pragmatic justice?)
  • Oz the Great and Powerful: The Wicked Witches sisters are represented by this: The older and calculating Evanora wields lightning powers while the younger and emotional Theodora wields fire powers.


     Mythology and Religion 
  • The Myth of Prometheus states that he brought fire to man giving them intelligence. This led the thunderbolt-associated Zeus to chain him to a rock to be tortured for eternity.

     Live-Action TV 
  • On Charmed's last season, the Halliwells fight with Billie and Christy, using lightning based powers against their fire based powers.

  • Stranger Things: The playfield art uses lightning and fire to draw the player's gaze to the center targets and ramps, respectively.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • The Undertaker and his brother Kane are associated with lightning and fire respectively. When tag-teaming, they are known as the Brothers of Destruction.

  • The 2012 NBA Finals had the Miami Heat vs the Oklahoma City Thunder.
  • The 2004 Stanley Cup Final pitted the Tampa Bay Lightning against the Calgary Flames.

     Tabletop Games 
  • Princess: The Hopeful has the contrast between the Radiant Court of Swords (whose elemental affinity is for fire) and the Twilight Court of Storms (whose elemental associations include lightning).
  • Promethean: The Created: The Divine Fire that animates the eponymous Prometheans reacts badly to its more mundane cousin, causing Prometheans to take aggravated damage from fire. Electricity, as a more "refined" form of fire, instead fuels the Divine Fire. Exposure to electricity heals Prometheans and replenishes their Pyros, and lightning is part of the generative rite for Frankensteins.

     Video Games 
  • Bayonetta has several enemy pairs that juxtapose fire and lightning:
    • The Grace and Glory enemies, twin angels with disproportionally giant Wolverine Claws. Grace is slow and its claws are wreathed in fire, while Glory is lightning fast and imbued with electricity.
    • Gracious and Glorious, which are much much tougher versions of the previous angels.
    • Fairness and Fearless, beast-like angels vaguely looking like oversized dogs. Fairness is the fiery one while Fearless is the electric one.
    • Bayonetta herself can obtain Durga, a pair of giant claws similar to the ones wielded by Grace and Glory, that she can use as weapons.
  • In the first Devil May Cry game, Dante's main melee weapons are Alastor, a lightning-enchanted sword, and Ifrit, a set of gauntlets that make his punches do fire damage. Also, two of the major bosses in the game are Phantom, a Giant Spider that bleeds lava and breathes fire, and Griffon, an enormous bird of prey that can manipulate lightning.
  • Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories: Adell, the Fiery Redhead hero, and his Unknown Rival, the self-proclaimed Dark Hero Axel. Adell's attacks are fire elemental and some of Axel's attacks include Lightning (and he has blond hair and purple Big Ol' Eyebrows shaped like lightning bolts)
  • In Final Fantasy IX Black Waltz No. 3 uses Lightning based magic. In the cutscene battle with him, Vivi combats him with Fire magic.
  • Fire Emblem Fates has the swords wielded by the eldest princes of the game's rivaling kingdoms: Ryoma, high prince of Hoshido, uses the electrifying Raijinto; while Xander, crown prince of Nohr, uses a sword wreathed in black flames named Siegfried.
  • Guilty Gear: Sol Badguy uses Fuuenken (aka Fireseal) and his foil/rival, Ky Kiske, uses Fuuraiken (aka Thunderseal).
  • Heroes of Might and Magic V: Dwarves generally feel a great affinity towards fire, borne from their connection with the dragon-god Arkath, but there are some exceptions; the rune-mage Svea is regarded as an oddity because she developed a talent for lightning magic while acting as an ambassador to the Silver Cities, and the Thanes can use either fire or lightning to enhance their combat abilities (Flame Thanes can generate shockwaves and burn their enemies, while Thunder Thanes use Chain Lightning to attack multiple foes at once).
  • The King of Fighters: Before the start of the series, teammates Kyo Kusanagi and Benimaru Nikaido were rivals, but nowadays have become great friends. They're based of a Japanese saying: "Lightning strikes ground and creates fire" (with their friend and third team member, Goro Daimon, as the "ground").
  • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: In the last confrontation with Ghirahim, he can use a fiery Sword Beam to contrast Link's energy-based ones. The player then immediately fights Ghirahim's master Demise, who summons a lightning storm so he can form his own Sword Beam from it. Unfortunately for him, Link can use the same trick, allowing him to stun Demise.
  • Monster Hunter: Rathalos the fire wyvern, and Lagiacrus the thunder leviathan. The two are set up as rivals to one another, with Rathalos being the King of the Skies and Lagiacrus being the Lord of the Seas, and are both weak against the other's element. The intro cutscene for Monster Hunter Tri showcases a battle between the two, and in the first Monster Hunter: Stories, they're more likely to retreat to their dens if defeated by each other.
  • Mortal Kombat:
    • Mortal Kombat: Armageddon has the Edenian demigod brothers Taven and Daegon. It is revealed that Rain, the purple-clad ninja who controls lightning, is their half-brother. Rain can also control water making this a crossover with Fire/Water Juxtaposition.
    • The penultimate battle in Mortal Kombat 9 is between the Thunder God Raiden and the Shaolin Monk Liu Kang who can control fire. it ends in Liu Kang's death.
    • Mortal Kombat 11 reveals that the aforementioned clash between Raiden and Liu Kang has happened in previous timelines before thanks to Kronika's manipulations. Raiden and Liu Kang end up fusing together after Raiden discovers this deception.
  • Pokémon:
    • The Electabuzz and Magmar evolutionary lines, which are Electric and Fire-types respectively. The two have parallel movesets, stats, have baby forms starting from Gen 2, and evolve into their next forms in the same manner starting from Gen 4.
    • From Diamond & Pearl, we have Gym Leader Volkner and Elite Four Member Flint, who are best friends (but also rivals), have contrasting personalities (Volkner is The Stoic while Flint is Hot-Blooded) and specialize in Electric-type and Fire-type Pokémon respectively.
    • Zekrom and Reshiram, two Olympus Mons who are based on the concept of yin and yang. Zekrom is an Electric-type with technological features, while Reshiram is a Fire-type that looks completely organic. In addition, they're also light vs. dark. Kyurem makes them a Fire, Ice, Lightning trio.
    • X and Y treats Manectric and Houndoom as this trope, being version exclusive along with their respective Mega Stones.
    • X and Y also introduce Pyroar and Heliolisk, two new Pokémon with Normal as a secondary type, 109 Sp. Atk, and nearly the same Speed. They don't have as many similarities as Electabuzz and Magmar, however.
  • Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga: Mario and Luigi get fire and lightning abilities respectively. This might be due to their personalities. Mario, a hero, is brave and consistent, though his fire powers existed before this game as the Fire Flower powerup. But Mario is also aggressive and impulsive, showing a little hotheadedness. Luigi, who is slightly lazy and cowardly, (You could say that he's gone in a flash) but is also more expressive in his emotions and funny (he might have a spark of life in him). When Luigi does act, he can make all the difference, and he is as brave as his brother during events with strong enemies. Hence, the partnership between the two.
    • In Super Paper Mario, Luigi even calls himself the "Green Thunder" while Brainwashed and Crazy.
    • While they lack their powers in Partners in Time, the final boss has a notable attack that uses the fire and lightning imagery as a tell. Using fire to launch a projectile means it's going to hit Mario, and using lightning to launch one means it's going to hit Luigi.
  • In a similar vein, Sengoku Basara has Date Masamune (representing lightning) and his rival Sanada Yukimura (representing fire).
  • Garou: Mark of the Wolves has Kim's sons, Kim Dong Hwan and Kim Jae Hoon, whose moves are infused with electricity and fire respectively.
  • In the Street Fighter franchise, Ryu and Ken have a Friendly Rivalry and thanks to Divergent Character Evolution, their fighting styles became different since II. Ryu is specialized with the Hadouken, while Ken is more specialized with the Shoryuken. Due to this, Ryu's Hadouken are more lightning-based (though, Shakunetsu Hadouken is fire-based) and Ken's moves are more fire-based. V takes this further with their V-Triggers, in which Ryu's moves get infused with electricity (allowing him to use the Denjin Hadoken from III in lieu of the Shinku Hadoken), while Ken's moves gain fire properties (including the Hadoken).
  • Super Smash Bros. has Captain Falcon and Samus Aran (in both of her playable forms). Both characters are space-faring bounty hunters that share a few moves and are depicted as rivals and opposite-gender counterparts of sorts. Both of them have a variety of elemental attacks, with Falcon focusing more on fire and Samus focusing more on electricity (especially as Zero Suit Samus, where she's more similar to Falcon presentation- and gameplay-wise).
  • Fire and thunder are very prominent visual themes in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. The protagonist of that game, Raiden is named for one of Japan's gods of thunder and the fight against Armstrong takes place near the burning ruins of one of the Metal Gears.
  • Sunless Skies gives us a location-based example with the ongoing rivalry between London and the Khanate. Londoners work primarily with fire as their main source of energy, best examplified in the old-fashioned Brabazon Workworld, with its huge furnaces pouring pitch-black smoke in the skies, while the Khaganates heavily use electricity: the Eagle's Empyrean, their stronghold in the High Wilderness, is continuously lit with bright neon lights and their self-made electrical Moon, and the Khan's Palace emits notable and threatening lightning bolts.
  • In Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth you can choose between the fire-using P3 Hero or the lightning-wielding P4 Hero as the main focus of the story. Even outside their elements, their basic skillset are basically mirrors of each other. P3 Hero learns both physical and magical fire attacks, Dekaja (remove buffs from enemies) and his unique ability is Debilitate (debuff all stats of an enemy). Meanwhile P4 Hero learns both physical and magical electricity attacks, Dekunda (remove debuffs from allies), and his unique skill is Heat Riser (buff all stats of an ally).
  • Persona 5 gives us Ryuji Sakamoto and Ann Takamaki, whose Personas use lightning and fire respectively. Ryuji is a Mighty Glacier with lots of health and endurance but also the team's worst magic who mainly relies on hard-hitting physical attacks while Ann is a Glass Cannon with the team's strongest magic, and each learns a skill which multiplies the power of the next attack they use, with Ryuji having the physical-boosting Charge and Ann the magic-boosting Concentrate. Their ultimate Personas also resist each other's element, and in Royal their third-tier Personas get whole-party versions of Charge and Concentrate respectively. This contrast even extends to their characters: both are the Dumb Blondes of the team (although Ryuji dyes his) with poor grades at school and video game addictions, but Ryuji (a former athlete) is very aware and knowledgeable about fitness training and nutrition and enjoys eating meat, while Ann doesn't even slightly care about her diet or physical activity, only having good enough looks to be a model thanks to her genetics, and is shown eating lots of sweets. Both are also founding members of the Phantom Thieves alongside you and Morgana, with both having severe grievances with the game's first boss which made them join you in the first place.
  • The chief form of sorcery in Salt and Sanctuary is harnessing the power of fire and sky, with lightning representing the latter. Using one element can be dangerous to the caster unless they are willing to switch to the other before they're thrown completely off-balance, though there are rings that can mitigate, eliminate, or exacerbate the issue. Fittingly, the Keepers of Fire and Sky is the name of the creed that specializes the most in magic.

     Visual Novels 
  • Dengeki Stryker: Japan's Stryker-series cyborgs are minimally enhanced, with electricity-based powers granted by external equipment; by contrast the Balbora Empire's cyborgs gain most of their combat potential from internal implants, and at least half of their named roster can manipulate fire in some way. It's noted that the Balboran approach results in a soldier who's harder to catch off-guard, but whose body is placed under greater strain (potentially limiting their stamina and/or lifespan).

     Web Animation 

     Web Comics 
  • The eponymous siblings in Bob and George. George is a hero with lightning powers, while Bob is a villain with fire powers.
  • This is used thematically to distinguish the two love interests of Girl Genius. Agatha's First Kiss with Gil is against a backdrop of fire, her First Kiss with Tarvek is against a backdrop of lightning.

     Western Animation 
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, and somewhat in the sequel series The Legend of Korra, lightning-bending is a form and result of fire-bending that applied the techniques of its elemental opposite: water. Zuko and Azula fit the foil aspect of this trope best, as lightning generation requires an absence of emotion and peace of mind, which reflects pretty nicely Azula's cold and calculative nature, whereas Zuko used (at least at first) rage as a source of power for his firebending.
  • The characters Jay and Kai of Ninjago are lightning and fire respectively. Kai is rash and impulsive like fire, Jay is... erratic and spontaneous like lightning (in contrast to the usual for this trope) and they often act as foils.
  • The main protagonist of Static Shock is a Badass Bookworm who gains control over electromagnetism. The first metahuman villain Static battles is the pyrokinetic gang banger, Hot Streak.