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Ludicrous Mêlée Accuracy

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I really liked that hat!

Ludicrous Melee Accuracy is when someone makes an impossibly precise melee attack. Given the Inverse Law of Sharpness and Accuracy, this often means a highly skilled Master Swordsman with a high-quality blade will demonstrate their skill by not hurting an opponent — but making it clear that they could have if they wanted to. Causing Clothing Damage is popular for this purpose (which may result in Defeat by Modesty all by itself), as is slicing hair, while grittier works will opt for a single, shallow cut to the face, which will bleed prettily without actually causing any real harm. The end result is the same either way: it demonstrates that the attack Could Have Been Messy... and the only reason it wasn't is the peerless skill of the attacker.

Of course, there are more pragmatic uses for ludicrously precise strikes. You can use one to pin them in place with your weapon. If the target has a specific vulnerability, then you may need a ludicrously precise strike to Attack Its Weak Point even as it dodges at high speed.

Ludicrous melee accuracy, though not limited to swords and other bladed weapons (and indeed, may even be done completely unarmed), is one of the common forms of Implausible Fencing Powers, and as such is often used by a Master Swordsman. See also Pressure Point, which may need ludicrous accuracy to exploit successfully.

For the Gun Counterpart, see Improbable Aiming Skills.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • King Bradley from cuts through Fu's headband and later cuts the wicks on the dynamite sticks strapped to Fu's chest. He does cut skin in both instance, but it still shows ridiculous precision.
    • His Fullmetal Alchemist (2003) equivalent uses his swords to cut Mustang's gloves to pieces while leaving his hand mostly intact, after demonstrating that he's able to disrupt Roy's alchemy by cutting any concentrations of Oxygen Roy makes into pieces before they reach flammable levels.
  • Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple has Shigure.
    • Early on, Kenichi laments his lack of experience against armed opponents and wonders whom to ask for help. Shigure overhears him and begins giving a dramatic display of her prowess with various weapons in the background in an attempt to get him to ask her. She finally gets fed up with him not noticing her and cuts apart a bead of sweat on his forehead. A few pages later, she cuts up Kenichi's and Miu's clothes using a spoon.
    • When Kenichi first decides to live at Ryuzanpaku full-time, her initial training is for him to hold up a bunch of apples on his arms, legs, and head for her to cut without cutting him, to help him be less afraid (she thinks).
  • In The Animatrix, the short The Final Flight of the Osiris features a duel between two characters who use their swords to strip each other to their underwear a single article of clothing at a time, while blindfolded.
  • Goemon from Lupin III. Defeat by Modesty is a frequent cause of victory for him, and he can cut ropes and handcuffs away from trapped allies with single swipe and no sign of blood. In one episode of The Italian Adventure, he stabs someone through the chest with his katana, in order to remove a bomb planted in her heart, without killing her.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED's Kira Yamato is able to cleanly slice off mobile suit heads or limbs while leaving the chest area where the pilot is intact, typically in only the fraction of a second he's flying by them. He does the same thing in the sequel, Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny. It sometimes verges on Blade Spam territory, as we'll see something like one (visible) downward slash, and the target mecha will have all four limbs, its head, and its backpack cut off — while leaving the torso intact. Shinn exploits this, using the easily replaceable limbs of his Impulse Gundam and knowledge that Kira never goes for kill-shots in order to defeat him.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, Heero spends some time posing as a student in Relena's school. He gets into a fencing match with a classmate of Relena's who obviously didn't like himnote . The match ends with Heero breaking his foil against his opponent's with a tip to tip clash and then buries it in his facemask, the broken blade stopping roughly an inch from his nose. He understandably freaks out. He does the exact same thing much later in the series, to Dorothy Catalonia. To Dorothy's credit, she doesn't even flinch.
  • Displayed in an early Samurai Executioner story, where a criminal takes no pains to defend himself, because he's found an impossible-to-beat way to save himself from decapitation: tattooing the name of a deified emperor on his neck, which the authorities cannot injure in any way. Despite being even more of a By-the-Book Cop as his superiors, Asaemon simply and quickly resolves the issue by cutting out the tattoo in a single stroke, then decapitating the criminal.
  • Shigurui: The Kogan school of swordsmanship has an initiation ceremony in which the new student is made to kneel before Master Kogan, and a sticky bean is placed on the new student's forehead. Kogan cuts with his sword, a moment of suspense passes, and then the bean splits while the forehead turns out to be unharmed.
  • In an episode of The Wallflower, the main character makes a single leaping attack against her opponent, lands and sheathes her sword. Then the clothing of said opponent falls to pieces in a manner that suggests he had been attacked from all sides at once.
  • Performed by Yaiba in a filler arc against a small band of Samurai.
  • In the works of Ken Akamatsu the Shinmeiryu school of swordfighting has a line of advanced techniques subtitled Nii no Tachi ("Second Blade"), all of which can pass through an obstacle in their path to strike something behind them. The most famous example, Zanmaken: Nii no Tachi, applies this variant to an Anti-Magic attack - originally designed to kill possessing demons without harming their hosts, it has also been used to Dispel Magic, as an Unblockable Attack version of the regular Zanmaken, and to destroy an opponent's clothes without hurting them.

    Fan Works 
  • In The Zero Context Series, this is the outcome of Callista's Quantum Cutters when they're used at their maximum potential. Both a truly ludicrous amount of precision and speed are required for her to be able to reduce something to a mist by cutting through each individual atom in the time it takes to blink.

    Film — Animated 
  • The Animatrix: In "Final Flight of the Osiris", Captain Thadeus and Jue engage in a blindfolded sword fight in a virtual reality dojo. With each slice of their swords, they remove another part of each other's clothing. Immediately after cutting the other down to their underwear, they lift their blindfolds to peek at the other.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • This is how a teenage boy dispatches a Fake Ultimate Mook in 3 Ninjas.
  • The 2017 Filipino comedy-action film Extra Service contains a Clothing Damage example, in which one of the three heroines is apprehended in her mission by a man in a balaclava, and a katana-fight ensues. She promptly strips him to his boxer shorts by slicing the rest of his clothes off in a few quick katana-strokes, without landing even a scratch on his body. However, this does not lead to Defeat by Modesty.
  • In Hero (2002), the nameless protagonist demonstrates his skill with a sword by throwing a bundle of reeds into the air, then holding his sword so that only a single reed is cut perfectly in two as it falls. He also boasts that he can stab someone in such a way that the sword can pass clean through their body without damaging any of their organs, a trick which he uses to fake the death of a wanted assassin.
  • In the 1998 film The Mask of Zorro, Antonio Banderas's Zorro relieves Catherine Zeta-Jones's character of her night-dress with a few sword slashes. In all film incarnations of the character, he leaves the classic Zorro Mark on a number of people, which only cuts their clothing and does no damage. Zorro is very good at killing cloth.
  • In Muppet Treasure Island, Captain Smollett (played by Kermit the Frog) deftly slices all the buttons and gold trim from Long John Silver's pirate coat. Subverted when Silver gets visibly bored and folds his arms, then says "Excuse me", distracting Smollett enough that the sword flies out of his hand.
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Barbossa draws his sword and slashes at Jack Sparrow's forehead in one quick movement, cleanly slicing off the lock of hair with his Piece of Eight, while leaving nothing more than a small cut in Jack's Bandanna.
  • In Revenge of the Sith, Anakin strikes the manacles off of Chancellor Palpatine's hands with his lightsaber without touching Palpatine himself. The chancellor flinches noticeably.
  • In The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982) the title character (Anthony Andrews) deftly slices buttons and unties ribbons with his sword tip while dueling Chauvelin (Ian McKellen) in a sequence that contains just about every sword-fighting cliche known to man.
  • In Zatoichi, the ronin Hattori Gennosuke displays his katana skills to a yakuza leader by slashing the cord around his waist and then slamming the blade into the ground. The yakuza isn't impressed until he realizes that the Hattori's sword is perfectly embedded between two of his toes.
    • In Zatoichi at Large (1972), Ichi strikes in a general direction of four men, who wanted to attack him. After blink of an eye, boss Tetsugoro has assured male nude dancing.

  • Three samurai are in a sworsmanship competition. The first slashes twice at a fly, which falls to the ground in four pieces. The second slashes twice at a fly, which falls to the ground, shortly followed by its wings. The third slashes twice at a fly, whose buzzing becomes much more high-pitched.

  • The Chronicles of Amber: Benedict does this to a shadow ghost of one of the premier fencers of the Courts of Chaos when Merlin needs to have him kept occupied.
  • A pivotal scene in Homeland by R.A. Salvatore, novelist regent of the Mad Sword Skillz, though the aim is not humiliation.
  • In The Intercontinental Union of Disgusting Characters, while Sick Sword is fighting Omnion in melee, she uses her improbable weapon mastery skills to give Omnion a radial keratotomy.
  • In Lady of the Lake, Geralt the witcher unshackles Yennefer with a single strike of his dwarf-made sword. The show is enough in itself for a bunch of mooks approaching them to immediately pack up and leave.
  • The climax on Midnight Tides includes a swordfight between Rhulad Sengar, who has the blessing (or curse) of a god restore him to life and heal his wounds when he is killed, and Brys Beddict. Brys wins the duel with literally surgical precision, cutting Rhulad's tendons and motive muscles while avoiding the major blood vessels to keep him from bleeding out.
  • In Tanith Lee's Piratica books, this is practically a signature move for Art and her pirate crew. Almost all of them are actually actors, and have only been trained in stage combat.
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel's eponymous character cuts the clothing off his nemesis when he finally gets the chance

    Live-Action TV 
  • Hilariously averted in an episode of Scrubs. JD is using a circular saw to cut wood, then turns to an intern and cuts off his tie with it. A second or two later, the intern's chest starts gushing blood.

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • Scias in Breath of Fire IV demonstrates this after Ursula, an Empire agent, joins the party. The group had her tied up after she was defeated, and Scias releases her by quickly cutting the rope without touching her.
  • Earnest Evans whips the cigarette in his companion's mouth.
  • Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance has this as a core game mechanic. Blade Mode slows down time and allows you to closely align the direction of your slash, creating a Clean Cut on any enemy sufficiently weakened. While this is usually used to Zandatsu (remove the power source of enemies to recharge your own), you can also use it to sever a cyborg's limbs, reducing them to a useless torso, and awarding you extra points for a "Pacifist Run".
  • Soulcalibur's Siegfried (the BFS wielder) sometimes says "I've missed your vitals. You'll be fine." In general, intentionally missing vitals is an impossible thing to do, but it's to demonstrate his incredible skill that his opponent won't die from their wounds. Given his fighting style features stabbing someone through the sternum and/or brain with a weapon the size of a surfboard it's a...dubious claim.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time: In "Blade of Grass", Finn acquires a magical "Grass Sword", which is enchanted to perfectly cut whatever Finn turns it on, something which disturbs Tree Trunks enough to (rightfully) call it cursed.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: One of the first things the Blue Spirit does on screen is cut right through the manacles binding Aang's ankles and wrists without leaving a single mark on his limbs or clothes.
  • In Futurama, when Zoidberg and Fry square off in a ritualized dual over a woman, Zoidberg showboats for the crowd by using his claw to slice a letter "Z" into Fry's shirt without touching the skin, then quickly adding a "DR" above it, presumably so as not to be confused with Zorro.


Video Example(s):


Zorro Cuts Elena's Dress

Alejandro relieves Elena of her night-dress with a few precise sword slashes without touching her skin.

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Main / LudicrousMeleeAccuracy

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