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Mirrored Confrontation Shot

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I tried squinting. I still only see a vase!

A stock pose seen in cartoon openings, movie posters, video game box art, comics covers, paintings, this is a shot that pits two teams against each other on opposite sides of the screen. It can be a massive group shot, featuring all the series's heroes and villains, or show just two characters— all that matters is that the two sides are facing each other and look ready to strike.

Usually the left and right side are evenly balanced and evenly matched. The characters across from one another tend to be counterparts and are often mimicking the other side's pose, and suggesting Counterpart Combat Coordination.

This trope can be used for thematic reasons, to emphasize how the characters aren't so different and the villain is the dark mirror of the other, but it's just as likely to be a dynamic version of the Team Shot with villainy added for spice.

A variant often seen in fight scenes involves a stationary long shot framing two groups running at each other into combat, often one-on-one as a Counterpart Combat Coordination. Usually they don't start fighting all at once, rather, it starts in the back or front of the line and moves to the other side from there.

Compare Juxtaposed Halves Shot (where half of two characters' sides/faces are juxtaposed to or beside each other), Fearful Symmetry (where both characters involved are usually shown in profile in an ongoing Blade Lock), and Versus Character Splash (where two characters' faces are briefly shown in a Splash Screen as a prelude to a battle in a Fighting Game).


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    Anime & Manga 
  • One Piece:
    • The manga does an interesting take on this. The cover for volume 21, "Utopia", has the remainder of the Baroque Works' agents (Mr. 0/Crocodile, Miss All Sunday/Nico Robin, Mr. 1/Daz Bones, Miss Doublefinger, Mr. 2/Bon Clay, Mr. 4, and Miss Merry Christmas) lined up and looking right, and volume 22, "Hope!", has the Straw Hats and allies (Luffy, Zoro, Sanji, Nami, Usopp, Chopper, Vivi, Karoo, and Eyelashes) the same way, looking left. When the two covers are combined, (21-22) the result is a Mirrored Confrontation Shot. Later on in the anime, this same shot was used when Ivankov talks about the Alabasta incident to Bon Clay.
    • The cover art for the DVD version of Episode 0 does a more classic version, between Luffy and Shiki.
  • The cover of Volume 15 of Naruto Has Naruto and Gaara both crouching/facing each other while each holding and object to further mirror each other (Sand Gourd for Gaara and the summoning contract for Naruto) Behind them there's also a Juxtaposed Halves Shot of Shukaku (Gaara's side) and Gamabunta (Naruto's side).
  • The latest intro (Season four) of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds has Jack, Yusei and Crow against the Infinity Trio.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! LOVES this trope. It can be seen in MANY times throughout various openings and clips in the second anime series, GX, and even 5D's. It's a typical closing frame for any time a duel with the season's Big Bad is about to start.
  • In Monster, Johan's "scenery of the end" is a shot of him and Tenma facing off, with the rest of the world literally removed from the picture. That their poses are not mirrored is an obvious thematic choice.
  • Reborn! (2004) uses this trope about twice. First against the Varia, and then the Milliefiore.
  • The opening for Fresh Pretty Cure! had, at one point near the end, one of these with the initial three heroines at the right and the initial Labyrinth trio at the left. After Setsuna's Heel–Face Turn, it changes so she is located at the other side with the Cures, with her spot in the original shot filled in by Norza.
  • Pokémon: The Series
    • A recurring occurence during matches, where the scene will cut to a view showing a shot (like this one) with both Trainers facing and glaring at each other.
    • The first opening theme for Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl features Ash and The Rival Paul with their respective teams; before the opening changed to reflect the events of future episodes, it is symmetrical (in a sense): they both have a Flying-type, an Electric-type, and a primate-based Pokémon.
  • Digimon Xros Wars: The Young Hunters Who Leapt Through Time has it in the opening, with Team Xros Heart facing off against their rival team of Hunters.
  • In Planetes, the secondary characters are presented like this, first a group on the left side and then another on the right side, their positions expanding outwards in an accordion-like fashion. It's interesting because both groups have friendly, or at least neutral but supportive characters, but those in the first group tend towards a more antagonistic streak —and, due to the nature of the Evolving Credits, some members of this first group will eventually shift into the uniforms belonging to their Heel–Face Turn status.
  • Black★Rock Shooter had this in the show itself between Insane Black★Rock Shooter and Strength.
  • Brave Beats features one between Choreo and Flash Beat in the opening sequence.
  • The poster for Izetta: The Last Witch has this between Bergman and Fine with the eponymous character Izetta in the middle.
  • DEVILMAN crybaby has this in the opening theme, between Ryo and Akira.
  • Most of the Record of Ragnarok covers are like this, depicting the fighters who face each other in the volume, typically only changing it up if the fight lasts longer than a single volume.

    Asian Animation 
  • BoBoiBoy: One of BoBoiBoy's team staring down Fang and Adu Du's team appears in Season 2 episode 4, before their big football game begins.
  • A number of the various Flower Fairy openings feature a shot of the good fairies looking confrontingly at the the evil fairies, the good ones on the left and the evil ones on the right.

    Comic Books 
  • Lots of comics covers (such as this one for Impulse)
  • Happens a few times in Marvel's Civil War, like here and here.
  • Several covers for the various Marvel/DC crossovers, such as this one.
  • The cover for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Meet the Conservation Corps comic shows a confrontation between the four turtles and four members of the Corps.
  • The Avengers are fond of this. In their first 200 issues, they used it for the cover of #s 15, 53, 70, 130 and 141. In later years, it was usually used as an homage to the early covers, including X-Statix #21, which started a Let's You and Him Fight storyline with the Avengers.
    • In fact, if any comic cover features two teams facing off/charging at each other across an otherwise blank scene, the artist's probably thinking of Avengers #s 130 and 141. That includes the Marvel/DC and Titans covers above
  • Another particularly iconic example is X-Men #100, which shows the All-New X-Men facing off against the original X-Men (supposedly).
  • Thunderbolts #172, part of a Time Travel storyline, shows the current 'Bolts confronting the originals. Including Karla "Moonstone" Sofen and Norbert "Fixer" Endersol charging at Karla "Meteorite" Sofen and Norbert "Techno" Endersol, respectively.
    • #3 features the original Thunderbolts (secretly the Masters of Evil) facing off against the new Masters of Evil.
  • The Fantastic Four once fought the members of the "New" Fantastic Four, a team consisting of Spider-Man, Wolverine, The Incredible Hulk, and Ghost Rider. The issue in question depicted the two teams squaring off in this manner.
  • The cover of the penultimate issue of Avengers Academy shows the Academy kids facing down the Jean Grey School kids. On a football field.
  • Spectacular Spider-Man #226, the infamous issue of The Clone Saga where it was revealed that Ben was supposedly the real deal and Peter Parker was the clone, used this for its cover. It can be seen in the page image for the storyline.
  • The cover to "Sonic Super Special #1" AKA "Battle Royal," shows Sonic and the Freedom Fighters facing off against Knuckles and the Chaotix.
  • Black Moon Chronicles: The cover of album 13, The Prophecy, shows Wismerhill and Hazheel Thorn staring each other down with (literally) burning eyes.
  • Ultimate Wolverine: Jimmy had one with both Wildchild and Quicksilver.

    Fan Works 
  • Ebott's Wake has a textual version at the beginning when Dr. Aster reflexively summons an Aster Blaster as Sans bridges up to the cave:
    A part of [Dr. Aster's] mind, standing off to the side like am impartial observer or referee, noted that there was an appealing symmetry to the situation; on each side, a skeleton and two blasters.

    Films — Animated 
  • An official piece of artwork for Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: The Super Adventure features Weslie and an army of White Kingdom bacteria soldiers staring at Wolffy and an army of Black Kingdom bacteria soldiers, clearly intent on fighting each other.
  • Moses and Pharaoh Rameses during the song "The Plagues" from The Prince of Egypt. The sequence is done rather symbolically. During the song, both Moses and Rameses sing about how they saw each other as brothers and how none of them wanted the plagues to happen. Near the end of the song, their faces do a Juxtaposed Halves Shot. Then their faces rotate apart so that they are facing each other, signifying that whatever bond they had is now permanently broken.

    Films — Live-Action 


  • The album cover for Hall & Oates' 1982 album H2O.

  • In F-14 Tomcat, the player character "Hitman" and the antagonist General Yagov adopt this pose on the playfield.
  • In Terminator 2: Judgment Day, the T-800 and the T-1000 are facing off against each other on the far wall of the playfield.
  • Buzz and an angry golfer are shown facing each other on the slingshot bumpers in No Good Gofers.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Stern): The Limited Edition backglass depicts Splinter and the Shredder on opposite sides, respectively flanked by the Turtles and the rest of their Rogues Gallery.

    Pro Wrestling 

  • You see it all the time on football broadcasts with the helmets of the two opposing teams facing off in 3D. (Sometimes clashing together and exploding in a manly shower of sparks and lightning and fire and explosions and lots of testosterone and things.)

    Tabletop Games 
  • This is used in Magic: The Gathering in several "clone" cards showing the cloned and the clone, such as Morphling and, of course, Clone.
    • Duel Deck art design have this in mind, with the foil cards in question using the art on the box.
  • Exalted: One of the illustrations in Return of the Scarlet Empress shows the Forces of Hell on one side versus just about everyone else on the opposing side.

    Video Games 


    Web Original 
  • There is a least one shot of the Nostalgia Critic and the Angry Video Game Nerd doing this, in cartoon form.
  • The Great Showdowns Tumblr blog features cute pictures of heroes and villains from movies facing each other, accompanied by a quote, but not the titles of the movies pictured.
  • The title cards for Atop the Fourth Wall occasionally do this, though not as often as you might think, considering that some of the comics Linkara has reviewed have featured this trope on their covers. Two cases in particular mirror each other, though - the cards for Youngblood #3 and Doctor Who Classics #7 mirror each other, being back-to-back storyline episodes, with Linkara and Lord Vyce facing each other with crossed arms, on opposite sides. Shaft and the Fifth Doctor's presence in each is incidental (and basically only to tie the cards in to the content actually being reviewed, of course).
  • In Freshy Kanal's "Bakugo vs. Inosuke" rap battle, the final scene is a series of increasingly closed-up shots of Bakugo on the left and Inosuke on the right facing and jumping towards each other with weapons ready.

    Western Animation