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Razor-Sharp Hand

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"Pattram Sword Hand focuses on blows so precise and sharp that they turn the edge of the hand, foot, or finger into a cutting implement strong enough to part flesh, sunder armor, and cleave bone. I have seen masters of this school sever solid rock with a fingernail."
Manual of Hands and Feet, Kill Six Billion Demons

There are heroes who prefer swords. Others think Katanas Are Just Better. Then there are those who need neither. No, if they have to cut their opponent in tiny pieces they will just use their bare hands. Of course there will usually be some magic or Applied Phlebotinum behind this, but the idea is that they don't need any tool whatsoever. A swipe of their extended palm with jointed fingers, and the job is done. Alternately, the hand can be used as an unstoppable piercing weapon.

When this trope is present in western media, It's normally Hand Waved by the user knowing Karate and is also commonly Played for Laughs.

Note that an example doesn't qualify if the "hand" itself is an actual blade or spear. Examples of that should go to Blade Below the Shoulder. It must have the appearance of a normal fingered hand. Let it also be known that a Brick Break doesn't count as "cutting", since it uses blunt force and leaves a jagged edge where the pieces cracked apart.

See also Heroes Fight Barehanded. Compare Absurd Cutting Power. For a defensive equivalent, see Bare-Handed Blade Block.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Armed Girl's Machiavellism: Kirukiru Amou has trained extensively until her hands can slice through pretty much anything, even concrete.
  • Two fighters are shown to excel with a technique like this in Baki the Grappler.
    • Shinogi Kosho practices a fighting style that allows him to sever nerves with his fingertips, allowing him to cripple or blind his opponents.
    • One of titular "Most Evil Death Row Convicts" in said arc is Sikorsky, although he puts his own spin on this trope. He knows of a technique where he can cause deep cuts on his opponents, but instead of his fingers or nails, he actually makes use of swift knuckle strikes using friction to cut through flesh.
  • In Bleach, all of the Arrancars can do this as they have the ability to toughen their skin. Some shinigami practice forms of hand to hand combat which allows them to perform both this and Bare Handed Blade Blocks if they're sufficiently more powerful than their target.
  • In Campione!, Athena destroys Liliana's clothes just by running her finger along them, even slicing through her belt buckle.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Dragon Ball: Tao Pai Pai has toughened not only his hands and feet but also his tongue to the point he can pierce through anything and effortlessly kill enemies.
    • Dragon Ball Z:
      • Gohan at one point uses this ability to split firewood.
      • Pops up again in the Buu saga, this time used by Vegito against Super Buu. The first of a couple of signature attacks (named Vegito Sword in the fighters), the energy sword projected from his hand is shown to briefly paralyze Buu.
      • Dr. Gero punctures a hole through poor Yamcha's chest after grabbing hold of him and draining his energy. Android 17 later jabs a hole in Gero himself before kicking his head off.
    • Dragon Ball Super: Goku Black likes to concentrate aura into one of his hands, then shape it into a blade, allowing him to use his arm like a sword.
  • Fist of the North Star
    • Nanto Seiken is a whole family of fighting disciplines that generally works this way. Most famous among the Nanto fighters is side protagonist Rei, whose Nanto Suicho Ken style can literally slash his enemies to ribbons; and Shin, whose piercing fingers were responsible for the Seven Scars that Kenshiro bears. Holy Emperor Souther, the strongest of the Nanto fighters, can do this with such precision that he can sever the tendons in someone's legs with minimal damage to the legs themselves.
    • Even Hokuto Shinken does this, such as this incident where Kenshiro cleaves a man in half lengthwise with the edge of his hand.
  • Alucard from Hellsing ends his duel with Tubalcain Alhambra by cutting through his card and his entire arm lengthwise with just his hand.
  • In Kandachime, Mumiyo suffers from Power Incontinence and cuts everything she touches.
  • The Kyotoryu school from Katanagatari has been noted to slice through not only flesh but also other swords with bare handed techniques — even if those swords have been specifically made to be indestructible. One user even manages to create Razor Wind with a cut of her hand, which gives another character a perfectly-styled haircut.
  • Sieglinde Jeremiah of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid. A missed swipe from her hand tore a deep crevice across the ground that ended in a destroyed arena wall. A flashback through the eyes of her ancestors shows them literally tearing through armies of knights with her bare hands, decapitating several soldiers and horses with each swing of her hands and feet.
  • Naruto:
    • The Chidori technique in its basic form consists of concentrating lightning chakra in your hand and charge very fast to make it cut and pierce through anything. The Third Raikage has a similar technique, except he takes it to One-Man Army levels. While Kabuto uses a repurposed medical technique, making his hand like a scalpel which lets him cut tendons and arteries without breaking skin but more often he can just use it to slice enemies in half.
    • When Kabuto released a number of Orochimaru's prisoners and made them all fight each other to the death (with the last survivor earning the "honour" of becoming Orochimaru's new host body) the eventual winner (Gen'yūmaru) kills his last opponent by taking his head clean off with his bare hands and sending it flying across the room.
  • Kotaro of Negima! Magister Negi Magi.
  • Squid Girl: Chizuru demonstrates the ability to cut things with her bare hand. In the anime she only demonstrates the ability on Squid Girl's tentacles (the manga version has her holding a knife while doing these actions, making the anime version even more awesome) but later on in the manga she uses her bare hand to cut a weapon-grade watermelon that the three stooges had enhanced to resist a chainsaw.
  • The Strider manga shows that Strider Hiryu could slice cleanly through humans with a karate chop.
  • Toriko's Fork and Knife techniques work this way.
  • That's how Fuuma prefers to kill his victims in X1999 (impaling them through the chest).

    Comic Books 
  • In the DC Comics series Hero Hotline, Diamondette has this power with her hands acting like diamond-hard knives. She's part-timing as a hero for hire to pay for medical school, as she plans to become a surgeon.
  • Judge Dredd's nemesis, Judge Death, is shown chopping through one unfortunate judge's neck with his bare hand in his introduction story. His signature move involves reaching into a person's chest and squeezing their heart.
  • New Gods: One of Darkseid's Female Furies, Guilotina, has this power. Her hands can cut through just about anything, making the Absurdly Sharp Blades she wields almost redundant.
  • Superman's fingernails are harder than diamond, and have to be cut with either heat vision, special kryptonian metal, or bitten Depending on the Writer.

    Fan Works 

    Film — Animation 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In Casshern, there is a four-minute action sequence in which the hero mows down an entire army of war robots. The first one is dispatched by punching it through the heart using the artillery shell the hero has just caught in front of his own face. The second one has his head ripped off at the neck and is then bisected with a single vertical chop to the neck stump. It's as crazy as it sounds.
  • In Fist of Legend, Jet Li is discussing philosophy with a Japanese warrior. Jet Li's character says it's about power, and punches a rock. The Japanese fighter effortlessly swings his hand through the air, cutting a piece of paper in half and says it's not about power, but focusing that power.
  • In Hancock, every part of Hancock is invulnerable, even his hair, but he can shave using his fingernails.
  • In John Carpenter's Vampires, the Vampire Lord at one point uses his bare hand to first jam it into a human's chest, then swings the arm in an upward motion to completely rip the poor victim in half.
  • In Zatoichi Meets the One Armed Swordsman, the last one, to demonstrate his strength and scare Zatoichi, cuts down trees with a single blow of his bare hand.

  • Broken Ring: How the senkata can kill. They form their normally shadowy forms into hard, jagged ends to slice with.
  • In Cerberus High the twins Mitzy and Roxy are said to be able to slice diamond with their chops.
  • Subverted in The Fifth Elephant; the assassin/aide Vimes is assigned on his diplomatic trip to Überwald appears to decapitate a bandit with his bare hands, but shortly afterwards it's revealed that he's really carrying a palm dagger.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The titular hero of Ultraman Ace has the "Ultra-Knife!" which encases his hands, in a chopping motion, with a razor sharp aura, capable of shredding monster's body parts with ease. This attack notably relieves the monster Zaigon of its cranium.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
  • 3rd Edition GURPS Supers:
    • The Buzzsaw power causes the user's hand to vibrate at hypersonic speed, allowing it to cut through things and cause massive damage.
    • The supplement GURPS Wild Cards: The super villain Mackie Messer (AKA Mack the Knife) can cut through anything physical with his hands.
  • Pathfinder has the Boar Style line of feats which can give your unarmed attacks the slashing or piercing damage type, plus a damage and Intimidation bonus. Downplayed in that the fluff describes it as using hardened and sharpened nails (and teeth) instead of the "blade" of the hand.

    Video Games 
  • This is Yasha's weapon of choice in Asura's Wrath, by contrast to Asura's fists. As a bonus, he can even throw Sword Beams with them.
  • This is how Bayonetta cuts off the tentacles of Iustitia. Sadly you can't use that move during gameplay.
  • Devil May Cry 4: Dante did this to a slab of stone (and later, many slabs) when he acquired Gilgamesh (a set of supposedly non-sharp gauntlets and boots). Unfortunately, that only worked in a cutscene.
  • EXTRAPOWER: Attack of Darkforce: The bem, such as Gradius, have Panzer Arms that transform their bodies into weapons. For Gradius, it means turning his hand into a sharpened knife's edge which he uses to slice and stab his foes.
    • The giant hand Edelweiss that pulls Nemuri's wagon in EXTRAPOWER: Attack of Darkforce is also a bem, and it automatically slices through enemies by touching them during movement.
  • In The King of Fighters, Iori Yagami, Goenitz, Leona Heidern and Mature use their hands to slice their opponents like a knife. In Leona's case, she inherited her razor-sharp hands from her biological father Gaidel.
    • Iori begins to rely only on his bare hands in XII and XIII after being forcefully Brought Down to Normal by Ash Crimson, but he retains his ability of his claw-like hands to slash his opponents.
  • League of Legends: Prior to her rework, Akali, the Fist of Shadow was said to have been raised from infancy as a martial artist. By the time she was officially inducted into her ninja order, she was able to slice a dangling chain with a chop of her hand.
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies: Simon Blackquill, who often speaks in odd sword metaphors only he seems to understand fully, obviously can't bring one to court. So he resorts to this instead, being able to slash your glasses in half from across the courtroom without moving from the prosecutor's stand, and without even harming you.
  • Resident Evil: Wesker is a big fan of this move, most notably when he kills Oswald E. Spencer with a stab to the chest in Resident Evil 5. In his case, his hand isn't so much sharp as it's a matter of his Super-Strength: he brute-force slams his fingers through his victim's sternum.
  • In a couple of the more recent fighter spinoffs from the Touhou Project series, Yukari Yakumo's Last Word ✶Lend Me Those Beautiful Legs!✶ winds up as this. With a single swipe from her fingernails, she cuts the victim clean in half. Or at least she appears to, as the silhouette screen and clip thereafter imply she's just pulling a bit of a stunt using her gaps (this being Yukari, it wouldn't be a major stretch); the hapless victim is almost immediately pieced back together again.


    Western Animation 


Shiva's Weapon

Shiva breaks Lady Eve's sword with her bare hands.

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