Some people are fast. Some people are very very fast. Some of them travel so fast you can't even see them move.
And sometimes these people will fight so fast you hardly even get to react. That's a speed blitz.
Fights like this can end before bystanders even know it has started. As the name suggests it's more being hit by lightning than getting in a brawl. A common version of this in anime is to Flash Step past a person and strike them in a process, never slowing down enough to be seen.
Can be a serious source of Fridge Logic for speedsters. After all, if they can fight like this, why don't they do it all time? The Doylist answer is Rule of Drama; it's hard for a non-speedster to resist a Speed Blitz, so if it happened all the time, there would be no tension. Watsonian answers usually call on some Necessary Drawback; maybe this use of speed is damaging to the body or creates sonic booms that will harm bystanders.
This sort of thing can happen in real life to a limited extent - if you film an expert martial artist and then replay it frame by frame, their fists and feet can go a surprising distance in a fraction of a second.
Named after a common term in internet fight threads, itself probably a reference to the Nazi tactic of blitzkrieg, meaning "Lightning War".
If the blitz takes the form of a hail of punches, it's Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs.
Compare Single-Stroke Battle.
- In Dragon Ball Z, Trunks encounters a group of Frieza's henchmen. In a single Flash Step, Trunks manages to Clean Cut all of them. Around this point, it's a common form of combat.
- Gogeta is a master of this, hes first attack against Janemba in Fusion Reborn is literally just blurs of motion while blow impacts appear on the Demons chest. Gogetas canon debut is stranger to this either, his movements are blindingly fast and powerful◊.
- It was actually parodied in the original, early battles of Dragon Ball, before it could even become a trope. In the Tenkai Ichi Budokai tournament, Kame Sennin (in disguise as "Jackie Chun") fights Krillin. The fight is over before the audience can even blink. Annoyed, they demand a better show, so Jackie Chun and Krillin go back and sloooooowly reenact the dozens of attacks, feints, blocks, defenses, and even taunts that they used in that split-second, complete with helpful commentary.
- This is how the Flash Step is introduced in Bleach, with Byakuya using it to beat up Ichigo so fast that Ichigo can't even see what's happening. Ichigo also doesn't realize until Byakuya points it out that he got stabbed twice, not once.
- And then Ichigo's Bankai makes him so fast that it looks like there's a swarm of Ichigos flying around. And his Superpowered Evil Side is even faster than that.
- But of course Yoruichi The Goddess of Flash once took out dozens of Mooks in the blink of an eye. With her bare hands. Despite having been out of practice for roughly a century.
- In Claymore the Flash Sword and Wind Cutter techniques unleash a storm of iaido-style slashes so fast that weaker characters cannot tell the user has moved, and powerful enough to disintegrate a tree in seconds.
- Near the end of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Strikers, Fate activates Sonic Drive and demonstrates how much faster she is now by dashing past Sette, slicing up her Boomerang Blades into itty-bitty pieces, and taking her out of commission all before she could even move out of her ready stance.
- YuYu Hakusho:
- Famous example: Hiei vs. Seiryu. Seiryu is fast enough to throw a hundred punches in a split second. Their fight ends in seconds, Hiei having slashed Seiryu sixteen times with his sword, before Seiryu even knew he was cut.
- Hiei seems to love this trope, as he repeated something just like this in the Dark Tournament in his "fight" against Makintaro. Hiei takes out his sword. Next thing Makintaro knows, his arm's been cut off. Hiei then proceeds to hold said arm in the air, and only then does Makintaro realize what's happened, and cry out in pain.
- One Piece:
- Luffy upon entering Gear Second. In more recent arcs, he can enter this form quickly and exit out of it easily, so most of his attacks are in this form.
- Thanks to being a skeleton Brook can Speed Blitz almost any kind of foe usually overlapping it with Flash Step. Seriously Brook got the jump on Big Mom whose an Emperor of the sea.
- CP9 agents are fond of this with their Soru technique. The most basic way to assassinate someone is to Soru over to them, then use Shigan to quickly hit them with the force of a gun. Luffy actually invented Gear Second specifically to duplicate Soru's speed.
- Much earlier, Kuro's ultimate attack, "Shakushi", is also a form of speed blitz, albeit far less refined, as he goes too fast to tell whether he's slicing his enemies or his crew. However, this drawback is mitigated by him being a Bad Boss who intended to kill off his crew anyway.
- Sanji is also fond of this, at one point when fighting Wanze he apparently kicked the latter ten times in the face and we reader/audience didnt even see it. Sanji dials it Up to Eleven when saving Chiffon from Charlotte Oven as Sanji moves so fast◊ Oven didnt see what hit him.
- Speed blitzes are also Cavendish's specialty, but only as Hakuba. When Hakuba awoke during the Corrida Colosseum match, he took out almost every remaining fighter in the blink of an eye, with only Rebecca being fast enough to avoid the brunt of his attack thanks to her own Super Speed and Haki.
- Kaido gloriously proves that he is indeed faster than he looks, as curb stomps◊ Gear 4 Luffy in a split second.
- Rock Lee from Naruto can do this whenever he drops his weights. He tries this on Gaara during the Chunin exams; it only fails due to Gaara being Nigh Invulnerable compared to the other entrants.
- His teammate Neji can also do this with his Eight Trigrams Sixty-Four Palms technique. We also find out in Shippuden that this was the Fourth Hokage's preferred fighting style. Still later, we find out that the Fourth Raikage is big on speed, in addition to being just plain big. Naruto himself is fond of this, to the point that he can do things like deflect massive attacks and slash a friggin' god well before anyone can bat an eyelid.
- Yaiba is very fast and sometimes he/or his enemy can reach such a level of speed. During the last battle against Possessed Onimaru on Orochi he was so fast that he managed to dodge several Sword Beam while apparently standing still.
- In Mahou Sensei Negima!, this trope is used in several ways:
- First, there is "instant movement". By using it multiple times, high-level fighters can traverse large distances extremely fast to overwhelm opponents.
- Next, Negi learns Magia Erebea, which not only drastically speeds him up on its own, but also allows him to absorb spells and fuse himself with them - his most common use of this is fusing with his own lightning spells to give him lightning speed.
- Kenshin and Mitsunari from Sengoku Basara, both Iaijutsu Practitioners who move and attack quicker than the eye can see.
- Levi aka humanity's most powerful soldier in Attack on Titan does this every time when he fights. Even Mikasa can't keep up with him.
- Possible in Campione! with Godou's Raptor authority and Sun Wukong's godspeed, but very difficult. The Raptor grants Godou immense speed so it would seem perfect for this attack, but whenever Godou attempts it he discovers he lacks the fine control needed, resulting in even the simplest attacks going wide of the target. Similarly, Sun Wukong moves so fast that he can't correct in time to strike when Godou dodges at the last second.
- Common in Ranma ½. Mikado Sanzenin got hit 108 times without anyone but Akane seeing it... And that's before Ranma becomes really fast, at which point he can punch someone a hundred times in the same spot with what looks like a single punch to anyone else (thankfully, the only one who got hit by that was the incredibly sturdy Ryouga, who practically requires it).
- Sailor Moon has Sailor Venus, who, in the manga, has demonstrated the ability to make a Flash Step and kick her victim in the same move.
- In Fist of the Blue Sky one of the opponent of the Thirties' Kenshiro (62nd successor to Hokuto Shinken and adopted uncle to the more famous one) whips the Shadowless Kick, a simple kick brought at Flash Step speeds, mentioning he learned it from the hermit Lǐ Sǎn, whose speed allowed him to defeat all his opponents but one. Then it's revealed that Lǐ Sǎn's one loss had been against Tesshin Kasumi, Hokuto Shinken's 61st successor, and Kenshiro whips out the Raibō Shin Kyaku technique that is evene faster.
- The Flash is fond of this method against mere mortals.
- So is Superman.
- And Thor. He once shut down Quicksilver in a heartbeat when the speedster got a little too cocky.
- One of Flash's enemies, Zoom, once pulled this against the entire Justice League, beating the stuffing out of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman all at the same time. They were lucky he was simply trying to escape from them, and wasn't using lethal force due to his bizarre and unpredictable code of ethics.
- Quicksilver in The Ultimates was infamous for claiming he saves all his teammates' lives multiple times without them seeing it. They assume he's lying. However we see it first hand when he takes down Hurricane. The fight starts as Hawkeye is knocked over and ends before he hits the ground. Naturally he complains that Quicksilver should have done something to help.
- Spider-Man is one of the few non-classified speedsters who invokes this on a daily basis. Memorably in Secret Wars Spidey blitzed the entire X-Men in two pages as Super Speed + Spider-Sense is a tricky combo. Nor can we forget Spider-Man most epic scene◊ in Civil War.
- Right before Flashpoint retconned both of their histories Tim Drake went to Hong Kong to help his sister Cassandra Cain track down the young serial killer "Cricket" who has perfected speedy hits to the point that he seems to be a low-level speedster, and might be though the reboot prevents any further discoveries about him. He managed to easily take out both of them laughing all the while.
- Cassandra herself is also well-known for this tactic, taking down opponents so fast that people are convinced she's a metahuman. In truth, this stems more from a combination of her ability to predict people's actions before they happen, her incredible mental capacity that allows her to keep track of many tasks and targets at once, and her sheer mastery of hand to hand combat.
- In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Barry Allen takes down a gunman robbing the store he's in so fast, the milk he was holding doesn't even begin to drop before he returns to it.
- Defied in Avengers: Infinity War. When Loki pulls out the knife, Ebony Maw is startled and Proxima Midnight is still aiming her deadly spear at him — they were both not quick enough to react. Thanos, however, saw it coming and stops Loki with the Space Stone before the dagger reaches his neck.
- Played straight in Avengers: Age of Ultron when Quicksilver is introduced, Cap describes him as a blur.
- Possibly the most extreme example is The Shrike from the Hyperion Cantos. Late in the series, it repeatedly blitzes people who are themselves so fast that they can watch lasers crawl through the air in front of them. It's probably best not to think about the physics of that.
- In detail: it destroys every light in a tunnel system nearly simultaneously, then retreats several miles in a fraction of a second so that a radar scan doesn't detect it, then runs back down, waits for its enemy to turn on her own superspeed powers, and finally pulls out her intestines before she can react. Turns out that when you blast the Shrike with a Kill Sat it kind of holds a grudge.
- The Garatron in one of the Animorphs books.
- The Andalites have shades of this as well. They can move their tails fast enough so that most species can't even see anything before their throat is slit by the tail's blade.
- The Fighter-type specialists in Sergey Lukyanenko's Genome move and fight so fast, others (like the protagonist, a Navigator-type) barely notice that a fight broke out before one of the Fighters drops dead or incapacitated a second or two later. Needless to say, nobody but another Fighter-type can fight them at all.
- One of the hats of the non-humans in The Dresden Files is super speed, Vampires and Fae especially are noted for it.
- Windcrafter fights in Codex Alera all happen at the super speed they borrow from their Furies.
- Kamen Rider has been doing this since at least Agito, what with Agito's random bouts of sudden acceleration during his Rider Kick, with his Shining Rider Kick being the more blatant in that series. Since then, Kamen Rider had used this trope on-and-off again, appearing most famously in Kamen Rider 555 (Faiz Axel, which had a 10-second limit and never uses it in quick succession) and most prolifically in Kamen Rider Kabuto.
- Tracker: Cole could do this thanks to his alien abilities. He did have a justification for not doing it all the time, or at least the hyperspeed version of it, which was that it used a lot of energy in the process.
- Bravely Default has the Ninja ability Shippujinrai, which allows the user to attack immediately at the beginning of a turn, regardless of all other combatants' speed. True to the trope, the enemy ninja Kikyo will often Brave to use it twice in a row, taking out one of your party members before you have a chance to respond.
- The Light Speed Attack functions this way in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. Particularly in Sonic Heroes where it's the basis and aftereffect for the "Sonic Overdrive", and is able to one-shot multiple enemies in a row, up to and including Heavy Egg Hammers.
- This is also the intended way to use Sonic in the Super Smash Bros. games: He doesn't do much damage, he doesn't have much launching power, and he has rather low defense, but everything he does is blindingly fast. This puts him at Difficult, but Awesome, as anyone whose fingers can't keep up with the World's Fastest Hedgehog will struggle, but anyone who can is capable of turning Sonic into a whirlwind of attacks anywhere the opponents go, with them unable to meaningfully fight back due to them being, well, too slow.
- In Eternal Fighter Zero, Mai Kawasumi can perform offensive flash steps at varying distances, or also to escape when cornered, and one super has her disappearing for a while, and reappearing on contact.
- In the Pokémon games, this is the point of attacks like Mach Punch, Extremespeed, and Quick Attack which have higher priority than most other moves.
- The upgraded version of Omega Rugal fought at the end of The King of Fighters '98 used much more powerful versions of Rugal's classic moves, with his God Press going from a move where he runs forward, grabs your fighter and carries them across the screen to slam them against the far wall, to a move where he stands up straight, vanishes in a blur of motion, then appears standing on the other side of your character, who takes half a dozen hits and loses a huge chunk of their life bar. The new version was appropriately called "Vanishing Rush".
- Xenoblade Chronicles 2 has Jin, who demonstrates what happens when someone doesn't hold this back. Plot wise, he effortlessly wins every fight when he isn't under a massive handicap until Pneuma appears. Gameplay wise, he doesn't move around the battlefield particularly fast, but he has dodge frames for days, incredible range on his attacks, and absurd counterattack moves.
- In this Ask Axe Cop comic, Axe Cop explains how he became the world's fastest chopper by downing a can of Red Bull and decapitating 1,000 bad guys at once.
- Nemi in Serpamia Flare has an extremely high agility stat, allowing her to have the quickest (though not necessarily the strongest) attack rate in the party. She first demonstrates her speed in combat in Chapter Two, against the Shrewters, and then again when rescuing Lac in the same chapter. In Chapter Three she frequently displays high speed - against the Sandworm, the Danrir Rebels and Sho.
- Schlock Mercenary: Soldiers enhanced with certain nanite boosts can move far too fast for anyone without similar nanite packages that would still qualify as Super Soldiers themselves to handle; they simply don't have the reaction time to fight back, or even the time to perceive the attack.
Brad: So I looked at our guards instead. And then this... shadow flitted across them, and they collapsed.
- Most Speedsters in the animated DCU works. As well as Superman
- Wally West in Justice League Unlimited frequently Speed Blitzes, even bringing down Brainic with the Speed Force and another Lex Luthor in Wally's body blitzes in everybody in the Watch Tower.
- Wally West in Teen Titans as Kid Flash is just as good as his JL counterpart completely overwhelming The Hive 5.
- Wally is less powerful in Young Justice though he can still speed blitz the Villain of the Week when motivated.
- Quicksliver in X-Men: Evolution and Wolverine And The Xmen often brutally blitzes his foes, including the smashing Emma Frost head into a stone pillar in the latter show.
- Alucard in Castlevania in the Final Battle stops using a simple Flash Step and becomes a blur of speed◊ against his father Dracula.