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Unorthodox Sheathing

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Related to Unorthodox Reload and Unorthodox Holstering, you have cool, but often inefficient ways of sheathing and unsheathing your swords.

Can sometimes overlap with Weapon Twirling. A sword carried in a back scabbard goes here, but see Sticks to the Back for cases where a weapon has no visible holster or sheath at all for ease of animation or other reasons.

Has nothing to do with Sheathe Your Sword, despite the name.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Toboso Yana seems to like this trope. In Black Butler's anime season two, Hannah keeps a demon sword in her esophagus. In Rust Blaster, Kai literally is the sheath.
  • Bleach: After Ichigo unlocks its first alternate form, Zangetsu gains an extendable bandage on the pommel which can wrap or unwrap the blade at will.
  • Dragon Ball Z: After testing Goku's combat prowess, Future Trunks re-sheathes his sword by lobbing it into the air, then leaning to the side slightly so it falls into the sheathe on his back. This gets a Call-Back in Dragon Ball Xenoverse, where he does it again after engaging the Player Character in a mock battle at the start of the game.
  • Gundams store their beam sabers anyplace the designers like, including hips, shoulder armor, backpacks, forearms, back of shield, knees, inside the palm of the hugely extensible limb, etc.
  • Inuyasha cheats; Tessaiga's sheath can summon the sword to it, up to some distance. He's used this twice.
  • Mysterious Girlfriend X: Urabe wears a pair of scissors tucked into her panties at all times. When she uses them she moves fast enough to create what seems like a whirlwind and then puts them back under her skirt.
  • Naruto:
    • Orochimaru retrieves the Sword of Kusanagi by vomiting it. Occasionally it comes out tip first as a surprise attack, or hilt first to be wielded.
    Zetsu: There he goes again, puking stuff up and just being creepy and gross.
  • One Piece: Zoro has been known to resheath his swords by throwing them into the air and then catching them with the sheaths. And, of course, he does it with three at the same time.
  • In Revolutionary Girl Utena, the Sword of Dios is magically sheathed within Anthy's chest. Other "heart-swords" appear in later arcs.
  • Rurouni Kenshin: Cho performs a Reverse Mid-Air Unsheathing and Sheathing technique...with a baby hanging on the sheath of the sword.
  • Undead Unluck: Since he's not the best at keeping any of his outfits intact (aside from Clothy, that is), Andy takes advantage of his Healing Factor by using his forearm as the sheath for his unbreakable katana, with the hilt on his metacarpals and the other end sticking out of his elbow.

    Comic Books 
  • In Thriller, the assassin Scabbard got his name because he carried his sword in a sheath that was mounted beneath the skin over his spine.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Discworld of A.A. Pessimal, his expansion of canonical Assassin Madame Deux-Epées has her carrying both swords in the conventional manner, sheathed at her hips on a sword-belt. Only once is she seen following canon and wearing a sword at her back so it can be fast-drawn over the shoulder: the reason for this is a very context-specific one, as she has to edificeer her way into a fortified castle and climb a tower, therefore requiring both her hands free to climb without having a sword dragging off her belt and impeding her ascent. Emmanuelle is heard to note that people wear swords at their waist for a reason, so why seek to fix that which is not broken?

    Films — Live-Action 

  • In the Discworld, the canonical Assassin Madame Deux-Epées is depicted as carrying one of her two swords on her back, for a speedy over-the-shoulder draw.
  • The Iliad poetically describe Greek warriors as "drawing their blades from their thighs". The parody in The Classics Reclassified takes this metaphor literally.
  • George MacDonald Fraser wrote, in one of his McAuslan stories, about how the officers of his Highland regiment once experimented with drawing their claymores from over their shoulders:
    So he had us out behind the mess, practicing, and and how the adjutant didn't decapitate himself remains a mystery. Even the Colonel had to admit, reluctantly, that to have all his officers minus their right ears would present an unbalanced appearance, so the idea was shelved.
  • Shardblades in The Stormlight Archive vanish into Hammerspace if you let go of them, and can be resummoned later.

     Live-Action TV 

    Video Games 
  • BlazBlue: Jin has a behind-the-back katana-sheathing after his CT Astral Heat which is practically identical to Vergil's, as described above. Hakumen has a similar animation for his own Astral Heat, which is not a coincidence.
  • Vergil and Dante of Devil May Cry sheathe the Yamato in odd ways after performing its aerial attack. After performing his aerial rave move, Vergil moves the sword and its sheath behind him at hip level, sheathing the sword behind his back horizontally, the same form was used by Dante in homage to his brother once acquiring Yamato. Naturally, they're able to do this with flawless precision in less than half a second. Vergil, the weapon's original owner, also has variants of his sheathing technique in holding the sheathe behind him, moves the sword over his head and drops it directly down into the sheath after decimating a Hell Abyss ambush. He also sheathes Yamato in the same way as he does with his aerial rave technique — behind him at hip-level — after confronting Beowulf. Vergil does the same behind-the-back sheathing in his Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 victory animation.
  • Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning straddles the line between this trope and Unorthodox Holstering; her gunblade is stored in firearm mode, but during combat she keeps it in sword mode except for certain attacks. Consequently, a few cutscenes have her drawing it and switching it to blade in a flashy manner for intimidation.
  • Fire Emblem: In the GBA games, the Hero classes sheathe their weapon into their shield while in midair. Their critical hit animation has them throwing their shield in the air before jumping after it, unsheathing their weapon, and hitting their opponent.
  • Tungar from Indivisible wields a sword with an uncommonly long and flexible blade known as an urumi. When he's not fighting, he's able to "sheath" it by wrapping it around his head and wearing it as a turban.
  • Genshin Impact: Raiden Shogun keeps her sword in her chest, Utena-style, and seems to be able to manifest it from anywhere on her body. This works on account of the sword being made out of lightning magic.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess:
    • Link performs two slashes before him, then three spins to the side before sheathing the sword on his back. He does it in the cut scenes after six of the eight dungeon bosses (and two minibosses), but he'll also do it if the player manually resheathes immediately after clearing an area of enemies. It also appears as one of Link's taunts in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
    • Darknuts from the same game will swing the scabbard off their longswords after they toss their One Handed Zweihanders when you strip them of all their armor. The scabbard can actually strike Link for light damage.
  • Muramasa: The Demon Blade: After finishing a battle, Kisuke throws his sheath in the air and catches it with his sword.
  • Honedge from Pok√©mon X and Y is a Steel/Ghost sword that comes with a sheath. When in battle, it unsheathes itself using the prehensile tassel on its handle, and holds it during the fight.
  • Haohmaru of Samurai Shodown throws his sword in the air and catches it with his sheath.
  • Sengoku Basara:
    • Keiji Maeda, whose BFS sheath descends from the heavens and lands perfectly over the blade after the end of each battle (with the implications that he threw it away at the beginning and can summon it back at will).
    • Mitsunari has a tendency to pretty much throw his sword back into its sheath, due to his less-than-reverent attitude towards it.
  • Patroklos of Soul Calibur V has his sword's sheath built into his shield. He basically sheathes it by stabbing at his hand and missing.
  • Tales of Symphonia: One of Lloyd Irving's Victory Poses is to throw a sword into the air, sheath the other with a spin, and then catch the first one and sheathe it the same way.
  • Yuri Lowell in Tales of Vesperia will swing his sword's sheath off the blade.
    • Yuri has been known to toss his sheaths off of mountain ledges, amongst other places where it should be easily lost. How the hell he keeps getting them back is a mystery.
  • Witchers in The Witcher wear their swords across the back and it's stated that witchers are the only ones who really do so. In the games, they wear both swords with the hilt over the right shoulder, except in the first game, where they're crossed.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: Adam Taurus unsheathes his sword by firing it out of his gun-sheath, then catching it when it bounces off the head of the enemy.

    Web Comics 
  • For reasons that make no sense out of context and which are too complicated to explain concisely, some characters in Homestuck keep swords impaled in their midsections when not in use.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time's tiny cat assassin Me-mow draws her sword by vomiting it out her mouth.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Piandao, Sokka's sword instructor, has his butler throw the sheath to him and he catches it by holding the blade out and letting the sheath slide on—while he was blinded by sand thrown in his eyes, no less.
  • Wakfu: With his introduction in the first episode of Season 2, Remington Smith shows off his skills by sending his Shushu dagger twirling in the air before landing straight in its sheath.

    Real Life 
  • According to Samurai experts, female samurai and ninjas in old Japan exploited a very natural place to hide a Weapon of Last Resort, usually a long knife — in a suitably shaped sheath, naturally. Given the difficulty of extracting it whilst wearing the required layers of formal clothing and kimonos, the circumstances in which this dagger could be employed would be limited — and possibly very effective.
  • Although frequently worn on the back in most games and popular culture, in reality swords were not commonly worn on the back, though there is historical evidence that blades were transported on the back in Norse and Celtic cultures, as well as some evidence that curved blades could be carried on the back as well. The main problem comes from the shape of a normal weapon sheath, as most straight swords are too long to be easily drawn over the shoulder. However, it has been shown that one can easily wear, carry, and draw even a very long a sword on the back with a cleverly-constructed scabbard.