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V-Formation Team Shot

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Not to be confused with the B or the Q.
"I've heard of it before, but I've never seen it! It's the Flying "V"!"
Announcer, D2: The Mighty Ducks
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In almost every show featuring a team of heroes, at some point in the opening or promotional materials the main characters will be displayed in a certain formation. The leader stands in the middle of the shot, with the rest of the team standing to each side of him in order of importance, each slightly behind each other, forming a "V" shape.

Quite apart from looking really cool, this shot also has practical advantages. For one thing, it makes all the characters neatly visible, but more importantly, the viewer can and will make inferences about the group's power dynamic based on the arrangement of the characters. The characters flanking the central figure on either side will be assumed to be the two second most important team members, with others descending in importance as they move further toward the tips of the V and thus further back into the shot. (To be clear, it's not a hard and fast rule that every V formation shot will adhere to this formula, but the viewer's expectation is definitely there. The designer of the shot will have taken that expectation into account, even if they're intending to subvert it.) Also, though this is less of a given, information might be conveyed by whether a character is standing to the central figure's left or right side. The left and right sides may represent different subgroups of the team, or indeed two separate (but probably not worse than rivaling) factions altogether.

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They put it on DVD boxes, magazine covers, book covers, game covers and album covers too. However, in movie covers there is a risk that the center lead will be replaced by the most famous name, whether they are the leader or not.

Most characters will pull off a Dynamic Akimbo in this shot. The moving version of this is Power Walk. Subtrope of Team Shot (also compare that trope) and Opening Credits Cast Party, where the cast poses for the cameras during the credits and the Establishing Team Shot.


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Examples

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Seen in the opening sequence of the first Gate Keepers series.
  • Used in one of the opening sequences of Naruto.
  • Also seen in the opening sequence of Kare Kano.
  • The first opening sequence of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Strikers ends with one of these.
  • The second version of Code Geass' second opening ends with a gigantic V-Formation Team Shot; Zero in the center, the named Black Knights members behind him in a vague V-shape, and a mass of faceless uniformed Black Knights lined up in the background.
  • Strike Witches does this in the opening credits, with Yoshika at the front.
  • The second opening of Tokyo Underground features this setup.
  • One Piece has now done this a number of times in its openings as the crew grows, usually focusing on each one grinning before panning out as the ending shot.
  • Ties? Check. Suits? Check. Rings? Check. Box Weapons? Check. Major Badass look? Check. Katekyō Hitman Reborn! is all set to go!!! And everyone is looking at their very best.
  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex subverts this by putting a a unique spin. The opening for 2nd Gig shows Section 9 against a white background with Motoko in the center and the other members on either side, but everyone is lined up and spaced apart instead of standing in a V formation. Pixiv even has a special tag for artworks that parody the 2nd Gig opening called "攻殻立ち" (Strike).
  • A chapter in the Danganronpa V 3 manga has the student council attempting to do this, but they realize they can't put their leader, Angie, in front without the formation being lopsided. Kokichi suggests they rectify it by disassembling Kiibo, much to the robot's chagrin.

    Asian Animation 

    Comic Books 

  • Used many times on BIONICLE covers or title pages. Most notably the first and last issues have Tahu in the front in the same pose, except in the latter image, one side of the "V" is made up of villains.
  • During X-Wing Rogue Squadron, a party of three is sent on a covert mission. Its leader, driving force, and most effective member if you don't count snarky comments is shown at the head of the little V they make on the way to a confrontation.

    Film — Animated 
  • The official poster for Cars 2.
  • The poster for BIONICLE 3: Web of Shadows.

    Film — Live Action 

    Live Action TV 

    Music Videos 

    Pro Wrestling 

    Toys 
  • Almost every piece of BIONICLE promotional art showing all six members of a given set wave did this within the first six years, occasionally with some variation such as one character flying above the pose. Come 2008, when set waves became more diverse in who was in them, this became considerably less frequent; after all, having heroes and villains posing together as a team wouldn't make all that much sense.

    Video Games 

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • The trope was originally named after Justice League, whose main characters are seen silhouetted in this manner in the opening.
    • They also throw in a Power Walk.
    • The Justice League Unlimited series takes the shot and the silhouettes to an extreme level — from the Magnificent Seven to the Magnificent Thirty-Seven.
  • Seen in the opening sequence of Teen Titans.
  • The opening sequence for Metalocalypse, and the cover of the Fake Band Dethklok's album.
  • Team Go from Kim Possible does this. Even before ass kicking.
  • The Kids Next Door get one in their TV movie Operation: Z.E.R.O., when they exit their escape pods at the museum.
  • The Club of Heroes do this at the end of the teaser for the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Powerless!".

    Real Life 
  • Geese flying in formation.
  • A promotional poster for the 1992 Cricket World Cup showed the participating nations' captains (minus South Africa, who were a late addition) like this.


Alternative Title(s): Justice League Shot

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