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An attack popular among Winged Humanoids and a few other winged creatures: Using your own feathers as a form of weaponry.

This is usually accomplished by the attacker flapping their wings forward, releasing a storm of sharp feathers that fly off towards the intended target.

This makes no sense from a biological or physical perspective; feathers may look sharp, but in Real Life they're only good for cutting through the air; they are too delicate and lightweight to be used as a weapon. The same characteristics that make them useful for flight (lightweight, lots of wind resistance) would also make them poor projectiles: difficult to aim and losing much of their force in transit. But hey -- anything's possible if it looks cool enough.

Alternatively, the character may opt to use their feathers as melee weapons (similar to knives or especially Wolverine Claws) to slice and dice the opponent at close range.

Can overlap with Razor Wings. Perpetual Molt is a similar visual effect without the combat overtones.

If any explanation is given, it's probably A Wizard Did It.

Examples of Feather Flechettes include:


Anime and Manga

  • In Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure, Cars can do this once he gain's the power of the stone mask and Red stone of Asia to enhance his already formidable abilities.
  • Used in The Law of Ueki: an interesting case because the actual superpower of the man using it was flying, so apparently, attacking with feather blades was considered somehow natural for winged creatures.
  • Suigintou from Rozen Maiden loves doing this. Then again, she's a talking doll.
  • Bleach. When in her released form, Privaron Espada #105, Cirucci Sanderwicci, can fire the feather-like blades (which vibrate at high speeds) in her wings at her opponents. The blades can return and re-attach to her wings at will, making them Precision Guided Boomerangs. There's also Avirama Redder, Fraccion of Baraggan Luisenbarn, who in his Winged Humanoid released form has "steel" feathers, which he launches by flapping them at his enemies, their heavy weight making them deadly projectiles. Ironically, the very reason they are so deadly becomes his downfall, considering the weight-multiplying Zanpakutou power of his opponent, Vice-Captain Izuru Kira.
  • Claymore: in the anime, one of Priscilla's Awakened Forms allows her to do this.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!, with many Winged Beast-Type monsters.
  • Konan of Naruto can do this, due to the fact that her "feathers" are actually sheets of paper.
  • Eve in Black Cat did this once when fighting two Ax Crazy Numbers.
  • Mr. Chicken in Slayers. It caused a little damage, but enough to reliably disrupt spellcasting.
  • Toristan, the masked (and chicken-faced birdman from Ranma One Half The Movie 2: Nihao My Concubine, wears a feather-lined coat that he employs precisely for this purpose.
    • Likewise, the Mt. Phoenix warrior Masala can shoot off razor feathers from his wings with enough force to drive them deep into concrete.
  • Phoenix Ikki from Saint Seiya is fond of appearing via a sharp, metal feather to the enemy's hand whenever said foe is threatening his little brother, Shun. Presumably, these blades come from the self-regenerating Phoenix Cloth's not-so-decorative tail feathers.
  • In G Gundam, Gundam Heaven's Sword[1] has the Heaven's Darts as its primary ranged weapon in its flight form.
  • From Amatsuki, Bonten can apparently use these. Don't ask how, since his wings were folded away at the time.
  • Black Butler: Ash/Angela during the final battle.
  • In Crossbone Gundam, the Divinidad's feather funnels are primarily Attack Drones, but they're large and durable enough that they can also destroy enemy mobile suits simply by ramming them. The Cornix from the sequel The Steel 7 has refined versions of the feather funnels which mount beam blades for stronger melee attacks.

Comic Books

  • Also used by Archangel from X-Men. Justified, like the Bleach example, by being metal projectiles. When he regains real wings instead of biomechanical ones, he loses this ability.

Folklore and Mythology

Literature

  • Variation: the stormwings in the Immortals Quartet are covered with razor-edged metallic feathers, but they don't attack by throwing or shooting them. They do swipe at things with their wings.

Live Action TV

  • Kamen Rider OOO''s TaJaDor form, being based on birds, fires peacock-feather flechettes as one of its powers. And said projectiles are on fire.

Tabletop Games

Video Games

  • Harpies in Warcraft are explicitly said to hurl pinfeathers at enemies.
  • Griffins in Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core have a skill called "feather shots." They don't look metal or anything, but they do hurt.
  • Literal in the case of Pokémon's Skarmory.
  • Dyna Blade does this in Kirby Super Star
    • Kirby also does this himself in Super Star. His Wing form and the Wing partner can fire projectile feathers, and cause damage when they flap their feathers.
  • Harpies in the various Castlevania games.
  • One of the bosses in Bomberman Tournament could do this.
  • Emperor Griffon in Dark Cloud 2 rains a shower of projectiles down from his wings. As he Turns Red, he drops to the ground and transforms his wings into actual swords.
  • Yagudo, the birdlike beastmen in Final Fantasy XI, have several attacks that fit this trope, but the most frequently seen is Feather Storm.
  • Colette in Tales of Symphonia gains an attack like this.
  • The Holy Dragons of the Disgaea series launch their feathers for some of their specials, which explode in a burst of light shortly after connecting.
  • Justified Trope by the Murakumo Units in Blaz Blue: their "wings" are rows of swords that float behind them. All of the ones seen so far have at least one attack that revolves around flogging the opponent with all of them at once, giving the functionality of a Whip Sword without the whip.
  • The Harpies in Terraria use this as their ranged attack. Defeating them allow you to pick up their feathers for crafting.
  • An angelic power in Nexus War.

Web Original

  • Swoop of the Whateley Universe has a bird spirit, which lets her fly and fling ectoplasm 'feathers' at opponents. The flung weapons are like stone until they dissipate.
  • In RWBY, the Nevermore fires its immense feathers in this manner.

Western Animation

Real Life

  • At very high speeds, feathers can cut, as anyone will know who has shot arrows off the hand without a glove.

Notes

  1. Or, if you're watching the edited dub, Raven Gundam
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