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A visual motif wherein a character who is about to attempt some superhuman feat reaches out towards the sun (or the moon, Earth, etc.) with their hand, as if to grasp it. The camera then switches to his point of view as the hand "grabs" the selected celestial body via Perspective Magic. This symbolizes the human will to seize things that are just too big for them.
Additionally, it is the source of the expressions "reach for the stars", "shoot for the moon" and "touch the sky."
Not to be confused with cases where characters literally grasp the sun.
- In Neon Genesis Evangelion (The Movie), Asuka clutches at the sun while trying to get up after she gets fragged by mass produced Evas but refuses to give up.
- Asuka is, in fact, associated with the Sun several times throughout the series.
- In Mobile Suit Gundam 00, Lockon tries "grabbing" the Earth while he delivers his Famous Last Words.
- Love Hina: Keitarou does this to the Tokyo University clock tower.
- See the finale of the 2003 anime adaptation of Fullmetal Alchemist.
- Subverted in Hellsing, where Alucard does this to the moon.
- In the OVA series, Maxwell caresses the moon for a second while giving a speech.
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, naturally.
- Sorcerer Hunters: Carrot does this in the opening credits animation.
- Mayuri Shiina of Steins;Gate does this with some frequency. Okabe calls it Stardust Shake Hand. He does it himself at the climax of Episode 23.
- In Supreme Power, Hyperion flies into orbit for the first time as a boy, and looks down at Earth. Light from the sun gets in his eyes, and he puts his hand in front of him, over Earth. He pulls his hand back... and then puts it back in front of the world, as if to clutch it.
- Done in SinnerBlue:Dark's Misfortune by the eponymous protagonist.
- Subtle use of this trope in Apollo 13: Tom Hanks' character Jim Lovell makes a habit of obliterating the moon by holding his thumb in front of it and closing one eye so it seems to disappear.
- Later used in an Ironic Echo when he does the same trick with the Earth.
- And in fact, in real life, Lovell was the first astronaut to mention being able to cover the Earth with his thumb.
- One character in American Gods mimicks taking the moon, conjuring up a silver coin for the protagonist Shadow. When they meet again in a metaphysical place, she asks him for the coin back and literally puts it into the sky as its moon to light his way.
- Mad Sweeney does the exact same thing, only with the sun into a golden coin, showing off for Shadow while drunk(er). By the time he realizes that the coin he plucked was not just any coin and tries to get it back, Shadow's already buried it with his recently deceased wife. This act leads, through separate means, to Sweeney's death and his wife's resurrection. Later on, Shadow learns to do this himself.
- A famous bit of symbolism in The Great Gatsby involves the titular Anti-Hero reaching to grasp the light across the water (at Daisy's mansion).
- In the Merlin miniseries, the wizard appears to grab the moon and manipulate it like a coin, but then revealed that it was "just a trick". I gotta say, some trick!
- Part of Magishine and the Solaris Knight's rollcall posing.
- This theme comes up a lot in the Gloria Estefan's 1996 Olympic theme song, "Reach."
- Also, Duran Duran's "Reach Up for the Sunrise".
- Lumine (not Sigma!) does this during his motive rant at the end of Mega Man X 8.
- Dante sort of does this to The Savior in Devil May Cry 4, holding his hand up to the towering statue from far away so that his hand appears larger than it. He says "You don't look so big from where I'm standing."
- Tsukasa does this during the normal ending of visual novel Swan Song.
- Asura from Asura's Wrath does this with the moon. Before punching his way to the floating city of Shinto with the same hand.
- In Gunnerkrigg Court, Coyote shows Annie the extent of his powers by plucking the moon from the sky for her to touch. It's left ambiguous as to whether he actually removed the moon or employed some trickery to make it look like he did.
- Inhuman goes into Cinne's thought process a bit, punctuated by him "pulling up the sun".
- Invoked but avoided, by nature of the "fight", in the final showdown of The Flight of Dragons: when Ommadon threatens to rip the sun from the sky above and use it to scorch the land, Peter defeats the spell by stating as fact that the "sun" he's reaching for is actually an afterimage.
- Not exactly the sun, but in Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, after sending a drone to spy on the Little Green Men's Unimind, Emperor Zurg does this as he observes the mystical orb through a screen.
- General Shiva tries doing it just before his death in Exo Squad. but the sun is obscured by clouds.
- There's a series of PSAs encouraging children to go out and play that has them using the sun as a ball. One is set to "Why Does The Sun Shine?" as recorded by They Might Be Giants.