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A particular class of improbable weapon. Typically consists of a pair of razor-sharp rings which are used to acrobatically slice up enemies. The users of such weapons are, for whatever reason, usually female. A bit of Fridge Logic sometimes ensues with really sharp rings: namely, where do you hold it? This is often Handwaved away by the Rule of Cool, though. If not, usually they'll try to explain it, either by having a handle made by strips of leather wrapped around it, or having the fighter wear leather gloves. Not a perfect solution, but better than nothing.

This may be inspired by an actual weapon, the Chakram (literally: wheel). The difference is that most chakram were used as throwing weapons rather than in melee, though sometimes the Rings Of Death can be thrown as well (and often serve as impromptu boomerangs). The Chinese feng huo lun ("wind and fire wheels") may be another inspiration, but then again, they're more of a fantasy mount/vehicle than weapons.

See also Deadly Disc. Not to be confused with the collective for a well-known phenomenon for Xbox 360s, the trope named after it or a series of horror movies. Or, y'know, that other ring or the rest of its ilk. Or, for that matter, those rings that kill all sentient life in the Milky Way. Or Tabuu's ultimate attack.

Examples of Rings of Death include:


Anime & Manga

  • In Busou Renkin, Gouta's buso renkin are referred to as chakram, and are called Motor Gears. They look like gears, he throws them, and they have different abilities if he attaches them to different parts of the body.
  • In the final arc of the Ranma ½ manga (didn't make it into the anime) there was a staff with a one-and-a-half foot diameter ring attached to one end; the ring could be flicked off the staff to cut through things, and would then fly back to the staff and reattach itself.
    • Much, much earlier, there is Kodachi Kuno, who has turned Rhythmic Gymnastics into a martial arts form. One of the standard tools of the sport, a hoop not unlike a Hula Hoop, becomes in her style a razor-edged weapon.
  • A less razor-sharp and more plastic-looking example occurs with the Puringrings, Mew Pudding's weapons in Tokyo Mew Mew.
  • The demon surgeon Shigure of Yu Yu Hakusho uses a huge bladed ring that can cut through metal.
    • Preceding him was the human boy wielding chakrams of pure energy, forced to fight in the Dark Tournament Saga by Dr. Ichigaki.
  • The hypnotist (D)Jango of One Piece uses a pair of razor-sharp chakram that he can throw with sufficient force to level forests, and which typically come back to him when thrown.
    • Vivi, as well, uses a form of chakram called Peacock Slashers that she twirls around her pinky fingers.
  • Kyuo's chulinks in Shadow Skill are a series of chakram-like rings; an integral part of a Septia's abilities and duties, serving as focal points to activate and control their traps. By attaching a cord to it, a chulink could be used as both a throwing weapon as well as a whip.
  • A character in Berserk named Silat uses chakraam as a long-ranged weapon.
  • Apache's weapon in Bleach is a pair of half rings with three saw-tooth like projections.
  • In Dragonball Z, Gotenk's Galactic Donut attack where he creates a ring of ki which he uses to entrap Buu in an attempt to chop him in half.

Comic Books

  • A minor supervillain in the Marvel Universe, calling himself the Ringer tried using this as the basis for his criminal career. The first Ringer battled Nighthawk and Spider-Man and got his ass kicked each time, before he was blown away by the Scourge. The second Ringer took on She Hulk and Moon Knight. In neither case did the Ringer prove himself to be any kind of a threat.
    • Marvel also has Ringleader, the razor-ring wielding leader of the Death Throws.
  • In Astro City, Street Angel uses steel cored 'halos' to damage and disable criminals during his 'dark phase'. He used gimmicked halos earlier in his career when he was a smiley, cheerful guy.


Fanfic

  • Unlike his bumbling main-universe counterparts, the Ringer in Ultimate Sleepwalker: The New Dreams is both very competent and very dangerous. One of his first criminal acts was to cripple a star player for the New York Yankees, and he gave Sleepwalker a good fight before finally being taken down. His wife, who later dons the suit herself and essentially becomes both a Legacy Character and a Distaff Counterpart, does even better. She very nearly beats Sleepwalker the first time they fight, and only loses because of the interference of a New York police officer who shoots the weapon she's about to kill Sleepwalker with.


Film

  • In Warriors of Virtue, the silent warrior Yee fights with large metal rings. Large, blunt metal rings.
  • Tron has all programs issued an identity disc that can be used as a weapon by throwing it, and can usually deflect other thrown discs. Tron: Legacy takes it to the next level, by explicitly making the discs rings, and going to some crazy lengths to show how awesome you can be by throwing them.


Literature

  • Razor-edged chakrams are the weapon of choice for one of the tribes in J. T. Edson's Bunduki novels.


Live Action TV


Tabletop Games

  • Zor-Magna from Monsterpocalypse wields these.
  • Forgotten Realms has an over-the top version, Ring of Disintegration spell in FR 16 The Shining South. It throws a looped Disintegrator Ray which, instead of the normal effect that tends to pulverize the victim's equipment, cuts through and may easily slice off an appendage (or head) with a single hit.


Video Games

  • Secret of Mana features chakram-type weapons as a form of boomerang.
  • Final Fantasy XI has Chakrams used in the exact same way.
  • Sun Shang Xiang from the Dynasty Warriors series. Though it should be mentioned that in the sixth game, she's switched to a considerably less improbable bow and arrows.
    • But only if you consider being able to fire a dozen fire (or ice, or even lightning) enchanted arrows at once that continue flying after they strike an enemy "less improbable," of course.
      • The seventh game marks the return of the Chakrams.
  • In Baldur's Gate II, one of the highest level priest spells allows her to create chakram of solid darkness and throw them at the enemy. (It makes sense for Viconia, as a darkness chakram is her godess' weapon of choice but looks rather weird on the other priests.) The damage isn't much for that level but the attack has a ridiculous rate of fire that turns all but the toughest foes into mincemeat.
  • Tira from the Soul series also counts, though her weapon consists of one large bladed ring rather than the typical two smaller ones. Voldo also gets the occasional set of bladed ring weapons.
    • Her joke weapon is a Hula Hoop, which can be just as deadly.
  • The Wardens in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, most notably Maiev.
  • Yuffie from Final Fantasy VII had a few of these in addition to her typical arsenal of shurikens and boomerangs.
  • Rinoa from Final Fantasy VIII also has some, though they're typically fired from a crossbow-like weapon rather than used in melee.
    • Fuu has a more traditional one.
  • Most Ninja characters in the Final Fantasy series throw shuriken at their opponents, but Amarant Coral is an exception. Instead of throwing stars, he can throw chakrams at his enemies.
  • In Final Fantasy V there are a few chakram that are equipable by Thiefs, Ninja and Freelancer/Mimes (the last 2 can wield anything). They are strong for when you get them, and deal full damage from the back row.
  • In Mega Man X Command Mission, one of Marino's weapons is the Beam Chakram, which is basically used as a knife (even though Marino has throwing weapons).
  • Colette from Tales of Symphonia. She does actually use them like chakrams sometimes though.
  • Axel from the Kingdom Hearts series wields chakrams. Appropriate, as his element is fire.
  • Cissnei from Crisis Core fights with weapons similar to the above example.
  • Luc, Sasarai and Estella from Suikoden III use rings to attack using their magic. Two problems exist that somewhat invert the trope: 1. Damage is still tied into their strength stat, which for the boys is worse than an 8 year old musician and 2. They won't attack from the back despite being very squishy.
    • In the 5th game we have Sialeeds and Sharmista.
  • Tio from Grandia II.
  • Yulie Ahtreide of Wild Arms 4.
  • Variation Thereof: In the videogame R-Type and its sequels, there is a weapon for the titular ship which, when fully powered up, fires two rings linked together that can chew their way through anything in front of the ship. The rings remain linked as they move from the ship, for all appearances looking like a short chain as they fly. One of the most powerful weapons, as in the original game it's the only weapon that allows the Sub-Forces (small balls that attach to the top and bottom of your ship) to also fire shots in addition to the ring weapon (called "Ring Laser"). There's also a "Ground Laser" that consists of 10 yellow rings that shoot from the top and bottom of the ship, that then follow the terrain both above and below the ship to take out ground enemies.
  • Mouri Motonari in Sengoku Basara wields one giant ring starting from the second series. It symbolizes his obsession with the sun -- in his Basara Art it floats in the air and gives off light! It can also split into two semicircle-blades
  • The thrown weapon version is available in several forms in Arcanum of Steamworks and Magick Obscura. Slightly justified in that two or three of them are specifically "magical." I'm still not sure how one would safely catch an "Aerial Decapitator".
    • The most powerful of these are Shout Outs to two movies which are So Bad, They're Good; Azram's Star is the Glaive from the pseudo-Sword and Sorcery flick Krull, and the bizarre Aerial Decaptiator is the titular weapon of several Shaw Brothers movies; Legends of the Flying Guillotine. And I'm not sure how you safely catch either one.
      • Very carefully.
  • Boomerang blade discs are standard issue in Capcom's Alien vs. Predator game. It comes back to you if you stay where you shot it. Even if you turn your back. Owie.
    • It originates from the second Predator movie.
  • Some of the Humongous Mecha in Super Robot Wars have chakrams as weapons, most notably the Huckebein Mk II's Chakram Caster and the R-2's Beam Chakram, both of which use wires to control the ring. Similarly, the original Huckebein used the Remote Slasher, a spinning ring with no obvious control mechanism, and the Neo Chakram Caster, which was like the original but bigger and without a wire. All of these beside the Beam Chakram were made into equippable weapons in the Original Generation games, so anyone could use them.
  • Some of the Turok games have a weapon called the Razor Wind - a throwing ring with rotating serrated blades.
  • The Carnival of Shadows Villainous Harlequin enemies in City of Heroes use these as projectile weapons.
  • Chakram appears in Fallout Tactics. It's unclear what it does in this setting, but hey, it's much better than freakin' Fantasy Ball.
  • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night had disklords, which would occasionally drop a chakram.
  • Chakrams are available in Karim's chapter in Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem.
  • It Touhou, Frog Goddess Suwako Moriya uses steel rings as one of her weapons, incorporating them into the unorthodox fighting style she uses in Hisoutensoku. Before that, she was portrayed in fanworks using said steel rings like this.
  • Guild Wars has chakrams as off-hand weapons, primarily for the necromancer class.
  • Priestess Shizuka in Genji: Days of the Blade.
  • The Secret Armoury of General Knoxx, the third piece of DLC for Borderlands, adds the female [Crimson] Lance Assassins. The "badass" versions of which can fling razor edged discs at you (normal one's are limited to their twin laser blades
  • The character Mint from Threads of Fate uses rings. It's not even clear whether they're actually sharp - she just bludgeons or magics everything to death.
  • Mizuti from Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean wields a chakram; however, it's only used as a weapon in the most basic finisher, while the rest of the time it just serves as a magical conduit, similar to Xelha's staff.
  • June Lin Milliam from Star Gladiator/Plasma Sword who fights with a Plasma Ring.


Webcomics


Western Animation

  • Jana of the Jungle wears a collar that doubles as this type of weapon, but she never throws it at people or animals.
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