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In any prolonged battle in manga and anime, usually one that has cuts to other scenes in the middle, you can expect to find the combatants bleeding from one or several of these places, with the probability and quantity increasing with time:
- From the side of the mouth
- From the forehead, right along their hairline, with the blood flowing (in)conveniently over one eye
- From a neat cut across the cheek
- From the shoulder or upper arm
These are the Standard Bleeding Spots. In Shounen series in particular, the universe seems to be almost intent on inflicting just these wounds and nothing more: Internal bleeding can be cured afterwards with bandaging like anything else, direct trauma to the head is never accompanied with a concussion, and cutting and piercing weapons always miss by just enough to nick the hero and not leave a horrible, spurting gash.
Related to First Blood, Blood From the Mouth. Note that Standard Bleeding Spots do not necessarily entail defeat -- indeed, many a shounen hero has just stood up after sustaining each and every one of them and proceeded to completely trash the antagonist.
Contrast Dirt Forcefield.
Anime & Manga
- In the Fullmetal Alchemist manga series, Edward actually has a scar right about his right eye susceptible to cuts, making it nearly impossible for him not to get one of these in a fight. Arakawa says it just makes the panel look better.
- In the movie following the first anime, he gets a cut on the cheek on a broken window that later becomes plot-important.
- A scene in Gundam Wing takes a slightly different angle on the hairline spot. During a Knife-Throwing Act in the circus, Trowa Barton does not dodge a knife thrown at his head, and as a result is cut on the side of his temple near his sideburn area.
- In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Kamina's Humongous Mecha was once hit so hard that it apparently made him bang his forehead against the inside. Earlier in the same episode, Viral also suffers a cut to the cheek.
- Chrono Crusade uses these a lot, particularly for Chrono. Rosette also gets cut on the cheek enough that it's not unusual to see her running around with a bandaid on her cheek after a fight.
- The "along the hairline" one is lampshaded in Bleach when Ichigo fights Ikkaku. They both get that same cut then Ikkaku notes how inconvenient it is to have blood trickling into your eyes and puts some salve he kept in the hilt of his sword on it to stop the bleeding, which pisses Ichigo off because his is still bleeding.
- Bleach has its own particular spots as well, such as the two vertical downward cuts to the middle of the collar bones that show up again and again and again. Apparently lungs are one of the least essential parts of the body, because everyone seems to function fine with theirs in tatters.
- In Ranma ½, when Ranma and Shinnosuke clash over Akane, they leap at each other with fists/brooms drawn. When they land, the shoulder of Ranma's shirt is ripped, and Shinnosuke somehow manages to get a bleeding cut across his cheek (even though Ranma overwhelmingly favors punches over open-hand strikes.)
- In what must be a Running Gag for Saint Seiya fans by now, Dragon Shiryu is blinded (again) during combat with the Asgardian God Warrior Fenrir, who uses his Cloth's wolf-like claws to cut a gash across Shiryu's forehead. The blood flows so freely and thick that it washes over his eyes until he literally can't see anymore.
- The heroes of Magic Knight Rayearth bled from the cheek in great Mortal Kombat-style gushes, in pretty much every fight.
- Sonic receives a wound on his upper arm courtesy of Dark Oak at the beginning of the Metarex saga. The injury is still visible throughout the entirety of the episode.
- In One Piece, during the Enies Lobby arc, every member of the Straw Hats ends up with the same streak of blood running down their face.
- The forehead variant is especially common in Professional Wrestling. Typically, a wrestler will inflict it on himself using a razorblade hidden on his person (a process known as a bladejob) & through a little co-operative sleight of hand it will be made to look like the opponent, usually a Heel inflicted the wound. There is also a technique wherein a wrestler can split open another performer's eyebrow with a well-placed punch. More common in the early days, few are skilled enough to execute it properly today. In Pro-Wrestling terminology the practise of intentionally drawing blood is known as "juicing", "gigging" or "drawing colour" & has become less common in recent years due to concerns over HIV & other bloodborne diseases. The forehead is the favored spot for bleeding because of the abundance of bloodvessels & the fact that the blood will mix with sweat on the forehead & run everywhere, making the wound look more dramatic. The best example would probably be the 1992 NJPW match between The Great Muta & Hiroshi Hase, in which Muta bled so profusely that by the end of the match his face was stained completely red. To this day the severity of bladejobs is measured on the "Muta Scale".
- In The Zombie Hunters, Jenny's forehead-variant has become part of her character's signature look in promotional artwork, even though it only appears in one scene.