Fantasy Swords

If you play video games or cartoons, chances are you probably know what a fantasy sword is. They range from the massive Japanese bleach swords used on the popular anime series back to the medieval swords He-Man used on Masters of the Universe.

A fantasy sword to some people is just that; a fantasy. You could hold up a water noodle and call it your fantasy sword if you wanted to. That said, there is already a pretty strong bid for other types of swords that have a claim to fame for the title of fantasy swords. Usually when someone mentions fantasy swords, they think of a medieval sword or something that could be used to slay a dragon in a fictional movie. I have some co-workers that are always talking goons, goblins and the occasional fantasy sword and they are referencing video games on their DS lite. Nerds.

It seems that fantasy swords are usually associated with something that is a myth or fictional and it’s usually seen in movies, video games and even more recently Japanese anime. It usually takes a creative mind to conjure up the style, shape and functionality of a fantasy sword so that it suites the role and character who is using it. Personally, I prefer the Swiss army knife as my utensil or weapon of choice. I think making things myself stems from my grandfather who used to make random things all the time; everything from electronics to household contraptions that he thought might make things a little more convenient. Usually the opposite happened. My only stint with a fantasy sword, I’ll admit. There was a period of time (as a small child) where I would raise my Master of the Universe fantasy sword and scream at the top of my lungs, “By the power of Grayskull!”

I'm not sure what this is, but I am sure there is probably a fantasy sword tucked in there. This is a fantasy sword to some people. To me, it's just a swiss army knife. I suppose it's both. 

We’ve all played video games at one point or another (though not all of us are as nerdy about it as others). The infamous game, Super Mario Bros. takes place in a fantasy setting and uses various fantasy weapons. Though there isn’t much affiliation with Japanese swords or the Martial Arts culture on that game, but there were several games that did give their characters fantasy swords, wooden swords and other types of swords to use for fighting purposes and to develop their persona. One of the most popular games of the 90s, Mortal Kombat 2, used variations of fantasy swords and other types of fighting weapons to defeat their opponent.

Some video game series like Dragon Balls Z, Scribblenauts and other nerdy games use all different types of weapons that resemble your typical fantasy sword. I can’t stress enough how nerdy these people are. Being more of a realistic person, it’s tough for me to see the appeal in games using fantasy swords, but I suppose I can see why people enjoy first person or role playing video games, regardless of the enemies or weapons. Though, when you’re a grown man playing fantasy swords in the backyard, you may want to get out of the house a little more.

Mortal Kombat 2 set the stage for fantasy swords, weapons and gruesome finishing moves. Some dorks take the fantasy swords things a little too far. Let it go, man.

Fantasy swords play a major role in many video games because when nothing says that a sword or a character have to look a certain way, the makers are at will to create any type of fantasy sword or weapon they want. Bleach swords are probably the most popular of all fantasy swords, in terms of video games and Japanese swords in anime. There have been several other cartoons that use various types of fantasy swords, but none with the following that the Bleach anime series has.

There is an entire subculture is devoted to fantasy women and more specifically those women holding and swing fantasy swords. I imagine some of the appeal is knowing, at least subconsciously, that nobody will ever have a choice with the fantasy sword women which in turn makes ugly men equal to attractive men. Nerds win on this one.

Fantasy chic holding a nice sized fantasy sword.  This is one of the biggest fantasy swods I've ever laid eyes on; and what a beauty it is. 

Most of these huge fantasy swords seen in animes derive from the Japanese sword called a Zanbatō. It was originally used for advancing cavalry, but later evolved to double as a sword. These swords can still be found in shops throughout Japan.

Keep in mind that not all fantasy swords have to be these huge, iconic blades that a prince or princess waves around when calling on the sword gods to bless their sacred piece of metal. A lot of neat fantasy swords come in much smaller packages and some even refer to the smaller versions as daggers. These mini battle ready swords are usually only protrude out from the holder’s hand a few inches and are intended to be used at close range. I’m not advocating violence here; just stating.

The creation of the miniature fantasy swords has grown yet another fan base for sword collectors. Bigger fantasy swords are hard to keep on hand if your collection continues to grow, but the smaller pirate sword versions, dragon swords and other variations of the Japanese sword are relatively easy to attain and store. That said, there are many companies that have cheaply made, stamped out swords cost next to nothing to produce. These aren’t highly sought after and can usually be had pretty cheap if you just want something to mess around with. You won’t find these types of fantasy swords in any real sword collector’s stash.

Some of the best looking fantasy swords come in a nice, compact size. Though the designs of of most fantasy swords are pretty wild, the edges are still just as sharp as real swords. It's real in the sense that it's still very dangerous.

If you want to get into sword collecting but aren’t sure where to start, you can pick up some of the smaller fantasy swords for dirt cheap to see if it’s something you might pick up as a hobby. Be prepared to catch some flack from your friends as sword collecting isn’t exactly like watching sports with your buddies, checking out chics or going for a jog around the lake. Most people think that fantasy sword collectors are dorks. And those people are correct. I will admit though that some of the fantasy swords I've come across have pretty good craftsmanship that can be appreciated by anyone. 

Or, replicas are a great way to begin your sword collection. Most replicas are based off swords that were made famous through either real life events, a video game, or a television show. A great example is the "Buster" sword from Final Fantasy 7, one of the most popular games in the Final Fantasy series, as shown in the picture above.