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Melee Combat is a fighting style adopted by several characters in the Fairy Tail series.

Description

Melee combat is a fighting style which, as the name itself suggests, revolves around close-range confrontation, with users assaulting opponents physically. Widespread around Fiore, this form of combat can be employed by normal people and Mages alike. Melee combat can be performed both unarmed, with users assaulting foes with punches, kicks and other moves, and armed, with users wielding weapons of various kinds, and is thus divided in two main classifications: Hand-to-Hand Combat and Armed Combat.

Hand-to-Hand Combat

Users of Hand-to-Hand Combat engage into melee confrontations employing unarmed moves. A variety of such moves has been shown, with the most recurring ones being different types of punches[1] and kicks;[2] headbutts, elbows,[3] knees[4] and palm strikes are also used to various extent.[5] Unarmed prowess, predictably, varies from user to user, with some being more experienced or physically prepared than others.

Fighting Styles

The way such form of combat is harnessed varies from user to user: some are shown to employ an aggressive, direct attack style relying on mighty blows[6] and body slams[7] while others prefer performing more fluent and acrobatic motions to strike opponents.[8] While most fighters aren't stated to employ any specific fighting style, some named martial arts exist:

Bacchus' Fighting Stance

The typical stance adopted by users of such martial arts

  • Chop Hanging Palm (劈掛掌 Hikashō): A martial art which revolves around the use of palm strikes. Users of such art usually assume a typical fighting stance, diagonally stretching their arms upwards and bending their knees, in order to more easily perform these attacks. The only known user of this style is the Quatro Cerberus guild's S-Class Mage Bacchus Groh.[9]
  • Drunk-Chop Hanging Palm (酔劈掛掌 Sui Hikashō): Bacchus' exclusive version of Chop-Hanging Palm, which he employs after consuming alcohol. Doing this makes the pattern of his strikes unpredictable, at the same time drastically boosting their power.[9]
    • Under Moonlight (月下 Gekka): A Drunk-Chop Hanging Palm melee attack where Bacchus seemingly "slaps" his target with one of his palms through the fast and yet limited motion of the corresponding forearm. When he used it against Ichiya, this move was shown sending the man flying several meters away while raising a burst of sand from the ground he was standing upon seconds before; something which either hints at a remarkably great blunt force behind the attack or at Under Moonlight targeting a limited area rather than a single target.[10]

Other Unarmed Techniques

  • Lucy Kick (ルーシィ・キック Rūshi Kikku) is a simple kick in which the user lashes out in their target's direction, then jumps and uses the gained momentum to strike the opponent.[11]
  • Virgo Kick (バルゴ・キック Barugo Kikku) is a attack in which the user lunges at their opponent, poised for attack, and, with brute force, delivers a kick strong enough to send them flying into the sky.[12]

Notable Users

Master Hand-to-Hand Combatants

Masters of unarmed combat possess the greatest prowess of all, being capable of easily taking on several opponents at once with ease. Some of them are known to employ hand-to-hand combat as the main element of their fighting style, and can overwhelm foes even if they are armed or larger than the users themselves.[13]

Master Hand-to-Hand Combatants

Expert Hand-to-Hand Combatants

Expert unarmed combatants possess remarkable prowess in the use of such art, being able to use it to great extent, and to take on more than one opponent at the same time.[14] Some of them, while not employing hand-to-hand combat as the main element of their fighting style, are shown capable of holding their own against masters of such discipline.[15]

Expert Hand-to-Hand Combatants
Sol prof
Sol

Armed Combat

Armed combat, as the name itself suggests, revolves around the usage of weapons, which users employ against their opponents at close range. A variety of melee tools is commonly utilized throughout Fiore, with swords, coming in different shape and size (among which are longswords, sabers[16] and rapiers),[17] being the most common ones, and with other weapons being daggers,[18] spears,[19] staves,[20] axes,[21] whips,[22] scythes,[23] guan dao,[24] war hammers and kanabō.[25] Even curious tools such as oversized frying pans[26] and elongated nails[27] have been shown to be employed as weapons. Due to swords being the most popular weapons, Swordsmanship is a known discipline, with swordsmen found throughout the Kingdom possessing various levels of mastery.

Fighting Styles

Most forms of swordplay, similar to most forms of unarmed combat, aren't properly classified as specific fighting styles. However, so far, one named art of the sword has been revealed:

Kagura slices Ophiuchus

The style being used

  • Style of the Undrawn Long Sword (抜かぬ太刀の型 Nukanu Tachi no Kata): A style of swordsmanship involving the use of a sheathed blade. While technically not exposing the weapon's blade, users of this style have been shown capable of slicing foes as if they were wielding an unsheathed sword. The stances assumed in the performance of this form are vaguely reminiscent of those typical to Iaido, where the swordsmen wields the sheath of their sword with one hand, and rests the other on the hilt. Kagura Mikazuchi is currently the only swordswoman shown employing the Style of the Undrawn Long Sword, making use of it with the "Blade of Resentment", Archenemy.[28] It is unknown as of yet whether the unusual slicing capabilities that this form of combat relies on stems from personal skill or from the weapon employed.
    • Slashing Form (〝斬〟の方 Zan no Kata): The user lunges at their opponent, sword prepared to strike, and slashes at a very high speed. This pose increases the user's slashing power, allowing them to cut through Adamantine Armor, which has been capable of blocking a blast from Jupiter.[29]
    • Strong Form (〝剛〟の方 Gō no Kata): The user adapts a stabbing stance while coming at the target. This pose increases the impact power of their sword. The force of the impact is strong enough to destroy the ground.[30]

Other Armed Techniques

  • Heaven and Earth Extinct Slaying Attack (天地消滅殺法 Tenchi Shōmetsu Satsubō) is the Vanish Brothers' signature technique. The attack is initiated by the older brother, who has his larger sibling first bounce on the handle of his frying pan, which is held horizontally, and then stand in the round part of the pan itself, which is used as a springboard of sorts, with the older brother launching the other high up in the air, almost making him disappear from sight. If the target tries looking "at the heavens" to spot the younger brother, the older one assaults them with his pan. If they look around "on earth", keeping the older brother under control, the younger one comes flying down from above and assaults them in melee.
  • Super Slash (超斬る Chō Kiru) is a simple move in which the user wields their sword with both hands, then jumps into the air (something which also allows them to avoid other attacks) and performs a vertical, upwards slash with the blade.[31]
  • Super Stab (超突き Chō Tsuki) is a destructive piercing technique which requires the use of the mechanical sword Chain Blade. The user extends the weapon's secondary blade in their foe's direction at high speed, trying to impale them, all the while wielding the sword's handle in the same way they would wield a spear. The momentum generated by this motion is astonishing, enough to reduce a large tree several meters away from its target and from the blade itself to pieces.[32]

Notable Users

Master Swordsmanship Specialists

Masters of such art possess impressive swordplay, demonstrating great speed, accuracy and power,[33] and being capable of fighting several foes at the same time.[34] Many master swordsmen who are also Mages actively employ Sword Magic.[35][36][37]

Master Swordsmanship Specialists

Expert Swordsmanship Specialists

Expert swordsmen possess advanced swordplay, enough for them to hold their own against several opponents,[38] or to slice things which are usually considered impossible to slash, such as spells.[39]

Expert Swordsmanship Specialists

Master Weapon Specialists

This category details Mages who demonstrate great mastery of other weapons besides a sword such as spears, whips, axes, firearms, etc.

Master Weapon Specialists

Expert Weapon Specialists

This category details Mages who are able to expertly make use of other weapons besides a sword such as whips, axes, etc.

Expert Weapon Specialists

Magically-enhancing Melee Combat

While the Mages were described by the Vanish Brothers as lacking the ability to fight at close range due to their time being devoted to studying Magic,[40] some Mages are in fact shown to be fearsome melee fighters, even specializing in such forms of combat.[41] Magic itself can be a valuable asset when engaging foes in close quarters, with many forms of Magic being focused around melee combat.

Types of Magic Used in Melee Combat

Dragon Slayer Magic

The various forms of Dragon Slayer Magic provide their users with many melee techniques that utilize the user's respective element.[42]

  • Fire Dragon Slayer Magic users can generate fire from any part of their body. In addition, the flames can be given a material consistency.[43] As a kind of Magic emphasizing brute strength, many of the spells granted by this magic are melee strikes enhanced by such fire, which seems to have a “blunt” effect to it, apparently causing bludgeoning damage alongside burnings.[44]
    • Lightning Flame Dragon Mode users can increase their melee prowess even further, enhancing physical blows with a fusion of fire and lightning. When such attacks land, their target is both burned and electrocuted.
  • Iron Dragon Slayer Magic allows its user to transform their body into iron. A caster can either cover their body in scales of iron, enhancing their melee combat abilities, or transform their limbs into various melee weapons.
    • Iron Shadow Dragon Mode adds more versatility to an Iron Dragon Slayer's arsenal. With this Magic, they can take the form of shadows, effectively making them untouchable in said form. As a shadow, one can even attack another Mage in shadow form. Shadows can also be used to enhance physical attacks.
  • Sky Dragon Slayer Magic, while heavily supportive, also enhances the user's physical striking power with powerful winds. Said wind also extends the range of the user substantially.
  • Poison Dragon Slayer Magic allows its user to freely produce and manipulate poison, manifested in the form of a seemingly tangible toxic gas. The poison gas effectively increases physical damage dealt by the caster in hand-to-hand combat while at the same time infecting foes with their poison.
  • Shadow Dragon Slayer Magic can be used to turn a user's body into shadows at will, allowing them a versatile form of hand-to-hand combat. Using a supportive spell, one can increase their physical capabilities even further.

Devil Slayer Magic

Another form of Slayer Magic, Devil Slayer Magic, also allows its user to infuse their melee strikes with their respective element.[45]

Take Over

Take Over Magic can transform the users' bodies into that of creatures fit for melee combat.[14]

  • Satan Soul transforms its user's body into different types of Demons, most if not all of which have much greater physical capabilities than a human,[47] increasing strength and versatility in melee combat.
  • Beast Soul allows its user to take the form of many different monsters. With increased size, strength and/or speed, a user of this magic can gain an advantage in melee combat.
  • Animal Soul can transform the casters body into a variety of animals, granting them the physical abilities of whatever creature's form they take. By becoming an animal with superior attributes, melee combat ability can be substantially improved.

Ice Magic

  • Ice Magic and its variations can be used in conjunction with melee combat to great effect. Basic Ice Magic users can enhance their strikes with ice[48] or freeze foes at close range.[49]
  • Ice-Make can be employed to craft a wide variety of melee weapons.[50] Alternatively, by rebounding off of constructs of ice, a caster can build momentum and increase the damage output of their physical strikes.

Water Magic

  • Water Magic can be used to increase the effectiveness of melee combat techniques.
  • Water allows the user to turn their body into water, granting them the ability to move at great speeds,[51] and also allows them to envelop certain parts of their body with water, allowing them to greatly enhance their unarmed attacks in power and versatility.[52]

Other Forms of Magic

  • God Slayer Magic, like its Dragon and Devil-slaying counterparts also grants its users the ability to enhance their physical attacks with their respective element.[53]
  • Giant enlarges the users' body, making their strikes stronger and granting them a larger striking range.[54]
  • Sword Magic grants users a range of empowered melee attacks when employing swords.[35]
  • Toby Horhorta can seemingly grow his finger-nails naturally into long claws,[55] enhancing his melee attacks with slashing and scratching attacks. When coated with his special Paralysis Powder, Toby's nails can electrocute and paralyze opponents on contact.[56]
  • Regulus can greatly boost the power of unarmed attacks, emitting light from any part of the caster's body.[57]
  • Lightning Magic can greatly increase the speed at which users move around,[58] at the same time granting the unarmed blows they land in melee more force.[59]
  • Dark Ecriture can be used for— among various other things— melee combat. Most directly, it can be channeled through a weapon. However it can also grant its user wings for increased speed and mobility to gain an advantage in close combat or, by carving runes directly into one's own body, transform them entirely into a form better-equipped for melee combat.
  • Ushi no Koku Mairi allows its users to curse themselves and increase their body's physical strength . In addition, the caster can change the curse doll into different materials. In doing so, a user's body can also take on the properties of such materials, which can grant them greater physical attributes.
  • Slowing Magic can significantly reduce enemies' speed, allowing the users to strike them in melee undisturbed.[60]
  • Power Perfume, a type of Perfume Magic, greatly increases the size of the users' muscles, giving them an immense amount of strength and thus making them suited for delivering blows in melee.[63]
  • Darkness Magic can be used to empower physical attacks or even take weapon-like shapes to increase melee range.
  • Crush can dramatically enhance physical blows imbued with it. It can also produce large bursts of Magic energy in close combat.
  • Needle Magic can cover the users' bodies in spikes, making them deadlier at close range, as well as enlarge them in a similar way to Giant, though on a smaller scale.[64]
  • Palm Magic focuses the users' Magic Power in the palms of their hands, making their unarmed blows much more damaging.[9]
  • Drill 'n Rock makes the users' limbs spin like drills, augmenting their offensive power in melee and their overall movement speed.[65]
  • Iron Dog can turn the users' arms into metallic beings, enhancing their punching power.[66]
  • Meteor, a Heavenly Body Magic spell, can increase the power of the users' blows and make them almost unavoidable by propelling their bodies around with Magic energy.[67]
  • Great Tree Arc allows its user to produce small explosions when their blows make contact. The explosions can also be used to precisely block attacks aimed at the caster as well.
  • Urumi employs retractable flat cables which can be used to assault foes in combat.[69]
  • Muscle Speak can enhance the strength of the users' allies, making them more suited for close-range confrontations.[70]

References

  1. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 3, Page 15
  2. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 3, Page 12
  3. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 62, Pages 8-10
  4. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 96, Page 11
  5. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 155, Page 4
  6. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 62, Pages 7-10
  7. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 226, Page 15
  8. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 270, Page 20
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 278, Page 13
  10. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 293, Page 7
  11. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 130, Pages 7-8
  12. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 347, Page 17
  13. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 6, Page 6
  14. 14.0 14.1 Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 48, Page 11
  15. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 118, Pages 5-6
  16. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 14, Page 6
  17. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 106, Cover
  18. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 16, Page 19
  19. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 1, Page 74
  20. Fairy Tail Anime: Episode 139
  21. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 3, Page 9
  22. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 8, Pages 17-19
  23. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 10, Page 20
  24. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 223, Page 16
  25. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 254, Page 9
  26. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 7, Page 3
  27. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 33, Pages 4-5
  28. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 280, Pages 14-15
  29. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 314, Pages 6-7
  30. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 314, Pages 5-6
  31. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 344, Pages 7-8
  32. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 344, Pages 9-10
  33. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 201, Page 9
  34. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 79, Page 10
  35. 35.0 35.1 Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 58, Page 18
  36. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 91, Pages 6-9
  37. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 211, Pages 13-15
  38. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 80, Pages 14-15
  39. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 111, Page 10
  40. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 7, Pages 6-7
  41. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 1, Pages 55-56
  42. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 1, Pages 67-69
  43. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 18, Pages 9-10
  44. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 1, Page 63
  45. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Chapter_391.2C_Page_2
  46. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 390, Page 3
  47. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 118, Pages 18-19
  48. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 239, Page 20
  49. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 15, Pages 19-20
  50. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 39, Page 20
  51. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 57, Pages 2-3
  52. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 229, Page 6
  53. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 218
  54. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 2, Pages 16-19
  55. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 277, Page 6-7
  56. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 33, Page 4-5
  57. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 115, Page 7
  58. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 69, Page 12
  59. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 121, Pages 9-10
  60. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 134, Pages 10-11
  61. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 105, Page 18-19
  62. Fairy Tail Anime: Episode 130
  63. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 161, Page 14
  64. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 269, Page 22
  65. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 293, Pages 7-8
  66. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 109, Pages 4-5
  67. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 96, Pages 10-11
  68. Fairy Tail Anime: Episode 143
  69. Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 14, Pages 19-20
  70. Fairy Tail Manga: Volume 21 Bonus, Guild Cards

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