Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Does Not Have Too Many ‘Anime Sword Users’

Now that Sora’s arrival has sealed the deal on the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster for good, I can finally say what I’ve been holding back for years: the game does not have too many “anime sword users.” It’s the most screeched complaint about the game, and it drives me up a wall. While I get where it comes from, it’s also completely overblown and inaccurate. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be concerned with such a thing – variety is the spice of life, and no one wants an overabundance of the same character type. But it isn’t nearly as much of an issue as sword-haters would have you believe, and I’m here to prove it in every scientific and absurd way imaginable.   

First, let’s break down the term “anime sword user.” What does that actually mean? The label “anime” doesn’t make sense as none of the characters in Smash come from an actual anime. They’re all original video game characters. You won’t find any anime. 

You may now be saying, “You’re arguing semantics. You are. Look like anime characters.” I guess? I mean, if you’re saying they look like Japanese cartoons, then news flash: nearly the entire roster falls into that distinction. In fact, the only non-Japanese fighters are Banjo Kazooie, Minecraft Steve, and – to get super duper technical – the tie-wearing Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, and King K. Rool (because Rare, a British studio, conceived these guys despite Nintendo owning the characters). 

Don’t mind me; I’m just poking fun at this objectively silly part of the complaint. I know the “anime sword user” term arose from the perceived abundance of Fire Emblem characters, fighters who best fit the prototypical “anime look” (whatever that is). However, this is not what people are really implying. Have you ever looked at the entire roster? Eight Fire Emblem fighters are included in an 80+ character game. Take that in. Out of 82 characters (89 with Echoes, but we’ll stick to the official number), only eight hail from Fire Emblem. Is it too little? 

Ultimate’s roster has 11 characters from the Mario series. Twelve when you include Donkey Kong (which he totally counts, but I’m being ultra-specific for the sake of argument). That’s roughly 14 percent of the roster, still very little in the grand scheme, but why does no one flip their lids about this? Sakurai was yelling at people to include Waluigi. Hey, I’m one of them – I’ve wanted that purple goof in the game for years. But I also don’t complain about any series having too many representatives. Fire Emblem has my suspicions. 

Is it acceptable that Luke Skywalker, an American-made sailor, joins the roster? That’s a rhetorical question, as I know the main problem lies in the swords themselves. But for those who just hate anyone who uses such a weapon no matter what they look like or where they come from, let’s break down how many pure sword wielders the game truly has.

Out of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s 82-character roster, only 22 use a sword as their primary weapon. These are the results:

  • Byleth
  • Chrom
  • Cloud
  • Corrin
  • Dark Pit
  • Hero
  • Ike
  • Link
  • Lucina
  • Marth
  • Meta Knight
  • Mii Swordfighter
  • Pit
  • Pyra/Mythra
  • Robin
  • Roy
  • Sephiroth
  • Shulk
  • Sora
  • Steve
  • Toon Link
  • Young Link

They make up just shy of 27% of the entire roster or just 1/4. That might sound substantial, but it also means 60 characters don’t use swords as their main weapons. 60 characters. Fighting games rarely have more than 30-40 characters. “Too much” would suggest that at least half the roster swings a sword. They don’t! To further drive this point home, and because nothing says “I’m right” better than a visual aid, I painstakingly created this helpful and exciting pie chart for reference: 

The visual representation of people who don’t use a sword looks a lot like Pac-Man. Who else doesn’t wield a sword but you? Pac-Man. Coincidence? No, it isn’t. It is what does it signify? Something.

Looking at it like this, you’ll see that there’s an overwhelming number of fighters that wouldn’t fall into the detested sword category. In reality, sword-users who hate swords with the passion of thousand Hotheads have a lot of options. So why are we still on about “too many sword users”? 

You can also consider a few points to support my arguments: 

  • Sora’s keyblade isn’t a sword. It’s a big ol’ key. Although he can swing it like a blade, no one would consider me a true swordsman if i could also use a broom to move the keys. Sometimes it turns into something more blade-like, but it won’t in Smash (likely due to the lack of Disney involvement). 
  • Pit/Dark Pit are essentially the same character, so you could argue they count as one sword user. The dual swords they wield are more like twin daggers. Not your grandmother’s sword user at all. 
  • The Link trio plays largely the same with some slight differences, so you could also argue they’re just variations of a single sword user.
  • Steve fails to make this list because his sword is certainly not the mainstay of his moveset. It would be easy to cut him. 
  • Mii Swordfighter is not important to anyone. It’s that simple. 

Look, I’m not saying you have to like Sephiroth, Lucina, or Shulk. I get sick of Ike swinging me like his shuttlecock. I’m just saying that now Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is effectively finished, it’s time to retire the lame, worn-out “why can’t I hold all of these anime sword users???” complaint with it. You can just say that you don’t love them. The numbers don’t lie. But Ornery-lovers? Perhaps just a bit.

*Final notes to squash some potential rebuttals: 

  • Ganandorf didn’t make it because he hands out broadswords as frequently as he does throwing them. 
  • This is the knife Joker uses.
  • Is it really possible to mix Kirby with your other mates? Are you serious? 

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