Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Sunrise Stance

In anime, when a character stands with legs apart readying their sword (or other weapon) thrusting it forward, and the camera perspective is warped so the sword looks far bigger than normal, that's called a Sunrise Stance (サンライズ立ち), Sunrise Perspective (サンライズパース), Brave Perspective, Yuusha Perspective (勇者パース), Brave Stance, Yuusha Stance (勇者立ち), Fukuda Perspective (福田パース), or, in Chinese, 大張一刀流 (Oobari Ittouryuu?).(dic.pixiv.net:勇者パース, dic.nicovideo.jp:サンライズ立ち, tvtropes.org:SwordPointing)

Anime: The Brave Fighter Exkizer, Yuusha Exkaiser, 勇者エクスカイザー (Episode 43)
Anime: Onmyou Taisenki 陰陽大戦記 (Episode 20)
Anime: Aikatsu Stars!, アイカツスターズ! (Episode 37)
Anime: Hacka Doll The Animation, ハッカドール THE・あにめーしょん (Episode 9)


The various names for this thing come from its use in the first robot anime, ロボットアニメ, made by the animation studio Sunrise, サンライズ, which was called Yuusha Exkaiser, 勇者エクスカイザー.

The "Super Giant Fusion," Chou Kyodai Gattai: Great Exkaiser, 超巨大合体グレートエクスカイザー, holding the Kaiser Sword, カイザーソード, in the iconic Sunrise Stance (サンライズ立ち).
Character: "Super Giant Fusion," Chou Kyodai Gattai: Great Exkaiser, 超巨大合体グレートエクスカイザー
Weapon: Kaiser Sword, カイザーソード
Anime: The Brave Fighter Exkizer, Yuusha Exkaiser, 勇者エクスカイザー (Episode 43)

The word yuusha 勇者 means literally "brave person," and translates to "hero." The "hero" in a classic JRPG, or in an isekai anime, is called the yuusha. However, the title of the show was officially localized "The Brave Fighter Exkizer," not "The Hero Exkaiser."(sunrise-inc.co.jp)

Several robot anime were made by sunrise with this same Yuusha prefix, e.g. Yuusha-Ou GaoGaiGar, 勇者王ガオガイガー, which were called the "Brave Series," in Japanese: Yuusha Series, 勇者シリーズ.

That explains where the Sunrise/Brave/Yuusha mess comes from.

Two animators that worked on Exkaiser were Fukuda Mitsuo 福田己津央 and Oobari Masami 大張正己(animenewsnetwork.com), which is where the other terms come from.

The word ittouryuu 一刀流 means "single sword school/style." The three-sword one from One Piece is santouryuu 三刀流. The phrase Oobari Ittouryuu is also romanized Ōbari Ittōryū.

The word tachi 立ち is the noun form of the godan verb tatsu 立つ, "to stand," so it means "standing," as in the way something stands. The ~ta ~た becomes ~da ~だ as suffix due to rendaku 連濁.

Given this, Yuusha-dachi 勇者立ち translates literally to "hero's standing," as in how the hero stands, the pose they do as they stand, which, in this case, is with legs apart, holding a weapon. Similar terms exist, like:

GunBuster, ガンバスター, doing the iconic Gainax Stance (ガイナ立ち).
Character: GunBuster, ガンバスター
Anime: Top wo Nerae! Gunbuster, トップをねらえ!GunBuster (Episode 4)
  • Gaina-dachi
    The Gainax pose, named after studio Gainax ガイナックス.

Normally a "stance," as in a fighting stance, would be a kamae 構え instead, from kamaeru 構える, "to set something up," "to have something ready in case of something (e.g. to ready your gun, sword, weapon)," and from there "to ready your body in a stance (e.g. to fight, to receive a volleyball.)."

This trope isn't only about how the character stands, but also the fact the perspective is warped to emphasize their weapon, hence why it's also called paasu パース, "pers," short for paasupekuthivu パースペクティブ, the katakanization of "perspective."

This likely comes from another term: the Kanada perspective.

Kanada Perspective

The "Kanada Perspective," Kanada paasu 金田パース, is a technique in which the artist "deliberates [exaggerates, distorts] the perspective in order to emphasize the dynamicity [in a scene]."(dic.pixiv.net:金田パース)

We're talking about "perspective" as in "perspective drawing," not as in "perspective projection," as opposed to "orthographic projection.".

Denkigai Tamotsu 伝木凱タモツ holds a photo of a anime figure taken with a Kanada perspective 金田パース.
Left: Denkigai Tamotsu 伝木凱タモツ
Anime: Akiba's Trip The Animation (Episode 7)
  • Context: Tamotsu takes a photo of an anime figure, and teaches his younger sister about it.
  • ii ka, Niwaka, kono utsuri-kata to kakudo wa na, Kanada paasu to itte {anime-kai ni {tadai na} kouseki wo nokoshita} jinbutsu no tensai...
    [Listen], Niwaka, this way-of-taking-[a-photo] and angle, [you see], is called "Kanada perspective," the genius [something] of a person [that] {left immense contributions to the anime world}.
    • This is an incomplete sentence: Niwaka leaves before Tamotsu can say what is the "genius something" he's talking about.
    • The phrase ii ka here works like ii koto いいこと.
    • nokosu
      To make remain. (forms ergative pair with nokoru 残る.)
      To leave behind as you depart. (in this case, because Kanada is no longer alive.)

This technique is one of the many named after the legendary animator Kanada Yoshinori 金田伊功 (1952–2009), who worked in robot anime like Mobile Suit Gundam, Kidou Senshi Gundam, 機動戦士ガンダム.(dic.pixiv.net:金田パース, Murakami, 2000 as cited in Utsugi et al, 2011:2)

Another technique named him is the Kanada hikari 金田光り, "Kanada light [flare]," in which one draws a shiny reflection on a metallic object as a cross (+ or X) with a bubble-like circle.(dic.pixiv.net:金田光り)

A collage of eyecatch アイキャッチ images shown before (left) and after (right) the commercial breaks of three different episodes.
Top-left: Simon シモン
Top-right: "village chief," sonchou 村長
Middle-left: Kamina カミナ
Middle-right: Gunman, ガンメン
Bottom-left: Yoko Littner, ヨーコ・リットナー
Bottom-right: Viral, ヴィラル
Anime: Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, 天元突破グレンラガン (Episodes 1, 2, 3)
  • Context: TTGL eyecatches featuring the Kanada hikari on a drill, coming from behind someone's head, on a sword, giant robot, rifle, and another giant robot.

Although the Sunrise stance combines a Kanada perspective with swords pretty often, the stance is also defined by standing in a certain way, and it's mostly about showing the weapon, so just because the sword is drawn pretty big that doesn't necessarily mean it's a Sunrise stance.

Wilhelm van Astrea, ヴィルヘルム・ヴァン・アストレア, holding a sword.
Character: Wilhelm van Astrea, ヴィルヘルム・ヴァン・アストレア
Anime: Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu Re:ゼロから始める異世界生活 (Episode 21)
  • Context: not a Sunrise stance, despite the Kanada perspective and the sword.


A "seed pose," tane poozu 種ポーズ, is a pose used in the opening of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, Kidou Senshi Gundam SEED 機動戦士ガンダムSEED, with a giant robot point the gun to one side while jumping in space to the other side.(dic.pixiv.net:種ポーズ)

Strike Gundam, ストライクガンダム, doing the iconic "SEED pose," tane poosu 種ポース.
Character: Strike Gundam, ストライクガンダム
Anime: Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, Kidou Senshi Gundam SEED, 機動戦士ガンダムSEED (Episode 1, OP)

This pose isn't the same thing as a Sunrise stance(dic.pixiv.net:勇者パース), since it's on air, rather than "standing," but it can get a Kanada perspective sometimes making it very similar.


For reference, some examples of the Sunrise stance. Typically, the stance occurs when:

  • A characters gets a new weapon, which they typically make appear out of nowhere somehow, like magically, by summoning, conjuring, combining two items together, transforming one item into another, pulling it out of nowhere, or otherwise reveal the weapon for the first time.
  • A character is fighting a new enemy.
  • A character is about to use a final, decisive attack with the sword to finish an enemy, which kind of makes you wonder why they didn't just use the sword to begin with, but there usually are circumstances that make the sword only become available mid-battle, and it was a losing battle until the weapon's newfound availability turns the tables around, with the stance marking this turning point.
Gundam AGE-3, ガンダムAGE-3, holding the SigMaxiss Rifle, シグマシスライフル, in Sunrise Stance (サンライズ立ち).
Character: Gundam AGE-3, ガンダムAGE-3
Weapon: SigMaxiss Rifle, シグマシスライフル
Anime: Mobile Suit Gundam AGE, Kidou Senshi Gundam AGE, 機動戦士ガンダムAGE (Episode 29)
  • Context: a giant robot tests a cool, new weapon.
  • Gundam is another robot anime made by Sunrise.
Kogenta コゲンタ holding a sword in Sunrise Stance (サンライズ立ち).
Character: Kogenta コゲンタ
Weapon: Saikaidou Kotetsu 西海道虎鉄
Anime: Onmyou Taisenki 陰陽大戦記 (Episode 20)
  • Context: Kogenta pulls his signature sword out of literally nowhere.
  • Onmyou Taisenki's anime adaptation was animated by Sunrise.
Several Aikatsu characters doing the Sunrise stance (サンライズ立ち): Hoshimiya Ichigo, 星宮いちご, Oozora Akari 大空あかり, Shirogane Lily, 白銀リリィ, Kizaki Rei 騎咲レイ, Kamishiro Karen 神城カレン, and Chouno Maika 蝶乃舞花. In the series, it's a school tradition to cut down a fir tree at Christmas. The three was cut down by axe in episode 12, by chainsaw in episode 37 of Stars, and by sword and punch combo in episode 87 of Stars. In episode 48 of Friends, an axe used to cut down the fir tree was found among other items.
From left to right, top to bottom:
Hoshimiya Ichigo, 星宮いちご
Oozora Akari 大空あかり (& Ichigo again)
Shirogane Lily, 白銀リリィ
Kizaki Rei 騎咲レイ
Kamishiro Karen 神城カレン
Chouno Maika 蝶乃舞花
Anime: Aikatsu! Idol Katsudou!, アイカツ!アイドルカツドウ! (Episode 12, 178)
Anime: Aikatsu Stars!, アイカツスターズ! (Episode 37, 87)
Anime: Aikatsu Friends!, アイカツフレンズ! (Episode 24, 48)
  • Context: Aikatsu routinely features the Sunrise stance. It was originally animated by studio Sunrise, until its parent company, Bandai Namco Holdings, decided to restructure itself in 2015, such that later iterations of the franchise were animated by Bandai Namco Pictures, a studio spun off Sunrise created to handle kids and family-targeted intellectual properties.(animenewsnetwork.com)
  • In the series, it's a school tradition to cut down a fir tree at Christmas. The three was cut down by axe in episode 12, by chainsaw in episode 37 of Stars, and by sword and punch combo in episode 87 of Stars. In episode 48 of Friends, an axe used to cut down the fir tree was found among other items.
Gridman, グリッドマン, holding the sword Gridman Calibur, グリッドマンキャリバー, in Sunrise Stance (サンライス立ち).
Character: Gridman, グリッドマン
Weapon: Gridman Calibur, グリッドマンキャリバー
Anime: SSSS.GRIDMAN (Episode 2)
  • Context: Calibur comes aid Gridman, turning into a sword.
Juju-kū Shunamur, ジュジュ・クー・シュナムル, holding a "Holy Water Sword," Seisuiken 聖水剣, in Sunrise Stance (サンライズ立ち).
Character: Juju-kū Shunamur, ジュジュ・クー・シュナムル
Weapon: "Holy Water Sword," Seisuiken 聖水剣
Anime: Mahoujin Guruguru 魔法陣グルグル (2017) (Episode 5)
  • Context: Juju freezes holy water in the shape of a sword.
Kouji 浩二 holding an ice sword in Sunrise stance (サンライズ立ち).
Character: Kouji 浩二
Anime: Jashin-chan Dropkick', 邪神ちゃんドロップキック’ (Season 2) (Episode 4)
  • Context: Kouji, who sells ice cream, freezes a stick to make an ice stick sword.
Aurora Suya Rhys Kaymin, オーロラ・栖夜・リース・カイミーン, holding the sword Jingi Ame-no-Murakumo 神器アメノムラクモ in the Sunrise Stance (サンライズ立ち).
Character: Aurora Suya Rhys Kaymin, オーロラ・栖夜・リース・カイミーン
Weapon: Jingi Ame-no-Murakumo 神器アメノムラクモ
Anime: Maoujou de Oyasumi 魔王城でおやすみ (Episode 3)
  • Context: Aurora finds a shining sword.
Yuuto ユート using three hacka dolls combined in a Sunrise Stance (サンライズ立ち).
From top-left to bottom-right:
Hacka Doll No.2, ハッカドール2号
Hacka Doll No.1, ハッカドール1号
Hacka Doll No.3, ハッカドール3号
Yuuto ユート
Anime: Hacka Doll The Animation, ハッカドール THE・あにめーしょん (Episode 9)
  • Context: through the "power of love," ai no chikara 愛の力, the three Hacka Dolls do a mecha-esque gattai 合体 and turn into a sword to aid Yuuto.
Nyaruko ニャル子 holding a sword in Sunrise stance (サンライズ立ち).
Character: Nyaruko ニャル子
Weapon: "Wicked-God Roar," Jashin Houkou 邪神咆哮
Anime: Haiyore! Nyaruko-san 這いよれ!ニャル子さん (Episode 12)
  • Context: Nyaruko transforms a crowbar into a sword through the power of love (?).
  • Besides being an obvious Exkaiser parody, this is also a parody of the game Demonbane, whose Playstation 2 version is titled: Kishin Houkou Demonbane, 機神咆吼デモンベイン, "Machine-God Roar Demonbane." As she readies the sword, she also says a phrase from the game:(atwiki.jp:ニャル子さん第12話)
    • ware wa {ma wo tatsu} ken wo toru
      I'll take the sword [that] {severs evil}.
Tail Red, テイルレッド, holding a sword in Sunrise Stance (サンライズ立ち).
Character: Tail Red, テイルレッド
Anime: Ore, Twintail ni Narimasu., 俺、ツインテールになります。 (Episode 1)
Ashuna Grizarica, アーシュナ・グリザリカ, example of Sunrise stance (サンライズ立ち).
Character: Ashuna Grizarica, アーシュナ・グリザリカ
Anime: Shokei Shoujo no Virgin Road, 処刑少女の生きる道バージンロード (Episode 6)
  • Context: a princess readies her sword for a special attack: the metal cracks and breaks after the pose, revealing a huge energy sword she uses to strike the enemy.
Alan, アラン, holding an axe in Sunrise Stance (サンライズ立ち).
Character: Alan, アラン
Anime: Tatoeba Last Dungeon Mae no Mura no Shounen ga Joban no Machi de Kurasu You na Monogatari, たとえばラストダンジョン前の村の少年が序盤の街で暮らすような物語 (Episode 2)


The typical Sunrise stance has the weapon pointing left, like in Exkaiser, but there are also instances done pointing right instead.

Sabnock Sabro, サブノック・サブロ, holding a sword in Sunrise stance (サンライズ立ち).
Character: Sabnock Sabro, サブノック・サブロ
Anime: Mairimashita! Iruma-kun 魔入りました!入間くん (Episode 5)
  • Context: Sabnock magically conjures a sword made out of what's likely silver after biting a trinket made out of the same metal.
Amanda O'Neill, アマンダ・オニール, holding a sword in Sunrise stance (サンライズ立ち).
Character: Amanda O'Neill, アマンダ・オニール
Anime: Little Witch Academia (Episode 17)
  • Context: Amanda combines her wand and sword to form a bigger sword.


I feel like we're moving too far from the original thing, but I guess if the sword is pointing diagonally downwards rather than upwards, it's still basically the same thing, right?

Rin リン holding a sword in Sunrise stance (サインラズ立ち).
Character: Rin リン
Anime: Heion Sedai no Idaten-tachi 平穏世代の韋駄天達 (Episode 3)
  • Context: Rin pulls a sword out of her hand, practically out of nowhere.


Poses & Gestures

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