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You really have to respect the skills of the team behind Man at Arms and its successor Man at Arms Reforged. It was impressive enough when the web series’ blacksmiths were taking on projects as iconic or massive as The Legend of Zelda’s Master Sword or Final Fantasy VII’s Masamune. The craftsmen have since moved on to even more complicated designs, such as the gunblade from Final Fantasy VIII and Fierce Deity Sword from Majora’s Mask.

Now, Man at Arms Reforged is back with what might be its most unique creation yet, the Scissor Blade from cult hit anime Kill la Kill, made from materials as unusual as the school supply inspiration of the weapon itself.

Just in case you’ve never caught an episode of Kill la Kill, here’s what protagonist Ryuko Matoi carries into battle, often while wearing a sentient sailor-suit-style combat uniform.

▼ The Scissor Blade’s blood red color is actually the most pedestrian thing about it.

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Most of the blades crafted by Matt Stagmer’s Man at Arms Reforged team are the result of a painstaking, hands-on process. Because of this, it’s a little surprising when the newest episode starts off with Stagmer pulling up a computer render of the Scissor Blade, reformatting the data for a plasma cutter, and having the blade’s core completed with no fuss whatsoever.

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As a matter of fact, it’s so anticlimactic that Stagmer himself feels something is missing, and decides to add an incredibly creative wrinkle to the production process.

Casually chucking away the plasma-cut piece, Stagmer and fellow blacksmith Ilya Alekseyev decide to start over, and seeing as how pre-formed sheet metal is just too dull for a weapon as crazy as the Scissor Blade, decide to forge their own metal.

Out of scissors

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The pair gather a massive pile of scissors of all sizes and styles, bundle them to a shaft, and stick the whole thing into a furnace until it’s hot enough to be hammered into a cohesive alloy, with a little help from a hydraulic press.

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After repeating the process multiple times, the resulting lump of metal is worked into a bar, then drawn out with a power hammer and hammered into shape.

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With its multiple curvatures, though, there’s a lot of grinding that needs to be done to smooth out the edge. Once Stagmer is done and the area around his feet is no longer obscured by a shower of sparks, we learn that he’s amassed a pile of steel shavings and the weapon is now five pounds lighter.

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As Stagmer polishes and sands the blade, he points out the unique patterns in the metal that have been left behind as a result of smelting down the dozens of pairs of scissors that went into it.

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As real-life craftsmen, and not anime visual designers, the Man at Arms Reforged team has to deal with real-world physics, and as such wasn’t able to replicate the way Ryuko’s weapon grows in size and alters its shape during fights in Kill la Kill. However, they did manage to recreate the way its hinged, semicircular handguard unfolds into a straight two-handed grip.

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As the finishing touch, Stagmer grabs a can of spray paint, designed to be used with cars, but selected for the way it will visually preserve the swirls and textures seen in the blade.

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▼ The finished product

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And of course, like every episode of Man at Arms Reforged, this one ends with a little field testing.

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All of the series’ standard targets are here, including watermelons, jugs of blood-like fruit punch, and pottery. There is one special guest in this week’s lineup, though: a notebook.

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After all, what kind of Scissor Blade would it be if it couldn’t cut paper?

Source: Inside Games
Top image: YouTube
Insert images: Wikia, YouTube