A type of Cool Sword, the rapier is often associated with those of high class, or at least some suave character.
Note that in the hey-day of the rapier, it was as likely to be associated with traveling entertainers who gave what we would call “performances” with the rapier and buckler (small shield—hence the term Swashbuckler) as with the courtiers, like Pietro Monte, whose favorite weapon it was. Old-fashioned gentlemen of the Elizabethan period tended to despise the “foining” and dancing they associated with the weapon, and preferred the good old longsword.
If your characters are living in The Cavalier Years, and especially musketeers are involved, you can definitely expect them to use rapiers.
Also included is the espada ropera.
Anime and Manga
- Bleach: Chojiro Sasakibe's zanpakuto
- Jean Pierre Polnareff's Silver Chariot is an armored swordfighter who uses a rapier.
- In Mobile Suit Gundam, M'Quve's Gyan uses a beam rapier as the main weapon of his YMS-15 Gyan. Given his aristocratic tendencies and cultured behaviour, this makes a lot of sense.
- Mobile Fighter G Gundam: Rose Gundam uses a beam rapier.
- Revolutionary Girl Utena revolves around live steel fencing tournaments.
- Only one character uses a rapier, however; the Sword of Dios is a sidesword.
- White-Haired Pretty Boy Griffith in Berserk wields a gleaming cavalry sabre, in contrast with Guts' BFS. In spite of living in a GAR World of Badass, Griffith casually blocks, chips, or cuts clean through the weapons of far heavier armed opponents. With one exception.
- While it's technically a Sword Cane, a lot of Brook's fighting style is fencing with a thin blade mixed with quick-draws.
- Durand from Le Chevalier d'Eon wield this and a main gauche.
- Fried from Fairy Tail
- Sylvie from Princess Lover
Film - Live Action
- The Princess Bride: both Inigo Montoya and the Man in Black wield them.
- The Three Musketeers 1973 and The Four Musketeers (1974). Both the Musketeers and the Cardinal's Guard use them.
- The Musketeers in Disney's The Three Musketeers 1993 use them.
- Used in the latest adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo. Fairly accurately, at that. Toward the end of the movie, Albert takes advantage of the blade's flimsiness to break the Count's own rapier in two with his own similar, yet more durable blade.
- In most of adaptations, the weapon of choice of Zorro seems to be a Spanish rapier.
- In The Riftwar Cycle, the rapier is the Weapon of Choice for Prince Arutha. At the end of the first series, it gets infused with a magic-repelling artifact, which lets it harm demons and other supernatural foes. Arutha's popularity causes rapiers to become much more widely used in the Kingdom during and after his reign.
- In Scaramouche, the rapier is Andre-Louis' weapon of choice.
- In the Dragaera series, Vlad Taltos uses a rapier while most Dragaerans prefer a Dual-Wielding longsword-and-dagger style.
- Played straight in The Color of Magic, the first Discworld novel where it is used to reinforce Rincewind's perpetual incompetence. Rincewind is challenged to a sword fight; his opponent wields a rapier, while Rincewind is stuck with a short sword that looks more like a shovel.
- In A Song of Ice and Fire, Winterfell's master of arms makes one for Little Miss Badass Arya Stark. It's unusual in Westeros (where most swords are of the "as long and heavy as you can lift" design) but Arya's father hires a fencing master from overseas Braavos to teach her what they call the "water dancing" style.
Live Action TV
- In the Firefly episode 'Shindig', the local nobility like using these in duels. Inara shows a little proficiency too.
- Along with the main gauche, the rapier was the short range weapon for the French Musketeers on "Deadliest Warrior". It received 195 kills in the simulation
- In one episode of Blackadder I, Prince Edmund challenges Lord Dougal MacAngus to a duel. Edmund uses a rapier, but MacAngus effortlessly snaps it in half with his longsword.
- Raphael and Amy from Soul Calibur
- Pierre from Chrono Cross
- Prince Peasley from Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
- Fire Emblem: The Rapier is the traditional weapon of the main heroes of the Lord class, serving as both an Anti-Cavalry and armor piercing weapon. More often than not, those who don't wield a Rapier are given a functional Expy in one of the other weapon types.
- Persona 3: Mitsuru's Weapon of Choice. C'est Magnifique.
- While it is her default weapon, she can use any one-handed sword weapons, which include non-rapiers. She still, however, uses them as a rapier, slashing once on her first hit, stabbing multiple times on the second, and then kicking the enemy in the face with the third.
- You can't mention the Persona series here without mentioning the original Royal Rapier wielder, Eriko Kirishima.
- The Suikoden series provides us with quite a lot of characters wielding a rapier :
- Vincent de Boule, a former aristocrat from the Scarlet Moon Empire, uses one in Suikoden and Suikoden II.
- Anita, from Suikoden II seems to wield one too : altough the game refers to it as a sword, the in-game battle sprite clearly shows that Anita's weapon is a rapier.
- Lilly Pendragon carries one in Suikoden III. She also dresses like a musketeer, complete with a big plumed hat. An another character from the same game, Yuber, seems to dual-wield rapiers.
- Prince Enrique from Skies of Arcadia uses one.
- The Prince(ss) class from Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City initially uses Rapiers. So do Buccaneers, which combine traits of Musketeers and Pirates.
- Estelle from Tales of Vesperia can wield these as well as staves.
- The fencer line of units in Battle for Wesnoth.
- Jean in Breath of Fire 2 wields one. And he's a genuine prince too.
- Karin Koenig in Shadow Hearts has a few rapiers amongst her available weapons.
- Richard in Tales of Graces wields these and is a prince.
- Saleh from Tales of Rebirth wields one. It's fitting for a suave Smug Snake like himself.
- Noblewoman Phiona in Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume, while a member of the series' Heavy Warrior class, goes with a giant rapier as her weapon of choice, regardless of how little sense that makes.
- Sima Shi, Yuan Shao, and Liu Shan in Dynasty Warriors 7.
- In the most recent Final Fantasy games, the rapier became the weapon of choice of The Red Mage job.
- Charlotte from the Samurai Shodown series has one of these.
- A common weapon in the Dept. Heaven series, used as:
- Fia's main weapon in Riviera: The Promised Land
- The preferred equipment of swordswomen in Yggdra Union, Blaze Union, Gloria Union, and Yggdra Unison, including Luciana, Aegina, Monica, and Anne.
- The basic weapon for Duelists in Knights in The Nightmare.
- The secondary weapon type for Elise and Natalia in Gungnir.
- Layer wields a rapier in Mega Man X8.
- Zero can choose to use the Z Rapier in Mega Man X Command Mission.
- Rapiers, foils, and espada roperas are weapon types in Romancing Saga: Minstrel Song.
- One of the weapon types available in Dark Souls, used for quick, repeated thrusts. There's even a unique one dropped by the Undead Prince Ricard, Ricard's Rapier.
- From the Global Guardians PBEM Universe, Italian supervillainess Vendetta uses two of these, Florentine style.
- My Little Pony: In the episode "The Prince and the Ponies", the palace guards (who are of uncertain loyalty until the end) carry rapiers, and there's a bit where some of the Little Ponies swordfight with them (using their mouths to hold the rapiers).
- Rapiers did see use around the early renaissance era, usually by richer men who studied fencing, or for general self defense use against unarmored opponents. It was at the time a favorite weapon for use in duels. From a more militarized point of view, the rapier did see some limited use on the battlefield, but proved ineffectual due to its difficulty penetrating even the lightest of armor, the hard time involved in using it to slash effectively, and the tenancy of its long narrow blade to break. There is however no denying that it is more classy then the more practical military blades, which were typically more pragmatically designed to kill things without such niceties as looking good or elegant doing it.
- Aside from the fact that you really need mass to slash, rapiers had to shape what mass they had differently. That is they had to be thicker vertically to stand a thrust at such length which of course is contradictory to having a sharp blade for slashing. Some rapiers in fact were unedged and those that had edges were primarily for preventing grasping by an opponent. It is possible to make a tip cut(especially as it was not unknown to expand the tip specifically for the purpose in a circular shape) and as the neck blood vessels are there that may be the only fatal cut that can be done with a rapier. It is also possible to make a draw cut while recovering from a failed thrust or to cut as a prod or reconnaissance sort of as a fencing equiv to boxing's left jab. Neither of those is what a rapier is designed for however.
- Amusingly, the earliest origin of the rapier was anything but Royal, and began life as a street fighting weapon amongst common thugs. Only later was it adopted by the higher classes and gained a 'refined' reputation.
- In the early Renaissance, calling someone a "good fencer" was kind of like saying, "You're a heck of a coke mule." It implied you were the kind of scummy bastard who would learn how to fence, and clearly only people up to no good would want to know that. England even tried banning fencing schools. It didn't work.
- Rapiers were not inferior weapons nor impractical. They were different weapons designed for a completely different role. The rapier was designed for civilian use against a foe who had no armor in a duel, brawl, or mugging. The Capoferro lunge with a rapier killed off "old school" duelists. Military cut and thrust swords developed differently to suit the needs of their users. What was effective in warfare was just not effective in Renaissance streets, just as a Kalashnikov would make a terrible hunting rifle. Prior to this time, there really wasn't a difference between civilian and military arms.