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Throughout all of Fullmetal Alchemist Manga, King Bradley chopped his way through everything, from stone to arms to automail.

How did it get to be so sharp? What did the King use to sharpen his sword?

An aside: the sharpness of his sword seemed to transfer to any bladed weapon he used. Was it a side effect of his homunculus-ness?

  • Is this in the original 2003 series or Botherhood as in the first one he is Pride while the second he is Wrath and i think if your referring to Brotherhood maybe the sharpness of his blade is a representation of his name sake, Wrath being anger/rage and in fiction anger/rage tends to make people stronger – Memor-X Apr 10 '15 at 2:04
  • Well, I was technically referring to the manga, so I guess by extension that means Brotherhood. I saw one of the 2003 spinoff movies once, and it was awful, so I never watched the rest of that series. – HotelCalifornia Apr 10 '15 at 2:40
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    It's also sort of a generic trope that the better you are with the sword the more things you can cut.... some anime have gone so far as to show people cutting stones / trees with wooden practice swords – mfoy_ Apr 10 '15 at 2:59
  • Which anime has characters cutting stones with wooden practice swords?? @mfoy_ – abhishah901 Jun 11 '15 at 15:06
  • tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/WoodenKatanasAreEvenBetter LOTS, @abhishah901 – mfoy_ Jun 11 '15 at 15:53
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They're so sharp because he takes care of them. The true power behind his swords are his swordsmanship, superhuman strength and incredible speed. Everything King Bradley uses to fight with is really just ordinary weapons. There is a scene in the brotherhood series (I'm aware you mentioned the manga but your overall question is generic) where he even picks up two dagger and starts to fight the old man with no problem.

With the right amount of precision and strength it is possible to slice through some really dense materials (Including metals) with a really well made sharp sword. Keep in mind that it is still just an Anime/Manga.

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    Alright, I'll take it. At the time I asked the question, I was in fact watching brotherhood, but I kept it generic because brotherhood stays pretty true to the manga plot :) – HotelCalifornia Jun 11 '15 at 2:01
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Adding to TonyBilby's answer: In the manga you get a short flashback into Wrath's "creation" or "selection". There are quite a lot of candidates to become wrath, training day and night and only the best one is chosen to become King Bradley. At the said point in the story he is 60 years old, in which he summed up a little bit of experience, compared to Ed's ~5(?) years of training.

So my conclusion is the same: Superhuman strength, incredible speed and possibly the best swordsmanship in the country.

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A lot of it boils down to superhuman strength and speed, so he's going to hit his target with a lot of force behind each strike. There are a few other things to consider:

  • Weapon: the sword he uses, a spadroon, isn't that strong a sword in terms of durability. However, he likely goes through these things like popcorn and is routinely replacing older/damaged swords with new, sharpened blades (he breaks them several times in the series).
  • Training: knowing all about body mechanics, timing, etc.; is something any competent martial artist possesses. There are plenty of articles and YouTube videos just on the topic of how a boxer generates so much more force than an "average Joe" when throwing a punch (chambering, stance, multi-joint-acceleration, muscle memory, etc.). The same applies to swordsmanship.
  • "Ultimate eye": he possesses a magical ability to hone in on his opponent's weak spot. Whether this is the opponent's vital points/organs, or if it also includes instantaneous weaknesses (weak points in armor, a bad stance or being off-balance, etc.) it could explain certain feats of skill/strength (i.e. chopping off Captain Buccaneer's automail arm so easily, or even damaging the treads on a tank, or the blades not breaking when striking Greed's/Ling's armored arms, or chopping through thousands of pounds of rock pillars): he just hits with absurd strength and accuracy (though, IRL, a spadroon isn't doing that kind of damage to caterpillar treads without snapping in half).

Summary

Superhuman abilities provide a reasonable-enough explanation, but it takes an aweful lot of handwavium/unobtainium to explain how those fragile swords can withstand even 1% of the force thrown at them without dulling and/or shattering with each strike.

TL;DR

He's a superhuman with mithril blades.

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