Tuesday 6 November 2012

Part 2: Yanagita Rikao's Sengoku Basara Science Laboratory

As with the other posts in the series, this is an extremely rough English translation of the blog series Yanagita Rikao's Sengoku Basara Science Laboratory (Yanagita Rikao Sengoku Basara Kagaku Kenkyuujo). It's not a word-for-word official translation. The series is intended to promote August's Sengoku Basara HD Collection. Please click the link below to see the original article, which is accompanied by illustrations and a promotional video.

Part 2: Even a gymnastics gold medalist would pale!? Sarutobi Sasuke

His shuriken are colossal

The shuriken Sasuke wields in each hand are enormous. There are different kinds, but the basic ones he uses in Sengoku Basara 2 Heroes have three knifelike blades approximately 50cm long and 12cm wide. Combined with the blades' 1cm thickness and the metal connecting parts, it looks as though Sasuke's shuriken each weigh 8kg. Two at once would be 16kg. To be able to jump or backflip with them would be surprising even for Uchimura Kohei, who won the all around gymnastics gold medal at the London Olympics.

These fantastic shuriken can also be thrown and returned like yo-yos. Perhaps there's a chain attached to the axis of the weapon. In manga, ninja usually carry a large number of shuriken and discard them once they've been thrown; Sasuke could have devised the two reusable shuriken to avoid having to carry a lot of the normal kind.

When pulling the shuriken back using Hikiyose No Jutsu, it's also possible to draw in enemy soldiers. To be able to pull objects of around 100kg in with a single swing takes significant physical strength; the force needed to pull soldiers from a distance of 10m would be 3.1t. Sasuke attracts attention for his speed and techniques, but his brute strength mustn't be overlooked.

Making copies of himself?

In addition, Sasuke can use Bunshin No Jutsu to summon two shadowy doppelgängers. Even though they look like shadows, because they have offensive power it's more likely that these copies are Sasuke himself rather than a trick of the light. In which case, they must be residual images; it is said that this kind of afterimage remains in the retina of the human eye for 0.1 seconds. If he can move three times within that interval it could appear as though there were three copies, however, to leave a clear afterimage it would be necessary to stop long enough at each location.

Supposing that he stops for 0.05 seconds in the position of his clearly visible physical form, then stops for 0.01 seconds in the position of each of the shadowy clones, that leaves 0.03 seconds for movement.

Since the three copies are 1m apart in a triangle formation, it means they are covering that 1m distance within those 0.01 seconds. That's 100m per second, or 360km/h! Faster than the Shinkansen, taking just 1 second to travel 100m. What amazing speed.

It's tough on the crow

From time to time, Sasuke soars through the air holding onto a crow which appears out of nowhere. It's a massive crow with a wingspan of around 2m. Even the largest crows in Japan usually have a wingspan of 1m at the most, so Sasuke's crow is twice as big as normal.

Even for this gigantic crow, it's not easy to fly with Sasuke hanging on. A large crow weighs approximately 800g and takes off from the ground by flapping its wings around once per second - that's how much they need to flap to support their own weight. If Sasuke weighs 70kg, this huge crow would have to beat its wings six times per second to fly. This poor crow is making a huge effort in order to give Sasuke an advantage in combat.

The science of diving into the shadows

Among Sasuke's skills, this writer finds Kagemoguri No Jutsu the most amazing. He travels deep underground and then bounces up from right beneath the enemy. Rather than diving down and digging a hole with a shuriken, his feet sink down right where he's standing. How on earth is this possible?

It's possible that it could be achieved through liquefaction. If you apply vibration to moist soil, the earth will become creamy and objects standing on it will sink. By vigorously shaking his legs, Sasuke may be able to liquify the ground under his feet. Once he's underground, he could push forward by shaking his whole body.

This may be possible, but the difficult part is how he moves beneath his opponent and leaps out of the ground. With liquefaction he'd sink back in rather than jumping towards the enemy, while to leap out using his own strength probably wouldn't allow him to bounce the enemy upwards. Through experimenting by burying a puppet in sand, it seems likely that a person would need leg strength equivalent to 2.9t in order to jump out of the ground. To simultaneously toss a 100kg opponent 3m into the air, an additional force of 3t is needed; that's 5.9t in total.

Strength like that is beyond superhuman. Sarutobi Sasuke defeats the enemies with this tricky technique. Behind the scenes there's a well-rounded grasp of science, incredible strength and the suffering of a gigantic crow.

All content in this post is © CAPCOM CO., LTD. 2012.

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