Tuesday 13 November 2012

Part 6: Yanagita Rikao's Sengoku Basara Science Laboratory

As with my posts covering the earlier parts, this is an extremely rough English translation of part of the blog series Yanagita Rikao's Sengoku Basara Science Laboratory (Yanagita Rikao Sengoku Basara Kagaku Kenkyuujo). 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 promotional videos.

Part 6: Lifting a tanker with his fingers!? Date Masamune

There's nothing an enemy can do

You can't talk about Masamune without mentioning the Rokusouryuu (Six Claw Style). With three in the right hand and three in the left, he wields a total of six katana in battle. How effective is this as a method of fighting?

From the enemy's point of view, simultaneously blocking three katana is desperately difficult. Because the angle between the neighbouring swords may be as much as 30 degrees, the upper and lower blades can be 80cm apart. To defend against any one would mean being cut by the other two. Even supposing that you managed to block them all, the impact from the slash would be huge due to the weight of the three katana.

In addition, it's also problematic for the enemy that Masamune holds three in each hand. Between battles Masamune takes up a stance where he tilts forwards a little with both arms outstretched. Given 80cm between the point of the blade and where it meets the tsuba (hand guard), Masamune's 65cm arm length and his 50cm shoulder width, the Six Claws will take control of an area with a diameter of 2.6 metres and a vertical height of 80cm. It's as though you can hear Masamune's voice saying "I'll show the guy who comes in here hell, Baby!".

Of course Masamune would rather always greet an enemy with an attack than fight a passive battle. Lunging at the enemy forces with CRAZY STREAM or MAGNUM STEP, he scatters the foes, brandishing his Six Claws like a rasetsu demon. As for the enemy soldiers, at this point they would have no idea what to do. It's not depicted in the game, but would some of them not instinctively step back from such an onslaught, ending up stabbed by the swords and spears of their own allies?

My fingers hurt!

However, I don't think it's all that easy to wield six katana at the same time. I experimented to see just how tough it could be.

Looking at the game screen, Masamune holds one sword each between his index and middle fingers, his middle and ring fingers, and his ring and pinky fingers. When yours truly tried to hold the handles of an imitation sword, a wooden sword and a hammer from my research collection in the same way... gwaahhh, my fingers hurt tremendously! Dislocation of the pinky finger is likely, and sandwiched between both the imitation sword and something else, the middle and ring fingers were on the verge of incurring compression fractures. I cannot even lift the the weapons up; to swing them would be nothing more than a dream. If this author were to wield them on the battlefield, he'd take damage simply by holding the Six Claws!

However, Masamune swings the Six Claws around freely. This means that his fingers are not just sturdy, they're powerful. Let me calculate how much power they have, using a scene where he launches enemy soldiers into the air.

Masamune flings a great many enemy soldiers into the air with a single swing of the Six Claws. Although the katana strike the enemies, there's absolutely no sign of a fall in their speed; however, for there to be no drop in speed at all the katana would have to be infinitely heavy. Let's assume for now that the speed of the katana drops to 90% when the enemy soldiers are flung aloft.

On this assumption, by calculating the sword speed that would be needed to launch enemy soldiers 5m with three katana, we get Mach 21! At the moment of impact, the force dealt to the enemy's body is 7200t!

Yet the force Masamune's fingers are exerting is not on that level. To swing a long katana around with narrow fingers requires that those fingers apply enormous force, working on the principle of leverage. The distance from the fingers to the point of impact is 60cm, so if a finger has a diameter of 2cm, the former is 30x more than the latter. The force exerted by Masamune's fingers, then, is 30x the force dealt to the enemy: 216,000t!

As long as there's a foothold, this young Oushuu Hittou can lift up a tanker with his fingers. You cannot master the Six Claws without being superhuman.

[Extra note: According to the illustration, the speed at which the enemy is launched by the swing is 36km/h.]

What's flying?

Masamune has several projectile weapons. Of these, PHANTOM DIVE stands out most. Swinging the katana downwards, three pale lights run across the ground and defeat an enemy far in the distance. I wonder, exactly what is flying?

Something which flies when a katana is waved... As you delve into the possibilities, there's only one explanation scientifically speaking: it's a splinter from a katana. Since Masamune defeats hundreds of enemy soldiers in every fight, it wouldn't be surprising for there to be a few nicks in the blades of his katana when the battle is over. Perhaps parts of that saw-like remainder could break off and fly away due to centrifugal force, owing to the excessive sword speed?

If the splinter was 5mm in size, with that amazing sword speed it could hit Mach 28! In this case, with all three katana working perfectly in unison they'd apply a centrifugal force of 13,500t. Perhaps this technique too is only possible because Masamune's fingers alone hold 216,000t of power.

With marvellous power and speed, Date Masamune presses on through the soldiers which cluster in the enemy camp as though it's nothing more than an empty field. The people and soldiers of Oushuu can really count on their young Hittou.

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

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