Saturday 17 November 2012

Part 7: 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.

I especially recommend consulting the illustration for the explanation this time.

Part 7: The terrifying ringblade user!! Mouri Motonari

The 'wily strategist' Mouri Motonari is a splendid warlord. Dressed in bright green hunting garb with sleeves longer than his arms, he wears a tall eboshi (hat) in the same colour and boots on his feet. Freely manipulating his circular katana 'Rintou' ('ringblade'), this bewitching figure fights as though dancing. However, this author must apologise. Written in the strategy guide are things like "Motonari's attack power is extremely low" etc. I completely disagree! I cannot help but feel that ferocious attack power is hidden within Motonari's ringblade.

He's actually really strong

Motonari's Rintou is composed of two semicircular katana. Although he can also hold one of them in each of his hands or combine them in the shape of the letter 'S', he usually forms them into a circle around himself and grips the handles from within it. This is Motonari's basic stance.

I want you to imagine confronting Motonari in this stance one-on-one. If you thrust towards the upper area, he should be able to cut your face or body just by jerking the ringblade forwards. Thrust towards the middle of the stance and Motonari can simply raise the front of the Rintou, deflecting the katana. The same motion would protect him from even a swing angled downwards. Immediately after any of these, closing the gap between you with dance-like footwork, he would be likely to tear into your flank with a slash. Enormous damage is dealt to the enemy with the bare minimum of movement. I think that's what makes the ringblade scary.

Yet, when Motonari comes out from the ringblade, it's even more fearsome. When he's inside his Rintou both of Motonari's arms are outstretched, his hands holding the handles. Since the width of a person with both arms outstretched is almost as great as their height, even considering that his fingers are bent it means that the ringblade is more than 150cm in diameter. So, since a normal Japanese katana is 1m in length, that's 1.5x longer. Perhaps it's tricky to visualise due to the circular shape, but Motonari's Rintou is an exceptionally long katana.

Naturally its weight will be considerable. This author has an imitation sword which is used for research. The blade is 75cm long and 3cm wide. The side opposite the blade is 7mm thick, and it weighs 980g. The weight of the blade portion on its own will be somewhere around 800g. Assuming that the ringblade's diameter is 160cm, the width of the Rintou's blade is 18cm by measuring on the game screen. If the thickness is the same as this author's imitation sword, its weight will be 32kg!

When Mouri Motonari exits the Rintou, he flips the ringblade. I think it's to avoid bumping his tall eboshi hat, which wouldn't be impressive at all. To perform this action, he's only able to use the strength of one hand; nevertheless, he deftly flips it as though it were a hula hoop. Doesn't this mean that he has considerable power?

A rhythmic gymnastics hula hoop has a weight of 300g. The 32kg Rintou, which Motonari handles in the same way as a hula hoop, implies that he has 100x the strength of an ordinary person. A normal person can exercise holding a 3kg dumbbell in one hand; Motonari freely swings a 300kg compact vending machine. It looks magnificent, but the truth is that it uses tremendous superhuman strength.

The edge is very sharp

However, the true terror of the ringblade isn't in its size or the physical strength of the wielder. Thinking about it, this katana must be dreadfully sharp. As the sword's master uses it to slice things, the effect would be the same as honing the blade.

The cross-section of this author's imitation sword makes an isosceles triangle, extending 1.7cm from the blade towards the opposite side. If we take this to be true, the angle of the blade's tip ought to be 23 degrees. To cut something 5cm in front of it, the blade will move 5.3cm at an angle and form the base of a right-angled triangle at the point of incision. Since the thickness of the back of the sword remains the same, the katana now forms an isosceles triangle 5.3cm from the blade; which stays perpendicular to it in motion. Like that, the angle of the blade's tip would be 7.6 degrees. Even a handheld precision cutter has a 16 degree tip, so this is sharp!

Then, what about the ringblade? Because it's round, the blade will always hit the thing it's cutting at an angle. In other words, merely by turning the Rintou its master's cut should exhibit the same sharpness as slashing with a katana. For example, suppose that a cut is made 18cm from the side opposite the handle, matching the width of the blade. If, in that case, the cutting edge of the blade moves 54cm to form the base of an isosceles triangle, it would be the same as being cut by a katana with a 0.74 degree tip. It cuts so well it's scary!

The power of the ring of light

These aren't the only horrors of the ringblade. The circle of light emitted by the Rintou has a variety of uses. For example, the ability Hajikite 'Heki' creates a wall in the air. Alternatively, the special move Kinjite 'Baku' binds the enemy soldiers in a trap! ...I can not entirely explain what kind of principles these use using modern science. The only one I know is Tsuinote 'Shou', which blasts enemies or destroys walls using the circle of light. I'll save face by explaining this much.

Even in light, there's power. As a result, if a huge sail was erected in space, it could be propelled by rays from the sun. Couldn't Tsuinote 'Shou' too be using this principle to blast the enemy soldiers? If that's the case, intense energy is needed inside the ring of light. An enemy soldier weighs 100kg together with their armour,; to blast one for 5m, the energy must be hitting the enemy soldier with the same force as 86t of explosives!

As far as scientific thought goes, Mouri Motonari should have monumental attack power. Heaven has bestowed two things on the man 'Mouri Motonari': power and splendour. I want you to dance the Sengoku era with beauty and strength.

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

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