Saturday 24 November 2012

Part 9: 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 9: The 'god of warfare' has an extremely unusual physique!! Honda Tadakatsu

Who's the one known as 'Sengoku Saikyou', the strongest in the Warring States? It's the name of an unparalleled warrior. With a giant, superhuman frame dressed in armour reminiscent of a tank, he wields a mechanical spear styled like a rotating drill. On top of this, he can even fly through the sky using a jet engine on his back - the existence of which alone is practically cheating. And best of all is that he's silent. Without uttering a single word, he responds to this words of his lord with his achievements in battle. Honda Tadakatsu's strength is off the scale.

Unstoppable growth

The size of Tadakatsu's body isn't normal; he's at least as twice as tall as the other warriors. Since those other warlords are slightly bigger than normal soldiers, they would be around 175cm tall and weigh 70kg. This would make Tadakatsu's height 350cm - as tall as the roof of a medium-sized tour bus... No, it's probably easier to visualise if it's compared to a human being. Putting Honda Tadakatsu next to an average 170cm adult male is like putting the 218cm Choi Hong-man (Korean martial artist) beside a 106cm four-year-old child. Seriously, Tadakatsu is huge. His weight is immense as well, of course. If he's twice as tall, the width and depth of his body should be doubled accordingly, so his weight will be 2 x 2 x 2; that's 8 times greater. So, again referencing the previously-mentioned warlords, Tadakatsu's body weight would be 560kg. That's 3.6 times more than the yokozuna Hakuhou (sumo wrestler).

Being as huge as this, concerns are unavoidable. What kind of childhood did the young Tadakatsu have? Since even Tadakatsu had human parents, he was probably around 50cm tall at the time of his birth. After that, the rate of his growth must have rapidly outstripped other children. Calculating from the average physique of a modern Japanese person at each stage of development, at five years old he'd exceed 134cm, the average height of a nine year old child. He'd be 174cm by age eight, 207cm at ten, 244cm at twelve, 305cm at fifteen and 350cm by eighteen! His honourable father, Tadataka-dono, would unquestionably have been very proud.

Excessively thick armour

And thus Tadakatsu became enormous, hurtling around the battlefield partially covered in thick armour. However, if I may say so, that armour is exceptionally bulky! I wonder how much it weighs? If it's all steel, then judging from the illustration in the Sengoku Basara 2 Eiyuu Gaiden (Heroes) Official Guidebook, the weight of each piece will be as follows.

Shoulder guards.
Since they're 2.7cm thick, each would be 190kg each; together, 380kg!

Since his chest spans 2m, if the thickness is the same as the shoulder guards, it would be 310kg!

Around the waist.
The widest point around the hem has a circumference of approximately 340cm and a comparable length, 1,090kg!

They look to have an average thickness of 5.4cm, so they'd be 180kg each; together, 360kg!

These are likely to have an average thickness of 5.4cm, so they'd be 650kg each; together, 1,300kg!

Even excluding the difficult-to-calculate helmet, adorned with deer antlers, Tadakatsu is wearing armour weighing a colossal 3.5t in total. It's like running around carrying a truck. Furthermore, 3.5t is equivalent to 6.3 times his body weight, and still, Tadakatsu's movement is no worse than that of any of the other warlords. This means that Tadakatsu's magnificent brawn is down to more than his sheer size. It's said that armour in the Sengoku period weighed up to 25kg, that 's 36% as much as the warrior's own body weight. If Tadakatsu carries 630% of his body weight in armour and moves at a normal speed, comparing his muscle strength to his weight makes him 18 times stronger than an ordinary warlord. Factoring in his body weight, the absolute difference in muscle strength would actually make him 140 times stronger!

Out of control!

Tadakatsu is already powerful; having a mechanical spear styled like a rotating drill is in effect 'giving a metal rod to an ogre*'! The mechanical spear is also enormous. Measuring from the Sengoku Basara 2 Eiyuu Gaiden (Heroes) illustration, the spear 'Kokuou' (Tadakatsu's basic weapon) is 5m long in total while the drill part is 3.2m long. By measuring each component in detail, the weight of the drill on its own would be 2.3t, with the total weight extending to 2.9t. Furthermore, that drill rotates violently. I can't be sure of the speed at which the drill rotates from the game screen, but supposing that it rotates 10 times per second, the enemy soldiers struck by it ought to be launched for around 30m. It's come to the point where I think it would be good to coin a proverb: "For Tadakatsu, a mechanical spear".

However, if the mechanical spear weighs so much, it's really fortunate that the armour is heavy. Let's say that Tadakatsu holds the weapon angled diagonally down on the right side of his body by firmly bracing his arm and wrist.

If that's the case, then considering "Tadakatsu and his spear" together as a single, combined object, it would be as though he was a see-saw with his right foot as the pivot. In other words, if the "the distance from his body's centre of gravity to the pivot point" and "the distance from the spear's centre of gravity to the pivot point" were the same, the combined object leans towards whichever of the body and the weapon is the heaviest. If Tadakatsu wasn't wearing his armour, then it wouldn't matter how powerful his arm and wrist were; he'd fall over to his right as the mechanical spear would weigh more than his body. The reason that Tadakatsu is able to stand with stability is precisely because his armour weighs more than the mechanical spear. Effectively, it's thanks to his armour that Tadakatsu is able to use the mechanical spear. This stout armour isn't just for defence; it also contributes significantly to his offence.

Honda Tadakatsu combines a gigantic body, rock-solid defense and ferocious attack power. In addition, he flies through the sky, fires funnels from his back and blows the enemy away with an electromagnetic field; what more do you need? He could probably seize the whole country if he felt like it, but instead he loyally serves Ieyasu without any indulgences, fighting on again today in silence. It's as though the god of warfare has descended onto the battlefield.

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

* This is an idiom which refers to giving an additional boost to something which was already overpowered in the first place.

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