Thursday 31 January 2013

Final part: Yanagita Rikao's Sengoku Basara Science Laboratory

Like 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). Please click the link below to see the original article, which is accompanied by illustrations and promotional videos.

As of 30th January 2013, Yanagita Rikao's blog series has been completed with publication of part 18 (translation below). There's a note from the author at the end of this post with his plans for the future of Sengoku Basara Science Laboratory. Writing these translations every week for several months has been an interesting challenge; thank you very much for persevering and reading my clumsy work!

Part 18 (Final): Reaching 240km/h with a flutter kick? Fuuma Kotarou

I can't think of a more 'ninja-like' ninja than Fuuma Kotarou. He doesn't utter a single word, his facial expression hidden by the wide forehead protector which extends past his eyes. He'll complete any mission so long as he's compensated, never deviating from his path even if it means being reviled as an 'emotionless killing machine'. Why does Kotarou fight? For the sake of money? Then, what does he need the money for?  Everything about 'Soaring Gale' Fuuma Kotarou is wrapped up in mystery; let's take a look at his abilities.

What's that smoke?

Fuuma Kotarou's athletic ability is astonishing to behold. He's extremely quick. Thinking about when his sword meets the enemy, he instantly leaps backwards about 5m and leaves behind black smoke. The enemy has no way to respond to such lightning-fast footwork. I wonder what kind of speed he's moving at?

If we take note of the fact that the enemy can't react, it implies that it must be a level of speed which surpasses the senses. Since human beings take between 0.1 and 0.2 seconds to react to information from the world around them, if he can travel 5m within that time he's moving at around 25-50 metres per second. So while he's able to run 100m in 2-4 seconds, the question of whether this is really as fast as Kotarou's phenomenal legs can move remains. While thinking along those lines, my mind went back to the black smoke left behind in front of the enemy. What is it?

Is he throwing a smoke grenade during the initial clash? No, if there was enough time to do that, it would be better to land another quick blow. Perhaps it could be possible that he's colliding vigorously with the air at such speed that his ninja outfit is burning? In the absence of fire, cotton or hemp will ignite at around 250℃. The speed required to reach this temperature in mid-air is Mach 2. He can run 100m in 0.15 seconds!

Just by reaching this speed Kotarou should be able to jump a distance of up to 48km. When the game displays the words "Fuuma Kotarou: Victorious", Kotarou disappears from the screen, again leaving black smoke behind. When that happens, maybe he's flitting 48km away into the distance. If the battle was at Sekigahara, he'd land in Nagoya. The round trip would take 2 minutes, 20 seconds.

Kotarou has this incredible leaping power, yet during battle he only jumps 5m. Of course, this must be a feint in order to strike quickly. Retreating so he can attack, then immediately launching a counterattack! The enemy had better not let their guard down.

Swimming in mid-air?

Kotarou also exhibits movement that would be impossible for a human being. Wings appear on his back, allowing him to fly forwards horizontally at a furious speed. Why can he do this!?

Kotarou doesn't flap the wings. He probably glides on the wind and moves forwards on his own like an aeroplane. I wonder how much force is supporting his body weight? The wings are slightly less wide than he is tall; around 1.5m. They probably have a width of around 30cm. A great deal of speed is needed to fly with such small wings. Assuming a weight of 80kg when combined with the wings and ninja tools, the speed required would be 240km/h!

How does Kotarou produce this propulsion? A bird flaps its wings to send air to the rear; this enables it to move forwards. A jet engine - or Chousokabe's anchor-spear - blows hot, pressurised gas out behind it. However, Kotarou doesn't flap his wings, nor does he doesn't blow anything back behind him. If the only thing he can use in mid-air for propulsive force is his own body, then I can only imagine that he's using a flutter kick.

Professional swimmers perform a flutter kick around three times per second, generating around 5kg of propulsive force. Calculating from this, in order to reach 240km/h in the air you must flutter kick 6,900 times in the space of a second! Even during this much strenuous exercise Kotarou shows no signs of fatigue, nor does the suffering show on his face. He's a model shinobi.

Hammer throwing - with human beings

Kotarou also has incomparably exciting techniques. He grabs his opponent's feet and spins them around several times before tossing them far away at the end. It's similar to the 'giant swing' move in professional wrestling, but while you'd hold the opponent's feet on both sides for the wrestling move Kotarou grabs the other person by the ankles. Since much more power is needed, it's actually more like a hammer throw.

The enemy's body is almost horizontal as Kotarou swings it around. To be perfectly horizontal would require infinite power, so for this let's say it's tilted five degrees down from the horizontal plane. Kotarou turns his opponent's body 1.5 times each second at that angle. As a result the force on the opponent's brain is 20 times greater than gravity; in other words, there's a centrifugal force of 20G at work.

Even a trained fighter pilot will pass out if their body is moving vertically under a force of 7G. Since they're taking three times as much force, the enemy is likely to faint during the spinning. When they're tossed away, they'll fly 13m and hit their head on the ground at a speed of 41km/h. They'll probably never wake up again after having fainted.

If the enemy weighs 100kg (including armour), then 1.1t of centrifugal force will act on both of Kotarou's arms during this manoeuver. This is close to three times the 400kg centrifugal force of professional hammer thrower Murofushi Kouji. The distance the hammer will be thrown can be calculated in proportion with the centrifugal force. Since Kouji's personal best is 84.86m, if Kotarou was challenged to a hammer throw he ought to be able to set a record with 243m.

Fuuma Kotarou demonstrates superhuman athletic ability in every respect. It's possible that this uncommunicative shinobi pays no attention to everyday life, striving only to achieve mastery of the way of the ninja.


Note from the author: This marks the end of this series of blog posts. However, work on a book is underway as we head towards spring. New material will be included when it's published. More details will be announced here as soon as they're available!

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

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