Saturday, 19 January 2013

Part 16: 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). Please click the link below to see the original article, which is accompanied by illustrations and promotional videos.

Part 16: Jumping onto a bullet train!? Tokugawa Ieyasu

'If you haven't seen a boy for three days, view him with new eyes'*. Embodying those words is 'Toushou Gongen' ('Avatar of the Light of the East') Tokugawa Ieyasu. He grew from a boy into a young man through battle, deciding to cast away his spear and fight with the power of his fists alone. He aims to unify the country using the power of bonds. It's just as though a butterfly has emerged from its chrysalis. For this article, I'll examine the strength of the grown up Ieyasu.

So much punching power

Ieyasu's only weapons are the gloves he wears on both hands, which seem to be made from metal. That's quite brave when almost everyone else around him wields a katana or a spear. Dealing punches relies on being close to the enemy and the chance of being hit is high. However, Ieyasu plunges deep into the ranks of his adversaries, dealing fierce punches without faltering in the slightest. He confronts even the indiscriminate fire of the Saika Shuu's machine guns with his fists; it's shocking.

And those punches are strong. His uppercut launches the enemy to a height of around 3m. Although human beings being sent flying for metres with a punch is an everyday occurrence in anime and manga, it's actually an impressive feat. The book Kakutougi 'Ougi' No Kagaku ('The Science of Secret Techniques in Martial Arts') by Yoshifuku Yasuo (Kodansha), has a section about three kick boxers, where the force of a punch's impact is measured and analysed. The athlete weighing 71kg had a physique which most closely matched Ieyasu's; a 70kg concrete block was hung on a steel frame and he made it shake at 2.3km/h with a right straight. The punch's speed was 42km/h and the force at the peak of the impact was recorded as 671kg.

What would happen if this athlete was to unleash an uppercut with the same force, directly at an opponent? They'd only be lifted 2cm after performing the calculations. Given that the human body slightly expands and contracts, how much would this even raise a person's body by? Therefore, it's amazing that a person would fly up into the air when hit. Yet even a fully-armoured enemy soldier, weighing up to 100kg, is launched 3m by Toushou Gongen. If his own body weighs 80kg, the speed of the punch will be 640km/h, and the force of its impact is 180t! The opponents Ieyasu strikes take the same damage as they would being hit by 270 simultaneous punches from the aforementioned kick boxer. This is definitely someone you wouldn't want to fight with.

Juggling people like footballs?

Ieyasu displays a number of incredible techniques which take advantage of this ferocious punching. For his unique technique 'Kogagenten', the enemy soldier is hit up into the air, then hit again, then after falling down they're hit for a third time...this is repeated several times over. It's as though he's juggling a person as you would a soccer ball, except with punches. Since the launched body often has nothing to do besides fall back down, its destiny is to fall prey to Ieyasu's punches over and over again. A hellish skill where Ieyasu beats you for as long as he pleases; that's Kogagenten.

Furthermore, in order to launch a falling object up to the same height as one which was standing still you need to punch it four times harder. The enemy being decimated by Kogagenten repeatedly moves up and down by about 1m, but they'll be receiving as much damage as being launched up by 4m. That's 360 punches from the aforementioned kick boxer. I feel even worse for them.

In addition, with the unique secret technique 'Aoi No Kiwami', a golden hollyhock crest spreads out around Ieyasu. As he thrusts his fist up to the heavens, all of those who were inside the crest are flung up into the air. While I was testing, a maximum of around 20 people were blasted upwards. The time that they were airborne was measured at 2 seconds, therefore they must all have been launched to a height of 5m. If all of this was caused by the fist being thrust upwards, that punch would have had a force of 6,000t! He has strong arms, worthy of his aim to unify the country.

A bond with Tadakatsu

Ieyasu has a tremendously strong retainer, too. It goes without saying that it's Honda Tadakatsu, the 'Sengoku Saikyou' ('Strongest in the Warring States'). Even though he ranks below Ieyasu, there's no doubt at all that he's considerably powerful. Since Ieyasu flies around on Tadakatsu's back using jet propulsion, standing upright with his arms folded across his chest, he ought to be experiencing considerable wind pressure. I wonder what kind of force Ieyasu is withstanding?

According to research carried out for this blog previously, Tadakatsu's height is 3.5m, his weight 560kg, his armor 3.5t and his mechanical spear 2.9t. If you include Ieyasu riding on his back, the total weight is 7t. To achieve flight like this against the power of the wind coming from in front of him, Tadakatsu has to fly at a speed of at least 260km/h. Standing upright when travelling at this speed would mean that the wind is blowing from the front at a velocity of 73m/s; the wind pressure you'd face is 160kg. How do you stand up when facing wind pressure of twice your body's weight!?

Even more surprisingly, when Tadakatsu appears from nowhere and flies past, Ieyasu jumps up and gets on top of him. This is practically the same as jumping onto a moving bullet train! By normal thinking, Ieyasu should be swept off his feet and fall backwards, tumbling down from Tadakatsu's back so that Tadakatsu is left flying alone. As that doesn't happen, Ieyasu is probably clinging onto Tadakatsu's back with the power of his toes. But still, his upper body should really bend backwards. Determining the force required to grip in this way is affected by how much he leans back. If we assume that he's bending backwards by 20cm, the force needed to cling on is 220t. His toes, legs and abdominal muscles would all need to be powerful as well.

Since Tadakatsu serves Ieyasu, could there be a chance that nobody other than Ieyasu can ride on him? A mighty warrior serves a mighty lord. This bond might be the 'Sengoku Saikyou'.

* This is a Japanese proverb which is based on a famous quote from Lu Meng, a general from China's Three Kingdoms period. The original Chinese quote is usually rendered in English as 'after three days, view a gentleman with new eyes', meaning that it's important to be careful that you have all of the latest facts as people can change significantly over time. Of course, in this case the author is using the Japanese version to make a joke about the way that Ieyasu rapidly grew up between Sengoku Basara 3 and the earlier games.

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

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