I sometimes wonder what the term “futuristic” really means. Especially from an aesthetic standpoint. What, exactly, are the design criteria for making “Futuristic” weapons? I can see, functionality wise, how you could come up with a futuristic weapon. Basically, you devise some device whose functionality cannot presently be duplicated with even our most advanced technologies, and Voila! Futuristics galore.
But from an aesthetic standpoint, designing something to look futuristic seems a little… Difficult. I mean think about it. In order to design something really futuristic, we’d have to know what kind of aesthetic style people of the future might use. And who really know what that might be? Will plaid come back into style? Will giant shark fins reappear on cars? Will Leisure suits become hip again? Will black become the new black? All very weighty philosophical questions.
But in the absence of hard answers, of course, people improvise. In other words: They guess. Sometimes badly. Really, really badly. Case in point. The rather funky, (and, personally irritating, on many levels) sword below:
Yessirree. A so called “Futuristic” ninja sword… *cough* Man… There are sooo many things wrong with that phrase. For instance, what makes anyone think a ninja from the future would even use a sword? Apart from die hard traditionalists, who would, in essence, not even be truly following the original spirit of the art, any real shadow warrior would be using light sabers, blasters, and antigrav, exploding, autonomous, homing shuriken. But those will be the topic of another post. Probably a good 30 or 40 years from now. Check back with me then.
For now, I’ll just rip on the sword. Just a little. Yeah. Gimme a sec, I’m gotta stretch a little bit. Don’t want to over exert my rant engine…
OK, I’m all warmed up. Let’s start with that blasted hilt. Which looks oddly enough, like a knock off of a rip off of a replica Hibben thrower hilt. Or something like that. Sans the little finger cut out, which looks cool, but probably isn’t particularly ergonomic. I’m gonna ignore the complete lack of a guard, since I already have lots to complain about, and one of you smarty pants is prolly gonna start some nasal diatribe about how there might be an “energy force field” for a guard and whatnot.
So I’m gonna jump straight down the blades throat instead.
One of my pet peeves are slotted blades. IMHO, they weaken the blade, and don’t really look all that great anyway. But of course, for reasons that escape me entirely, there are an inordinate amont of “futuristic” swords that have -slotted- blades. Why?!? Is there some unknown law of the universe that I am, wholly unaware of that dictates that slots be applied to “Futurize” a sword? Can someone throw me a bone here? Pass me a universal Universal Law translator or something? I just don’t get it. Which isn’t saying much, but still.
And then there’s the tip. Long, narrow and tapering. Ah. futuristic no? Cool? Maybe. If looks were everything. But… NO. It is absolutely NOT the tip any self respecting Shinobi warrior would use. There is a reason why ninjaken, and Japanese katanas in general, have such and abrupt point. That point style are strong. They are good for thrusts. They won’t break off if you try to stab through a car door.
Not that there are any good reasons to attempt to run a car door through with a sword, but the point is, those kinds of tips, the abrupt, chisel like, tanto/ninjato tips, can do it fairly easily. Provided the you’re not a wimp. Then there’s just no point in even trying, is there. Hey don’t get mad, I’m just saying. Ok, ok, fine. Look, my point is, in comparison to a real ninja swords tip, this tip = FAIL!
What more can I say. It almost seems to me like futuristic weapon design frequently consists of elements that generally appear less functional and more primitive than thier modern day coutnerparts, somehow enhanced by SCIENCE!!!
Yeah… More like “blinded by science” I say. That’s the only explanation I can come up with for these acts of sacrilege…