Posts Tagged ‘Katana’

A realistic anime sword…

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

If you’re a regular at this blog, you’ve probably all heard me poke fun at various anime swords at one point or another, usually due to unrealistic sizes, or features, or functionality, etc., regardless of their cool factor. However today, I thought I’d review an anime based sword that has a decidedly down to earth bent to it’s design:

Urahara Kisuke Zanpakuto
Urahara Kisuke Zanpakuto
[view full size]

Now this sword is from the Anime Bleach, and is a Zanpakuto, or “soul slaying” sword. The Zanpakuto swords of bleach are unique because each sword actually possesses a sentient spirit. An interesting twist to be sure, but not what we are here to talk about today.

I posted this sword because, for once, it is actually a sword I might have blogged about even if it wasn’t an anime reproduction. The reason for this is two fold. First off, while this sword looks Japanese on the surface, it actually incorporates some design features that are not seen in traditional Japanese sword designs.

First off, and one of my favorite features, is the cool black blade, with the black coat on the edge ground out to where the hamon should be. This is interesting because although the blade of this sword has a mild curve that might indicate a differential temper, I was unable to detect an actual hamon. I’d be willing to bet there was none. Also, you will notice that the edge is ground straight across to the end of the straight section of the blade, but not up to the tip of the sword, which is atypical of Japanese design.

Another interesting feature not present in Japanese swords is the presence of a ricasso, or unsharpened section of the blade, just above the hilt. The edges of the ricasso is actually sheathed in a metal shell, and runs straight into the grip without the benefit of a guard, which is also very atypical of japanese design.

The grip is equally anomalous, in the sense that while it employs the traditional Japanese rayskin wrapped wood handle, pinned to a full tang blade, it is covered by a leather wrap, instead of the traditional Japanese cord wrap. The pommel is also not of a traditional Japanese design, having a ridged cap and a tassel, instead of an oval cap with a flat bottom, which in fact, makes it look more Chinese in aesthetic than Japanese.

Overall, an interesting hybrid sword design I thought was worth a post… 🙂

Urahara Kisuke Zanpakuto – [True Swords]

A Very Special Antique Katana for the New Year

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008

A while back I found a picture of very ornate and painstakingly designed /created /decorated Katana on My Confined Space, a picture blog that I harass frequently:

Antique Katana

Antique Katana
[view full size]

[view super size]

Now normally this kind of sword is not my thing. But this one is too much a work of art for me to ignore. On many levels. And I thought this would be appropriate for the first weapon post of the year. There are so many unique and amazing points of fine aesthetic detail that went into the making of this sword, I really don’t think I can cover them all in a single post. So I’m just going to let you ogle the pic.

Aww, who am I kidding. I have to at least draw your attention to some of the less obvious traits of interest. Like the shape and the detail of the tsuba, or guard. While this sword conforms to traditional Japanese design, the guard carries a rather distinctive Chinese flair to it’s design, which makes this weapon all the more intriguing. The traditional ray skin grip with the brass overlay, tassels and fittings are excellently done. And though you can see one regular bamboo pin for the blade, it appears as though there were, at some point, two white pins, possibly of ivory, of which one is left. A very nice touch.

The details of the engravings on the butt cap and the tip of the saya or scabbard are extraordinary, as are the brass rings and purple ribbons to which the braided cord used to wear the sword is attached. Even the fittings to which the purple ribbons are attached to the saya are amazing. Not only are they beautiful, but they appear to also be hinged!! Mechanics and aesthetics in harmony. What more could one ask for?

Obviously, I can’t say much more about it than what we can all see in the picture, but I can say this. If a picture is a thousand words, this one is easily worth a cool million…

A Demon Slaying Katana

Monday, December 31st, 2007

Welcome traveler. You’re on a demon killing mission. You must go it alone, and you can carry one, and only one, demon slaying weapon with you at any time. You have the option of:

  1. Salt
  2. Eggs
  3. Silver
  4. Garlic
  5. Vinegar
  6. Demon Slayer Katana

HOW CHOOSE YOU?

OK, that was a trick question. If you chose any of the above options, you have already failed. You quest was to fight your own inner demons. And you have just succumbed to them. Unless, of course, you happen to be a mythical creature yourself. In which case you may have killed yourself. But I Digress.

The most important thing to remember is this. Choosing option 6 would have let you look cool. Even while losing your battle against your inner demons:

Demon Slayer Fantasy Katana

Demon Slayer Fantasy Katana

[view full size]

I thought this sword was interesting just because it had a few features I don’t see every day. Obviously, being a black blade got it some serious attention. But it also has character. Like look at the blade. I like th narrow blade profile, and the cut outs in the center are an interesting touch. I usually don’t like that particular form of aesthetic modeling due to structural integrity issues, but it does impart an interesting look to the blade.

The hilt is also interesting, featuring a round, samurai style guard, capped with a unique v shaped shoe, meant to fit a v shaped depression in the scabbard. The grip is a simple cylindrical black wrapped affair, finished off on the butt end by a rather pointy looking cap. the scabbard is ecually simple, employing a details end cap as well as similarly engraved scabbard opening trim to finish off the effect.

Overall a pretty cool sword. Even if it won’t help you fight your inner demons…

Demon Slayer Fantasy Katana – [True Swords]

The Blades of the Dragon Master…

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

I ran across this set of swords a while back. Unfortunately the place I found it doesn’t appear to carry  it any more, which is a shame, because it a very cool set:

Dragon Master Sword Set

Dragon Master Sword Set

[view full size]

Well, I have to say this is a beautiful set of swords. The combination of gold on black has always worked well aesthetically. And the fact that this has a black blade makes it a winner in my book. It also doesn’t hurt that there is a cool wave pattern ground into the edge where the hamon would normally be.

OK, so it’s an artificial hamon, but it’s black and it looks cool, so I’m gonna give it props for that… 😛

Dragon Master Sword Set – [True Swords]

The contemporary ninja.

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

I’ve done a few posts in the past on ninjas and ninja weapons, so if you’ve spent any time on this blog, you’ll know that ninjas are a favorite topic of mine. I found an interesting weapon which raises a thorny philosophical question about ninjas, but I’ll save my little diatribe until after you’ve seen the weapon that inspired it:

The Shinobi Blade Runner

Shinobi Blade Runner
[view full size]

This, my dear friends, is a (supposedly) modern ninja sword. And it certainly looks the part. It’s got a really cool futuristic looking perforated black cylindrical grip, with a polished pommel. The scabbard also features a cylindrical design, with matching perforations at it’s bottom end.

The guard is equally modern looking, featuring two semicircular sectors with, you guessed it, perforations, and and two cutouts directly opposite each other to accommodate a cool little sub sheath attached to the scabbard, that hides yet another small blade.

Shinobi Blade Runner

The blade, well, it’s pretty par for the course as ninja blades go, featuring the standard single edged straight blade with a sharply angled chisel point style tip. Nothing to phone home about. It’s all been pretty well done though, and it’s name, Shinobi Blade Runner, conjures up images of a futuristic ninja, stalking the streets of the future with this trusty Shinobigatana on his back…

And it is exactly at that point when the obsessive compulsive nerd in my head politely, but really annoyingly, decides to interject: “I have a question!” he wheezes, raising his hand with a smug grin, “Why would a modern ninja even use a sword?” Dagnabbit! Good question. That annoying little geek has a point. Because, you see, unlike a Samurai, a ninja is not duty or honor bound to use his sword.

The ninja viewed his weapons, including his sword, as tools. Nothing more, nothing less. In fact, a ninja used whatever tools were available to get the job done. Roofing tiles, washers nails, sticks, garden trowels, whatever. Now back in feudal Japan, a sword was a very useful tool indeed. However, if there was a better one, they would have used it. Well guess what! There are. They’re called combat knives and firearms. *Gasp!* No!

Yes. Or, even closer to traditional ninja form, silenced firearms. You see, a sword is an almost pointless tool today, because it’s too large, ungainly, and conspicuous. And standing out is generally anathema to a good ninjas modus operandi. Today, they would use one or two smaller, more easily concealable combat knives, and a few, easily concealed, silenced hand guns. No need for a sword whatsoever.

Hence the annoying little voice in my head. Yes, this weapon is cool. It just that the idea of such a weapon makes no sense. And the little dweeb in my head knew that full well, long before he even raised his scrawny little hand. I would insert a ninja in there to shut him up, but he’d probably have to kill the stupid little dork.

Maybe if I armed the ninja with a taser… 😀

Shinobi Blade Runner – [Red Dragon Sword Co.]

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