Posts Tagged ‘Naruto’

A Cool Ninja Fighting Knife…

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

Yes, yes, another “ninja” weapon, I know. And it’s another “inspired by an anime” weapon too… But trust me, this one is different. This blade is actually realistic (of all things!) in it’s design. Yep. Lots to like about this, as you’ll see in a minute. Might want to grab that cuppa joe and get comfortable…

Ninja Fighter

Ninja Fighter

[click image to view full size]

Now this, my friends, is a Ninja fighting knife. What we have here is a one piece brass knuckles/blade combination, with cord wrapped ABS grips, that house a pair of red tassled metal kunai. A very interesting and also very practical (imho) combination.

There are a couple of things that I have issues with, (as usual) but they are all relatively minor. Like bright red tassels and “metal” kunai… Usually the word “metal”, as used in the cultery advertising sense, generally describes some cheap cast/alloy junk.

In this day and age where fairly strong steels can be had very cheaply, why some folks still resort to the ultra cheap cast/alloy junk is beyond me. However seeing as traditional Kunai were traditionally also made of a soft iron, It’s a flaw that I can kind of overlook…

Aaaahhh… Eeerrrm… Aaarrhg… No it’s not. I tried. That’s just wrong yo… >:(

Then there is the molded ABS grip/kunai holder. As materials go, ABS is actually not a bad choice. It’s fairly indestructible, resistant to the environment, etc. However, sometimes the molds used are less than perfect, resulting in gaps, slipping, etc.

And since this is where your only purchase on the blade will be I sincerely hope they did a good job on it. It’s hard to tell from the looks of it, but personally, I think this weapon would have been even better, if they would have stuck to a simple cord wrapped grip or wood scales.

And as for those red tasseled “metal” Kunai… Well, it’s just eye candy really, this weapon could have stood on it’s own merits of dark wickedness and badassitude. There was really no reason to throw all that fancy schmancy junk on it to begin with. But such it is with knife designers these days. Always trying to appease “Ooooh ! Shiny!” crowd…

Interestingly enough, this weapon is based on a set of blades used in the anime Series “Naruto” by the character “Sarutobi Asuma”, son of the Third Hokage, and a seasoned, hard core, chain smoking Ninja of the series, who used two of these, (knives akimbo no less, John Woo eat your heart out…), as focus points for his chi during battle, making them quite a lot more deadly than just regular blades.

Sarutobi Asuma

Sarutobi Asuma

I remember liking his knives the first time I saw them in the series, and could remember thinking at the time about the similarities between it and the venerable, tried and true WWII trench knife design. Yes, this design is the bees knees because not only is it a wicked little blade, (in black no less) it is actually very similar to that of a well known historical blade design. Except with more pointy bits. 😀 In other words… it rocks!!

I will say however, that the shrill voiced, high pitched little weapon history nerd who lives in my head, kept screeching his exception to my comparison between this and the WWII trench knife. He as a good point, so I guess I might as well go over the gist of our little “conversation” the few minutes before I lost it and had to gag him…

He basically said (and the purist, tradition bound Ninjutstu-ka among you may probably agree) “Bah! Your brain is addled! Ninja never used WWII trench knives!!”. (Well, Duuuuuh!) After pointing out that he lived there, so I couldn’t be that addled, (or maybe I am, because he lives there) I also conceded that no, they did not. At least not that I have been able to find.

HOWEVER, the Japanese did have hand weapons, called Tekken, (or Iron fist) that looked a lot like heavy iron knuckle dusters, that were often used against swords and armor. They also had Kaiken, which were similar, except for having a sharpened outer edge. And they also had Tantos.

So while I have found no examples of this exact weapons being used, I have no problems imagining that the Shinobi, being the resourceful little warriors they were, would have eventually combined these weapons and could easily have come up with this exact design, given the right battle conditions.

So there you have it. An cool black wicked looking anime weapon with a realistic, functional, tried and true design, with a historically verifiable pedigree. Sorta.

Ah liek eht. Ah liek eht a lot… 🙂

Ninja Fighter – [True Swords]

Halloween (or Cosplay) Treats…

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

Over the past year or so, during my frequent intarweb sojourn for interesting weapons, I’ve come across an inordinate number of wooden replicas of otherwise lethal weapons. Now I have to admit that the first time I saw them, I was a bit puzzled. I thought maybe they were safety weapons for the accident prone. Or ultra cheap knock offs. Or something similar.

It wasn’t until I happened to come across a couple of pics of Cosplayers (CosPlay or Costume Play – folks who dress up as anime or movie characters and gather are conventions of the same) wielding some pretty authentic looking weapons, (in wood) that I finally understood. BTW, if you are an anime fan, you might very well be impressed by how realistic these cosplayers look:

Here’s one of Naruto (one of my favorites):

Naruto Cosplayer
[click to view
The Endless Waltz’s flickr gallery]

Here’s a couple of the bad guys, Itachi (Mr. Red eyes on the right) and Kisame (Mr. Blue face on the left) (and yes, that is how they are supposed to look):

Itachi & Kisame Cosplayers
[click to view The Endless Waltz’s flickr gallery]

How about an Afro Samurai? (The hair isn’t quite big enough, but oh well… 🙂 ):

Afro Samurai Cosplayer
[click to view jpassionpats flickr gallery]

I was particularly impressed by this Blade cosplayer:

MorpheusBlades flickr gallery
[click to view MorpheusBlades flickr gallery]

And, of course, Morpheus and Neo…

Morpheus And Neo
[click to view MorpheusBlades flickr gallery]

I’ve linked the pictures above the to the flickr pages I found them on. Very cool. But more importantly, I realized that all of these folks had to use wooden weapons, since none are allowed to bring real weapons into a crowded cosplay convention hall. Mystery solved!

Also, since it is about Halloween, I thought I’d round up a few of the wooden movie, video game and anime weapons I’ve come across recently for your viewing pleasure. There are actually quite a few out there, but I thought these ones looked the best:

300 – Spartan Sword – Wood

300 Spartan sword
[view full size]

<^>

Naruto – Ninja Kunai – Wood

Naruto Kunai
[view full size]

<^>

Legend of Zelda – Links Sword – Wood

Legend of Zelda
[view full size]

<^>

Inuyasha – Bankotsu’s Banryu – Wood

Banryu
[view full size]

<^>

Inuyasha – Inuyasha’s Tetsusaiga – Wood

Inuyashas Tetsusaiga
[view full size]

<^>

Bleach – Renji Abarai’s Zabimaru – Wood

Zabimaru
[view full size]

<^>

Bleach – Ichigo’s Tensa Zangetsu Bankai – Wood

Zangetsu Bankai
[view full size]

<^>

God of War – Kratos’ Blades of Chaos – Wood

Karatos Swords of Chaos
[view full size]

I guess it’s cutting it close for Halloween, but if you plan on being one of these characters, or plan to cosplay any of these characters in the near future, these weapons actually do look good enough to perfect your look. And could save you from inadvertently relieving yourself or a friend, of a limb. Or of sight in one eye…

An Animated Glaive!

Friday, June 15th, 2007

Ok, So while I was doing posts on movie glaives, I happened to run across a folding throwing weapon from one of my oft watched animes. I thought to myself “Why not do an anime weapon?” Now this may sound crazy, but I heard myself answer: “Because that would show you up for the nerd that you really are.”

Of course, I had to I answer right back: “Hah! It’s too late for that suckah!! Not to mention it isn’t that far of a leap from the fictional hollywood action movie weapons you’ve been pimpin’ so far.” I couldn’t very well argue with this logic. Though I suspect that any logic that is a product of inane psychobabble may not be particularly reliable. Dunno whether y’all will be more disturbed by the fact that I am blogging about an animated weapon or that I talk to myself. Either way, it doesn’t matter. ‘Cause, like I’ve said many times before, I’ve never professed sanity to begin with.

But anyway, here I am, getting ready to talk about an interesting kind of throwing blade that makes an appearance in the anime Naruto and also in the video games Final Fantasy and Ninja Gaiden. We will be focusing primarily on the only folding version of this blade, which was used by Sasuke in the Naruto anime series. We are, of course, talking about the Fuuma Shuriken, AKA the Fūma or “Wind Demom” shuriken, more commonly known as the Shadow Windmill Shuriken.

Fuuma (aka Shadow Windmill) Shuriken

Fuuma (aka Shadow Windmill) Shuriken

Now, in spite of being an anime weapon, it actually fulfills all of the criteria for the hollyood glaive. It is a multi-bladed throwing weapon. It folds up. And it has boomerang-like qualities to boot. Lucky for you, I just so happen to have an (all too brief) clip of one in action:

Fuuma Shuriken - Opening

Fuuma Shuriken - Opening

Sweet eh? Now I will mention that the game and anime versions of these types of weapon have one major difference to their live action movie counterparts. They are huge! They are not normal hira shuriken sized by any stretch of the imagination, being quite a few orders of maginitude larger than any of the others I have mentioned so far. In fact, a single blade of this particular monstrosity is about the size of a full-sized machete. When it’s closed it’s the equivalent of holding 4 large cutlasses side by side. Heh.

Fuuma Shuriken - Partially Closed

Fuuma Shuriken - Partially Closed

Now of course I do have a couple of reservations about it. Like the fact that I don’t see a way to lock it in the open position. Not particularly confidence inspiring. Not to mention that, given it’s size and potential weight, it would almost have to be your primary (if not only) weapon. Let’s face it. If you carried one, you might be hard pressed to carry much else. I mean look at it. It’s almost as big as Sasuke. Granted he’s just a kid, (a highly trained, very skilled killer ninja kid) but still. Any weapon that is almost as large as a teen-aged boy has some serious size issues… But then again we are talking about a fictional animated weapon that routinely defies the laws of physics, so what do I know.

Sasuke's Monster Fuuma Shuriken

Sasuke's Monster Fuuma Shuriken

But given what it could do, (if it were real) the simple but robust construction, and it’s intimidating appearance, (Did I mention that it is usually portrayed as a black weapon… Yes! Bonus Points!!) it would most certainly be quite an effective, durable and lethal weapon to wield. Assuming, of course, that you are A) a highly trained animated ninja, or B) carry steel I-beam girders around for a living…

But strength requirements aside, it seems that this weapon could actually be combat worthy. Unlike most of the other glaives I’ve blogged, this weapon has ample space on each blade for a handle grip throw to be used, though it would require some serious training to get good rotation and a clean release using it.

But the truth is, this is such a beautiful and intimidating (albeit impractical) weapon, I really don’t care bout it’s shortcomings. I’d buy one in a heartbeat. I have actually been toying with the idea of designing a working one, just to see if I can overcome the challenge of inventing a strong, reliable blade locking mechanism for such a weapon. Would be pretty awesome… But that’s probably just my inner nerd talking…

Swiss Army knife – Ninja Style!

Monday, May 21st, 2007

Alrighty then, as I promised in my last post, I’d like to introduce you to one of the most over-used staples of animated ninja weaponry, the ubiquitous, omnipotent and omnipresent Kunai.

Dark Warrior Spike Kunai

Dark Warrior Spike Kunai

What is a kunai? Glad you asked. If you are to believe all of the animated ninja stuff that goes on, a kunai is a multi purpose knife tool, In most animes and video games like Naruto or Ninja Gaiden and such, multiple kunai are usually carried by ninjas at any given time.

Anime Kunai - Red and White

Anime Kunai - Red and White

Dark Warrior Spike Kunai - Set of three

Dark Warrior Spike Kunai - Set of three

If memory serves, it was also used as a throwing knife, a shovel, a pocket knife, a stake, a scalpel, an arrow head, shuriken, combat blade, a nail, an anchor, a fishing hook, a spear head, piton, wind chimes, main-gauche

Kunai - Anime design

Kunai - Anime design

I could go on, but I think you get the “point”. Hah! Did you see what I did there? Get the point? The point!? that was a pun, did you get that? Yeah, ’cause Kunai are pointy and… Ahem… Oh never mind…

Do you want to know what Kunai really started life as? An old Japanese garden trowel. A gardening tool, usually made of soft, easily formed iron. It had no real edge, and was used more like a small crowbar or small shovel than a knife.

An enterprising shinobi warrior could probably have parried with it in a sword fight, but in an extended battle soon you’d be fighting with a small lump of soft iron, which as you can imagine, would not be to your advantage. The tools in the picture below are of traditional Kunai design, which, as you can see, were not even limited to metal.

Traditional Kunai - Garden Trowels

Traditional Kunai - Garden Trowels

They’re not the kind of multi-purpose super knife you might expect. But in spite of it’s humble beginnings, the need for an inconspicuous, easily concealed, multi-purpose weapon soon spawned the advent of the “Super Ninja Kunai”, made of tougher, sharper and altogether meaner stuff.

Or so I’m told. Heh. Yeah. Actually the dumpy looking tools above later evolved into these:

Kunai - Lethal gardening implements.

Kunai - Lethal gardening implements.

Much more lethal lookin’ eh? It went from a lowly gardening implement to a finely honed combat tool, capable of trapping demons, triggering explosives, chopping down trees, and leaping tall buildings in a single bound…

Ok, so maybe there aren’t any leaping kunai. But amazing Japanese jumping kunai aside, it still a pretty major functional makeover if you ask me. I wonder if that makeover team does bloggers…

The Dark Warrior Ninja Spike Kunai – [True Swords]
The Dark Warrior 3 Ninja Spike Kunai
– [True Swords]
Ninja Gaiden set of 6 red and white Kunai – [True Swords]

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