July 24, 2012
It turns out I did watch this episode, too, before I gave up.
This one has a bathing scene, so NSFW below the fold. But there's also a big exposition about why the L85 sucks. (Poor Eru...)
So we begin with a bathing scene. Funko says, "Ichiroku sure spends a lot of time taking care of her skin." "Well, she has her magazine work too, but she gets bullet fragments stuck in her pretty easily."
See, that's an in-joke. When the M-16 was first introduced, during the Viet Nam War, the Army thought it would be as resilient as the AK-47, and never need cleaning. They didn't even issue cleaning kits to the troops.
The Army was wrong. And the M-16 got a reputation for unreliability because it kept jamming in combat. It didn't take long to figure out that it had to be kept clean in order to work properly. So the joke here is that M16A4 is particularly careful about cleaning herself when they all take baths. Ahem...
In fact, when properly cared for the M16 is an excellent weapon, and has served the US military for 50 years and is still the mainline infantry rifle in the Army. About ten years after it was introduced, the USSR introduced their own smaller-caliber assault rifle, the AK-74, to replace the AK-47.
And thus we have an excuse for showing the girls bathing.
And tit groping. Gotta have that in any bathing scene; it's in the rules. See, all guns grope each others tits, don't they? Don't they? ...they don't? Well, pass that by, and...
Another in-joke. Funko's roommate Ichihachi (AR18) seems to have the lower part of her pajamas loose. "That's just how it is with me. My stock's loose." (Only I'm not "in" on this one. Wha-what?)
Next day at school, Funko accompanies the teacher to the high school for a meeting about an upcoming beach trip. We run into the three high school girls, and get some exposition on their names. The "G" in "G3" stands for gewehr, German for "rifle". FAL means Fusil Automatique Léger, which means "light automatic rifle", and apparently in English-speaking countries it's known as LAR.
Out at the gun range, SG550 is sitting on a mat in the target range, apparently meditating. A bunch of girls are watching, and they all look concerned.
Shigu grabs her weapon and sprays with it.
And ends with something that sounds like a samurai. "Once again, I have shot a worthless object." And then we get a squee from all the other girls.
Sensei and Funko see this from a hill. He wonders what's going on, and Funko says, "She's using her gun like a samurai sword."
"Normally she'd only be able to pick off single targets, but by using her gun as a sword, she can shoot in a line. Just like a sword, she can use the speed and centrifugal of the swing to nullify recoil from her full auto mode. It's a high-level submachine gun technique."
OK, folks, I don't buy this. The mangaka made this up, right? For one thing, if she was swinging that fast, there's no way she'd be getting bullet placement so close together unless it had a fire rate like the Minigun, and it that case the kick would still be too much for her to control.
A different point: why would a Swiss girl be doing anything like this? SG550 is a Swiss weapon.
Sensei asks why this is good. Shigu says "You can draw things a long way away." On the wall above those three guys is バカ, our old friend baka. (Which she couldn't possibly have created by swinging her firearm. Not to mention that there's about four magazines worth of bullet holes there.) And there's a beat. Moving right along...
Middle school girls are leading a bunch of grade schoolers in a trash pickup. Gives us a chance to see the lower section, and the grade school teacher, Thompson. (Of legend.)
Ain't they cute? They're all submachine guns, including the teacher.
So, narration: "The submachine gun is a category of firearm based on the Maschinepistole utilized by the Germans at the end of World War I. They're capable of firing many bullets consecutively like an assault rifle, but they use pistol rounds instead. While their range and power specs are limited, they're rather portable, and provide good suppression fire in enclosed areas."
In principle their firepower isn't necessarily all that inferior. The Thompson SMG fired .45ACP, which is quite a powerful round. Obviously it doesn't equal a rifle round, but Wikipedia says it can have 835 joules, compared to about 1300 joules for 5.56 NATO.
On the other hand, the 9 mm NATO round is only about 400 joules.
One of our grade schoolers is a lot taller than the others. One of the other grade school girls pipes up and starts talking really fast. "Go-san uses different bullets from us! But then Go-san's dad told her that she had to go to grade school because she's got a small body, even though she's fully automatic. That's why she's in our class. But she uses the same rifle bullets you do." Turns out that was "Emten" (M-10) and she stops when she runs out of bullets.
"She can fire 1,090 rounds a minute, you see."
To the one wearing the dark clothes, Funko says, "You look exactly like G3!"
Shigu says, "She's pretty short, though." Turns out she's MP5A2, which we saw above. She's called "Empi".
So down by the river, ready to go. Any questions? "Where's Ichiroku?" turns out all the girls are fans.
Sorry, she didn't want to come. Instead, we have Eru here to lead us.
Well, that doesn't play. She isn't popular at all. "Why is Eru still being used by the British army?" Oh, dear. "You break after being fired a hundred times, right?" "You dummy! They just throw the gun away after they've fired it a hundred times." "Or maybe they just retreat after firing a hundred shots..." Kids are cruel, even when they're SMGs.
Poor Eru is dying up here listening to all this. Because, apparently, it's true, albeit a bit exaggerated. So now for some exposition.
"In the 1940s, the English were the first country to realize that shorter bullets coupled with lower caliber rifles would become the weapon of choice. With help fromm defecting Belgian and Czechoslovakian scientists, they started researching low caliber and bullpup rifles. Bullpup rifles differ from standard rifles by having their mechanics built into their stock basicallly resulting in a more compact version of the weapon. The greatest advantage of this type of gun is that the length of the barrel is contained within the casing. In other words, the gun's size is reduced without sacrificing range. For guns that use the same bullets, the gun with the longest barrel can shoot farthest."
"But due to the lack of resources after World War II, new rifles couldn't be developed to replace older models. During that time, the Soviet Union manufactured shorter bullets for their SKS rifles."
"Meanwhile, over at NATO, in spite of opposition from England, America made the 7.62x51mm round the NATO standard."
"With few options available to them, England began manufacturing a new rifle made by Saive, who designed the FN, and it became the country's new official gun."
"But a few years later, America made a quick change to a smaller caliber rifle, based on their experience from the Vietnam War. England was upset, but it was too late to make amends. They had fallen behind in developing lower caliber weapons."
"And although they later resumed their research, Australia developed the AUG, and France came out with the FAMAS, putting England even further behind on the development front for bullpup rifles."
"But then, in 1985, after overcoming many obstacles, they finally had an official low caliber bullpup rifle."
"This was the birth of the L85." (and finally we get some girls among all the machined steel.) "But... the L85 was a defective product."
"It jammed some more."
"And then it jammed even more. It also broke a lot."
"The magazine would sometimes fall out."
"Problems with automatic rifles jamming endangered the lives of soldiers using them." (I would think so.) "England's special forces, the SAS, had long given up on the gun and started utilizing an M16-based firearm instead."
"The L85A1 was designed based on the L85, and special rounds were made for it, but the modifications didn't solve all the problems."
"In 1991, H&K, known for their great ability to design and produce military-grade weapons, took it upon themselves to improve the gun, and afteer pouring a lot of money into the project, they created the L85A2."
"However, it still didn't seem to work all that well. But even today, the British army still continues to use the L85. A feat only made possible by the dogged determination and stubbornness of the British people."
"WE'RE SORRY!!!" everyone's crying... Poor Eru.
People who know about this stuff tell me that this description of the L85 series is pretty accurate, and that it has always been a crappy weapon.
MOVING RIGHT ALONG... it's the end of the day, and the end of the episode.
So what better way to wrap things up than with another bath scene? But we never did find out who "Go-san", the tall grade schooler, was.
Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at July 24, 2012 02:19 PM (5OBKC)
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 24, 2012 02:53 PM (+rSRq)
Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at July 24, 2012 02:54 PM (5OBKC)
Posted by: Boviate at July 24, 2012 03:04 PM (L1IVj)
I'm sure you're both right.
Pete, somehow I had it in my mind that "san" was an honorific, despite all the other girls running around in this series whose names are two digits (like Ichiroku).
Boviate, it did seem a bit odd that Australia would be doing things like that. They're a good country, but not exactly state-of-the-art in design.
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 24, 2012 03:24 PM (+rSRq)
Pretty much what it sounds like. The AR-18 is not the best made weapon in the world. The original version had a folding stock that was prone to loosening.
"Once again I have shot a worthless object."
It's a knockoff of Lupin III's resident swordsman, Goemon, and his catchphrase: "Once again, I have cut a worthless object."
Posted by: Wonderduck at July 24, 2012 03:46 PM (jrLZL)
Sorry, RickC, I had to delete your comment because of formatting problems.
Please note the "preview" button.
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 24, 2012 03:54 PM (+rSRq)
Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at July 24, 2012 04:24 PM (5OBKC)
Of course, with only 20 rounds in the magazine, you'd have to reload with every room you cleared that way.
Posted by: Mauser at July 25, 2012 02:21 AM (cZPoz)
Posted by: jcm3 at July 25, 2012 11:30 AM (OU30d)
Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at July 25, 2012 01:04 PM (5OBKC)
Posted by: RickC at July 26, 2012 02:05 PM (A9FNw)
Enclose all spoilers in spoiler tags:
[spoiler]your spoiler here[/spoiler]
Spoilers which are not properly tagged will be ruthlessly deleted on sight.
Also, I hate unsolicited suggestions and advice. (Even when you think you're being funny.)
At Chizumatic, we take pride in being incomplete, incorrect, inconsistent, and unfair. We do all of them deliberately.
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