October 15, 2015

Nanoha Vivid -- anachronism

The anime runs up through about chapter 30 in the manga, but the manga goes a lot further than that, especially in raw. Chapter 69 has this image:


And it bothers me a lot. Explaining the situation would involve lots of huge spoilers, so I'll skip it. For the moment, leave it that the blonde chick with the sword is a brat living at a dojo for the "Fist of the Spring Sunlight" style of martial arts, which has been taught by Rio's family for generations. (It's also the main fighting style Rio has been trained in.) That sword belongs to Micayah, and it's a katana. Worse, it's also her magical device. The brat took the sword from Micayah's luggage without permission and has been playing with it while eating greasy food, and getting greasy fingerprints all over it. Micayah (in the foreground with her back to us) is not happy about this, and has challenged the brat.

What bothers me about the image is the brat's stance. That's French; it's a fencing stance. Fist of the Spring Sunlight is clearly intended to be taken by us to be an advanced form of Kung Fu, so where the hell did the brat learn French fighting style?

She didn't learn it well. When she does her lunge, her left hand should have dropped down almost to her leg.

Midchild is a real strange place; it's too much like Earth, or rather it's too much like Japan and China. The Wesley dojo is like something out of China, and the city Vivio lives in is like a clone of Tokyo, except with magic and high tech. It doesn't look alien enough. But except for the fact that all the magic devices speak English or German, it doesn't borrow hardly anything from Europe or the United States; it's all Far East. So what in hell is French fencing doing there?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Engineer's Disease at 01:52 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
Post contains 321 words, total size 2 kb.

1 Honestly, I have no idea what Chinese sword techniques even look like. Japanese ones, to be sure, but that's a pretty divergent tradition...

Completely aside from the form on display, you don't really lunge with a curved blade anyway.

Could just be a case of "artist didn't know any better"?

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at October 16, 2015 08:24 PM (/lg1c)

2 My super-authoritative source (a few pages of a bing image search) couldn't find a stance like that for a Chinese sword style. 

And it seems to be questionable technique, even for western fencing.

Blade at 45 degrees or so?  It should be parallel to the ground, to slide between ribs.

Not only thrusting with a curved sword, but thrusting with one with no crossguard at all?  Not even a typical katana's tsuba?  When it does stop unexpectedly on your opponent's ribcage (or sternum, armor, shield, sword, whatever), you get to choose between dropping your sword or slicing your own fingers off.

Posted by: Mikeski at October 16, 2015 11:19 PM (TuMIP)

3 My overall reaction is that she's being shown as hopelessly incompetent with a sword, maybe just imitating movies. Her line "it's okay, I'm just playing; I'll put it back" reinforces this. In the last panel, it looks like she just discovered why you shouldn't swordfight in slippers.


Posted by: J Greely at October 17, 2015 08:18 AM (ZlYZd)

4 She's definitely incompetent. Micayah disarms her and locks her, and then gives her a healthy swat on the rear end which makes her scream, causing Rio's cousin to come running. She chews out the brat and then apologizes abjectly to Micayah.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at October 17, 2015 08:33 AM (+rSRq)

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