April 17, 2009
With help from HC (thanks!), I finally figured out how to write the name of Krillin's signature attack, which is romanized as "kienzan". Turns out it's 気円斬.
気 ki is the energy they use for their attacks.
円 en means "circle".
斬 can be read a number of ways, one of which is zan. It means "beheading, kill, murder".
It is indeed a killing attack, which is why Krillin only uses it when he's really serious. He used it against Nappa but missed; Nappa dodged it. He used it against Frieza and took Frieza's tail off with it. He used it against Cell, but Cell was too strong; it bounced. And later he used it against Kid Buu, and cut him in half. Problem is, that doesn't matter to Kid Buu; he just rejoined the pieces.
Anyway, it's one of the coolest attacks in the series, and I've long wanted to know what the Japanese name meant.
("Kienzan" is a lot cooler than "Destructo Disk". Generally the English names for most of the attacks are very boring. "Makankosappo" is cooler than "Special Beam Cannon", too. Hmmm... wonder how you write that one? Betcha it starts 魔)
UPDATE: When I googled for the first two kanji in sequence, I found some places that had a different name for it: 気円烈斬
The third kanji 烈 is read as retsu and it means "violent , severe , extreme ", which I rather like. Maybe that's from the manga. It shows up in the game. But it's never used in the anime.
UPDATE: It just occurred to me that Krillin only uses kienzan against enemies who are themselves killers. When he used it against Nappa, Tenshinhan, Chaozu, and Yamucha had already been killed. Frieza? Was already drenched in blood. He used it against Cell only after cell absorbed Android 18. And Buu had already blown up the earth and killed everyone when Krillin shot it at him.
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