History Main / KatanasAreJustbetter

21st Jun '18 8:55:15 PM TheBigBopper
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* On [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_3W1zg683A an episode]] of the German TV show ''Welt der Wunder'', the host compares European and Japanese styled blades in a variety of tests and ultimately concludes that the European style swords are slightly superior.

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* On [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_3W1zg683A an An episode]] of the German TV show ''Welt der Wunder'', Wunder'' focuses on the host compares European efforts of Stefan Roth--an expert trained in both German and Japanese styled blades traditions of bladesmithing and martial arts--to make a Japanese katana and a German longsword and then compare them in a variety series of tests to see which is the real "super sword". The host describes how popular culture including ''Kill Bill'' has hyped up the katana, but Roth says that despite liking Japanese swords and ultimately concludes martial arts, his opinion is that the European style swords are slightly superior.longsword is superior. After making the swords, he shows that the longsword is not inferior to the katana in tests such as slicing through a tomato. The really big test--captured on high-speed camera with appropriate safety precautions--is whether the katana can slice through another sword that's held in a vise. When he strikes with the katana, the edge is deeply notched and the portion of the blade above the notch is severely bent out of shape, while the clamped sword is hardly dented. He then tries with the German longsword, and succeeds in breaking the clamped sword's blade while sustaining only a small edge notch on the longsword. Roth declares victory for the German longsword, and while this test may not be totally scientific or comprehensive, it does show the downside of the katana's laminated construction and differential hardening in a destructive test of durability.
21st Jun '18 1:02:55 PM CaptainCrawdad
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* ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'': Crono, the main character, wields a katana as his weapon, and his ultimate weapon, the Rainbow Sword, is the most powerful PC weapon in the game. (However, the random damage multipliers of Lucca's Wondershot can sometimes best it.) Note that Chrono lives in a European-esque ye olde medieval kingdom.
** That said, in-verse it's the European styled [[PublicDomainArtifact Masamune]] that serves the series [[LegendaryWeapon Legendary]] SwordOfPlotAdvancement, because it can literally [[AntiMagic cut through magic.]]

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* ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'': Crono, the main character, wields a katana as his weapon, and his ultimate weapon, the Rainbow Sword, is the most powerful PC weapon in the game. (However, the random damage multipliers of Lucca's Wondershot can sometimes best it.) Note that Chrono lives in a European-esque ye olde medieval kingdom.
**
kingdom. That said, in-verse it's the European styled [[PublicDomainArtifact Masamune]] that serves the series [[LegendaryWeapon Legendary]] SwordOfPlotAdvancement, because it can literally [[AntiMagic cut through magic.]]



* In Real life, the mysticism behind Katana's probably came from the fact that they were rare. Good Iron was hard to come by in Ancient Japan so Swords were expensive; Only the Nobility and their bodyguards (aka Samurai) could afford to wield them.
21st Jun '18 11:30:01 AM TheBigBopper
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In reality, katanas have advantages and disadvantages just like any other sword (see the [[Analysis/KatanasAreJustBetter analysis page]] for more information), but in fiction any realistic tradeoffs or even [[ArtisticLicensePhysics basic laws of physics]] can be thrown out in favor of RuleOfCool. Since the katana is primarily designed to cut well, this property will be exaggerated to depict it as an AbsurdlySharpBlade that can slice through any material as if it were butter. Every cut with a katana is a CleanCut, passing through the object so smoothly that you [[DiagonalCut might not immediately realize it's been cut]], until the two halves dramatically fall apart a few moments later. Also, because it is perceived as an elite weapon that requires [[DifficultButAwesome higher-than-average skill to use well]], a character distinguished by using a katana is going to be a MasterSwordsman nine times out of ten. They might demonstrate ImplausibleFencingPowers, such as chopping off gun barrels or slicing apart the blades of swords that aren't as cool as the katana. In a setting where the katana is a [[ExoticWeaponSupremacy rare weapon]], it is especially likely to be proof that a character is special and formidable.

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In reality, katanas have reality the katana is not objectively better or worse than other types of sword, and has both advantages and disadvantages just like any other sword because of the way it's made (see the [[Analysis/KatanasAreJustBetter analysis page]] for more information), a detailed breakdown), but in fiction any realistic tradeoffs or even [[ArtisticLicensePhysics basic laws of physics]] can be thrown out in favor of RuleOfCool. Since the katana is primarily designed to cut well, this property will be exaggerated to depict it as an AbsurdlySharpBlade that can slice through any material as if it were butter. Every cut with a katana is a CleanCut, passing through the object so smoothly that you [[DiagonalCut might not immediately realize it's been cut]], until the two halves dramatically fall apart a few moments later. Also, because it is perceived as an elite weapon that requires [[DifficultButAwesome higher-than-average skill to use well]], a character distinguished by using a katana is going to be a MasterSwordsman nine times out of ten. They might demonstrate ImplausibleFencingPowers, such as chopping off gun barrels or slicing apart the blades of swords that aren't as cool as the katana. In a setting where the katana is a [[ExoticWeaponSupremacy rare weapon]], it is especially likely to be proof that a character is special and formidable.
21st Jun '18 10:27:25 AM Triscon42
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** That said, in-verse it's the European styled [[PublicDomainArtifact Masamune]] that serves the series [[LegendaryWeapon Legendary]] SwordOfPlotAdvancement, because it can literally [[AntiMagic cut through magic.]]
21st Jun '18 10:13:26 AM Triscon42
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* In Real life, the mysticism behind Katana's probably came from the fact that they were rare. Good Iron was hard to come by in Ancient Japan so Swords were expensive; Only the Nobility and their bodyguards (aka Samurai) could afford to wield them.
2nd Jun '18 10:34:35 PM Miracle@StOlaf
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* The katana is the most balanced and easiest weapon to master in ''VideoGame/BushidoBlade''. There's also a pretty good subversion with the characters Katze and Tsubame, who both wield guns. Oh, but you have a katana; [[ExoticWeaponSupremacy you can simply deflect their bullets and then effortlessly glide in for the kill, right]]? Nope, [[RealityEnsues they just shoot your ass dead]].
7th May '18 8:28:12 AM Owlorange1995
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* DoubleSubverted in ''Film/BloodAndBone''. The finale has James using a katana to attack Bone, who easily fends him off with nothing but the scabbard of a jian. However, the katana is apparently so sharp that [[spoiler: Bone is able to make James cut his own hand off just by lightly redirecting the blade with the scabbard.]]
12th Apr '18 1:19:31 PM infernape612
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** In ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn]]'', there's a sword called the Wo Dao that looks remarkably like a katana. Both Tellius games also have [[InfinityPlusOneSword the Vague Katti]]. In ''Path of Radiance'' it essentially took the place of the Wo Dao. In ''Radiant Dawn'' it's the strongest sword in terms of raw power gives a lower stat bonus and lacks extra bonuses like Ragnell and Alondite's ranged attacks or Amiti's extra attacks.
** The Wo Dao's been in a few other ''VideoGame/FireEmblem'' games as well. Ironically its stats in ''Radiant Dawn'' are pretty much its worst showing. Usually it's slightly weaker or equal in Might to a Killing Edge, with slightly higher crit rate.
** Also Lyndis' swords in ''VideoGame/FireEmblemElibe'' are katanas.
** The series also goes back and forth with the Killing Edge, it is a katana in some games, but not in others. In addition, the Killer Lance in ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'' is a Naginata.

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** In ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn]]'', ''VideoGame/FireEmblemRadiantDawn'', there's a sword called the Wo Dao that looks remarkably like a katana. Both Tellius games also have [[InfinityPlusOneSword the Vague Katti]]. In ''Path of Radiance'' it essentially took the place of the Wo Dao. In ''Radiant Dawn'' it's the strongest sword in terms of raw power gives a lower stat bonus and lacks extra bonuses like Ragnell and Alondite's ranged attacks or Amiti's extra attacks.
** The Wo Dao's been in a few other ''VideoGame/FireEmblem'' ''Franchise/FireEmblem'' games as well. Ironically its stats in ''Radiant Dawn'' are pretty much its worst showing. Usually it's slightly weaker or equal in Might to a Killing Edge, with slightly higher crit rate.
** Also Lyndis' personal swords in ''VideoGame/FireEmblemElibe'' ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTheBlazingBlade'' are katanas.
** The series also goes back and forth with the Killing Edge, it is a katana in some games, but not in others. In addition, the Killer Lance in ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'' is a Naginata.naginata.



* ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'': Crono, the main character, wields a katana as his weapon, and his ultimate weapon, the Rainbow Sword, is the most powerful PC weapon in the game. However, the random damage multipliers of Lucca's Wondershot can sometimes best it.) Note that Chrono lives in a European-esque ye olde medieval kingdom.

to:

* ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'': Crono, the main character, wields a katana as his weapon, and his ultimate weapon, the Rainbow Sword, is the most powerful PC weapon in the game. However, (However, the random damage multipliers of Lucca's Wondershot can sometimes best it.) Note that Chrono lives in a European-esque ye olde medieval kingdom.
27th Mar '18 9:08:53 PM foxley
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* In ''Film/BigTitsZombie'', Ginko grabs a katana from the yakuza bathhouse and uses it as her primary weapon for fighting zombies. It can parry almost anything, and can cut zombies in half lengthways.
14th Mar '18 5:01:43 PM CaptainCrawdad
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* The trope is put to the test on [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_3W1zg683A an episode]] of the German TV show ''Welt der Wunder'', featuring a smith named [[http://www.seelenschmie.de/ Stefan Roth]] who makes both European and Japanese styled blades and practices both styles of swordsmanship:
** While he likes Japanese swords, Stefan personally thinks the German longsword is superior, and wants to deflate the idea that katana can do the things they do in movies. In a series of tests to measure agility, precision, and cutting ability, he first gets impressive results with the katana, but then performs the same feats just as well using the German longsword. Near the end of the episode he gives one of his katana and one of his longswords the ultimate test by trying to cut another sword in half; the second sword--a European arming sword replica--is clamped down horizontally on top of a stand, and Stefan strikes against it vertically with all his might, wearing heavy protective gear in case he should be struck by flying blade fragments. The katana takes a deep notch through the edge, but more importantly it gets highly bent out of shape above the notch. The clamped sword has a notch in the edge but stays in one piece. In contrast, he succeeds in breaking the clamped sword in half using the German longsword[[note]]emphasis on "breaking"; actually ''cutting'' through one steel sword using another is physically impossible[[/note]], and while the edge of the longsword takes a small notch, he feels it's intact enough that he could keep fighting effectively with it, which he would not say of the bent katana. The results of the test were exactly what he expected, and indeed anyone who uses traditionally made katana knows that they are vulnerable to bending like this because of their differential hardening. Actually, a well-made katana is ''supposed'' to bend like this, since a poorly made one would simply snap.
** A couple of things to consider: while Stefan makes his katana the traditional way, starting with ''tamahagane'', and is considered a master swordsmith even in Japan, one would also have to know how he made the German longsword used in the test and what kind of steel the clamped swords were made of in order to draw more specific conclusions. Medieval European steel was not as good or consistent as modern high-carbon steel either (though the blast furnace and access to good ores at least gave them an advantage over the Japanese), and tests show that the quality of blade heat treatment was all over the place (many swords were very soft). Even allowing for modern knowledge that could ensure these old-fashioned methods were used more efficiently, one would have to do everything the old-fashined way down to the smelting of the steel in order to not give the European sword an unfair advantage. Also, it goes without saying that breaking another sword in half is not something any sword--European or Japanese--is designed for. Since one will be fighting a moving opponent whose sword isn't clamped in place, and who--like you--is probably trying not to severely damage his sword, the exact conditions of that destructive test are not likely to be encountered in real combat. After all, the ostensible purpose of Stefan's test was just to disprove the myth that a katana can cut another sword in half.
** However considering that Japanese sword smiths tended to use low quality steel derived from sand(necessitating the infamous folding technique), unlike European sword smiths who mastered blast furnaces relatively early, it is safe to say in historical conditions European sword would have an edge as far as materials are concerned

to:

* The trope is put to the test on On [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_3W1zg683A an episode]] of the German TV show ''Welt der Wunder'', featuring a smith named [[http://www.seelenschmie.de/ Stefan Roth]] who makes both the host compares European and Japanese styled blades and practices both styles of swordsmanship:
** While he likes Japanese swords, Stefan personally thinks the German longsword is superior, and wants to deflate the idea that katana can do the things they do
in movies. In a series variety of tests to measure agility, precision, and cutting ability, he first gets impressive results with the katana, but then performs the same feats just as well using the German longsword. Near the end of the episode he gives one of his katana and one of his longswords the ultimate test by trying to cut another sword in half; the second sword--a European arming sword replica--is clamped down horizontally on top of a stand, and Stefan strikes against it vertically with all his might, wearing heavy protective gear in case he should be struck by flying blade fragments. The katana takes a deep notch through the edge, but more importantly it gets highly bent out of shape above the notch. The clamped sword has a notch in the edge but stays in one piece. In contrast, he succeeds in breaking the clamped sword in half using the German longsword[[note]]emphasis on "breaking"; actually ''cutting'' through one steel sword using another is physically impossible[[/note]], and while the edge of the longsword takes a small notch, he feels it's intact enough ultimately concludes that he could keep fighting effectively with it, which he would not say of the bent katana. The results of the test were exactly what he expected, and indeed anyone who uses traditionally made katana knows that they are vulnerable to bending like this because of their differential hardening. Actually, a well-made katana is ''supposed'' to bend like this, since a poorly made one would simply snap.
** A couple of things to consider: while Stefan makes his katana the traditional way, starting with ''tamahagane'', and is considered a master swordsmith even in Japan, one would also have to know how he made the German longsword used in the test and what kind of steel the clamped swords were made of in order to draw more specific conclusions. Medieval European steel was not as good or consistent as modern high-carbon steel either (though the blast furnace and access to good ores at least gave them an advantage over the Japanese), and tests show that the quality of blade heat treatment was all over the place (many swords were very soft). Even allowing for modern knowledge that could ensure these old-fashioned methods were used more efficiently, one would have to do everything the old-fashined way down to the smelting of the steel in order to not give
the European sword an unfair advantage. Also, it goes without saying that breaking another sword in half is not something any sword--European or Japanese--is designed for. Since one will be fighting a moving opponent whose sword isn't clamped in place, and who--like you--is probably trying not to severely damage his sword, the exact conditions of that destructive test style swords are not likely to be encountered in real combat. After all, the ostensible purpose of Stefan's test was just to disprove the myth that a katana can cut another sword in half.
** However considering that Japanese sword smiths tended to use low quality steel derived from sand(necessitating the infamous folding technique), unlike European sword smiths who mastered blast furnaces relatively early, it is safe to say in historical conditions European sword would have an edge as far as materials are concerned
slightly superior.
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