An Educational Post: Gravity Sabers
On to more important matters…
GRAVITY SABERS. The weapon of choice in our universe.
Actually, no. Not in our universe but in the Leijiverse. And I guess they’re not even the weapons of choice in the Leijiverse, that’d be the Cosmo Dragoon (if you can get your hands on one, there’s freaking so few of them). But anyway, they are cool and there’s very little about them in English so I’m going to talk about them.
A gravity saber is primarily a melee weapon. It’s 1 meter long and you wield it just like any other sword but the wacky thing is that smoke comes out when you stab someone, because the pipe (=blade equivalent) is energized with gravity. I know we’re all used to thinking sabers are curved but not all are. Check out the illustrious and very straight 1796 British Heavy Cavalry Saber [here] (though 1796 Light Cavalry Sabers were curved!). What you do see in your typical saber is a big guard that covers the knuckles, and the gravity saber has that. Below you can see a Harlock model (top) and an Emeraldas model. Notice how big the guards are.
The two models above (manufactured by TAITO) belong to a particular variant of the gravity saber called the saber gun. The saber gun doesn’t fire anything as primitive as bullets, of course, it fires off gravity beams.
The proportion of plain gravity sabers to saber guns is unclear to me, but according to Japanese Wikipedia, which is my main source for this post, there are plenty of gunless gravity sabers going around. You might be thinking “why on Earth would someone opt for a gunless saber?” I can think of three reasons: a) price; b) balance and facility of use (a fan who purchased a TAITO saber gun complained that the gun grip and trigger made handling the saber somewhat difficult); c) kickass confidence in your ability to beat people without a gun.
There’s also the issue of Maetel’s retractable gravity saber in Space Symphony Maetel. Are retractable gravity sabers a high-end model, or is retractability simply a function of the main gravity saber that we simply don’t see very often? It’s hard to say, but I want mine retractable and with gravity gun please.
In the Leijiverse, the heroic pirates Harlock and Emeraldas are best known for using this weapon. This tells me it is the weapon of choice for honorable combat. Maetel will use one on occasion (significantly, against the fake Harlock and fake Emeraldas in Galaxy Express 999, and against Promethium in Space Symphony Maetel). Tochiro uses one in Queen Emeraldas, where he declares he’s the best saberman in the universe, but that might be just him boasting 🙂