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 🙂

~ by Haloed Bane on August 31, 2011.

6 Responses to “An Educational Post: Gravity Sabers”

  1. I don’t know if you’ve come across the pistol grips popular on sport fencing weapons? They look like this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pistolgrip.jpg

    They’re pretty popular, especially at the professional end of the spectrum. But they’re not universally used, and one advantage of the other, simpler grips is that they give you the option of shifting your hand backwards, away from the guard (‘pommelling’ or ‘posting’). This gives you more reach and can let you catch your opponent out if they don’t notice you doing it: sensing and manipulating distance is quite important.

    Anyway, a similar sort of thing might be another reason that some might prefer gun-less gravity sabres…

    • I didn’t know anything about this!! That looks like a saber gun!!

      So then this grip can provide stability….but yeah, you couldn’t shift the hand back and get that longer reach.

      Now I start to wonder how Leiji figures one can swordfight with a saber gun without accidentally shooting it off. I guess there must be a safety lock somewhere.

  2. never knew about it firing gravity beams. I guess I’ve been watching Harlock so long i don’t think of sabers as curved.

    • Hmm, I always think of them as being curved. I guess from my upbringing, all the fairy tale images of Oriental troops using curved sabers and scimitars.

  3. Western terminology
    Sabers have curved blades
    Swords have straight blades
    You will notice that if you click on the link it is referred to as a sword, not a saber. However, the curve on some sabers is very slight.

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