Archive for the 'Demon' Category

26
Oct
08

Cool Replicas – Part 4: Sandai Kitetstu

Today, we continue my temporary departure from the usual practice of lamenting the tendency for mediocrity that is often displayed by the collectors cultery industry, (wow that was a mouthful!!) to look at another rather nicely reproduced anime weapon.

Sandai Kitetsu - Third Generation Demon Splitter

Sandai Kitetsu - Third Generation Demon Splitter

[Click to view full size]

This is the Sandai Kitetsu, third Generation Demon splitter, and one of the swords wielded by the sword happy protagonist Roronoa Zolo (AKA Zoro) from the anime One Piece. I can only assume he got that name because the creators of the series thought it would be fitting, given his skill with the sword, to name him after the legendary Zorro.

You know. The legendary Mexican sword freedom fighter with the gay *cough* blade… Gay, in this instance, meaning lively, quick, flashy, etc… Yeah. Just thought I’d clarify. Oh, no, no, no, you’re welcome. Things have certainly changed a lot since the 1980s. But I digress…

Anyway, this Zoro is a pirate. Though he was formerly a bounty hunter, and is an honorable man, with exceptional sword fighting skills, who just happened to fall into an unfortunate situation. He generally carries three swords with him.

However this one I found particularly interesting because, first and foremost, it has a black blade (of course!). But it also just so happens to be a Kitetsu, a cursed blade, that is said will eventually bring a horrible death to it’s wielder. Though you can kind of tell, just by looking at it, it’s a rather mean sword. With a mind of it’s own. Zoro, however, does not seem to mind. My kind of guy… 🙂

Physically, this sword is actually of a fairly standard design, no really unique features, beyond the black on stainless steel blade. However it’s real beauty lies in the details:

Sandai Kitetsu - Tsuba

Sandai Kitetsu - Tsuba

[click image to view full size]

You can see from the detail of the tsuba, the quality of the fit and finish on this sword is very good. Certainly better than some I have seen that cost a lot more. And then theres the Tsuka:

Sandai Kitetsu - Tsuka

Sandai Kitetsu - Tsuka/Saya

[click image to view full size]

An interesting variation of the standard design. Instead of the fully cord wrapped grip, we have a grip that is covered, top and bottom, the same way the saya is, with what appears to be a laquered wood sections. In the middle we have the traditional black cord over rayskin wrapping, with metal bands transitioning between the two.

Another interesting departure from the norm is the design of the kashira, sporting a loop set into the traditional pommel cap. It is depicted similarly in the anime and is certainly an unusual feature. The saya is also fairly simple, the standard black lacquer, adorned with one metal band at the opening, and two more, each a little ways from each end. The tip is also is capped in ornate metal.

Sandai Kitetsu - Demon Splitter Extraordinaire

Sandai Kitetsu - Demon Splitter Extraordinaire

[Click image to view full size]

Overall, this is actually a well done replica. Certainly it does not have the quality or strength of a hand made, sword by any means, so I wouldn’t go sword fighting with it, but for a mass produced replica weapon, it is actually very nicely put together. This one made my white list simply for it’s clean lines, and fairly close attention to detail.

My verdict?

Win.

Just can’t say no to a cursed black sword… 🙂

Roronoa Zolos’ Sandai Kitetsu – [True Swords]

Roronoa Zolos’ Sandai Kitetsu – [Kingdom of Swords]

Roronoa Zolos’ Sandai Kitetsu – [Swords Swords]

16
Oct
08

The Sexiest Xbows on Earth…

So today I have a special treat for you. And you may want to grab a cuppa and relax, cause I’ma be a ranting fool in this post… 😀

A while back, Mozza, one of my buds from the Exotic Automatic Forums, put me onto this site with the sweetest crossbows I have ever seen. (Muchas Gracias Mozz Man!!) I’m talking sexy. Dead sexy. Totally and uncompromising evil, but just so freakin’ sexy you can’t help yourself. Uh huh. You know the ones I’m talking about.

The kinds of crossbows you want to pick black bedspreads and matching, jet black curtains with. The ones you want to bear your evil children. The kinds you will NEVAR take home to your parents… 🙂 ‘Cause they are freaks and you know your folks won’t approve… But you can’t help it. You love them anyway.

I’m sure you are all familiar with the type. The dark, sinister ones you know are probably gonna be bad for you, but you can’t help it ’cause they take you places “normal” weapons can never take you… The ones that will steal your very soul… >:D

LOL I’m sure you all think I’m exaggerating.

OK. I might be. I’m a sucker for a beautifully crafted weaponry. But I’m betting you’ll agree with me about these little pretties once you get to know them. Here, let me introduce you to a couple of my favorites. From awesome designers at Talisman Custom Crossbows:

The Beast

The Beast

[Click Image to view larger size]

This beast, my friends, is a beauty. It’s a rather ornate crossbow with an intricately designed rifle stock. Very highly detailed. Perhaps a little too intricate for my tastes. Especially that rifle stock. But it just so happens they’ve got people like me covered:

The Beast - Pistol Grip

The Beast - Pistol Grip

[Click Image to view larger size]

BAM! Now that’s what I’m talking about. Pistol grips FTW!! And another glamor shot, sans grip:

The Beast - Sans Grip

The Beast - Sans Grip

[Click Image to view larger size]

And now let me introduce you to the more lithe but equally lethal Devils Claw Crossbow:

The Claw

The Devils Claw

[Click Image to view larger size]

Again, definitely not Mr. Magoos Claw… This one I find interesting because it almost seems… alive. Like a Velociraptor in mid-stride… Here’s another shot that kind of reinforces that “hunting killer” perception:

The Claw - The predator about to strike...

The Devils Claw - The predator about to strike...

[Click Image to view larger size]

And as if that wasn’t enough, the “Devils Claw”, also has what i’m gonna call the “Stinging Tail” pose:

The Claw - Stinger at the ready...

The Devils Claw - Stinger at the ready...

[Click Image to view larger size]

A little more forward curve, and I’d be thinking Stingray, or scorpion… Except this is better. Neither the stingray or scorpion actually has a projectile stinger… 😉

Now, these, my friends, are crossbows. Not your run-of-the-mill, muscle-bound crossbows with the X-hundred pound pull, trying to impress us with brute force.  Oh no.  Not these. These baby’s are so elegant, So lithe, so graceful and seductive, that just cocking one of them on a medieval battlefield may very well have caused all of your opponents to keel over, en mass, from multiple nerdgasms…

OK, so maybe that was a little exaggeration. But the thing is, I am really impressed by these crossbows. Not so much because of their aesthetics, even though they are quite exceptional in their own right. I am really more a fan of form over function, and definitely more biased towards simplicity of design than intricacy.

On any other weapon, I would consider this level of ornate design to be a bit over the top. However, the most remarkable thing about these weapons is that they are not just about the art. They are mechanically… Brilliant.  Can’t think of a better word. And that is what has me utterly and thoroughly impressed.

Not only are these crossbows works of art, but the designers have managed to integrate that artistry into the operating mechanism of these crossbows. These are not just basic mechanisms with “artsy stuff” thrown on top. The mechanics IS the art, and vice versa. This is what really blows me away about these xbows.

Here, let me give you a few examples. Look at the cocking mechanism on the Beast:

The Beast - Cocking Claws

The Beast - Cocking Claws

[Click Image to view larger size]

The Beast- Windlass Gear/Cocking/Trigger Mech.

The Beast- Windlass Gear/Cocking/Trigger Mech.

[Click Image to view larger size]

Dual, recessed chain, windlass/cranequin driven, cocking claws?!? Heck, freakin’ Yes! This is the kind of mechanical design I love with a passion!! If I were a swearing man, I’d be hurling excited expletives like beads at Mardi Gras…

Even the more mundane parts of the crossbow look like they were (probably quite gleefully) given functional artistic flair:

The Beast - Stacked Limb Bow Prod assy

The Beast - Stacked Limb Bow Prod assy

[Click Image to view larger size]

The Beast - Bowstring mount

The Beast - Bowstring mount

[Click Image to view larger size]

I mean look at that. Yes, it’s a dragon head, but its a functional dragon head. And yes, my love of dragons my be biasing my interpretation of what this is supposed to be. I’ll admit it. But I don’t care. Just suck it up. :P.

Anywhoo the mechanics of the Devils Claw are no exception. Take a look at it’s cocking mechanism.

The Claw - Cocking/Trigger assy

The Claw - Cocking/Trigger assy

I mean seriously. Never has the mechanical advantage of lever style crossbow cocking mechanism looked this good. Trust me. And that’s the whole point. Talisman appears to have taken the fundamental mechanics of the crossbow, and molded it into art. Amazing art at that.

Now I’ll grant you that, since I see all kinds of junk designs day after day, I’m probably easy to impress. But in this case, It’s a fair bet my enthusiasm is not misplaced. I could be wrong.

But I doubt it…

The Beast – [Talisman Custom Crossbows]

The Devils Claw – [Talisman Custom Crossbows]

05
May
08

Demons… Such Afflicted Creatures…

Have any of you ever wondered why demons always seem to be in such foul moods? Well I can tell you. It is because they are tortured creatures. Constantly afflicted by their various penances and the burdens of being a demon. I couldn’t tell you what those tribulations and burdens are, however it’s a fair bet that they suck, because they always seem angry, miserable, hateful, jealous, spiteful, etc., etc, etc.

As a result they are often shown to be evil, malevolent, scheming, deceitful, sadistic, and just plain ‘orrible. And the only explanation I can come up with is that they are perpetually miserable, and misery loves company. Which you can probably discern from the expression on this unfortunate creatures none to pleasant mug:

Afflicted Demon Trapped Skull Fantasy Broadsword

Afflicted Demon Sword

[view full size]

Notwithstanding the obvious malice emanating from this dudes grill, I have to say he makes for a really great sword ornament. When I first saw this design, I knew I liked it, though I’m still not sure exactly why. I’d like to say that it’s because of it’s simplicity, but it really isn’t particularly simple. Especially not it’s name.

Afflicted Demon Trapped Skull Fantasy Broadsword? OK, so at least we know why this Gene Simmons wannabe demon is ornery today. He (or his skull at least) has been trapped (we think) inside this sword. Where the rest of him is, we don’t know. However it’s a good bet he’s not happy about it. I’m equally sure he’s none to pleased about having his skull trapped in a “Fantasy broadsword” Yeah. Right. If this is a broadsword, I’ll, I’ll, … Bah! Use your imagination…

Back to the sword… It starts of with a fairly interesting but subtle blade profile, featuring a pretty cool looking point, and a rather prominent fuller that extends to a slight flare in the blade just before the hilt. Interestingly this does not appear to be a ricasso, but rather just an edged continuation of the blade, sans the fuller and taper.

This straight section runs right into the hilt, and our aesthetically challenged, horned buddy, the afflicted demon hisself. Atop his head, forming a cross guard are actually two outstretched, and wickedly taloned fingers. All the better to poke your eyes out with! Mua ha hahah ah ha… *cough*…

Continuing down, we have a cast metal grip, made to look like a leather thong wrap. though we all know that is not going to feel anything like a leather thong wrap… But that little attempt at demonic deception that calls itself a grip finally gives way to a rounded pommel, with four downward curving talons, each at one corner of the pommel ball each one in an alternating offset from the next.

Now I liked the blade without reservation. And interestingly enough, even though I generally dislike excessive detail in a hilt, this one seemed kinda… Cool. Wicked. Maybe it’s sinister aura has entranced me… Perhaps I am easily seduced by the dark side… Perchance I am being subconciously punked by Mr afflictiohead for my irreverence… Who knows…?

Afflicted Demon Trapped Skull Fantasy Broadsword – [True Swords]

25
Feb
08

Another Dark Sword…

If you recall, a several posts ago, I blogged about a dark sword, from Kit Rae canon, which seemed to have too much going on in it’s life for it’s own good. Well, today I ran into one of it’s cousins.

Black Sword of Darkness

Black Sword of Darkness
[view full size]

Now as you can see, it bears some of the trademarks of the stereotypical drama laden Kit Rae sword, (much like the last one) However the questionable family trait of being unbearably busy is actually quite muted in this particular relative. The design is a little more grounded, a little less flighty, and much more focused. You can actually see

Now the blade profiles on Kit Rae swords are generally quite the lookers, if a little narcissistic and this one is no exception. I find this one exceptionally notable in it’s simplicity. There is a beautiful combination of straight lines and subtle curves on this flat black blade. But as usual, the hilt is where all the action is.

This time around, there is actually a discernable theme! An i’m calling it the Demon Talons. 🙂 The pommel is made in the image of a rather irate looking horned demon, which sits atop a simple high gloss black grip with a mild swell in the middle. The grip runs into the unique guard, what I will call the “talons” of the demon.

The guard is basically a set of cool horned claws. Or clawed talons. Or taloned claws if you so desire. Your choice. 🙂 the point is, there are a set of what look like golden wing claws, atop the downward pointing black talons of the guard, at either side of the blade. I really like the overall combination if gold talons and black.

Now in all honesty, I still think the guard does indulge in what I would consider superfluous detail. I mean, I can understand the horn motif at the intersection of the guard and the blade, but I fail to understand why there should be some kind of serpent like creatures writhing around in the talons of the guard…

But to be fair these details are not overly distracting, and in the end I kinda like the swords overall demeanor. Yes, it could be simpler, but hey, life is never simple now is it… 😛

Sword of Darkness (Black) – [Medieval Weapon Art]

06
Jan
08

An interesting mad demon sword.

Today we look at a set of rather exotic swords, in terms of it’s design, that have a unique feel:

Mad Demon Warrior Swords

Mad Demon Warrior Sword

[view full size]

 As you can see, we have a set of two swords crossed behind the head of a demon mask of some sort. Now I’m more or less indifferent to the mask, but I found the sword design intriguing.

The blade of each sword has one of those shapes I like, with a slim straight blade, much like a rapier, that tapers into a spear tip point. Nice, but not altogether completely unheard of. But the hilt/grip/pommel are where it’s differences really shine through.

The ricasso of these swords is adorned with a copper colored conical extension, the blends into a pewter colored dish shaped guard. The guard sits atop a lightly ridged black grip, that flows down into a flared copper pommel that is capped with a ridged globe ending in a similarly ridged point.

Unlike the vast majority of the other European and Japanese styled swords I have blogged about in the past, the design of this sword is unique, I’m guessing Indian/Tibetan design, based on the hilt and the mask design (someone please correct me if they know it actual origin). I don’t see a lot these designs, so I thought it would make for an interesting post…

Mad Demon Warrior Sword – [True Swords]

31
Dec
07

A Demon Slaying Katana

Welcome traveler. You’re on a demon killing mission. You must go it alone, and you can carry one, and only one, demon slaying weapon with you at any time. You have the option of:

  1. Salt
  2. Eggs
  3. Silver
  4. Garlic
  5. Vinegar
  6. Demon Slayer Katana

HOW CHOOSE YOU?

OK, that was a trick question. If you chose any of the above options, you have already failed. You quest was to fight your own inner demons. And you have just succumbed to them. Unless, of course, you happen to be a mythical creature yourself. In which case you may have killed yourself. But I Digress.

The most important thing to remember is this. Choosing option 6 would have let you look cool. Even while losing your battle against your inner demons:

Demon Slayer Fantasy Katana

Demon Slayer Fantasy Katana

[view full size]

I thought this sword was interesting just because it had a few features I don’t see every day. Obviously, being a black blade got it some serious attention. But it also has character. Like look at the blade. I like th narrow blade profile, and the cut outs in the center are an interesting touch. I usually don’t like that particular form of aesthetic modeling due to structural integrity issues, but it does impart an interesting look to the blade.

The hilt is also interesting, featuring a round, samurai style guard, capped with a unique v shaped shoe, meant to fit a v shaped depression in the scabbard. The grip is a simple cylindrical black wrapped affair, finished off on the butt end by a rather pointy looking cap. the scabbard is ecually simple, employing a details end cap as well as similarly engraved scabbard opening trim to finish off the effect.

Overall a pretty cool sword. Even if it won’t help you fight your inner demons…

Demon Slayer Fantasy Katana – [True Swords]

06
Aug
07

Vampiric Vampire Hunters…

Anyone who watches their fare share of Japanese animated vampire flicks will have noticed an interesting trend. The protagonists of said flicks usually tend to be vampires themselves. Usually very special vampires, like Dhampirs, (or day walkers), etc.

And they are usually some kind of either half-breed or ridiculously powerful full breed (usually a direct descendant of Count Dracula hisself) who have, for one reason or another, decided to turn upon their own kind. Much like the concept of demonic demon slayers I’ve talked about before, I find the idea of evil being the only way to battle evil (using fire to fight fire as it were) a common and rather interesting theme in Japanese animated culture.

But my goal is not to lecture you about Japanese culture. It is to talk about the weapon of one of the more recent additions to the list of animated vampiric vampire hunters, namely that of Saya from the anime Blood+.

Sayas Sword

Sayas Katana
[view full size]

Now this sword had a very unique design. The blade is actually offset downwards from the handle just after the hilt, and there is an edge on the rear of the bade that extends over the dropped edge and up to the hilt. It is an interesting design, but there is a reason for this particular design feature. Saya is actually a full blown Chiroptera however her blood has the unique quality of being poisonous to other Chiroptera in the series.

In order to maximize the effectiveness of her sword, she cuts her thumb on the rear edge of the blade, and allows her blood to flow into the fuller running the length of the blade prior to a cut. This was to ensure that any cut on an opposing Chiroptera would be lethal.

In practice, this particular design feature would be unnecessary and detrimental. Introducing sharp blade displacements of that nature usually only weaken a blade. it would have made more sense for her to use a straight, double edged blade, and cut her thumb on the rear edge, and then lay her thumb on the side. It would have achieved the same effect and allowed for a stronger sword. But then again that is just the stupid dork in me picking apart a fictional sword from a fictional anime series.

In spite of it’s structural shortcomings, it is a very good looking blade, and the design is very futuristic. It would also have the advantage of allowing cuts slightly closer to the hilt of the blade than would have normally been easy to perform with a straight sword. All in all, a very cool and purposeful looking sword. Worthy of a vampire who… slays vampires… Ahem…

Sayas Sword – [True Swords]

13
May
07

Demon Slaying Inspiration?

Ok, in the demon slaying spirit of a recent post, I thought I’d share the discovery of yet another demon related weapon. An Axe. An inspirational Axe, no less, with a name that sounds like it was straight out of the old PC game Diablo:

Demon’s Axe of Inspiration

Demons Axe of Inspiration
[view full size]

Now much like the last “demonic” weapon I talked about, the nomenclature of this axe immediately begs a lot of questions. Is it a demon slaying axe, designed to inspire humans to greater acts of demon slaying bravado? Or a demons axe, designed to inspire the demon to more acts of human crushing treachery? Who knows. All I know is it is a very unique interesting design for an axe.

Notice that the cheeks of each blade consist of an open, truss-like design. I’d guess that it’s prima facie intention was to maximize strength while reducing weight. There are also 3 silver plated rivets at what would normally be the joints of each truss. Unfortunately, from a practical standpoint, I think this design would actually be detrimental to the overall strength of the blade, as trusses and rivets would introduce structural weaknesses where they need not exist. In normal double bladed axe design, the cheek or sides of the axe are solid, in order to provide the most structural support along the striking edge of the blade. But I suppose for some designers, artistic license trumps structural integrity any day.

Another interesting design point is the blade. It is an absolutely straight blade, placed at an angle to the handle. This is interesting for a number of reasons, the most salient being that functionally, I think that an angled straight blade would limit the number of different ways you could effectively strike with such a weapon, as well as minimize the effective striking blade area. When swinging an axe, you’d think that most targets would be somewhere at right angles to the handle. But then again, I could be wrong, and (as usual) I probably shouldn’t be applying practical combat considerations to an ornamental axe now should I?

From that aesthetic perspective, however, it is an exceptionally unique and beautiful design. The truss feature complements the straight blade beautifully, and the round handle rises into a ominous broad head point tip covering the eye of the axe. This axe does what it was designed to to very well, which is to look formidable, unique and ominous all at the same time. Now I’m still undecided as to whether the inspiration it is supposed to imbue is intended for humans or demons. And I’m hoping to never have to find out…

Demon’s Axe of Inspiration – [True Swords]

11
May
07

Demon Slaying… Demons.

Today we get to visit the realm of a sword intended to battle a rather unconventional foe. A sword that I initially believed was so named because it could be used to battle… Demons!

Demons, you say! “Uh huh.” All righty then! What kind of demons? “I dunno.” Probably your garden variety human hating kind, but who cares? Doesn’t make much difference to me, I just like it because it looks cool. From the mystical halls of Q-Branch, Demon Weapons division, I bring you:

The Dark Demon Slayer

Dark Demon Slayer Sword
[view full size]

Now this is a fairly interesting design, consisting of a very broad sword that comes to a fairly convincing point, especially if you happened to be on it’s receiving end. The design features of note on this sword are the two smaller sub blades, that seem to have no purpose but to add to the menacing appearance of the sword. Perhaps they serve as a guard of some sort, though they seem a little small to do that job very well. Either way, they do add to the over aggression of the blade.

Now this sword design has actually been floating around for a long time. I’ve always thought it was a cool sword, and having run into it again since starting this blog, I thought I’d share it with you. But there is another reason why I bring up this sword.

Regarding the idea about this being a demon killing weapon, after following up on a hunch, I decided later on that my interpretation might be mistaken. As an interesting side note, I found that it has an uncanny resemblance to another fictional dark blade, one that I mentioned on one of my very first posts, the Stormbringer:

Stormbringer Sword

Can you see the resemblance? Remove the sub blades, add a traditional cross-guard and Voila! It’s the Stormbringer! Now the fact that the Stormbringer in the Michael Moorcock series of fantasy books was in fact a demonic weapon kinda makes me wonder wonder if there is more than coincidence to this all so subtle resemblance.

The truth of the matter, (as far as fictional novels can be truth) was that Stormbringer was sentient, a transformed Demon with an innate evil intelligence and will, that could cut everything and anything not protected by the most powerful of spells, which also just so happened to “feed” on the souls of those it killed. I found out however that Stormbringer did indeed slay other demons without remorse, making it a demonic demon slaying demon.

Methinks perhaps that maybe, this sword was not a “demon slayer” at all, but rather a sword demon that just enjoyed slaying. Period. Rather indiscriminately, I might add. Things that to make you go “Hmmmmmm”…

Perplexing? Indeed. Scary? Most certainly. Do I want one? You betcha!

The Dark Demon Slayer – [True Swords]

11
Apr
07

Dark blades in history…

If there were any famous dark blades in history, I have been unable to find any. Barring the possibility that some historical or ceremonial blade may have been unfinished or made of a particularly dark variety of Damascus steel, searching for historic black blades has been a fruitless exercise for me. The best fictional reference I have been able to come up was to a black blade (also sometimes called the Shade Blade inspired by a black sword called StormBringer, from a fictional series by Michael Moorcock. Interestingly, this StormBringer, and variants thereof, has made it’s way in to numerous computer games, and was, in at least one of them (according to this Wikipedia entry), made “the most powerful magical weapon in the game.” Not surprising, since it would most likely be the rarest weapon in the whole of videogamedom as well… : P

StormBringer Black Sword

But in all fairness however, I can see why medieval sword makers and swordsmen might not want a black sword. From all accounts, the polishing process made the average medieval sword a better weapon. It was easier to clean, much more aesthetically pleasing, and probably a little lighter too, since the polishing removed a layer of material from the surface of the blade.

In any case, one of my hopes for this blog is that I may eventually gain sufficient exposure to some true professional blade historians who may actually have some insight into the existence of historical black or dark blades. I consider myself fortunate to be live in an age where the technology exists to make functional and durable black swords, even if it requires special steels or artificial finishes… : )




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