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It’s impressive how unimpressed Tanaka is by the show of force on display here! Dude’s a stone cold samurai.

We had a great time at Matsuricon this weekend, and now I’m too tired to write anything interesting. So off I go!

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  • Hfar

    Tanaka: “Eh, this will never catch on.”

    • Kid Chaos

      “Arrows, now, THAT’S the future of warfare!” 🏹

      • reynard61

        Same principle, different propellant. (And the gunpowder will propel that little lead ball faster and further than a man’s arm with a bow will — although the bow and arrow will be more accurate until the mid 1800s when it becomes practical to arm large numbers of soldiers with rifles. [Or rifled muskets.])

  • charles81

    Needs a little less krak and some more boom to impress… perfect proportion of pow though.

    My initial impression is that the General has paid a little more attention than others may have to the process of preparing to shoot. Really doesn’t look all that impressive at this range and with only one. Need a good line of them, fired together at some man sized targets a few hundred metres/yards away… It was in the dark though…

    • clogboy

      He’s all like ‘my brother bought a Winchester rifle yesterday, now THAT’s the real deal.

  • Arkone Axon

    Tanaka’s starting to remind me of the U.S. Navy leadership during the 1930s. They forcibly retired Admiral Yarnell, who staged a mock attack on Pearl Harbor just to prove how vulnerable the Navy was to an aerial assault. Fast forward a decade and a very real attack, and suddenly they were rushing to cover their asses…

  • Skralin

    Now look at the other side.

    • chicky joey

      I dunno. Looking at the sixth panel, it doesn’t look like it went all the way through.

      • Xinef

        The bullet is still fighting it’s way through that pole… it will appear shortly on the other side 😉

  • Xinef

    They should have showed him “The last samurai”, would probably have a stronger effect.

    … yup. He’d order some bulletproof armor for his soldiers.

  • foducool

    lol I got SG-1 flashback, when they show up the P-90’s potential to the jaffahs from the resistance XD

    • suburban_samurai

      I loved how Teal’c eventually gave up his staff weapon for a P90 and never looked back.

      • foducool

        double P-90, teal’c is the tanker of the team XD

      • Bree

        To be fair, Teal’c was probably the most proficient user of a staff weapon in the whole universe: his speed and accuracy far outperformed that of any other Jaffahs. And, staff weapons are just about equally lethal and effective to the P90s most of the time.

        So, he didn’t have reason to use a P90, until they upgraded the P90s to do more: have a stun feature (which the staffs don’t have), and importantly, the anti-replicator feature (which, again, the staffs do not have), making it an overall more effective weapon.

        Prior to that, having the staff was an advantage: it never ran out of ammo, after all.

        • suburban_samurai

          Bra’tac wasn’t too shabby with the staff either!

    • SlugFiller

      It’s one of the changes I most disliked about SG-1 from the movie. They totally nerfed the staves. In the movie, they essentially had the power of RPGs, but with significantly higher firing rate. But they reduced them to requiring a direct hit to a vital organ for a kill, which is just dumb.

      • suburban_samurai

        I’ll still gladly take the joy of SG-1’s cast over the mostly forgettable film, even if it did result in nerf’d staff weapons! The show definitely strayed into cartoonish levels of main character plot armor, for sure. But all long running action shows do eventually. Since the show was so self aware, I always had a blast watching it, even after ten years and a couple DVD movies. Screw SG:Universe, that sucked the fun out of the franchise real quick-like. (Why didn’t they call it Stargate Destiny if the ship’s name was Destiny? It’s a better title too!)

        • SlugFiller

          The movie isn’t that forgettable. Maybe it’s just been too long since you’ve watched it. It has some really nice aesops, that the series completely throws away, about blind faith, bias, mob power, and freedom.

          I do like SG-1, but only from around season 2 or 3. The first season tried to be Star Trek meets ET too much, and many of the things, from O’Neil just deciding Teal’c would have a change of heart (without any hint that would happen), to all the humans suddenly understanding English, were outright dumb.

          As they move more towards action and uncovering/creating better combat technology, it gets more of an X-Com vibe, which carries it through nicely. But it’s important to remember that it didn’t start like that, and had to throw away quite a lot to get there.

          And if anything, making the Guauld seem weak, by nerfing their weapons, has the opposite effect. The X-Com narrative works best when the aliens have plasma weapons, and the humans have dart guns. It brings out the David vs Goliath sense much stronger.

      • Bree

        While they DID nerf the staves, a detail many people often forget is that the SG teams also started wearing energy-resistant armor. I’m not sure what season this started in, exactly, but at some point, they were definitely beginning to use some padding which dampened the power of the staff weapons, providing an in-universe explanation for their decay.

        • SlugFiller

          That was during the episode when the doctor died. And what it did is make it so they could also survive a direct hit, it was effectively a second nerf. The primary nerf was that they went from AoE weapons to imprecise precision weapons. The fact that vest plating has any effect at all only serves to demonstrate that (No type of body armor would stop a grenade).

          In the episode mentioned above, with shooting at the log, even if just one shot hit the log, it should have been blown to smithereens, not had a tiny hole put in it.

  • Dave Aronson

    What with the episode number, I was expecting something a bit more… hellish, shall we say?

  • Flaming Squirrel

    Well, why SHOULD Tanaka be impressed? He lives in Japan, the holy ground of anime. And if anime has taught me anything it’s that guns < literally anything else. If you've got a sword, the entire freaking universe will realign itself and reinvent the laws of physics to make you win. Also, they can cut through tanks.

    • clogboy

      You called it. He’s definitely going to obliterate that pole with his katana in the next page.
      Or, it’ll just rot away on its own.

  • Sunwu

    Ricardo: this isnt even my gun’s final form wait till it goes Super Saiyan! *Flamingo guitar music in the backround*

  • Da’Zlein

    “So? Gimme a rock, I can make a bigger hole than that!”

  • Neska

    Would have been more impressive if the shot had gone all the way through or broken the pole, but that’s really too much to ask of a rifle . . . still more damage done than an arrow would do.

    • Robert Martin

      That’s probably not even a rifle, but a smooth-bore musket. Muskets (or early rifles for that matter) are not that impressive militarily as individual weapons. But get some disciplined, well-trained troops who know how to fire and then swap positions to reload while the next rank fires over and over and you’ll mow down your enemies very quickly.

      • charles81

        Yeah although I often wonder why you couldn’t do that with archers at the time.

        If it were long bows, they’d probably not have the same punch and range (or accuracy at range) but surely they’d reload more quickly. If it were cross bows, even for the time, they’d very likely come close if not equal in power and accuracy to a musket of that time and likely be close to equal for time to reload.

        canons and pre-loaded pistols is where its at for me.

        • Arkone Axon

          Actually, I’m reminded of one of the deadliest and most popular weapons of the middle east for a very long time, and for good reason. The sling.

          It’s just a cup and two straps… and it can send a rock or metal bullet hurtling through the air with enough speed and power to crush skulls when it hits. The Romans employed mercenary slingers, and the story of David and Goliath isn’t “boy kills giant with toy,” it’s “young soldier kills giant with well respected weapon.”

          They’re actually used to this day – they’re called “Lebanese grenade launchers.”

          The REAL advantage of the firearms is threefold. One: they can be used by relatively poorly trained infantry in large numbers. They don’t need strong arms like a bow, and massed volleys firing in unison don’t need to worry about trajectories like archers do.

          Two: they’re LOUD. A gunshot sounds like a whipcrack amplified by a megaphone. Just the sound of it is scary – enough to panic horses and send troops into confusion.

          Three: They’re NEW. They’re unusual and exotic and the locals aren’t familiar with them. They understand swords, they understand spears, they understand arrows… but these things are new and scary. (It’s like playing a Fallout game and looking at the energy weapons. They’re pretty awesome when you first encounter them… until you realize they’re not superior to the firearms available to you. But the first few times you encounter someone melting people into goo instead of just putting holes in them, it’s pretty impressive and scary)

          • Xinef

            On the topic of LOUND and NEW, I’ll just add… it takes some time to train horses to not panic when hearing gunshots.

            Thus the army that has trained horses will have a HUGE advantage over the army that does not. Effectively, you have fully effective cavalry, while opponents have completely lost their most effective and elite troops right as the battle started. Not to mention, that even if the soldiers themselves are disciplined, they will be trampled by their own panicking cavalry, and seeing their elite troops in disarray will most likely also cause panic in lower ranks.

            Unless the other army knows in advance that their horses will be useless, in which case they will be smart enough to leave the horses behind and fight the whole battle on foot.

        • BeigePaladin

          actually, not really

          one of the main advantages the rifle has is not simply ease of use or power, it’s ease of stamina. pulling back a bow, especially a full size longbow, is tiring work. the fastest recorded rate of fire of actual millitary bowfaire (though of course likely imperfect because it was the age before stat tracking) is 1 every 7 seconds required for archers in the roman millitary, and they used a very light shortbow made for speed rather than power. There also comes strain on the bow and the string – fire it too fast or too often, and it will break. The full size English Longbow did not fire any faster than rifles when it was introduced, not without driving the firer to exhaustion, injuring their arms and killing their accuracy, or breaaking the bow. Granted, it did at the time boast greater power and accuracy over long range, but they where phazed out because of speed, not because of power or even ease of use

          Crossbows are also a beech to reload – its why they fell out of favour. TV may have taught us its a simple slid back of an elsatic band, but it was in fact an arduous cranking proccess prone to jamming to get the sheer levels of tension needed to launch a bolt, and even on introduction, Muskets matched them on ease of use and power, without that pesky stamina issue.

          Muskets began the process of gunpowder taking over for a reason. Their ubiquity is why most mass media prefers to portray them as innefctual to let the stuff they displaced shine XD

  • Kid Chaos

    *sigh* Remind me again when Ina & co. are getting back? This has already taken far too seriously long enough, by half. :)

  • chicky joey

    Thought the best part of this page was how he was convinced to shoot the gun. Then I saw the page number.

    • EBeth

      I’d rather HAIL SATIN (This is still my fave “side art”)

      • suburban_samurai

        Perfect in pink!

      • Flaming Squirrel


  • Olly Brookes

    So I guess this has probably been pointed out many times, but firearms were introduced to Japan by the Chinese long before the arrival of Europeans. They already knew what they were and what they did, but the ones they got from Portuguese and Dutch traders were just a lot better.

    On a side note, even after years of this comic, I still love the sound effects just being descriptions of the action. Never stop doing that!

  • SlugFiller

    The angling on the 6th panel makes it look like he’s shooting from extreme close range. But even looking at the wide shot in the first frame, it looks like less than 10 yards. The farmer archers are capable of more than that.

    You want to impress Tanaka? Make that shot from 100 yards, at least. Or show it penetrating armor. This really isn’t much more than bows are capable of, based on previous confrontations.

  • Richard Cockman

    …Did he load it with a plastic bb?

  • Nos Rin aka CTCO

    Okay, where is he getting all the ammo and gunpowder from? Suspension of disbelief is broken!

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