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  • Dear Blizzard,

  • Hi, it’s me! Austin! Your worst nightmare! Actually that may not be quite true. I’m

  • guessing the looming irrelevance of World of Warcraft is your worst nightmare. But,

  • thankfully, youve found what appears to be your next smash hit in the MOBA-esque first

  • person shooter Overwatch, which, incidentally, has me certifiably hooked. 2016 has been the

  • year that got me back into first-person-shooters (fuck you, Fallout 4 is not a first person

  • shooter, it’s an action-rpg with some first-person-shootermechanics), but even more impressively, Overwatch has

  • managed to convince me that killing complete strangers over The Internet is actually fun.

  • Of course, being the Let’s Make the World Better Before We Die person that I am, I play

  • almost exclusively support characters--specifically healers. Which means my worst enemy is...well,

  • everybody to be honest. Lucio has probably the best survivability, but god damn Mercy

  • is made of tissue paper and runs like she’s stuck in a goddamn sludgy marsh if there isn’t

  • a teammate nearby to zip away to.

  • But nobody is more terrifying than that Robotic Cyborg Freakshow Monster that is Genji. When

  • I hear him pull out his sword and shout his little “I’m going to fuck you with the

  • terrible end of this turgid, pulsating rod of deathscream in Japanese, I just accept

  • my fate. Lucio’s sound wave, his wall ride, Mercy’s littleoh god help me fly away

  • thing, Ana’s sleep bullet can just be deflected away, and even fucking Zenyata’s special

  • are all useless against his this living, unfeeling meatgrinder in the shape of a human being

  • that is Genji Shimada.

  • Genji is a cyborg death machine who was once entirely flesh and blood like the rest of

  • us. Along with his brother Hanzo, he is a member of the Shimada family, a ninja clan

  • of criminal assassins; however, when Genji refused to take a more active role in Ye Olde

  • Family Business, a fight broke out between himself and Hanzo. Unlike, I don’t know,

  • normal brothers who just, like wrestle a bit and break your favorite lamp, they fought

  • for realsies and Hanzo murdered the fuck out of Genji--or so he thought. Genji was rescued

  • by Mercy, and Overwatch promptly turned him into Darth Vader, if Darth Vader were 1,000

  • times more badass. Fitted with robotic prosthetics and other unknown upgrades, Genji’s formidable

  • ninja skills are now cranked up to 11, being able to dash fast-as-fuck, defy the laws of

  • gravitation, and deflect fucking ANYTHING with reflexes that are almost quite literally

  • lightning-fast.

  • Part of what makes Genji so utterly terror-inducing is the mystery surrounding him. Ninjas, to

  • people in The West especially, are enigmatic figures. So let’s dispell some of this mystery

  • and figure out some of the raw SCIENCE behind Genji, and, perhaps, once we shed light onto

  • this Blender for Human Souls, well once and for all leave our fear at the door and

  • be able to sleep at night.

  • Genji has several superhuman abilities, each more incredible than the next. Let’s take

  • a look at the first, and most basic: his shurikens. Shuriken are actually pretty diverse weapons,

  • and weren’t always in the shape of stars. Shuriken were used by samurai in battles to

  • distract, disorient, and annoy, and rarely to kill, at least immediately. Swords, bows,

  • and arquebuses were much more capable of immediately dispatching foes; however, they certainly

  • could be fatal, and as youll see in a moment, in the hands of a person possessing terrifying

  • robot strength, can be god damned shitty for your self-esteem.

  • I discovered this week that there are meter markings in the practice range that is going

  • to make many, MANY of my calculations both this week and in the future a hell of lot

  • easier. To that end, Genji’s main attack is to throw three shuriken in quick succession.

  • Genji’s Shurikens zip across 20 meters in 200 milliseconds, faster than the average

  • person can fucking blink. Now, shurikens had many, many shapes and sizes, and we have no

  • idea what future Polymeralloytanium Genji’s weapons are made out of, but most shurikens

  • weighed anywhere from 35-150 grams, which means Genji’s stars are delivering between

  • 175 to 750 joules of energy PER PROJECTILE, which is like getting shot with a goddamn

  • gun. These things are deadly-as-fuck, and in the higher ends would actually be capable

  • of piercing through steel.

  • Genji’s throwing stars are no joke, and there’s no way a real-life human would be

  • able to pull numbers like this, but who the hell cares? Genji has goddamn robot hands.

  • Speaking of robot appendages, let’s go south of the border and take a look at Genji’s

  • two other superhuman abilities: his double jump, and his terri-bad swift strike.

  • Let’s talk about jumping for a bit. Contrary to what video games would have you believe,

  • human beings are actually pretty terrible at jumping. I mean, we certainly can do it.

  • People train their entire lives to be as good at jumping as other animals. The world record

  • for the high jump is Javier Sotomayor, who leapt over 8 goddamn feet high. Jesus Christ.

  • Anyway. Most people can’t jump half that well, let alone do so twice, but double jumps

  • are a major staple in games far and wide. So how would they work? Complicatedly.

  • A person jumps by pushing down into the ground. The earth, being quite massive, does absorb

  • that force, and subsequently pushes back, the whole Isaac Newton, equal-and-opposite

  • reaction bullshit. Anyway, youve got nowhere to go but up, so you do. The reason we can’t

  • double-jump in real life is that, well, the atmosphere is soft. Like really soft. It’s

  • so soft, in fact, that it just moves the hell out of the way when your body touches it.

  • Go ahead, try and grab it--you can’t. Now, in theory, if you exerted enough force all

  • at once against the atmosphere, it would react like a solid and allow you to push yourself

  • upward. The problem is that, well, that would look something like this.

  • In order to exert enough pressure on the atmosphere to allow yourself to lift off as though it

  • were solid ground, you’d have to unleash a ton of energy--enough energy to shove these

  • atoms together in the form of an incredibly dense shockwave. Forget Lucio’s sonic amplifier,

  • the force from this would quite likely crack the earth’s crust. So, unfortunately, I

  • don’t think youre going to be pulling off any double-jumps of your own any time

  • soon.

  • However, not all is lost. Remember, a jump is created by your foot pushing down and a

  • relatively equal force pushing back upward onto it, minus some friction and--well, other

  • stuff. Anyway. There’s no rule stating that this force needs to be exerted by the earth.

  • If, for example, you had some means of propulsion on the bottom of your feet that were calibrated

  • to perfectly match your weight, and then dial in its propulsion so that it exerted matching

  • for to your foot as you jumped, you would, in theory, be able to jump in the air again.

  • Using me for an example, a rocket boot would have to exert exactly 135.32 pounds of upward

  • force to cancel out my downward movement, and as I tensed my legs and pushed upward,

  • they would have to exert 135.32 pounds + x pounds to cancel out that extra energy.

  • The method of propulsion doesn’t matter that much, although most of them create some

  • serious issues for anybody considering themselves to be a real ninja. You see, jet engines,

  • compressed air, and rockets create upward force by pushing down--and down, there’s

  • air. Air, when pushed away incredibly quickly, creates sound waves--kinetic energy carried

  • away in the form of vibrations. The amount of force it would take to cancel out 135 pounds

  • and more of human would be incredibly loud, like a goddamn gun going off. Not, you know,

  • super stealthy. Of course, maybe, I don’t know, Genji just uses electromagnets that

  • interact with the earth’s magnetic field. Whatever. In either case, it’s never explained

  • why Genji is limited to only performing two jumps, since the only limiting factors I can

  • think of are electricity and fuel. Maybe it’s against his ninja code to perform a triple

  • jump. That’s just too unfair.

  • Which brings us to Genji’s next totally fucking badass ability. His swift strike,

  • wherein, like an anime legend of yore, he dashes forward and slashes anybody between

  • point A and Point B in a display of pure ninjitude. Genji crosses a distance of exactly 15 meters

  • slightly slower than he can throw his ninja stars, moving at a terrifyingly quick 90 meters-per-second,

  • or over 200 fucking miles per hour. That’s the speed of a goddamn Formula-1 Racing car,

  • jesus fucking christ. Even more impressively-and-or-pissy-pants-inducing, Genji reaches his top speed in 66 milliseconds,

  • and stops in just 33 milliseconds, which means his body experiences over 275 Gs. G-Forces,

  • for those of you who don’t know, are the forces that something experiences due to inertia

  • when it accelerates. Something that’s moving at a steady pace, or in this case standing

  • still, wants to stay the way it is. It wants to stay still. So when it begins moving, there’s

  • resistance. This isn’t a huge deal in most instances, although G-Forces can be fatal,

  • causing internal pressure differentials that can rupture major arteries and even damage

  • organs, and if you experience high g-forces for long enough, your heart will be unable

  • to properly distribute your blood, and you can pass out or even die. The human body can

  • experience over 100 gs for a short period of time during a car accident, and fighter

  • pilots can pull 9 Gs continuously using trained breathing and special suits that help contain

  • the blood flow like body-sized cock rings.

  • Basically the amount of forces Genji’s body are under are equivalent to you being on a

  • Japanese bullet train traveling at top speed and it hitting the side of a mountain. For

  • a brief period of time, someone weighing 135 pounds would feel like they weight 35,000

  • pounds. Human bodies are not built to withstand these kinds of forces, and would be crushed

  • and ripped apart in a spectacular fashion. FUCK. Genji, though? Genji is apparently made

  • out of some kind of Ultraplastic Polymerfuckfuck Adamantium shit, because he doesn’t even

  • break a sweat. Hell do that shit all day long. What a fucking badass. God DAMMIT I

  • wish I were a robot Ninja.

  • Which brings us, at last, to my favorite part. The creme-de-la-creme, the amuse-bouche, the

  • nage à trois as it were: Genji’s bullet deflection. Oh shit, OH FUCKING SHIT I CAN’T--I

  • CAN--I CAN’T FUCKING CONTAIN MY EXCITEMENT THIS IS--YOU GUYS, LET’S, okay. Let’s.

  • Let’s fucking BREAK DOWN THIS ULTIMATE NINJA SKILL OF ULTIMATE NINJANESS.

  • Bullet deflection. This is, like, the greatest pop culture phenomenon of the century. Or

  • millennium, whatever. Almost exclusively done by ninja, but also falling within the purview

  • of Jedi, bullet deflection is the most badass display of both swordsmanship and spiritual

  • purity, for one could clearly only accomplish such a feat if they were properly one with

  • the universe. Genji, when properly motivated, can block almost any projectile in the game

  • for 2 whole seconds. Speed and frequency are no object. But Genji isn’t your normal ninja

  • badass, hell no, he goes even further. Not only does Genji stop bullets fired at him,

  • the motherfucker sends them right back from whence they came, as if to sayOh, youre

  • shooting at me? Oh fuck no. No. You take your bullets. You take them right back. Have some

  • of your own goddamn lead medicine. Asshole.”

  • In fact, this move is one of the most beloved counters to one of the most behated characters

  • in the entire Overwatch Arsenal: Bastion.

  • Bastion, the adorable Wall-e misfit of the Overwatch cast, is capable of putting aside

  • his adorkableness to take the form of a deadly fucking minigun, capable of turning anybody

  • unfortunate enough to get in its path into fucking Swiss cheese. And I’m talking about

  • that Sbrinz shit that cheese rebels distributed against the will of the Swiss Cheese Union,

  • no, I mean Emmental, the shit with all the holes in it. That’s you, if you meet Bastion.

  • Miniguns in our real world fire 7.62×51mm NATO rounds at a human-pate-makingly fast

  • rate of 2000 or more rounds per minute. Each round carries an intense 3300 joules of energy,

  • an incredibly huge amount of power. That’s why the damned things have to be bolted to

  • something solid--theyre ridiculous.

  • Bastion, actually, fires almost this quickly. This is surprising because most games that

  • feature miniguns don’t even come remotely close to an actual minigun’s firing rate.

  • Bastion unleashes 1800 rounds per minute. Phew. No wonder people fucking hate him. Anyway.

  • In order to stop one 7.62×51mm NATO round, you have to cancel out all 3300 joules of

  • energy. Genji does this with his sword. Well, one of his swords. Genji is a practitioner

  • Daishō and carries two sets of swords, one big, and one little. The sword he blocks rounds

  • with isn’t his weird plasma-lightsaber katana, but rather his smaller kodachi, or wakizashi.

  • Now, in order to stop one bullet, Genji has to swing his sword and meet the bullet with

  • 3300 joules of energy, arresting its movement. Effectively, Genji has to cancel out the kinetic

  • energy of a 7.62×51mm NATO by creating kinetic energy of his own. The average wakizashi weighed

  • roughly 460 grams--at this mass, Genji would have to met the oncoming bullet at 119 meters-