Monday, 29 October 2012
Jubei vs Tetsuo
This week's FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! was written by Jim Taylor.
At the very edge of sanity, morality and acceptable social conduct...
Where the crowds bay for blood and a man is only as good as his steel or telekinetic abilities...lies the arena.
Here, the weak shall be wiped from existence and the strong shall bathe in the entrails of their vanquished foes.
Welcome, dear friends.
Welcome to the fight.
Witness the poetic tapestry of violence as two combatants collide in a pure expression of wanton destruction soundtracked by the screams of the dying, and with special effects courtesy of the human circulatory system.
In the depths of that hypnotic frenzy, nothing matters but the kill - the ultimate victory of one being over another, the last word which remains forever unanswered.
One shall win, and one shall die...such are the hallowed rules of combat, as old as time itself.
Who stands before us here today, ready to plunge forth into the crimson horror of unrestrained butchery and pitiless slaughter?
Two Titans of Japanese animé step forth, and the crowd holds its breath...
Kibagami Jubei is a lone ninja wandering the rural pathways of feudal Japan. A man of many faces, his sardonic and wisecracking persona hides both a caring and compassionate disposition and an extensive set of deadly fighting skills. Not even the Eight Devils of Kimon could defeat him! For more information, please consult Yoshiaki Kawajiri's 1993 animé Ninja Scroll, and follow-up TV show Ninja Scroll: The Series.
Tetsuo Shima was once a just a lowly biker with an inferiority complex, and had nothing better to do than engage in occasional gang warfare on the mean streets of Neo-Tokyo. His manifestation of latent psionic powers led to a new line in megalomania and casual mass murder, with devastating consequences for anyone within a twenty-mile radius. Do not irk him. Irking him would be bad. For more information, please consult Katsuhiro Otomo's manga Akira, and the 1988 animé of the same name.
Tetsuo's telekinetic abilities, though often beyond his control, are vast and frighteningly powerful, having been used in the past to flatten tanks into scrap metal and turn armed soldiers into scarlet wallpaper. In light of this, he eschews conventional weaponry.
Jubei, in addition to being an accomplished hand-to-hand combatant, carries a magic sword that can cut people without even touching them! Seriously, this one time, he took a guy's leg off from about a hundred metres away whilst hiding underwater. No joke. Also, he once literally head-butted someone into the ground.
This one's too close to call.
Jubei takes the whole 'lone wolf' thing pretty seriously; after being betrayed by your former master and being forced to kill all your friends, you might find yourself with a few trust issues, too. As such, in the absence of any local farmers to win over with his good deeds, Jubei fights alone.
Tetsuo was once a member of the Capsules, one of Neo-Tokyo's premier biker gangs. Unfortunately, since manifesting his powers he's managed to either kill or alienate every one of his former friends. Tetsuo's never alone, though; the Neo-Tokyo military dog his every step, sacrificing ever more men and resources in a seemingly suicidal attempt to bring him down. Their presence could complicate matters.
One lone wolf against another, with a military bombardment complicating what should be a simple face-off. Tetsuo edges it, due to the possibility of 'friendly fire'.
Tetsuo is a bit of a whinger, and given to petulant tantrums whenever he thinks that people are making fun of him. Latterly, these tantrums have taken on an extra telekinetic dimension, and now frequently result in multiple deaths and billions of dollars' worth of property damage. This lack of focus means that Tetsuo can easily lose control of his abilities, and end up transforming into a hideous bio-mechanical mass of teen angst. This, continuing the non-irking theme, is not good news for anyone.
Jubei's obsessive compulsion to react to everything that happens to him with sarcasm will one day be his undoing. Not treating life-threatening situations with the seriousness they deserve can get you poisoned, stabbed and/or strangled. These are all things that have happened to Jubei (he's a tough one), not necessarily as a direct result of his sarcasm, but let's chalk it up to karma. His tendency to follow up his wisecracks with swift, brutal sword-violence does, however, stand him in good stead.
Tetsuo's angsty proclamations of superiority upon entering the arena prove to be a source of much amusement to Jubei, and the ninja's smirking goads Tetsuo into unleashing a powerful blast of psionic energy, while he shrieks “Stop laughing at me!” like the petulant little windbag that he is.
Jubei is thrown high into the air and lands dazed, but recovers quickly and uses his magic sword to take off Tetsuo's legs at the knee joints, despite standing approximately two hundred metres away from him at the time. With a howl of rage, pain and frustration, the teenaged telekinetic cobbles together a new pair of (barely functioning) limbs using nearby pieces of wood, metal and stone, and steadies himself to launch another attack.
By now, Jubei has decided that the key to victory might well be winding up Tetsuo until he loses control, and so starts cracking wise about the younger man's annoyingly whiny voice and general social awkwardness. Jubei's ill-advised ribbing gives the enraged Tetsuo time to gather his strength for a lethal psychic blast, but the ninja is saved in the nick of time by the actions of the Neo-Tokyo military, who, having tracked Tetsuo to the arena, activate their satellite laser weapon and reduce the entire structure to a smoking rumble.
Both combatants survive the blast, but Tetsuo, overwhelmed by the loss of his legs and Jubei's endless jibes, finally loses control and involuntarily transforms into a bloated, faceless mass of flesh and fluids, spreading across the ruin of the arena floor like a lumpy tidal wave of congealed Pepto-Bismol.
Quick as a flash (the lighting kind, not the 'Oh look there's a willy' kind), Jubei seizes his chance, and leaps from mound to fleshy mound of the seething, mutated horror, hacking and slashing as he goes. Though it continually threatens to overwhelm and consume him, the lone ninja slices ceaselessly through the rubbery folds of the behemoth that was Tetsuo, cutting it slowly to ribbons. Before long, the ground is completely covered in a substance similar to liquefied bubblegum, and the military science vehicles have arrived to dissect whatever is left of Tetsuo and put him into cold storage.
Jubei makes good his escape, before anyone has the chance to question how a Eighteenth century ninja and a Twenty-first century telekinetic managed to be in the same place at the same time. I'm guessing it was something to do with tachyons.
There he goes.
FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! will return, featuring:
Spider Jerusalem vs Raoul Duke
Violence is the new Brylcreem.
If you have any suggestions for who you'd like to see square go each other in future FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! articles, please mention them below.