Three 'real' versions of Mugen's sword--and one of Jin's


Sometime late last year, three (!) apparently completely different concerns making display and cosplay swords turned out radically different versions of Mugen's unique blade--though two are selling it under the same name, Typhoon Swell, the name by which the sword is called in the "Sidetracked" video game.

Sword #1:


Sword #2:


Sword #3:


These are interesting differences and problems in all of these. None of them, as best I can tell from reading the descriptions on dealers' pages and eBay, has a hidden tanto; two (possibly all) of them have cord-wrapped grips, which is of course flat wrong as Mugen's swordhilt is white sharkskin (according to the Champloo Roman Album). But they do all make credible stabs at getting the gold-flame menuki (hilt ornaments) right and and matching the paint job on the scabbard. The Onimusha version (#2) gets added points for including Mugen's Ryukyu swordbelt, and tied correctly to boot. The third one is the strangest, seemingly an attempt to cross "Typhoon Swell" (I like this name, so we'll use it) with the straight European blade Mugen acquires in the final episode and add a lot of fancy ornamentation that's completely imaginary.

But it's super intriguing to me that these have surfaced at this late date. Is there more Champloo fandom than even I'm aware of?

Incidentally, in case you don't know what a typhoon swell is (I sure didn't), here you go, from the ScienceDirect website:
"The swell of a moving typhoon has the same Doppler effect as a moving sound source. Both originate from the variations in an energy flux. In a sound source this is called a frequency shift. In a typhoon it is a swell wave height change. A distant typhoon may generate very high waves through the Doppler effect as the typhoon approaches. A modification [lambda] is proposed for engineering practice."
So it's a sonic thing as well as a storm-at-sea thing. Pretty neat. =)


November 2008 update: an unknown maker has followed suit with this version of Jin's katana:

No matching washizaki, and the binding looks to be nylon rather than silk, but the tsuba design is pretty nice.

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