Tag Archives: physics

Science of Anime: Size Changing

This is a topic that was already well-covered in The Physics of Superheroes. But while The Atom and Ant-Man/Giant-Man/Too-Many-Names-Man have size changing as their explicit super power, a lot of anime (and near-anime) characters do it incidentally, as a part of other transformations. Of course, so does the Hulk.

For example, Devilman is considerably taller as the demon Amon than as the human Akira. (Or in Mazinger Z vs. Devilman, much taller.) Well, at least he’s supernatural.

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Science of Anime: Spiral Power

In Gurren Lagann, it often seems like almost nothing is impossible, and the things that are impossible still happen anyway. Examples (and spoilers):

So in this case, maybe the question should be just how many “exceptions” to the laws of physics do we have to suspend disbelief for when we watch this series?

Would you believe just one?

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Science of Anime: Minovsky particles

Possibly the most famous example of fictional physics in anime would be the Minovsky particles and Megaparticles from the Universal Century Gundam timeline. Megaparticles are easier to explain; so called because they are large for a subatomic particle, their properties are the explanation for most of the more futuristic weaponry.

Minovsky particles are more interesting because they show how committed Tomino was to justifying what he thought needed to be justified, even though he could have easily gotten by with no explanation for this. (But Tomino’s ideas of what was and wasn’t realistic weren’t always right. The Guntank, actually more realistic than walking mobile suits like the Gundam, was phased out for being “too super robot” just because Getter-3 also had treads instead of legs.)

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Thermodynamics and creationism

 One of the more scientific-sounding anti-evolution arguments is that evolution violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics. (This tends to be reinforced by the false idea that a scientific “law” automatically ‘outranks’ a “theory”.) To understand this argument, the first thing we have to ask is, what is the Second Law?

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