Warning – This article contains spoilers. Please proceed at your own risk.
Assassination Classroom is about a loveable yellow humanoid tentacle creature who threatens to destroy the Earth in 1 year but he also decides to become a teacher of the E class at Kunugigaoka Middle School and thus the Assassination Classroom was born. Over the course of the story we see quite a few skills used by many different assassins, and are often adopted by Shiota Nagisa, the adorable blue-haired “trap” main character. It certainly is fun to watch how these skills are applied in the story and combined with his training in assassination he is able to topple very strong foes which makes for action packed scenes. I wonder, do these tactics actually work in real life? If they do, how will they fare? Here are the two skills that caught my attention.
We get to see many special effects like auras, visual imagery and eyes changing to look more serious but this is basically done to convey the feel of Bloodlust. It does seem very improbable that such an exaggerated tactic can occur in real life however, it’s much more plausible than you may think. I’ve been through Kendo training and I’ve learned of a similiar concept to Bloodlust called “Kiai” (気合) which is used in many martial arts. Kiai involves shouting or screaming to express confidence or intimidation. One day during Kendo training my senpai told me to glare at the opponent, stand straight and strike with precision and grace. The reasoning behind all of this is so that I will show my “intent to kill” and that I’ll be seen as a strong opponent. I’ve also learned that when you concentrate on something, your body language and facial expressions will show it. Bloodlust in reality is basically concentrating on your opponent with the intent to kill while doing whatever subtle actions to intimidate your opponent. A few of the many other examples of Bloodlust would be creepy smiles to unsettle your opponent, using your opponent’s knowledge of your supposed superiority to cloud their judgement, or use Kiai.
On the flipside of Bloodlust is the lack of it, as we see Nagisa, approch his opponents in a calm and “harmless” manner to catch his opponents off guard, and then suddenly striking them down. I’ve actually tried this myself when messing around with LARP swords with my friend, and the funny thing is that it actually works. I simply put on a poker face, relaxed, walked in slowly and struck at his wrist. He did not notice my attack until the last second. Unfortunately after he was aware of the possibility of me hiding my Bloodlust and catching him off guard, I wasn’t able to perform it on him again. I’d say that those who are aware that “Hidden Bloodlust” can catch people off guard will be more likely able to react in time to defend against it but it was worth a try and a fun tactic.
All in all, Bloodlust is an intimidation tactic that instills fear and doubt in your opponent, it can affect your opponent’s morale, thus reducing their effectiveness and increasing your chances to win.
Nekodamashi (猫騙し, ねこだまし, a.k.a. Clap Stunner)
The idea of Nekodamashi is to knock out or paralyze your opponent when they’re concentrating very hard by doing a loud clap in front of their face. While it’s not very possible that this will be the case in real life, in reality Nekodamashi is used to daze your opponent. The real Nekodamashi is used in Sumo Wrestling and it’s performed like it’s in the story however the effects and intentions are very much different in reality. The real aim is to force your opponent’s eyes closed or make them flinch and using that short window of opportunity to strike.
Alternatives to performing a Nekodamashi in real life would be the numerous ways to feint your opponent as they basically all have the same common goal – To divert attention away from your real attack. Some examples of feints include distracting your opponent with sudden empty swings of the shinai in Kendo or a throwaway punch to hide your real punch in Boxing. Like the feint, Nekodamashi has the same downsides, because if your opponent sees through your feint or Nekodamashi, it’s basically wasted movement, and ironically what is meant to divert attention away from your real attack, will have diverted attention away from your opponent’s attack. I’ve lost count of the many times during Kendo training when my dear senpai threw feints at me and struck at my head so hard that feels like my head was about to split open. Sometimes he unexpectedly yells so loud at my face that I flinch for a couple of seconds, maybe this is another way of doing a Nekodamashi?
I’d say you’re better off with a stun-gun if you really want to knock someone out or paralyze them like you see it in the story, but the real-life version of Nekodamashi may still be useful.
Wow, that was a lot to go through and I hope my research and opinions are as accurate as possible. I hope you enjoyed reading this. See you again next time~ <(*＾▽＾)>／
Good Luck, Have Fun!
~Hayashi Sora （林空）
P.S. Shiota Nagisa is dabes grill. <(≧∇≦)>