Calcs and why they work

Topic started by Kurohige on Jan. 14, 2014. Last post by DevilMayhem666 5 months ago.
Post by Kurohige (3,742 posts) See mini bio Level 19

My good friend Fujita on the naruto forums made this thread and I really liked it. I know calc are half and half over here but I think you should read this, guys, it makes really good points and I would like to see this used more here

What is this? Just some of my ramblings. This is me cobbling together arguments I've made and arguments I've seen others make about why calcs work, why we can use physics in the battledome, and just how the battledoming thing makes any sense in the first place.

So, let's begin.

Every battledome argument hinges on this assumption: We can compare different verses. Some probably think that you can't and that the whole idea is silly. You could try and argue this point, but why bother? We're here to debate which character would kick another's teeth in.

So, blowing up a building in one verse counts for as much as doing the same in another verse. This begs the question of what standard we're comparing everything to. It could be anything, but the real world works best. It's what we're used to, and it's the background setting for most stories. Few actually try and create a completely alien verse and then use it as their main setting. Even in a fantasy setting with lots of magic, we still have ground, sky, people, houses, air, and a lot of the basic trappings of our universe.

Now, does using physics in a fictional matchup make any sense? Why yes it does. Physics is, in essence, a bunch of equations that describe how the world works. If a fictional verse appears to work the same way that our universe does, then the same equations necessarily describe that aspect of the fictional verse.

We can use physics, then, so long as we take care to apply it only to objects or people that are behaving as they would in real life. Pretty much everything up to this point is necessary to even have our battles in the first place, but this "only as far as fiction corresponds to real life" is where we start to have meaningful disagreements. So here are the basic ideas (and some justifications for them) that underly the OBD's use of science:

(1) "Facts" don't have to be concrete fact. Manga is an information-poor medium. You can't get laboratory-grade measurements out of manga panels. It just doesn't happen. And this actually holds across the board for fiction in general. So, with that in mind, expecting an argument to have rigid scientific standards of evidence kills… well… powerscaling, speed scaling of any sort (see this thread), etc. So assumption one is that we need a little bit of leeway when analyzing fiction. A very high likelihood equates to "fact" in a battledome setting, just so that we can make some rather essential comparisons. This is also why we tend to invoke Occam's Razor.

(2) The default is that something follows physics unless shown otherwise. This assumption seems like it's not necessarily the case, since given the option of either following physics or not following physics, you'd technically have to prove whether it's doing one or the other. That's hard, given only a brief instance of, say, something falling from one panel to the other. We can't plug in tons of numbers to show that y = 1/2g*t^2 + vt. But on the other hand, we also can't plug in the numbers to show that the equation doesn't work. This ties back into point one, really. We need to simplify our basic standard of evidence.

So going with assumption (1), something not displaying deviant behavior on-panel means that we have evidence of something obeying physics (i.e. physics "works"), and we also have no evidence of it not obeying physics. And so "something follows physics unless shown otherwise" is a good working assumption, if not a logically airtight one.

It's also worth noting that the default here can't be that stuff doesn't follow physics, or we can't possibly hope to compare verses. Because, well, maybe bullets move slower in One Piece and the Narutoverse has really tiny shrimp instead of subatomic particles and everything's really squishy. Why? Because we can't prove that physics holds. If we get so suspicious that we end up with a jumbled pile of nothing, well, what have we even accomplished?

Now, this is absolutely garbage science. But, as much as we like to use science, and as much as we'd like to be reasonable and objective, this isn't science. Or, if it is, expecting real-life levels of scientific scrutiny here is much like a scientist in real life spending all of their time mired in debate about whether we're in the matrix.

(As a side note: Something not following physics is likewise given the benefit of our "lax" requirements for evidence. All you need to do is look at the massive striking power of some characters and the mass of people they hit to realize that F =/= ma in this instance and that conservation of momentum tends to work like shit for battle shounens and their ilk.)

Plenty of calculations follow fairly easily from the above, even if they've got *gasp* joules in them. Potential energy calculations, for example, follow directly from the assumptions that heavy things are harder to lift than lighter things, and that lacking some evidence to the contrary, the relationship between weight and how hard it is to lift is the same between verses. If we didn't make these assumptions, important concepts like character strength are completely worthless. Calculating destructive capacity directly from things getting destroyed (craters, explosions, water being vaporized, etc.) in general follows from similar vital assumptions that we need in order for anything to work at all.

Speed calcs work pretty much the same way as destruction. We make an assumption that some physical, real-life event is taking place; free fall, a bullet being shot, and the like, and use that to gauge time between panels (here's why "static medium" and "how can you get a time frame from a manga" are bad arguments), and compare that to a distance moved or something. Plenty of speed calcs are simpler, and come about from making some assumptions about characters moving a lot in a small amount of time. These are lazy approximations more than anything else, but they work well enough and avoid a lot of the physics bullshit.

(3) Pixel scaling works. Or at least, it works better than anything else. The author likely isn't anal enough to precisely scale everything, not even counting the many times in which drawing things to scale would prevent him/her from emphasizing what they'd like to emphasize. But unless you want to say you can't compare size at all from the visuals, you're tacitly admitting that even with inconsistencies there's some sort of reasonable size estimate you can make. Pixel scaling's not really a statement of fact, but a more accurate way of making a size estimate. Generally, people in the OBD do actually realize this, which leads us straight to

(4) Calculation is hardly an exact science. We make estimates everywhere. Every calc has a few fairly massive ones, unless it's literally just plugging in a distance and a time that the author gives us. Whether it's the scaling, the time frame, something free falling when it's been given an unquantifiable downward speed, taking some scaling liberties (so long as they're low-balling the actual value), and so on and so forth. Where we draw the line with this really varies. Peak human calculations for super humans were once accepted as low-balls, while nowadays it's deemed "hiding the outlier." This one's nearly all about community standards at any given time.

So, calcs are logical estimates that seem to work better than our other options.

A final objection to be made, I suppose, is that calcs aren't fun. If you're not up for debating whether one is correct or not (which, hey, I thought was fun the few times I've actually done it ), you're left with long lists of numbers and battle matches become by-the-book comparisons of character stats. *Yawn*

Well, I actually agree with this, if not for the reasons you might think. First off, looking up calcs is an extra step in gathering evidence, so that's more time you've got to spend. If that's time spent pouring over blogs with exhausting lists rather than re-reading a page of manga, well, that's a) artificial in that it's removed from the source material and b) so much more boring than the source material probably was (or why would you have read it in the first place).

As for calcs turning matches into stat comparisons, that I don't think is really fair. Stat comparisons exist without calcs, but the heavy use of calcs makes this really, really obvious (everything's in kilotons and mach numbers, rather difficult to miss it).

The real fun in debating fictional matches is the fantastic abilities involved, and trying to figure out how they'd work against other equally weird abilities. So, er, if you're upset that calcs are making everything boring, try making matches where more than just speed and strength determine the outcome. Or enter a meta debate about a particular ability (like Trafalgar Law's).

What I'm saying is… the problem is you

tl;dr

Read the thing you lazy piece of shit

Credits: I owe this article something of a debt. It's pretty good reading, and gives a thorough breakdown of how to look at fiction. Point (2) up there pretty much comes from this (and Mike reiterating it), with my own rationalization for it tacked on."

So, how do you guys take this? i tihnk it's a great and most accurate way for the battle forums to run. But I think most would consider this to mean that author statements aren't divine in origin; they're just another source of evidence

If they're plausible, they can stick, but if they're not, then no dice, just like with any other contradiction.

Post by Low (1,379 posts) See mini bio Level 11

Calculations need a basis to work, and if inmanga figures are given, that makes it easier to do calculations based on actual world or crossverse comparision.

Post by SMXLR8 (7,254 posts) See mini bio Level 16

can you move this?

Post by SpeedForceSpider (4,986 posts) See mini bio Level 15

I liked that bit about the physics. It holds truth on how people portray it in the forums.

Post by Kurohige (3,742 posts) See mini bio Level 19

@Low: Calcs are flawed in many ways, but it is the best method I believe, if a author outright gives a statement then nobody bothers unless it outright contradicts something else.

Post by Low (1,379 posts) See mini bio Level 11

@Kurohige: That was my point...

Post by Dream (7,743 posts) See mini bio Level 21
Moderator

Calcs would be fine for determining the scale of feats as long as you have some sort of real-life model (for anime and manga that take place on Earth or anything similar to it) or measurement data on characters and vehicles (speed, dimensions, height, etc...) to scale things to. Problem is there are folks who have a bad habit of guesstimating specific elements of a feat and this often can lead to some very overblown data. This is why I can be fickle when it comes to relying on fan calcs to prove the capabilities of a character for battles.

Post by Kurohige (3,742 posts) See mini bio Level 19

@Low: I know and I was expanding on it.

Post by supernova7005 (1,966 posts) See mini bio Level 15

Pixel-scaling doesn't work in case of manga scans lol. This is the reason OBD got Jupiter sized countries and Multi-Continent level, sub-relativistic Juubito.

Going by the author's intent and portrayal is more inportant

Post by phantomrant (1,385 posts) See mini bio Level 10

lawl.

not gonna lie.

Fujita would be proud. Somewhat.

Post by cosmicdude (407 posts) See mini bio Level 9

@supernova7005 said:

Pixel-scaling doesn't work in case of manga scans lol. This is the reason OBD got Jupiter sized countries and Multi-Continent level, sub-relativistic Juubito.

Going by the author's intent and portrayal is more inportant

This. However calcs can be justified if the works have consistency.

Post by Kurohige (3,742 posts) See mini bio Level 19

@supernova7005: So what they say is 100% undeniable fact, but what they draw is irrelevant(Lightspeed Haku, below lightspeed Flash)? Amaterasu is not as hot as the sun and neither you nor Kishi will change that unless he draws new chapters where the flame actually, you know, affects its environment in ways sun-like heat would. The is also a different between a quantifying a statement and a quantifying visual as seen in most of the battles on here not using the method. The other problem with that method is that it requires the story itself to do tell you the stats of the characters in this case here it's "Ichigo can run a day until he feels tired" ergo he and his friends must have run a day's worth of running because they got tired and you get a result from that.If you don't get the statement you won't get the result and most manga don't give nice tidy statements. Again, it's not perfect but it's the best we have for battles here, mainly cross-series debates.

@phantomrant: Thanks, that guy taught me a lot on the site, and he is an awesome guy.

Post by Dream (7,743 posts) See mini bio Level 21
Moderator

Going by the author's intent and portrayal is more inportant

Just one problem with that approach: you aren't the author. Folks are gonna have different perceptions on how they perceive the scale of specific feats within a title depending on what is shown and/or explained, even if they don't necessarily go along with the author's intentions. I don't imagine mangaka had in mind that their characters were gonna be used by fans for fan-generated battles with various fictional titles.

Post by supernova7005 (1,966 posts) See mini bio Level 15

@Kurohige said:

@supernova7005: So what they say is 100% undeniable fact, but what they draw is irrelevant(Lightspeed Haku, below lightspeed Flash)? Amaterasu is not as hot as the sun and neither you nor Kishi will change that unless he draws new chapters where the flame actually, you know, affects its environment in ways sun-like heat would. The is also a different between a quantifying a statement and a quantifying visual as seen in most of the battles on here not using the method. The other problem with that method is that it requires the story itself to do tell you the stats of the characters in this case here it's "Ichigo can run a day until he feels tired" ergo he and his friends must have run a day's worth of running because they got tired and you get a result from that.If you don't get the statement you won't get the result and most manga don't give nice tidy statements. Again, it's not perfect but it's the best we have for battles here, mainly cross-series debates.

I never said what they say is always a 100% fact.

Statements can be used as long as they don't contradict what is shown on panel. They should be used on a case-by-case basis.

On the other hand, pixel scaling shouldn't be used as writer's never draw to scale

Post by Kurohige (3,742 posts) See mini bio Level 19

@supernova7005: Character statements are almost never taken seriously, if we went by your logic Whitebeard would be a planet buster since that was never contradicted, he held back the entire war and was dying so he may have not had a chance to use his full power. Statements are also not author statements and can be used by any character including cocky ones who are known to exaggerate. Authors may not draw to scale but they do draw a building being much larger than a person and how much space on the street it takes up. Like I said it's not perfect but its better and more practical than saying "Whoa look at how big that explosion was, that is far above what that character can do, that explosion is clearly mountain level!" based on nothing. In cross-series vs matches pixel scaling is the most practical, most people don't like it because it makes another series look weaker than they thought or another look stronger than they thought. Again, not perfect but better than what we have been using, how else did you guys come up with hypsonic-massively hypersonic speed?

Post by supernova7005 (1,966 posts) See mini bio Level 15

@Kurohige said:

@supernova7005: Character statements are almost never taken seriously, if we went by your logic Whitebeard would be a planet buster since that was never contradicted, he held back the entire war and was dying so he may have not had a chance to use his full power. Statements are also not author statements and can be used by any character including cocky ones who are known to exaggerate. Authors may not draw to scale but they do draw a building being much larger than a person and how much space on the street it takes up. Like I said it's not perfect but its better and more practical than saying "Whoa look at how big that explosion was, that is far above what that character can do, that explosion is clearly mountain level!" based on nothing. In cross-series vs matches pixel scaling is the most practical, most people don't like it because it makes another series look weaker than they thought or another look stronger than they thought. Again, not perfect but better than what we have been using, how else did you guys come up with hypsonic-massively hypersonic speed?

Whitebeard was never stated to be a planet buster. Destroying the world doesn't necessarily mean planet busting, as it could simply mean lifewiping the planet (same case with YYH). Moreover, that was an implication of prime WB's power.

There are numbers given in the manga to calculate speed. For example, in Naruto we know that the forest of death is 20km long and the timeframe was stated to be 1 sec, which can be used to calculate FRS and Pain's reaction speed.

Though we can go by pixel scaling for some DC calcs, getting speed from pixel scaling is highly erroneous since the timeframes are extremely small. Even a small variation could lead to huge variances in the results.

Post by Kurohige (3,742 posts) See mini bio Level 19

@supernova7005 said:

That's the problem right there in the first sentence: That is how you perceived that message, "This man has the power to destroy the world!" does not translate to "This man has the power to destroy all life on the planet!" as Dream said "Folks are gonna have different perceptions on how they perceive the scale of specific feats within a title depending on what is shown and/or explained, even if they don't necessarily go along with the author's intentions." also if it was a claim of prime Whitebeard Sengoku would not have brought it up as it had no relevance to the current Whitebeard.

Sensui from YYH stated they must go into the demon world as the Earth can't handle so much strain, we then see earthquakes happen all over Tokyo and we see no humans being killed, even the weaker ones with Botan were fine, they just felt a huge amount of energy. Even so there are calcs to determine his power and show it was hyperbole.

As for the Forest of Death, again, if those are given then yes we scale from it since it wont contradict the feat anyways, however how often are those given? How do you determine Haku's speed? Or Sasuke and itachi when they were throwing the kunai? It's all speculation at that point. All pixel scaling is is finding a somewhat precise estimate of the feat on the paper. Look at Bleach characters and their speed, how would you determine that without speculating? Unless you calc it you would never even be able to determine how fast a flash step is from anyone. Again, not perfect but better than just looking at it and saying "yeah that looks more impressive so he is stronger"

Post by phantomrant (1,385 posts) See mini bio Level 10

@Dream said:

Just one problem with that approach: you aren't the author. Folks are gonna have different perceptions on how they perceive the scale of specific feats within a title depending on what is shown and/or explained, even if they don't necessarily go along with the author's intentions. I don't imagine mangaka had in mind that their characters were gonna be used by fans for fan-generated battles with various fictional titles.

This is right.

Post by supernova7005 (1,966 posts) See mini bio Level 15

@Kurohige said:

That's the problem right there in the first sentence: That is how you perceived that message, "This man has the power to destroy the world!" does not translate to "This man has the power to destroy all life on the planet!" as Dream said "Folks are gonna have different perceptions on how they perceive the scale of specific feats within a title depending on what is shown and/or explained, even if they don't necessarily go along with the author's intentions." also if it was a claim of prime Whitebeard Sengoku would not have brought it up as it had no relevance to the current Whitebeard.

Yeah, exactly. We don't know what the author's intent actually was, so that's what debates are about.

It comes down to how you interpret different statements, but I generally take the low end when they are consistent with the series.

Sensui from YYH stated they must go into the demon world as the Earth can't handle so much strain, we then see earthquakes happen all over Tokyo and we see no humans being killed, even the weaker ones with Botan were fine, they just felt a huge amount of energy. Even so there are calcs to determine his power and show it was hyperbole.

The earthquakes occured because of Koenma's pacifier, not Sensui's own power. Sensui was suppressing himself the entire time on Earth.

As for the Forest of Death, again, if those are given then yes we scale from it since it wont contradict the feat anyways, however how often are those given? How do you determine Haku's speed? Or Sasuke and itachi when they were throwing the kunai? It's all speculation at that point. All pixel scaling is is finding a somewhat precise estimate of the feat on the paper. Look at Bleach characters and their speed, how would you determine that without speculating? Unless you calc it you would never even be able to determine how fast a flash step is from anyone. Again, not perfect but better than just looking at it and saying "yeah that looks more impressive so he is stronger"

If the numbers aren't given, we simply can't calc their speeds.

In bleach as you said for example, we can use peak human reactions to get a timeframe and we also have multipliers like Ichigo's bankai increasing his speed by 5-10x. We can also use the size of Las noches to determine the speed of Lanza. Then again, we have numbers given for current Ichigo.

As for Haku's speed, we have to say its below supersonic because chunin exams Sasuke (with CS1) was the first one to dodge sound.

Pixel scaling is inconsistent because a particular length can be scaled using different objects, thus giving varied numbers (one of the reasons OBD calcs keep changing from time to time). And especially for speed, since the numbers are too small and could lead to a huge variance. one example is getting timeframe of milliseconds from free fall.

Post by Kurohige (3,742 posts) See mini bio Level 19

@supernova7005 said:

Yeah, exactly. We don't know what the author's intent actually was, so that's what debates are about.
It comes down to how you interpret different statements, but I generally take the low end when they are consistent with the series.

If two people only debate about what they think the authors intent was was then it is not a debate, there is no way to prove author intent, there is no evidence because it's all personal. Only the author knows his/her intent.

The earthquakes occured because of Koenma's pacifier, not Sensui's own power. Sensui was suppressing himself the entire time on Earth.

As Sensui says S Class Power is too much for the Human Plane. Only the Under World and Dimension can withstand such power. Unleash from powering up would wreck the Earth(So he says)

Sensui here shakes off a Blast design for S Classes. It registers as a Earthquake across Japan as Sensui flexes his Power to break out of a alleged World Destroyer level Force field(It was his power that really caused them)

Hell Sensui here shakes off a Blast design for S Classes. It registers as a Earthquake across Japan as Sensui flexes his Power to break out of a World Destroyer level Force field..

Koenma stated that if earthquakes happened then he had failed

If the numbers aren't given, we simply can't calc their speeds.

You get an outliner for their speed, actually there was a whole thread on how to fairly and accurately get speed.

In bleach as you said for example, we can use peak human reactions to get a timeframe and we also have multipliers like Ichigo's bankai increasing his speed by 5-10x. We can also use the size of Las noches to determine the speed of Lanza. Then again, we have numbers given for current Ichigo.

And how do you get things like the speed of the Lanza? Like I said if numbers are already given calcs just serve to get a more accurate number than "Really fast" Same thing how to you come to the conclusion for peak human speed and how can that apply to everyone?

As for Haku's speed, we have to say its below supersonic because chunin exams Sasuke (with CS1) was the first one to dodge sound.

And you got his speed within the Ice mirrors by....?

Pixel scaling is inconsistent because a particular length can be scaled using different objects, thus giving varied numbers (one of the reasons OBD calcs keep changing from time to time). And especially for speed, since the numbers are too small and could lead to a huge variance. one example is getting timeframe of milliseconds from free fall.

Nobody is gonna pixel scale a 6'9 human and measure a building as the same thing. The backgrounds and such are scaled/compared usually by the person who is being calced. The numbers change after debating and re-analysis for better accuracy, like I said it's not perfect.

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