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Panzer Kunst

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Panzer Kunst
BAALO06 11 Tiger Sauer
Tiger Sauer, the founder of Panzer Kunst, in Phase 32.
Origin Mars
Creator Tiger Sauer
Users Alita
Erica
Frau X
Gelda
TUNED AR Series 2
Tzykrow
Related martial arts Space Karate
Ahat Mastade
Sechster Angriff
Debut Battle 1

Panzer Kunst (パンツァークンスト Pantsakunsuto?) (more properly panzerkunst, German for "armored art") is the first martial art to anticipate combat in zero gravity, originating on Mars. It is the fighting style used by Alita and with the exception of a handful of practitioners is nearly extinct. The names of all Panzer Kunst moves and disciplines are in German and practitioners are called Künstler, German for "artist".

Panzer Kunst seeks oneness between the senses and is commonly referred to as the strongest of the cyborg martial arts. Especially effective at disabling and destroying larger opponents, it is the basis of other space martial arts such as Space Karate.

PhilosophyEdit

Panzer Kunst was the first fighting style developed to anticipate cyborg combat. It emphasises combat against both unarmed and armed opponents, including those wielding ranged weapons. Its foundation is fighting in zero gravity, a prerequisite for all space age martial arts, which allows the practitioner to fight in any atmosphere. Panzer Kunst seems to emphasize speed as well as the use of vibration-based attacks to bypass an opponent's cyborg armour and directly cause damage to limbs or internal organs. The art is also quite effective against larger foes. Panzer Kunst also provides a definite tactical advantage, since it gives its user the ability to analyse an opponent's fighting style and to retaliate accordingly. Therefore, a Künstler will rarely be defeated in a second combat with a given enemy. Künstlers also seem to have been imbued with a sense of fanaticism and willingness to sacrifice themselves if necessary to carry out a mission.

StylesEdit

Five schools existed within the overall Panzer Kunst framework. So far, the only ones that appear to have survived are the Mauser School and the Schneider School. The only other school mentioned thus far, the Gossen School, had already been extinct for 200 years.

HierarchyEdit

A Künstler can progress through nine ranks:[1]

  • Anfänger (Beginner)
  • Tzereter (Enthusiast)
  • Lehrling (Apprentice)
  • Geselle (War Artisan)
  • Krieger (Warrior)
  • Hoher Krieger (High Warrior)
  • Meister (Master)
  • Adept (Licensed Master)
  • Altmeister (Elder)

Other than these ranks, it is known that the Künstlers are often also divided into gruppen. One such group was the Mauser School's secret unit, the Kammer Gruppe. As a member of the Kammer Gruppe, Yoko was directly responsible for carrying out Operation Maulwurf in ES 386.[2]

TrainingEdit

Many of the actual training methods and regimen are lost. However Alita's flashbacks reveal that training began at a young age, as most began as Anfänger when they were still young children. The actual recruitment process was unknown, although some Anfänger were war orphans rescued from the battlefield by Künstlers, as was the case with Yoko and Erica.

Training sessions in zero gravity were not uncommon and a training satellite orbiting Mars was used to train young künstlers. They also received training from the leaders of the units they belonged to. The techniques were engraved within the Künstler's psyche and could still be recalled many decades or even centuries later. In Alita's case, the true extent of what she knows is still in the process of being rediscovered, usually by events or circumstances that act as triggers to jog her memory.

Known techniquesEdit

Most of the known techniques of Panzer Kunst are those that have been used by Alita at one point during her journey.

  • Schatten Forgen ("Shadow Tracking", most likely Schatten Folgen): A basic skill used primarily as a training exercise which teaches a künstler to stay in their target's blind spot. The only practical applications it has in in actual combat is to dodge attacks. Used by Frau X against Zazie.
  • Hertza Haeon ("Heart Strike", also called Hertzer Hauen): One of Alita's most commonly used moves, the Hertza Haeon is a strike that delivers a high-frequency vibration to the victim, bypassing the victim's armour, and concentrating kinetic energy that, when used correctly, can be used to destroy or at least disrupt function of the brain or heart. It can be nullified with a vibration of the same wavelength. Figure Four can also use a modified form of this move thanks to his anti-cyber martial arts.
  • Geschoss Schlag ("Missile Blow", also written as Geschoß Schlag): A supersonic punch that adds electromagnetism to the impact, delivering more force to the strike.
  • Ausser Stosse ("Outer Thrust", also written as Außer Stoße): By twisting into an attack made by the opponent, the Künstler is able to redirect that energy against them, resulting in a kicking counterattack that is stronger than would normally be launched.
  • Seinerweisen ("Personal Wisdom" or "Own Style"): Individual techniques created by each Künstler that are unique based on their own body's construction, and thus unteachable. Tzykrow's, for instance, was the ability to separate his head from his body and escape with it, due to minitaure retractable legs stored in its sides. While not considered part of Panzer Kunst, there was a tendency to consider Künstlers top-notch only once they had developed a Seinerweisen. Tzykrow has a Seinerweisen that is focused on escape and evasion. Alita's use of plasma can be considered a Seinerweisen as no other künstler has yet been shown to manipulate plasma.
  • Unnamed Dim Mak-like technique: An unnamed technique which causes thousands of soliton waves to reverberate inside the target's head, increasing in frequency until they will localize in one spot in a month and blow the target's head off. In the meantime, the Verschlag will be transmitted to anyone or anything who physically comes into contact with their head, blowing off the affected body part or piece of equipment. It is intended to isolate the target from others and cause them emotional anguish before their inevitable death. The technique cannot be cured by normal means. Frau X used it against Zazie but Alita was able to cure it.
  • Unnamed suicide technique: Taught to Alita by Tzykrow to prevent the discovery of Grünthal's involvement in Operation Maulwurf, but she did not use it.

GeheimnisEdit

German for "secret" or "mystery", these moves are considered the "secret techniques" of Panzer Kunst.

  • Einzug Rüstungen("Armor Penetration"): By attuning their rhythm of movement to the opponent's, the Künstler then strikes when the opponent's guard is weakest.
  • Hertzer Nadel ("Heart Needle"): A two-part Übergeheimnis combination attack from the Schneider School, also called Hertzer Fahren ("Heart Driver").
    • Verschlag ("Partition" or "Box"): The first part of the attack, an initial Hertza Haeon-like strike is first applied in order to set loose a shockwave which bounces around inside the body, increasing in momentum and energy, before finally focusing on the extremities such as the limbs or joints. The opponent might notice this as a slight ringing in their ears. Note that while Hertza Haeon is usually delivered through the heel of the palm, Verschlag is done via the knuckles of the Künstler's fist.
    • Hertzer Nadel – The second strike, driving a second Verschlag into the focal point of the shock wave, which causes the pent-up energy to explode from within.
  • Einsatzrhythmen ("Rhythms Insertion"): A technique associated with the long-dead Gossen School, existing only in books by the time of Grünthal's fall, 200 years prior. By attuning their own chi to that of their opponent's, the Künstler is able to fully nullify the opponent's chi, completely halting any attack they might have launched. Very few Künstlers were able to master the technique, but Alita can use it.

Additional techniquesEdit

Many of the techniques that Alita used in Battle Angel Alita were one-offs and not named. The tech notes included with the Gunnm: Complete Edition named and described these techniques. Alita has additionally used and created various plasma techniques, taking Panzer Kunst in a whole new direction.

Name Type/Target Debut Description Used against
Kumai Sharin Kyaku Aerial
Larger opponents
Battle 1 The künstler pushes off the ground with their hands to launch themselves into the air feet first and position themselves above an opponent. Somersaulting in midair, they then attack with both feet extended. Mutant woman
Sharin Choshu Aerial
Larger opponents
Battle 2 The künstler runs and throws themselves into a forward roll before launching themselves vertically with their feet facing up. Makaku
Senkai Kyaku Multiple opponents Battle 4 The künstler kicks up with one leg then brings their foot down for the initial strike. They then bring their other foot up to kick in a circle with both feet. First group of hunter-warriors at Bar Kansas.
Kumai Sharinraku Aerial
Larger opponents
Battle 11 The künstler leaps vertically into the air, executes a forward somersault, and slams both heels onto the target. Zaariki

HistoryEdit

Panzer Kunst was started by Tiger Sauer around 300 years before the events of Last Order. It was the first fighting style to anticipate cyborg combat, with Sauer instructing his disciples to handle both armed opponents and zero gravity.

A training academy called Grünthal was established in the Noctis Labyrinthus in the western part of the Valles Marineris on Mars. It was here that Panzer Kunst was developed and taught by five of Sauer's best students in relative secrecy for over a hundred years before the Terraforming Wars.

Approximately 100 years after its founding, during the Terraforming Wars, a lone Künstler from the Kammer Gruppe was sent on Operation Maulwurf, orchestrated by Jupiter with Grünthal to destroy the relationship between Erde (Earth) and Venus. That Künstler, Gezere-class Kammer Frau Yoko von der Rasierklinge, infiltrated the Melchizedek core at Ketheres (Jeru) and inserted a program known as "Program Guinevere" into Mechizedek that made it go out of control, causing the destruction of four out of the five Leviathan ships. The incident, later called the Cam Ranh Tragedy, resulted in the deaths of 450,000 people. Künstler Yoko was immediately caught by an independent agent working for Ketheres, later revealed to be Caerula Sanguis, and sentenced to death by being dropped into the Earth's atmosphere to burn up in reentry. Her capture also caused the Jovians to deny any links to the incident, resulting in the blame falling solely on Grünthal and Panzer Kunst. Grünthal was completely destroyed by carpet bombing, and the secrets of Panzer Kunst made public.

There are less than a handful of known surviving original Künstlers. One is Tzykrow, Alita's former Kammer Gruppe instructor, who is now serving as a High Order officer under the direct command of LADDER assistant chairman Aga Mbadi. The other is Yoko, who survived reentry and was rebuilt in the Scrapyard by Daisuke Ido, who renamed her Alita.

While these two are the only known surviving Künstlers from Grünthal, there are at least four other Künstlers. The three surviving Alita replicas, Sechs, Elf, and Zwölf, also practice Panzer Kunst, although in Sechs' case, it formed the basis for a new art called Sechster Angriff. Frau X, who appeared during Operation Hagel, is a master Künstler, and it is strongly implied that she is Erica. It may be possible that there were other survivors from Grünthal. Tzykrow's reaction to Alita being a survivor from Grünthal as well as their subsequent conversation before they fight seems to indicate that he is not surprised that there is another surviving Künstler from Grünthal. Among the populace, there are those who believe that the revealed techniques were only a part of Panzer Kunst's secrets and that a true Panzer Kunst master still exists.

InfluenceEdit

As a result of the secrets of Panzer Kunst being revealed, it helped the formation of later schools of cyborg martial arts including Space Karate as well as Ahat Mastade. Panzer Kunst is the direct ancestor of Sechster Angriff, Sechs' personal martial arts style, which uses Panzer Kunst as a base and has expanded on it.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Phase 32
  2. Gunnm LO History timeline.

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