Manga Explains Why You Can Hear Gundams in Space
posted on by Jennifer Sherman
A long-standing problem in science fiction is that humans would not be able to hear explosions in outer space. The firing of all those fancy lasers and advanced weapons would be inaudible to human ears due to the lack of air. Reflecting on this inconsistency, a Twitter user posted three pages of Ark Performance's Kidō Senshi Gundam: Kōbō no A Baoa Qu (Mobile Suit Gundam: Sparking A Baoa Qu) manga on Tuesday.
On the first tweeted page, a character asks why he can hear huge sounds in the vacuum of space. Another character explains that inside helmets and the cockpits of mobile suits, there is a stereophonic sound system. First, a camera collects video from the outside. A computer then plays appropriate preset sounds to match what pilots see.
Continuing on the next page, the character explains that if the camera and sensors capture an explosion, people can then hear the sound of an explosion as they see it on the display. He adds that the sound quality in the Gelgoog that he piloted was very good with the mobile suit's new blade, and it felt like explosions even reverberated in his stomach.
On the third page, which seems to come from later in the manga volume, the character says that personal changes in the preset sound data in the mobile suits that he and his fellow students had used were prevalent. Although it was prohibited, changing the sounds in such a way became a unique form of entertainment. He fondly recalls how he and his friends would sample sounds from video games and movies to assign to enemy mobile suits.
So, there you have it. Spaceships and mecha do make sounds in space as long as you contrive a way for them to. If this system turns out to be a reality in the distant future, space lasers really could say "pew pew."
Update: Manga's name added. Thanks, Kamieichi.
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