Far from an expert of Japanese history, I first encountered the name Nobunaga from the video game series Nobunaga’s Ambition (which I didn’t even play). A quick googleing showed that his campaigns during the ‘Warring States’ (sen-goku) period brought the first signs of national unification which would later be succeeded by Hideyoshi and Iesayu onto the Edo period, the final step before exiting the Japanese medieval.
The yoyo comes in what looks like a soup bowl, with a prompt ‘Caution: hot’ warning near the opening. I have no idea what the packaging of the final release would look like, but I don’t think I have a problem with this one.
Inspecting the yoyo
A mid sized, lightweight stepped V shape throw, this yoyo looks somewhat smaller in person than on photos. The finish is a conventional blast, with a grit size comparable to that of yoyofficer. Machining marks are readily visible on the rings that are not as mirror polished as several other yoyos.
The gut of the yoyo features a standard 8mm M4 axle, 1.1mm response grooves and comparatively tall bearing posts of medium tightness. Protruding response separators are present, but only barely visible from specific angles since they just are a fraction of a millimeter in height. The system overall closely parallels that of recent Werrd creations, especially the Ironies of 2012 onward.
Two instances of finish flaws can be found on this unit upon closer inspection,
in the form of a pinprick near the rim
and cracks on the engraving
the latter of which I have never encountered on any other yoyo.
The rim and the body join symmetrically in a sharp angle; in comparison, the Draupnir has its aluminum edge extending further beyond the steel, forming a slight underbite.
The weight rings of this yoyo emphasize width instead of thickness, exacting the same idea behind many internally weighted yoyos represented by the Laser and Sputnik. Thick rims must be accompanied by thin aluminum bodies which are extremely difficult to manufacture; increasing width to compensate for reduction in thickness is a well documented practice to circumvent such complications, and is still growing rapidly in popularity.
Similar structures are seen on the Rainfly, Slasher, and many others.
The addition of response separators is the only visible change from the first prototype to the final model.
The designer’s business acumen is ostensible at first glance. Thick walls for smoothness, wide rims for power, mid size to cater to western trick styles; even the two initial release colors, purple and black, are also the most popular ones proven by the Draupnir. This yoyo has everything trending in the community, deserving undeniably of the epithet of Nobunaga the Ambitious. It is far from a superfluous clutter of fancy cookiecutter features either; the elements employed are both relevant to the design and adherent to realistic considerations in the manufacturing process. ijustwishyyjhadsuchstrategy
On a throw
As a player with limited experience with both <55mm and metal weighted yoyos, I was fearing to substantiate my perception of this yoyo. It did turn out that my fear was largely unfounded, as this yoyo possess enough character to stand out even without close side by side comparison.
The wide rims provides the yoyo with sufficient torque that undersized yoyos are always in desperate need of, almost making this yoyo feel identical to something 2mm larger in diameter. In fact, the undersized feeling characterized by the rpm changing too fast during throws and binds is largely absent from this yoyo in conventional 1a play. The only traces remain detectable when performing unresponsive loops, but no more than a less rim weighted 56mm throw would have. The wider rims also keep the yoyo stable even when the spin runs low, which also is crucial to a narrower yoyo.
The yoyo is light and zippy when played at a relaxed pace, at times demonstrating quirky drifts, and requires a substantial level of concentration to keep in full control; on the other hand, it carries an astonishing amount of momentum when pushed to a higher speed, dashing into the string as forcefully as a 68-gram rock. This is in sharp contrast with many yoyos of western tradition, probably best represented by the Gradient, that is stable to maneuver in a slower flow but begins to bounce and float and fly around all over the place as its speed increases. As such, a shorter string is recommended if you wish to play fast with this yoyo.
Next step: make bearing posts with conically contracted tips
too narrow? umad