ARE FARY ENERGY HAMON?
Or some variant of
Are shipgirl powers magical in nature?
Or something like
Can ordinary humans be augmented to become shipgirl-like in terms of strength, agility, etc?
The answer to all of the above is that shipgirl “powers” fall under none of the above.
First, the “aura” or “shield” in which each individual shipgirl projects is something that’s innate. Think of it like a passive skill in RPG games. It’s always on and always active. Certain shipgirls – mostly that of the BB girl equipment type – can extend this protection and cover their allies with it. This appears to be either a cultivated power, or an equipment-based power (STEC isn’t quite sure which is which). So far, STEC narrows this down to some sort of fairy energy/force based mechanism of action. They’ve done some tests on this and have some idea about how it works. Example, here.
What is infuriatingly confounding to STEC researchers is that the display of certain shipgirl powers are not nearly as consistent. For instance, take your patellar reflex test. If a shipgirl possess extraordinary strength, then the doc’s really in danger of having something (like the clinical walls or a body part) kicked in, right?
Except, if you put a shipgirl on a stool and tap her on the knee with your handy reflex hammer, you get a very mundane and ordinary reflexive response. Ask her to kick the wall down and she can do just that.
What’s more, if you just look at this from pure biology, it doesn’t add up. Shipgirl muscles aren’t denser than an average human. There’s no special material or midi-cholorian mitochondria or whatever that sets them inherently apart from an ordinary person. You can take a shipgirl’s full medical records to a doctor and they’ll just tell you it’s a healthy female at the pinnacle of her health. Really. That’s it. Nothing extraordinary about it.
But, of course, shipgirls are capable of more than just that. Researchers in-universe generally think it’s got something to do with the nature of fairies, the energies that fairies emit (that certainly enables for say, miniaturization of matter and technology), and the process of which shipgirls “appear” in Pacific.
Is it magic? Well, some shipgirls can literally conjure flame as a part of their power set. We’re talking about spontaneously generating an open flame. That’s pretty “magic” – but there’s no ritual involved, no esoteric knowledge, and no ability to teach this ability to other shipgirls, much less people.
Then you have things like Edsall’s tendency to be followed by ghostly P40s that not even the fairies can communicate with. Is this magic? Is it just an illusion? If so how can mere illusions kill Abyssals?
Shipgirl powers are as a whole, complicated business. It doesn’t make things any easier when some get a kick out of trolling STEC researchers.
See you next time.