Cybernetic Limbs

Super powered cybernetic limbs

The term cybernetics is commonly used to refer to the replacement of a person’s body parts with a technological replacement of some kind. These replacements can run the gamut from a replacement organ to a replacement limb. In the medical profession the term prosthetic is used when referring to a replacement limb, and artificial organ when referring to an internal body part. Currently modern medical science has created a wide range of prostheses to replace missing body parts due to disease or injury. Some of these include artificial arms, hands, legs, or feet, depending on the needs of the patient. Despite the success of recently disgraced South African runner Oscar Pistorius, these replacement limbs have to completely match a normally functioning limb, let alone exceed it like the cybernetic limbs found in anime.

Above the knee artificial leg

Artificial leg
Above the knee replacement

Below the elbow artificial arm

cybernetic limbs
Below the elbow replacement

In the world of anime and manga however the story is a bit different, with many characters gaining increased strength and ability from cybernetic limbs. Some examples are shown below.

Edward Elric Full Metal Alchemist

cybernetic limbs
Steam punk artificial arm

Motoko Kusanagi

Ghost in the Shell
Full body cybernetics

As any fan of anime can probably tell me right now is that Edward only has an artificial arm and leg, while the Major has an entirely cybernetic body. This distinction is important and will be covered later on in the blog. For now I will be looking at cybernetics where only part of the body is replaced such as Edward Elric.

Limits of the human body

The human body is capable of performing many feats of strength and agility some of which are listed below.

Clean and Jerk Olympic record– 411 lbs.

Squat world record- 1268 lbs.

Bench press world record- 722 lbs.

Sadly to have any chance of being a real life superman you need to look something like this.

Weight lifting

Edward Elric he isn’t, but his size is needed in order to be able to lift such impressive amounts. You will notice in the world’s strongest man competitor in the picture below the man’s entire body is quite large despite using his legs and to a lesser degree his arms to lift the weight.

Weight lifting 2
World’s Strongest man

The reason for this is actually quite simple: if the man’s back and arms were not strong, the act of lifting the weight would cause them to tear from their sockets. Now this is not happening on a regular basis because most people lack the ability to lift a weight heavy enough to cause their own arms to tear from their sockets.

Dislocated shoulder

Shoulder X ray
Dislocated shoulder

Partial Cybernetic Replacement

This of course would be different for a person who was fitted with a super powered artificial limb if such a device could be built. Now let’s take for instance Ross Syllabus shown below from Armitage the Third.

cybernetic limbs
Armitage the Third

Due to events in the movie his right arm is replaced up to the shoulder. This enhanced limb allows him to operate heavy equipment with ease as shown above. Now let’s examine his potential for greater than human ability. If Ross uses his limb to crush a can or other object in his hand, then he will not run into any problems. However should he try to use that arm to perform any action that required the support of the rest of his squishy body then the following will occur.

Ghost in the Shell
Motoko Kusanagi


Sadly our bodies are squishy and cannot support the extreme force of super powered cybernetics. As such super powered cybernetic limbs are


Full Body Cybernetics

There is however a caveat to the above rule and that is full body cybernetics. In anime a full body cybernetics is used to refer to a person that has had their entire body except for the brain and or spinal cord replaced with a mechanical body. Some of the more famous examples include the previously shown Motoko Kusanagi, Briareos (Appleseed), or Gally (Battle Angel Alita).


Full body cybernetics


Battle Angel
Full body cybernetics

A completely cybernetic body removes the problem of the squishy human body. Thus, a completely cybernetic body has the potential to give a person super powered abilities, unlike cybernetic limbs, provided it can be built in the future.


Thanks again for reading cybernetic limbsand I hope you learned something. List any comments, questions, concerns, or recommendations in the comments section below.

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