From this day forward, all math professors should be called “fantasistas of number theory.”

Despite the countless benefits it has brought to society, real science is a theoretical and slow moving process that doesn’t often lend itself well to the visual arts. So when a young aspiring filmmaker was asked to create a promo video for the science department of a university, they had their work cut out for them.

Of course, it’s been done many times before, and you can always expect the same kind of shots: a researcher inexplicably gazing at clear liquid in a tube, a plastic model of a molecule on a desk, and/or some CG molecules to really spruce things up.

But now, someone at Tohoku University has really upped the ante with their offering: Science Challengers.

Assembled by the magic ring of Ouroboros, these eight heroes possess wisdom of the universe from the tiniest particles to the heaviest celestial bodies and the mathematics that strives to unify them all together.

The Science Challengers are:

  • Neutrino Appraiser Kunio Inoue (Physics)
  • Legend in Carbon Nanotubes Riichiro Saito (Physics)
  • Front-Runner in Pioneering New Aspects of Molecular Catalysts Masahiro Terada (Chemistry)
  • Cell Biologist Erina Kuranaga (Biology)
  • Volcanologist Michihiko Nakamura (Earth Science)
  • Earthquake Hunter at Sea Ryota Hino (Geophysics)
  • Black Hole Explorer Masayuki Akiyama (Astronomy)
  • Fantasista of Number Theory Yasuo Ohno (Mathematics)

The video goes into brief profiles of each Challenger, but really the name alone should give you a good sense of their characters by how much they play into the premise of the video. Professor Ohno might take top honors in that category, and he also lets you know that a number theorist’s crew rolls deep.

Unfortunately, I feel that the charm of Professor Terada’s title gets a little lost in translation, but his character shines through nonetheless. Especially during the scene where he puts on his lab coat in John Woo slow-mo style.

Traditionalists needn’t worry either. Despite the revolutionary style of this academic promotional video, it still holds true to the staples of the genre with lots of test-tube gazing and molecules a-plenty.

It’s an endearing video, and ought to attract potential students who can see that the faculty isn’t too full of themselves. This is especially true since Tohoku University is already a highly regarded school, producing successful alumni such as Nobel Prize laureate Koichi Tanaka and Ryuta Kawashima whom you may remember from those Brain Age Nintendo games.

So if you’re a student, next time you see your professor cosplaying, accusing the Prince from Snow White of being a sex offender, or imagining Pokémon skeletons, remember that this eccentric behavior is part and parcel of becoming one of the chosen few — the Ouroboros-ordained Challengers of science.

Source, images: YouTube/Tohoku University

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