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While reading the comic 妖艶くのいち~濡れた花弁 (“Voluptuous Female Ninja: Wet Petals”), I came across the word “セイッ”.

In volume 1, the female ninja Hasumi chases after a ninja who tried to assassinate her lord. She catches him and slashes him in half. However, a group of ninja jump from the treetops and ambush her. They seemingly hit her with enough throwing knives (くない) to make her into a human pincushion. They also yell “セイッ” while doing this. I have posted a screenshot, because a picture is worth a thousand words.

Ninjas yelling SEI– while attacking Hasumi

I am trying to find out what that word means, but I am having no luck. I think that it might be a war cry, but I do not know that for sure. Does anyone know?

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セイ is just another かけ声 meaning nothing in particular. It's one of the variations of "Arrrgh!", "Ha!" or "Hi-yah!", and it has nothing to do with "Say", 性, 勢, etc. While セイ is loosely associated with moves of karate or other oriental martial arts, western swordsmen may use it in fiction.

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  • Just by the sound of it, it feels almost like it’s meant to represent the swish of a blade (or, in martial arts, hand or foot) cutting the air, like whoosh or zing or shhhhyu (not even sure how to write that last one in English). Apr 14 at 11:19
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    @JanusBahsJacquet セイ is indeed not used by power-type fighters, but tends to be used by grapplers, swordsmen, archers, or fencers who rely on agility and speed. However, in Japanese, whoosh is ヒュッ or シュン, and there is no need to verbalize it out loud...
    – naruto
    Apr 15 at 1:53
  • @naruto Thank you for your answer. I had a feeling that it was some sort of war cry, but I had to make sure. Apr 16 at 16:00

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