Nothing is known about the design of the Earthly Branches, though they likely possessed the giant spherical body common to all Objects.
In the anime, the first Object ever deployed is depicted as having a jet-black spherical body over fifty meters long. It had a main cannon longer than its own body attached to its left side and several smaller secondary cannons on top of the body. It had four cylindrical floats arranged in a grid attached to the bottom of the sphere. It also had the character for Child (子 Ko) painted in red on the front of its body, near the main cannon.
Nothing is known about the technology used by the Earthly Branches, except for the fact they had onion armor capable of withstanding the attack of the armies of the coalition of 14 nations and even keep operational after a nuclear attack.
In the anime, the Child had a main cannon capable of shooting a laser beam and a metal shell (it is unclear if it was a railgun or coilgun). It also had several secondary laser beam cannons. It used static electricity to lift the Object's body and laser propulsion to move, though it was capable of fighting in the ocean, presumably by equipping naval floats like later electrostatic propulsion models do.
Developed as part of the Island Nation's Twelve Earthly Branches Project (十二支計画 Jūnishi Keikaku), the exact period when the first Objects were created has still not been revealed, although Ayami Cherryblossom is said to have been alive when the age of Objects began.
There are records about the first Object's development which tell that it was able to survive the combined firepower of the armed forces of 14 allied nations in a surprise attack and was even able to eliminate threats, even after receiving a nuclear attack that melted half of its body.
Their deployment resulted in the end of the nuclear age, however the Island Nation's triumph was short-lived as supposedly top secret information was stolen and imitation Objects began appearing all over the world, and the nation was swallowed up by the discord of international society and politics. The Twelve Earthly Branches themselves, unable to keep up with the advancing age, eventually all ended up on the bottom of the ocean.
The Amaterasu global weather control system created by Ichirei Shikon made use of the heat of the strategically positioned Twelve Earthly Branches' reactors to control ocean currents, and through them, the world's winds and weather. A project to retrieve all cores from the ocean floor began after the destruction of the Ame-no-Uzume, though it was undetermined if they would be returned to the Capitalist Corporations.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Heavy Object: Dominion 70% Chapter 3 Part 5
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Heavy Object Episode 01
- ↑ Heavy Object: Dominion 70% Chapter 3 Part 8
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Heavy Object Prologue
- ↑ Heavy Object: Dominion 70% Chapter 3 Part 10
- ↑ Heavy Object: Dominion 70% Chapter 3 Part 9
- ↑ Heavy Object: Dominion 70% Epilogue