Ever wondered why Touhou doesn't have an anime? This is why.
There are two perspectives you can watch this show from: Either you played the game, or you haven't. This show is clearly designed to appeal to the former, and does a great job at failing in everything because of that. The thing about making an animated series of something like Kancolle is that, aside from having the fans seeing their favorite characters being animated, it also gives a chance for them to see the characters develop beyond their limited personality trait in the game.
What happens in this 12-episode odyssey is the complete opposite
of that idea.
Before going any further into this series' embarrassing writing that makes Boku no Pico Shakespearean in comparison, there are several other notable aspects of this show that warrant mentioning: Music, for the most part, is pretty decent. Apparently there seems to be an unspoken rule that terrible shows must have a decent/good soundtrack. Though, having claimed that, it's actually pretty difficult to hear most of the soundtrack because the battle scenes barely last more than a single minute. And yes, I'm being pretty lenient with the term "battle scenes" because the visuals are legitimately worse than something from a Toei show. It's not even like YYY where 3DCG scenes were hardly noticeable- It's just literally everywhere in every battle scene in this show, and they're all so incredibly poorly choreographed that it makes you wonder whether a properly functioning human being was responsible for them.
As mentioned previously, this show is something that tries too hard to appeal to the existing fanbase with the smallest effort possible that it fails at its job completely- First, the characters. There are way too fucking many. How did Diomedea manage to include all these 50+ characters in this 12-episode show? The answer is, they didn't. None of them end up being actual characters, and all they get for lines is repetition of the same throwaway line they babble in the game ad infinitum. See, this is the difference between a game and an animated series that tells a story- In games like Kancolle, it's pretty difficult to actually express characters' personality aside from their throwaway lines, so to keep the game interesting, more characters are added to compensate for the lack of further development from the existing characters. But when you're trying to tell a story, that no longer applies- The more characters there are, the harder it is to focus on a certain character(s), and thus, it makes them as bland as they would be in the game when the point of telling a story is the complete opposite: Developing them beyond what would've been feasible in a simple click-and-win game.
These characters' gimmicks are also influenced by the fanon- Such as Akagi being a big eater in the show due to her consuming lots of resources in-game. Completely necessary addition, I'm sure. Fubuki, the MC, is incredibly boring and breaks personality several times in-series just to create unnecessary drama, which makes you wonder why the Admiral favors this particular character in the first place outside of her status as the main character. Everyone else can be summed up with a single sentence: Shimakaze likes going fast. Kongou likes speaking in broken English. Hibiki says one Russian word every chance she gets. Yuudaichi likes -poi more than -desu. Sendai really loves night battles. Naka won't shut the fuck up. Calling these protagonists cardboard cutouts would be an insult to cardboard cutouts from Akame ga Kill, so I'm not sure what to call them.
What about the antagonists, though? If you expected anything other than "incompetent mute cyborg zombies," then god damn is this show happy to disappoint. I'm not sure what the trend is with all these silent villains that have no real motives, but I guess writing any form of conflict outside of badly animated/choreographed battle scenes was beyond Diomedea's capability. And if that wasn't enough, the Abyssals are pretty pathetic at their job and manage to be as threatening as moving dartboards. I guess they manage to finally sink a character who had a total screen time of less than a minute, who happens to be a friend of a boring friend of the boring MC with a last-second sneak attack. Oh, the horror. It's especially hilarious when the show cuts to Abyssals looking ominous and evil with spooky music playing in the background when they're a complete non-threat.
And finally, the Admiral. It's pretty obvious that this Admiral character was designed to represent the viewer/player, which is why this character is never truly shown on the screen. Therefore, the character's motives/personality/appearance are all completely unknown because it's supposed to be “you.” I'm not sure why this is even necessary considering this character plays a very little role, but apparently it was- Which is why Diomedea decides to fuck that up too by giving this character an identity. Apparently the reason why the Admiral favors Fubuki (the boring MC) so much is that he has a boner for this character. Well, that's great. Now everyone knows that the Admiral is this guy who has a boner for Fubuki, who is the most boring character in a show full of characters solely identified by throwaway lines. What happened to ambiguity, again? Honestly, Wo-class is a much better representation of the viewer- Looking bored and stoned as fuck throughout the entire fucking show pretty much sums up my experience.
Aside from the poorly written characters with no effort put into them, there are two other things Diomedea decided to do to “appeal” to the existing fanbase of this series. One is tying in in-game mechanics like repair docks, buckets, upgrades, and etc. Not exactly necessary or hindering, but I'd think that alone should have been enough for references from the game instead of making every character what they are in this show. The second thing is "historical reenactment"- Since all the characters are based off of real life ships, the idea is that they would meet the same fate at the same time at the same place. This is sort of "foreshadowed" in the opening sequence where you can briefly see the real Akagi ship sinking and is a “major” plot point in the latter part of the series. I'm not exactly sure how this is supposed to be an appeal, however. Knowing what's going to happen in the show based on real life events seems completely uninteresting especially considering the flat characters and setting, and if it was any more focused by the series, it would just be yet another cliche'd "fighting against fate" plot line that's been done million times over, so I really don't get it. I guess it makes some people feel smug for knowing that this one character that may have been in the background in one episode will sink before other people do.
So outside of Diomedea's blatantly embarrassing fanservice, what else is there? I guess there's supposed to be a plot somewhere, but the pacing is so horrendous that it's actually difficult to remember what actually happened in this show. That being said, this show does few things that could be considered two of the worst things one can do when writing a story. The first is lack of focus- Just like several other shows, this show cannot decide what kind of a show it wants to be. It could be either a fun show about wacky hijinx, or a serious show with drama that may or may not be forced. If it stuck with one, and did just that, then it would have been fine. Unfortunately, Kancolle attempts to do both, and fails at both- I'm not sure why so many shows do this when both drama and comedy hinder each other most of the time, thus making their simultaaneous inclusion counter productive. I'd assume it probably sounded good on that used toilet paper they used for the storyboard for this show. The amount of sudden mood shifts in this show is transcendent, and this is made even worse with piss-poor pacing. For example, there would be a forced drama scene with Fubuki and her friends. Then it would immediately cut to Ooi and Kitakami doing their usual comedy routine. Then immediately cut back to the drama scene. Flawless.
The second problem ties into the first- Even the drama is completely forced. And even then, these supposedly sad scenes aren't even relevant or impactful. Because by the end of the episode, it turns out everything was fine all along, which makes the characters seem idiotic for worrying about it in the first place. This problem is especially notable with Fubuki breaking character and doing something reckless against the enemy because suddenly she decided that she wanted to feel important and have a personality. She obviously fails at everything noted above, but this scene itself has also failed at having any lasting impact. No one ends up getting hurt in the end, and everything was daijobu. Then she goes to train with moving targets, which really are as threatening as Abyssals considering how much damage Fubuki came out of it in the end. What a joke.
But wait, there's more. In the last episode, where everything seems "hopeless" because that one mean Abyssal just won't die despite it being only able to shoot out nearly harmless white balls in the protagonists' general direction as its masterful strategy, Nagato suddenly shows up to the rescue- It was all according to plan, apparently. Then when it doesn't work, a new shipgirl appears out of nowhere that got a brief "foreshadowing" (using this term extremely loosely) in the previous episode and comes to save the day- Then the Admiral literally uses repair buckets out of nowhere to get more shipgirls in the battle, and the show doesn't even try to hide its Deus ex Machina garbage writing at this point. Then Black Rock Shooter and Fubuki stare at each other before the former realizes this writing is fucking retarded and goes back down the ocean.
Basically, every single episode in this show can be summed down to this: 20 minutes of filler that may or may not include poorly written drama that ends up resolving itself the same god damn episode, and 2 minutes of poorly choreographed battle scene where victory is solely decided by shooting at things a lot with no strategy involved.
It's incredibly ironic that this show tried so hard to appeal to the existing fanbase that it only alienated them as a result, and ended up appealing to an entirely different group of people who watches shows based on anything but quality. Now, I think it's pretty notable to mention that some people seem to defend this show with claims like "What did you expect?" But that sort of claim would only be valid if someone criticized something like Hamtaro for its lack of drama. It's completely invalid here because it doesn't do either drama or comedy because it tries to do both and fails at both. Most criticisms for this show do not come from complaining about what this show doesn't have- It comes from what this show does have and that is fucking awful. Some might also claim "It's a game advertisement show so it obviously wouldn't be good!" What about Rage of Bahamut: Genesis? That was a show based on a Mobage, and it was one of the best shows of its season, so that excuse isn't valid either. Any show, no matter what it's based on or which studio's doing it, can have actual effort put into it, and that alone would make any show significantly better than this garbage. The fact is, this show is just a lazy, half-assed attempt to make money off a popular franchise while putting as little effort as possible. And just to emphasize on the point of "striking while the iron is hot," a second season is immediately announced by the end of the last episode. Subtle.
The best way to describe Kancolle would be that it's basically anti-Touhou. It's everything that Touhou isn't- Kadokawa also apparently decided that it didn't want to put any effort into their “game,” so they decided to forbid any Kancolle doujin game whatsoever because having to make anything that's more than a clicking simulator would be far beyond their talents. And then they get this show made just to make sure they can rake in as much money as possible before the popularity wears off. Considering how this show turned out, and how many of its existing fans reacted to it, I think it's pretty safe to say that ZUN made the proper decision. And I think it's pretty worrisome if all this makes a drunken man who can't even get human anatomy correct after nearly a decade seem like Albert fucking Einstein.
You know what's great? Cute girls. You know what's even better? Playing a game filled with them. Even better? The fact that they all have good artists and VAs. The best part? The diversity of girls makes it so anyone can find a favorite. You'd think it wouldn't be difficult to make a Kancolle anime considering there are anime with similar kinds of situations such as Strike Witches and Girls und Panzer, but instead of having a healthy balance of slice of life and battles, Kancolle just jumps around everywhere, making for a jarring experience.
The story is heavily divided, with multiple parts with their own
plot. The parts are segmented into episodes 1-4, 5+7, 6 , 8-9, and 10-12. It winds up being all over the place, tending to be a repeating pattern of slice of life, preparations for sortie, sortie, miracle, and end sortie. Kancolle also tends to tunnel vision on whatever the current episode's plot is and forces the issue. The only overarching drive in Kancolle is Fubuki striving to become one of Akagi's escorts. Honestly, it's how the slice of life elements and combat elements are thrown into the pot together that really inhibit the anime as a whole.
Fortunately, the lead designer is great. He really brings to life the ships of so many different artists in one cohesive style. The best part is that the faces are drawn similarly enough to where you can look at both the anime and game styles and see how they correlate. The music is also solid and features a wonderful op and ed. The battle music doesn't quite pack a punch, but still fits thematically.
The biggest issue with the Kancolle anime is how the characters are handled. For some reason the writers decided that having all of the characters keep saying in game lines and slightly modified versions of in game lines was a good idea when it actually destroyed life from the characters. Look, I understand that the lines were probably put in because they wanted an easy way to convey the character's personalities, but it's possible to do it without resorting to such an uninspired method. I don't want to continually hear Hibiki's Russian one liners all the time. I want her to speak full sentences, and if Russian words want to be added in at that point, that's fine. Also, the fact that the admiral is never seen and never talks bothers me a lot. It just makes it feel like it's that way for self-inserting purposes, which just saps any joy from interactions with the admiral.
Even with all of its problems, I did enjoy watching Kancolle; however, I wouldn't recommend it to everyone. It is definitely something that you have to enjoy from the start, otherwise you would just be bored. If anything, episode 6 was the most consistent episode thematically and consequently the most enjoyable. As someone who has loved playing the game for almost a year and counting, this was definitely a disappointing experience. If you are curious about the anime, give it a shot, as you might enjoy it still.
Kantai Collection: KanColle is an Action, Comedy, Slice of life, Military, Sci-fi anime based of the web browser game created by Kadokawa Games. The anime was created by Diomedéa Studio and was aired on January 8, 2015 to March 26, 2015 and lasting for 12 episodes.
The plot follows Special Type Destroyer Fubuki, a young girl who is a Kanmusu, girls who possess a spirit of a naval vessel within themselves and use these spirits to fight the Abyssal fleet who are threatening humanity from the sea. These girls live at naval bases, where they are taught to fight the Abyssal. Fubuki is a new
recruit at one of these naval bases upon her arrival she joins the Third Torpedo Squadron and is sent into battle despite having very limited combat training. While in battle, she is saved by Akagi, An Aircraft Carrier, and afterwards Fubuki decides that she needs to become stronger so she can fight at Akagi’s side.
The Show does a good job of explaining its story to the viewer by explaining the different kinds of Kanmusu and what the job in the fleet are. While the fighting is keep at a minimal, the focus of the show is based on Fubuki and her comrades while they train at the naval base which is interesting and funny at the same time. Now, because of the anime having so many character and character building, I going to only give the names of girls and what type of Kanmusu they are:
Fubuki, Voiced by Sumire Uesaka – Special Type Destroyer, a part of the Third Torpedo Squadron
Mutsuki, Voiced by Rina Hidaka – Destroyer, a part of the Third Torpedo Squadron
Yūdachi, Voiced by Yumi Tanibe – Destroyer, a part of the Third Torpedo Squadron
Sendai, Jintsū and Naka, Voiced by Ayane Sakura – Light Cruisers, a part of the Third Torpedo Squadron with Jintsū as Flagship.
Akagi, Voiced by Saki Fujita – Aircraft carrier, a part of the First Carrier Division
Kongō, Hiei, Haruna and Kirishima, Voiced by Nao Tōyama – Battleships, a part of the Second Fleet
Nagato and Mutsu, Voiced by Ayane Sakura – Battleships, Secretaries of the fleet.
Kitakami and Ōi, Voiced by Yuka Ōtsubo – Torpedo Cruisers
KanColle art style uses a bright blend of colors to breathe life into the show for the viewer. Each of the characters have been given a unique personality, making them stand out compared to one another and easily recognizable to the viewer. The show uses two different animation styles: one for the action scenes and the characters every day life. The use of a different style for the action scenes helps making them more beautiful and interesting to the viewer, thus making them some of the best parts of the show. The voice acting in this is very impressive because of some voice actresses doing multiple characters especially Ayane Sakura, as some of her characters have conversations with each other and the viewer is able to tell which character is talking by their voice.
KanColle is an anime where I did not know much about before watching, that has made me interested in the Kantai Collection game series. The story, while it not one of the best I've seen was still enjoyable. The characters have been designed with a lot of care in terms of looks and personality, and because of this care the art style over all was appealing to me. The message I got from KanColle is that as long you keep trying your hardest, you can achieve anything you put your mind and heart to. Finally, I love the character development of Fubuki over the course of the show as she always tries her best and doesn't give up.
KanColle is one of the anime that while looking at each part separately, like basic story or characters, is nothing special; however, when combined together makes a very interesting show. Anyone, both fans of Kantai Collection or newcomers, can enjoy its characters, art style and story. While there is better stories out there, I still recommend people to give KanColle a go as it takes a common idea and makes it something unique and new to people watching.
Kantai Collection, or kancolle, is a browser game on DMM where you play as an admiral in charge of a number of ship girls based on WWII ships. You send the ships on sorties and expeditions in your campaign against the abyssals who has taken over Earth's ocean, all while praying to RNGesus that your construction or sortie reward yields the ship you want. Its a nice timesink and appeals a lot to its target audience, with a strong fanbase that rivals that of Touhou. With such a large and dedicated fanbase, its extremely tempting to create an
anime adaptation to not only provide fanservice, but to also make a quick buck on its popularity. So they yielded and produced this anime. And how does it fare?
Why you may pick this up:
-Plenty of fanservice (ero and non-ero) for those who have played the game
-Ship waifus are now animated
-OP and ED (though to be fair, if you only want the OP and ED you can just search on YT or hikari no akari)
Why you may skip this:
-Anime does a poor job of introducing game to newcomers or to people who never played kancolle.
-Newcomers and people who never played kancolle will not get the references and fanservice
-Poor plot direction and pacing
Story-5: This is the weakest part of the anime. The story is best described as going through an existential crisis; it does not know its purpose for existing. Does it want to tell a gripping tale about a young maiden's perilous journey through Earth's Ocean with her fellow shipgirls, or does it want to be a Madoka clone, or a SOL comedy, or to introduce newcomers to the game, or to provide fanservice for current players? It has the distinction of being all of the above, and yet somehow being none of the above at the same time. It constantly switches between those identities, like at one point the anime is trying to push the fact that a shipgirl has sunk, and at the next the Akatsuki sisters are entering a curry competition, as if that sinking never happened. It should pick an identity and stick to it. We would have been fine with the anime if all 12 episodes were just the shipgirls seating around the Teitoku's office drinking tea and eating cake, and maybe have cameos from the abyssals as well. They may as well call themselves Headquarters Tea-Time. It’s simple, cheap, fun, provides fanservice for current players, while having many opportunities to introduce the game to newcomers.
Art-7: The art is decent during the non-combat scenes. The managed to make most of the shipgirls look moe enough to keep you going. Artillery designs are all based on art from the game and WWII ships, while all the girls themselves look cute enough, unlike some of their in-game counterparts. The main problem is the CG used during the combat scenes, or when they are water skating. It is extremely jarring to watch. The framerate does not make the animation smooth, and this makes the combat scenes very hard to digest, which in turn, makes admiring the shipgirls difficult. The Character designs somehow gets downgraded as they move in a 3D plane, and ruins the entire experience. Fortunately, these scenes are not prolonged, and we quickly return to the moe 2D girls.
Sound-8: One reason you may pick up this anime. Both OP and ED are enjoyable, and the ED is one of my personal favourite ED. The soundtrack used are enjoyable to hear when used during the scene is meant for, but are ultimately forgettable. Artillery firing packs a nice explosive punch to them, and all the VAs do their jobs well enough. The VAs in this anime deserve special mention, as they actually voiced multiple ship sisters, each with their own distinct pitch and tone you could’ve sworn were completely different voice actors. Honorable mention goes to Nao Touyama, who voiced the Kongou sisters, Atago and Takao. Her voices can be extremely different from each other, from Kongou’s Engrish to Atago’s playfulness, and yet she manages to do make all 6 characters sound like they have 6 different VAs.
Characters-8: Probably the main reason one might pick up this anime. Fans of the game should ALL have a ship they are extremely fond of, and Kadokawa has recognised this, even giving players the ability to marry the ships that they like. To see them animated, with their VAs saying new unique lines and interacting with other shipgirls, is like a wet dream come true to the player base. The story follows Fubuki, one of the special-class destroyers and a starter ship in the game, as she joins fellow destroyers Yuudachi (poi) and Mutsuki in taking the Ocean back for humanity, one abyssal at a time. The character development in this show suffers because of this, as these three are the only characters that receive any development, the rest being there to provide the viewers a chance to see their shipfus animated. While the other characters are lively and fun to watch on screen, they receive little to no character development. Backstories are left in history books since these shipgirls' history are based on their WWII counterparts, like Sendai's love for night battles since she fought most of her battles at night in WWII, or how Yamato's aversion to the word 'hotel' is based on her being used mostly as a hotel in WWII and barely used for combat. Enjoyable, but unless you have played the game, they are not memorable.
Enjoyment-8: As a huge fan of the game, my enjoyment of this anime is, of course, biased, since I understand all the jokes, fanservice, and references made in this anime. To see the shipgirls that I often used in the game animated is glorious eye candy, but was shattered when they transitioned to the CG. I also found that I enjoyed the SoL moments more that the action ones. Just 2 episodes of them making curry and looking for Shimakaze are better than 10 episodes of them fighting the abyssals.
Overall-7: If you are a fan of the game the anime is based on, feel free to watch this. While the CG is painful to watch, one can get over it through the love for their shipfus. For newcomers who wants to know more about the kancolle craze or wants to know more about the game, the English Kancolle wiki the kancolle forums, Himeuta, has FAQs and general information about the game. IF you are a newcomer, play the game and fall in love with the game or a shipfu first before watching, or else most of the jokes, references and cameos will lose its appeal. For people not interested in Kancolle but is a huge anime fan, do not bother with this. A poor story focus and lack of character development in a large cast of characters brings down the anime, with an ending not worth your time. If you want to investigate what the kancolle craze is about, himeuta or the kancolle wiki is more than enough. If not, you are better off spending your precious time watching other anime.
I feel compelled to write a review about this show since it was one of those shows that was fairly hyped during this season and has a unusually high average score for a show this mediocre. As a fan of the game and the general media craze of Kancolle, this show as a whole falls short of being good from any perspective.
Firstly, I'd like to note that unlike a lot of people who like to rate similar to how IGN likes to rate things (i.e. anything below a 7-8 is "meh"), and because of it, I generally dislike number ratings, especially ones as bloated as
a 1-10 scale, but I will follow the guidelines and base my "average" at a 5/10
The premise of the show is the same as the game: some alien beings called Abyssal (a.k.a American forces) have invaded the waters near Japan and conventional weaponry does not work on them, so they do the next best thing: get adolescent girls to bond with the spirit of old Japanese warships, adopting their names in order to fight this new enemy. The fleet are stationed at a naval base where the admiral (who doesn't make an appearance, but is implied that you, the audience, is the admiral) helps shape them into the war machines they need to be. The premise is over the top and makes the show impossible to take seriously, which is the point. It's meant to tease the WW2 and moeblob demographics and provide a general 23~ minutes of pandering each week, which is fine, I enjoyed Strike Witches for doing practically the same thing.
Where Kancolle differs, and suffers because of it, from Strike Witches, is that the show can't decide if it wants to go full-out fanservice mode and pander to the viewers or make a show with genuine hype and passable writing. A show can do both, but Kantai Collection is not one of those shows. The story starts off giving a really good showcase of the show, with nice action scenes, introductions to the popular ship girls of the game, with some delivering their one-liners and real-life-ship-mirroring personalities, but it never moves forward from that point. From one episode to the next, they keep introducing new ships, sometimes to introduce a new story arc, but most of the time it's just to have them there to cater to anyone who is a fan of that ship.
There was a moment in one of the earlier episodes where they "re-enact" the Battle of Wake Island, which is the battle where the Kisaragi gets scuttled. The episodes ends rather dramatically, building up tension going into the next episode, maybe giving the show a sense of tension and direction, only to have the next episode be a showcase of Kongou and Shimakaze's shenanigans. It was incredibly jarring going from what could have been a moderately emotional story development to a 4-koma esque episode catering to fans of Kongou and Shimakaze, and then going back to conclude Mutsuki's and Kisaragi's arc at the end of that same episode. To put it simply, there were a lot of ideas thrown around in those 2 episodes, but no direction to coherently deliver it.
After that point, the show switches into slice-of-life mode, where, you guessed it, they keep introducing more ship girls for one-off arcs that provides very little to any semblance of a story.
The last third of the show goes back to being a bit more dramatic with the Battle of Midway, the famous battle in which Japan suffered a major loss in the Pacific theatre, and was the battle where one of show's more prominent characters, Akagi, gets sunken. I will say the sinking of Kisaragi did do a good job of baiting the audience into thinking they aren't afraid to stick to historical accuracy, and the episodes leading up to Operation MI did foreshadow Akagi's death, but in true anime fashion, the entire cast comes in to save the day. The final episode also had this theme of "defying fate" which basically translates into "changing real-life history", but the way it was delivered makes the writers of the show come off as being a little salty about WW2, with a little pinch of nationalism.
TL;DR: Story is basically Strike Witches but on water instead of air, but with no actual direction and execution, and any sort of potential that the story did have was wasted to pander to fans of the game (which did not work).
The show started off strong. Like, really strong. In the first episode, when the girls deploy for the first time, we're treated to a rather eye-catching magical girl-esque transformation sequence as they equip their guns and armor. This is a good example of CGI being used moderately well. However, the art quality goes south rather quickly.
The show mixes the use of 2D drawn and 3D CGI for normal, day to day scenes, and high-movement battle scenes, respectively. The problem comes in when there's any sort of dialogue during the latter scenes. The scenes like to cut from 2D to CGI and back for very little reason, even when there's no actual, high-budget action going on. It becomes even more jarring when there are visual inaccuracies swapping between the two types of animation within the same scene.
By the end of the show, the budget was obviously running dry with shots like (https://38.media.tumblr.com/5d0dfa0739f4f665b7f76faf19446530/tumblr_nlt5vtpQg11r3fop8o1_500.gif) where assets pop in (and aren't composed properly, as you can tell from the gun barrels cutting off near the edge of the screen after popping in) or shots like this (http://i.4cdn.org/a/1427391382586.jpg) where apparently the girls have 6 fingers on each hand.
There's also the point that many of the characters suffer from same-face syndrome, and as a result, look nothing like their game-art renditions.
TL;DR - Art budget was used mostly in the opening episodes and the girls all look the same, unlike the source game.
The opening and ending themes were rather enjoyable to listen to and the cast is the same as game, which is a really high point of praise considering the skill of some of the seiyuus. I think one seiyuu voiced 6-7 characters in this show, none of which sound the same, and a few of which interact with each other in the same scenes. It's also a nice touch that the characters have lines directly or draw from their lines in the game.
Speaking of characters drawing their lines from the game, that's pretty much 90% of the characters outside of the 3-4 main characters. One of the more popular ship girls, Kongou, pretty much serves as a mouthpiece for pandering. Her entire presence can be boiled down to "Hey, look at me! Look at how historically accurate I am! Look at me deliver the same quotes as in the game every time I'm on screen! Buurniing loooove~~~!!!".
As far as development goes, none of the characters actually grow, except for maybe Fubuki, the main character, and even then it takes a horrendously awkward development arc, and it never made care about her throughout the show (apparently, she was chosen to be a part of the admiral's fleet because he had a dream about her in a wedding dress? I get that marrying a ship girl is a part of the game, but did they really have to make a plot point?). And with the supporting cast being so bloated (with new ships being introduced as far as the second half of the last episode), there wouldn't be enough time to make the audience care about them even if the writers wanted to.
I was really hyped for this show when it first aired. The first few episodes were enjoyable, and I went in knowing this show is just pandering to fans of moe and Kancolle, the game. However, as the show went on, it kept getting more and more boring to sit through the 20 minutes of content, as the fanservice kept being recycled and the end of an episode didn't leave me feeling any better about the franchise than when I started.
The show would have received a much lower score for its shoddy production quality alone, but being a fan of the game and the general franchise, I'll give it a generous 4/10 as there is some slight enjoyment to be had from the show if you're a fan of the game or the media craze of kancolle.
Where am I? Oh yeah I have a review to do for Winter 2015.
KanColle is based on a game adaptation by Kadokawa Games. KanColle is about a group of girls who have the spirit of battleships are on a mission to protect humanity form the abyssal fleet. I mean why can't you call it any other name rather than the generic abyssal fleet?
In fact, just like Glasslip. I can understand why people didn't like the anime.
The story has so many events going on that I barely keep track on anything. I know the concept about the WWII ships are interesting but
come on, please focus on one plot alone. The only later episodes then we see the climactic showdown between the abyssal fleet. The rest of the episodes are the girls do their own thing. Just like Glasslip where characters just do their own thing without any consequence. I thought that if there is conflict in this anime, I thought that could work.
The concept is interesting however, they fail to expand that idea beyond. They just play the easy way out by throwing in random events like the curry contest. They never explore how curry contest is part of their training programme in order to defeat the abyssal fleet.
The animation is dull. I was like watching a nearly dim show.
The opening and ending are nothing special.
The characters suffer from "Basic Economics". When I say that, I mean there are too many characters. Although I did like their determination, this anime introduces too many characters that I lost track on what I saw. Nobody is special if too many people are special.
In Economics, if there is more supply of something, the demand is less. Just like in KanColle, if there are too many characters, the value of the character development diminishes. Some anime suffered from the same problem as the characters from KanColle like for example Brothers Conflict, Kamigami no Asobi & Strike the Blood.
Not to mention the characters design, they were barely discrete.
I barely see the abyssal fleet. They only appear on the later episodes.
As I have said, if the story and characters have better execution, I thought this anime would be entertaining. However, this anime throws in too many characters, that the enjoyment level decreases. You might say "Oh! You don't like cute girls". Not true, I like cute girls. However, if you throw in too many characters, the character value will diminish. I am serious when I say this.
Diomedea took the script, shredded it up, put it in the shotgun, add a lot of characters inside it and shot it at the wall. Then we are asked to connect the dots.
This anime has few good moments, however those good moments are weighed down by the problems of this show. So sadly I have to give this anime a 4 out of 10. If you want better experience, just play the games.
Thank you, Winter 2015 for giving me another wonderful anime to review. After reviewing this anime, I will be like "What was that anime again?"
The "Mecha musume" genre of anime (Which turns WWII weaponry and vehicles into cute girls because why not) has been becoming increasingly popular within the last half-decade or so. With that being said, the idea of turning naval combat ships into adorable fap-mater...I mean waifu-material...seemed like an idea that could not possible go wrong. And so one fateful day, Kadokawa Games created a free-to-play browser game featuring over 9000 (Give or take around 8900) different ship-girls that would go on to live in the dreams of otaku everywhere. Following this explosion of moeboats, Diomedea quickly grabbed the premise of Kantai Collection and set sail toward
creating an anime adaptation, knowing that the fans of the game would be immediately "On board" for seeing their favorites ships fully animated.
Keizo Kusakawa (Dog Days/Asura Cryin') came on to direct the series which would immediately receive an influx of mixed reviews. Some viewers hated the anime because it was nothing but cute girls doing cute things. But, on the other hand, that was the exact reason that so many other viewers were praising it. So now, critics are split down the middle in deciding whether or not KanColle is worth watching. And the answer to that really depends on what you are looking to get out of it. If you came for a story, go somewhere else -- this show is most definitely not for you. BUT, if you want to watch adorable boat girls just doing their thing, then get the hell on deck.
The first episode of KanColle introduces you to Fubuki, a destroyer class ship-girl who will go on the be the main character of the series. Fubuki, unlike the other ships, is incredibly clumsy and has zero combat experience whatsoever. Tired of being the weakest of them all, Fubuki goes on to practice day and night in an attempt to not weigh down her fellow boats. After a solid mix of naval combat and fan-service scenarios, Fubuki gains many new friends who will go on to shape the experience of what Kantai Collection really is -- a fun show. But are fun and good interchangeable? That's something you must decide for yourself. But I'm sure you'll get a grip of how I feel about it after I break it up over the next few paragraphs and weigh in on each aspect of the show.
The music of KanColle is actually pretty good. The soundtrack blends traditional Japanese styles with fast-paced and dramatic rock music riddled with miniature guitar solos. The music becomes essential for expanding the atmosphere of the fight-scenes (Which there are a handful of in the show). And the music in KanColle doesn't function the same way that a lot of soundtracks do, meaning it doesn't really blend in. You can always tell that it's there, the impact is not subtle at all. This is both good and bad, considering it can also work as a distraction. One other thing though, is that when the music ISN'T playing, something seems amiss. Like the scenes are too bland without it. And unfortunately, this happens more often than you would think.
The sheer amount of characters you come across in Kantai Collection is extravagant. But that is to be expected when the game has a total of 156 playable girls (That number is still rising, by the way). Obviously, not all 156 of the girls get screen-time in the anime. But even without that, it will still be easy to choose a favorite considering how different they all are from one another. However, if you don't choose Kongou as your favorite, you obviously don't know what you're doing. Character development really isn't a factor for anyone other than Fubuki. But the thing with Fubuki is that her development seems a little rushed. Her transition from "Insanely weak and useless" to "Overpowered and unbalanced" comes along rather quickly. And even though this is a problem, it does not overshadow how delightful and varied the boatgirls in KanColle are.
I think it's safe to say that Diomedea has outdone themselves with the artwork in Kantai Collection. Out of all of the series they've done that I have had the chance to watch, this one is far superior. Character design is great and stays loyal to the source material. The enemies are dark and gloomy which contrast with the bright and vivid atmosphere of the rest of the show in a way that is basically impossible to ignore. Frankly, I was extremely impressed. When I got myself into this show I wasn't expecting anything phenomenal in the art department, but I quickly retracted those thoughts as the show progressed. HOWEVER, the one thing I really disliked as far as art went was when 3DCG was brought into the mixture. Adding dimension to the girls during floating (Or swimming? Sailing? I don't know what to call it) really took away the detail of their character just seconds prior. It created an inconsistent situation where I could love the image of a character in one scene and then go on to hate it in the next. In my opinion, the art should have just stayed 2D through the entire show.
I wouldn't go as far as saying there is no story in KanColle. I would, however, say that literally no one cares about it. Not even the writers. Everyone was just more concerned with watching all the moeboats interact with each other. And those scenes of interaction were great. But every once and a while, KanColle tried to slip some naval battle you didn't care about under the radar in an excuse to further develop Fubuki. I get what the writers were going for, but it really just didn't work. KanColle was unsuccessful in creating a story line that viewers cared about. When that happens, there really isn't much hope for its progression. The story starts to "sink" in a way. Ha. Ha ha. Anyway, like I said earlier on in the review -- if you came here for a story, you might as well go watch something else. But if you want to watch different groups of girls act all cute and funny, register for a Crunchyroll account and go check this out. You won't be let down.
The one thing I wan't to add before I finish up this review is the amount of enjoyment I got out of this show. We can sit here all day and talk about "What makes a show good". But as far as I'm concerned, enjoyment has a harder impact on that than anything else. KanColle looks great, sounds great, and a ton of laughs for anyone that is just looking to have a good time. I highly recommend it for anyone that has room left in their "Favorite characters" column on MyAnimeList.
When the anime for Kantai Collection was announced and a trailer was released, a milestone was placed for a million fans already set in place. While most were happy and excited for the adaption of the most popular casual game in Japan, people who were already familiar with anime and the tropes associated with the media were worried. This was because the production company was a relatively unknown studio, the art was vastly different from the pixiv artists that make the original character pictures, the ever infamous CGI was going to be used, and with all things that attempt to cater to too many people,
artistic liberties were likely to be protracted for a generic anime. Unfortunately, generic is exactly what Kantai Collection is and even as an original fan of the game who went in with little expectations I felt disappointed.
For those unfamiliar with the series, Kantai Collection (Or Kancolle short) is an online game about ship girls that take their designs based on World War 2 Japanese naval war vessels. Destroyers, battleships, aircraft carriers, you name it. Heavily reliant on moe and the popular concept of girls with war machines (Like Strike Witches and Girls und Panzer), it has become arguably the most popular game in Japan and even parts of Asia not only for otakus but for the casual people as well. The girls fight monstrous demons that rise from the ocean... And well, that's about it for the plot and setting. Not much information on the world is really given and the different sources like the manga and light novels are not official.
This is perhaps the biggest problem with the Kancolle anime. Perhaps in order to stay faithful to the game, no real world exploration, setting, or story is set in place. It isn't exaggeration to say the plot of Kancolle is literally just naval fleet girls fighting against monsters with added slice of life in the mix. There is no explanation for how the girls “inherit” the souls of World War 2 ships, no exposition on the current state of the world, no details on what humanity is doing and why they have to rely on the girls, no details on how the Abyssals work. The show blatantly just puts out “it's just how it is” and ends the plotline there. And sadly all of this lacking information makes the Kancolle anime feel that it is devoid of substance and leaves many questions unanswered not only for the fans of the original game but for newcomers as well.
This may have not been so bad if the presentation of the show was well done (As sometimes leaving the audience to their imaginations can be entertaining) but the show simply isn’t. It starts off with the inexperienced girl Fubuki who joins a naval base and slowly pushes herself to become better and be accepted as a regular fleet girl. She makes comrades, goes through training montages, and becomes one of the top fleet girls through hard work and determination. Sound familiar already? It should be as this type of story has been done an exuberant amount times before in anime (especially shounen) and any other type of media really. The plot and script follows a terribly formulaic procedure that is it almost insultingly lazy. And sadly as the episodes drag on they become more and more predictable for any anime veteran that has seen the tired recycled tropes that Kancolle constantly uses.
With respect to spoilers, there is a particular early episode in the series that attempts a terrible gimmick to grab the interest of the audience (You will know when you see it). It is perhaps one of the worst written, predictable, and incredibly asinine things to have been done in anime and even the most hardcore fans are likely to be put off by it. Sadly, most of the episodes fail to improve where a chunk of the time is spent on low-tier generic dialogue, fan joke “inside” comedy memes, and then a few terrible build-up of melodrama that’s more cringey than B- movies.
I do by no means hate slice of life, Kancolle just does a terrible job at it as it is filled with a main cast of girls who are uninteresting, boring, and unappealing, arguably even for the fans of the game, and the interactions they have with one another are incredibly bland. When the girls aren’t spouting lines from the online game, they are droning on endlessly about the food they just ate, how nice looking someone’s room is, or regurgitating repeatedly and unnecessarily about the mission they are undertaking. The writing feels as though the script maker and director wanted to waste time and fulfill their 20-minute-a-episode quota rather than try to make enjoyable interactions. The main cast is dull, the side characters are dull, the script is dull, and the anime constantly reuses the same jokes over and over again as cumbersome service to the game fans. The sad part is that the anime should be a platform to better develop the girls from the game and give a wider outlook to the depth of characters, but you would find more characterization and details in to personalities looking at a fleet girl’s Wikipedia page than the entirety of this anime.
In regards to other production values, the battles are all done in CGI which for the most part look fairly fine and is actually done well, at least when you can ignore the awkward looking faces and the strangely placed transition between drawn scenes and CGI that happen from time to time. When the girls are fighting the CGI is acceptable, but tends to look horrible when the girls are talking and out of the battle transitions. Those who detest CGI in their anime best stay away. While the first few episodes are interesting to see exactly how the water-skating fleet girls fight, especially the first episode that shows a beautiful amount of details and work, the future battles are sadly not the same. Do not be misled by the first episode’s battle; past the opening episode the battles become mundane with generic looking enemies and lazily-made shooting sequences that fail to make full potential naval warfare can have.
The art itself is mediocre at best and fans may notice a rather drop in quality of their favorite girls (Which may not be entirely blamed on the production company as the online game pictures use various different pixiv artists). There is a number of musical scores within the anime that are soundly produced and pleasing to the ears, and some of the pieces do well to convey the emotions of a scene where the bad script of Kancolle fail. There is a plethora of good voice actors like Nao Touyama and Yuka Iguchi as those who are familiar with the game may know. Unfortunately, the musical ensemble and voices are the best praise this show can receive.
Overall, Kantai Collection is everything that is to be expected for good or bad. It's a below average generic show with mediocre writing mostly due to the fact that the producers and director of the show have to cater to an existing fanbas. It is a show that refuses, or is forced not to break out of the mold for any bit of artistic integrity and originality. There are a number of definite fanservice that only the game fans may appreciate; but they are so awkwardly placed within the frame of the anime they feel asinine rather than anything clever and certainly fail to aid new people to the franchise understand Kancolle. With gimmicky writing and no sound source to draw from besides the game which already lacks information on the setting, Kantai Collection simply cannot pass that line to be exceptional or anything ground breaking. It's not a show that I could recommend to someone who isn't a fan of the game or for those that have already watched a lot of anime and can easily predict how the show will proceed. For those who are fans I can only say keep your standards low and expect the expected.
TL;DR: At face value, it's a cute girls doing cute things show that combines Japanese otaku's two favourite fetishes: high school girls & military hardware. However, as the series progresses, it seems that Kancolle is not only meant as harmless fetish porn, but is in fact an attempt to deal with Japan's demons over their defeat in World War Two by having cute girls dress up as boats & literally blowing those demons up. For all its ham-fisted handling of the subject matter, it's good for a laugh, albeit in a “if you can't laugh, what can you do?” kind of way.
Anyone who follows international
news may have seen Japan put its foot in it, so to speak, when it comes to its approach to remembering World War Two. Be it angering South Korea when government figures call for the retraction of Japan's recognition of “comfort women” as being sex slaves, or Prime Minister Abe angering everyone when he very publicly paid his respects at Yakasumi shrine, it seems that Japan, or at least a sizeable proportion of its population, continues to struggle with how to conceptualise & remember this period in history, or how the echoes of it continue to reverberate in South-East Asian & world politics today.
This might seem an odd way to start a review of Kancolle (not to mention being simplistic to the point of offensive), an adaptation of a popular pay2win game where cute girls dress up as warships from the Imperial Japanese Navy to fight demons. Well, strictly speaking they posses the spirits of said warships, but it amounts to the same thing. Our protagonist, Fubuki, is the new girl at the all girls scho...navel base where they train to fight the mysterious demons from across the seas. As you'd expect, Fubuki is high on determination & resolve but low on talent or skill, the bulk of the series being about her gradual rise from being barely able to float to becoming the most important battle boat in the babefleet. In addition to her, we have a vast ensemble of other girls whose one dimensional character types loosely match with the ships they represent (the pirate lolis are destroyers, the elegant seniors are carriers etc etc). Much like Girlfriend BETA, the cast is so large that really you can't even try to remember who they all are, or why what they're doing is supposed to matter. (note that from this point things will be discussed that may be considered spoilers)
A lot of Kancolle looks & feels cobbled together from other cute girls shows. There are girls who make animal noises because moe. There's a girl with random mascot creature companions because every show has to have mascots. The bigger ship girls love eating mountains of food because otaku love busty girls with big appetites. There's a random cooking episode in the middle of the series because why wouldn't there be (no points for guessing that they cook curry). There's yuri undertones all over the place & Fubuki has a serious “notice me, senpai” girl crush on fleet carrier Akagi because of course she does. Even the more serious sides to Kancolle feel like they're just going through the motions. A mentor character dies in episode three because a mentor character always dies/disappears to mark the end of Act 1, only in this case you'd only really know her to be that type of character if you know the history of the ship, since her on screen time is negligible. Even the ending, which is ultimately a we'll fight to change our fate showdown, feels like it could have been taken from almost any other action based anime out there.
However, draped around all this generic storytelling & characters is something that becomes increasingly uncomfortable viewing as the show moves towards its climax. As already said, all the girls in the babefleet posses the spirit of an actual IJN warship from World War Two. Indeed, while the plot progresses in a pretty standard way, Kancolle does make an effort to ensure that when things happen to specific girls, it mirrors in some way the actual events their warship counterpart were involved in. Why is this problematic? Well once you see Kancolle as in effect a re-enactment of the Pacific War with cute girls, their demonic enemies can only been seen as the US navy (& possibly also the Royal navy, though less explicitly). Indeed, the final battle is an unapologetic re-imagining of the Battle of Midway, complete with a demon carrier that is easily interpreted as a stand in for the USS Yorktown, where the Japanese win. It's made even more questionable by the preceding event having been a surprise attack by the demons on their main navel base, as though it's not enough to imagine winning at Midway but they had to be the victims of Pearl Harbour too.
If this had been a German movie re-imagining the Battle of Stalingrad as a glorious Nazi victory, or an American one re-imagining Gettysburg as a heroic victory for the Confederacy, one might imagine it would piss people off a bit. Yes, you can say it's only fiction, & Kancolle is certainly making sure to look as fantasy as possible. But the moment you combine fiction with real events you are in effect expressing a view on those events, & Kancolle's seems to be that its audience should not only be proud of their wartime military but in fact celebrate the military aggression it was involved in, presenting the whole thing as in fact a defensive war against a demonic foreign power that couldn't be reasoned or negotiated with.
When looked at in it's current day context, Kancolle ties in with both pressure from the Japanese right on the government (including from some of its own members) to revise what they see as a defeatist & emasculating view of Japan's wartime past & the increasingly bellicose calls for re-militarisation of the Japanese armed forces, including the right to expand the Japanese navy, under the mantra of “collective self-defence.” Yes, you can say it's just a niche late night fanservice anime that hardly anyone watches & seeing it as anything more is just over thinking, but I disagree. For one, cultural products are not created in a vacuum, & at the very least Kancolle depicts the views the creators &, one assumes, their target audience hold. There are no neutral observers of history & Kancolle choosing to depict its version of history in the way that it does is no accident. It might hide its ideas behind more obvious fan service, but they're still there & they're clearly not meant to be ignored by the audience, even though you can always choose to do so.
On the subject of fan service, Kancolle is, as you'd probably expect, riddled with it (I'm aware this is a rather awkward tonal shift, from discussing history to boob grabs, but bare with me). When I first heard of Kancolle, I thought it would be more like Girlz und Panzer, in that it would be about actual warships crewed by high school girls. The reality is something much more laughable, as the girls instead transform into weaponised versions of themselves Nobunagun style. I don't know why it was considered good character design, but what this amounts to is girls in high school uniforms, on jet skis, with scale model parts of their ship class stuck to their clothes. It does work to a degree with the carriers, which are depicted as archers whose arrows turn into aircraft upon firing, but for all the others it just looks stupid. Of course, it allows for the girls to strike lots of cliché & titillating body poses while firing, so I guess if your fetish is girls wearing bits of boat, it's got you covered.
It's ultimate form of fan service, however, comes in the shape of the mysterious admiral. In case you were wondering if there are any male characters in Kancolle, there is one. You never see more than his shadow, but he is always there, always with the right plan for victory. All the girls worship him & Fubuki outright loves him, with one out of nowhere dream sequence involving her in a white dress, confessing while looking straight into the camera. Who is this mysterious, genius Lothario, you ask? Well that's simple: he's you*. You, the (presumed male) viewer &/or player who fantasise as is always assumed in cute girl shows that everything the cast do, they do for & because of you. You're awesome, guy watching a cartoon about 13-18 year old girls in revealing clothes, striking sexy poses while playing with phallic military hardware when they're not playing with each other. Shine on you crazy diamond. (at this point the reviewer caught his reflection in the monitor & cried)
*One could also read the faceless admiral as Kancolle's way of getting around depicting Admiral Yamamoto, the actual mastermind behind the Battle of Midway & someone whose actual depiction in a otaku pandering show like Kancolle would have probably caused the producers far more of a headache than it would be worth.
Kancolle, then, is a fairly standard action anime with cute girls that does manage to distinguish itself, but ultimately in all the wrong ways. Viewed purely as a TV show, stripped of all context or implication behind its subject, it's not bad but at the same time it makes it very obvious that it is doing everything it can to pander to it's intended audience to the point of obnoxiousness. In a broader context, it is an uncomfortable example of Japan's continued struggle to come to terms with it's role in World War Two or how that role continues to shape the opinions of Japan held by other countries. Hayao Miyazaki said of making “The Wind Rises” that he felt torn between viewing Japan's military aggression as having been foolish but taking pride in the Zero as a machine & the bravery of the pilots that flew it. Kancolle lacks such a conflicted view, & either by intention or an accidental by-product of poor writing presents a counter-factual version of history where Japan was both victim & victor. It'll take more than a wide eyed girl in a short skirt to make me agree with that.
(This has been adapted from my reddit thread. Spoilers ahead!)
In an anime like KanColle, with all of its ships, all of its "moe," and all of its torpedoes, there actually exists something that the audience can relate to. And that is the idea of support. Everyone needs help, from the student looking to get tutored for the next exam to the adult wanting to learn how to use the computer. We almost can't get through our daily lives without someone, in some form, providing some kind of aid in our direction. And receiving such support can often times be both a rewarding and eye-opening experience.
follows young Fubuki, an up-and-coming Destroyer Class ship looking to do what she can in a war that involves her, her friends, and her beloved Admiral.
KanColle is a show that only anime could tackle; essentially, all of the girls from Kaga to Naka are anthropomorphized navy vessels, having turned from venerable war machines into really cute girls. While technically a "Military" genre anime, the show is mostly a slice-of-life offering, aiming to showcase the girls at various points in their training, lives, and careers as battle cruisers. And for the most part, the anime is able to pull this off. One tactic used to accomplish this goal is by divvying up the screen time for the majority of its cast. While Fubuki garners the most limelight, the show often times splits characters into respective groups, and even occasionally changing said groups up. In this way, the anime gives the audience the chance to watch their favorite ship do everyday things, from bathing, to eating, and even cooking. Another tactic is in the very nature of a militarized zone: each girl is relegated to specific tasks. While the majority of the girls are designed for battle -- Akagi, Kongou, and Yuudachi come to mind -- some are designed for other, more nuanced tasks. For example, Nagato is the overall leader, Yamato has her own "hotel," and Hibiki is used for collection. By separating the ships into further, more specific roles, when the anime naturally transitions from one location to the next, so do the characters involved.
The slice-of-life antics only make up about half of the anime; the other half moves into the aforementioned military facet. Here, the various girls actually start to be the very war vessels they actually are. It's at this point the show really begins to suffer. KanColle would like these battles to have any significant meaning attached to them, but sadly there isn't any to be had. While a wide range of girls receive attention, the amount isn't enough to constitute a connection deep enough to warrant their predicaments worthy of drama. Instead, it feels lacking, forced even, that the girls are placed within these situations. And such a feeling also comes from the purpose of the battles themselves; the victory never does anything. They may fight for an island or protect a strategic location, but the outcomes of the fights are always the same: win, go back to base, and wait for the next skirmish.
Among the cuteness and firepower, KanColle does at least attempt to have some sort of thematic presence throughout its run. "Attempt" is the operative word, because the show somewhat fails at doing so. It sticks to the general and tired themes that most cute anime strive for: dealing with hardship, learning to accept others, and fighting against destiny. Nice little motifs, and certainly insights that one can take to heart, but none are looked at extremely seriously and only there for the structure of the anime. Think of the themes as a stack of paper; one piece is pulled from the stack and used to hold the show up. But since it's just one piece of paper, it breaks under the weight it is holding. Yet before it falls, it is held up by the next piece of paper -- the next theme -- only for the process to continue repeating indefinitely. It's not until the entire stack is placed underneath that the anime is prevented from falling. This interconnected support is literally just that: a theme of support. For while each individual, fun message is fine, what they all have in common is this idea of supporting one another, no matter the circumstance. And that's something that is not only consistent throughout the anime, but makes sense in context; whatever kind of military it is, supporting each other is the number one goal.
KanColle is a mixed bag when it comes to its art and its animation.
The art for the show can actually be quite nice at times, but it largely depends on location. When the girls are at home base, the track field, mess hall, and dorms may not be detailed exquisitely but it still looks rather pretty. Yet, just like the move from slice-of-life to military, when the girls move onto the water, all of that art disappears. It's replaced with a lot of sky and ocean, with such a replacement losing any flair the show may have generated.
The character designs for each of the ships are nicely done. The girls are given unique outfits depending on the character -- Yamato has her umbrella, Shimikaze has her bunny ears, and Atago has her blue pilot's outfit, to name a few. Furthermore, they each have their own, specialized weaponry to go along with their persons. Depending on the class and the size of the girl, their cannons match accordingly.
When it comes to actual animation, it's a bit of a toss-up. When the girls are on their missions, the use of CG isn't too jarring, but the use of their weapons and the maneuvers they pull off aren't anything extraneous. It's usually them standing still, one arm out, and a bunch of smoke that covers the screen. When they're not out on the water, their casual conversations and simple motions are still of the same complexity; quite average.
KanColle contains quite the large cast. The majority of the characters don't see significant progress, but here it's prudent to take a look at three of the most important from the show: Fubuki, Yamato, and Mutsuki.
Taking the lead, Fubuki is the average main character. She's kind and intelligent, but it's obvious that her skills are far lower than the others in the troupe. She struggles and fights to earn her place among their ranks, wanting to prove to herself and to everyone that she is capable of being the Destroyer that she is. This drive, this incessant need to be more than she is, is what the Admiral sees in her that the rest cannot. It's not so much that she has the largest guns, or can fire the biggest torpedoes, or has the greatest accuracy. What she provides is something intangible, something that not a lot of people immediately have. And that's courage. The courage to train from morning to night without rest. The courage to face your faults, to fix your mistakes. The courage to take a chance rather than holding back. And in this way, her fortitude gives her not only the ability to lead those around her but also support the very ships she calls friends. So while she may be the stereotypical hero, her exemplification of the underlying theme of the anime marks her as at least being slightly more than generic.
In a stranger position is Yamato. Her enormous firepower makes her the fleet's secret weapon. But because of this, she's kept hidden away, unused in battle and forced to toil on an island that rarely gets visitors. She feels both lonely and worthless for these reasons, which, in a rather interesting way, makes her Fubuki's previous self. For Fubuki was in the exact same position; on the outside looking in and not being able to work with the girls she had come to respect. And so Yamato learns from Fubuki. She sees her determination, drive, and dedication at doing whatever it takes to fix the situation at hand. This instills in Yamato her own sense of purpose; that while she may be constrained to a more unique role, that doesn't mean she isn't valuable in some form. Thus Yamato gains her own kind of courage, showing up when the going got tough and proving to the girls and to the audience that everyone has a purpose.
Perhaps the strangest of the ships, though, is Mutsuki. She's overtly sweet, always shouting niceties and aiding the friends around her. What's interesting is that she is rarely seen in battle; she makes a few appearances, but her prominence is her location outside of it. And that is usually in a flower field, near a shrine, or at the pier, where she is most often found believing in the aptitude of the ships at sea. She's not particularly noteworthy for her battle prowess, nor is she famous for being one of the cuter girls. In a way, she acts the most human, praying, wishing, and wanting the girls to perform to the best of their abilities, cheering from the sidelines rather than being the very vessel she is known to be. She experiences difficult times -- the loss of the girl she looks up to -- which tests her will, but, in true Fubuki fashion, Fubuki gives Mutsuki the courage necessary to continue believing in the ships around her. For nobody goes through life without problems, thus making how you deal with those issues to be the most important lesson.
The OP contains quite the strong singer, whose vocal power carries the entire track from start to finish. The hard guitar and drum beat work nicely in unison, and help to support the vocalist throughout. The lyrics and tune can be catchy at certain points, though it is still an overall alright piece.
Once again, the singer takes center stage in the ED. Although here, it features something weird: fast, catchy lyrics. The song is at first not that good of a listen, but after hearing it a few times, one gets used to the guitar, chimes, and quick singing, making the piece the stronger of the two.
The soundtrack often fits the mood for the show, depending on whether it is partaking in the slice-of-life or military genres it falls under. The former usually uses piano and violins for those everyday sounds, and a single-drum for that training feel. The military aspects, in contrast, incorporate orchestral music for a more resounding vibe. Trumpets and violins work overtime during these scenarios, making the fights gain a heightened feeling of importance. Also of note are the cannon, gunfire, and ocean sound effects that give the battles further realism.
As for voice acting, those involved give above-average performances. Special shout-outs are in order for Ayane Sakura for voicing what seems to be half of the cast and Yuni Tanibe for her signature "Poi!"
When it comes to anime, I'm a fan of cuteness. And while not all of the girls were fun to watch on screen, some were quite entertaining to see. My favorites from the show were Yamato and Nagato for their attractiveness, while Oochi and Kitakami's relationship nearly always got me to laugh or smile. On the other hand, though, I despised Mutsuki. Just the combination of her voice and her extreme sweetness had me wanting her to leave the screen as quickly as she appeared.
That's pretty much it in terms of enjoyment. The rest of the girls are alright, and there can be some cute moments here and there, but there is nothing entirely memorable. The actual battles, watching the girls at sea fighting against the enemy, were where the anime really began to lag. Instead of seeing the "cute girls being cute," I was instead treated to warfare that wasn't all that impressive or fun to watch. A lot of screaming, a lot of explosions, but zero adorableness.
As an anime, KanColle does what it set out to do. Its average story and characters are backed by a good amount of cuteness and some interesting sound work, making the whole package an alright experience. At the end of the day, though, there isn't much more to it than that.
Kantai Collection or KanColle is an anime adaptation of a hit web browser game. I haven't played the game or seen it. But what I did see before this anime came were pictures, lots and lots of pictures of girls with guns. Not just any guns, torpedoes, missiles, cannons and what not. And of course, I was intrigued as to whether this game would ever become an anime. When the anime was announced, I put it at the top of my list since I wanted to see what awesome action we would get.
The series started off good, it didn't give as much action as I
thought but the animation and art was splendid except for the CGI part (no one likes CGI). But still, this anime was really good and as a slice of life, military, action style anime, it does a good job.
Low score because there isn't much of a story. It's just girls who are ships fighting abyssals or enemy ships/girls. The whole anime surrounds Fubuki, a Destroyer ship who joins the Naval District. She makes friends, trains to become stronger and has senpai's she looks up to. That's the slice of life part. For those who think this is gonna be a dark type war with blood, gore, deaths and some psychological stuff, don't be mistaken. The war barely puts a dent in the happy atmosphere that surrounds the series. Yeah, they do go fighting but that's all there is. The effects of the battle wear off as soon as they return and live like normal girls going to class etcetera etcetera.
Though near the end of the series, stuff gets a bit serious and the war takes a higher importance than the slice of life.
Aside from the CGI, the artwork was pretty amazing. Each and every character is awesomely designed. I've seen artworks all over the internet but I think this anime did a pretty good job in the art department. I couldn't find a single character that I can say has a bad design. As for the abyssals, only some have a humanish figure whereas the others are just fish type things with cannons.
The backgrounds are also really pleasing. So don't worry about the animation in this anime. But you'll have to make it through the battles which mostly take place with CGI which I do not understand why they did.
The opening "Miiro" is epic. Loved this song. Good enough to download and listen to all the time.
The ending "Fubuki" is also good. Rarely have I seen anime having great opening and endings. The sound gets a 10/10.
There are different types of ship in the navy. Each having it's own abilities, arsenal and tasks. The same is with KanColle. Each girl has a different ship to her. Some are Destroyers, carriers, battleships etc. But they are not alone. In the Naval District, there are tons of Destroyers, carriers and other ships. Each having her own duty. Some are teachers, some manage the district while others study, train and go into battle.
Aside from their roles as ships, they are like any other character from an anime. Just think of the girls as from a school slice of life anime. Friends, rivals, senpais and teachers. That's how the characters are. And each has her own unique personality to contribute to the show.
Our main lead, Fubuki is a hardworking girl who doesn't know much at first, but trains to become stronger. Alongside her, are her friends who also take part in training and who worry for her when she gets in trouble or gets injured. Fubuki and her friends are sort of like the first years of a school.
Then come the seniors. Veterans in warfare and having amazing skills, they are the senpais everyone looks up to. Of course, rivalries exist and some grudges too but not so much to spoil the warm atmosphere the Naval District has.
I don't know how can one not enjoy this series (aside from the CGI parts). You've got some fillers to lighten up the mood and your average slice of life just to give this military anime a warm feeling. When the battles start, stuff gets intense, with planes flying around, cannons firing, ships sinking. But like any other slice of life anime, KanColle tends not to kill off many girls even though it is a war.
The mechanics of the anime are figured out as it progresses. As I didn't play the game, it took some time for me to know how these girls are ships and why the rest or eat as they do.
It's a good anime. A really good anime for this season. If you've seen pics of any KanColle characters on the net, I'm sure you would want to see this anime too and go ahead, it's worth it. And the best thing is that it's getting a sequel. So many new characters yet to see in action.
Don't take my score rating at face value. Kancolle (the anime) is a mesh of conflicts which makes it difficult to rate, also because of its target audience.
The anime, before it aired, was announced to be crafted to exhibit a slice-of-life/battle ratio of 70%/30%, and that is where the problem lies. The anime basically hands you a platter of samples from the Kancolle universe but doesn't quite put in the effort to ensure that each sample is well crafted and fully developed.
Let us start with the slice-of-life part first. Here's a warning to those who don't play the game: You won't get much of it
at all. Most of the slice-of-life humour and interesting points stem from puns (like the Curry Operation) from the game and real history, to the characters' personalities which are well-exhibited in the game. Even for people who play the game, unless you know your waifus well (i.e. you understand the Japanese lines they say), you will also not be able to catch much. The scripts have the game's lines well weaved in in most parts, and almost every other line you hear will be either an exact or slightly modified line from the game. To fans, this is probably the most appealing part, because it brings out the personalities of each shipgirl and makes them come alive. Some people might dislike the overuse of in-game lines, but I'd say it's most of the time done quite appropriately, and is likely the best way to show the character's personality that we're familiar with.
Bonuses are included as well. "Unexpected" character behaviours like Nagato (aka Nagamon) and Zui-Kaga are included too, which are based off the fanfics. Good effort! Apart from that, the slice-of-life plot, is typical: entertaining, relaxing, and nothing much happens. Well done!
The battle scenes are on the whole not too bad, apart from the awkward CGI here and there (and my friend spotted a single frame render error as well). Problem is, it's split as well. About half the battles, mostly at the beginning of the anime, are pretty exciting and nice to watch (they feature the fairies in the planes too!), but then after that it falls stale towards the later part of the anime. By the time you get to the end, it's really nothing new, apart from just more and more ships getting involved and starts to feel cheesy. The battle scenes are the part of the anime which doesn't really require you to know the game since the game battles are not very similar, but it doesn't impress both audiences, which is a shame.
Drama in the show is also very awkward. There are some heartfelt scenes, and I must say I thought the anime (hint of a very slight spoiler here) was going to build up nicely from about ep 3 and ep 4, but it doesn't. The drama doesn't flow from one episode to another well, if any at all. While that's not a problem for slice-of-life, the writers decided to (try to) inject lots of seriousness in certain places, and because it just fizzles out by the next episode without a hint to its previous existence, the whole thing feels contrived.
Character development is practically zilch, except for the main character, Fubuki, who gets a bit. But I can understand that because it wants to stay true to the game, the characters can't change much. Also, some personalities (like Kongou) are based off the history of the ship itself, and so can't be changed much. With such a wide cast of characters, you'd be hard pressed to find enough time (for the slice-of-life segments) or impact (for battle and drama scenes) to develop any character in particular.
So on the whole, the anime is just very awkward because all the elements cancel each other out. You get heavy scenes of drama and battles only to be totally forgotten by light-hearted ones later as though none of that happened. They are not particularly well executed either.
OP and ED of the anime is great, and I think, if it was more focused on battles, these songs would fit it very well.
To conclude, you'd have to be in to this show for the characters to enjoy it, I'd say, and thus, you'd need to know the characters WELL either by seeing lots of fanfic or playing the game (or both!), otherwise the good parts will just fly past you leaving you with only the bad parts, which is likely why there's a whole lot of people bashing the show. Please be aware of that if you're taking up this series!
PS: I gave it a 7/10 because the 70% slice-of-life part was basically done right.
What’s the best way to describe Kantai Collection? A series based on a browser game with cute fleet girls doing badass things? Or perhaps a series about military warfare with a taste of delicious curry? Regardless of how Kantai Collection should be, the series should be viewed forefront about fleet girls. In essence, Kantai Collection crafts its premise based on a set of characters in a fictional world with historical references. But unfortunately, this show runs like an engine with crude oil and it’s not very impressive to say the least.
It’s not always easy to adapt an anime based off a game. There are
certain set of principles to follow and not everyone will usually be satisfied to get what they want. Luckily, Kantai Collection is pretty straightforward with a rather non-linear storyline. That’s right. The series may seem complicated with all these characters but the story itself is fairly simple. We follow the footsteps of Fubuki as she enlists herself as a naval destroyer at a naval base. With limited combat experience, she is assigned to the Third Torpedo Squadron. We also quickly learn that the series details events related to warfare pitting the fleet girls against a mysterious enemy known as the “Abyss”. Taken for granted, the series should feel less refreshing but more so to adapt with what it has to offer. Any fan of military fiction may feel at home with this premise.
But to start from the beginning, one should realize that the original source is a browser game made by developed by Kadokawa Games and hosted at DMM. With fairly simple gameplay mechanics and appeal, the series quickly gained popularity that now has over 2 million registered accounts in Japan. In fact, numerous adaptations of the game has been spawned that includes light novels, manga, and of course anime. So starting from here, one could say that taking on the footsteps of Fubuki is like becoming a new kid at school. The first day isn’t easy as we quickly find out that she lacks military experience. This is evidenced by her lack of ability to glide on water as a fleet girl. Fortunately enough, she receives plenty of support from her friends and in no time becomes accustomed to fighting. The first few episodes show the general premise and style of the show. We are introduced to prominent characters such as Fubuki’s friends – Mutsuki and Yudachi. Then, there are others from various squads including Kongou, Yayoi, Akatsuki with her Sixth Destroyer Division, Shimakaze, Akagi, Kaga, Nagato, among others. Then, there’s also the mysterious admiral who operates behind the scenes to direct these girls to fight in war. Director Keizo Kusakawa puts his skills at work and to say the least, his resume doesn’t look too impressive in terms of content. His most recent work includes directing another series from the Winter Season (Unlimited Fafnir) also with fictional war-like themes. The funny thing is that both of these shows are made of up a large female cast while his previous involvement follows a similar pattern.
War itself can be a hard word to swallow. What that means is that pain and death is inevitable. Kantai Collection is no exception when it comes to fleet girls being destroyed. Earlier on in the show, one of them is lost against the Abyss that strikes a painful scar in Fubuki’s heart as she realizes the grim reality. And this shouldn’t be a surprise either given the historical content. Anyone who is knowledgeable about historical reference should already be familiar with the context of the show and the ships. After all, the fleet girls are based off of these ships such as destroyers, carriers, battleships, light and heavy cruisers. In retrospect, Kantai Collection crafts elements of surprises on occasions when we realize that not everyone will survive the war for newer fans.
A show like this also has an over-sized cast. It’s noticeable that not everyone will get enough screen time. However, the show does present a lot of chemistry with the characters. The key word perhaps here is personality because every character in the show has one. None of them behave like robots as part of some army. In fact, there are even feuds that builds up from little quirks with certain members of a squadron. On an individual basis though, each character portrays themselves on a unique scale. Take Fubuki for example. She comes off as a timid girl but builds confidence as the series progresses and fights alongside her friends. Kongou can be easily seen as the happy outgoing girl who has a heart of gold. Then, there’s Akagi who seems to play an older sister type of character and role model for the younger fleet girls. With a variety of these personalities, you can familiarize yourself to see how they work with the show. Take for granted, each character is assigned with a role as well but teamwork always play a key part to a mission’s success. While it is cleverly crafted, there are also some grim moments to heighten the awareness of the story. Unfortunately, the show also reassigns itself on many episodes with a slice of life tone. What weathers down the show is the balance of the pacing when we sometimes get episodes that just features ‘cute fleet girls doing cute things’. Part of that includes curry contests, beach episodes, and bath scenes. (which serves more purpose than just pure fan service) Combine that with some diehard comedy and you’ll Kantai Collection served with unconventional fun. In retrospect, it’ll take patience to adapt with shows like this and if the style isn’t your type of thing, then satisfaction will not likely be guaranteed for you.
Animation can also be a mixed bag at first. The usage of CGI and modifications of the character designs serves as a pivotal factor to craft the basis of this series’ artwork. There’s a variety of characters so each of them must be well designed to fit with their personality. I can say with confidence that the character design did its job to portray the personalities and traits of each fleet girl. But the main course of the artwork comes with the action. The choreography has a charismatic thrill to it but only shines when you appreciate what it’s trying to do. In general, the battles has high caliber amount of action with a genuine attempt to adapt the reality of war. However, be aware that the action itself will feel repetitive as every battle has more or less of the amphibian nature of naval warfare. To cap it off, there’s also bits of fan service. What did you expect? The show is entirely made of female characters so a bit of skin here and there shouldn’t be a surprise; even with some subtle yuri-undertone on occasions. Yes, I’m looking at you Mochizuki.
As for soundtrack, it’s mildly entertaining. The attractive OP and ED songs gives off a graceful feeling of energy. In particular, the ED theme song has tune that resembles a naval-like anthem for Fubuki and the others. But on a lesser appeal, the show’s OST is hardly noticeable. The only time they truly shine is perhaps during emotional scenes and the action sequences. Their purpose is to draw out the attention that get the audience to feel how it’s like being part of story. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always work and in most cases can be easily forgotten. Another main noticeable part is the voice mannerism. Each one of them must fit well to bring the fleet girls to life. I do give credit to that being adapted with efficiency in regards to the majority of the cast. In particular, Kongou brings lots of energy into the show with her hyper activeness and broken English. Yudachi and her signature “Poi” can also be noticeable too. The long story short version is that every character has a matching voice to meet their needs.
The roots of Kantai Collection may intimidating to realize but the show itself is actually more of mindless fun anime than anything else. Despite the amount of military context portrayed, there’s a balance of slice of life indulged with the comedy of each episode. The large cast of characters will be hard to get used to and honestly, it should be painfully obvious to accept that not all of them will get enough screen time. To accept this show though, I think that keeping a keen interest in what it has to offer may be the best way to go. A problem can develop when the show’s story squanders around and behaves wildly at times and then running like gentle air the next. Kantai Collection runs its engines to deliver fun entertainment so you’ll have to accept it or not.
Kantai freaking Collection. How does it feel trying to find your best ship in the anime? How does it feel to be sucked in a world with moe anthropomorphic boat characters doing boat stuff? Well, I hope you managed to enjoy yourself watching the anime. However, there have been mixed opinions about this anime throughout and after its airing. Although many, whether they played the game or not, have actually enjoyed the anime, others are disappointed over the story’s direction. Indeed, there are a number of flaws in the story which I feel that need to be addressed.
Fubuki is the protagonist of the anime who
brought herself to the naval district. There was not any clear goal she had until she tried out her first battle with her fleet that she wanted to be stronger and be with Akagi’s fleet. Yes, this is all in the first episode of KanColle. From then on, we see not only the progress of Fubuki’s goal but as well as a ton of ships interacting one another and living their normal lives in the naval district. But danger looms in these girls’ eyes and they have to face their worst.
Firstly, I feel that this anime is unfortunately not geared towards a group of audience who do not play the game. The anime contained humour mostly known for those who played game and knew more about the ships through many sources, whether official or not. To be honest, having watched the anime, I learnt a lot of such humour, and I was amazed by how the fans reacted to them through Twitter. I do not know if many who never played the game will understand the humour, but I think they will just pass it off. Speaking of humour, most of the time they are funny and cute. At least you are given some moe time in the anime.
The major problem of the anime is the lack of setting details. I know that there are two sides fighting each other, the Kanmusu and the Abyssal, but what are they fighting for? Land? Resources? What are Abyssal? The story basically lacked about what the girls are fighting against. Also, the timeline can be confusing. I think that the timeline is based on a modern year, however the fighting between the two sides are loosely based on the sea battles during World War II, which the Imperial Japanese Navy fought against the United States Navy. I really hoped the writers can expand this whole event in detail so it can be a lot more understanding. The anime has a lot of potential throughout then which blew all away.
Inconsistent pacing can be another problem in the story. Many complained for rushed scenes, especially towards the ending. Sometimes the battles felt rushed because something terrible happened, and things need to be taken cared of. Also, I do not really like how the composition plays within the story. At one moment, you see girls having a lot of fun, then later enemies fly past and a few them might have gotten themselves in trouble. The mood gets ruined and there is just too much emotions running at once.
Many have tried predicting the story through major events in World War II, however the writers pretty much ‘baited’ a lot of people into seeing who dies in the anime. Many passed it off as a one-time thing, but another bunch think otherwise. Anyway, the whole World War II was just a loose adaptation. Strategic plans in the anime are okay, although the faults lie on the ships’ decision.
Adaptation-wise, I would say it did not work out well. However because of the limitations the game has, it cannot be helped but to break them. It’s not really a big issue but it can certainly be frustrating for some people who watched the anime and tries the game afterwards only to know that they can’t do certain functions.
You should know that Kantai Collection has a massive collection of ships that takes their names and abilities from past-time Japanese warships. Hence, the anime has a very huge cast of ships. Apart from Fubuki, there are focal characters as well from episode to episode. Of course, with a large cast, this means it is hard to know all the ships, especially for people who never played the game yet. I know most of them, which is a relief.
Fubuki, being the protagonist of the story, has a nice steady character development that managed to get the goal she wanted. Throughout her stay in the naval district, she learns a lot from various ships who support her into becoming strong. Despite being moody at times, as well as saving whoever’s life on stake and getting herself in trouble instead, I think she is a nice character to watch. Indeed, she has grown stronger from start to end.
Not much character development I see in all ships but Fubuki. Some of them drive Fubuki’s development, while the rest are just for the character interactions. I feel that some of the characters should have a more detailed background story which probably make the story more interesting. Also, there are a very few characters that just show up for something without any depth.
I have to be honest here but I really do not like the admiral (many fans call him teitoku) in this anime. He does not get a physical appearance and also his actions are just merely bad or confusing. It is just bland.
Being one of four Diomedea’s anime that aired this season, budget can be a main concern. But looking at this anime, I must say that I am impressed by how it looks as compared to its other anime. But this does not mean the animation is outstanding. As per normal, there are nice sceneries to look at. I like to see how the sceneries matches the mood of the scenes, for example during most of the battles, there is a stormy atmosphere on top. The character designs follow mostly as how it looked like in the game, since the game have different designers working on different cards, at least this anime is standard. It is cool how they don their own equipments, although one can complain these equipments are too heavy for a girl.
The action scenes are awesome to look at. A lot of CGI is used in many action scenes and I think it is great since it gives the animations nice and smooth. However there are times when CGI should not be used, such as interactions of characters during battles. I like the visual effects that they made as well.
I really love the opening and ending songs a lot and they are one of my favourite songs of this season. AKINO came back after AmaBuri’s Extra Magic Hour with Miiro, a very energetic song which is great to rock at. A newcomer, Nishizawa Shiena, performs Fubuki which I find it really emotional to hear. At first I was not fond by hearing it but after a while, it just clicks to me. I shall be expecting more of her voice in the future!
The background music is okay, not too outstanding as well. I like some of the battle tracks that makes the battles more interesting to hear. Basically the background music has a wide variety of tracks from battle music, to slice of life music, to emotional music. Finally, I really want to give praise to all the voice actresses, especially Sakura Ayane and Touyama Nao, for voicing a lot of roles in the anime. The voice actress roles in the anime are as identical as the game, so there should not be any worry.
So, did Kantai Collection live up to my expectations? Not really, but I’m just disappointed with the story as I wish it can get better at some point. Meaningless to say, I also enjoyed most of the anime, mostly being comedy and cute ships doing cute things. I have also been shipping quite a number of ships lately, and I know Ooi and Kitakami is one of the best shippings ever.
A sequel was announced after the final episode ended, and I’m not surprised to see that. It’s obvious that Diomedea and Kadokawa wants to milk more money from us viewers. I really hope the sequel gets better. And certainly, with this season, there can just be more KanColle players in the game, so I really hope they are enjoying themselves.
Even taking into consideration the genre and source material this anime utilizes, this show in particular has been (upon reflection) one of the most over-hyped, predictable and bland products I've ever watched. Paper-thin plot, cardboard cut-out characters, and dialogue that made me cringe with embarrassment at what I was listening to. The game at least has the possibility of death which brings a weird quasi-darkness to it considering your cute "waifu" can end up at the bottom of the sea. Besides 2 supporting girls sinking so far, we've had nothing but predictable battles with hilariously bad CG effects, and SoL in-betweens with moe forced on
you so hard it kills the atmosphere and makes you wonder if there's actually a war going on. I know it's fucking moe yadda-yadda and is adapting the browser game to milk the fanbase even more with cuteness but sorry, knowing that DOES NOT excuse this show from being a bland and cliche' as fuck mess. SW and GuP share some of the same problems, but they're a bit more subdued and certainly smarter in the way they are handled so I like them quite a bit. I probably wouldn't be as mad if I wasn't greeted every episode with OP and ED sequences that try so god damn hard to be Epic. They could really add some meaningful drama if the girls had to cope with the fact that they couldn't escape the fates of their past namesakes... but no, we all know Fubuki is going save the day with friendship, break all the laws with love, and change history with compassion... This show had promise in the beginning to not just be another cliche' moe wank machine, but that is exactly what it turned into. It saddens me greatly to know that this kind of crap will almost certainly get a second season, wheras other more thought provoking shows, and even better moe shows, will fall to the wayside. I guess that's the anime world we live... it may be fruitless to try and fight it, but god dammit if I can save one other human soul from watching this junk then that's what I'll do. I won't be a mindless zombie attaching myself to this just because of the moe, hype, or bandwagon. For a better World War 2 themed military-moe, do yourself a favor and look up Strike Witches.
The show is supposed to be an adaptation of the popular online game and the show is presented through Fubuki, a pretty normal destroyer. You then meet all the other girls ( they are all great but its hard to keep track of all their names). The show is really cute and falls under the genre "cute girls doing cute things". There is a lot of yuri subtext ( I was surprised, though its not unusual since all the characters are girls besides the admiral). The show is pretty enjoyable.
Hi, this will be my second review. Includes light spoilers, may or may not be properly done.
Kantai Collection is obviously, about the game of ship girls or fleet girls, whatever. It's enjoyable.
Aight, soooo let's start.
The story here is pretty much similar to some anime series out there. Things happen where MC was weak and then they get experience from the things they do blablabla. There's also the 'sudden problems that appear' trope I just made up for this review. The anime also contains some cheesy dramatic stuff on some parts which made me, uh, cringe a little. I wonder how I got past
such cringey drama when I watched (now to bring an unrelated anime here) Love Live back then. Damn, that show was great but the drama on some parts were, ugh. There's also the 'sudden rescue' trope I also just made up, in this show.
TL;DR: Story is the same shiet you can get from OK shows, drama is kek.
Here's where it gets real; The art is amazing, the water animation is so smooth, CG is great. I like the battle scenes in 3D. tbh the only show I've seen having CG shown for over 30 seconds is Love Live. I like the art style here. The game art is, well, diverse (you may interpret this in a good or bad way, up to you :P).
TL;DR: Nice art style, CG, bla.
Ayy. Miiro is one of the best OPs I've heard this season. Along with Flyers from Death Parade. I like how they kept the VAs from the game. Also some sound effects. It's all good. I never wanted to listen to the ED though. topkek.
TL;DR: Great sounds, voices, etc. yeah.
Those who don't play the game would probably hate this.
Not much character development, understandable due to the large cast, and the time given for the show (1-cour). Hopefully S2 does better here.
Anyhow, the personalities of the characters from the game are retained (yay) and how they say the same stuff from the game too >Atago, Tama, etc. etc.
TL;DR: Not enough character dev. But it's all good.
I'd say I really liked this show despite some problems and how the system of the game is not similar. (I wish I could send multiple fleets to a mission at once :P). I believe the fanservice here is a-okay, could've been too much, but eh. Plot is mediocre.
TL;DR: It's good. LOL.
Yes it's an average. Here's the TL;DR of the whole review, including the TL;DRs for each section:
It's great, if you know the game. If you don't, it could be okay.
It's enjoyable, to say the least. Could've been better. :D
11/10 Would watch season 2. Needs more Shimakaze lolz.
Hooray! Kantai is finally over, and damn it is getting a second season! So here is a bird to Diomedea and DMM, for continuing to cash cow this work. Anyway a review on the show, Kantai is a cashgrab, made by money hungry fags for its fan base. It is not a anime you would watch unless you are a fan (or a moe zombie, in which case a bird to you too).
Flame bait aside, time to get serious. There are two results when one adapt a game into an anime, one is when you create a watchable show by actually adapting, the other is
when you create garbage by tossing in a bunch of references to the game. Here is the thing, most of the people who watch the show is not going to play the fricking game, when you make an anime you should be trying to appeal to the faction that isn't already in the fan-base. But who am I kidding, most anime writers are idiots anyway.
story - 3
Ship Waifu wacky hijink, some people say it is something about girls being reincarnation of ships and etc. But don't be fooled, it is ship Waifu wacky hijinks. I don't care how many references you make to WWII, or how accurate some of the details are, it is all dressing, if the meat of the show is wacky hijinks with ship waifu, then the details means nothing. It is all just fanservice for military otakus, and boring details for anyone who isn't a military otaku.
The show try to have a couple serious moment, but let's be honest here, I'm not going to care that a cardboard cut out was sunk. You don't take the scenario serious from the start, neither will I, SHOCK FACTOR is a really cheap trick.
Even the setting doesn't make much sense, but this was originally a browser game, so I'll let that pass. But I was still disappointed since I was expecting anthropomorphic ships, not girls with the souls of ships.
Art - 8
Jarring CG transitions during some of the combat scene, even though the cg isn't utter shit, it looks like f**king MMD so much that I question whether they really used MMD to make those scenes. Everything else was decent.
Sound - 7
Tracks okay, not much to say.
character - 3
POIPOIPOIPOIPOIPOIPOI, oh god I hate that sound. The characters are cardboard cutouts, and that is totally expected when you have so much character and so few episodes. A smart man would focus on a couple characters to flesh them out, but since Kantai exist only to rob the wallets of idiots who bought the BDs to see their ship Waifu, it shoves a bunch of them into the show. The result was that instead of characters, we have cardboard cutout with shiticks. And it gets insufferable, when you realize at the end of the day, you just want to see them all sunk, screw moe, I want a character not a bunch of cardboards.
Overall - 4
Some may ask, if you hate it why you watch it, the response would be, if you don't watch it you wouldn't know how to hate it and how it could have been better. Plus the major reason would be, to see how the current biggest doujin series turned out since it is a bit more popular than Touhou right now. Such a big doujin giant getting an official anime, I wanted to see how it would turn out, and god I am disappointed. When your anime is worse than your doujin manga, you know you f**ked up big time, in fact it made me doubt Kantai even deserve to have so many doujin artists, since a lot of Touhou artists jumped ship (pun intended) to try to flesh out Kantai. It is really disappointing to see that the actual people who made the thing cared so little about the show, turning it into a soulless cash-grab.
We could have gotten a emotional story about anthropomorphic ships in a war, with losses and philosophy, showing the cruelty of war while referencing WWII. But instead we got, fricking cute girls doing cute things #ILostCount with ship references throw in. So once again, screw you Modern Anime, this is why we can't have good things.
KanColle has an even dumber concept than Strike Witches. As if pantsless lolis with boot propellers wasn't stupid enough, here we have Fleet Girls™ which are basically qt 3.14s with assorted ship apparatuses that magically summon from the ethos (or variously must be equipped) and transform the grills into some vague reference to WW2 Japanese ships while they maintain their qt-ness.
And yet it works. It works really well.
Each ship (or grill) has a distinct personality. Some, like the Yamato, are hilariously tied to the IRL circumstances of their namesakes, but others are just...silly. We have lesbian ship sisters, the boisterous Kongo quartet, wizened fleet
carriers, and naturally there are loli torpedo boats with the gamut of anime tropes. Fubuki is the star of the series, a Fleet Grill™ who starts as a clumsy good-for-nothing but grows into a hero who saves everyone (not really a spoiler, since this is an anime and that happens in literally every single anime ever).
All that's fine, but it's the details that made KanColle so good for me. The carriers use bows to fire arrows that poof into planes piloted by doll things (???), destroyers fire groups of torpedoes from their legs like some caricature of a boy doing the humping motion, and battleships make a grand gesture of giving the enemy a full salvo. The ship/grills heal from damage by soaking in a hot spring, when a ship is ready to be refitted they start glowing, the carriers and battleships eat about 400 tons of food per day. Even the seaplane tender girls have fantastic details with their setups. The best part is that it's presented with a nod for magic realism: nothing is explained, it just *is* and that's that. I know this is based on some vidya, and that's super obvious, but even though I haven't played said vidya I still appreciated the entire package.
I know I'm a sucker for all things naval (except the soul-draining leech that is WoWS....ugh) and that definitely predisposed me to enjoy this, but I absolutely recommend KanColle for anyone searching out a great time.
I really wanted to like this show. I really did. Being the fan of Kancolle I am,
I just cannot hate it completely, but this show was a disappointment.
It is a huge potential wasted, thus a frustration to those familiar with he game and fandom.
Kancolle is a browser game that came out in 2013. It gained popularity far beyond the expected level, so much that the servers can't handle the demand and new players are allowed into the game via a lottery system, japanese and non-japanese alike.
What made the game this popular, was the doujin market around it.
The game had a vast amount of characters,interesting
character art, very good voice acting and music. The effort (and love) put into it was beyond the level of what one would expect from a free to play browser game. Thus, soon the fandom started expanding beyond the game.
Characters were given unofficial traits based on their lines or behaviour in the game, -Akagi having a huge apetite due to consuming high amounts of resources in the game, Nagato being into cute things, Murakumo becoming the badass for no reason I know of- theories were built around the enemies -such as them being the malice of war,sunken vessels, zombie ships so to say- which gave birth to many comics that are unique in their own way, fun or serious, action-packed or laidback.
The reason Kancolle keeps getting compared to Touhou isn't simply because its doujin market caught up to it in numbers, but because the way both their fanworks are: They hugely expand the concepts of the source they are feeding from.
Kancolle as a game, does not have a story. It also does not need one.
But when you're making a show, a scenario is needed. What the writers had to do was to do a throught research on the fanworks, and realize what Kancolle had been made into by the majority. But they failed this task.
Even this score may be biased because I simply cannot unlearn what I have from the fandom. But the anime does a terrible job on the characters. First of all, they tried to
include too many charcters into a very short airing time. There is a "let's show as many characters as we can so that we please every fan out there" mentality going on. Yes, I said every "fan" out there. Because if you are not familiar with the character already, it's not possible to actually get attached to any of them. The reason for this is the ridiculously short screen time supporting everyone but Fubuki (MC) gets, and their dialouges mostly consisting of their lines from the game. So to anybody who is not already familiar with them, what the characters say, the way they think and react will make little to no sense. Even for those who know, portrayal of the characters are super weak.
Ah, yes, the story. The first 3 episodes had one going, so I give one point for each. After that, it just becomes a mess of events. It feels like the studio gathered 12 people for each of the episodes, then they had a meeting on the basic storyline. "Alright gentlemen, we are going to start from point A, then stop by B, and conclude with C."
Then, eveybody starts writing their own episode without knowing what the person before them wrote in their script. After the first 3 episodes we just have a major battle that keeps being postponed without seeing any real preperations for it, events that literally cancel each other out,(To keep it spoiler free,think of a character painting a wall blue for 3 episodes, then
painting it red for next 2), things just coming out of the blue and even a filler that doesn't even manage to fill anything. And then a VERY anti-climatic ending. Yeah, even if you were to collect random doujin plots and brought them together, it would probably make this much sense, if not more.
Despite the 3d CGI, the rest of the show was pretty good I think. And 3D CGI looking bad isn't a problem unique to this series, I've yet to see 3D that doesn't stick out except Rebuild of Evangelion series. While the models look like slightly advanced MMD models, the animating of them were pretty good I think. The battle scenes were quite dynamic and in a series like this where combat is a major part, unfortunately this is inevitable. Other than the 3dCGI, everything was decent and enjoyable. We had very nice backgrounds, distinct changes in atmoshpere between different places of the Naval District. I enjoyed both the battlefield and recreation facilites. Character art was also pretty good, I think they handles Mutsuki's gradient hair pretty well.
Yes,if there's one part of the series that is perfect,it's the sound department. Both the voice actors and OST. Looking at the seiyuu list, you might think the developers were tight on budget, but this is a brilliant "tech demo" of the voice actors. Many charcaters are voiced by the same people, yet it's not noticable in the slightest. I watched a scene where 4 charcters talked to eachother, and was shocked to find out it was literally one person talking behind the scenes. My respects to each VA taking part in this show, that's incredible. I mean, being able to change their tone might be a crucial ability for the VAs, but it's impressive to be exposed to it in a single show and a single episode. The OST does a real good job too, was kinda disappointed that the show didn't have any OST from the game at first, but now I am glad it added to the already wonderful soundtrack of the franchise. Opening and ending are great as well.
Might be a disappointment in terms of a show overall, but I nominate it for the best OST of the year already, as there aren't many anime that manage to stand out in this context.
-If you are a regular person simply looking for a new anime to watch, unfortunately I cannot recommend it. 4/10
-If you are a person who wants to get into Kancolle, this is definately not the point to start. stayaway/10
-If you are a fan of Kancolle, it's likely you will enjoy it more than regular peeps, but cringe at the potential it's wasting. 6/10
-If you are a fan of military stuff, give it a try I say. You're here for torpedoes and planes anyway, and you will get it. 7/10