Grotesque, strong enemies called "Siren" have suddenly appeared from the sea. In order to fight against them, a navy group called Azure Lane has formed. They were successful in stopping the attack from Siren for a moment using warships. The different ideals from the people who formed it have shown. The story is about girls fighting the strong enemies that they've never faced before while dealing with the trouble in each camp.
Ah, yes, nice to see my Twitter feed finally getting an anime adaptation.
Yes, just yes. Whatever this show is on I need at least 10 times the lethal dosage injected directly into my capillaries. There’s no pretense with Azu-Lane, absolutely none at all, and it’s hard to not love for that reason alone. For the uninitiated, Azur Lane is the gacha equivalent of crack cocaine, essentially making up half of China’s GDP. An eventual adaptation of this popular gacha game seemed imminent from the moment it was released, it was only a matter of time. For all intents, Azu-Lane’s model is admittedly exploitative and
shallow, but I’ll be damned if its not a model that doesn’t work. Because what could be more wholesome than watching cute anime girls turn into various naval vessels and fight for supremacy?
Nobody’s saying Azu-Lane is some highfalutin work of genius. However, with its sheer volume of cute anime girls that basically run the gamut for whatever designs any of you horny weebs might find appealing, indulgent action, and cockamamie plot, it’s not hard to see why it blew up in the first place. This is a gold standard of camp, and I think it threw in just the right amount of garbage to make this a palatable guilty pleasure.
If you’re familiar with the gacha formula, it would be a no-brainer that this thing would necessitate bloating its world with needless amounts of characters. None of them are particularly interesting (half of them are AraAra queens), but it’s hard to really knock that because they are memorably designed enough and have enough personality to stick with you even if it’s on a shallow level. Everyone’s got their “ship” that they’re willing to sink for, this show’s cast is like a hydra, introduce one cute anime girl and before you know it 5 more are brought in with her.
The fights are cool in concept but having a huge cast of characters lends to some chaotic action-sequences. The CG is often slipshod. The models themselves are fine but like most anime that utilize CG models, the movement is noticeably stilted. Often times the CG models move so fast that it sufficiently masks the fact that they look somewhat jarring. Still, I will often find myself in awe at some of these set-pieces and combat concepts. “Did she just shoot a fucking plane out of that bow?!” -Drunk me, 3AM, some bathroom stall in Tampa. The audacity of this show. There is no sense of restraint with the action. Explosions and pyrotechnics drip off of almost every frame of any given action sequence you can pull from this thing. It’s a cream dream of over-the-top visual splendor seeing these girls try to nonchalantly blow each other up while zooming around the screen with various weapons and augmentations attached to them like they’re friggin Transformers.
Whenever Azu-Lane isn’t laser-focused on its excessive action sequences or typical but charming slice of life antics, it can get a little monotonous watching these girls regurgitate exposition you don’t care about. Luckily, whenever characters do little more than sit around and exposit their mouths off, it’s mostly only for the sake of transitioning from one scene to another. The story is little more than window dressing for its concept. There’s a shallow anti-war message and propaganda about the “faceless enemy” buried under the mountains of excess, I’m sure, but Azu-Lane never takes itself so seriously that it really has any bearing on its overall presentation.
Is Azur Lane an ironic yet acerbic commentary on our blatant fetishizing of anime as a medium? Or perhaps its a clever allegory for Japan’s checkered past with World War 2 and the way it has shaped the country’s contemporary culture? Whatever the case may be, this show is as stupidly addicting as its source game. There’s no veil that needs to be pulled back with this one. Azu-Lane fans are going to eat this up, people who are unfamiliar or aren’t steeped in the gacha craze might not enjoy the flagrant pandering/fanservice...or you know...just like...learn to have fun every once in a while? Azu-Lane is “cute girls doing stupid things” pastiche cranked up to its max. If shows like Girls und Panzer, Strike Witches, or the obvious Kantai Collection are your thing, Azur Lane just might be your new favorite anime. This show is perfectly stupid fun, and that’s all I could’ve asked for from this one.
Alright, I'll get straight to the point: when you think about this Anime as the story/background/plot (whatever) of the videogame it's not terrible, but when you think about it as a show and a show only you'll see this is as mediocre as it gets.
My review will contain strong language, and I declare already that I do not intend to offend anyone by what I'll say, it's just my opinion and me using simple language and vocabulary to express my feelings towards this anime.
Ok! Let's start from the beginning, I played azur lane a while ago maybe a year and a half or
something and I played it for about two weeks. When I began watching this I pretty much didn't remember anything from the game but a few characters here and there.
So in the first episode(s) you just get information shoved on your face. And by this I mean you get introduced to a shit ton of characters and a lot of specific words and faction names whatsoever IN JUST ONE EPISODE. The next episodes I don't really want to talk about them because I feel like I lost braincells already. The concept is so shitty, the plot goes nowhere and I just keep wondering to myself if this was just a thing to satisfy the mobile gaming weebs and give them an anime of their cute little ships and stuff...
The animation is below average although not terrible, soundtrack is ok I guess, i don't know about the characters because for me each one just brings a new type of fanservice along and the plot as I mentioned before goes nowhere.
To summarize, you literally get nothing out of this show. No matter what you say most of what I said are facts. If you played the game well here's more fanservice for you! Go ahead!
I'm gonna be honest, I honestly didn't expect this adaptation to do the game any justice. But to my surprise I found this quite a bit more enjoyable than the game.
The story is basically the same as it is in the game, an alien group called the Siren appear in the sea out of nowhere so to combat this new threat the navy fanservice the shit out of military grade ships in order to make a new fetish (and maybe save the ocean while there at it.) Along the way the four groups who developed these sea waifus separate into two factions, Ironblood and
Sakura Empire vs Eagle Union and Royal Navy, who fight over stupid stuff like morals, ethics and the fate of the world. Great story in my opinion.
I've gotta say I am really impressed by the art and animation in this show. All the characters look amazing, their movements are spot on and their attitudes seem identical to what it was in the game. The background art doesn't get any worse, it looks incredible and whole show is lit up with bright colours which does really well to reflect how the show feels.
I'm not a huge fan of the music in the show but the sound effects were really good. Nothing else much to say.
I honestly think the place this anime shines the most at is with the characters. All the characters have amazing designs with every one of them looking great. The studio has done an incredible job making even backgrounds characters look unique by using actual characters from the game. On top of that all the characters have unique personalities including even the background characters which is quite rare in anime. In addition almost every character archetype and troupe is represented through a character meaning that there is a potential waifu for literally everyone.
Solid anime. Can't wait for more episodes.
Azur Lane is weird, not because of what Azur Lane is about (heck, you couldn’t be more anime if you tried), but for what it is. An adaptation of a popular mobile game that has good production values. Normally, stuff like this are usually cash grabs to capitalize on how popular the mobile game is. But it felt like Bibury Animation studios wanted to create a fun spectacle. So far at least, that has been the case. There is a sense of enjoyment in this show with cute but badass girls using Battleships as weapons fighting each other while skimming across the sea in what
is essentially America and Britain vs Germany and Japan.
That being said, the show does have flaws to it that may hold the show back by the end. Starting off, the characters. Now my problem is not the characters themselves as some of them I do like. My problem is that there is SO MANY OF THEM. When you are trying to adapt a game with so many characters, then it can get overwhelming and you just struggle to remember the names unless you are already invested into the game. It is a trap that similar adaptations would fall into and this is no exception. I get it, you don’t want to leave characters out, but you are just unleashing a wave of them all at once to the viewer so it can get overwhelming and it affects character development and investment, even the ones the show is really trying to focus on when it has to share screentime with every other character.
The story isn’t exactly anything of note but it does do its job. Beings known as Sirens invaded Earth and took control of the seas. In response, a group called Azur Lane created anthropomorphic ships to fight back. They succeed and now they are at war with each other as the four major camps split into two sides. Not America (Eagle Union) and not Britain (Royal Navy) fight together as not Germany (Iron Blood) and not Japan (Sakura Empire) start using Siren technology. So war begins. A simple story that gets the job done of setting the scene for some battles between the two sides. Nothing particularly wrong with that. But it also rather bare bones as it is simply good vs evil with a tiny bit of grey area to it that feels somewhat predictable from a mile away.
But I have to give credit where credit is due because the animation and sound is just great. The show looks and sounds goods to give the fight scenes some extra flair to it. It’s fun to watch seeing these girls battle it out in interesting and creative ways. It lets the fighting do the talking when it comes to telling a narrative which I think it does well. The show is clearly trying to anchor itself as being a fun watch and let the fight scenes do the talking, which is perfectly fine if you want to get people to enjoy the action. That being said, I noticed some of the characters looked off from a long distance as some body parts looked disproportionate to each other. I didn’t see it a lot of the time but I did catch my eye on some scenes that were the case.
Now, my main worry with show moving forward though is that how long can this show hold up with that mindset of letting the fight scenes do the talking. To abbreviate a quote from my review on Sirius, “High quality animation and sound can only carry you so far before its story and characters have to help carry the show.” I worry that Azur lane will fall under this as the show goes on as the story and characters will need to hold up its own weight. It does seem like that is the case though as the narratives between our main leads Enterprise, Javelin and Laffey are interesting to say the least and could lead to some interesting moments. But it might struggle later on as the large cast will need to get their own share of screentime, even some that are more significant than others. As for now, I am enjoying watching this series from a spectacle standpoint as the animation and sounds make the show enjoyable to watch but the large cast of characters and rather simple story leaves me worrying that this show could simply be a show that burns out too quickly before reaching its final episode.
Bare bones but does its job at setting the scene.
An overwhelming amount of characters that lack development and investment affects the score but some of them are interesting enough to be intrigued.
Looks good and animates well to make the action enjoyable.
Good soundtrack and soundbytes add to the scenes well with an enjoyable opening to boot.
My Personal Enjoyment: 7/10
I am enjoying watching this show as pure, action entertainment but I worry about the story and characters and if it gets worse from here.