Three Episode Rule: Kantai Collection (Episode 1: Hello, Commander!)

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And thus starts what may be my only series this winter 2015 season, though it depends if I think Isuca is worth more than a Three Episode Rule. Those who want to get to my thoughts, just skip the summary.

By the way, I will be putting in their USN Hull Classification Symbol behind their names for ease if not previously explained. Here is the link: USN Hull Classification Symbol and included is the one used in the KanColle Wiki: Ship Type Identification

Episode Summary:

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The episode starts off with an Abyssal force deploying, led by a Wo-class Aircraft Carrier, being engaged by a kanmusu force composed of Haruna, Kirishima (BB), Kuma, Tama (Light Cruisers), Atago (CA), and Shoukaku (CV).

 

The scene cuts to the Destroyer Fubuki, a member of the Torpedo Squadron Three. Outside the Admiral’s office, she meets Mutsuki (DD), of the same unit. After a bit of awkwardness, Mutsuki leads her to the dorms while explaining that the Naval District they are in is like its own little city, and no one really leaves since everything they need is there. Getting to the dorms, they meet with Yuudachi (DD), as well as the Sendai-class Light Cruisers. The prim and proper Mutsuki, the night-battle crazy Sendai, and the fleet’s idol, Naka-chan (dayo).

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Cutting back to Haruna’s fleet, they take down the Abyssals while Shoukaku’s planes manage to locate the enemy, who reports it to Ooyodo (CL) at the operations center. Nagato and Mutsu (BB) are in charge of the operation, with Nagato as the commander/secretary ship. Nagato comments that they finally found the Abyssal nest.

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Back to Fubuki, Mutsuki, and Yuudachi observes planes flying overhead, and the two brings Fubuki to the carrier’s dojo. There we see Akagi and Kaga (CV), practicing, while the two explain Akagi and Kaga are famous for fighting numerous battles against the Abyssals. Being found, Kaga warns them about coming to the area without permission, while Akagi seems to notice and know of Fubuki, who is smitten with the older/heavier (blogger: medium damage), carrier.

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She is so smitten that she even ignores Mamiya’s (support ship/NPC) jumbo parfait, though the destroyer trio meets Kitakami and Ooi (CL, then CLT). Yuudachi says they should ignore them when they’re together, no doubt due to Ooi’s clinginess to Kitakami. Before Fubuki can take a bite of her parfait though, the alarms ring, as Secretary Ship Nagato scrambles the base for a sortie.

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The sortie consists of taking three fleets (since Shoukaku’s fleet has returned and is recouperating), with Torpedo Squadron Three acting as forward scouts; a heavy fleet consisting of the battleships Hiei and Kongou, destroyers Akatsuki and Hibiki, as well as Light Cruiser Yuubari and Heavy Cruiser Mogami; and Carrier Task Force one which consists of Akagi and Kaga, as well as Souryuu and Hiryuu (CV) and destroyers Inazuma and Ikazuchi.

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Torpedo Squadron Three deploys, and showing off some rather nice transformation/fit out scene, though immediately Fubuki seems to be having problems. While sailing towards the enemy, the other girls realize that Fubuki has never sortied before, and the reasons seem…rather against what she is. (She didn’t want to apparently.)

 

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Regardless, they encounter the Abyssals and fight, with some of the girls  taking damage, and going deeper into the enemy held area. Finally encountering the main Abyssal commander (Anchorage Princess), Fubuki is almost eaten by an I-class Abyssal Destroyer, when she is saved by a plane launched by Akagi.

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The furious barrage by the main carrier fleet and second support fleet destroy the barrier protecting Anchorage Princess is destroyed and the Abyssal leader wiped out, thereby liberating the waters around the naval district. Meaning they just cleared world 1.

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Back at the base, as everyone recouperates from the tough battle, Fubuki watches the sunset before being approached by the yet-unseen admiral. Running back to the destroyer room of the Torpedo Squadron Three, she sets a goal for herself. She wants to get stronger so she could be strong enough to escort Akagi.

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Episode Summary:

Where to start? Oh where to start?

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Frankly, I enjoyed the episode. It was attempting to make Fubuki liked, especially in a game where there are near-constant ‘waifu- wars over characters. Fubuki has been derisively known as ‘Who-buki’ at times. I think I can grow to like this Fubuki.

Animation wise, it won’t win any awards. A mixture of CG and traditional animation, the fit and polish is not Macross Frontier level, nor is it even Strike Witches level. But something just or below it. There were a few times where I thought an animated shot would’ve done better than a CGI one, but those tend to be quick. And no, it isn’t Arpeggio of Blue Steel –Ars Nova- level. That was just, it was a tough pill to swallow.

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And while I wasn’t bothered by most of it, recycling some of the dialogue from the game seemed off for some. But like I told someone, the ‘true’ character as the developers wanted is found in those lines. And yes Yuudachi is still that valley girl kind of character with her ever-present ‘poi’. The one time I was really bothered was Hibiki’s ‘Хорошо’ (khorosho or something along that lines) which seemed it was spouted in random.

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I did like a lot of things in this episode. The glimpse of the fairy aboard the Type 99 Dive Bomber (known as ‘Val’ to the allies) was a nice touch. And it’s the same fairy, blue hair and aviator’s head gear with the green uniform. Though I wonder what happens to the fairies when they get shot down. At first I kind cringed when Fubuki shot with her eyes closed, though with her cannon locking to the Destroyer, it seems there are faries inside to do a little bit of aiming.

Speaking of which, I’m amused that such small weapons (with guns looking like they can only shoot .22LR) have the same explosive force as their real life counterparts. Granted, I just did go crazy over a ‘Val’ dive bomber no bigger than some model kits and dropping a bomb that obliterated a human-sized Abyssal boss.

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Movement wise, similar to the 4koma (Fubuki Ganbarimasu). They’re skating on water, and not really needing to push-off unless to maneuver or something. And it also seems when they get damaged, like Mogami, they only sink to the water around their calves, and hell, Fubuki was still ‘sailing’ when she sat on the water it seems like.

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The ‘transformation’ scene was described to me by friends as like a deployment of an Evangeleon. Seeing that my memory is fuzzy, I just think it’s more like Tony Stark’s application of his Iron Man suit in the current Marvel franchise. It’s certainly better than rushing to the armory, pulling something from the wall, and strapping it on. Though thinking back to the 4koma (Fubuki Ganbarimasu), I wonder how they’re maintained, seeing that they’re constantly underwater. The other thing I thought when I saw that sequence was: how do the scroll carriers (Ryuujou, Junyou, etc) get their scrolls? Do they deploy with that and all that happens is they get armor slapons? Same with Chitose and Chiyoda, if they’ve been remodeled to their Light Carrier forms. Those puppet cabinets might be a bitch and a half to carry.

 

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I find it interesting to say the least that the bow users have their planes appear first as arrows, before magically turning into that respective plane. Also I didn’t notice it, and kinda caused a furor on skype, but Hiei’s and Kirishima’s armaments is ‘folded’ when in battle, and it seems it only goes to the full, Crossbone Gundam mode when doing some ultimate attack.

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And the fact that Kongou is Kai Ni. Maybe that’s why Nagato is the secretary ship perhaps? Kongou has seen enough combat to rate her ‘refitting’ to a Kai Ni form.

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Story-wise, I’m amused on how they will go about it. I’m following this show out of part-hype, and part-interest. Hype because I play the game. I have KanColle Viewer as a toolbar shortcut and have it permanently on my second monitor on my desktop. Interest because, apart from the talk on the supposed story mode this game was supposed to have, KanColle has, in the words of tincancarrier in the World of Warships forum: (link)

KanColle’s brilliance (and laziness) is that the devs have decided to set us loose. As I’ve said before, they’ve cut storymode when they’ve realized that they’ll make a lot more splash (and money) if they just let our own imaginations loose.

So to have a game featuring only the ships of the Imperial Japanese Navy fight vaguely alien enemies. They aren’t American ships, since according to those who know, ‘official’ work tend to be mull about that, and I remember being lectured on how they aren’t. They are probably the ‘spirits’ of ships with much hatred for their fates. (Just Ignore the Abyssals that are representations of bases in the Pacific Theater.)

Trying to pull a one cour anime, with the expectation that it might be a hit and cause for another season, with that rather fig-leaf kind of plot is gonna be hard. It’ll also be stepping on what a lot of players (henceforth known as TTKs or Teitokus to differentiate from the anime’s kanmusu commander) conceptions of the world. I guess for us westerners, we see the kanmusus as mostly cute girls, though for some Japanese TTKs, they are literally the embodiment of these sunken ships.

And speaking of TTKs, the Naval District’s Admiral is seen only in shadow. It seems that in order to allow TTKs to really immerse themselves in here, they’ve not even gone the path of The Producer from The Idolm@ster, but all we see is part of his hands and shadow of his face. If he remains a voiceless figure, coordinating his orders through his secretary ship Nagato, then it may seem like Passerby from Random Curiosity may be on to something. About his treatment in the series may lead him to be an in-joke, or if he’ll truly appear. I’m not sure, with the various Pixiv admirals out there, as well as TTKs imposing themselves, and it becomes more of an self-insert character rather than someone who was obviously the player, but given his own character.

I’m interested really, on where this will go. And I’m interested to have someone who is knowledgeable to talk about this with me in the blog, or at least point things out and whatnot. I have more to talk about really, but it’s nearly 0431 in the morning and I still got the screenshots to do.

 

Edit: This is also my 180th Blog Post. Huzzah.

 

Edit 2:

So, a friend of mine was wondering why this sounded so familiar, from the beginning of episode 1.

Hast thou not gone against sincerity
Hast thou not felt ashamed of thy words and deeds
Hast thou not lacked vigor
Hast thou exerted all possible efforts
Hast thou not become slothful

It’s the Gosei for the Japanese Naval Academy.

Thought I’d share the tidbit.

 

Episode Gallery:

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About Jusuchin (Military Otaku)

Conservative, Patriotic and an Otaku. Recent grad of George Mason University. I am interested in firearms, politics, Japanese Anime, and military tech.
This entry was posted in Anime, Kantai Collection: The Anime, Three Episode Rule. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Three Episode Rule: Kantai Collection (Episode 1: Hello, Commander!)

  1. Haru Menna says:

    “I’m interested really, on where this will go. And I’m interested to have someone who is knowledgeable to talk about this with me in the blog, or at least point things out and whatnot.”

    I like your over view of the first episode, and you did make some interesting points. There were a few things I think you missed mainly because there is so much information in the Kancolle fandom universe that I don’t think many “Western” fans are aware of. I’m a bit busy right now working on my own review projects but I would not mind having a civil discussion with you about the Kancolle anime this season. At least I already know you are someone interested in knowledge and have a willingness to learn.

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