It’s the one Nao show! Guest starring Fubuki and
Shimaslut Shimakaze! Are y’alls ready for this?
Starting off, Mutsuki spends her time since the last operation at the pier looking out into sea. It seems everyone is under some sort of strain. Kisaragi’s sinking has dampened the spirits of most of the destroyers, which the Heavy Cruisers are noting, and seeing they can’t do much about it except let time deal with it.
Fubuki meanwhile was chosen with Shimakaze to join Kongou and her sisters in an operation. Remembering on how cool Kongou was, an obviously hero-worshipping Fubuki’s perception of Kongou is destroyed when she finally meets Kongou and her sisters.
The class’ introduction is straight out of the various Super Sentai shows out there. After finally getting to the mission, Nagato explains that the bountiful resources of the southwest zone is their goal, and they are to fight off the Abyssals who are also aiming for it. Due to a heavy rain squall in the region, they can’t deploy carriers. Their job, as so simply put by Kirishima and Haruna, is to run up to them (Abyssals) really fast and blow them up.
Unsure what’s going to happen to her in this mission, Fubuki (nicknamed Bucky by Kongou) and Shimakaze (Zekamashi) are to accompany the four fast battleship sisters in the mission.
Back in the dorms, Mutsuki returns late, and as Fubuki and Yuudachi try to talk to her about Kisaragi, Mutusuki merely smiles and heads to bed, telling her to get some sleep before her operation as well. This more or less has Yuudachi and Fubuki looking worried, unsure when Mutsuki would break.
The next day, Kongou is throwing a tantrum because SHimakaze isn’t at the docks. Kirishima arrives to inform them that Ooyodo doesn’t know where she is, and she could be anywhere due to her free spirited ways. Kongou and others propose to lure her out, and starts off with holding a concert.
Fubuki isn’t so sure, though Kongou explains that it’s much like causing a ruckus in front of a shut in’s room, when they go out to investigate, they will jam the door open and draw them out. This though gets on Naka’s nerves, who arrives to challenge Kongou for the slot of the Fleet’s Idol. Leaving Kongou and Hiei behind, Kirishima and Haruna take Fubuki out to find Shimakaze their own way.
Kirishima deduces that girls like sweet thigns and even better, stories of sweet love. This leads her to stalk Kitakami and Ooi and that kinda goes down the way of the crapper. Haruna’s is not much better, using a simplistic trap with a risqué photobook of Kongou as bait, ends up catching Hiei instead.
This seems hopeless until Kongou and Kirishima comes up with a tea party in the middle of the field, which attracts Shimakaze. Now that they’ve gotten their elusive girl, they go out in search for the Abyssals. And Mutsuki is still waiting at the pier.
Back in the mission, SHimakaze runs ahead, and HIei’s orders merely make Fubuki smile, which Kongou notes. Joining in the battle, the Kongou sisters deal with the Ru-class while Shimakaze and Fubuki deal with the smaller destroyers. Managing to sink two (one each), Fubuki unfortunately strays too far away from the rest of the formation and ends up under the guns of one of the Ru-class BB. Getting damaged, she thinks of Mutsuki before being saved by Kongou, who swats the shell away. With the rest of the sisters dealing with the Ru-class, Kongou hugs Fubuki and tells her it’ll be alright, and they all get back to attacking the Ru-class, with Kongou finishing them off, while Shimakaze finishes off the destroyers.
Back at the pier, Fubuki stands before Mutsuki, who rushes to her asking if she was alright. Hugginh her, Fubuki doesn’t let go until Mutsuki gives in, crying over Kisaragi’s sinking with Fubuki joining in. The next morning, Fubuki looks into Mutsuki’s bunk, unsure if she went back out to the pier, though Mutusuki was still there, having gotten over her lost, or at least accepting it.
Welcome to the Touyama Nao show!
Starring Touyama Nao as Kongou!
And as Hiei!
And as Haruna!
And as Kirishima!
And together, they are, the KONGO-CLASS FAST BATTLESHIP SISTERS.
There is really no limit to Ms. Nao’s capability to VA various different girls and characters. I wasn’t disappointed at all with Kongou sister’s introduction. With the British born, Japanese raised Kongou’s backdrop being of Big Ben and of some other buildings (help?), the others seem to be snapshots of their respective shipyards/slips. Yokosuka Naval Arsenal at Yokosuka for Hiei, Mitsubishi Shipyard at Nagasaki for Haruna, and Kawasaki Dockyard at Kobe for Kirishima. Daigensui and JInxed_Katajainen also inform me that the colors above are the dyes used for the bracketing shots.
Their silliness was refreshing, and I felt was more in line with the series a whole compared to episode three. The whiplash between the two isn’t as strong, as they tended to focus more on the eccentricities of Kongou and her sisters, while touching on Mutsuki sparingly. While some may not like that, preferring either an entire episode on a retrospective of Mutsuki’s coming to terms, I agree with Daigensui on World of Warships forum:
“Only watched the first half, and so far I liked it. To be blunt, you shouldn’t be expecting some mass grieving and the such in a wartime situation. That’s a sentimental line of feelings that exist in today’s world where those living in a “modern” society would expect to die peacefully short of accidents and such. One does not have that luxury when death can happen in any mission, and thus one needs to turn things off if one wants to maintain some measure of sanity. The episode has pretty much done a good job at how people deal with death in wartime.”
Call me callous, but I understand Mutsuki’s pain, and it’s fairly evident that the destroyers are all feeling it. The older girls seem to be coping better, granted I can’t group Ooi into this. She can’t care less about anyone else as long as she has Kitakami. Of course Nagato seems down, it’s the responsibilities and curses of command, especially with such an absent Admiral like the one in charge of this. (The following was added on 0118 1/30/15) And to be honest, I think Kongou puts this front up for a reason. She’s in her second remodel, a very long and tedious journey to level 75. She’s most likely the first one to ever be crafted, and if she’s doing expeditions it just means she’s been put out to easy jobs because Nagato and Mutsu is now handling heavy firepower. Her hug with Fubuki allows her to come to grips with her friend’s depression over losing Kisaragi, and it’s also how she helps ‘heal’ or at lease, put on the road to recovery with her own hug.
I don’t see how devoting a whole episode on Kisragi would’ve done much. It was handled alright in my books, especially now that Kisaragi is gone, Mutsuki’s only other support would be her fellow comrades in Torpedo Squadron Three. A heavier emotional impact would’ve been for Fubuki to not cry, but to comfort her friend while she lets loose her tears. Fubuki crying with Mutsuki kinda dampened it a bit for me. The Destroyers are normally depicted as elementary/middle school age children. No doubt they will be a bit more fragile when it comes to loss, especially when it’s one of their own.
That said, that leads perfectly to my biggest complaint. And it isn’t the anime’s fault. It has been a constant source of discontent for me, and that source has a name.
I never liked Shimakaze. Maybe if she wasn’t drawn to be such a loli eye candy kanmusu, I’d be fine. I like Yuudachi, especially her Kai Ni form, Fubuki has drawn the love for some people wholly, but Shimakaze for me has become a kanmusu that I wouldn’t mind having, because of her stats in-game, but I would never aim for because on how she looks. She’s very free spirited, as Ooyodo has said, but to someone like me, there is just limits to how ‘free’ one can look without me not really liking them.
Other than that, I felt it wasn’t as much of a slamjob like last episode, though the 13 episode time constraint the series has is showing. I did like the fact that Hibiki said something other than a catchphrase that was completely out of context. Touyama Nao seems to have enjoyed herself in this episode, and even the normally ‘sane’ Haruna and Kirishima still fell prey to the idiot bug that was Kongou and Hiei, which I thought was very nice. Naka’s duel was also cringe worthy in that it was bad, but I felt I know Fubuki’s pain.
I’m looking forward to some Kaga x Zuikaku rivalry next time, and more characterization of the carriers, though it would seem Kaga and Akagi’s history with Shoukaku and Zuikaku might be the highlight of the episode.