And so it seems this episode is the slight ‘breather’ episode. Not really much of note was done in this episode, and it’s to prep the viewer I guess to the true make or break arc of the series. To see if they’ll make another tied-in sequel, or to leave it as is. Anyways, onto a wonder party, poi~.
As life starts to return to normal in the naval district, with Fubuki training more and Mamiya fixing up her store, Nagato and Mutsu try to determine where the attackers had come from. Nagato is puzzled over their orders, since the missing teitoku had written part of his orders in code to disrupt enemy communications interception.
Meanwhile, back at the destroyer classroom, Yuudachi is making Akatsuki jealous, whiel Fubuki interrogates her on her remodel. Mutsuki feels a little put off by her due to her focusing on her training. Even Kaga noticed that Fubuki had passed by Akagi with no more than a passing word, while Mutsuki looks on as her two friends, having surpassed her, is leaving her behind.
The next day, Nagato had sent recon fleets to the north and south, while the reformed Third Torpedo Squad is sent to recon closer to MI island. Back at the command room, Nagato wonders why Fubuki was chosen as the lynchpin to the entirety of the battleplan. While she is the lead ship of the Special Type DD, she can’t do anything better than most, even with a major remodel. Mutsu merely says she’s jealous of the DD, while she’s jealous that the admiral made her precious someone the secretary ship.
Back with the third torpedo squad, Naka is bored but Jintsuu is focused. Nothing is spotted, even with Sendai’s recon plane. But then Fubuki spots enemy aircraft. The group maneuvers to move away from the area, they are engaged by an enemy squadron that had circled back.
Fubuki, in a fit of stupidity, breaks formation and attempts to take on an Abyssal Ho-class CL head on in the hopes to gain experience, but is heavily damaged in the process, nearly escaping destruction. Back at base, a tearful Mutsuki, already broken with her sister Kisaragi’s death and having healed enough to go through life, admonishes her friend for her brash and selfish actions.
Back at command, Nagato deduces, that due to the fierce counterattack Third Torpedo Squad took, the Abyssal MI base is the FS base that the still-missing admiral had talked about. While Mutsu cautioned her, Nagato wants further proof. That came with Ooyodo complaining about crossed circuits, leading Nagato to deduce something.
Back at the Cliffside overlooking the naval base, Fubuki goes to her friend, intending to talk to her. She felt overwhelmed at what had happened. Mutsuki tries to reassure her that she thinks she understands her feelings, but still was scared. Fubuki then tells her that it was at that spot that she asked the Admiral ‘why’. ‘Why me.’
It had seemed like the Admiral had seen her before in a dream, overlooking a modern Tokyo. The Admiral had seen her in a wedding dress, with Fubuki expressing her love for him. Thus is the reason for Fubuki being at the naval district. He had wanted her to start at his naval district. And now she is starting on her dream to be useful to someone. Promising to never leave Mutsuki again, the two friends reconcile, while Akagi and Kaga look from afar. Akagi had remembered what the Admiral had told her before, that she is free to choose her own escort.
The next day, recon planes from Chitose and Chiyoda, two seaplane tenders confirm the reinforcement of MI island to base, just as Nagato had thought. Noting that there is a considerable enemy air presence there. Even with some misgivings, Nagato declares MI to be the aforementioned FS base in their missing Admiral’s orders.
Meanwhile, Akagi takes Fubuki aside and asks her to be her escort. Before Fubuki could respond, Kaga comes in to object, and wants to test Fubuki to prove her worth as Akagi’s escort. Agreeing to it, Akagi and Kaga launch practice planes and while Fubuki holds her own, she is being beaten up by the two fleet carriers.
Back at the destroyer classroom, Yuudachi and Mutsuki wonders where their friend is, when Shimakaze explains that she had seen Fubuki at the training ground. Fubuki is seen to be improving, even though she is being pummeled by the training planes. Showing her grit and determination, Mutsuki tries to stop it but Fubuki herself stops. Kaga lowers her mask, only for Akagi to launch one more attack.
Akagi had seen how far she’s gone, and and pushes her to give it her all in the last. Fubuki manages to down the three, with Mutsuki cheering her on. Crashing into the docks, AKagi and Kaga seem impressed that a mere destroyer with no equipment to deal properly with aircraft had passed their brutal test, and she starts to glow.
Being remodeled, she looks into the mirror, only to notice no real change. Only being equipped with a Type 98 10cm/65 High-Angle Gun and possibly a Type 91 Anti-Aircraft Fire Director (the director being part of her stock equipment in her Kai Ni form in-game), she laments the fact she didn’t get any snazzier like Yuudachi, particularly in the breast department. Akagi comes to formally ask her to be her escort, to which Fubuki happily answers yes.
Back at the command center, Kaga is still puzzled at the choice, while Nagato doesn’t know herself, just stating that the Admiral had seen her to be the crux to the whole thing. At the cliff, Fubuki calls for an absent Admiral about her role as Akagi’s escort, saluting to the sunset.
Well…that was a bummer.
It was one of the weaker episodes, as some have noted. While a few have praised it particularly because of Fubuki, I had thought the episode would give Fubuki her modernization, and spending all episode learning how to work it. But we got this episode. It wasn’t bad as some are going on about it, but it wasn’t terribly amazing either. Fubuki seems to have gotten full of herself again, and had forgotten some aspects of the soul of a torpedo girl. She became a bit selfish and prideful, intending to go at it alone into certain death for a coveted Kai Ni.
I thought the one with the most personality impact was actually Mutsuki. She already had her misgivings with the whole deal. While Yuudachi attends her training primarily because it is in her schedule, Fubuki has been skipping out on actually relaxing. No doubt worrying her best friend. This prideful step backwards would lead her to nearly repeat Kisaragi’s own demise, though while one can fault Kisaragi in stopping and not paying attention (understandably the battle was won), Fubuki rashly sailed into the fire of two Ho-class CL rather than working with her team.
So I had no qualms with Kaga not feeling particularly happy with Akagi choosing her as her escort, and demanding her test. But the surprise here is Akagi letting loose one more squadron when even clearly Kaga had broken her mask. As a friend, Haru Menna, explained, it is rather much common in Japanese martial arts. Pain is the best teacher as they say, but I had felt it was a bit over the top. But nevertheless, Fubuki not giving into such relentless air attack would finally initiate that needed spark that would set her aglow and giving the destroyer her second remodel.
Now, Kai Ni, or Second Remodel, in-game was to reflect a change in stats and abilities, as well as appearances. These appearances can be rather different from their original forms, for example, Yuudachi. This was meant to highlight something in the ship’s past to bring them to some spotlight, though now a lot more ships are receiving it, no doubt due to fan demands.
And I felt cheated. The Fubuki remodel in the anime wasn’t the same the one provided to us by the artist Shibafu, with the only parts staying was the Long 10cm High-Angle Gun and the AA Director. No doubt this was to keep one model in the animation files, but really. Maybe it’s because Fubuki in the game, being really the most vanilla (read:plain/generic) character in the game, couldn’t compete with the personality of the Anime. Or I could be wrong. Shibafu’s Kai Ni for Fubuki shows her smiling, and more eager, as if she’s gone past her generic self and went off on her own.
Regardless, that’s my thoughts on the episode. Not bad and shocking (hell, I saw what was going to happen when she got cocky), not was it as great as some of the earlier episodes. Hopefully Kantai Collection: The Animation will leave us with a final arc to remember. Maybe even show Akagi sinking? Or horribly damaged?
One can only tell.
As for Fubuki, I leave this: