Anime Review: Kantai Collection

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I’ll spare you the extended introduction and say that I thought this series… was okay. It had its moments, making me laugh and cry and whatnot, but overall the series just didn’t excite me. Part of it is that I don’t play the video game, which heavily influences the anime with all the hidden references that some of my friends had to explain to me. Otherwise, I was disappointed in how the girls portrayed themselves as a whole. Maybe I had my hopes up from a different series about anthropomorphic naval fleets that brought more of a science fiction, philosophical element to it.

Nah, never mind. Let’s get to these shenanigans before I depress myself again!

Funnies

My reaction overall… is pretty much Fubuki’s right about now.

Kantai Collection takes us from the video game phenomenon by the same title into a world where we can find all of Japan’s famous fleet ships… as cute girls. Now before you question why that’s even a thing (because it is), the Cool Japan loves to anthropomorphize just about everything, including things like a whole line of vegetable seeds anthropomorphized as boys, and that’s barely scratching the surface. I’m not complaining!

Unlike every other person who has ever played Kantai Collection, the anime focuses on the adventures of Fubuki, your least likely candidate for a flagship. And why not? She dreams big, she doesn’t give up, and unlike the battleships and carriers that get more attention, this destroyer doesn’t let ego get in the way!

Fubuki

…except that she does have a thing for Akagi-senpai.

I may have researched every last naval ship in this series upon discovering them, and may even point out that the closing theme “Fubuki” uses several of the names in its lyrics; but the truth is, I didn’t. There are TOO MANY OF THEM! As interesting as the history of Japan’s naval vessels are and all the different inferences each one has, I guess I’m not “otaku” enough to be curious about every last one.

But I will admit that it was clever to have Kongou speak partial English here and there, considering the real Kongou was once deployed in England, before she sunk during WWII. And may I add, what few English words (not phrases) she does speak, she does get the pronunciations correctly.

Kongou

Thanks for the clarity, Kongou!

But this series isn’t just all silly stuff, albeit most of it is. It also has some very serious moments here and there. Unfortunately, I also felt that the addition of dramatic effect had very high intensity for a very short amount of time, only to go back to the silly things. As heart-wrenching as what happened to Kisaragi was for me, the moment was covered up far too hastily for me to care so much.And I don’t know about anyone else, but I found it to be slightly amusing when Akagi talks about her omen to the secretary ship Nagato, revealing that she might have been aware that they’re all being controlled by something far more mysterious. Perhaps that might be… the player behind the video game screen?

Akagi

No, that can’t be right. That’s just bogus fan theory!

Frankly of all the characters in this series, the only one I liked for everything about her is Fubuki. The other characters all seemed to be one-dimensional and lacked depth. But I suppose since all these girls are fleet ships, depth would mean they’re likely to sink (okay, bad pun).

Like I said before, Fubuki is an unlikely hero of the bunch. We get to see this “Torpedo Girl” start out as the newbie transfer to playing a huge role in the naval fleet’s biggest operation to secure their harbor again.

But aside from the results, Fubuki has a very strong spirit.

Fubuki

GO GET ‘EM!

She can be clumsy, but she will always get back up. She relies a lot on her friends, but that also means she wouldn’t turn her back on them. She may be of a lower rank, but she continues to inspire those who were promoted past her. The author of this series may have had other ideas about why he chose Fubuki to be the pivotal protagonist, but I can see why she’s such a likeable character. The series as a whole is mediocre at best, but I think Fubuki is a very strong lead for the series.

But let’s be honest: when people ask me about this series, they generally ask me less about the content and more about which fleet girl I find most attractive. I guess you can say it’s a “guy thing,” considering there are plenty of girls to choose from, but girls will ask me the same thing too. So if you’re going to put me on the spot that way, then I suppose there can only be one choice: Kirishima!

Kirishima’s quite the independent spirit, and she has no problem getting joy at her Kongou sisters’ expenses. She makes me laugh, and she’s got the whole coolness vibe to her and — oh forget it… SHE HAS GLASSES!!

Kirishima

Too bad she probably just won’t like me!

So if you liked the video game or you like seeing a lot of girls doing both silly things and having amazing battles, check out Kantai Collection. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to prepare for another anime review that has a lot more guys in it. Hopefully by tomorrow!

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