I’m just going to start off by saying that I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into when I started watching Kantai Collection. I have obviously seen images of the show flying around the internet, seen the now infamous “Poi” quote and I’ve seen that if you search up a majority of the real ships names on Google you’ll get images of the girls…and not the original warships. But for the story itself I honestly knew nothing about it. So, I went into this world completely blind and watched the first 3 episodes in this 13 episode series, and in all honesty…
It was worth it. Kinda.
For people who have been either living under a rock or haven’t seen the show for themselves yet but have seen these ‘boatgirls’ everywhere, Kantai Collection, often abbreviated to KanColle, is based off of the Japanese internet game of the same name. The show features anthropomorphism, try saying THAT really, really fast, girls that do battle with the ‘abyssal fleet’, some form of evil alien(?) fleet. The abyssal fleet’s origins aren’t really described at all, except for the fact that they are, and I quote, “a mysterious fleet that appeared from the depths of the ocean” and that “their varied attacks drove humanity from the seas”.
I mean, they SOUND like they’re cool enough enemies but it would’ve been nice for them to have a better background.
And of course, in typical Infinite Stratos fashion, the only way to stop them is to send in young, cute/beautiful/hot/alloftheabove girls strapped with guns in to combat them.
Except this time we don’t have a slab of concrete for a protagonist.
As for the actual major plot, well…in all honesty your guess is as good as mine at this point. In the 3 episodes that I have watched all I’ve gathered from it is that the boatgirls are trying to re/capture W-Island, as it is an important strategic position that they need. That, and some small character developments from the main character, Fubuki. Looking into the anime spoiler-free plot, the manga and the light novels on websites and comparing them to the games lack-of plot, not one piece of content outside of the game is classed as ‘canon’ and they are their own separate stories. There has been no word of any of them becoming canon either, so for now I think it’s safe to say that the anime is canon as of its release, along with the upcoming season 2 and movie for the time being. Still, it seems like a great show to watch for fun and not to get to ‘involved’ with the story, which is how I mainly like my anime anyway so its right up my alley.
Animation wise, Kancolle doesn’t really bring anything new to the table, which isn’t necessarily a ‘bad’ thing, but I know that some small minority of people like having orgasmic visuals. When the show enters ‘fight mode’ however, the characters go from the usual anime 2D models to 3D models, which in all honesty did not bother me at all. With the amount of stuff happening on screen at once, the scale of the battles and with a typical 13 episode anime budget, it was an obvious decision to go ahead with the 3D animation. The only time it got a little on my nerves was during episode 3 when Fubuki was talking with Akagi before the scout battle of W Island. Could just be me, but it seemed like they were a little lazy there on changing it back to 2D animation.
The sound from the show so far hasn’t really made an impact with me. The OP is definitely a must listen and the ED is fairly decent as well. Maybe I was too busy enjoying the action to listen to the battle music but I wasn’t swayed by it much, either good or bad. Same goes for the general background music throughout the show so far.
In the end, Kancolle doesn’t really do much to stand out, aside from the ‘boatgirls’ and the inevitable best girl wars. I’ll definitely be watching more of it for the casual action, and I have to now after episode 3’s goddamn cliff hanger, but really this is more of a try before you buy kind of show. If you haven’t watched the show then I do recommend that you watch the first 3 episodes of the show to see if you’ll like it or not. Oh, and to keep up with the anime(me)s of arguably one of the biggest shows of the year for the general anime community.
Also, I think the “Poi” quote should definitely be a contender for the most irritating thing from an Anime this year. No doubt about it.
“Contender for the most irritating thing from an Anime this year”
KanColle is available to watch for free over on AnimeLab for Australian and New Zealanders and over on Crunchyroll for U.S and European viewers.
So, if you’ve already seen the show what did you think of it? And if you haven’t, will you go see it sometime soon after my initial review? Let me know down in the comments below!