Length: 12 Episodes
Genre: Action, Military, Slice of Life, Comedy, Yuri Subtext
Story: 6/10 and Characters: 10/10
Initially, Kantai Collection or KanColle is a free to play web browser game in which you form your own fleet, collect ship girls and fight against the evil abyssal fleet.
The anime is not much different, but we don’t experience this adventure through the eyes of the admiral, like we do in the game, but rather from the standpoint of the special destroyer Fubuki, as well as many other fleet girls.
Just like in the game, the girls fight against the evil abyssal fleet in order to gain back territory and ensure the worlds’ safety. In case my short description doesn’t make it obvious already, let me just make this one thing clear to everyone; You’re watching a show about girls in skimpy clothes that are supposed to be real ships, fighting other girls and some random sea monsters.
In all honesty, that just sounds ridiculous and stupid. Though, that being said, I still can’t deny that I enjoyed this show with a burning passion. So let me explain to you how a show with a setting as ridiculous as this, managed to score as my favorite show of the whole year so far.
First of all, let’s just make one thing clear; You need to shut off your brain and set it to stand-by in order to really enjoy this show. Thinking too deeply into this kind of setting, that by the way isn’t explained at all, will simply ruin the fun for you. So it is essential to just accept things as they are and instead focus on the characters.
If you haven’t already played the game, getting into all of this might be a little hard as well, which is why I would recommend you to read into the game, the characters and also the different ship types before just jumping into this without knowing anything. Also, having played the game is a huge plus and I’d even say that you are only able to enjoy this show to the fullest if you have already played the game yourself or watched others play.
Seriously, every episode is stuffed with references that can only be valued by those who already know about the characters, their catchphrases and simply the way things work in the game.
Now moving on to the characters. This is where the show probably even deserves extra points in my eyes. I mean, I was seriously worried which characters they’d feature, which ones they’d leave out and which ones they’d set up as the main characters.
Well, I can’t say I’m happy with Fubuki as the main character, even though I understand why they chose her, or in general a destroyer, the weakest and probably less valued of all ship classes. But, even with her as the main character, the selection of other fleet girls was simply superb. Showing Akagi and Kaga was already like a dream coming true, but then there were also Shoukaku, Zuikaku, Ooi, Kitakami and even the Kongou sisters… that’s just awesome.
Then there’s also Mutsu and Nagato, and if we now also take into account that all characters I just listed come with numerous yuri scenes, you will hopefully understand why I am so satisfied. Well, I was missing some characters, like Suzuya and Kumano, but they already stuffed in quite a lot of other characters, and adding more would have probably made it a little too confusing, especially for those that are not yet familiar with the game.
However, the one thing that I enjoyed the most is definitely how they gave life to the characters that we only knew from the few different phrases they had in the game. Especially the Kongou Sisters were really fun to watch, with basically all 3 of them going crazy over their oh so smart and strong Kongou-neesama~
Finally, if you want to compare KanColle to another show, you should probably go with Strike Witches. You could say that it is an exact copy of Strike Witches, with the only difference being that the fighting doesn’t take place in the air, but on water.
I know, going by my yuri rating system, I obviously rated this show too high. But in this case, I just had to add some extra points, because this show simply blew me away with the amount of yuri we got.
I was expecting a yuri level similar to that of Strike Witches. I mean, we could already expect some yuri, since some characters say some really yuri-ish things in the game, especially Ooi and Kitamami. However, showing them as a canon pairing was simply mind-blowing. Each and every episode had at least one yuri moment between them and that’s not even enough. Other than them, we also got:
Akagi x Kaga
Shoukaku x Zuikaku
Nagato x Mutsu
Kongou x Hiei
Mutsuki x Kisaragi
(Akagi x Fubuki….)
That’s a whole lot of you ask me! And even though we never got an actual kiss or anything like that, many scenes delivered some major yuri subtext, some yuri that I’d even say wasn’t just subtext anymore:
I’m actually trying to hold back the need to post all the awesome screenshots I took during all the yuri scenes throughout the show, but I’ll refrain myself from posting too many pictures here, so if you’re interested, just check out the pictures I posted on Twitter.
Since Touhou never got a “real” anime adaptation and “only” managed to get fanmade anime projects that were either missing a real voice dub or good animation, I was seriously worried that this show might have to face similar problems. However, I was impressed just how good the whole thing looked in the end.
Well, we should not forget about the awkward 3D animation that was mainly added during fighting scenes and that I already hated from other shows, like Love Live!. But in this case, I guess you can say it was bearable, since they only used it during a few selected scenes through the whole thing.
The first time I listened to the opening I was really disappointed they didn’t go with one the numerous arrangements of the games’ background music. As already mentioned in my post about why games like KanColle or Touhou are so big, KanColle even surpassed the number of Comiket circles and has thus already gained a very high number of circles rearranging the music used in the game, which is also why I was almost certain they’d go with one of these for the anime as well. But oh well….
If I had to pick, I would have gone with a song by Yuuhei Catharsis, like this one for example:
But even so, the opening, as well as the ending theme are both really great and super catchy, so I probably shouldn’t complain too much.
Total Enjoyment: 9.5/10
As already stated above, this is my absolute favorite anime of the whole year. I know that some people won’t understand just why I was and still am so hyped about this show, but I can simply tell you this much: If you already know the characters from some doujinshi, and if you also play the game yourself, then this anime is seriously like a dream come true.
And with yuri subtext as high as in this one, what more could I ask for? The answer is a second season and the gods have seemingly heard my prayers!
Hell yeah, I’m hyped again!