March 16, 2015

Kantai Collection Ep10 (updated)

So I'm running a little late this week, sorry about that.  What with my other hobby starting this week, I sorta had to shuffle the writeup a little farther down the priority ladder than normal.  It's okay, though... if I had to, this was the episode to delay.  Not that it wasn't important, heavens no, but it's hardly The Most Important Episode Ever.  Which is why I'm not giving it my usual 100% treatment this week.  Hey, I'M not the one looking to get a major remodel, that's Fubuki's job.  I'd be satisfied with a haircut and a closet full of clean towels... I've really got to get to a laundromat, but that means going out into the public eye, y'know?  Before I get into that, though, let's get going on the Episode 10 of Kantai Collection!

We begin with shots of Foobie training and a not-a-flashback to the end of last episode, when Our Heroine is told she's being remodeled.  Nagato tells her that the Admiral specifically said that her upgraded form was going to be essential for the upcoming battle, and I'd like to say that I called that at the end of last ep's writeup.  Go me.  Sure, it was like hitting a batting practice fastball, but I still called it.  I'm in a win-win situation here.  Either they go with Foobie Saves The Day, or they go with History Repeating.  I'd enjoy either result, though the bloodbath would take guts indeed.  Back to current day...

....and Nagato's got a problem.  See, she's got the Admiral's notebook of what to do for the coming battle, but the most important piece of information, the location, is in code.  It just says to "strike Abyssal base AF," but not which base AF is!  There are three possibilities: north, the Aleutians; South, someplace less-than-obvious to my history-laden mind, and Central.  Nagato is doing recon-by-fire, sending small fleets out to each location to see which one gets shot at the most.  By her logic, the one that's most strongly defended is AF.

Fleets have already been sent to North and South.  The newly reconstituted Torpedo Squadron Three gets the Central area, which contains island MI.  Orders are to get shot at, but not draw the entire Abyssal fleet down on themselves.


Out on the ocean...

...I'm trying to figure out if this reminds me more of short track speed skating or roller derby.  TS3 gets themselves spotted by an Abyssal fighter, which should be something of a tipoff to them, but they just change direction and keep on patrolling.  A few moments later...

...they're ambushed by two Abyssal light cruisers and four destroyers, and I don't want to hear any complaints about how ugly Japanese "Pagoda" masts are ever again.  Hell, Faa di Bruno has more attractive lines than these things.  Foobie, who has been pushing herself to improve her skills enough to be allowed to "level up", decides to take matters into her own hands.

It doesn't go well.  At all.  As in, Foobie is on the verge of sinking.  The last thing she sees is one of the light cruisers bearing down, main guns trained on her face.  Then cannon fire, then nothing.  Fubuki is sunk, but she died scouting the enemy.  AF's location is pinpointed.  The end.

Nah.  She survived, but it was near run thing.  If the Abyssal hadn't've missed, she would have gone down.  TS3 got her back to the base and into the tubs so she could get repaired.  Mutsuki isn't taking it well... she's already lost her sister, now to almost lose her friend?  Foobie is bemused, and there's nothing worse than a bemused foobie.  Later...

...the two have a relatively pointless heart-to-heart, culminating in Frodo's declaration to Merry that she'll never leave her.  That's lovely, but the Abyssals may have something to say about that, of course.  Oh, and by the way...

...Nagato declares MI to be the Abyssal base AF listed in the Admiral's notes.  I'd like to note here that the Kantai Collection version of MI is somewhat at odds, geographically, with the Real World version.  Meanwhile...

...Akagi tells a story about how the Admiral told her to choose her own escort.  So she does; she requests Foobie's services as escort.  Before Fubuki can accept however, Kaga has to pipe up.

And what she says kinda makes sense, actually.  Since Akagi is essentially the flagship of the entire fleet, it's important to everybody that her escort can actually do the job... and Kaga wants to make sure that Foobs can.  Challenge accepted.  But how is this gonna work?

Kaga and Akagi are going to throw training airplanes at Foobie, and she's going to shoot them down while dodging their attacks.  Easy, right?

It doesn't go well. At all.  She's... okay at anti-aircraft work, but something is always getting through, and over and over again, she's getting pummeled.  Keeps getting up, though, so that's going for her.  Until, finally, barely...

...she kills the final six training planes while sacrificing herself in the process.  This impresses Kaga enough to accept her as Akagi's escort, much to everybody's pleasure.    And then...

...Foobie gets The Glow.  Quick, to the factories for the upgrade, immediately!!!  And the results?

Well, she still looks the same.  Her gun turret is different, though, and she's got a new fire director on her left wrist, but that's about it.  Cue jokes about chest size and how all the work was wasted, ho ho ha ha it is to laugh.  Fade to black, roll credits.  (UPDATE: I woke up at 5am, some three hours after I posted the writeup, my mind full of disgust because I neglected to include some important information.  See, what I didn't mention is that in the show, it becomes progressively clearer that it isn't her ability, significant as it is, that Akagi values, but Fubuki's fighting spirit.  She keeps getting back up.  Well past the point that other shipgirls would have given up, Fubuki continues to get to her feet.  The show even makes sure we realize that she's not doing it for herself... "I want to be useful to someone."  Her friend, Mutsuki.  Her idol, Akagi.  Her fleet, her Admiral, and by extension, her nation.  The Imperial Japanese Navy would be proud.  It would be, if it hadn't all been sent to the bottom of the ocean by a nation with perhaps less fighting spirit but with a LOT more aircraft carriers.  Satisfied that I'd get to it in the morning, I went back to sleep.  Until now, and here we are.)  

Well.  It wasn't exactly fluff, but it wasn't overly deep either.  I skipped over a lot of the testing scene... in the episode, it was nearly five minutes of Fubuki getting kicked around.  One thing is for sure: we're on the road to Midway, and it's right around the corner.  Fubuki will be protecting Kido Butai, however, so all will be right with the world.  Or not.  We'll find out next episode!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 02:00 AM | Comments (15) | Add Comment
Post contains 1174 words, total size 9 kb.

1 Fubuki: Competent badass, or clueless punching-bag? Only the writer of each episode knows for sure, as they put pen to paper!

Posted by: GreyDuck at March 16, 2015 07:12 AM (AQ0bN)

2 Both.  She's a moe yuri shonen hero.

Posted by: Ben at March 16, 2015 10:55 AM (S4UJw)

3 Your post is incomplete. You didn't put in a picture of Fubuki in her wedding dress. I felt that was the most telling part of the episode, clearly we are watching a dramatization of one player's game, not a re-enactment of history like people keep claiming.

Posted by: Riktol at March 16, 2015 03:24 PM (MQZN9)

4 Your post is incomplete.

My post is exactly as complete as I wanted it to be.  If you feel you can do better, you're welcome to do so.

Taking the time to explain the whole "marriage" functionality of the game was more work and effort than I judged worth doing.  And, since that scene was a retelling of a dream and not an actual event, it's hard to figure it as a "dramatization of a game." 

I could be wrong, though. 

Posted by: Wonderduck at March 16, 2015 03:37 PM (jGQR+)

5 I don't think it's a dramatization of a player's game as much as it's a synthesis of the intended game experience.  

Posted by: Ben at March 16, 2015 04:03 PM (neool)

6 It's... kind of terrifying in some kind of mystic sense, though. "I saw you in a dream in a wedding dress! Therefore you are to command our fleets, o my shipwaifu."

Though it's already been remarked that Fubuki is probably doing a better job at it than Yamamoto or, for that matter, Nagumo... and I'm convinced that Duck had it exactly right regarding which history books Fubuki has been reading in her spare time. Fubuki doesn't have Victory Disease - the Abyssals are a big scary alien threat that they don't have a handle on. Fubuki is perfectly happy to tell the carriers to run an adequate search (though she gets less guff about it since in Kancolle-land that doesn't seem to translate into a weaker strike.)

Further, they're going in to hunt the carriers from the get-go... though of course Kancolle is pretty abstract about what would constitute a landing or invasion, no? It ain't that kind of game, after all.

It'll be interesting anyway.

Posted by: Avatar at March 16, 2015 07:37 PM (zJsIy)

7 Okay, granted that most wedding dresses today are styled a lot like evening dresses, and the wedding industry profits hugely by never having to tailor sleeves.

But seriously, guys, that was a sparkly evening dress and an evening tiara. If that's supposed to be her wedding dress, Fubuki is doing her wedding on the cheap, not that there's anything wrong with that.

(And it's not a wedding reception dress, because those are red.)

Of course, if we were really doing WWII-recreation, Fubuki can't have a Western-style wedding dress (unpatriotic), and she can't have an evening gown with that much loose cloth in it (rationing). White wedding gowns were still not universal even in the UK and the United States, and during the war, most girls just got married in their best dress.

Of course, there is the famous war option of making a dress out of parachute silk, but I think you'd need an awful lot of fairy-sized parachutes to get enough silk for a parachute t-shirt, much less a whole dress.

So I guess my point is that the Admiral has awful weird fashion sense in his dreams. The real dream message may have been that Fubuki is the destined Belle of the Ball, or the destined Eliza Doolittle.

Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at March 16, 2015 10:48 PM (ZJVQ5)

8 Actually, that would explain a lot.

The Admiral thought "Fubuki = Doolittle = raid leader."

Actually, the dream was a precognitive death warning, telling the Admiral to "Move your bloomin' arse!"

Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at March 16, 2015 10:56 PM (ZJVQ5)

9 I really don't think the writers are re-doing WWII.  Even if they were, they haven't done the groundwork necessary to sell it.  This has been a constant complaint I've had throughout is that, since they clearly *arent* redoing WWII, why are they using Pacific battles as a template and sticking so close to how those battles played out?

Posted by: Ben at March 17, 2015 08:16 AM (DRaH+)

10 You missed the point. That dream wasn't the Admiral in the early 1940s having a dream; the Tokyo skyline did not look like that back then, man. That was the modern-day Admiral, he who is playing Kancolle-the-game, dreaming about his waifu in the modern day, and then going in and playing the game like that...

I think the big key is this - the anime isn't worried about the rest of WW2 because it's about to end. They don't have to think about "well, wait, how do we make it so we keep winning but then keep fighting for event areas closer and closer to Japan?" (and that's something the game will need to deal with sometime too, y'know...)

We'll find out tomorrow, or failin' that, a week later.

Posted by: Avatar at March 17, 2015 07:46 PM (zJsIy)

11 You missed the point.

So now I've got two people telling me how to do my writeups?

Posted by: Wonderduck at March 17, 2015 08:11 PM (jGQR+)

12 I believe that _I_ was being told that I had missed the point. Which I probably did, given that I started talking about fashion irrelevancies and then headed out to wacko-land.

It is pretty hilarious how the Tokyo Tower continues to show up everywhere in anime.

So what time is KanColle set in, in its own universe? Obviously not WWII, because they're ship spirits in modern girls. But are we talking far future Earth, near future Earth, or AI who don't know they live on a server and are fighting against the alien viruses Reboot-style?

The baths working so fast -- that definitely argues far future, I would think. Unless it's magic, in which case magic has definitely leveled up in the KanColle world. I guess it could be roughly modern times, but I don't really see women today being comfortable walking around in public in those crazy outfits, unless all ship spirits are reincarnated in Japanese cosplayers who believe in skimpy outfits. So it must be very alternate universe.

Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at March 17, 2015 08:30 PM (ZJVQ5)

13 Yeah, I'm happy with the writeup. Also I approve of F1 writing. So it's like, no matter what you're writing up, unless it's Rio, I win! (and even if it is Rio, I can't look away!) My fault for unclear pronoun use though.

Honestly, I like looking into the deep hidden stuff behind various shows, but I don't think Kancolle is suitable for it. I could make the scenario work if someone asked me to do it, but I'd have to put in a lot of detail that frankly ain't in the game or the show, and nothing's convinced me that the writers went to the trouble.

Posted by: Avatar at March 17, 2015 10:26 PM (zJsIy)

14 "...nothing's convinced me that the writers went to the trouble."
That's the scab I keep picking at.

Posted by: Ben at March 18, 2015 08:48 AM (DRaH+)

15 Ah, but the joy of fanfic and WAGuess is that you can make it work anyway!

Amusingly enough, early YA writer S.E. Hinton has revealed that she's been writing fanfic of her own stuff and putting it out in non-official fanfic groups under a fannish name. (Although at that point, I don't know why she wouldn't just release a book of short stories, unless she's under abusive contract.)

Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at March 18, 2015 05:58 PM (ZJVQ5)

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