January 07, 2015
That was the most fun I've had watching an episode of anime in quite a while. Well, duh, it's not like it wasn't made for me: the spirits of WWII-era Japanese warships reincarnated into girls with special powers? Now I know how tank fans felt about Girls und Panzer.
Except there's one thing that bothers me. Akagi and Kaga wear their flight decks on opposite arms, and correctly so. Except the Akagi had her island to port, Kaga to starboard.
In Kancolle, the game, the artbooks, the plush figures, and now the anime, they wear the flight decks on the opposite arms. I guess that puts their heads on the correct sides, but it still puts my teeth on edge.
I understand that there's plenty of time for this to go completely belly-up, but at least for one episode, boy, that was awesome!
Now, to work on my schemes and plans...
I want to see what the second episode looks like before deciding what to make of this show...
Posted by: GreyDuck at January 08, 2015 08:18 AM (AQ0bN)
Despite knowing how silly the show is, my suspension of disbelief only allows me to watch Episode 1 in three or four minute clips before I have to do something else. Still...Was that Etajima in the background after the opening? But why are there three light cruisers in a torpedo squadron?
Posted by: cxt217 at January 08, 2015 10:55 AM (zlDqA)
Something I did find very interesting is that the actual "ship outfits" are pulled out of the water every time a fleet girl launches. Really reminds you that all of these ships are destroyed. Mythologically, the trick then would be to find the girl that matches with a ship's spirit.
Posted by: Ben at January 08, 2015 11:42 AM (S4UJw)
Two opposing problems. One is that at some point, "here is a ship and her amusing personality quirk" will get old. We've already had one ship mention night battles every time she opened her mouth, and Kaga dropped the same battle quote twice out of what, five lines total? This format is going to require a little more characterization than a browser game, but so far, the only real -people- we've seen are Fubuki and Akagi, and neither of them are exactly deep either.
Working against that is the -very large- number of ships they'll need to cover. Inevitably there's no way they can involve them all at anything more than a superficial level (but given the nature of the original material, they can't leave them out!) So you're inevitably going to have part of the cast that is not much more than "here is a name, a character design, and a personality quirk, have her show up and toss off her line and shoot something and then we won't see her again for a while." But even that takes up time, and the more time we spend doing IJN Inventory, the less time we get for either characterization or action.
All that said, it's the first episode, and it did what it needed to do pretty well - introduced the important characters, set up the initial scenario, showed us how the whole "ship girl" thing actually works in combat, and that the bad guys are scary evil creepy things. There's enough on the hook to bite the bait... we'll just have to see if the show can set that hook.
Posted by: Avatar at January 08, 2015 01:47 PM (ZeBdf)
Note the title: it's a torpedo squadron, not a destroyer squadron. The IJN put torpedo tubes on darn near everything below CA-size, and a bunch of them, too.
The Sendai-class were built as destroyer leaders and carry eight torpedo tubes; a better question would be, perhaps, why aren't there more torpedoes available?
The three Sendais have eight, in two four-tube mounts (4x2). Fubuki has nine (3x3), Yudachi has eight (4x2), and Mutsuki only six (3x2). I would have expected more destroyers in the group, or more ships in general. Heck, we know the Oi and Kitakami are on base; even in their unmodified forms they carry eight tubes each. Why aren't they part of this squadron?
Posted by: Wonderduck at January 08, 2015 09:03 PM (jGQR+)
I'm almost tempted to give the game a try, but apparently playing it is actually a big pain in the butt (the server's overloaded to the point that you have to win a lotto to get a login?) Would probably try it if someone released it in English though. Could happen - did happen for Love Live after all...
Posted by: Avatar at January 08, 2015 09:40 PM (zJsIy)
That doesn't seem to be the case. The carriers were in squadron 1, the cruisers were squadron 2, and the destroyers were squadron 3.
It was never done that way in real life, of course, but this ain't remotely real life.
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at January 08, 2015 10:23 PM (+rSRq)
Since Japanese light cruisers were suppose to lead destroyer squadrons (Just like their British seniors use to do.), I expected one light cruiser leading each torpedo squadron of destroyers. Or the light cruisers will form their own divisions, just like their bigger sisters heavy cruisers did.
Posted by: cxt217 at January 08, 2015 10:25 PM (zlDqA)
You expected historical accuracy... in an anime... where girls are the living embodiment of WWII-era ships.
Did I get that right?
Posted by: Wonderduck at January 09, 2015 12:52 AM (jGQR+)
Posted by: Mauser at January 09, 2015 04:24 AM (TJ7ih)
Did I get that right?
Given that Akagi and Kaga are in the First Carrier Division...Just like their historical counterparts....
Posted by: cxt217 at January 09, 2015 09:55 AM (zlDqA)
Now, I used the historically correct term at the top of this entry for the Kaga and Akagi, but that was me making a high-level-geek reference, not anything from the anime.
Posted by: Wonderduck at January 09, 2015 10:12 AM (jGQR+)
Posted by: cxt217 at January 09, 2015 11:26 AM (zlDqA)
Is the girl next to her also Russian?
Is this a deep plot to annoy Putin?
Posted by: firstname.lastname@example.org at January 09, 2015 05:40 PM (ZJVQ5)
So yeah, basically the show doesn't want to show realistic prison-like conditions. Therefore, these girls can go into town.
But in a realistic all-girls show with access to a town, most of these girls would be shown realistically having crushes on good-looking or craggy guys in the town, dating guys in the town if there was any possible way, and possibly having hopeless crushes on any of their male teachers who aren't too orc-like.
Since the show is all about looking at girls who are ships, they introduce the unrealistic yuri subtext as an excuse not to show these girls thinking about boyfriends and chatting about boyfriends.
(Except apparently the Admiral. Whom I think I will assume is Miles Vorkosigan as a kid, playing some weird Betan videogame.)
Posted by: email@example.com at January 09, 2015 05:49 PM (ZJVQ5)
Because in later years, the Hibiki was transferred to the Soviet Navy as reparations.
Posted by: Wonderduck at January 09, 2015 07:15 PM (jGQR+)
I had a very good response to the yuri thing suburbanbanshee wrote, but then I went out onto the internet to gather examples and resources and the internet told me I was wrong. Surely the yuri school relationship has been around longer than 10 - 15 years.
Posted by: Ben at January 09, 2015 07:23 PM (S4UJw)
That said, I think that Suburban has it right. It's a little unnatural if absolutely none of them have a romantic interest at all, and quite a bit creepy if they ALL are gunning for the admiral, as it were. So having a little yuri in there means that they can say "yes, these are girls who have an interest in romance and not cardboard cutouts of girls" without bringing some guy into the picture and having an otaku blow his stack because his waifu is seeing some other guy. The unspoken cultural assumption is that it's not indicative that the girl wouldn't be interested in men.
I'm wondering exactly how the show will handle the admiral. It... may be clever for him to simply never appear on screen. That neatly solves the issue of the "player avatar" ("no, seriously, that's you in the background there, Player8195"), and avoids the admiral turning the fleet into One Big Harem... and, not incidentally, means we see other ship-girls in command back at base, so that increases the total amount of ship-girl screen time and opens up some character advancement subplot too.
Wouldn't be Miles - he'd end the war by doing something rule-breaking, or alternately would seduce Wo-tan or something like that. I picked up the Vorkosigan series several years ago and somehow never actually read any of it until last year. Man, should have tried it earlier!
Posted by: Avatar at January 09, 2015 08:49 PM (zJsIy)
I am starting to suspect this is much more important in Japan than I had assumed. Not to get off-topic (Wonderduck, feel free to smack down if desired), I wonder if this is a side-effect of visual novels? Or this that just another effect of some other cultural difference. I just find the concept quoted above mystifying. I wanted to be Luke Skywalker when I was a kid, or Indiana Jones a few years later, or Hikaru Ichijo after that. It never would have occurred to me that the transference could work the other way.
It was the idea of, I guess you would say "girl crushes" that don't last into adulthood that I was going to talk about. I remember in at least a couple of manga or anime the concept is even referenced: some misunderstood situation that could be taken as a minor sexual advance from one girl to another is addressed with some comment about "not being in school anymore" or "you should have outgrown that". That is why I have always understood the "girl crush" idea to be rather common and not associated with the general progression of homosexual identity in the digital age.
Getting back to the show, I appreciated how The Admiral was handled, and hope they stick with that. An anonymous figure with no direct, hands-on control or words that you ever hear. However, this could handicap the story regarding any amount of complexity or drama. After all, ostensibly The Admiral (the viewer) is making the decisions, which means that you have to avoid anything controversial or unusual. On the other hand, I suppose they could gradually remove The Admiral, or have him wounded or killed.
Posted by: Ben at January 09, 2015 10:04 PM (DRaH+)
Japanese sexual politics are -odd-, man. They don't have the whole religious hangup about sex, but they do have a strong impetus to not stick out from the crowd, so there's definitely social pressure not to be "one of the weirdos". It's also a fairly nasty abrogation of your familial duties, even if people don't take the whole ancestral worship thing as seriously anymore; telling your poor mother "there is absolutely no chance of grandchildren" is a rough step there. So with anime characters, you get outright flaming homosexuals, you get the whole "kids experimenting" thing, but actual homosexuals who are otherwise pretty normal are darned thin on the ground.
As far as the Admiral goes... we're not talking about Producer-san here. Admirals are supposed to be remote and a little forbidding, even more so than generals. Having the admiral operate entirely off-screen can help with that impression, because then you can let the viewer's imagination do most of the work. (Of course, you're not supposed to be able to put your face into your ship's tanks and make motorboat noises either, so who knows what they actually have in mind...)
Posted by: Avatar at January 09, 2015 10:32 PM (zJsIy)
One of the Sakura Wars OVAs dealt with the whole issue of how to represent the human player, and came up with an interesting approach: he was shown as dressed in all black, like a puppeteer. Over the course of that episode he appeared a bunch of times flickering in and out of frame, setting up various things, then at the end Ogami (the player character) finally notices him and they talk to each other briefly.
I thought it was pretty cool, though when I first saw it I didn't understand what they were doing.
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at January 10, 2015 04:27 AM (+rSRq)
(Miles Vorkosigan has a notable weakness for tall women. So, fraternization shouldn't be an issue here...?)
Posted by: GreyDuck at January 11, 2015 12:46 AM (AQ0bN)
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