「初めまして!司令官!」 (Hajimemashite! Shireikan!)
“Nice to Meet You! Commander!”

Preface: I know much less about World War II warships than I know about tanks, and have never played Kantai Collection: The Game so I walk into Kantai Collection: The Anime as one of the naïve audience.  From the point of view of Passerby: The Casual Anime Watcher, this introductory episode was… somewhat of a strange beast.

The premise is pretty much as described in the preview, with kaiju the Abyssal fleet emerging from the depths to terrorise humanity, and water skiing heroines are the only ones to stop them. Not only are these kanmusu possessed by WWII warships, they’re also thematically inspired by them, to the point where they’ll suffer looking like martians in order to do their ship cosplay. All that in itself is not exactly strange, by anime standards. What we have is still basically an amalgam of Aoki Hagane no Appregio and STRIKE WITCHES. What I found strange were the amount of conflicting dualities present from the get go. Let me explain.

KanColle is initially set up as a bit of a war flick, to the point where our series starts with a recitation of the Gosei. Yet, for most of the episode it was hard to tell there was a war going on. This is a lot of sugar for wartime. And the girls are awfully lax for a bunch of kids about to be sent off to fight robotic hell orca. In fact, the tone for the atmosphere could easily have been for an anime in which high school student Fubuki transfers to a new a school and has a tough time on the first day of class. Which is basically every other anime. I know that KanColle‘s setting is not strictly WWII, but I’m getting mixed messages here. There is an anachronistic blend of dated tools with Arthur C. Clarke technology (including, for the enemy, force fields). The battle was supposed to be all serious business until it was revealed the planes (transformed from arrows) were piloted by midgets. Perhaps this is something from the game, but as an anime-only philistine I’m not exactly sure what I’m supposed to feel here.

Aside from the confusing mood, there was a lot to be positive about in this episode. The art is crisp and clean, the music was appropriately orchestral fanfare (though not quite as iconic as Girls und Panzer‘s arrangements) and the animation consistent all around. Even the CGI was passable—noticeable, but passable. Much is forgivable as long it remains pretty cool. Bringing in Kusakawa Keizo was a surprisingly enlightened choice; he has blended magical girl transformations with mecha transformations into something equally ludicrous but similarly fun to watch (and reminiscent of Western influences).

And the cast. Oh the cast. I’m not going to list all the characters, lest I get an aneurysm, and a lot of them share the same seiyuu and just talk to themselves anyway. I’ll let MAL make a list. The point is, the amount of ships featured is enormous, like an endless cameo parade. Every girl needs to be distinguished, so every girl has a niche, even if it’s just a weird verbal tic or a weird hobby or weirdly gratuitous Engrish (and sometimes Russian). Since there are so many characters (and I won’t be surprised if there are even more) in limited episode time, the girls are at the moment nothing more than a series of gimmicks and catchphrases, and sometimes those gimmicks are no more than flashing underwear or bouncing breasts (they have a target audience, I suppose). With more time, though, I expect at least a core group to receive enough development to gain some depth before the season is done.

Until then, the character I’m actually the most interested in is the absentee, player-perspective admiral. Perhaps the clearest reminder that KanColle is based on a game is the nominal ‘player avatar’ character, and I’m interested in what will be done with him. I am reminded of THE IDOLM@STER, an oddly similar game adaptation, and its ‘Producer’ character. They played with a gimmick like KanColle‘s in the first episode, but ultimately integrated him into the show as a real character in his own right. I think the series was richer for it like that, with the Producer ending up as a very useful enabler. KanColle’s ‘Commander’ has no lines and does no admiral-ing, but we shall see if he becomes any more than an in-joke. For me, his treatment will play a significant part in deciding whether KanColle ends up as just fanservice for established fans of the franchise, or a legitimate anime that stands on its own.

On the horizon ~ looking ahead

With the way KanColle has been set up in this first episode, I can see two directions it can go. Either it remains as it is and continues to be a relatively light-hearted affair, sprinkled with intense battles but ones where there is good, there is evil, and good ultimately triumphs. Alternatively, the relative levity may be a ruse that paves the way for something darker, less idealistic, but meaningful. My expectations lean towards the former but I’m hoping for more of the latter (what with the Abyssals looking like being dark, scantily dressed mirrors of the ship girls) . A happy medium could also exist. In that regard, I’m reminded of Sora no Woto, a superficially comparable anime that I think turned out rather nicely. Sora no Woto, even with its military trappings, was mostly a slice-of-life (as KanColle will probably be), but it was a slice of a very different, but oddly familiar, life. All the slices eventually built a world that was fascinating, beautiful, and sobering. KanColle could do that too, rising above its thin game roots to truly flesh out the creative material available to it. That will be a hard path, but a more rewarding one.

Even if KanColle does not aspire to such lofty heights, it can still be a very solid watch. There is a lot that is fun and interesting hinted at in this first episode, and it could just keep doing that. Even if you aren’t an entrenched fan of the game, and for you Kantai Collection -KanColle- is just cute girls who occasionally blow stuff up, that in itself can still easily serve as quality entertainment this season.


Full-length images: 06, 07, 21, 24, 27.


  1. I definitely liked this all better when it was called Arpeggio of Blue Steel!

    Jokes aside, after last season’s Shingeki no Bahamut (a show that showed us that you can adapt a mobile card game into an anime and make it really good at the same time)… In my opinion, KanColle pandered too much to the fans of the game (with all the catchphrases spouted at random, for example) and didn’t try to create something that could also appeal a broader audience. Oh, well. I certainly won’t miss it.

    1. I do not know much about KanColle but I like many of its fanarts and I am glad that it got an anime. So many beautiful ships. I wonder which one I should cheer for.

      John Hayabusa
      1. And that makes perfect sense, in my opinion. This is clearly a series whose appeal lies in the characters, if you like the kind of archetypes/stereotypes shown here. I’m not, but I can certainly see the appeal!

  2. This first episode just didn’t do it for me. As opposed to last season’s Shingeki no Bahamut which used a similar game as loose inspiration and ran away with it, this adaption feels too closely tied to, perhaps even stifled by its source material. The characters, setting, and mechanics feel like they’re copy/pasted straight out of the game and rely on the viewer having a prior familiarity to get the most out of them. Great if you simply want fanservice of the game, but not so good if (like me) you have little familiarity with it and want something more.

    The fight scene was also rather underwhelming in my opinion. The ocean and waves looked too CG-ish and off color, and the water-skiing action was too weightless and unsatisfying. The ship girls simply skated in a wrecked things; there was little dramatic tension or back and forth retorts on a tactical or strategic level as there should be in a good fight. Aside from the carriers, there also wasn’t much difference between how the various classes of ships fought, or even any easy way to tell which was which.

    I’ll give it a couple more episodes, but at first glance there really isn’t anything of interest to me in KanColle. I’m not particularly intrigued by any of the characters or the conflict, don’t really enjoy the action, can find better fanservice elsewhere, and don’t know enough about the IJN to fanboy over the references.

  3. On a game’s perspective: I think the reason why the admiral sent Fubuki to the battle (even though she had no experience on that whatsoever) is to leech some exp to make herself stronger (just like pokemon) given the fact that she was surrounded by veterans.

    Ok so animation is fucking great if the CG may had done it better but still is great, plus the way they serve fanservice is unnoticable (like the showing of Fubuki’s pantsu you need to look a bit more harder) which is a plus and lastly the plot I hope they could have done it better. But overall the show is awesome and I hope someone may cover this just for the sake of the screenshots (please lol).
    Random thoughts:
    KanColle: a show where you ship the ships (I saw this line from the internet)
    Poi Poi Poi
    5 seconds of fame for this pilot dayum

  4. Well I didn’t play it and only saw some of the characters’ artworks occasionally from friends who played the game, it looked normal in still pictures but when I saw it moving like the anime it’s kind of bizzare experience… Maybe I’ll get used to it later but for now I don’t know wheter I’m impressed or confused…

    1. Loliplanes are sure better than these wannabe ‘ships’.
      Seriously their ‘attire’ is made of a Ship to wear like some kind of backpack with straps or armband? Really? I think you can’t simply best Umikane’s chara

      What’s really bad is Strike Witches very same lazy settings that reminds of a junior grade school more than military school.

    2. What’s wrong with Strike Witches? It was fun as hell! Hahaha. But yes I can see why people would be bothered by it. Plus those panshots at times. Not a show to watch around other people.

  5. This is pure fan service, nothing more, nothing less. Not the typical “fan service” though of bouncing breasts and moments of pelvic flashing one usually thinks of, but the pandering to characters, their individual quirks, and the whole host of game mechanics. Without a doubt KanColle has been deliberately produced as such to fully take advantage of the game’s popularity and accounting for the production values it’s likely expected that this will just rake in the cash.

    The problem with this method of direct adaptation of course is it leaves those unfamiliar with the game in a lurch as it grew confusing incredibly fast. Shingeki no Bahamut was a resounding success because it broadened its reach to account for those ignorant of its source material by providing a unique, game-independent story, but in KanColle’s case if you don’t already get it you’re SOL as the game is front and centre. Girls und Panzer this ain’t, and it remains to be seen if KanColle will try going the Strike Witches path, but considering this episode alone it’s not likely to do so either.

    Overall there’s not much here for anyone who isn’t a fan of the game or a moe lover with decent knowledge of mid 1900 naval vessels (specifically IJN ships). I’ll stick around for 3 episodes, but it’s going to take something amazing to turn opinions around on this one.

  6. What ? Fubu..who ? I only saw my Yuudachi Poi Poi !
    That aside … I guess with the first episode is nice. It tries to introduce characters to those who never played the game, while giving short cameos for fans to drool about.
    I’ll reserve my opinion on the storyline for a few episodes since I don’t mind going slice of life or drama. I just hope it would be solid either way, that’s all.
    Not sure if this would count as spoiler or not… but I do want to see Show Spoiler ▼

    So I guess I would have to wish for a plot twist, right ? -_-“

  7. Too MANY characters. Like there’s no focus on the main cast. Well, there ARE over 100 KanColle ships I do agree, but they should have focused on like say the most popular cast, (That’ll drop it to at least around 5-10 or so.) not this random. no-focus anime.

    1. That’s what people said when Shirobako started, but if you pay more attention, the story is indeed focused on Fubuki. Most characters would probably get a token cameo in homage to the game and its fans, but it would be foolish and unfeasible to focus on everyone.

    1. If you look it from the historical context, ALMOST EVERYONE has a guillotine hanging above their heads…

      Now I wonder if we would see Akagi, Kaga, Hiryu and Soryu burn from stem to stern.

      Makise Kuristina
      1. I think they abandoned any idea of history repeating itself – just to keep the unfortunate implications out… (1.being on the WRONG side of WW2, 2. losing the war. 3. all the ships bar few sinking)

    2. I don’t believe they’ll go down the dark historical route. Or we’ll have girls in Strike Witches turning on one another once the Neuroi is taken care of. It’s just not that kind of show.

      1. This is exactly what Strike Witches should have meant to be, instead of that happy-go-lucky lolifest.
        Just like it happened briefly in S2e10 with Hanna vs Hartmann air duel. But, of course, I admit this is only my own wishful thinking. Strike Witches is not that kind of anime, alas.

    1. and i still not get it, why they use only the Ship’s that “lived” around WW2. if they would hold more resources, there would be more Ships in Yamato class and others. But no, we only see 2 of their Class, and perhaps the Yamato Air Carrier

      Oh well, perhaps this Show is really for the Game fans.

      1. The Yamato class (Yamato and Musashi) were not in this episode, and Shinano doesn’t even exist in game yet, so there is zero chance that she’ll turn up. You saw four battleships: the Nagato-class (Nagato and Mutsu), and two of the Kongou-class (Kongou and Hiei), and the carriers in the 1st Carrier Division: Akagi, Kaga, Souryuu, and Hiryuu (each one the only member of their class).

      1. It’s the concept behind it, that an originally inanimate object would gain sentience (come to life, so to speak), that matters =3. While Kancolle’s settings have been left unexplained so far, there is a good number of fan-creators who chose this idea or a variant of it as a inspiration. I think a good example would be boushi-ya’s Kancolle doujin “艦これ前日譚 ◯四二三事変” (if interested you can search danbooru for “boushi-ya” or “Kantai Collection – The Beginning (boushi-ya)”).

        Random Comment
    2. What i think about that?

      Is this worth for being the Top Class Battleships in their Era?
      This funny looking Alien Antennas like Ants?
      I preferred some more elegance Head gear. More like a Bigger Bridge, or their Ship crest as Head cover Symbol

      But with this headgear they are laughing matter. That do not fit their Super-battleship pride

    3. oh, before someone get the wrong idea. I do not have bad thoughts or want to rant. i just do not understand this Battleship’s Soul idea. And the picture with Yamato and Mushasi in background my Mind cinema play this scene, lying on all four limbs and bark like a Dog, with this Collar thing around the neck. No, this Design is a total failure of display their grace of Super-battleship and Pride of their time.

      so i just want a normal “discussion” with you, thats all

  8. I’m not really sure if I liked the first episode or not. My gripes can be essentially boiled down to most of what Passerby stated.

    -Too many characters with only certain character traits to define them.

    -too many reused voices. I can live with this one though. It was pretty cool seeing just how deep Sakura Ayane’s voice can go with Nagato.

    -The admiral character is clearly still being used as an avatar by making his interaction with the girls being done in first person view. Also, Fubuki being encouraged by the admiral meant nothing to me since she pretty much went from depressed to motivated in the span of a few seconds without us knowing why.


    Wasn’t all bad. The battles were pretty good with some of the better cg I’ve seen used for character. The depiction of how the girls fight was pretty neat to see. They could have just copied Arpeggio and had them actually be on their ships. It’s a little awkward, but I like the creativity in it.

    Also, what in the blue hell did the fanbase do to Akagi? She was actually cool here. More of that please. Don’t turn her into a rice gorging idiot.

    1. Akagi’s reputation as the Queen of Bauxite comes from the early days of the game, where her resource consumption was bugged. By the time it was fixed, her reputation had been set, and everyone else just ran with it. 😛

    2. “-too many reused voices. I can live with this one though. It was pretty cool seeing just how deep Sakura Ayane’s voice can go with Nagato.”

      I didn’t look beyond the “main” cast when I read up on this show so nothing seemed out of the ordinary at first.

      Usually with a show with this large a supporting cast it’s fun to play “guess whose voice it is” through the first episode… and I thought I was going crazy for a minute before I brought up the full cast list and realized my ears weren’t going bad and there really are some seiyuu voicing anywhere from two to SIX characters.

  9. This first episode was Cliche: The Animation. Fubuki is the dojiko with unlimited potential, Akagi the oneesama, and so on. Way too predictable characters. While the art is pleasant, the whole idea of “souls of past era warships” is WTF. Making the girls put on her vessel’s most iconic gearup a-la Centurions was laughable, and the only saving grace is the orchestral OST. It’s the “it’s magic” explanation, but puts the “reason of disbelieve” to the max.

    KanColle tries too hard to be anything that’s not Strike Witches, Arpeggio of Blue Steel and Girls und Panzer, but it don’t have iconic characters (SW), real warships of the WWII era (AoBlS) and the tactical awesomeness that would come in a battle with so many units (GuP)

    1. The dojikko with unlimited potential thing reminded me of the protagonist of the Senran Kagura anime.

      To me, the problem isn’t that they’re stereotyped, it’s that their lines feel like they’re all catchphrases from the game. So everything character X says has to be something about how the night is awesome, everything character Y says has to use the phrase yuzuremasen, everything character Z says has to be apologizing for her sisters.

      It also feels weird when they’re in a battle and the girls are taking turns to say their catchphrases with a -nya or some other moe quirk that comes out of nowhere since I never saw their character before. It’s important to realize that if you suddenly introduce a character who’s acting moe and then switch perspectives, she just looks like a weirdo. An “uguu” or “gao” without context isn’t cute, it’s puzzling or bizarre.

      The last lines from the protagonist implying that the admiral helped her find a goal for herself didn’t really catch my attention in any way. I didn’t play the game, so I won’t be watching episode 2. Good luck to Kancolle fans…

    1. Not sure if I’m going to pick this up. The first episode made it seem like more for game veterans than uninformed folk like me. I will give it three episodes, though. And I’ll make a decision on it after I’ve introduced some other shows for this season.

      1. Agreed. This episode is too much of an introduction to KanColle (either the game, the anime, or both).

        It might’ve spent too much time introducing itself without mentioning any self-sustaining storyline.

  10. For all of the complains that viewers have and all of the bashing on MAL as well as the comments we have here thus far, coming to this show as an anime viewer only (yes I’ve never even played the game once) and with some semblance of Pacific Theatre knowledge, I find KC to be rather enjoyable.

    I have to admit that I was hyped for this and the first episode didn’t let me down. I don’t really care for the SOL but I do hope they don’t turn this into an SOL series. As for the number of characters, yea I know it’s HUGE but right at the start, I find Torpedo Squadron 3’s flagship to be most appealing. Alongside Kirishima and 1st Carrier Division of course.

    That said, there’re few things that I noticed in this episode –

    The narrator sounds like Chairman Kaisei, Sybil’s human avatar.

    Did anyone notice the wooden fin attachments on the air dropped torpedo in the torpedo run on the Boss? I don’t know if they’re making reference to Pearl Harbour or not.

    Lastly, that final bomb drop… The imagery presented really reminds me of USS Arizona.

    Anyway Passerby, she was built by the British…. Of course anime logic dictates that she must use gratuitous English!


    P.S. After watching this episode, my wallet started sobbing since I am so tempted to consider expanding my collection of 1/700 ships

    Makise Kuristina
      1. Both sister ships were top heavy historically and are top heavy girls as well. They are also the heaviest armed of any heavy cruiser of the IJN, 10x20cm, 8x12cm cannons and 16 long lance torpedo tubes.

    1. Yeah, the most I ever got with KanColle was the tons of fanarts (and now a few scans with the anime), never having played the game either and with very little knowledge of (Japanese) WWII ships (besides some names and some other very general details), but I still found this pretty enjoyable overall.

      As long as they keep the plot and character development more focused on Fubuki and those closer to her, I think this could work. It would only be if they truly try to go full fan-service and try to fit in more screentime and development for virtually everyone that there would be a problem since there are so many.

      1. Well….. I can proudly say that I’ve totally dropped SAO series

        For one, it really was a drag to watch it. The characters were totally alien to me. Only Sugu and Sinon were notable. The rest were mediocre at best.

        And Asuna is just a sorry excuse for a female lead.

      2. I’m very disappointed to hear the suggestion that this series is given the “SAO treatment” (SAO no doubt replaces Gundam Seed Destiny as the standard bearer for “disappointment”).

        For starters, no one has any illusion about the plot, because the game itself has no plot. And surely one should be able to tell that behind the military facade, that this is a slice-of-life character driven moe show on the level of Girls und Panzer and Strike Witches? Unlike SAO which tries to take itself too seriously.

      3. SAO first episode was actually pretty good. It was the subsequent development that sucked great.

        This Kankolle first episode, on the other hand, screams of plain, lacking of originality and ripoff. Just go back and watch again the first Strike Witches and if you can see beyond pantyshots, you will notice the same development as this. But Yoshika’s reasons for joining SW made far more sense than this Fubuki here joining such high talented people school without any experience whatsoever. She’s a total amateur but word of her accomplishments also reached the ears of the renowned top of the class Miss Aircarrier. Why? I hope they will explain sometimes, but I doubt it. This series looks all about obscure reference and fanservice for Card Game players and ww2 otakus more than a story with solid plot, just like Strike Witches was.

    2. Kongou (along with her sister ships) was built in UK, just before WW1 , back when both island empires were on best terms and allied…
      The Russian-speaking destroyer was after WW2 inducted into Soviet navy.

  11. Really enjoyed this series, came in expecting a full blown SOL anime but got a decent amount of action in it too. Nothing amazing, but looks like a series that I’m going to enjoy for this season 🙂

    Trap Masters
  12. I’m amazed that the CGI characters blend in competently beside the hand-drawn ones. They just need better acting coaches.

    That said, this was a really good episode to start off the show with. I’m wondering if the fights of the Fleet will be mixed in with the school scenes regularly. It does seem like a weird editing choice, but it does give other popular girls their screentime.

  13. They didn’t use any subs for the operation to take out the Abyssal base? I really wanted to see both Iku (I-19) and I-401 in action wearing their school mizugi. And now that I’ve seen how the ship girls move across the surface of the water, I wonder how it would work for underwater craft. Would the girls be shown swimming normally by flapping their legs or would they also be propelled by an external attachment of some sort? (Inquiring minds want to know.)

    Other than reading a bit of manga and a boatload of doujins, I’ve no other exposure to this series or the game it’s based off of, and already I find myself hooked after the first episode of the anime. (Then again, it has two of my favorite things in the whole wide world: Bishoujos and military hardware. When the two are combined, the final product is rarely disappointing for me.)

    Seeing this makes me wish they would just port the game to Steam for us English users already. I’d get it in a heartbeat and waste hours of my life on it raising and marrying the perfect ship waifu.

  14. As someone who does play the game (probably too much of the game in fact), I can see where the anime could be confusing already and seem weird. But I feel like this episode was probably focused on being a hook and direct fan service at the same time so that they can continue on with their own story line from here on. I thought the episode was great personally though, but some of the battle quotes felt out of place honestly (like Hibiki’s phoenix quote).

    Lyrical Dreams
  15. Either it remains as it is and continues to be a relatively light-hearted affair, sprinkled with intense battles but ones where there is good, there is evil, and good ultimately triumphs. Alternatively, the relative levity may be a ruse that paves the way for something darker, less idealistic, but meaningful. My expectations lean towards the former but I’m hoping for more of the latter

    My expectations lean towards the latter but I’m hoping for more of the former.

  16. as a kancolle player I was satisfied, one must keep in mind that its mostly aimed at the fans

    kancolle is so popular in Japan they’d have been crazy not to go that route

    as to the midget in the plane, the various equipments of shipgirls are manned by fairies, yes fairies

    kancolle has some fairly major potential for grimdark routes, there is plenty of excellent fanstuff of that sort, but its unlikely that they’ll go down that route too heavily

  17. Moe? Check.
    Bewbs/asses/fan-service? Check.
    Battles? Check.
    Enemies? Check.
    Docking? Check.
    Slice of life? Check.
    Drama? Check.
    Production quality? Check.

    What more to ask for? Looks pretty entertaining to watch, nothing more nothing less – poi – .
    Got to admit that seeing floating girls on water was kinda weird – poi – .

    Now, imagine the same setting with old men in uniforms with beards ands muscled/tatooed/shaved sailors…………..

    Nice Tea
    1. Pretty good timing of this series. WoWs is likely to get into closed beta fairly soon. And considering the pre-order sales so will we see more seasons of this series as well.

    2. no need of that, just use the English version of Wikipedia.org, because English has more infos about the Nippon/Japanese Ships. You even find Infos of their Air Pilots ace

      There i found out the 3 Super-Battleship Yamato class. There i found out the Yamato’s Air Carrier fate (and his real belly loading…)

  18. I mentioned in my Winter 2015 comment that I wondered if the show would be able to find the right balance (if there is one in this case) between trying to satisfy the franchise’s core audience (i.e. those who play the game) and “anime-only” viewers. After watching EP 01, I think it’s safe to say that the anime chose the “safe route” and landed squarely in the “cater to the core audience” side. Even as someone playing the game, I can definitely understand if anime-only viewers had questions or simply didn’t like the first episode. Actually, I’m not surprised. Given the game’s premise and apparent core audience focus, it’s simply not tailored to be a “show for everyone” (if such a thing literally exists). That is NOT to say that anime-only viewers cannot or will not enjoy the show. Obviously some do from the comments.

    I expected numerous game references, but I was still surprised by the amount. There were a LOT of game references including frequent (arguably too frequent) use of Kanmusu game dialog. For the most part I though game dialog was integrated sufficiently, but there were times when I thought it was forced – just there for the sake of another game shout out. Fine I suppose if you are part of the “core audience”, but I do wonder whether anime-only viewers found some of the dialog misplaced or simply odd. Seems to be the case for some.

    The battles IMO were pretty good for the most part. Obviously if one isn’t willing to buy into the Kanmusu concept (including “water skating”, equipment rigs, etc.), the battles will not go over well. At all. Frankly, I liked some of the weapon imagery – particularly CVs (aircraft carriers) as archers with the arrows transforming into planes. Still, there was one thing I thought did not transfer well to anime. I found Sendai’s, Jintsuu’s and Naka’s tiny wrist band “cannons”, well, too tiny when seen in action (FYI – you don’t see that in the game. Game battle graphics are very basic). Not a big deal, but something I noticed. Here again, I thought the anime pushed the game references a bit too much. For example, while I thought Hibiki’s battle start line was perfectly fine, Atago’s cameo went too far. I don’t mind if the staff/director felt her trademark “Pan-paka-pa~n!!” had to be included, but ditch the pose and at least have her guns, you know, actually aim at something. The “chibi pilot” (“fairy” in game terms) was another game shout-out which I thought was unnecessary – at least for an introductory episode. There are 11 (IIRC) episodes remaining = you don’t need to cram in every game reference possible into the first episode.

    Some other things I liked. I thought the introduction (first 2 min or so) with the recitation of the Gosei was very well done on both a visual and auditory level. Overall visual quality was pretty good, CGI notwithstanding. Clearly not on UBW levels, but good enough from my perspective. Personally, I thought the BMG was great (apart from maybe one piece) – especially the song when Akagi & Kaga sortie around 16:00 mark. Loved that. I have the GuP OST, and while I like it quite a bit, I wouldn’t be surprised if I end up liking KanColle’s OST even more. FWIW, the game has surprising good background music IMO.

    One final point. Initially I found it odd that the robot arms didn’t equip all of the Kanmusu rigging. Instead, giant chains dragged a good part of their equipment from the water. Now storing metal and wood items in seawater is generally a bad idea so I thought about it some more. If you consider that the Kanmusu represent the spirits of WWII IJN vessels (the vast majority of which sank during WWII), then bringing forth equipment/rigging from the sea symbolizes the spirit of those ships being raised from the depths to defend the homeland once again (well, defend in terms of the latter part of WWII anyway). Just a thought.

    Overall, I’d rate Ep. 01 as decent/pretty good (particularly for game players) with room for improvement. The over abundance of game references wasn’t the only issue. I got a strong sense of the anime trying to accomplish too much in too little time. The presentation seemed a bit rushed even though I’m quite familiar with the game. A lot of characters were introduced with the majority getting little time other than a couple of lines (if that). Hopefully the anime will settle down a bit, limit game references appropriately, and give the viewers sufficient time to get to know the characters.

    1. I wanted to write longer comment about my thoughts from the player perspective when I get more time, but now I don’t have to. You raised all the points I wanted to make, so basically +1.

    2. and you know, i do have problems with some “Ship Design”. Air Carriers are okay. But do they really give all Girls (Except the 2 Heavy Armored Ships) these Miniskirt’s? Even Air Carriers? Sure, some where only Light-Air Carriers. But these Big One-san Carriers, still look to skimpy for me. Give them more Dignity

  19. I’m still leaning to Aoki Hagane no Appregio as the better anime of the same premise for now coz I still cringed at the idea of girls ‘equipping’ the most prominent parts of WWII warships.

    I actually thought that the girls will magically summon those warships and pilot them for some collosal battles in the Pacific. But what I saw was… water skating girls…

    Maybe Appregio set the bar too high for me…

    1. The equipping thing is definitely a bit much for me. The premise is like someone looked at a show like Strike Witches and thought it just made too much sense.

      Why build a believable merger of magic and technology with realistic weapons when you can give girls water skates and weapons with implausible payloads, seemingly infinite ammunition, torpedoes that pop out of thin air and arrows that turn into fighter jets flown by elves.

      1. Well notwithstanding the in-universe accepted perpetual panty shots, at least the Strike Witches carry life sized guns and payloads. Their jet packs are aesthetically pleasing compared to those armaments being ‘equipped’ in KanColle.

        And I’m pretty sure a real life warship firing its payloads packs more punch than those miniaturized cannons and launchers equipped on those girls… unless those shots are imbued by some sort of magic making those the only armaments that are effective against the enemy which I don’t think that is the case based on the first episode.

        My suspension of disbelief is at its very limits in KanColle…

      2. @WorldwideDepp: …and do not forget the push back force, when the Ship Main cannons are firing in Synchronism. Like a Big sledgehammer hit the Ship”

        Cannon fire pushing a ship back is a myth. It’s not true even firing full broadside.

        What looks like a side-ways wake is just the water being broiled up by the muzzle blasts. The ship doesn’t move an inch or even heel from a broadside.

        The guns have a recoil slide of up to 48 inches and the shock is distributed evenly through the turret foundation and the hull structure. The mass of a 57,000 ton ship is just too great for the recoil of the guns to move it. Well, theoretically, a fraction of a millimeter.

        Source here if you want more detail.

      3. You mean it? I was thinking that even a Rifle has some recoil from Fire. Is this Big Caliber any different? Sure they are on Water. And even the actual Coast Guard Ships need to put Engine again the Recoil of their Water-pressure “Weapon” for not get pushed back. And i mean, if they Fire it feel like a Sledgehammer through the Ship

      4. Okay, my serious try to explain this in detail

        When the Ship is on speed, and not standstill. The Cannons would push the Metal back. But the Mass of the Ship is to big. As if some Mosquito is trying to push a Bull back. No but when the Cannons fire the Ship’s metals body bend to the force of recoil. that was my Sledgehammer idea

      5. I’m having kind of the same discussion with a friend on FB. He posted a still with a lot of criticism about how bad the Black Haired Air-carrier practices Kyudo when firing her arrows. He’s right about Kyudo, but do really such discussion about realistic portrayal matters with such an unrealistic show? Your argument with real ships physics is good and all, but Kankolle’s approach with the matter is completely unrealistic to begin with. And, that’s not a failure by any means. It just needs to be coherent with the fictional world rules they’re still building. They just presented us with girls skating in mid-water with ships-straps on the back and that is all. I’d also be angry on how non-physical Fubuki bumbs and rolls over the sea are at this point, WWD.

        Here’s the image

  20. I’ve been waiting for this ever since Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio: Ars Nova ended, so of course I’m excited as hell. There’s lots of stuff in this episode to comment on, but sadly, too little space (and a limited number of allowable links)…

    First off, did Shimada Humikane draw this eyecatch? Even if it wasn’t from him, it’s kinda evocative of those eyecatches from Strike Witches. (Compare to this.)

    Actually, I did like the premise of Strike Witches, but having too many pantyshots in that show (despite being an acceptable female attire in-universe) was…distracting, to say the least. But despite having more characters than Strike Witches (with an increased possibility of pantyshots), I’m pleased that Kantai Collection decided to limit itself to a brief (pun unintended) pantyshot of Fubuki and focused on the portrayal of “battle damage” instead.

    As for the obligatory comparison to the show with a similar premise… Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio is definitely more serious in tone and harder on the sci-fi scale than KanColle, but it had its fair share of “feels-inducing” moments. (Episode 10 stands out the most.) Personally, I’d rather finish this first before deciding which “naval” series is better.

    And on to the comparison with the “ground” branch of the military moe anime trio, Girls und Panzer. What I liked most about Girls und Panzer (besides the detail put into the tanks in the show) was how it portrayed the sprit of camaraderie and teamwork between the students of the Ooarai Tankery Club. Granted, Strike Witches did that first, but Girls und Panzer improved on that and made most of the characters (even the rival Tankery teams) much more likeable. That’s one of the things I hope KanColle can build up on, even with the daunting amount of characters in the show.

    Well, I’m looking forward to see how it goes. While I don’t expect it to be great, I do hope that KanColle remains good from start to finish.

      1. yes, when she tripped on Sea, and when this Girl launched all Torpedo’s. You saw a flash Pantsy Shot. i am okay with it. It happen natural, and no Human hand done it on purpose for Fanservice

      2. Yes you guys, there where many “natural” Panty Shoots. Just look WHY they choose this Camera Angel. When the Black Fishes appear on their Recon Mission, you see here and there many natural (through the wind) Panty flashing. But it is good. natural ist better then forces for Fan-service

        Naruto Gay Thumb-up

  21. There was no doubt I’d be watching this. The only notable members of my harem fleet missing is Ashigara and the Tenryuu sisters.
    Atago and all four Kongou sisters is good enough for me. Need more burning love ASAP.

  22. To those comparing this to Bahamut, I think there’s a key difference; that series has a much broader world and lore, so there really isn’t an issue with creating anime original characters and storyline while maintaining established canon. It draws on aspects from most mythologies/religions (or in some cases, historical people) around the world (off the top of my head, only area I can’t think of an example from is Aztec/Mayan/Native American region), but most of the in-game storylines revolve around OCs. Kancolle draws on a much narrower source (essentially WWII-era IJN, I believe), making the insertion of anime-original characters tougher. Even if there are still possible ships to use, the girls seem like a much bigger draw in this game than any specific cards are to Bahamut, so it’d likely turn off fans of the game to feature the ones in the game only as cameos, and they all seem to have some kind of established personality/characterization. Now you’re stuck forming some kind of story around established characters, rather than being free to write a story while mostly creating your own characters; certainly still possible, but a much harder task.

    I have spent some time studying the Pacific Theater of WWII, so even without having played the game I could see where some of the character quirks came from, but I can definitely see where people without prior knowledge might get annoyed. All in all, I’ll give this a few episodes and see where it goes.

  23. Wow, VA Sakura Ayane has 8 roles in just this first episode, followed by Touyama Nao and Suzaki Aya with 5 roles each. Many of which involved them talking to themselves.

    This is to be expected, as in the original game, each VA gets assigned all the ship girls in the same ship-class, so all Nagato-class Battleships and Sendai-class Light Cruisers are by Sakura Ayane, Kongou-class Battleships and Takao-class Heavy Cruisers are by Touyama Nao and Akatsuki-class Lolis Destroyers are by Suzaki Aya etc.

    Never played the game myself, but it’s impossible to ignore the sheer amount of fanwork this series has produced. In last week’s Comiket in Japan, for the second time running, KanColle doujinshis have outsold Touhou doujinshis.

    I’ll just treat this as a slice-of-life sort of military moe, with some Idolmaster-like character growing aspects. Though I’m disappointed the Admiral (i.e. the Player) this time would be faceless and voiceless, unlike Producer in the Idolmaster anime, who acted as a Bro-supporting character for the girls without getting too intimate.

  24. The first episode was very Strike Witches with the tone of GuP. Now this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I can see why Passerby was having a hard time understanding a war was going on. They are basically taking the cutesy, slice-of-life elements of GuP and infusing it into a show about fighting back against the fog neuroi an unknown enemy from the sea. It’s funny what adding a bunch of sugar does to sweeten up the bitter atmosphere of war. Eh? *crickets*

    The battle was very fun to watch, and I’m impressed with how well studios are blending CG with key animation. This will probably one of those guilty pleasure shows for me. I did enjoy GuP, Stirke Witches, and Arpeggio. Although Arpeggio was more grim sci-fi and serious, but comparisons will still be made since these are anthromorphized warships we’re talking about. Although something tells me these ships don’t seem like they’ll be abandoning their evil ways or trying to understand humanity.

    1. The blue-haired girl is not Iona from Arpeggio, but Samidare (she’s one of the starter ships you can choose from when you start playing KanColle). And I assume the other girl to the right is Kagerou.

      Show Spoiler ▼

    2. Incognito got it right. The one on the left of Naka with blue hair is the Shiratsuyu-class destroyer Samidare, who is one of the five starter ships (all five are destroyers with Fubuki, the anime main character, being the default choice). The one on right is Kagerou, lead ship of the Kagerou-class destroyers.

      Might as well through this in as well. The reason Naka is an idol character is due to the similarity between her ship number and Japanese idol group AKB48.

  25. To be honest I think this episode was actually better than I thought it would be hearing that this came from a popular online “card collection” game. At least that’s how it was explained to me. The story premise was clearly set forth (all be it extremely similar to other series) and the cast seemed interesting enough.

    For me it definitely deserves the 3 episode rule

  26. I checked this out cause I use a Kongou-class wallpaper on my desktop. Never touched the game, but I do know what it’s about.

    The battle was nice, but I’m not really sure why they pulled back Haruna group (not good at remembering numbers) so quickly. It was fun. The fact that Fubuki was very green didn’t bother me to much too. With the slice of life parts, I thought this was a very light hearted series with some nice action sequences. But then they showed a chibi in a plane. Then they showed planes getting shot out of the sky. Didn’t see anyone bail out. They just killed a few chibis didn’t they…. not sure what to think anymore.

    I’ll probably check out one or two more episodes to see in what direction this series goes. Personally hoping for more of the action parts and WWII references. The slice of life parts just didn’t click with me, but it could be the poi destroyer getting on my nerves.

    1. @theirs: “Personally hoping for more of the action parts and WWII references.”

      FYI, more WWII references should not be an issue though some will be more subtle than others. More action parts… for that you might want to temper expectations. Supposedly, the anime will be 70% SoL (“slice of life”) and 30% action/battles.

      The slice of life parts just didn’t click with me, but it could be the poi destroyer getting on my nerves.

      LOL, yes, there were a lot of “poi’s”. Frankly, IMO they could have dialed that back a bit. I think part of the problem with the SoL moments in Ep. 01 is that the show threw out a bunch of characters without letting the viewer get a chance to know the vast majority of them. Hopefully that will remedied, but there is a large cast (23 plus cameos of some sort) so have to see how that goes.

    1. @Kairoru: “Now let’s see what Urobutcher have to offer since he’s one of the storywriters.

      O.o… Huh? Urobutcher? Hanada Jukki is in charge of series composition. Why would you think Urobutcher is involved here?

  27. Anyway, this really is such an odd show. I’m cringing at the whole idea of those girls just skating on water and fighting miniature whales (or is is the reverse being the girls are super large?). But at the same time, I really enjoy it. This conflicting emotions are odd.

    1. well, fighting nonsensical creatures is nothing new at all. Off the top of my head:

      Strike Witches – red/black blobs
      Eureka 7 – multi colored blobs
      Vivired operation – alien blobs
      Gatchaman crowds – blobs

      The skating indeed took extra effort to accept.

  28. …. this is based on a game.

    For those who only follow anime, maybe there’s a REASON you find it so odd! You can’t just dismiss the first episode of an anime based on what YOU DON’T KNOW about the source material! Yes, they could’ve written this to appeal to both newcomers to the franchise and old fans of th game, but evidently, they did not! I do not play the games, I NEVER did, but the fanart and commotion made about this online was too big for me to ignore. They would be stupid NOT to make an anime about it! I still enjoyed this episode very much, even though I am not blind to its flaws.

    1. From my perspective, an adaptation that relies on meta-knowledge of the original material is crippling itself. There’s no reason why a KanColle anime cannot appeal to its fans and stand on its own at the same time. The fans of the original source are going to watch this anyway, even without excessive pandering; why not draw in a larger audience? It works both ways; if you deliberately limit your own demographic, it’s only natural that some newcomers will be turned off.

  29. I really don’t have any experience with the game. I’ve only seen some amusing images online here and there, but I took a peak at this anime because I wanted to see what all the hubbub was. Or maybe there’s just something about an anime starring ship-girls that seems to peak my interest …for some reason.

  30. For all we know, this could be the Girls Und Panzers of the season. I’ll stick with this just in case that it does pull off such a miraculous feet. (and not because of the cute girls ^.^)

  31. The episode was nice and I find it enjoyable. Wish they gave each ship a VA instead of sticking to same VA for multiple ships. There are a lot of good VA out there that can fill each ship.

    1. I read that the reason one actor voices like 5 different characters is because they migrated from the game, where they ALSO voiced all those same characters. I suppose game production is structured differently than an anime, and the staff wanted to use the same actors from the game anyway.

  32. I think i follow this Anime, they passed my 3 Episodes test

    I had my problems at the beginning with these Battleships Souls in “Female” Human Body’s. But if you just turn this away, you get an nice and entertainment Anime

    Sure, you must be a Fan of this kind of Style.

    But it looks like they are not afraid to “kill” someone. So the Serious undertone is there

    1. [insert Charlton Heston voice]”Damn you, Damn you all to Hell”

      LOL…you stole my spot light.

      “I think i follow this Anime, they passed my 3 Episodes test”
      Mine was at eps 2 where we see the character development begin for Fubuki.

      To me this Anime is on par with Upotte!!. While this seems like far fetched setup, the embodiment of souls in human representation can actually tell a deeper story if done right. I think most people are looking at the surface aspect but thats my opinion, right or wrong.

      Unlike Arpeggio Blue Steel, we have a chance to see and hear about ship history of our past. Sure they are going to thought in the different tropes and nuances we come to expect from Anime shows. Some will be hit or misses(not a battleship pun).

      Yes eps 3 starts to get deep and this is were we will see if this show can become a good piece. I think this is a sleeper show. I also hope we get some eps about the Abysal fleet. I had to due some searching cause I never read the Manga nor played the game and found out that the “Anchorage Princess” is one of the bosses in the game from the first episode.

      I don’t expect KC to be mind blowing but I due believe that it will be an entertaining one

  33. Ep 04:

    Yes, this Anime has its serious undertone. Death and her consequences on the Friends how they handle it.

    This Epsiode also had the emotion of Fear of Death. Even if it was a little bit

    This Episode had a little mit “Singing” to easy the mood. hehe do not know, that the Kongo-sisters was that good in singing 🙂

    I try to avoid names, to keep a bit curiosity inside.

    1. the only negative i found on the first watching, when they break apart on the Water to engage the attack on the Enemy (you know), the FPS dropped a bit to much for my eyes. it hurt a little…

  34. ep 07:

    You riding still on my 7/10 wave
    Go go Kantai, you still entertain me very good

    This time is again Teamwork, Leadership and important Thinking outside of the Box or in short Improvisation

  35. Ep 08:

    There she is, the Proud of the Battleships. The “King” Class appeared (to flat out the spoilers)

    She has Dignity, Proud and is gentle. Yes, this kind of imagine fit her perfect in this Kancolle universe. i am satisfied

    I know the Anime take some real life WW2 hints to progress the Story, and give them a realistic touch. But i do hope they do not give them all the same fate in the end, like their counterparts in WW2. It would be to sad, we already lost 1 Girl (Yes Girl, not battleship)
    Fubuki should continue to support the King Class Ship, because she know hoe she feels. And some “beginner” confidence can only be a good think? Even Nagato did not rant this time, because they “Tow” her into the See. But she need to resupply her Shells.. But i think this small amount is tolerable, and Fubuki and friends, are allowed to build up the King Ships confidence

    You know, even if its a Anime. There is a Battlefield out there

    Yes, Kancolle, thank you for taking care of me. I am just sad, that there is no English add-on of the Browser game, even if its Cards playing style

    Kancolle, has hit the right buttons inside me, like Strike Witches, Girls und Panzer. Sure there are Weapons, but there are also comradeship, friendship and Trust. That’s why i like about these shows. But please, no Kamikazes or Sebbuku’s or other things, it is a Anime at last. Not a documentation of the WW2 (Like Strike Witches and Girls und Panzer)

    I give this Episode an 7/10. because there was heart feelings. But its okay, not all Episodes can be full packed with Action. Even we need some Episodes to enjoy and resting

    1. Do not get me wrong, i also loved Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio: Ars Nova, but this show was a bit different. They used a bit more Action Packed Fights. And Kancolle has its focus on the Girls and Bonds

    2. @WorldwideDepp: “I am just sad, that there is no English add-on of the Browser game, even if its Cards playing style.”

      Currently there are two KanColle game mods which provide English translations (outside the actual game window – they are passive and do not alter the game GUI itself): KanColle Viewer (or “KCV”) English fork (the original KanColle Viewer is in Japanese) which uses MS Internet Explorer, and KC3 Player which is a Chrome add-on. You can find out more about both here. (Note: I did verify the link, but sometimes that website goes down for short periods of time). FWIW, I use KanColle Viewer. If you are interested in registering/playing, you should also read the KC Wiki tutorial/FAQ thoroughly. There are a number of things you need to do to start playing (one of which is increase browser cache size).

  36. Ep 09:

    I give this Episode a 7/10

    We see here some Story progression. Out Poi lovely ship gets an Upgrade, and we saw clever hidden “recaps” of Fubuki’s memories (With old Film grain filter) and in the end….

    Looks like the real Action is about to begin. We are at a Battlefield, let us not forget that. But as i said, hopping that not all Ships receive the same Fate as their WW2 counterparts.

    1. Special Note:

      Today in my favorite News Site, they where a News that they found the Wreck of Musashi

      and inside the News, i follow some links, and found a Site with accurate Infos. And seems like they left Musashi alone without not real help. They trow so much Airplanes on her, and there was no real intension to slow down to Help her Defense…

      if they slowed down and helped in defense her, perhaps it would turn out to the better… But oh well, this is History. i just hope here in this Anime they do not plan to let someone “die” alone.. something would break inside me a little. Well in a fight it is all possible, but not left someone alone to die…

  37. Ep 10:

    This time i give it a 8/10

    Because we saw some Training Fight Action, and in the End we saw Fubuki’s Remodeling Outfit

    This Show is still hitting the right Buttons. Gambare Funuki-san. I am glad i found you

    1. also for non Fans, if you want to start watching, this Episode 11 is Part 1/2 of the Final

      They just left us with a Huge Cliffhanger, and we need to be patience for 1 week (And me.. an Old Men sitting on the edge of the Chair.. you done it right!)

      You get from me a double Naruto’s Guy Thumb UP!!! (Rock lee’s Senpai)


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