「ラストバトルでピンチ!」 (Rasuto Batoru de Pinchi! )
“In a Pinch with the Last Battle!”

No surprises: this is the final battle, and the Musashi is the last boss. The fight takes much the same shape as one may have expected it to have. The Harekaze is way outgunned. They’re literally blown out of the water. They have to make use of all their remaining toys. The cavalry arrive. The day is saved! Predictable, perhaps, but I don’t really have a problem with this. Finales should be clean. Worse would be if Hai-Furi overreached, tried for a big last minute twist, and messed up its so far steady pacing at the last minute. No, there’s no need to be revolutionary with the ways stories end. It’s not like what we got was boring; stakes were still high, with plenty of explosions to go around. Give the people what we want.

There were three things I was expecting, yet didn’t happen, though. I was expecting the principal to show up like a big damn hero and display whatever hax thing Hai-Furi was foreshadowing, but I suppose she’s leaving it to the younger generation etc etc. I was expecting somebody to ride the rocket, which would have been completely ridiculous but I would have liked to see it nonetheless. And I was expecting the Harekaze needing to sacrifice itself to take out the Musashi, but turns out it didn’t need to go that far. That last one I should talk more about, because while the much-abused Harekaze did sink in the end (which was a fine way to send off the story as a whole), but I think they could have made a bigger deal of it in the body of the episode (as opposed to being just a bit of a deal, like what we got). Not only will evacuating the ship and floundering about with lifeboats sound pretty interesting to watch, there’s probably also plenty of drama to be milked out of giving up on their trusty home of 12 episodes. I can see where that subplot, with all its wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth may have been cut from the script of this episode, since we’ve had other sources of drama and the time could be better spent to let the girls stare meaningfully at each other. I suppose I can just go watch Titanic instead.

(And now, the song is stuck in my head. Damn it all.)

So, yeah, very competent finale overall, and competency is all I ask for in my anime, really. Since I have nothing much I feel like griping about or dissecting, let’s jump right on to the final impressions.

Final Impressions ~ Girls just want to have fun

I know Hai-Furi is oft compared to Girls und Panzer (perhaps crossed with Gakkou Gurashi), and while I can see certain similarities (including in pedigree) I think the two are fundamentally very different shows. Girls und Panzer is a sports anime, and follows many of the conventions of that genre, while Hai-Furi is a bit harder to pin down to a single genre. I’m tempted to actually just lump it under science fiction and sort out details later. Genres are a very loose categorisation, as far as I’m concerned, and since Hai-Furi has a rather curious sci-fi setting I consider it sci-fi.

The main sell of the show, though, is more obvious—it’s combat between antiquated war machines. This is where the comparisons to Girls und Panzer usually come in, even though the reasons for these machines fighting, the driving narrative, are quite different. Even in this area, though, Hai-Furi has a somewhat different, and arguably harder task—to make naval combat interesting. Perhaps it’s just me, but while battleships and tanks are both essentially just big metal things with guns, the latter tend to have more interesting battles than the former. The scale plays a big part, because ships are more glorified artillery than tanks are, but I think the main factor is terrain. Let’s face it, the sea’s a bit of a boring battleground. Mostly, it’s blue. There’s just not much to work with there. To Hai-Furi‘s credit, it tried its hardest to keep things fresh, sometimes with harsh weather, sometimes with shoals, sometimes underwater with subs. I’d chalk up most of its efforts as successes; the battles never got repetitive, if only because there was always a new gimmick to pull out. And with regards to ships, Hai-Furi is sometimes almost educational. Here is where Hai-Furi diverges from Girls und Panzer again, because while both have slice-of-life segments on ships the former is actually (loosely) about life on ships while the latter has aircraft carriers for no reason. Even if you’re sick of cute girls doing cute things in anime, cute girls doing cute things on a ship may have just enough extra spice to keep things interesting.

What of the plot that holds all these battles together though? Since I consider Hai-Furi to be a sci-fi, I found the episodes where the plot was most in tune with its setting to be the strongest. By this I mean episode 07, rescuing the liner, was standout as a great episode of anime all round. It’s where the drama is fully function of the world Hai-Furi takes place in, as opposed to mind-control-rat-zombies, which is harder to believe as not being a contrivance for the purposes of getting a bunch of ships to fight. That said, while the rodent hive mind was a bit out there, I didn’t really mind it all that much by the end. I think the only thing a plot needs is internal consistency; as long as it follows its own rules and a set of logic, I’m fairly generous with my suspension of disbelief. To that end, Hai-Furi managed to be both consistent and coherent (aided no doubt by a very measured pacing), and so I give it a passing grade. Actually, considering how many anime melt down into a confused mess half way through for lack of sensible direction, I’d even give Hai-Furi‘s writing a credit. By which I still remember the bad aftertaste of Kantai Collection, which Hai-Furi has gone far to scrub from my palate.

Unlike Kantai Collection, Hai-Furi at least knew exactly what it was. High School. and Fleet. It wasn’t trying to be a war flick. It wasn’t trying to be a gritty maritime epic, on the hunt for the white whale. It had a world, it did some interesting things within it, and then it ended, all in the name of good fun. Which is why I don’t quibble with realism and such in this show, because realism wasn’t the point. Entertainment was the point. For a show like this, if it’s kinda cool and goes well with popcorn, go for it, I say. Maybe it’s because I blogged two other heavy shows this season, but the light entertainment of Hai-Furi every week was a welcome diversion. Sure, Hai-Furi isn’t high art. It’s not the best show. Perhaps it’s not even a ‘great’ show. But it provided me at least some entertainment regularly for twelve weeks, and so it’s a good show. That’s a fine thing for any anime to aspire to.


  1. This show just didn’t really do it for me, I’m afraid. There were a lot of things that bugged me which individually wouldn’t be a big deal, but they added up.

    For instance, we never get any explanation for why they’re keeping these ships in service. The anachronistic technology worked in GuP because Senshado was a sport, so you could believe that there would be rules about which sort of tanks are allowed. But the Blue Mermaids are an actual Navy (or something, it’s not quite clear exactly, but they are some sort of fighting organization) so what’s the point?

    Or the lack of any true villains and everybody being friends at the end. Again, GuP was about sports, so it made sense. But here, their opponents are firing live ammunition and trying to kill our protagonists. I’m certain this is the reason for the psychic gerbils, so can have battles but still have everybody be pals at the end. Not that I’d want this to be all grimdark or anything, but I wish they would’ve taken things a little more seriously at least.

    Also, there really wasn’t much momentum or direction for the plot before the very end. Mostly, they just sort of wandered aimlessly around Japan’s home waters until occasionally blundering into an enemy. And that’s another thing: they didn’t go anywhere. No visits to exotic locals or anything. I think that’s pretty disappointing for a show with this premise.

    And this is more personal taste, but I think Misaki and Munetani should have switched places with Shiro being the captain and main character. Mike seemed to much like a pale imitation of Miho and just never clicked with me at all.

    Maybe I’m sounding a little overly harsh, as didn’t hate it by any means and I enjoyed all the individual episodes to varying degrees (although that “Equator Festival” one was really wearing out it’s welcome with me by the end). It’s just that, taken as a whole I found it pretty disappointing and a little empty feeling.

    Out of scale of 1-10, with five being an anime in which positive and negative balance each other out, I give Hai-Furi 6.5. It’s O.K. but not really any better than that.

    1. To be fair, that’s kind of the point of Misaki being the captain. At episode one, she had her doubts to why she was chosen as captain, but throughout it all, even after some of her shortcomings, she proved she was a capable captain at certain times. But I see what you mean, since Shiro seems to fit more into the captain role (but did a great job as Misaki’s support).

    1. For a light-hearted cute show like this, somebody actually dying would be such a big deal it would overshadow the fact that the plot is coming to an end. It’d be weird for the story to end while a staggering development like death has just happened – there’d be no room left to show any grieving or characters maturing from it.

  2. Overall I think this show was pretty good and entertaining as you would expect from this kind of series. Of course you have to suspend your sense of reality a bit with all the fighting and explosions and no deaths or even serious injuries but you should have expected that coming in.

    One thing though that kinda struck the wrong cord with me was the ending and the sinking of the Harekaze. Please note that I think it was good that they decided to have a victim, being the ship, as an aftermath of the whole experience and it did strike an emotional cord but I don’t get why the ship sank in harbor. I mean the Harbor should have expected it given the heavy damage the ship received and I would imagine that they would have equipment to prevent a ship from sinking.

    It would have made more sense for them to sink the ship while out at sea since that would make more sense given the damages, or if they wanted to do it in the harbour perhaps with an explanation that they can’t do repairs or that the ship was too heavily damaged.

    Otherwise a good job by the team. Thanks for blogging

  3. Wew… My boner is enjoying all of this explosions. While the show is predictable, it is still enjoyable. When I see the big boss Musashi getting pounded, I was like “take that mother f-cker”. I was dissapointed though that we didnt get to see a mind controlled moeka and get a real “friend vs friend” battle.

  4. Yay! German Niku Mina is back! (OK, it’s also a bit bittersweet since this might be the last time I’ll be seeing her and this show.)

    As soon as the Harekaze started to take on water, I sensed that it was going to affect more than the ship’s steering.

    “The Titanic School of Ship Sinking.” *ding*

    Well, Hai-Furi was entertaining in its own way, though I still don’t see Girls und Panzer getting dethroned as the “Queen of Military Moe Anime” anytime soon. (At least there’s enough warships to tide military fans over.) Three and a half stars.

  5. I feel the lack of character development was apparent for a majority of the cast outside of just Akeno and Mashiro mostly. Heck, I don’t even remember the names of most of the characters outside of those two, Coco, Rin (one of the few crew members to actually speak up about Akeno’s stupid actions before), Macchi (mainly because her name was fangirled so much), Kaede (because she made herself suddenly stick out with her kicking ass), Maron (all the screaming about the engine), Minami (the only actual loli and doctor on the whole ship), and Mina. I even forgot Moka and her crew existed at times unless Akeno brought them up and kept thinking of the Musashi like the Neuroi-possessed Yamato in Strike Witches 2 or something.

    It definitely feels like they tried to do a Girls und Panzer type of thing in terms of the girls but the problem for me is that, outside of simply working different areas of the ship, most of the girls outside of the bridge crew didn’t feel that much different from one another unless they were purposely made to be a lot more quirky, like Coco or Maron.

    Girls und Panzer at least “categorized” a type for each tank crew (History, volleyball, Disciplinary, pseudo-NEETs, etc.) and then made sure each of the girls within each category was at least a little unique from each other despite having similar interests by being in that category. It made it feel a lot easier to remember each of the girls’ names for me.

    And with the Harekaze sinking – it wasn’t bad, but it didn’t feel necessary to do that way either. It also felt convenient since they reported it taking on water in the middle of battle. They were even preparing to evacuate the ship before reinforcements suddenly showed up, prompting them to continue fighting, do the boarding, and returning WHILE it was still taking on water. You’d think the Harekaze would have sunk before it ever made it back to port, which actually probably would have made its sinking better IMO – have the Harekaze sink WHILE they’re doing the boarding or something.

    Not a bad anime, but not so great either.

  6. Principal perhaps was ready to boot up an Land fortress Dreadnought alike oil platform, the protection of the city. Something like the harbor defense guns, just on an mobile platform. But they decide to give the younger generation their try

    But alone these near misses from Musashi exploding near the ship, took damage on harekaze. you know fishing with explosives can kill many fishes because of the shock wave, here it is the same. i was wondering their hull could hold this all out. Tons of sledgehammers hit harekaze and she somehow hold together, and an jump out of the water

    Yes, the fight was pure adrenaline for me, something alike the GuP der film finale. Not really accurate with real world physics, but entertainment enough and you feel with the crew.

  7. An enjoyable show. Like Girls Und Panzer I wonder if most of the boys their age died in some plague because the subject of dating any never came up. I know that having girls talking about boys is considered a no no in feminist themes this is Japan and they not that much up on political correctness. I guess for Japan not having the girls boy crazy is them saving themselves for being wives or something.

    I’m a feminist and yes women should talk about things other than men in stories but they still need to be human and bring it up sometimes.

    If I understand correctly the ships are left overs from many decades in the past that have been saved to be used as training ships to develop skills in the girls, and the few comparably boys on the subs. Never were completely clear why they had lots of real ammo, I can see some to shoo off pirates.

  8. https://randomc.net/image/Hai-Furi/Hai-Furi%20-%2012%20-%20Large%2039.jpg
    So The Corvette Ship is…sinking, -sigh- no matter, it wont bother it for me really…well almost!

    Well, i would just say i really enjoy this a lot, even though that it really won’t surpass Girls und Panzer (Man i wish Mizushima and/or Okada would run this show instead of this one). But of course there is still some problems apart from lack of character development, this show also lack plot seriousness and lacks other Military machinery like Aircraft Carrier or any Aircraft or Helicopters i mean it’s kinda shame that we don’t see those, also i was wondering who brought those rodent’s in the first place, or perhaps the “pirates” are behind the rodent implanting there, and that would be real villain of the show…But then Again it wouldn’t happened

    i guess we don’t see hints for the 2nd Season, still i wonder if the former Harekaze crew will receive this ship soon…well…I’AM WAITING!!

  9. Ep. 12 Comments: I agree that this was a very by-the-book ending right down the cavalry showing up (even Musashi was kind enough to stop shelling so we could have a heartwarming reunion of sorts). It was also very “Hai Furi” in terms of what went on. :/ Arguably this might have been the best battle yet – at least in terms of presentation. A decent amount of firing and some maneuvering along with pretty good animation. Things mostly kept moving, but I would have preferred less cut-away from the action.

    As for the battle, I got a chuckle when the torps officer exclaimed that all their torps hit Musashi. LOL – like what did you expect? It’s a very rare exception when this crew misses anything no matter how difficult the target. On the one hand, glad to see that something happened to Harekaze during the battles, but the “drama” still feels tacked on – just something thrown out to show damage, but ultimately meaningless. An sometimes puzzling. WHY are there fires breaking out internally when the hull (at that point) hasn’t been breached? Someone leave a candle lit? Ultimately (finally) there was a hull breach and some flooding, but a lot less than I would expect for a DD “tin can” literally blown out of the water (USS William D. Porter (DD-579) ultimately sunk after being lifted out of the water from an explosion underneath it). So perhaps a little more effort for “drama”, but ultimately rings too hollow for me at this point.

    As for the two “tricks” the show used, to me those are very subjective/YMMV. “Clever, cool trick” or highly dubious, unnecessary silliness? Personally, they fell into the latter category with the Type 4 20cm smoke bomb rocket mortar a very shoe-horned WWII reference. Either leave the bloody smoke generator undamaged or just add oil to the boilers. As for the parachute “ship spinning”, as a friend mentioned to me, “this DD has two props – just reverse one to help with turning if needed”. Lastly, how Musashi was stopped was dumbfounding. It stops because the 2500 ton Harekaze rubs up against the 73000 ton Musashi? Really? Perhaps “It’s been done before”, but using skippers (jet-ski boats) & bat grappling guns to board Musashi would have been more palatable than what went on IMO.

    The show actually did what I suggested back in Ep. 10 – TORP Musashi since that’s the only realistic way Harekaze can do anything against that ship. So points for that. Problem is that I couldn’t help but think “What happened to ‘we can’t target ships for fear of casualties'”? That’s been a CONSTANT theme all the way back to Ep. 02 with Graf Spee (going as far as to shoot down their own torps in Ep. 09 to avoid hitting Graf Spee >_>). NOW it’s OK to just blast away? WHY didn’t you do this before?

    A final WTF moment was Harekaze sinking so timely after everyone was on the dock. I know what the show was going for, but unlike others, it didn’t work at all for me. Far too cliche’/ham-fisted/cheesy IMO. And like so many other things in this show, WTF. Bow just happened to snap off right then… for reasons? No one noticed ANY flooding or some other damage to the ship all this time on the way back? I didn’t expect it though. I’ll give the show that.

    So yeah, very “Hai Furi”. :/


    FYI/OT: Not sure if this is RL based (i.e actually on the ship), but the Coronel sign on Graf Spee is a shout out to the WWI Battle of Coronel where the German Naval scored a victory over the Royal Navy on 1 November 1914. The German Navy for that battle was commanded by, you guessed it, Vice-Admiral Graf Maximilian von Spee.

    1. Yep they had flooding, were even pumping it out. It was a total brain fart to stop damage control until sure no current flooding so it did not ring correctly for me. Have to fan wave as a lot is automated a automated section flooded and sensors failed to report it.

      To me it was no big deal, it sank at dock so refloating it expected, not like it sank over deep water. 6 of the 8 battleships at Pearl Harbor went back in action, some really fast all by a year or so. Now reworking the seams might not be worth it money wise vs new construction but I doubt they making new mostly obsolete ships. The new ships in the show are actually able to attack over the horizon but trying to board and help the students got them way closer than a missile launching ship should ever get, that’s why their guns are fairly unimpressive.

      1. @RedRocket: Well, the flooding that was shown was in the engine area – aft of the ship, right? So why Harekaze sank bow first is beyond me given what was presented. OK, let’s be real. It’s because they wanted a “dramatic, feels” end. YMMV on how effective that was.

        As for raising the ship (like most ships at Pearl Harbor post 1941 attack), I had the exact same thought myself which actually undermines the attempt at “dramatic, feels” ending. So what if it sank… at the docks? Just raise the bloody thing and it’s all good. There’s no real loss here. In fact, maybe this time you can modernize the ship properly. >_>

  10. Hai Furi Final Thoughts:

    Military (WWII particularly) + cute girls falls squarely in “my genre”. Girls und Panzer TV Season 1 is favorite of mine, and I like Strike Witches quite a bit as well. Add the fact that Suzuki Takaaki (GuP & SW military advisor) & Yoshida Reiko (GuP script writer) are involved and I don’t even need to read a pre-air summary. I’m in.

    The water world premise is fine, and though dubious, I can go with “no planes”. Even then found the in-universe tech-mish mash jarring and illogical. IMO this show works better either set in 1950 or use modern training warships. At the very least be somewhat consistent with ship modernization. Note: This is on top of the show’s premise of using WWII warships solely as training ships (for what otherwise appears to be modern fleet), crewed solely by new recruit, high school freshman (+ one 12 year old genius) with access to live ammo, etc. The tech mish-mash made immersion difficult. Frankly, compared to other shows of its ilk, the WWII “Easter eggs” felt more shoe-horned in for the sake of having them. Main gun swapping was ridiculous – like it’s a video game.

    One thing I hated was this ludicrous pretext of Harekaze’s crew being the “worst class”. It was UTTERLY undermined as early as Ep. 02, yet the show kept trying to push that BS. The Harekaze crew’s hyper competency was astounding. How the hell am I supposed to take “Oh, no! What can we do!” or “Oh no, Hiei has the honor student crew” or “Musashi has the best in class crew”, blah, blah, blah when you’re doing ridiculous stuff time and time again? Comedy? Because I did laugh at those comments. Look, SOME liberty is fine with competency, but this show never understood moderation in this regard. Harekaze’s crew wasn’t just better than all the “best in class” and “honor students”, they were better than graduates and professional “BluMers”. Do they even need training?

    Like others, I found the cast mediocre and largely indistinguishable (minimal last ditch efforts in Ep 10 notwithstanding). I liked to some degree German Girl (best girl), chief engineer and kind of the Dept. Capt. The navigator (? – has fantasies & carries I-Pad) I found annoying, and frankly I never took to the FL/Capt. Rin (? – helmsgirl) was OK, but I do think she had fairly good character development – pretty much the only decent character development in the show. FL leaning what it means to be Capt. (i.e. don’t run off to do crap) was whitewashed away in Ep. 10 – which is actually worse than if it never happened. The last minute bit with her resolved by ubiquitous power of friendship didn’t work IMO. Oh, I guess Dept. Capt. got over her extreme cat phobia? Does that count?

    The plot of virus hive mind-control, plot convenient electronics jamming not-rats was pretty WTF. OK, you need a reason for the ships to fight, but seriously? Ultimately the show became a quasi parody of itself when it brought out seawater squirt gun fights to save the day. While this wasn’t a “serious” anime, it DID try to be serious at times. No question about it (why else is FL scared about crew “family” getting hurt?). Problem is that IMO it never found proper balance between the more serious moments, lighter moments/comedy integration. In stark contrast to GuP, the show’s comedy never worked for me – well intentional comedy anyway.

    Regarding the battles – “realism” vs. “fresh take”, etc. (pretty much “Rule of Cool”): I disagree with the review. Again, SOME license is fine, but just as I said with the Girls und Panzer movie, you have essentially WWII era combat (naval rather than tank), and I struggle to understand how that can be “boring” IF done right. A GOOD presentation of some of the night battles off Savo Island (Guadalcanal) would be very exciting to watch – and illuminating. Very chaotic and dramatic stuff. There’s more to WWII naval battle besides crossing the T (weather, scouting, etc. certainly played a role).

    In the end, what is “fresh” or “exciting” for one person can be “silly” or just downright “stupid” and immersion breaking to another. Over-the-top theatrics aside, the show’s plot line essentially hamstrung all but the final battle, resulting in some “trick” (though not even necessary much of the time). Couldn’t just go at it like it like in the final battle where the “we can’t endanger the other ship’s crew” restriction was removed… for reasons. Should have done that approach from the start. To the show’s credit the presentation/visual quality for battles was pretty good. You can seem some of the GuP pedigree there.

    TL:DR = Tried to recreate Girls und Panzer magic and IMO failed. Not a terrible show, but not a good show either IMO, and ultimately disappointing given the pedigree. Frankly, if the benchmark for show quality is entertainment value, I’d rank KanColle higher than this. Yeah, I “said” it. KanColle was not a good show either (lots of issues – could right 2000 words on that), but there were parts I did genuinely enjoy. This ranged from OK+ to WTF to just there.

  11. First the Link: http://www.mediafire.com/download/zr4dlpksaaw45n4/Haifuri_-_Das_Boot.wmv.MP4

    This is my “Fast and Fury” first try of my AMV as an Omake for the Anime Team

    Please have mercy, it is not perfect and here and there you see some “holes”, it is my first rough draft of 6 Hours work

    It was edited with Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0 (Yes its ancient, but Free)
    I hope you enjoy it, this is my Haifuri with “Das Boot” soundtrack mix

    Feel free to use it as an inspiration or alike, in the end i do not own it. I just put some things together 🙂

    Feel free to reply with your comment


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *