If you enjoyed the change of main cast from the previous episode, too bad: Fubuki is back in the driver’s seat this time. Also unlike that episode is the fact that this one carries a much more serious air to it, or at least an air that is serious by KanColle standards. From the very beginning, we see the girls in combat, with one of their teammates getting injured only a few minutes into the episode. This, of course, results in the team taking on a temporary replacement for the duration of the episode.
The episode centers around the events leading up to—as well as the events involved with—a large operation that the fleet is trying to pull off. Whether this is what was being hinted at in the previous episode or not is unclear, but things aren’t exactly slated to go smoothly. There was already the aforementioned injury that took place prior to the start of the mission, and there is another snag that is revealed to Fubuki (but not the viewers—at least not initially) by Nagato. Despite this bit of information placing a weight on Fubuki, the focus of the episode seems to be more centered on Zuikaku and, to a lesser extent, Shokaku, who steps in to take the injured fleet member’s place.
As it stands, the injured girl only became injured because she was protecting Zuikaku, and while Zuikaku expresses a certain hatred for that girl’s squad, we certainly see that she learned a thing or two from her unexpected savior. If nothing else, Zuikaku’s attitude may be classified as something akin to tsundere. It’s made fairly clear from a previous episode (and even other scenes in this episode) that Zuikaku doesn’t bear any true hatred for her, but she refuses to admit it. In fact, when Zuikaku finds herself in trouble, she also finds herself thinking back to something the other girl said, which is ultimately what helps her and Shokaku to survive.
In the end, KanColle isn’t the deepest show around, but it is deeper than expected. If nothing else, it makes attempts at building genuine character relationships instead of just feeding the fanservice fanatics out there. That’s this reviewer’s opinion, at least. Of course, that’s not to say that there isn’t fanservice in the show (just read the reviews), but the show has managed to not simply be another fanservice-with-a-plot throw-away show. It is fully possible that this could get blown out of the water at any point, but with the series being this far in and keeping things relatively tame (in terms of what I expected this show to be), I’m fairly confident that the final product will at least remain satisfactory.
A Christian Perspective:
Mark 3: 24 – If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
1 Corinthians 12:20 – As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
While this isn’t as much of an issue in this episode, there is still the sense of the girls being divided against each other when you hear one girl mentioning that she “hates” another division (just look at the title of this episode). Whether there is actual hate involved or just simple rivalry does not matter, because just as the First Corinthians verse states that there is one body in reference to the Body of Christ, so it is also for the navy that the girls are a part of. The Body of Christ cannot exactly function very well if its individual members are working against each other (a kingdom divided cannot stand), and neither can a navy function if its members are tied up in hating each other or competing against each other over petty things. When this happens, others suffer, because the job(s) the warring parties are supposed to be doing does not get done, which impacts anyone who depended on the completion of that job. As Christians, we have a wide variety of denominations, and it is very easy to get caught up in arguing why our denomination is right while others are wrong. While there certainly are some denominations that teach some heretical things, others disagree on things that are simply nonessential, yet they will allow these nonessential things to prevent them from working together. We would counsel the girls in KanColle to not war amongst themselves, and we should take that same counsel ourselves.
Language: 1 “pi**ed”, 1 “j**z”
Alcohol/Drug Use: None
Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Nagato and Mutsu in their usual midriff outfits; Kaga is shown with her clothes torn up, but nothing inappropriate is shown except for a slight bit of cleavage in one shot; Akagi is briefly shown in the bath, with the equivalent of cleavage shown; a brief flashback shows Kaga in the bath—you see part of the side of her breast; Akagi and Kaga are shown in the baths—again, the worst shown is the equivalent of cleavage; an Abyssal woman is shown in what looks like a bikini (thus, cleavage); girl engulfed in flames shows cleavage; Kaga is shown in the bath two more times (nothing worse than cleavage is shown, though); one girl is hit by bombs and her clothes torn up, but you see nothing inappropriate
Violence: Gunfire, torpedoes, explosions, etc. as the girls battle the Abyssals; one of the girls is struck by a torpedo; a girl is shown engulfed in flames; Abyssals are hit with missles, torpedoes, and gun fire; one carrier girl is struck with bombs; planes explode; one Abyssal woman is shot in the eye; anything else is along the lines of the things already mentioned
Other: Akagi makes a comment to the effect of not having had the chance to be alone with Kaga in a while, but the intent of said comment is not made clear; typical Oicchi and Kitakami stuff