Category Archives: KanColle

Review: KanColle, Episode 12: Kantai Collection

Review:

Well, one thing that can be said for the final episode of KanColle is that it went out with a bang. The vast majority of the episode is an action-packed sea battle that should either feed whatever thirst you may have for combat, or annoy you by the repetitive nature of the occurrences. Essentially, the battle keeps restarting. Every time things look like they’re supposed to end, the fight resets with the Fleet Girls left more and more depleted. This would seem to play into the whole “destiny” aspect that was introduced in the previous episode, although there is a clear solution that becomes evident as the episode plays on.

As stated in the previous review, this concept of the girls being driven by some invisible force of destiny would have been a great plot point had it been used from the get-go (or at least early on) instead of being tacked on at the last minute. Instead, it was added on hastily and solved by the following episode. The solution to the issue of a regenerating enemy also seems to undermine the “destiny” aspect of things, as it really ends up being less about fighting against some pre-ordained event and more about eliminating numbers. All-in-all, while it was an entertaining episode from an action stand point, it ultimately falls flat on its face in terms of plot once you stop to consider the way everything played out. *Spoiler* The fact that everyone lived, despite the presence of overwhelming enemy numbers, also detracts from the impact. While I’m not a fan of killing characters for the sake of killing characters, there is a certain level of realism that it would have achieved in this setting. *Spoiler*

Of course, the end of the episode is the typical spunky, happy thing you would probably expect from a show about cute girls with ship powers. In the end, KanColle was my guilty pleasure show for the season. I enjoyed it for what it was and found entertainment outside of the fanservice, but when looked at on a critical level it ultimately fails. The conclusion of the episode also announces a sequel, but at this point I don’t know if I will be tuning in.

A Christian Perspective:

I feel like I’ve made a lot of connections to the church being the Body of Christ this season, and not just in this show. I don’t want to beat a dead horse, but that’s about the only connection that I can make for this episode. In the end, part of the reason the girls succeed (other than the fact that a cute girl show where all the girls die and the enemies win would not appeal to the moe crowd) is that everyone plays their parts. The girls who were sent to be diversions until the time was right come in as scheduled, and even those who wouldn’t normally set foot on the battlefield make their way out to lend their firepower to the war effort. I wont’ claim to be very active in my local church (because that would be a lie… I help out here and there, but I’m not nearly as involved as some people), so it would be hypocritical for me to sit here and lecture you about how we should also be getting up and going out to support the effort for Christ. Speaking from a matter-of-fact perspective, though: that is how it’s supposed to be. How much any one person is supposed to do I cannot say—perhaps God intends for one person to do more than another. All I know is that it’s important to be involved, and that if we feel God is leading us to a certain place then we should consider it, pray on it, and, if we truly feel God is leading us that way, follow through.

Content Guide:

Language: 1 “h*ll”

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Damaged fleet girls show cleavage; the airfield princess is shown in what appears to be a skimpy outfit; there is a shot of Nagato’s legs from the front, and it appears that you can see the very bottom of her butt in the shot

Violence: Fleet girls are bombed, Abyssals are shot down, explosions; Abyssals are hit with fleet girl rounds and blown up; an Abyssal is kicked; an Abyssal is punched and kicked; basically, plenty of gunfire, explosions, bombs, and the like the go around

Blood/Gore: One fleet girl has a trickle of blood in the corner of her mouth; the Airfield Princess has some purple stuff (Abyssal blood?) on her body

Other: Oicchi refers to Kitakami as “my Kitakami-san”; Mutsu hangs onto Nagato in a suggestive manner (and later brings her flowers)

Review: KanColle, Episode 11: Operation MI Begins!

Review:

Like some of the earlier episodes, this one presents a sharp contrast of dark, intense scenes and light-hearted scenes, although the focus is certainly more on the former than the latter. We begin on a dark note as Akagi has a dream where the fleet girls are completely wiped out during the upcoming mission. It turns out that she has been having this dream for a while, and that she has a history of experiencing premonitions where she felt pulled to follow a particular path as if prompted by destiny. It’s unfortunate that this plot line was not developed earlier in the series, as it would have made an interesting subplot to the otherwise generic “beat the bad guys” plot. It also seems to tie into the backstory of the actual game (which holds that the girls are actually sunken battleships that have come to life as girls in an alternate universe). My hypothesis is that this is the direction the show is moving in, hence why Akagi feels like she is being pulled to a certain destiny.

The focus on Akagi in this episode was also a nice change, as it highlighted the part of her personality that I imagine most of the characters admire, as opposed to the usual scenes of her being a glutton that have become the typical scenes she appears in. Unfortunately this, too, comes at the end of the series, making it a little late for character development. In short, it seems like KanColle tried to give too many of the girls screen time, which interfered with the ability to really build up a principle cast (outside of Fubuki, Yuudachi, and Mutsuki). While this episode functions well enough by itself—and is certainly enjoyable—it does bring to light the above-mentioned issues that make one consider how the story could have been done better up until this point.

KanColle may not be the greatest anime, but it has certainly been entertaining up until this point, and this episode is no different. With the ending of the show looming on the horizon, this episode sets the scene for the finale very well, with an intense battle scene in the latter half of the episode before ending on a cliffhanger. While there are certainly many things that could have been done better in the series (especially in light of this episode), it doesn’t take away from the fact that this was a well-done episode (minus the stuff in the Nudity/Sex/Fanservice section). Hopefully the finale will be done just as well.

A Christian Perspective:

In this episode, Akagi talks about feeling as though she is being lead in a certain direction by some force of destiny. She also speaks of wanting to oppose this force, which can either have a positive or negative reflection from a Christian perspective. On the one hand, God has certainly put in place a certain “destiny” for this world, which can be found in Revelation. There are those who oppose this by their unbelief, as if not believing in it will stop it from happening. That, of course, is the bad kind of opposition, as it suppresses the truth and blinds the holders of that view to their own sinfulness.

On the other hand, there is the fact that all humans, regardless of how “good” we are by human standards, are bad, and if left to our own devices we are all “destined” for hell. Thankfully, God sent His Son, Jesus, to live a sinless life, die on a cross (where he became sin for us), and rise again, thus defeating death and the grave, which gives us access to eternal life if we put our faith in Jesus. We are, in a sense, opposing our destiny if we turn from our sinful ways and follow Jesus, for then we are receiving a gift we do not deserve and escaping the punishment that our sins rightfully deserve, because Jesus already took the punishment for us. So, we can either fight against destiny by opposing the truth, or we can fight against it by embracing that truth and then embracing what was done for us by Jesus in light of that truth, and in that way we can truly escape the punishment that all humanity would otherwise be destined for.

And then there’s the whole free will/predestination debate, but I’m not touching that with a ten foot pole!

Content Guide:

Language: 1 “j**z”

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: A slight cleavage shot near the beginning of the episode; Nagato and Mutsu midrift outfits; around 4:30 there is a flashback to two girls in bikinis (thus cleavage), and a close up of one girl’s bikini-clad breasts bouncing; several girls are shown in the bath around the 11:15 mark, with the fanservice being equivalent to cleavage; 13:43 and 13:45 have brief underwear shots; an Abyssal female is shown in a very skimpy bikini-like thing (or may be partially nude… can’t really tell what it’s supposed to be); other Abyssal females are shown in bikini-like clothing (cleavage); fleet girls are damaged, and their damaged tops show cleavage

Violence: Two girls are bombed (though the impact is not shown); fleet girls bomb an Abyssal; Abyssals launch an attack on some fleet girls—the girls are attacked with bombs and torpedoes (bullets are probably involved too); a flashback to an Abyssal getting shot in the face
Blood/Gore: A girl has blood running down the corner of her mouth; a line of blood is shown on Akagi’s face

Other: Akagi speaks of a feeling that they are being lead along a certain path—she also has a dream that potentially shows the future, and Nagao echoes similar feelings; Nagao lays her head on Mutsu’s chest, and the two sort of hug; Ooicchi’s usual freak outs about Kitakami; Yuudachi, Mutsuki, and Fubuki pray(?) at Kisaragi’s grave

Review: KanColle, Episode 10: Let’s Do Our Best!

Review:

If you’ve watched the previous episode (and you should have if you’re reading this review), then you should already know that Fubuki is due for a remodel per the Admiral’s orders. In true Fubuki fashion, she begins pushing herself as hard as she can in an effort to spark the remodel. Meanwhile, Nagato is wracking her brain trying to figure out where the Abyssal base mentioned in the Admiral’s notes is. She and Mutsu determine that the name must be a code, due to the fact that the enemy had previously intercepted their communications. Their only course of action is to scout out enemy bases and do their best to determine the right base.

You can probably imagine how this goes: Fubuki gets sent out, gets overzealous, and gets herself into trouble because she’s trying to prompt her remodel. While this may be fairly predictable overall, the writers do a good job of at least throwing in one curve ball during the fight. One thing that seemed inconsistent in this episode, though, was that, despite being damaged in the battle, Fubuki spends very little time in the baths getting “repaired”. Previous episodes seem to have established that girls damaged in battle can take a while to heal without a special item, yet Fubuki seems to be out fairly quickly. It’s a minor detail, certainly, but still something that stood out.

Honestly, this is probably one of the more serious episodes in the entire series. Fubuki spends a lot of time in self-reflection, and there is one particularly intense scene with Mutsuki. Incidentally, it felt like this scene was trying to imply something deeper, although nothing actually happens between the two girls. Just something to be aware of. By the climax of the episode (no, the battle is not the climax), Fubuki is given the opportunity to do something she has wanted since episode one, but first she must endure a harsh trial. These, too, are some pretty intense scenes to watch, although the removal of the threat of death does diminish some of the tension.

While KanColle may not be the greatest anime ever created, it still does well with what it is, and manages to present something that is enjoyable to watch. While certainly not without its faults, it makes you want to come back for more, and this writer can’t help but feel a bit of anticipation as the final battle approaches.

A Christian Perspective:

Romans 5: 3-4 – Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Fubuki’s efforts to achieve her remodel offer a parallel to these verses. Much like Paul describes good things coming from our sufferings, Fubuki also realizes that in order to achieve the good thing she wants (a remodel), she will have to go through some sufferings. These include, among other things, a lot of training and a beating from two of her fellow fleet girls. The end of the episode shows Fubuki battered, weakened, and likely exhausted, yet she doesn’t give up—she presses on, completes the task at hand, and achieves the goal for which she was working.

This example should be an inspiration and encouragement to us Christians, because it is a tangible way to look at what we are hoping for in Christ. As we watch others achieve their goals despite sufferings (whether in real life or fiction), we can be encouraged that there are results to be had at the end of our trials.

Content Guide:

Language: 1 “j**z”

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Nagato and Mutsu’s midrift outfits; Shimakaze is shown in her usual tiny skirt—you can see her underwear straps and part of her butt crack sticking out of the top; Fubuki is shown in the bath, but as usual you only see the equivalent of cleavage; there is a brief underwear shot at 20:58

Violence: Fubuki destroys some targets; bombs are shot at a squad of girls; Fubuki shoots an Abyssal; a girl is hit twice by enemy fire; Fubuki is hit by practice fire; planes are destroyed

Blood/Gore: None

Other: Mutsu refers to Nagato as the girl she cares “so much about”; Oicchi is creepy with Kitakami (again…); Mutsuki and Fubuki have a serious conversation, and Mutsuki wraps her pinky around Fubuki’s—from a distance it looks as though the two are standing very close and facing each other, although nothing is actually shown to occur; Fubuki looks at Yuudachi’s chest and then at her own

Review: KanColle, Episode 9: Second-Remodel, Poi?

Review:

As the title of the episode suggests, this entry into the KanColle story focuses on the concept of the girls getting “remodeled”. What remodeling comes down to ends up being little more than a girl glowing and then changing her appearance at some point. We’re not really shown how this is done—one scene shows the lucky girl glowing, and another shows her with a completely different appearance. It sort of takes away from the “character powering up” concept when you don’t actually see the process of the character powering up.

Of course, while the title of the episode and the overall theme of the episode focus around the concept of remodeling, the actual content of the episode focuses more on Fubuki, although the remodel of one of her friends inevitably becomes the topic for a lot of the episode’s conversations. The episode also has a lot of applicability to real life situations, in the sense that sometimes people get things that you feel you deserve more, until you find out that the other person put in a lot of effort to which you simply were not privy. There is also the idea that sometimes we are asked to do things that we do not immediately understand, and perhaps in which we do not immediately see the value.

In short, this was a fairly heavy episode by KanColle standards, although since we have previously seen a character die I suppose it would not be right to call this the heaviest episode of the series thus far. The main difference is that this episode carried that heaviness through a good portion of the run time, instead of only having a few scenes. That’s not to say that the episode is without its light-hearted moments. Some of the things Fubuki and Mutsuki encounter in the workshop, for example, are humorous, as is Fubuki’s reaction to Akagi’s display of affection, depending on how you take it. Another noteworthy aspect of this episode is that it very well may be the cleanest episode of KanColle yet. While it’s not squeaky clean (see the content guide), it certainly had less objectionable content than some of its predecessors. That’s always a nice thing.


While I haven’t played the Kantai Collection game that KanColle is based off of, I have done a bit of reading on it, and it is interesting to see how they have incorporated this remodeling concept. It’s also quite a refreshing change to see that the first “remodeled” girl is not, in fact, the main character. Whether the remodeling concept will continue to play a big role throughout the remainder of the series or not is to be seen, but by the end of this episode we know that at least one more girl is going to be remodeled. The end result of all of this just adds more to the question of what, exactly, these girls are supposed to be. Girls with magical powers? Ships that have taken on the likeness of young girls? Will we ever know? Probably not, but at least the whole concept is amusing.

A Christian Perspective:

1 Peter 2: 13-14 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.

This was a lesson that Fubuki had to learn in this episode. After not only having one of her close friends receive a remodel before her, Fubuki is also told that her squad will be disbanded and that she will be sent back to the Naval District. This order comes directly from the Admiral, and is one that Fubuki doesn’t understand. She even sinks (no pun intended) into a sort of depression over the situation until she finds inspiration from the hard work that Yuudachi has been putting into her own training. Fubuki may not have liked the Admiral’s decision, and may have been confused by it, but she ultimately had to obey it. As she found out, there was a legitimate reason for the decision.

Life can be that way some times, too. How many of us have grumbled because our state or federal governments have passed a law that we didn’t like? The thing is, we are supposed to submit ourselves regardless of what we think about the laws. There is an exception, of course, when the laws of the land go against the commands of God (just see Peter and John’s response to the Pharisees in Acts when they were told to stop preaching in Jesus’ name), but if the law doesn’t violate what God has commanded us to do then we should willingly submit to it. Peter even tells us that we do this for the Lord’s sake.

Content Guide:

Language: 1 “d**n”

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Nagato and Mutsu midrift outfits; Shimakaze is shown in her usual short skirt with the underwear straps sticking out of the top—you can also see the top of her butt crack sticking out; Yuudachi is shown in her bra and underwear; there is at least one brief Yuudachi underwear shot while she is training; possible side-breast shot of an Abyssal woman

Violence: Yuudachi destroys some targets

Blood/Gore: None

Other: Oicchi has her usual affections directed towards Kitakami; Fubuki is shown looking at Yuudachi’s chest and then at her own; Fubuki gets extremely excited over Akagi patting her head

Review: KanColle, Episode 8: I’m Not A Hotel!

Review:

With Shoukaku damaged from the previous battle, Fubuki and her squad head for a temporary base that has been established for the Fleet Girls. This base–which seems more like a luxury hotel than a military outpost—is to play a key role in the operation that is currently underway, and the entire Fleet Girl force has been relocated for the time being. This new base also brings about the introduction of a new Fleet Girl named Yamato who, despite having an awesome arsenal, has not been used in battle. Of course this means that Fubuki just has to find out why Yamato is not being deployed, and just has to offer her assistance in getting Yamato into the water.

For the most part, this is a laid back episode, although the parts with Fubuki and Yamato can be a bit sentimental. It is also an excuse for typical beach episode material which, while just as bad as your typical beach episode in terms of content, does not drag said content out for an entire episode (or even the majority of it). As a matter of fact, there are several scenes of fanservice in this episode, although they certainly don’t dominate the episode, and they aren’t nearly as bad as they could be. Let me pause to say that I’m not trying to excuse the fanservice—it is certainly something that can turn into a stumbling block, and I don’t want to be the guy who carelessly leads somebody into something they shouldn’t watch. The show could only be better without it, at any rate.

This episode also raises some interesting questions about the nature of the Fleet Girls themselves. From the outset, it seemed like these were supposed to be normal human girls who have somehow “inherited” the spirits of old battleships; however, it would seem that these girls share the weight of their respective ships, as seen when Fubuki tries to tow Yamato on her own. On the other hand, the girls are regularly shown sleeping in normal beds, so it certainly creates some interesting questions; however, this may be asking for more depth than what the show ever intended to offer. On a more amusing note, it is explained that eating and “refueling” are one-in-the-same for the Fleet Girls, so seeing a girl who requires a lot of “fuel” eating a ton of food is entertaining.

KanColle may not win any awards, but in this writer’s opinion it has managed to escape the trap of being a throwaway fanservice show and has instead established itself with something of a central plot (no matter how odd) along with likable characters who genuinely care for each other. It is a fun show, if nothing else, and sometimes that’s all anyone can ask for: something to watch that can be enjoyed simply for what it is, and nothing more.

A Christian Perspective:

Romans 12: 6-8 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

I was originally going to talk about bearing one another’s burdens here, but I think I may have already used that in regards to KanColle, so instead I’ll go with this verse.

As we see in this episode, Yamato has not been allowed to enter battle at all. Fubuki, who knows what it’s like to not be allowed into battle, takes pity on Yamato and begins to formulate ways to get her out onto the sea. While her first attempt is in blatant disregard to Nagato’s commands (which is bad), her second attempt at doing the same thing is much more thought out and respectful of the rules (although it is questionable if it was still a violation). The point is that Fubuki seems to have a gift or a drive to help people out, and she put that to use for Yamato’s sake. Paul spoke in the above verse about using our gifts to do what they were given to us for, and that is precisely what Fubuki does here. Let us, then, follow Fubuki’s pattern and put the gifts we have been given to work for the benefit of others. Just make sure you obey the rules while you do.

Content Guide:

Language: None

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Nagato and Mutsu midrift outfits; Zuikaku and Shoukaku are shown in the baths, but as usual the detail doesn’t get much worse than if cleavage were shown (anything below the water is fairly well obscured); many of the girls are shown in bikinis (so, cleavage); there is a close-up of one girl’s bikini-clad breasts bouncing; Fubuki, Mutsuki, and Yuudachi are shown in the bath—you can see a portion of Yuudachi’s butt (and her breasts, in another scene) as she’s sitting down; Nagato is shown bathing—as usual, nothing much worse than cleavage is shown; another scene near the end of the episode shows several girls in bathing suits again

Violence: Yamato shoots down several enemy planes

Blood/Gore: None

Other: Kitakami and Oicchi are present, so the usual stuff with them; Fubuki dotes over Akagi; Oicchi gets excited over Kitakami in her bikini; Kitakami comments on breast sizes

Review: KanColle, Episode 7: I Hate Carrier Group One!

Review:

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.

Content Guide:

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

Blood/Gore: None

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

Review: KanColle, Episode 6: Destroyer Division Six and the Battle of the Curry Seas!

Review:

KanColle continues down a more light-hearted path in this episode, with a focus on Destroyer Division Six in this episode. That’s right, the spotlight is taken off of Fubuki in this one, with only one scene even providing her any screen time! Whether this is an indication that the girls in division six are going to become major players in the overall plot or this was simply filler will have to be seen, but if this episode was purely filler then at least it was entertaining filler. You see, there is apparently one day a week that is designated as “curry day” so that the girls can have something to anchor themselves to in regards to remembering which day of the week it is. Being out at sea can apparently mess with one’s sense of time. Each year, there is a curry competition to determine whose curry will be served for the next year. Destroyer Division Six rises to the challenge, determined to win the competition. The only problem is that they have no idea how to make curry.

Overall, it really is a cute episode as we watch the girls struggle to get their curry recipe perfected. Watching them attempt to heat their curry faster via flamethrower should be enough to put a smile on anyone’s face. The curry journey also has a positive message about it, as it is not until the girls start really working together that they begin to get the hang of things and become truly confident in their abilities. Amidst all of this is some potential foreshadowing in the form of a couple of Nagato’s appearances. They are slight, and it remains to be seen if they will actually amount to anything, but if so then this very well may be a cute episode leading us into something much darker.

KanColle continues to be a show that surprises me, as I fully expected it to be a complete fanservice fest that I would quickly drop. That’s not to say that the show is without its flaws—even in this episode, there is a bath scene and a partial panty shot, not to mention some heavily implied shoujo-ai (which is, admittedly, also common with at least some characters)–but the fact remains that the show has certainly blown my pre-conceived negative opinions out of the water.

A Christian Perspective:

1 Timothy 4:12 – Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.

My focus here is on the first part of this verse. If you watch this episode, then you will quickly notice that the girls of Destroyer Division Six are portrayed as being younger than the other girls. Whether this is metaphorical (perhaps they are based on smaller ships) or meant to be literal is anyone’s guess, but the fact remains that they are younger all the same. While I don’t recall anyone in this episode looking down on them specifically because they’re young, there was certainly a lot of doubt about their ability to succeed. While making a connection to the second part of this verse is a bit harder (connecting this show with purity would be a bit difficult given some of the content), we do certainly see a greater level of discipline and focus (not to mention a lack of cockiness) on the part of Destroyer Division Six than from some of the other girls. While not a perfect reflection of the second half of the above verse, it does speak to setting an example of good conduct in the midst of others whose conduct is less than stellar.

Content Guide:

Language: 1 “j**z”

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: The two girls who wear the midriff reavealing uniforms; from the end of the intro credits until about 3:02, four characters are shown bathing (they all have towels wrapped around them, and no cleavage, though) with some washing the others’ hair—Akagi is also shown, and she is naked, with a portion of her breasts exposed; Shimakaze is featured during part of the episode, and she is wearing her usual low-riding skirt with her underwear straps exposed; 17:22 – 17:23 shows a partial panty shot (mainly the side ties and the character’s thigh)

Violence: Hibiki whacks the other three girls in her squad on the head

Blood/Gore: Hibiki cuts herself with a knife while slicing a vegetable, and some blood is shown

Other: A possible breast joke at Nagato’s expense; Oi is shown saying weird things to Kitakami again; Fubuki mentions wanting to feed Akagi–Mutsuki and Yuudachi comment that Fubuki is in love

Review: KanColle, Episode 5: Don’t Compare Me to the Girls in Carrier Group 5!

Review:

Fubuki just can’t catch a break. Launched into a battle before she was truly capable of fighting, going through some intense training, losing a team mate, and almost losing her own life are summaries of her experiences in the first four episodes of the show. Now she is being split up from the girls (ships) that she has come to know and being reassigned to a new fleet. While not all of the girls are “new” (at the very least, we know Kongou from the previous episode, and both Ooicchi and Kitakami have shown up previously), this is the first time some of them get any serious screen time.

For the most part, the episode focuses on the tension that is going on within the new fleet. Ooicchi is only concerned with being glued to Kitakami, and Kaga and Zuikaku can’t stand each other. Amidst all of this, poor Fubuki can’t even find a room to stay in, and another issue ends up being raise: who will be the flagship for their new fleet. This leads to a series of bath scenes that follow the failed attempts of several of the girls to prove their worthiness to be flagship. Thankfully, these scenes are not particularly graphic (see the content guide for more detail), but their inclusion could be bothersome for some viewers.

In the end, the fleet is forced to go into battle before having the chance to select a flagship; however, in the midst of the battle, one girl naturally rises to the challenge and leads the rest of the squad to victory. As a result, she is elected as the group’s flagship despite the absurdness of her class of ship being a flagship, and what had started as a seemingly hopeless fleet is scene as having some positive prospects, as we see Fubuki bringing Kaga and Zuikaku together, albeit a bit relunctantly.

A Christian Perspective:

Acts 8:1 – On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.

In this episode, the girls are split up from the fleets that they’ve come to know and love. They have undoubtedly gotten comfortable working with the same girls, and would probably much prefer to stay with those they are comfortable with; however, that is not what is necessarily best for the mission at hand (the destruction of the Abyssals), so they are split up into knew fleets and must learn to grow outside of their comfort zones. The disciples’ experience was probably similar: Jesus had returned to them, and they expected Him to set up His kingdom right then and there, only to have Him taken from them again. Then, later, they are dispersed from Jerusalem, where they were presumably quite comfortable. In both cases, we see people who are being forced to grow and move into changing circumstances for the purpose of serving a greater good.

Content Guie:

Language: 1 “s**t”

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Short skirt, midriff shirt on the usual character(s); Kongou is shown in the bath (you only see a brief shot of what amounts to cleavage) along with the other girls from her fleet—some of whom you can also see what amounts to cleavage 15:39 – 15:51; various brief Zuikaku panty shots from about 15:55 – 15:59; bath scene, similar to the previous, 16:07 – 16:26; bath scene 16:30 – 16:38 (no real exposure below the shoulders this time); 16:48 – 17:22 another bath scene, similar to the first, but during one section one of the girl’s breasts is more exposed (you see a brief side shot, at least); a female Abyssal is shown in a midriff revealing top

Violence: Combat between fleet girls and Abyssals

Blood/Gore: None

Other: Fubuki has a fantasy about Akagi patting her head and telling her she did a good job; Ooicchi and Kitakami are shown to have been assigned to the same room, with Oicchi acting romantically towards Kitakami (who otherwise seems apathetic)–this is the relationship that I usually refer to, as it seems the writers intend for it to be romantic between the two girls, although whether it really is or if Ooicchi just fawns over Kitakami (making it one-sided) really isn’t clear; Ooicchi insults another girl by calling her “Flight-Deck Chest”

Review: KanColle, Episode 4: It’s Our Turn! Follow Me!

Review:

KanColle doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be. At first, we see a rather sombre scene set over Fubuki’s fleet as they all deal with the loss of Kisaragi from the previous episode—everyone, that is, except for Mutsuki, who continues to go down to the docks day after day so that she can welcome Kisaragi back when she finally arrives. While this whole ordeal is not portrayed nearly as darkly as it could have been, it doesn’t feel as though it’s treated lightly or as a joke, either. Within this series of events, Fubuki is called away to work with a different fleet for a special mission.

The introduction of Fubuki’s temporary teammates brings a reprieve from the previous themes, as the introduction of Kongou is quite a lively and colorful one. This is all well and good, since these characters have no particular tie to Kisaragi that I can tell and therefore would not be impacted by her death. It makes sense that Fubuki may find herself in a situation where she is surrounded by people who can’t empathize with her. This mood continues into much of the episode, though, as Fubuki is drug along with Kongou and her crew to search for another member of their team on mission day. The sombre attitude (and, indeed, any real reflection or impact of Kisaragi’s death) is left behind for a bunch of goofy antics and some crude jokes. Then, as the episode closes in on the mission, the episode yet again takes on a more serious tone.

It is at this point that Kisaragi’s death finally comes back into play again, as Fubuki is certainly aware of the impact that her own death could have on Mutsuki. Even within this, though, you have some content that we could have gone without. Specifically, I am speaking of a character who I believe is named Shimakaze, from whom we see at least two panty shots as we go into the battle. The inclusion of such things is pointless in any case, but seems especially out of place when going into a battle scene. Outside of that, though, the battle in this episode is enjoyable enough, with its own moment of particular tension. The episode closes with a particularly touching moment between two characters.

A Christian Perspective:

Ecclesiastes 3:1 – There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

Most of us are probably familiar with what follows the above verse, even if it is from the old song. The point is, there is a time for everything. One of the following verses even mentions a time to mourn (v.4). I use this verse because, while there is a time for everything, Mutuski basically avoids this time for mourning. She lives in a state of denial, convinced that Kisaragi will return. The problem with this is that, by delaying the inevitable and not moving into a time to mourn, she cannot move into a time to heal (v.3). Yes, I realize that verse 3 refers to killing before healing, but we also heal from the emotional hurts we experience, and as anyone who has experienced loss should know, you cannot heal from loss without first mourning that loss.

Romans 12:15 – Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

The most touching scene in this episode is a great reflection of the above verse. After returning from her battle, Fubuki immediately seeks out Mutsuki (despite being damaged) and embraces her. The two girls then cry together, presumably mourning over the loss of Kisaragi. Up until that point, Mutsuki had not mourned Kisaragi’s death, and seemed to be living in a state of denial. It wasn’t until a friend came alongside and mourned with her that Mutsuki was finally able to let go and accept what had happened.

Content Guide:

Language: 2 “j**z”, 1 “s**t”

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: The two girls in the midriff tops and short skirts, as usual; a female character is shown in a short skirt with straps coming up from the sides (in one scene you can see her buttcrack sticking out from the top of her skirt)–panty shot of same character at 16:35, 17:02, possibly elsewhere in very brief shots)

Violence: The usual exchange of fire between the Abyssals and the fleet girls; one girl is hit with a volley of shots; a girl knocks an enemy shell out of the way with her hand

Blood/Gore: None

Other: A girl jumps on another girl and starts hugging her and saying “Kiss” several times, though it appears she expected someone else to be in the seat (whether the intended target of her affections is male or not is not disclosed); a scene shows two girls seated on a bench together, holding hands, and exchanging sweet talk (one comments that the other is prettier than the flowers, or something, for example); a girl sets up a trap with a book labeled “seductive Kongou photo album” (or something similar), which results in one of the four sisters going for the book and getting trapped

Review: KanColle, Episode 3: The Operation to Capture W Island!

Review:

Oh, they’re girls because ships are usually referred to in the feminine! I get it now…

Ahem, anyway, KanColle is quickly shaping up to be a show that I simply can’t figure out how to take. From the beginning I came in with a biased outlook, expecting it to be little more than a fanservice-laden, lesbianism (implied or otherwise) filled show. Granted, part of that came from reading some pre-show stuff. Still, the first episode didn’t help my expectations, although the second episode wasn’t nearly as bad as I had expected it to be, and this episode even less so. There is, of course, still some questionable material, but it is moreso in reference to how things are meant than anything else (see the “other” section of the content guide). In terms of fanservice, this episode really turned it down—but the action and drama are turned up.

To be fair, there’s a limit to how seriously you can take a show with high school girls decked out in ship armor fighting aliens, and this episode probably hits that limit, but it does it in a good way. The first portion of the episode shows the girls rallying around Fubuki to support her in the upcoming mission. While there may have been more than the surface motives behind their actions, it was still nice to see something of a positive message in the support that they were giving her. There is also an important message here about letting those you care about know how you feel. This is, of course, one of those questionable areas because it’s not clear if the “love” the girls speak of is supposed to be a friendly love or a romantic love, and obviously as Christian viewers one of those is okay while the other raises some issues. As of now, we cannot say, but the message is still applicable, and it is worth asking ourselves if the people we love realize that we love them.

When the action finally kicks in, there is enough suspense to keep you on the edge of your seat. A certain scene prior to this pretty much throws up a death flag, which is unfortunate because it does ruin some of the shock of a later event in the episode, but the writers do sort of redeem themselves by creating a sort of tension as to who will end up dying. The fighting itself should certainly scratch whatever action itch viewers may need, and for the most part the events of the episode are wrapped up before the end, leaving a satisfying ending with enough left open to bring you back for the next week.

It may not be fair to say that KanColle has completely won me over yet, as I still expect it to go completely inappropriate, but I will say that it has surprised me and kept its act clean enough to bring me back for the next episode at least. Whether you should join me in this endeavor or not I will not say—read my reviews, see what you think, and use your best discretion to decide.

Christian Perspective:

James 4: 13-15 – Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”

This may seem like an odd piece of Scripture to apply here, but stay with me. It seems pretty clear to me that James is rebuking his readers for making plans and determining how their lives will go for the next year when they can’t even figure out what will happen tomorrow. Ultimately, everything is in God’s hands and it is His will that will prevail, as evidenced by the end of this passage where James states that his readers should frame their statements in the context of “if it is the Lord’s will”. Another lesson that I think we can take from this is that we should take the opportunities given to us when we have them. This can get a little hair and requires some discernment, of course, but there are other times where I think it’s pretty clear, as with my application to this episode.

After all of the talk about letting those you love know that you love them, Mutuski resolves to tell Kisaragi how she feels about her. Now, I’m going to give Mutsuki the benefit of the doubt here and assume that this is a friendly love, although I will be wearing egg on my face if I turn out to be wrong. Anyway, instead of just telling Kisaragi when she has the chance, Mutsuki decides that she will wait until after the mission. This, of course, proves to be a poor decision as the end of the episode reveals, and further hammers home the point that we should do good as the opportunity presents itself. If you have the thought to call your dad and tell him you love him, do it then, or as soon as you have the chance if “then” really is not feasible, but don’t put it off until tomorrow, because tomorrow may be too late. That is, of course, just one example: this could go on and on.

Content Guide:

Language: None

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Nagato and her sidekick in their usual midriff revealing attire; a brief shot of two girls in the bath, one washing the other’s back—you see a slight portion of one girl’s breast (starts around 8:10); a character is hit with a missile and shown sinking in the ocean—part of her bra is exposed

Violence: Fire is exchanged between the ship-girls and their enemies; explosions; one girl is hit with a missile and presumably killed

Blood/Gore: Some gooey substance is shown splattering from an enemy unit that is hit with a missile

Other: Fubuki is given a good luck charm; two sets of two girls are shown sharing a bed, although it isn’t portrayed sexually; Fubuki and Mutsuki exchange “I love you’s”, although it isn’t clarified whether this is in a friendly or romantic sense; Mutuski tells Kisaragi that she has something she wants to tell her, to which Kisaragi responds “a confession of love” and Mutsuki essentially retorts “No, well maybe”; Mutsuki tells Yuudachi that she loves her, although at that point it very well may be a friendly love between Mutsuki and Yuudachi as well as Mutsuki and Fubuki; the nature of Mutsuki’s feelings for Kisaragi are still suspect, especially with Mutsuki’s comments that Kisaragi would probably blush when told, “I love you. Thank you.”