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!
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