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Goin’ Japanesque!

Anime “Kantai Collection”: History of Popularity and How to Enjoy it Even More

Sometime games become the inspiration anime.

Well known examples include “Super Mario Bros.”, “Street Fighters” and so on.

This time I am introducing “Kantai Collection (Fleet Collection)”, an anime adaptation of popular games like them and also a distinctly Japanese anime in some sense.

 

Synopsis

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The setting is a world which has its ocean dominated by mysterious enemies, life forms called “Shinkai Seikan (Deep Sea Marine Vessels)”.

Kanmusu, a group of girls with special abilities has been engaged in combat against Shinkai Seikan in order to bring back control of the sea into the hands of human beings.

The main character Fubuki is one of Kanmusu with abilities of the destroyer. Recently assigned to the naval base, she develops yearning for a senior officer Akagi who has abilities of the aircraft carrier.

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Fubuki becomes friends with Mutsuki and Yudachi, two of another destroyer-type Kanmusu, while she grows strong bonds with other fellows, too.

And she continues fighting against onslaughts of Shinkai Seikan together with Nagato who has the battleship abilities and the command authority of the fleet or Yamato, a Kanmusu representing the largest and mightiest battleship in the world.

 

Analysis

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Kantai Collection is an anime with plots in which adorable cute girls engage themselves in hard battles. This setup is the main sales point that attracts geeky fans called otaku in Japan.

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The origin of this anime is an interactive PC game made available on social networking systems, and it is classified as a “social game” in Japan.

Perhaps because of this history, the anime appears to be produced with those who have experienced the game in mind, and occasionally it is somewhat difficult to understand for people who come to know Kantai Collection through the anime only.

However the girls are cute and the story is simple; the anime is excellently produced and easy to understand as entertainment.

Conversely speaking, you may enjoy the anime better without preset bias if you view it without having played the game.

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The beautiful girls called Kanmusu in the story are personifications of real warships that belonged to the Japanese Navy during the World War II.

This idea of considering the warships as females is actually not an invention made by Japanese otaku geeks.

It was a universal custom at the time to give a ship a female name or consider it a maiden, perhaps because women were actually prohibited from working on board as crew members.

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The game that gave rise to this anime has made profit in a rather unique method.

The game itself has been provided to players basically for free, but the company made money by transferring the copyright to other types of businesses such as production of character goods, anime or manga.

This anime is a part of such a business scheme and it was produced in order to raise public awareness of Kantai Collection.

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For this reason each character’s appearance is designed to reflect anecdotes related to the actual warship or its equipment so that characters look attractive to the viewers.

For example, the main character Fubuki (Snow Storm) looks rather plain to be a central figure of a story.

But the actual destroyer Fubuki was a renowned warship and navies of many countries emulated it as a model, and Japanese navy itself produced 24 ships of this type afterwards.

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Many people became fans after looking into the setting of the characters. The popularity started rising first with the characters and then the game itself continued to gain popularity.

Such popularity in Japan gradually spread to other countries and strangely enough, a speech habit of Yudachi character in the anime to put “poi” at the end of each sentence was shared by many people for a while on Internet abroad.

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TV broadcasting of the anime in Japan started in January 2015 and ended in a total of 12 episodes.

Later on a new story in movie version was released in November 2016 as a project to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Kadokawa Pictures.

The setting of beautiful girls fighting with special abilities is a common pattern among maniac anime stories produced in Japan, but this anime is very enjoyable as entertainment.

If a character catches your fancy, why don’t you look into the actual warship that influenced the design of the character?

By so doing you can gain another way to enjoy “Kantai Collection”.

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Berial the Demon

About the author

It has been over 40 years of reading manga in the deep world of manga. Japan’s manga has an endlessly wide variety of genres. I will be recommending special manga for you to read from such infinite amount of works.

View all articles by Berial the Demon
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