First Impressions – Kantai Collection: KanColle

Waifu Collection is here!

Wow this series is finally out?! I swear after waiting two whole seasons for this series to possibly show up I was almost was certain that the entire thing was scrapped, but I already know that most fans out there will write this off as a try super hard Arpeggio or Strike Witches clone! I certainly hope it can be as great as those two series if not better.


 Here we go, the much-awaited adaptation of one of the most popular non-anime otaku franchises since Touhou and Vocaloid has arrived. Based on a fairly minimalist collecting game, does Kantai Collection have what it takes to succeed on screen? After 1 episode, the answer is definitely maybe.


I wasn’t sure if I was going to contribute to this FI after seeing the show and a little discussion with lvlln on twitter, but I decided to, and I don’t think we’re saying too much of the same things. So what did I think of this one as well? Was it the Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio: Ars Nova killer that everyone said it would be?


Batteru on the high seas!

KANTAI COLLection (10)

Gotta go fast!

Fosh// Zombie monster fish attacking the world!? Who will save us!? None other than moe battleship girls! I know the overall story so far might not be the most exciting thing you have ever heard because for the most part it is a copy past plot taken from a lot of different anime, but name a show that doesn’t at least borrow from another series? That said yes I know the idea of Kantai Collection comes off as another attempt to cash in on other hit series like Girls und Panzer, Arpeggio of Blue Steel and Strike witches and I know most people view it as a bit weird especially when they see scenes of them skating across water, transforming and wearing random parts of battleships. Yeah I can see all of that and since those series came out before Kantai Collection so it will be heavily compared to them which I feel is a little unfair and honestly it could have been very different like this bit of fanart I found, but I will simply say that there are plenty of weird anime out there to watch! Like last season we had an anime series about twintails and also this season we also have Yuri Kuma which is way out there for some anime fans, but I suppose we all have our levels of what is too weird or extreme for us to watch! I just hope some people attempt to give this a shot without passing harsh judgment on an anime based off an online card game.

Now that that is out of the way! I liked how all the characters so far have very unique designs and looks to them besides the obvious set of twins and triplets that all share the same type of special uniform and voice actor! I also recently discovered there are a few Kantai Collection characters created by fans and all of them are based off real ships if you check the Wikipedia page you will see what ship inspired that character. While that is a very cool thing to seeing tons of fans create their own characters I don’t know if they will be able to squeeze all of those fan creations in unless they have cameos in the background? Then again I was just happy to see Shimakaze in the anime! I can’t wait to see more of her even though I know the main focus will be spent following Fubuki as she learns how to fight real battles and of course she has a goal to fight with Akagi one day! I just hope she can accomplish it within twelve episodes without the need of a second season or OVA.


Moe battleships

KANTAI COLLection (12)

A very lively team.

Lvlln// At first glance, with its moe anthropomorphized World War 2 warships, Kantai Collection is reminiscent of Strike Witches, an anime series that was based on a series of illustrations of moe girl versions of famous World War 2 fighter pilots with equipment that made them into anthropomorphized planes. After 1 episode, that resemblance turns out to be far more than skin deep, as the plot details appear to be virtual carbon copies of what was in Strike Witches. Rather than Neuroi which came from space, we’ve got Abyssals which came from the sea. Rather than being special “witches” with magical powers allowing them to use special equipment (i.e. Striker Units), the girls are those who possess souls of historical warships allowing them to use special equipment. And the story follows Fubuki, a new but spirited member of the fleet, not unlike Strike Witches‘s Yoshika Miyafuji, a new but spirited member of the 501st airborne unit.

But the big question is, can Kantai Collection be like Strike Witches where it counts, i.e. by being really fucking good? That one is harder to figure out. Strike Witches succeeded by creating and developing a solid cast of endearing characters and also presenting exciting well-animated well-directed dog fights for its central conceit. Kantai Collection may have some difficulty in both of these aspects. Whereas Strike Witches had a core cast of just 11 girls which it did a laudable job in presenting over its 12 episodes, Kantai Collection is a franchise with literally dozens and dozens of girls. The 1st episode alone gave us glimpses of more than double the number of girls as in Strike Witches. Now, this could easily be mitigated by focusing on a main group of girls, and this does seem to be the direction the show is going, as indicated by sticking Fubuki in a squad with just 5 other girls. If the show can balance the time well between the core cast and the rest of the side characters, it definitely could find success.

The action front is just as hopeful but just as murky. This 1st episode had a good amount of naval battle action in it, and the quality was good but hardly edge-of-your-seat exciting. Which quite frankly is okay; Strike Witches didn’t start off with great action either. Plus, the CG in the action scenes here was quite impressive, certainly a huge step above what we saw in Strike Witches almost 7 years ago. That said, I worry that the nature of naval battles may come to hurt the battle scenes, robbing them of a sense of intimacy. As well animated as the action in this 1st episode was, it was hard not to feel detached due to the sheer number of girls fighting at once, as well as the sheer distance between the girls and their enemies. There’s a reason why Strike Witches relied on more individual and close quarters actions for its climactic encounters.


Waifu Collection

KANTAI COLLection (1)

Time to surf~

Highway// Well, first question: Better than Arpeggio of Blue Steel?  I think it’s about completely incomparable. The plots are nothing alike, the setups are nothing alike, the tone is nothing alike. So that’s out of the way, what is Kancolle itself? Well, like lvlln says, it’s like Strike Witches… kinda. Or a lot. Maybe too much. But before we got to the Strike Witches part, there was another show it was like. “Tell us Highway, what show was it?” Well, it was a not-too-popular show from last season.

Girlfriend Beta

Seriously, half of the episode was the new girl going around and meeting a whole fleet (ha!) of other girls. And they were all getting along nicely, and all had two lines, and they introduced about 20 people, and noone will ever remember who any of them are except for the two carrier girls and no I don’t even remember their names. On top of that, it was the same kind of plot that GF Beta would have had: “I don’t want to tell someone that I am completely inexperienced and they assume I am and I’m too embarrassed to actually say it and I’ll wait until we’re all in the middle of a battle and I’ll get everyone killed slow everyone down but we’ll laugh about it in the end after the cool carrier girls save my hull.” I mean, I liked Girlfriend Beta, but that show was totally マイペース (“My Pace”), and wasn’t going to be interesting for everyone. Hell, it put Sumairii to sleep more than once.

Now, this show did throw in the battle at the end, and a little bit of the conceit was fun, like the flip boards for the ship selection, and the big chains for the loadout. And I’ll admit that the look of the girls with the ship parts isn’t always as bad as I feared. The Destroyers (torpedo squadron) are outright terrible, but the battleships are far cooler. And the carriers are pretty neat, although the “We can make a bunch of planes show up from an arrow” thing was a bit eye-rolly. And I hope we get more tactically interesting / correct battles. Why would you have all your destroyers in a line? You picket them around your fleet to protect against enemy subs. But that doesn’t get them attacking the bad guys… maybe. Oh well. Maybe this will get a bit better for that.



KANTAI COLLection (9)

Moe pirates <3

KANTAI COLLection (11)

I completely agree!

KANTAI COLLection (13)

yay guns!

KANTAI COLLection (14)

Move over shark-chan! Orca-kun is taking your spotlight.

End thoughts

Well that was certainly an interesting first episode! Which we here at Metanorn are going call waifu Collection! Anyway I am happy that this episode gave a bit of everything like a peek into the various enemy types we will be seeing, how the ship to ship battles are done and the world the characters live in. I know it might look super silly to most of us watching, but I am willing to look past that and stick around and find out how the series goes because again there are lots of weird anime out there! Also there was Bahumut which was also based off a card game and we all saw how that was and I guess I am just a huge fan thanks to all the fanart so for me personally I am excited to see Kantai Collection get the anime treatment even though it looks to be receiving a mixture of likes and dislikes.

Kantai Collection could have done a lot worse than remind of Strike Witches with its 1st episode. A LOT worse. But it also hasn’t shown anything that makes me, someone who is not a fan of the original game, sit up and pay attention. In almost directly copying its spiritual predecessor, it gave us something that felt very formulaic, very by-the-numbers. But that also means it has a lot of potential. There certainly wasn’t anything in the episode to turn me away. I’ll keep watching this with a hopeful eye, but I won’t have the (admittedly unreasonable) expectation that it will replicate the success of Strike Witches.

Not a bad show. The waterskiing (more like water skating) bits didn’t strike me as dumb as they did in the initial PV, and it was a bit interesting watching Fubuki fumble around. But I don’t see this having the urgency of something like Strike Witches, and with how they had the show in the beginning, it’s definitely not going to be like that. Maybe I’ll like that more, instead of it being a Strike Water Witches show (besides, it’d be hard to have as many crotch shots if they’re water skating). But if they don’t do the battle parts right, it’s going to turn off a lot of people.


We live, laugh, enjoy and strictly believe on "more the merrier". When together, we usually come up with very chatty, conversation-based episodics and interesting posts.
Blinklist BlogMarks Delicious Digg Diigo FaceBook Google MySpace Netvibes Newsvine Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter

33 Responses to “First Impressions – Kantai Collection: KanColle”

  1. Kidd says:

    Wow you guys really liked Strike Witches huh, Im wondering should I see this first then Strike Witches just so I have a different perspective?

    • Foshizzel says:

      Yeah Strike Witches is a lot of fun, but be warned it is ecchi because there are lots of pantsu shots haha

    • Highway says:

      You could do that, but then you’d be depriving yourself of having watched Strike Witches for the next 3 months. It’s a really fun show, and despite the obvious directorial choices, it’s put together really well.

    • akagami says:

      Strike Witches had an absurd premise (why only battle in pantsu?), but it turned out to be this cute story with a lot of likeable characters :3

  2. Kyokai says:

    Oh noes! There’s competition for Shark-kun!!!

  3. AstroNerdBoy says:

    This is one I decided to pass on episode blogging and just blog about it when it comes to an end. I’ve seen a lot of images from Twitter with people playing the game. Seeing your screen caps, I’m thinking, “this could be quite weird.”

    • Foshizzel says:

      True I don’t blame you for skipping on episodic reviews because it seems like everyone is kinda meh on this series due to it being “weird” and “crazy” which is what I like xD

  4. Di Gi Kazune says:

    I’m sure people would want to *torpedo* them. Heh. Heheheh…

  5. Namaewoinai says:

    Okay now…It finally shows up huh, The Most Talk about franchise in the east, (Well, I Don’t want to called it japan, like the US is now i called it the west) To Be honest I had no fond to any anthropomorphic stuff, but in this case, i feel like it begins be to smile a bit. Now i just want to see this one…oops That one may not shown up just yet at least!…at least this season!

    • Foshizzel says:

      Oh yes! I know Kantai is HUGE in Japan and last I saw on the wiki page over 2.2 million players and it has more characters than Touhou and Vocaloid? So yeah that is saying a bunch; however it seems that everyone else is using Kantai as the punching bag of the season just because it is weird and strange…ah well there seems to be at least one series per season to get that treatment…

  6. akagami says:

    The first episode didn’t work for me. I felt like their whole goal was to introduce as many girls as possible in the first episode, and the non-stop introductions started to get in the way of my enjoyment.

    The CG parts of the water skiing/skating felt odd to me, as it contrasted too much between the regular animation. That and the skating was just weird… I was expecting them to just sail straight.

    So far the Abyssals seem pretty weak. The first battle was just so lopsided I felt bad for the enemy base.

    But overall it has potential, so I’m going to stick with it for a bit and see how it goes. Go go Orca-kun!

    @Fosh – I like hjl’s art (well, at least the SFW ones).

    • Foshizzel says:

      Well they did shove the “main cast” in our faces and maybe this should have been a 00 episode to introduce the enemy, combat and some of the serious stuff first and then do an actual 01 episode following the slice of life moe elements? That would have worked a bit better.

      Lol I know most find it strange, but I didn’t mind it as much as others because honestly if they did the whole thing where the girls are inside different ships I would see comments like “OH MY GOD they copied Arpeggio WTF.”

      Yeah I plan on continuing reviews for it even if nobody cares to comment I had fun with it and that is all that matters right? Having fun <3

      Indeed! Great artworks~

  7. BlackBriar says:

    To me, this was Arpeggio of Blue Steel meets Girls und Panzer. Since I watched and liked both aforementioned series, KanColle looks like it’ll win my favor just fine. Strike Witches never got a passing glance so unfortunately I can’t be in agreement on possible similarities. I’m feeling the Arpeggio vibes the most based on the manner the presented enemy threatens mankind: by sea. Not to mention the name designated to them. I mean, the “Abyssal Fleet”. Sorry, can’t help thinking “Fleet of Fog” when that comes to mind.

    Where the girls are concerned, I can’t yet make an opinion since there are so many and it’s currently a hassle trying to remember their names. The only one in memory is the lead Fubuki. The weak spot lies in giving introductions back to back at an accelerated pace.

    There were some backlashes throughout the episode. Like flipping back and forth between 2D animation and CG. It would’ve been better if one was picked and stuck with because this method is likely to be irritating. Especially if the viewer just happens to be in a bad mood from an unpleasant day.

    • Foshizzel says:

      Yeah Kantai has a little bit of Panzer, Arpeggio and Strike witches blended together and yeah the enemy types are similar to the Fleet of Fog even their overall look as well.

      True I feel this series will suffer from too many characters, but I think it will only focus on Fubkuki’s team instead of each and every other group.

      I can see that and id prefer if they stay in the 2D world; however if Shirobako has taught me anything the use of 3D is only there to make things a bit easier or they were pressed for time so 3D was the way to go! Yeah I hate that back and forth too trust me.

    • Highway says:

      I feel like both the shows you mention are not even close to fits compared to Strike Witches. Like nothing like Girls und Panzer, and the only thing like Ars Nova is ‘water’. And if you do like this show, then you should DEFINITELY watch Strike Witches, because so far, like lvlln says, this is “Strike Witches, but not as good.”

      • BlackBriar says:

        I feel if I even try to watch Strike Witches, It’d end on the backlog list. There are already a lot of others shows yet to take a look at.

        • Di Gi Kazune says:

          It is time to write off the losses.

          • BlackBriar says:

            Easier said than done. It took me 4 years to decide on seriously watching the first season of Durarara!!. And that was after seeing the announcement for the second season.

            • Di Gi Kazune says:

              bah! weak! all you need to do is hit purge!

              Piano – written off
              Haibane Renmei – written off
              Someday’s Dreamer – written off
              UFO Princess Walkure 2 – written off
              Soul Link – sorta written off
              Princess Tutu – cannot remember if I really watched all of it but essentially considered written off.
              Rozen Maiden – semi-written off, as a result, all sequels are considered written off
              And oh yes, Chokotto Sister, in the process of being written off.

              Essentially, all of these are from 10+ years, all except Soul Link and UFO princess were suggestions. I’ve change my policy regarding shows:
              1) Watch immediately during season if possible; do not attempt to backlog.
              2) Personal preferences are rewatchable, top of the list – Di Gi Charat.
              3) ANYTHING from past seasons picked up on a whim: Immediately marathon – do not wait.
              4) Any recommendations is subjected to #3 plus it must at least have some personal preference, else dump. Otherwise it will be the start of a backlog. Eg. WIXOSS.
              5) Do not be afraid to write off. Better than leaving it uselessly dangling.

              These so far have kept my backlog at zero.

            • Di Gi Kazune says:


              *writes off spammy*

  8. zztop says:

    Can Kantai’s source game be played by the international community, or is it Japan-only?

    • lvlln says:

      From what I understand, Kancolle filters for Japanese IPs, but international fans have found ways around that by using VPNs or other methods. However, another hump to overcome is that Kancolle doesn’t just freely allow anyone to play, but rather issues lotteries every once in a while to give slots to players. I don’t know why they use such a system. But in short, you have to be clever, dedicated, and lucky if you want to play Kancolle.

      • Highway says:

        Probably, the reason they use a limiting method is to control supply and pump up interest. People are more likely to want to do something they’re not allowed to, and more likely to keep doing something that sets them apart from others.

        • lvlln says:

          Thing is, I feel like KanColle is well past the stage when that strategy would significantly increase fan attention, and at the point when it should cash in by getting players who are given the opportunity to pay. Wonder if there’s something limiting in the back end,tho I can’t imagine what.

  9. skylion says:

    I’ll have to revise some of my early quibbles about the show. While I do feel the “bits and bobs” of ships ratcheted Willly Nilly are even sillier than anything, I feel the show has a decent feel to it. At the end of the day, for me, it’s the characters the bits and bobs are attached to…

    • Foshizzel says:

      Right I feel you on that! Yeah it is a bit odd that the girls have parts of ships attached to them, but hey at least it is only during battle and nod everyday clothing LOL

      I don’t blame you if you drop this after three episodes but at least you gave it a go and tried it~

      • skylion says:

        I don’t think I’d drop it, there’s to much esprit du corps about the girls.

        • Di Gi Kazune says:

          Fortunately, I haven’t started no will start. I still prefer Aoki Hagane because they are still ships and the girls are just avatars. Imagine the Iowa-class with their busty mental models… Though they could be LOLis as Bismarck’s are twin LOLis…

Leave a Reply