From the start KanColle anime was geared towards the “core fan” (i.e. those already fans of the franchise), and episode 06 was definitely geared towards that group. That’s not to say anime-only fans will not enjoy Ep. 06, but I definitely think game players and other “core fans” got a lot more out of it. From the comments I’ve read, that certainly seems to be the case for a clear majority of game players. Most liked the Ep. 06 quite a bit and I did as well. While I probably like Ep. 05 better, Ep. 06 definitely provided more than just a couple “LOL” moments for me – an enjoyable watch despite being an unexpectedly 100% SoL (“slice of life”) episode.
From a game player’s standpoint, Ep. 06 had a number of good “inside” jokes. The best for me (literally LOL’d) was when Akatsuki, Inazuma, Ikazuchi and Hibiki shivered in fear at the “kon, kon, kon” (or “clang, clang, clang” in English I guess) sound while Yuubari rebuilt and improved their flame thrower melted pot (see explanation below). “Glutton Akagi” was at her best- another LOL moment when she started to steal and eat the potatoes Kaga was cutting. Also LOL’d when she got all excited after hearing about another successful bauxite expedition. It’s the Akagi I know and love from both the game and Fubuki, Ganbarimasu! 4-Koma manga. Naka’s curry competition team introductions were quite humorous as well. Another LOL moment for me was Naka introducing Ashigara as being voted the “fleet girl you most want to see married!” followed by Haguro’s “Run away while I can still hold her, Naka-chan!” Really, this was quite a funny episode from a game player’s standpoint.
Speaking of Naka-chan, by far this was my favorite Naka episode. I liked her playing the tsukkomi role to Kirishima’s boke as co-announcer. Like Bear, I agree that, again, unlike Ep. 04, the character personalities were more properly portrayed without unnecessary exaggeration for the sake of “comedy”. Kongou was fun-loving genki rather than baka wacky, and Shimikaze wasn’t bouncing around like she just did ½ kg of cocaine or was hiding for… “reasons”. For the most part, I thought all the character personalities were mostly spot-on though Kirishima got a bit overexcited for her character (game version at least – she’s the calm, cool, intellectual/data type). However, it wasn’t to the same degree as Ep. 04’s almost caricature level. Furthermore, Kirishima playing the boke role to Naka-chan’s tsukkomi role did work. I have to admit I chuckled a few times from Naka’s comeback lines. So, all in all, fine by me on that.
Like Ep. 05, Ep. 06 was pretty much what I expected in terms of SoL/comedy type moments from KanColle anime. Pacing certainly has improved from a rushed Ep. 01. Also, for the most part I think the show did a fairly good job with game reference integration in Ep. 06, though with so many references, I can understand if anime-only viewers felt left out of an “inside joke” at times. Still, I do think game reference integration was better than Ep. 01. For example, the flame thrower joke doesn’t need game experience to work, but playing the game does add another level. They surreptitiously added a timer in the background which ties into the game reference. It’s there, but not overly conspicuously so. Same goes for Akagi’s bath (repair dock) timer. So while perhaps not 100%, Ep. 06 still leaves me with the impression that some progress has been made compared to earlier episodes.
My biggest complaint about Ep. 06 has to be the Ooi-Kitakami scene. That felt very forced – as if there’s some rule that there must be a Ooi x Kitakami scene in every episode. I’ve enjoyed some of Ooi’s shtick (Kitakami is kind of just there so far), but I do think the anime is pushing that “plotline” (if you can call it one) too much and too often. I’ve read a few comments from viewers, even a couple of game players, that they are getting tired of Ooi’s shtick. Frankly, I’m starting to get a little tired of it myself. Another complaint ties back into an issue I had with Ep. 04. While I’m glad to see Shimakaze get a bit more screen time, she’s still “some random Kanmusu” because the show has failed to give her a proper introduction. Perhaps a couple less Ooi x Kitakami scenes would provide time for that. *hint*
So yes, I liked Ep. 06 though l admit playing the game makes a significant difference. If I wasn’t playing the game and/or familiar with the franchise, I’d almost certainly be less enthusiastic. Next up is CarDiv 1 vs. CarDiv 5 redux. That… surprised me. It’s been tweeted/commented that Zuikaku is one of the (or the) director’s favorite Kanmusu. Still, didn’t we get that already in Ep. 05? I’ll hold off on making any final judgments until the season ends, but I do have to wonder given the show’s one-cour run if this is the best use of an episode.
“OT”: The KanColle game “Winter 2015 Event” is currently taking place. For some of the Boss Nodes, the anime’s OP & ED music is used for BMG. Have to say again that I do like both songs – especially the OP, and it was a nice touch by the game developers to use both of them in the event. Enjoyed that. 😀
Well, they managed to fake me out. In my impressions of the last episode I was sure that they were going to have a battle after some SoL in each episode. This one violated that rule big time. On top of that, this had to have been the most game-centric episode yet. So much so that I knew I was missing a good portion of the dialog and references. Probably was a lot funnier for the gamers too, but I’ll leave that for daikama to talk about. Just the title of the episode had us both thinking that this would have some relationship to the WWII Coral Sea battle. I mean, com’mon “Curry Sea Operation”? To finish me off, the opening scene with Nagato and Mutsu had me totally trolled that this was going to be an intense episode and maybe even include a loss of a kanmusu. Well, we almost lost some kanmusu (but to curry instead of enemy action) and Nagato did cry (from hot curry spice at least). ;D They did keep with the pattern of focusing on another group of kanmusu with each episode. This time we get the Sixth Destroyer Group: Akatsuki, Inazuma, Ikazuchi, Hibiki. The most kawaii group of destroyers evah! The real ships are often considered a sub class of the Fubuki class, but you wouldn’t know that from the design of the ship girls.
I won’t go into the game references, but a few things caught my eye. Akatsuki wearing the “crown” while she was washing her hair. I’ve seen that on line as a device to keep the soap out of your eyes. If the Japanese don’t have a gadget then it probably hasn’t been invented yet. The other thing from the scene was Akagi playing with a wire puzzle while she was in the bath. Last time with Fubuki she was popping bubblewrap. I wonder what’s next? A Rubber Ducky? I’d say this was going to be a recurring bit, but I’ve already been fooled so I’m not going to make a prediction about that.
If I knew Japanese I might have guessed that this wasn’t going to be a serious episode. “戦 作 洋一レ力 “ actually has curry spelled backwards: (力レ一 is the katakana for “curry”). Best I can get for a crude literal translation is “war work ocean curry”. The reason I even decided to look for a translation was that the title at the commercial break “X’ed” out the “洋” which is ocean. Turns out it’s spelled backwards even in the contest notice on the wall in the dock/bath locker room Really curious about what the Japanese thought about the title.
Besides “Khorosho”, we also get Hibiki saying “Bože moi” (My God) for a change of pace.
As far as the characters from episode 4 that were annoying in their antics, here they’re ok. Naka is in her element and keeps to her announcer role without trying to overshadow the procedings. Kongou is genki without straying into stupid. Much better with all of their antics being toned down. Don’t get me wrong, I do like slapstick. It just needs to be done right. The director must really like Kitakami and Ooi for some reason since they show up in every episode. Either he’s into yuri or maybe even yanderes or both.
Not too much more to say. The competition was about what you would expect from the characters and the style of humor we’ve seen. We did learn that the opening scene with Nagato was her agonizing over having to eat spicy curry as the judge. They kept the joke going till almost the last scene. Overall a very good episode.
Notes and Additional Information
Ship Class Abbreviations
Battleship (BB), Aviation Battleship (BBV), Armored/Regular/Fleet Aircraft Carrier (CV), Light Aircraft Carrier (CVL), Seaplane Tenders (AV), Amphibious Assault Ship (LHA), Escort Carrier (CVE), Heavy Cruiser (CA), Aviation Cruiser (CAV), Light Cruiser (CL), Torpedo Cruiser (CLT), Destroyer (DD), Repair Ship (AR), Submarine (SS), Submarine Aircraft Carrier (SSV), and Submarine Tender (AS).
Partial List of Game References
- Flame thrower cooking: In the game, one consumable item is “instant construction”. Normally when you construct a ship(girl) it takes anywhere from 17 minutes to 8 hours real time to finish. However, if you use one (10 required for Large Ship Construction) instant construction item(s) (the icon looks like a flame thrower), a fairy come out with a flame thrower and blast the ship with flame while the timer rapidly counts down to zero in about 2 seconds.
- Akatsuki tired of running expeditions: A major factor in the game is resource management, and the primary way to acquire resources is to constantly run expeditions. There is natural resource regeneration, but it’s capped at a fairly low level (based upon Admiral (or HQ) level). So players are constantly running expedition with the second, third and fourth fleets. The ships most often used to run expeditions are destroyers for two reasons. First, destroyers are resource efficient (you will use fuel and possibly ammo running expeditions). Second, most expeditions require a certain number of destroyers anyway. Some require an all destroyer fleet. In fact, it’s not unusual for game players to have some destroyers which never do anything but run expeditions. So Akatsuki being tired of running expeditions makes a lot of sense from a game standpoint.
- “Expedition Fail” graphics: The anime literally inserted the game’s expedition success/failure graphics. What you saw in the anime is how it looks in the game if you fail an expedition.
- Akatsuki-class Destroyers fearing “kon, kon, kon” sound: The game has a maximum fleet size limit. The default limit is 100, but you can buy additional room at the cost of 1000 yen/10 more spots with a current maximum of 230 spots. Between drop and construction attempts for ships you don’t have, you must get rid of excess ships (normally duplicates). Two ways to do that – modernization (using unwanted ships to boost another ship’s stats to maximum values) and scrapping (which gives you minimal resources). That “kon, kon, kon” sound is the same exact sound a player hears when scrapping a ship. So that’s the joke here. The Akatsuki-class DDs are scared because they are hearing the game’s “ship scrapping sound” when Yuubari fixes their pot.
- Ashigara as the “hungry wolf”: In 1937, Ashigara was invited to UK for fleet reviewing for coronation of George VI, where supposedly, an English reporter criticized Ashigara’s spartan quarters and a design focused on effectiveness over livability as a “Hungry Wolf”. While it wasn’t meant as a complement, the Japanese chose to take it as such. By no means a comprehensive search, but as far as I know, there is no published source for that (i.e. no archived newspaper article with that remark). It might have been on off-hand comment by an English reporter that was overheard by an IJN member. Regardless, at some point for whatever reason, IJN CA Ashigara acquired that nickname.
- Ashigara as an “unmarriable maiden”: I think this is mostly fandom rather than any game source. Ashigara has a line in her library intro of “Eh? That’s got nothing to do with my sex appeal? There’s… no way that’s right!” which I suspect fans/doujinshi extrapolated in to “she’s the unmarrable” type. Honestly, I don’t know if the library intro is the original one or fandom added later like Akagi’s appetite.
- Hiei’s Death Curry: This joke is taken directly from Kantai Collection Drama CD 1 (Hiei’s Curry). English translation here. Short version = do NOT let Hiei cook.
- Akagi’s appettite part II:
- See Partial list of Game References section in Ep. 02’s review for why Akagi got this reputation.
- The anime line of “Carrier Group One, Akagi! I’m here to eat— I mean cook!” is is taken from her secretary idle line in the game: “Um, Admiral? Is it mealti— No! Is it time to start the operation yet!?”
- You’ll notice that Kaga also has a huge plate of curry. The truth is that Akagi is not the most resource hungry CV in the game. Kaga uses the most ammo of any CV (and more fuel than Akagi) while Taihou uses the most fuel of any CV and the same ammo as Akagi. As for the anime, I took the fact that Akagi’s plate had less curry than Kaga’s as simply Akagi ate half of her portion already. 😛
- It’s really a bit unfair to Akagi. Not only does Kaga use more resources than Akagi, but all BBs use more fuel and ammo. Yamato Kai and Musashi Kai use over three times the amount of fuel and four times the amount of ammo compared to Kaga!
- Zuikaku ripping Shoukaku’s skirt: That scene is based upon Shoukaku’s secretary game line: “Geez, Zuikaku, stop fiddling with my skirt so mu- huh, oh my, admiral?”
- Zuikaku and the “Goddess of Curry”: Another game reference. This one taken from Zuikaku’s game MVP dialog: “Yay! Did you see that! That’s the true power of the 5th CarDiv! The Goddess of Luck is with me!”
Partial List of WWII References
- “Bauxite-Bottom Sound”: Bauxite is the ore from which aluminum is made so this is wordplay on Iron-Bottom Sound, where the naval battles for Guadacanal were fought during WWII. It is infamous for the number of ships that were sunk there. Five major battles were fought there: Savo Island, Cape Esperance, Guadacanal, Tassafaronga, and Operation I-Go.
- “Ms. Misfortune and Ms. Fortune” – Shoukaku and Zuikaku:
- Lead ship of the Shoukaku-class aircraft carriers, Shōkaku suffered major damage twice before ultimate being sunk US submarine USS Cavalla on 19 June 1944. Once was during the Battle of Coral Sea and the other time at the Battle of Santa Cruz. Notably, her sister Zuikaku was always with her, but never took damage until after Shoukaku sank!
- Second (and last) ship of the Shoukaku-class aircraft carriers, Zuikaku was known early in the war for being a lucky ship – unlike her sister ship, Shoukaku. Despite taking place in several battles, it wasn’t until the Battle of the Philippine Sea (aka “The Great Marianas Turkey Shoot”) that Zuikaku was damaged. As the last surviving member of the Kidō Butai which attacked Pearl Harbor, Zuikaku’s luck finally ran out on 25 October 1944 when she was sunk by air attack during the Battle of Leyte Gulf.
- Both the game and Fubuki, Ganbarimasu! manga referenced the above facts.
- Shoukaku’s moderate damage docking line: “I seem to get injuried rather easily… is this so, Zuikaku?”; and her moderate damage line (during battle): “Geez, why is it always me?”
- Zuikaku has a game attack line of “Turkey, you say…? It’s no joke!” which of course is a reference to the The Great Marianas Turkey Shoot where she was damaged. In the game, Zuikaku also has the second highest luck of any CV (Why not the highest? No clue.).
- As usual, some of the items in the “Game References” section also apply to this section.
- Kongou combining Ikazuchi and Inazuma’s names: Ikazuchi is written as 雷 (Thunder) while Inazuma is written as 電 (lightning). Putting them together is 雷電 (raiden) which means thunder and lightning.