Like most of the KanColle anime episodes thus far, Ep. 08 landed on the plus side of the scale. Rather than use the “Hotel Yamato” reference for comedy as I expected, Ep. 08 used the ship’s WWII nickname (see below) as the basis for a more serious plot line with a “power of friendship leads to feel good” type of ending. Fair enough. Though I didn’t find Ep. 08 as funny as I anticipated, that sort of plot line works perfectly fine in context with the overall story and even ties in with Fubuki’s background. Nice job with that. Both pacing and execution were good, especially compared to some earlier episodes. I also thought that visually Ep. 08 had some nice background scenery. The beach scene with the Kanmusu in swimsuits wasn’t too bad either. 😉 I do have to gripe a little about the lack of swimsuit Kongou, but Nagato and Yamato among others went a long way to alleviating that complaint.
Unlike the previous all SOL episode (Ep. 06), Ep. 08 strongly centered on Fubuki as she attempts to console a port restricted Yamato to the point that Fubuki even disobeys direct orders. While Fubuki’s intent might be charitable, there are very good reasons for Yamato not to sortie – the immense amount of resources she consumes (in the game: over 3x the fuel and 4x the ammo compared to Kaga or Akagi, 2.5x the fuel and 2x the ammo Nagato & Mutsu, and 2.5x both fuel and ammo of any Kongou-class BB!) along with possible damage risk and/or early discovery by the Abyssal Fleet since she’s sort of a “secret weapon”. Resource consumption alone is a significant issue – especially since the naval base is having supply line problems already (mentioned multiple times). So while I can understand Fubuki’s sentiments and feel bad for Yamato, it’s one of those “no helping it” type of situations. As a result, to me Fubuki’s actions come across as partly meddlesome as well as kindhearted. Long story short, as plot lines go it was OK, but nothing great either.
Ep. 08 did have a number of positive aspects. I thought the anime did a “spot-on” job with Yamato’s design and character. She’s very much the Yamato Nadeshiko type, and the anime spent sufficient time to give her character some depth. At this point, it’s pretty much a coin flip as to whether I’ll like the ubiquitous (apparently requisite) Kitakami x Ooi moment. This time around, the coin landed on the plus side. Not my favorite moments of EP. 08, but still enjoyable to some degree. Ooi didn’t annoy me. I’ll take it. The anime also did a good job integrating fan service scenes by using them for more than just fan service. During the beach scene we learn that Yamato is restricted to port, and the Nagamon ❤ (see below) bath scene was simply priceless. There’s a soft, feminine side to our taciturn, business-like flagship. Quite well done as was the follow-up comedy troll by Mutsu. Together, those are probably my favorite parts of the episode. There were some other amusing moments such as the Yamato vs. Akagi eating contest (complete with giant rice maker). I’m definitely getting a sense that the anime is improving with game reference integration. Nothing stood out as particularly jarring. And yeah, the 46cm triple guns firing was pretty cool to watch. 😀
While the “let Yamato sortie” plot line worked well enough, one thing that I didn’t like was how the Kanmusu can now suddenly equip themselves at whim. What the hell happened to the whole stepping on the dock “magic circle”, chains dragging forth equipment from the sea, etc.!? It might have been fine IF they hadn’t already repeatedly shown the whole equipping/transformation scenes before. To suddenly abandon that is both in-universe inconsistent and jarring – and “we needed to save the budget for later” doesn’t cut it as an excuse. Also, while the visual quality had its good moments, there are still some dubious ones as well. Again, budget woes I suspect but still disappointing.
Overall I’d rate Ep. 08 as a solid episode though not the best one of the KanColle season thus far. Next episode should be interesting for game players with the teaser title about
Poi’s Yuudachi’s Kai-ni (2nd) remodel. Her Kai-ni character design is dramatically different from her default/Kai (1st) remodel which is currently used in the anime. I’m curious to see how the anime handles that along with integrating the whole game based remodeling function. Another question I have is to what extent the anime will deviate from the RL WWII timeline. Yuudachi’s Kai-ni remodel is based upon her RL counterpart’s actions during one of the naval battles off Guadalcanal (after which the IJN nicknamed her the “Nightmare of the Solomons”). Not only did that take place after the Battle of Midway, but during that same naval battle Yuudachi was sunk! There are a few different ways the anime could go here, and I’m looking forward to watching how it all plays out. Lastly, I’m expecting a record “poi” count with Ep. 09. Poi.
foolishness (非) is not above sensibility (理),
sensibility is not above law (法),
law is not above authority (権),
and authority is not above divinity (天)
–Slogan of the Imperial Japanese Navy. Flag carried on Yamato’s last voyage
So we do get a beach episode! 😀 And at a tropical island no less. Given that Truk was a major base for the IJN, it makes sense that that would be where they would set it. We pick up right after the end of the last episode with the girls going to Truk, where there is supposed to be repair docks (which Shoukaku is very much in need of) and a new ship according to Mutsu. And what an entrance the new ship makes! Wow, Yamato! Kawaii! I like the anime version better than the game version although they’re very close. Partly that’s due to her personality and her VA. If Akatsuki wants to be a lady, this is the kanmusu she should emulate! Yamato’s not a hotel? Maybe not, but she runs the base like it’s the Waldorf! Her reaction to being called a hotel was kawaii though. Ooi, of course, has an orgasm over being in a “hotel” with Kitakami. Ooi, it’s not a “love” hotel! I wonder if they got their own room? Probably, since Fubuki, Mutsuki and Yuaadachi are rooming together. How did that happen? What happened to bunking with your group?
Zuikaki still has a chip on her shoulder about Carrier Group I, and Kaga does her usual blunt comments though she does wind up praising Zuikaki. Leads to an interesting question about what would have been the RL outcome if one or more of the other fleet carriers had been involved in the battle. Interesting (and somewhat surprising) that they kept with references to the RL battle and aftermath where operation MO was aborted and here Nagato and Mutsu admit that, although they won a tactical victory, they had a strategic defeat. Has me wondering how far they’ll carry the analogies. If the do, by Midway it’s going to get very grimdark (which means one scene in the OP is a foretelling).
Now as a beach episode, this wasn’t bad, though I’m not one for the sukumizu (school bathing suit) look that a lot of the girls had on. Seemed to be just the destroyers. A lot of fun things such as Shimakaze surfing (poor lonely girl), Ooi being her usual annoying yuri self, and a little bouncing fanservice from Atago. Then Yamato shows up… and almost breaks Ooi. That reaction I understand. I do think Nagato’s swimsuit wins though. (and why does Nagato have bigger “turrets” than Yamato? ) 😀 And why can’t Yamato at least go for a swim? I can see her not using her rigging, but she wasn’t in dry dock the whole time in RL.
Now Yamato. Akagi, sorry, you’ve definitely got competition now as far as I’m concerned. Not only looks and personality, but appetite! Her appetite relates to one of the reasons she was kept in port: used too many resources that were in short supply. The other reason she was kept out was that she was considered a secret weapon for the decisive battle that the IJN assumed would happen when the two fleets met. They never could get over the decisive battle concept.
Fubuki finally get Yamato on the water by bending the rules, but didn’t grasp how heavy a battleship is. Good thing her friends showed up. Yamato picks up the Abysall planes on her radar and it turns out Mutsuki knew about them and forgot? Nobody launched a combat patrol? Oh well, let’s not spend time on a reasonable plot development so we can have Yamato do something useful. Oh, and I doubt that there were any AA shells for her main guns. Correction: I was wrong. Daikama pointed out that there were shells made that fit her 46 cm guns though the concept was later abandoned.
So the secret is out that Nagato likes cute things and hates being so strict. I can’t decide if that squirrel was going to be loved to death or not. Mutsu ribbing her about it and her reaction was priceless. I wonder if the squirrel is now their pet/mascot?
Overall, a good episode to introduce us to Yamato with a decent beach episode thrown in for good measure.
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
- Yamato’s Game Dialog:
- Secretary 2 Line (default model): “Hotel, you say? N-no, you’re wrong!”
- Secretary 2 Line (Kai remodel): “Awww…stop calling me the hotel already!”
- Hourly 1200: “Hotel Yamato’s famous lunch time’s… wait, I’m not a hotel.“
- Hourly 0700: “Breakfast time. How about some of Hotel Yamato’s famous consomme?”
- Hourly 1500: “Admiral, will you have a Ramune?”
- Yamato’s Character Design:
- She wears an armband that resembles the Maritime signal Flag for the letter “Z”, the Z flag played a major role in Japanese Naval History. On May 27, 1905, Admiral Heihachirō Tōgō raised the Z flag on his flagship the IJN Mikasa before the start of the Battle of Tsushima and the Z flag was raised on the Akagi on the eve of the Attack on Pearl Harbor. The raising of the flag means the following: “The fate of Imperial Japan hangs on this one battle; all hands will exert themselves and do their best.”
- Not depicted in the anime, but Yamato’s Kai (remodel) art features a ‘Hirihoukenten (非理法権天)’ kneesock (originally a flag). It reflects one of the old philosophy in feudal Japan where foolishness (非) is not above sensibility (理), sensibility is not above law (法), law is not above authority (権), and authority is not above divinity (天). As the emperor was treated as a divine figure in imperial Japan it has a meaning of “no men can oppose the (divine) emperor”. A slogan adopted by the Imperial Japanese navy, this flag was hung on Yamato on her final voyage towards Okinawa.
- Nagato/”Nagamon“: Nagamon is Nagato’s fan based nickname for her unexpectedly girlish side as a “lover of cute things” which can mean cats, squirrels or even kawaii destroyer girls such as DesDiv 6.
Partial List of WWII References
- IJN Battleship Yamato:
- Lead ship of the Yamato class of Imperial Japanese Navy World War II battleships, Yamato and her sister ship, Musashi, were the heaviest and most powerfully armed battleships ever constructed, displacing 72,800 tonnes at full load and armed with nine 46 cm (18.1 inch) 45 Caliber Type 94 main guns.
- Despite being so heavily armed, the only time Yamato fired her main guns at enemy surface targets was in October 1944, when she was sent to engage American forces invading the Philippines during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. In fact, for various reasons, Yamato saw relatively little action during WWII which lead to here being cynically called by IJN crews “Hotel Yamato” (see below)
- Yamato sank on 7 April 1945 during the IJN’s ill-fated “Operation Ten-Go”. After taking repeated hits from USN dive-bomber and torpedo planes, Yamato capsized and was then blow in half when one of the two bow magazines detonated. The explosion was so massive that the resulting mushroom cloud (over 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) high) was seen 160 kilometres (99 mi) away on Kyūshū.
- The “Yamato Hotel”:
- Yamato left Kure for Truk on 17 August 1942 and arrived safely at Truk on 29 August 1942. From then until 8 May 1943, Yamato remained at Truk, taking no part in the Solomons campaign due to shortages of fuel and 46cm bombardment ammunition, restricted, shallow and uncharted waters near Gudalcanal, her slower getaway speed than Kongo’s, and Admiral Yamamoto’s reluctance to commit her to battle.
- This long period of inactivity combined with the relative opulence of her living quarters (including air conditioning, much better cuisine, and naval band practice during meals) lead IJN crews to dub her “Hotel Yamato”.
- Sanshiki Cannon AA Rounds:
- There were two sizes of Sanshiki cannon shells – 46cm and 41cm. IJN BB Yamato did in fact fire these shells during operation Ten-Go with little success.
- The 46 cm (18.1 in) Sanshiki Model 13 round weighed 2,998 lb and was filled with 900 incendiary tubes and 600 steel stays. The round was equipped with a delay fuze set before firing that detonated the shell at the set altitude; on explosion, the steel stays and the incendiary tubes were ejected in a 20-degree cone forward, with the shell fragments from the explosion itself further increasing the amount of debris. The incendiary tubes ignited about a half-second later and burned for five seconds with 16-foot (5 meters) long flames
- Truk Lagoon:
- During World War II, Truk Lagoon was the Empire of Japan’s main base in the South Pacific theatre for Japanese operations against Allied forces in New Guinea and the Solomon Islands as well as serving as the forward anchorage for the Japanese Imperial Fleet.
- Truk Lagoon was considered the most formidable of all Japanese strongholds in the Pacific. On the various islands, the Japanese Civil Engineering Department and Naval Construction Department had built roads, trenches, bunkers and caves. Five airstrips, seaplane bases, a torpedo boat station, submarine repair shops, a communications center and a radar station were constructed during the war. Protecting these various facilities were coastal defense guns and mortar emplacements.
- The Japanese garrison consisted of 27,856 IJN men, under the command of Vice Admiral Masami Kobayashi, then Vice Admiral Chuichi Hara, and 16,737 IJA men, under the command of Major General Kanenobu Ishuin. Due to its heavy fortifications, both natural and man-made, the base at Truk was known to Allied forces as “the Gibraltar of the Pacific”.