My winter impressions continue with Kantai Collection: KanColle.
Kantai Collection: KanColle
Based on the popular video game of the same name, Kantai Collection: KanColle is set in a world where the, presumably alien, abyssal fleet has taken over the seas, and to combat this threat, special human girls that possess the spirit of historical naval vessels, who are known as kanmusu, use weaponized outfits to battle the abyssal. The series is from the viewpoint of a kanmusu named Fubuki, as she trains and fights the abyssal. While KanColle might sound like some epic sci-fi battle anime, it is more of a moe-fluff series with the battles as a backdrop. Seriously, all of the kanmusu are either cute moe girls or their older superiors. As of now, there are literally no male characters either (not that this is a bad thing).
Moe slice-of-life anime, aka "moe-fluff," is not a bad genre, providing that is what you are looking for, and while most settings for such anime are generic, KanColle manages to set itself apart with the mix of action and sci-fi. In fact, the third episode introduces some surprisingly serious war elements and consequences. Unfortunately, the execution of said element is rather poor, but it makes me hopeful that maybe the series can do it again, except with better execution.
Overall, KanColle has me conflicted. In one sense, it is different than a lot of other moe-fluff thanks to those original elements, and the concept of moe-girls with the spirit of battle ships fighting for humanity is really out there, in a good way. Plus, the moe antics, while not special, are fun to watch for the most part. On the other hand, the poor execution of what could have been something akin to the next Madoka Magica is disheartening. But then again, no one expected anything more than fluff from this series and that is what we got. With that said, episode five changed the status quo a bit, so it makes me interested to see how this new team of ship-girls will interaction.
Diomedéa's 2D animation and character designs are all around excellent. It has the perfect type of designs for moe characters, and the background art is generally beautiful. On the other hand, the series often switches to 3D animation for the characters during combat, and occasionally, it switches animation style during the same scene! Considering it is CGI, the animation is not that bad and the action sequences are above average considering that this is a moe show. However, when the animation changes mid-scene, it is terribly jarring.
Whether or not you will enjoy Kantai Collection: KanColle entirely depends on if you enjoy moe, and if you do, KanColle's additional elements change the formula enough to make it something a little more than the typical moe series. Maybe, just maybe, the series can throw in some serious moments to mix things up later in the series.
Watch if you like: Moe, Girls und Panzer,
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