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Thursday, April 2, 2015

Kantai Collection Final Impression

It's been a week since the anime ended and it's time for my final impression of Kantai Collection.

Kantai Collection is definitely a mixed bag for me. While the characters has their charm and did lead to me playing the game, the show itself is riddled with so many weaknesses that by the end of the season I felt somewhat annoyed by it.

Most of my annoyance was because of how inconsistent the show was. They can't even stick to one explanation or rule of their own setting and the whole story is just all over the place.So the girls are embodiment of WW2 ships, are they human? the intro made it seem that they are. But later on you see Yamato being very heavy which implies that they are not human but either robotic or actual personification of ships. Which is it? We will never know. And how can that small raft stay afloat while carrying Yamato that needs to be tugged by 3 other girls I really have no idea.

Another inconsistency? Their equipments. On episode 1 we are shown a cool "transformation" scene where they sortie but later on it is shown that Yamato (again) can make her equipment appear out of thin air.

Aside from that, the whole tone of the show is also inconsistent. As I said in my mid-season impressions it seems that the writer don't know what they want to focus on. Is this a serious show? Is this a slice of life show? I don't mind serious show with some slice of life element in it and vice versa but what Kancolle brought to the table was a hodge-podge abomination.

Another weakness? the god-awful CGI. Every time they show me those lifeless CGI Shipgirls I die a little inside. At first I didn't really mind the CGI but after awhile it is really jarring to see the stiff CGI battles. Seeing that Kancolle is really popular they should add more funding towards the CGI and make them look better. Other anime has done a much better job before. Need an example? how about Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio? A much superior anime in terms of visual and storytelling which also features WW2 ship personification.

Now, before you go on and think that I hated the whole show, I need to say that I did not hate it. It does provide entertainment for me although I would probably never rewatch the series again. I think the whole show would be better off with a consistent feel. Make it a slice of life show with some lighthearted naval combat. Or make it a serious show with ships sinking everywhere. Pick one but not both Diomedea just can't pull it off.

Although the story was weak, the character is the strong point of the show. This is hardly surprising though as the game is really successful because of these same characters. Their unique designs and the overhaul that was done to some of the girls that had an arguably less interesting art in the game is what made me keep watching the show. Sadly, the girls' quirks and in-game quotes are too often forcibly put into the show, which makes it really cheesy and quite annoying.

The story itself was following historical battle for most of the anime but they decided to make it different for the last battle. Unlike some hardcore fans who wanted historical accuracy(God knows why they would want that in an anime about IJN ships that will mostly sink if they follow history 100%) I am fine with Diomedea making the end result of Battle of Midway different from history. However, the ending that we got was unsatisfying when compared to the buildup in episode 11. They couldn't even be bothered to give proper reasoning on why Zuikaku and Shoukaku suddenly arrive on the battle. I really feel that episode 12 was just really lazy. I'm alright with some cliche ending where everyone arrives in time and defeat the enemy together but at the very least try to make it not nonsensical.

Kancolle is an anime that successfully made me start playing the web game so in a sense it has done what it sets out to do. But overall the show itself had too many weakness for it to be considered great. At the end of the day, it still entertained me and although it did disappoint me I will still look forward to the second season and hope that they will do a better job.

If you're looking for a show where you can just turn off your brain, Kancolle might be a decent pick although I'd suggest for you to just watch Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio or Girls und Panzer instead for a much better Military Moe show. If you still like Kancolle's characters better, just stick to the web game.

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