Tripping the Light (Carrier) Fantastic, in KanColle Episode 7

Posted by DiGiKerot in Kantai Collection at February 18, 2015 on 10:31 pm

This week on KanColle, well, I guess a Light Aircraft Carrier appeared.

At this stage of the series, I think it’s probably pretty obvious that the gag episodes of KanColle, rather weirdly, actually have substance more to them in addition to simply being more entertaining to watch on a surface level. It’s partially because they’ve continued to struggle to make Fubuki a particularly entertaining character, even if she is surrounded by crackpots like Kongou, but mostly it’s just lacking a certain density of content in comparison. There’s less going on, and there’s fewer goofy historical references to enjoy picking apart.

Which isn’t to say that episodes like this aren’t entertaining, but it does leave me with considerably less to write about.

It’s even less transparent than with the Wake Island campaign during the previous major sortie, but this weeks excursion was based around the real life Operation MO, and, as specifically mentioned in the episode, the naval engagement in the Coral Sea. As in the cartoon, Shoukaku was heavily damaged during the battle.

The historical similarities and the condition in which we last see her this week does rather raise the question as to whether Shouhou was actually sank in this episode as a result of her heavy damage, as in real life, or if she somehow survived to sortie another day. We may well be left guessing given it looks like she’s stationed at another navel institution, but it’d be weirdly amusing, if a little galling, if the only appearance of a Light Aircraft Carrier in the show was one going down in flames.

(Although apparently Houshou turned up briefly in the background of the curry contest last week? Kinda missed that. Also completely blanked on her appearing in the Shimakaze-is-a-slacker flashback in episode 4 until someone just mentioned it to me on the Twitters, despite her being mentioned by name. Guess I just blank on her being a CVL given she dresses like some of the CVs…)

I suppose this being Operation MO makes the Wo-class that took Fubuki’s cannon to the face the USS Yorktown, who’ll presumably be back in a few episodes in whatever passes as the KanColle version of the Midway bloodbath in the anime if you try to map these things to history (although people also equate Yorktown to the games Aircraft Carrier Hime, but I assume the Lexington is the one which sank…). It’s rather more blink-and-you-miss-it in comparison to Kaga’s Zuikaku-saving effort early on, but I do like the mirroring of it with one of the Abyssal Heavy Cruisers taking a torpedo for Yorktown-chan in the closing skirmish.

[update – I’m going to presume that the Aircraft Carrier Hime is the CV-10 Yorktown, launched in 1943, making the Wo-class in this here episode the CV-5 Yorktown which was sank a year earlier in 1942. Though that doesn’t make much sense with Hime’s first appearance during the Midway event, so *shrug*]

Poor Yorktown-chan, although given that the upgraded Wo-class ships in-game have differing left-eyes, I guess being smacked in the face is an Abyssal upgrade requirement.

What I do wonder about is whether or not they’ll contextualise The Abyssals being able to decode our heroines communications within the KanColle anime fiction or just leave it as a historical accuracy. I mean, with the particular way it was set-up in the show, it could be seen as being another way of suggesting that theres some connection between sunk Fleet Girls and the Abyssals – I’m sure Kisaragi would have been able to understand their communications, after all. In that sense, in addition to what the Heavy Cruisers effort may suggest, it’s also interesting that immediately pre-credits we see the Abyssals rising from the bottom of the sea.

I’m kind of feeling this myself right now, with the current KanColle event still being ongoing. I’m right up to the final event map, which, even trying to clear on Easy, isn’t going particular well for me right now – somehow Mutsu keeps getting punked right before the boss node. In the game, Fuel and particularly Steel do have a distinct habit of being depleted rather more slowly than your Ammo and Bauxite supplies do – I’ve been running short on Ammo in particular for much of the last week, and running fleets composed of multiple Battleship-class lasses really doesn’t help. I’m running pretty low on buckets as well, too – alas, not being one of those folks who spend long periods every evening on the computer, actually running my dailies and shorter expeditions, I’m rarely in the habit of sitting on thousands, or even just hundreds, of Buckets like some folks do. I suppose I should really put some more effort into it.

Although, speaking of battle damage, repairs and buckets, I guess that Akagi is playing Cats Cradle as her time-killer this week. One has to wonder how on Earth the poor girl ends up being in the repair docks almost every single week.

One thing which really doesn’t work in this episode, I have to say, is how they try to work in the Admiral. I realise that they don’t want to show him because he’s the player surrogate character (and, hey, it allows folks to assume it’s a lady if they like their fiction that way – I’m just saying him with the unfounded presumption most players, myself included, are male), but it’s real awkward to have Nagato relate information from someone who is sat right there for the whole scene. The whole situation simply comes across as being plain weird.

Although, in a sense, there’s a weird chain of people talking for other people in this show, because whilst Nagato always seems to speak for the Admiral, Mutsu often seems to be speaking for Nagato!

Also, I guess the list of other ships we were informed were participating in Operation MO, like Shouhou, is likely a list of girls we won’t be seeing to any significant degree in the anime, at least not any time soon, given they were scrambled from another district. And I like Tenryuu, too…

Coincidentally, that title card for the next episode basically informs us that, next week, we’ll be enjoying the presence of the real big guns in the form of Yamato. Look forward to it.

Finally, they announced some of the details for the next KanColle tie-in CD, and whilst there’s a bunch of things on there, the only important thing to note is that the third track is a solo Naka-chan effort. Yes, it’s finally time to hear the Idol of the Fleet sing! All we need now is a karaoke battle against her Abyssal counterpart.

That said, the cover features Kongou and Naka facing off instead. Good stuff anyway.

Yuri Kuma(-class) Arashi…I guess. The CG was really rather rough in places this week, particularly when it kept cutting to delicious hand-drawn Kongou mid-scene.

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