The Growth Spurts of a Teenage Shipgirl in KanColle Episode 9

Posted by DiGiKerot in Kantai Collection at March 4, 2015 on 10:58 pm

Think you are getting a Yuudachi episode? Think again, poi – it’s another boring, boring Fubuki episode. It’s kind of uneventful as well, aside from one big event dropped right at the end – It’s just a boring ShipGirl moping around about boring things.

But, hey, at least I can be quick this week, because there’s really not a whole lot to be writing about.

Once again this episode proves that it’s really rather a fruitless task attempting to figure out what a ShipGirl actually is, because apparently the way they grow up is by suddenly starting to glow in a peculiar fashion, before suddenly experiencing a massive growth spurt after being escorted to the Factory. Whilst undergoing her upgrade, Yuudachi not only changed her costume and haircut, but also her height and bust-size. Where they suddenly got the suitably sized new costume – not to mention underwear – from after this unexpected event raises one question, but it does also make one ponder whether, as in the game, anime-universe ShipGirls are born fully formed.

They actually pretty much clearly explain this in the show, and I’ve probably talked about it myself in the past, but as with any of these long-term progression based games, KanColle has a levelling system. Sending your ships into battle will result in them gaining experience, gain a certain amount of experience and they go up a level, go up a level and they improve their performance. Like many of these other browser or mobile games that involve collecting randomised characters or cards, the game does have the cannibalistic concept of sacrificing duplicate cards to improve the stats of your other girls, but I’d imagine that isn’t going to be visited in the anime for obvious reasons.

Although, now that I think about it, one way they could have at least made Fubuki a little interesting would be for her to have gone semi-Zombie-like and devoured Mutsuki raw in her misguided disappointment and frustration about not having been remodelled yet herself.

I just remodelled by Yu-chan this evening, actually, though I’m still a long way off the Brown version

In any case, once one of your girls reaches a certain level, you are given the opportunity to remodel the ship. I should probably say, your cards don’t start glowing or anything – the upgrade is actually entirely optional, and because in some instances it changes the class, not always entirely desirable for certain ships unless you are also raising a duplicate. Anyway, I think every ship at this point as at least one remodel – to their Kai form (for the Japanese ships, anyway) – though in many cases there’s no significant change in their art or function in that instance. They may only get a moderate increase in stats, or additional equipment slots being unlocked.

Even further along the levelling path, an increasing number of ships have an additional remodel, their Kai-Ni form. This is where you usually see a fairly significant change in a ships artwork – it’s where Naka achieves her true Idol form, as well as some really interesting and powerful equipment unlocks. It often marks a very significant alteration to the actual ships form, and in cases like U-511 and Hibiki, a complete rebranding. Kongou, coincidentally, has been in Kai-Ni form for the entire show so far.

Of all the changes in Yuudachi’s form this episode, it’s actually difference in eye-colour that weirds me out the most…

This is where Yuudachi got to in this episode. It does, to a degree, make one wonder if Yuudachi simply skipped her Kai upgrade, else it’s only when they’re reaching their final form that they start to glow weirdly and are needing of factory attention. I do wonder, with the way the reaction (of particularly the Akatsuki-class ships) is handled in the show, if they are somewhat making a joke about the fan responses when upgrades have been revealed in the actual game – some girls, particularly those who have been in the game for a long time, end up looking vastly different once they reach their Kai-Ni forms. In many cases, I’m not even sure that the things draw attention are even necessarily supposed to be intentionally different to their initial forms – many of Yuudachi’s differences are too deliberate to be unintentional, but in other cases, there’s such a obvious maturation in the quality of the art that a lot of the things which draw the eye are just a case of being rendered in higher fidelity. I guess that’s what happens when you are only focusing on drawing one new piece of art, instead of a dozen as many of the games artists did early on.

The episode ends with Fubuki apparently about to receive an upgrade, despite not starting to shine. It’s worth noting that Fubuki only received her Kai-Ni form in the game on the 9th of January, during the update to the game the morning after the first episode of the anime aired. It kind of feels like they jumped the gun a little on that one, and that it’d have been more amusing for them to have left the reveal until after the upgrade happened in the show, but I guess they needed to bring some attention to Fubuki somehow. Yuudachi, by comparison, has had a Kai-Ni form for almost two years now.

Black~~~~Rock~~~~Shoooo~~~~~Taaaaa~~~~ Doko e itta no~~~~~?

Speaking of upgrades, we get to see Maybe-Yorktown-Wo-Chan making a reappearance towards the end of the episode, levelling our heroines home base, and she picked up a flaming eye in exchange for having half her face shot off by Fubuki. In game terms, this makes her the Kai version of the Wo-class Carrier.

Ultimately, though, we get to see the two Souryuu-class carriers slightly more up-close this episode, and that’s a good thing. I like Souryuu. Souryuu is cute. I totally have her Kai-Ni already.

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