IMG_1519.PNGSet in a world where humanity has been driven away from oceans, losing control over them to the ‘deep sea fleet, the only hope of countering this threat are the Kanmusu – a group of girls who possess the spirits of Japanese warships. The story revolves around Fubuki, a destroyer who comes to the base in Chinjufu to train with the other Kanmusu.

A bit of a strange premise, this one, but it will be less strange when I explain the franchise. This anime is based on the incredibly popular online card battle game developed by Kadokawa. This game, animated by Diomedea and directed by Keizo Kusakawa, this adaptation follows Fubuki and her transfer to the Third Torpedo Squadron regiment to help them fight against a supernatural enemy. As a result, they remain in a prefecture by the ocean and training every day to protect the land from any threats from the water.

IMG_1503.PNGFubuki’s welcome is a short one, however, as it’s interrupted by a battle alarm. The other girls launch into action, excited to see the new destroyer in a fight, but Fubuki has failed to mention something: she’s never been deployed for battle before and has no experience whatsoever. She can barely move across the water like the other girls can, and she can barely aim a projectile in the right direction. She is rescued in the nick of time by Akagi, an archer from the First Squadron who Fubuki looks up to. After an embarrassing first deployment, she vows to become a better fighter so she can aid the other girls and support them properly in battle.

IMG_1504.PNGAs a person who knows the bare minimum about Kantai Collection, I had no idea what to expect from this anime, but I was intrigued about how they were going to adapt it. After the first episode, I discovered that it is portrayed in a similar was to Strike Witches, but with a higher quality of animation. Both titles have a cast of girls portrayed as military equipment with the hapless and inexperienced protagonist.

IMG_1518.PNGThere will surely be a lot of high expectations from those that are familiar with the franchise but, as someone who doesn’t follow it, I’m not sure what to expect from this one. The initial premise interests me, I’ll admit, but I wonder if keeping the fan-base happy with inside jokes, game references and popular character cameos may get in the way of a great storyline (such as Akagi receiving an instant-repair bucket in a bath in the docking station – a nod to the respawn mechanism in the game this anime is based on). Then again, I could also be jumping to conclusions – there could be some very interesting scenarios lined up. However, with its interesting perspective and cute character designs, KanColle is shaping up to be an enjoyable watch – regardless if you’re familiar with the initial card game or not.

IMG_1525.PNGAlthough this doesn’t seem like the most promising anime this season, KanColle is shaping up to be an entertaining watch. The characters are endearing, the animation is fluid and the pacing is near perfect – seeing both the girls acting as normal teens as well as seeing them out battling on the oceans. It keeps things interesting and tries hard not to isolate any viewers, like myself, who are approaching this anime with fresh eyes.

What I am expecting most from this anime is a bit more detail as we go on, explaining some how’s and why’s about the girls being possessed by spirits of battleships and how this may affect their lives. Even though this is the basis of the franchise, I’m hoping that they don’t expect us to swallow this without any explanation. Only time will tell.