Episode 03 – “The Operation to Capture W Island”
You’d think this was a race track with how many flags were raised this episode. I mean, you saw it coming a mile away, but you pretended not to notice. But in the end, the inevitable happened. KanColle showed that it’s not afraid to kill off characters. Many may argue that this death is simply repeating a cliche and overused trope, but I argue that there’s no real alternative. You can’t just have it where no one ever dies because people will complain. You also can’t spend too much building it up, like this episode sort of did, because people will complain. You also can’t kill a character out of nowhere because there’s no emotional connection and people will complain. The moral of the story? People will always complain.
All in all, I think KanColle handled the situation alright. It wasn’t too maudlin, although we haven’t seen Mutsuki’s reaction yet, and it wasn’t a random, meaningless death either. The only question I have now is where the anime is going to go from here. It’s obvious that Mutsuki’s character is going to have to find a way to overcome this tragedy, but I don’t want this tone of sadness to blanket the entire series. A little drama is good, but KanColle shouldn’t try to become something it’s not meant to be like an Evangelion, or a Madoka which I’m sure some people may be comparing it too.
I’m also wondering if Kisaragi will come back as an Abyssal because that’s supposedly what happens to kanmusu when they sink. I don’t know how canonized that piece of KanColle lore is, but if that does happen, that could actually be a really interesting and admittedly grim plot device, if handled well. This whole episode also makes me more worried than I already was because of the almost subliminal flashes of sinking aircraft carriers in the opening. Compounded with how much Akagi’s character is being built up, I can only imagine what’s in store for future episodes. The prediction I have right now is that Akagi will end up in mortal danger, but Fubuki will save her in the end. Also, where’s Kaga been? I’m disappointed that my 2nd favorite ship has only been in one episode so far.
Aside from all of that sad stuff, I should bring attention to some of the funny stuff this episode too, like Fubuki’s little good luck party and Naka’s ridiculous binoculars. I’ll never accept CG, but the anime has done a good job of making the naval battles and operations feel exciting, as if I were on the open ocean myself. You know, if open water skirmishes had girls in skirts and black monsters from hell. Just keep in mind that this is all original interpretation and not explicitly shown in the game, from Naka’s unique recon tactics to Kisaragi’s sinking scene, though I believe her lines are the same. In the game, if you have the misfortune of sinking your ship because you’re a bad admiral, then you get to hear special lines which you probably won’t actually hear because you’ll be busy yelling.
“We fleet girls are fated to fight from the moment we’re born.” ~ Akagi