KanColle was better than I expected. The production values are high and the mix of moe and World War II has worked well before. I enjoyed identifying the Japanese aircraft and seeing what kind of girl had the “soul” of some of the more famous ships of the Japanese Combined Fleet. I don’t mind some suspension of logic (do destroyers grow into aircraft carriers or do they just stay schoolgirls forever). After all, I enjoyed Girls und Panzer, which had nationalistic aircraft carrier schools competing in tankery.
The difference between KanColle and Girls und Panzer is that this isn’t presented as being a game. This isn’t a club like in Stella Women’s Academy or Sabagebu! This is supposed to be real combat. As the girls “sailed” into action, I found myself wondering how they were going to handle this. Having the enemy appear to be some kind of mechanical fish monsters was a decent solution. Having the enemy base appear as a scantily clad woman was not. As the last bomb fell, I felt a bit uneasy. Things seemed a little too sanitized for my taste. I suspect that KanColle will struggle to find a balance between it’s combat premise and it’s cutesy demeanor. There was no real suspense in this episode. The schoolgirl destroyers never really seemed to be in danger. Unlike Madoka Magica, the cutesy exterior of KanColle does not appear to be facade. I love World War 2 history, and I’ll keep watching for now to see where this is headed. If I’m going to stick it out to the end though, there needs to be some kind of consequences. Tattered sleeves and enemies that appear to vaporize when they die is not good enough. War is not moe.