Category Archives: Kantai Collection

Voices, Social Structures

I read this and I don’t get what the other end of the spectrum is. And to be fair, aren’t we all Evirus wannabes? Who are these exceptions?

Some incidental spoilers on Shirobako ahead. It’s not a post about Shirobako so I didn’t think it’s a big deal.


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Decontextualized Free-to-Play Game Adaptations

I read this and I feel it is a good summary of the IDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls anime in general. I’m sure it’s not context-free, enough dropped about card art and the unrepresented mass of CG idols. Enough is dropped about 765pro brand of IM@S. But Mikunyan’s position? Otou drops the ball there, even if it’s not all his fault.

[Recall episode one when Uzuki was waiting on P to get started? Imagine that but way worse for Miku and company. Then the newcomers who has been here for way shorter time than you debut before you. I didn’t even watch AKB0048!]

I want to talk about Kancolle. It’s pretty solid as far as what it is. It faces the same problem Deremas does, except when you run with a bunch of shipgirls there’s no cohesive mesh naturally to rope everybody together. In the mix you have the para-military context, a school context, and the cohabiting dorm stuff. Then they let the character development happen “naturally.”

I put that word in quotes because there’s nothing natural about Kancolle, for crying out loud. For someone who has not bought into the conceit it’s rather difficult to put myself into the same place with the same point of view. How do I empathize with Fubuki? Okay, you can establish her character and drop her in a somewhat less harmonious environment and let her (and the rest of us) sink or swim. But is that really enjoyable? If my twitter was not full of people tweeting Kancolle every wednesday I probably would not have enough motivation to summon enough willpower to watch each week. So Ts, good job tweeting spoilers.

It’s kind of like the type of viewers who are in Derem@s anime for Shiburin. Or Kongou. I’m okay with this, but that alone is not enough. I think in Deremas’s case there is a lot to be said that the system, as in the new content provided by the anime, can be interesting to watch. It’s a bit like the transformation sequence of girls to shipgirls, which has been doled out to we viewers in small doses. In Deremas, it’s a production agency, the way the idol biz works in that setting, and how that mirrors real life. My personal issue with Kancolle is that there’s nothing real life about Kancolle, for better or worse.

At the same time I think those two are good prima facie examples of the the series from a character point of view. Kongou is fun and off the wall, but totally a character and not really someone who has strong attachment to human realism. She’s a classic post-modern otaku character, a certifiable descendant of Dejiko. Shibuya Rin, on the other hand, is a much more traditional with typical character development behind her. It’s part of Derem@s anime’s mission to reconstruct these archetypes into well-constituted characters, after all, even if in Kancolle that is also what they want.

But in that sense both anime are very stereotypical of the Madoka-era pretty-girl anime paradigm. It’s about the girls’ feelings. That’s the one truth in Kancolle. That is the appealing point in Cinderella Girls. But that alone is not enough if you don’t have all the context. And if you don’t have the context, you are just functioning on animal instincts, motivations and impulses. In Kancolle’s case I don’t even think a lot of people want to get the context, IYKWIM.

German Engineering