Kantai Collection Episode 4: Burning Love~!
The hype is real!
This was… this was everything I could have wanted from a Kongou episode. I feel so fulfilled. If the aim of the episode was to convert people into devout Kongoufags, they did a brilliant job of it.
As such, the rest of this post will consist of me expressing my love for both Kongou and Shimakaze.
But seriously, how is Kancolle still doing so well? And by that, I mean that it’s still as entertaining as it was a couple of weeks ago, if not even more – my past experience dictates that slice-of-life shows usually start losing steam right around now. Of course, for Kancolle, this episode was equivalent to pulling out the big guns – Kongou and Shimakaze are pretty much the biggest guns around, at least in my books. Actually, I think they managed to gather all of my favourite kanmusu in one room! That is, Shimakaze, Mutsu and the Kongou sisters, although Sendai and Fubuki are rising fast. I quite like Amatsukaze too, but it doesn’t seem like she’ll be making an appearance in this adaptation. My quasi-knowledge of Kancolle means that ‘favourite’ to me essentially means best character design, with the odd recurring pattern of being voiced by either Touyama Nao or Ayane Sakura. Not that there’s too much beyond that, given that in-game character development is limited to the certain lines you can prompt them to say. Though after this episode, I think I’d still come to like Kongou regardless of whether I’d read lots of porn of her beforehand or not. She’s just how I always imagined her to be! I don’t know what sort of dream Fubuki had, because the Kongou in front of her is the dream! And I fucking lost it at the song, as well as when Shimakaze turned up to afternoon tea. I replayed that scene three times.
With regards to Kongou and Shimakaze, you’re either a Nagato or a Mutsu. I’m a Mutsu, and I hope many of you are too. Both Kongou and Shimakaze are very free-spirited and genki, and that’s the type of kanmusu I’m into – I think they both really suit the overall tone and spirit of the show. It was mostly Kongou actually, with Bukki and Zekamashi being the side acts – Shimakaze spent a lot of the episode being a sort of bouncy mascot, and I’m oddly okay with that. Her bunny hair ribbon thing is too adorable.
Touyama Nao must have had a lot of fun doing the recording for this episode. There were moments where I genuinely forgot that she was doing all four of the Kongou sisters – I remember listening to her in “Hiei’s Curry” and being amazed at how she was able to do them all at the same time, and with such consistency. When you think Touyama Nao, you think Kirisaki Chitoge, Nakagawa Kanon, Yuigahama Yui or Kujou Karen – Kirishima in particular is totally different from what I’m used to from her, and I’m not confident I could have identified her were that her only role in Kancolle. The awkward realization is that, in all these scenes she’s basically talking to herself, although it’s much less noticeable when it’s all animated. I love how all the sisters absolutely revere Kongou onee-sama, it’s too hilarious – and I think they’re perfect as the comedic idiots they are, especially with Fubuki being their unimpressed foil. There aren’t any sexual undertones with it either, and it’s genuine admiration from all except maybe Hiei – though I too would go straight for a ‘seductive Kongou photo album’. Meanwhile, Ooi is hitting on Kitakami harder than I do on Shiburin.
The major mood whiplash to all this is the long-awaited fallout from Kisaragi’s death. Thinking about it, they’ve made the right decision in not dwelling on it for the entire episode – life goes on, even if morale has dropped considerably. Yuubari and Nagato were both upset in their own ways, and pretty much everyone was walking on eggshells around Mutsuki – but it didn’t completely consume their lives, or at least what we saw of their lives. This was true of the older kanmusu in particular – it’s nothing they haven’t experienced before, as sad as it might be. The resolution to it all came quickly at the end, although it was very fitting in light of the very, very close shave Fubuki had – the feels were fresh for us too, especially as it genuinely crossed my mind, albeit briefly that Fubuki might be killed off. Still, I suppose I was expecting a sombre and perhaps even angsty tone to the episode in general, and it was a nice surprise to find out that they’d decided to cheer us up through a good, healthy dose of Kongou.
Given what happened last week, my main concern with the formation of a fleet like this was that someone might end up dying. Arguably, this particular fleet was too high-profile to kill off – I would have attempted murder had Shimakaze gotten herself sunk after going too fast or something. That being said, they did a great job with Fubuki this battle. She was clearly the odd one out in terms of both strength and experience, and the cost of that was realistic indeed. But after based onee-sama punched a projectile with her bare hands, I came to a realization.
Of course no-one’s gonna die. They’re the fucking Kongou sisters.