The Unfortunate Implications of Kantai Collection

[We are obligated to point out that these are strictly Aquagaze’s opinions and not those of the Glorio Blog, but we do think having open discussion is important.]

You’ve probably seen them before, whether it’s on social networks, in fanart, as figures on online shops or in the seedier underbellies of the anime fandom. The kanmusu, or “ship daughters”, twee teenage girls dressed like fashionable sailors and armed to the teeth with equally cutesy heavy weaponry, are the heroines and mascots of Kantai Collection, the new cult phenomenon taking the Internet by storm. Like similar viral fads before it, however, a lot of mainstream geeks have little to no idea what Kantai Collection is even supposed to be. It’s everywhere, from the listings of most popular fanart on Pixiv to the newest figurines being put up for pre-order, to the point where Kantai Collection’s fandom, like Vocaloid and Touhou before it, seems to have overtaken the game it is based on. It’s hard not to see why. The wide variety of characters, their attractive designs and only minimally defined personalities allow for copious amounts of fan works and interpretations – ranging from countless yuri couplings, memes, doujinshi, anthologies and six official manga, each with their own presentations of the characters and their personalities.

The lack of an official, clear-cut canon heavily contributes to Kantai Collection’s surge in popularity, not only because it fans creativity, but also because no fan’s fantasies will ever be contradicted by the ‘truth’. For a fandom that cherishes its make-believe, it’s no wonder Kantai Collection is so popular. Furthermore, the game’s business model reflects a successful fine-tuning of a formula that’s strongly on the rise. Kantai Collection is a mobage, an online, browser-based collectible card game where players build up a ‘fleet’ of kanmusu, represented by cards. New cards can be won by random drops or through crafting, and while battles against the kanmusu’s nemeses, the malicious Abyssal Fleet, are fully automated, gameplay consists of customizing, repairing and upgrading your fleet, gathering resources, crafting equipment and gathering experience points. Though Kantai Collection is built on the dreaded free-to-play model, microtransactions are strictly limited to premium upgrades, making the game accessible to all. In stead, developer Kadokawa Games attempts to profit off the franchise through the sale of figurines, manga and other promotional gadgets.

With 1.9 million registered users as of this month, an anime in the pipeline, and the third biggest representation amongst doujin circles one year after its initial launch, Kantai Collection can be appropriately called a phenomenal success. It was the most-played online game in Japan during the winter of 2013, and its viral success is slowly creeping up to Touhou levels of underground hugeness. Nevertheless, it’s a bit upsetting to see Kantai Collection getting so big. The game hardly seems like a game, with frustrating difficulty, waiting times and a taxing focus on grinding being the order of the day. The random number generator is king in Kantai Collection, making it a game for exceptionally lucky people. Aside from its failings as a game, however, Kantai Collection is especially a vanguard of everything wrong with moe culture. Most kanmusu are eerily sexualized and address the player like doting servants, their clothes are ripped off when they are damaged in battle and in a recent update, players even got the opportunity to marry their ship girl(s) of choice, leading to Crunchyroll featuring the hilariously awkward headline “KanColle Now Lets You Marry Your Ship Daughter” (Green, 2014). Blatantly sexist power fantasies are nothing new in otaku culture, but there is one thing about Kantai Collection that I find a lot more worrying: The kanmusu, cute mascots played for maximum waifu appeal, are in fact anthropomorphised versions of Japanese war ships from World War II (Akkymoto, 2014). You know, that war in which Japan committed countless war crimes. Using these very ships.

For starters, several of the aircraft carriers featured in Kantai Collection, including the Akagi, the Kaga and the Sohryu (all three pictured above) were used in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, an unannounced declaration of war in violation of international war, in case you forgot. The I-8 submarine, personified in the game as a mischievous, well-endowed scamp (pictured below), is in reality infamous for bombing a neutral Dutch freighter, after which the remaining survivors were rounded up and executed. Countless warships featured in Kantai Collection were involved in Japan’s wicked conquest of the South Pacific, launching raids or housing convicted war criminals. The point is that the reputation of the cruisers and carriers you can collect in Kantai Collection have an all but squeaky clean image, which makes trivializing them like this a rather questionable matter, especially in light of Japan’s overall attitude towards its actions during World War II.

It’s hardly the first time otaku culture has teetered dangerously close to minimalizing the crimes committed by Japan in the 1930’s and 40’s. Hetalia portrays the Axis’ rise to power as a farcical sitcom, Strike Witches turns the Wehrmacht’s air force into an army of prepubescent girls without pants and recently, a semi-pornographic card game named Barbarossa, in which you play as the Nazis — of course, once again represented by sexualized girls — caused a stir when it got fully funded on Kickstarter in just three hours (Reimann, 2014). Justifiably so, as in the western world, making light of the events of World War II is a line veterans and victims won’t accept being crossed. That’s something we should respect. Yet oddly enough, the anime industry, and Japanese pop culture as a whole, doesn’t really seem to share that sentiment. In fact, this very blog started off with a picture of Adolf Hitler drawn in the style of a shoujo manga, a perfect indicator of the ‘oh, Japan, you’re so weird’ feeling many of us get when it comes to its portrayal of the Third Reich. It alienates us, because evidently, Nazis are a taboo to virtually all of western society. Unless you are one, it’s relatively normal to feel awkward – offended, even – when you see them being trivialized like this. For many, it’s a wound that – several generations later – has yet to heal, as evidenced by the controversy that arose in Germany when the Oscar-nominated film Downfall (Der Untergang) dared to humanize Adolf Hitler, masterfully portrayed by Bruno Ganz. People were afraid that by depicting the Fuhrer as anything other than completely diabolical, people would start to feel sympathy for him – and by extension, his political views (Denby, 2005). Similarly, in my native Belgium, an episode of a cooking show in which the host would prepare Hitler’s favourite dish – trout in butter sauce, in case you wanted to know – was taken off the air due to a similar controversy (Waterfield, 2008).

Japan, however, doesn’t seem to share this sentiment. For better or worse, trivializing the Nazis is something even Japanese children’s shows do on a regular basis – just look at the blatantly fascist Shocker organization from the Kamen Rider franchise for starters – yet it does not truly become a problem until its pop culture starts to turn towards applying this same casual attitude to its own war past. Kantai Collection doesn’t merely appropriate tools of war crime for entertainment purposes; it glorifies them, turning them into admirable heroines and sexualized trophies all at the same time. There is inherently nothing wrong with geeking out over weaponry. I know there are more than enough arms enthusiasts who’d never even dare to think of pointing their guns at another human being. Similarly, a healthy interest in World War II-era naval engineering will not hurt a fly. Yet it’s the context in which Kantai Collection exists that makes it so questionable. The game’s portrayal of anthropomorphised warships of the Japanese Imperial Navy, and more recently, Nazi ships as well, as forces of good, fighting back an alien invasion of tentacled – what did you expect? – monstrosities, reflects a larger problem in modern day Japanese politics that considerably blemishes its relationships with other countries. A good sixty years after the facts, Japan still refuses to take responsibility for its actions during World War II.

While the clear lack of outright hostility and the many formal apologies the country has made imply that it at the very least does want to contribute to horrors like that never happening again, the censorship of history textbooks, visits to cemeteries honouring convicted war criminals and government backed denials of certain atrocities – most controversially the forced prostitution of mostly Chinese and Korean women, the apologies for which the government recently considered revoking – reveals a very much ‘Wir haben es nicht gewusst’ attitude. Japan prefers to remember only the glory of its wartime efforts, not the horrors. Only earlier this April, it lashed out at the USA because President Obama continued to pressure Tokyo into showing more remorse for the human rights violations it committed during its occupation of Korea, stating the issue was not a ‘diplomatic’ or ‘political’ one (South China Morning Post, 2014). Yet while it would be inappropriate and incorrect to enforce our Western way of thinking onto nations with just as much right to have a coloured view on history as we do, the fact remains that Japan’s lenient attitude towards its imperialistic past still offends and hurts millions of people to this day. One only needs to look at the still on-going Fukushima debacle to know that any direct addressing of failure of negativity is a deeply rooted taboo in Japanese culture. Furthermore, under Japanese law, many of those who violated international rights are, in fact, not considered criminals. Current prime minister Shinzo Abe, known for denying the aforementioned forced prostitution, even stated that the ‘peace and humanity’ these men allegedly violated were concepts enshrined by the Allies, thereby implying that Japan did not necessarily needed to follow suite (The Japan Times, 2006).

History is indeed written by the victor, yet the objective fact remains that – demonized or not – Japan’s actions during the war caused harm to countless Chinese, Koreans, Malayans, Filipino, Singaporeans and others. No matter which way you look at it, it is unacceptable that the current Japanese government continues to offend these people’s descendants by honouring the perpetrators, denying their crimes and turning them into trivialities you can make a fun little game with cute girls about. Things like Kantai Collection, Strike Witches or Barbarossa – while in the bigger picture mostly harmless — can only exist because Japanese culture has evolved from such a persistent overlooking of the horrible context, it seems to have come to effectively believe that World War II was a gay old time for all the parties involved. And that’s a problem. It doesn’t necessarily imply that Kantai Collection was intended to be an explicit right-wing statement, as the South Korean newspaper Hankook Ilbo accused it of being, but it does raise several questions surrounding Japan’s attitude towards World War II. In the article, journalist Kim Bum-Soo implies that the game’s strong popularity is due to a conservative political shift amongst Japan’s youth (Kim, 2014), yet in reality, politics don’t seem to have much to do with it.

Kantai Collection is a success first of all because it has cute anime girls in it, and it’s fairly easy to see that amongst the game’s player base, only a small minority has any actual interest in naval engineering, let alone World War II. Kim Bun-Soo might be giving Kantai Collection just a bit too much credit, but the fact remains that his criticisms of the game are hugely important. If there’s anyone who gets to call Japan out for their attitudes towards the horrors that took place seventy years ago, it’s the Koreans, and it’s exactly because Kantai Collection is something so trivial and detached from any sort of political significance, that its problematic nature merits discussion. It’s little more than a silly browser game, yet for that precise reason it serves as a perfect example of how internalized and institutionalized public denial of Japan’s war crimes has become. From the highest echelons of the government to the lowest common denominators dwelling the Internet, Japan seems to be entirely isolated in its glorification of wartime efforts and refusal to discuss this attitude with other nations. It might just be their way of coping, but it’s one that – in an international context – simply doesn’t work. Denying the qualms others have with your attitude simply doesn’t work in a public forum – which, given the fact World War II was very much an international event, discussions about it will always be. Kantai Collection is not amoral, unacceptable or wrong, but the attitude it reflects – sexualizing and trivializing historical events that deserve anything but glorification – leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Enjoy it if you want, there’s nothing wrong with that. Yet do know that a critical mind gets much more out of life. It’s important that people understand the context surrounding Kantai Collection, before they entirely slide off the slippery slope and start drawing fanart of famous World War II battles with the allied forces personified by enemies from the game. That’s not problematic anymore, that’s outright ignorant.

Edit: My good friend technololigy, who is an avid Kantai Collection player, provided some nuance form a fan perspective and pointed out some minor inaccuracies in my piece. Worth a read!

Edit 2: I credited the sources I got the fanart from, but forgot to check if the artists in question allowed for their art to be reposted. As such, certain images have been removed conform the artists’ request. My sincere apologies.

Sources

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121 thoughts on “The Unfortunate Implications of Kantai Collection

  1. you’re an idiot. You go on about this but fail to mention this happens in the west as well, you forget every cowboy film you’re glorious America makes what about the Vietnam flims that glorifiy the american army while ignoring the massacres abd the same in Iraq, but they don’t glorify anything, it’s a quirky thing for the most part, most people will have no Idea what the akagi is and what it did and hetalia is a satyrical show about Italy it educates people about the axis in ww2 in a humerous way

    • I mean I get it, there’s over 100 comments on this thing now, but you had to have read at least one that gives the same nonsensical critique about the writer’s nationality right?
      Also how many Vietnam movies glorify the Vietnam war? That is like the war everyone uses for anti-war critique.

      • I’m wondering if any of these people even read the piece, let alone the comments of the many, many trolls who came before.

        When’s the last time a western came out that glorifies the slaughtering of Native Americans? Or a war movie that portrays the Vietnam War as anything other than a sheer nightmare? Closest thing I know of in which ‘us’ Americans celebrate blatant war crimes as overtly as Japan does on a regular basis was American Sniper, and guess what, that movie also got torn a new one by several critics and commenters.

        For the last time, I am not saying KanColle is actively malicious, or that it is blatant nationalistic, revisionist propaganda. I am saying it is emblematic of a highly troubling attitude Japan — not only its male nerd fringe, but even its bloody prime minister — is currently having towards its wartime past and its relations with its neighboring countries. An attitude that, mind you, since the publication of this article has only reared its ugly head more and more, as evidenced by anime such as The Irregular at Magic High School or the upcoming GATE.

        Then again, why should I expect a critical mind from someone who can’t even be bothered to spell their own name properly when trying to sound so much more informed than I?

        • ‘Gate’ have nationalism in there for sure, but it’s still an interesting series imo. On the other hand, You got to be kidding me. ‘Irregular at magic high’ is nationalistic now? Really? That’s nationalistic? Seriously, what’s not nationalistic, those slice-of-life moe series like K-on? What part of ‘Irregular at magic high’ is even remotely nationalistic?

          Troubling attitude, You are categorizing the whole nation which is horribly wrong. If you looks in to previous prime ministers and emperors, they have apologized, though for whatever reason it’s not considered “official.” Yet the media make the obvious current right-wing prime minister like “God’s word” while ignoring previous apology.

          “When’s the last time a western came out that glorifies the slaughtering of Native Americans? Or a war movie that portrays the Vietnam War as anything other than a sheer nightmare?”

          Well, you are implying Kancolle does. So when did kancolle glorified war crimes? Well it didn’t yet you still claim it has “implications.” According to that logic, call of duty, saving private ryan and all that can be said to have “implications.”

          Honestly, if kancolle is not being “actively malicious” then why even make such a long topic on it? pick something else to talk about the direction Japan is heading in.
          Based on everything you typed, I can just as easily make a post on a hollywood Vietnam movie and say:
          “Not saying it’s intentional but it has implications and these implications glorifies their actions.”-You see that logic? It’s simply flawed.

          Kancolle specifically avoids this by having the opponent labeled as “abyssals” and avoid any direct mention of specific historical figures. And yet it has implications. Are you sure you aren’t being biased and just think there is implications because it’s, “A world war II-esque game that focus on the Japanese PoV.”

          If it has unintentional implications, then please by all means tell us what line or game mechanic that may provoke nationalism or justify their actions. I see none, so please tell me. if not, then there isn’t any implications to be made from it.

  2. So to summarize for all the whiny, defensive babies that read the title and head straight to the comments because they think we are insulting their precious ship daughters, which I assume is 90% of the people trickling in here at this point:

    1. Read the post before commenting. If you actually make it to the last paragraph Aqua says, and I quote, “Enjoy it if you want, there’s nothing wrong with that”. This article is less about KanColle and more about a bigger picture attitude of which it is only a small part.

    2. Half of our writers, including Aqua, are not American. That is not really relevant to the discussion but enough people have made the wrong assumption that it should be pointed out.

    3. We have let a lot of things slide in this comment section but had to delete one recently for making outright racist statements. Don’t make racist statements on our site.

    That is about as diplomatic as I can be about it. I will re-post this as necessary.

    • Honestly, I feel this whole article is really stupid. Implications? Are you sure you are not adding it there? I’m sure these characters represent the SHIPS, a chunk of metal. Not the crew. in fact, when they mention a historical figure(rare) they usually do so in 3rd person meaning, they aren’t THEM. And even then it’s usually through puns and what-not.
      Their dialogue is all about their service(combat mostly) history not what their crews did.

      Honestly, when does the game or any of it’s adapted material display anything that trivialize war crimes, death or anything of that sort. It avoids it entirely to avoid people like YOU. But of course, people always find a way to nit-pick and add in some “implications.”

      And undeclared war on US. That is true, but if you done your research, the Japanese planned on declaring war couple hours prior the attack but due to delays, the Japanese ambassador couldn’t deliver the message in time. There are published books about this.

      Then there is Inazuma and Ikazuchi, Captain Shunsaku Kudo. But no one mentions that do they? Guess what US sailors did, They desecrated the dead by removing skulls. No one talks about that. Of course that’s because history is written by victors.
      Yes I get the part where rather it was demonized or not, it happened. Well, we pick this because no one complains when a hollywood movie comes out about US navy or marines etc. Guess what, they did war crimes, why doesn’t anyone yell at them for “glorifying” it? Always picking on the losers, it gets annoying and when we see ANOTHER one that decides to rub that in their faces, it’s really angers me.
      And the point isn’t that they are denying it. The real point is that the game is not trying to touch the subject of war crimes, aggression nor politics. You should be able to tell by how they set the game up.
      They fight the abyssals not allies which in it’s whole is to avoid things like this.

      And before you even get in to the idea that the Hollywood films doesn’t mention war crimes. Kancolle doesn’t either. So you going to say that kancolle have implications yet all these movies don’t? Ok, I sense obvious bias.

      It’s the people on board that commit war crimes. And the navy committed fairly few war crimes. Another problem I have is the “Nazi” navy. If you know anything about politics, you would know they are 2 different identity. Kriegsmarine is part of the Wehrmacht which is under the German government. The Nazi party is a POLITICAL PARTY. The Kriegsmarine listen to WHATEVER party that gets voted in, rather it be Nazi or Communist or Democratic etc. We don’t call the USN a republican navy when it attacked Iraq so stop calling it a Nazi navy.

  3. Right off the bat, you put the wrong foot on focusing on the Echii side of the game in which i don’t understand why, why don’t you go and find me which game is not focusing on Echii right now (as a mobage of course) 90% either have cleavage as main background even no pants. AND by the way, otaku definition should be rephrase and you need to work on it cause otaku are shut-ins (and not including anybody who just purely love the Anime/Manga culture). Back to the Echii, all the girls are pretty well-dressed. Except for some girls who based on their real life counter parts to be design like that, Japanese girls are especially well-dressed only those from western influenced are not (German ones have serious short skirts but they don’t show their under-pants). Japanese clothing traditionally DON’T have under pants.

    About the damaged model, this is a game where you come to like your girls and not to see bullet holes and piece of their bodies missing, is that what you want instead of the clothing? More bloody, I see, i will connect to Kodokawa to put this in action.

    You did not focus on the fan fiction of the Game, i have to put it as game because in the text he mentioned it was a shame to put it as Game, since how many games have the western countries made in order to profit, i meant look at the apple store. DMM also excluded western players force you to play it with a banning probability outside of Japan. They are all games aren’t they, and it seems only you don’t think Kantai is a game.
    The only thing that you have to wait are the resources in which you can either sleep for a ton of hours, do something else which is imply for you NOT to stay on the computer for long, or on the game in specific. The resources generated at a good rate, fixing your ships are not problems since quest of 1 mins each can have a bucket or multiple instantly repair it for you, construction have flamethrowers, it is a game that you farm, not FPS. What are you expecting, are you expecting things to just pop up out of the blue and you just need wait every 1 mins to get them, i am sorry, all the game from the past have been like this on this category, i don’t know why you are complaining about it.

    Instead you put your mind into the war crimes, like as if it is something so uncommon and not special of war, Japan DID commit war crimes and a lot of it. But the game, bro, the game, is focusing preferencing the IJN SHIPs , the ones who did the most war crimes are the IJA. IJN sailors are a group of collectives sailors, who in most case like any other sailors do not enjoying killing, they work the ship. Why would that be a problem if you are discussing the game, although it put direct preferences to the war itself, still there were no girls out there dressing up like a ship, skating on water and killing Chinese civies in Nanjing. It is like “Oh hey! The war is over, but since you commit so many war crimes, we have to repeatedly mentioning in every aspect so you can feel bad about it” . Say that to Bush. IT IS NOT THE SHIPS’ fault, it is like blaming the killer’s knife for the killing. The game almost don’t mention their crews or the captain at all, like seriously the captains are mentioned through puns , slangs or name of the fleet.

    And what is wrong with fan fiction action against the aliens? Star-wars? Harry Porters? DC comics? MARVEL? HOLLYWOOD?
    I also play some koreans-popular games, and i think you are judging those people as well, echii sides, about the horror that game actually bring the real actions to the screen instead of just some cards exploding and not actually dying… plz. Not to mention their horrendous art cover.
    To even talk about Marrying girls, oh plz, what to do with them? rape them?

    For most of the part, 60% you were discussing politics of which this game is political neutral and it is a way of entertaining Japanese (they like it and they enjoy it, it is creative of put actual ships to becoming girls, ships are female) 20% discussing war crimes, 10% nit picking on the Japanese gaming industry and *cough cough* otaku *cough cough* 5% were to talk bad about other game, 3% to show you hate Good vs Aliens and 2% about the ACTUAL game.

    I am a Vietnamese, i am currently studying in America, but i don’t go around saying i love my universities but your army 70 years ago committed tone of war crimes, oops sorry not the soldiers, the government.
    Nazies weren’t even a thing in the game, and NOT MENTIONED anywhere. Bismarck class battleship and Prinz Eugen along with their Z-class destroyers are subjected to the German Kriegsmarine who fought very bravely as well as cunningly against the British navies. If you are to find any Bismarck sailors survived the war, their stories will tell you war crimes against the Kriegsmarines or by, are subjected for execution. Johann Günther Lütjens why you so honorable. Also to be mentioned, they are not happy when attacking Prince of Wales or HMS HOOD, they are all sailors and when the enemies sunk, they are to watch by those thousands they have caused death, no cheering, not even a voice. Ofc none of this were mentioned anywhere with the Girl Bismarck, even the Bismarck class battleships are considered MALES. Pinz Eugen is a Male Austrian Prinz who have a great history and Z-class are based on MALE admiral.

    Japanese destroyer Inazuma and Ikazuchi were the most honorable to rescue crew of the US ships they sunk, why not mentioning this? Indeed those rescued were to be handed over to the IJA for prison camps and i dunno what the IJA did but IJN is pretty honorable nevertheless. Akatsuki class destroyers are the best destroyers after all.
    But in return of Pearl Harbor mentioning, US have cut off oil supply to Japan, which is a logic thing to do in order to retaliate Manchuria, but what US don’t know that it would cause Japan retaliation as well, decoded message to the Admiral at Hawaii suggested early warning ATTACK and ultimatum of the IJN on Pearl Harbor, knowing fully they will be under attack, the US are just not well-prepared.

    PS: Wars are over, all that are left are entertainment, if you still butt hurt about the war or the war crimes, go make some sort of lawsuit, we are still doing lawsuit against the USA but trading is still a great potential.
    “Enjoy it if you want, there’s nothing wrong with that” yes after nit picking on every aspect of that “thing” Favorited by more or less than 1.9 millions people.

    “I don’t like this cake, i think something wrong with the flavor, the decorations are all wrongs, but hey you ate it and you like it, i don’t judge”
    “I don’t like your text overall, but i don’t agree with most part of it, but hey you wrote it, you like it i don’t judge”
    I am not an English talker. I don’t play Kantai that much, i love it with its business model and its moe-cult but never EVER, i would think deeply of WW2, YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO. YOU ARE NOT SUBJECTED to play the game and see the war crimes or how bad the Japanese culture are.

    PSS: Wikipedia is a bad source link since everybody can change it, and of course it was created by victors.

  4. Disclaimer: Hey I read the article so please don’t claim I haven’t. My comment is lengthy, and probably repeats itself. I do apologize if I come off as hostile, but this just riled me up worse than the argument saying games have a link to school shootings. I realize that my grammar is terrible in a myriad of ways. I also acknowledge that as a fan of the anime in question, and other merchandise of the franchise I am biased, and that my argument should be taken with a grain of salt.

    Ok so first off if you are going to start blaming a ship for warcrimes I think you need to go talk to your stuffed animals a bit longer. I don’t personally think the Kanmasu are over sexualized compared to some of what I have seen. Personally I think that clothes ripping is a lot better than gore. My main problem with the article is that it keeps talking about warcrimes this warcrimes that, talk about the bloody game then remember that the ships were tools built in a factory to be used by their country (Other than say Kongo which was thoroughly British mind you). The closest it comes to glorifying any actions in the war is the personal memories of the girls, which from a narrative standpoint would make sense considering a valiant effort is a valiant effort no matter which side. The only difference is which side was on the receiving the end. Also Near the end I believe it says something to the degree of making Americans the abyssal? I could be misreading that, but as of right now we have German, Italian, Japanese, and one Russian ship in Kancolle at least last time I checked Let’s wait till we know that zero American Kanmasu will be added. Honestly I think Kancolle is the wrong game to try and use, because it’s ships. It is a world that has summoned the spirits of ships of old to fight off a global evil. Not Sweet Moe Jap ships VS. Sweet Moe American ships. I realize I might not be seeing the trivialization or sexualization I don’t look for that, and until they get damaged, most if not all the girls are reasonably well dressed (with some exceptions like Shimakaze). I found out about Kancolle through the anime because it was linked from a video about WWII era tanks from the Brits I believe. I study a lot of history, heck most of it around WWII, but even then I can’t connect a ship to a countries war crimes as much as a Japanese rifle to the rape of Nanking. I associate the people who committed the acts to those events. Hitlers dead Germany moved on. Two atomic bombs were dropped, and now Japan has been a nice springboard that’s moved on. The point is a ship like a gun is not the killer, it is simply the tool used by the killer. You know the sad part is I don’t even play the game I just pop in to check on it, because I find the concept interesting due to how it incorporates history in an interesting way.

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