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.


121 thoughts on “The Unfortunate Implications of Kantai Collection

  1. Thanks for the well researched and written article. I’ve felt the same “bad taste” even as I continue to enjoy playing the game. Glorification of wars in games is of course nothing unique to Japan, but given the sparse (and lopsided) coverage of modern history in Japanese classrooms, games like Kancolle can be considered both products of and contributors to an atmosphere of misunderstanding and insensitivity.

  2. I guess the author of this piece never heard of Space Battleship Yamato. The Japanese basing their warship design on actual Japanese warships is nothing new or even worth noting. Should they have based them on American warships instead? Because those warmachines are so much “cleaner”?

    Warships do not have a “squeaky clean” reputation by default; they’re WARships.

    • I do believe the point to be made is the atrocities committed by the Imperial Japanese Army is being ignored and being painted over with cute anime girls with paternalistic rape culture overtones. I mean, come on, their clothes disappear the more damage they take?!

      I may find some of the artwork beautiful, but in the context of the actual things the Imperial Japanese Army means to us Malaysians of Chinese descent – I find it rather disturbing.

      Sure, one can enjoy the game, and I myself have found enjoyment in entertainment mediums that treat minority groups with disrespect. But it is important to realise the fundamental issues behind them.

      • And do you seriously believe that things were black and white in WW 2?
        Was your bombing down Japanese towns with nuclear bomb more justified? Believe it or not, every nation has their own view on things like that, so no, there’s nothing wrong with Japan being proud and respectful towards their ships and army.
        They weren’t more evil than any other nations’. They fought for what they thought is the best.

      • @novalisk

        You aren’t seriously trying to equate Allied and Axis actions in WWII are you? If you play the numbers game, Axis civilian casualties hover around 1.5-2 million. Civilian casualties at the hands of the Axis number around 15-20 million.

        If you’re trying to make a moral argument, it doesn’t work there either. The Allies were bombing Japan to bring an end to the war. Japan was fighting an ideological war aimed at the systematic invasion and cultural extermination of East Asia, utilizing murder, rape, and torture. That’s what Japan thought was “best.”

        Quite frankly, Japan has every reason to be ashamed of their ships and army. Germany is ashamed of their horrid past, as they should be. Why should Japan be any different?

        Did both sides commit questionable acts throughout the war? Yes, no one is going to deny that. But to say they were “equally evil” is completely disingenuous and shamelessly whitewashes Japan’s abhorrent actions.

      • @Rewarp
        But Americans can make fun of civilians who dies in Hiroshima with stuff like:

        And death toll in the name of Communism is around 30-100 million civilians… conducted within their own countries. Commies were allies too.

        Also Japan was already on verge of collapsing due to Japan being blockaded with all the submarines, total air superiority, etc. They had no chance to wage any war. The only thing they had were men that could be forced to die on close combat but there was no need to invade Japanese motherland. The U.S. could have kept Japan just cut off from rest of the world without nuclear bombing cities. But that was not wanted. After all: revenge on Pearl Harbor was to be taken. That was all. You may think there was something nobler to it but there isn’t.

        In Europe, Americans bombed Germany and military and industrial targets on occupied territories during day time despite the higher losses of daytime bombing. Britons took revenge on Germans bombing London and butchered German civilians, bombing them during nighttime when they COULD NOT AIM but bombed entire cities. Americans refused to do that because they weren’t taking revenge (Hitler didn’t have capability to directly harm Americans) – but on Pacific front, Americans had no limiters to killing civilians because Pearl Harbor happened. That was enough of a “justification” (68 civilian deaths).

        Why is it that all axis states need to delve in shame generations and generations after WW2 while the allies (mostly Russia and China) have much more blood in their hands than the axis? Or how some smaller countries had to ally with Germany because the Allies were in no position to turn against the invading Soviets but how even today, despite the lack of any choice at that time, these small nations need to carry shame for attempting to defend themselves against the Communists… because being part of Axis was “evil” (even if you had absolutely nothing to do with Holocaust, invasion of Poland, invasion of Western Europe, etc., and only collaborated to join forces against Soviet Union)?

        I know the reason: winner gets to write the history books. It’s as if Communist threat was born only after WW2 ended and the alliance with the Devil become unnecessary. Well, that’s just “convenient”. It’s also bullshit. The invaded Eastern Europe knows it’s bullshit and the Allies were bullshit.

          • To be fair you never hear about the atrocities the Allies committed once they started winning. Over 100,000 women were repeatedly raped in just the city of Vienna, and another 100,000 in Berlin, aged 10-70. And in areas where they weren’t raped they were coerced into sex by being on the brink of starvation. Make no mistake, WWII was the war where no matter which side was defeated, evil won in the end.

        • “Winner gets to write the history books.”

          This is one of the most oft-repeated and oft-misunderstood assertions in history.

          The winners do not get to write the history books. The *survivors* get to write the history books. The Japanese right-wing survived, didn’t they? Ergo, they have every opportunity to whitewash history, and do. The Nazis, by contrast, did not survive. That’s why they are irrelevant down to a degree – ie Neo-nazis, Holocaust denial, etc.

          And the Allies get less flak than the Axis because the latter were the aggressors. Politics in the adult world is unfortunately not too different from playground politics. The ‘you started it’ clause is equally potent here as it was back in kindergarten. The Axis powers started World War II, and therefore have to pay for the consequences. Think of movies where villains start off by inflicting cruel violence on the heroes, after which the ‘heroes’ retaliate with even greater violence. That’s how World War II ultimately became – Germany, Japan, etc. brought terror to their victims, and in response they were subject to great terror themselves. Yet, as it was in kindergarten, the one who started it gets the blame, not the one who retaliated.

          • The Japanese survived, but because the USA won they wrote some of their history for them. They forced the Japanese to take the blame for things that the USA did, like some bombings of Canada.

            The USA bombed a Canadian lighthouse and blamed Japan, then said Canada should join the war because they were attacked. This is before the US joined the WWII and before the Axis invaded Canadian waters. The USA wanted people to fight in the war, but they didn’t want to do anything themselves until Pearl Harbor happened. When the Allies eventually won the war, the US coerced Japanese military officials to take the hit for them and become scapegoats so that the US would look better and wouldn’t have to tell people what they had done.

            This is not to say that the Axis and the USA were equally terrible, but the point is that the USA is not entirely clear of wrong-doing. They most definitely do their best to appear like the good guy in all respects, even if they don’t always tell the truth.

      • The video embed (which I intended only as a link) seems broken. The original link got transformed into Yes. With a questionmark in the video url.

        Anyway, the video was from Dr.Strangelove and depicted a cowboy riding a nuclear bomb while waving his hat as he fell.

      • You do realize Dr. Strangelove’s a satire of MAD and extremely anti-Nuke, right? Very poor choice of an example.

        Nobody’s saying the Allies were as clean as the wind driven snow, especially the Soviets. However, you seem to have a rather skewed view of the war; for instance the Americans firebombed German cities same as the British, check out Dresden. As for the exact influence of the Nukes on binging the war to an end, it’s debated. However, compared to deaths from the firebombing against extremely flammable Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not that much. Considering that the war could have ended with Japan starving to death from the blockade and destruction of its transportation network, fighting an American invasion block by block, or being divided between the US and USSR it’s hard to say using them was the wrong move.

        Most wars are unjustified, but WW2 is one of the few examples of dark grey/light grey morality at the very least. Yeah Stalin and his ilk were nasty shits, but at least he didn’t go around sending Germans to gas chambers because of racist pseudo-science or wantonly invading half the world because he could. And when a nation starts looking back to such a time with rose tinted glasses, well, the last time something similar happened was in the 30’s in Germany and look how that turned out.

      • “You do realize Dr. Strangelove’s a satire of MAD and extremely anti-Nuke, right? Very poor choice of an example.”
        I don’t really care because I don’t consider KanColle to be a glorification of naval warfare and human death and suffering. Does it “trivialize” it? Maybe. Comedy does.


        “Most wars are unjustified, but WW2 is one of the few examples of dark grey/light grey morality at the very least. Yeah Stalin and his ilk were nasty shits, but at least he didn’t go around sending Germans to gas chambers because of racist pseudo-science…”

        So, killing 30 million for political reason and Stalin’s fear of being inaugurated is “light gray morality” but killing 6 million Jews for racist reasons is “dark gray morality”? Why is genocide OK when done in name of Communism but not if done for racist purposes? This is something I’ve always wondered. Do something in a racist delusion, you are pseudo-scientific and horrible person. Do the same in a political delusion and you are savior, hero of the working class, etc.

        The reason must be that the left has not been overthrown. The left is still a viable political force, henceforth cannot be lumped together with already marginalized Nazi-ideology.


        “…or wantonly invading half the world because he could”

        Like Communism didn’t try to and manage to conquer even more than Nazis ever did. Just because they gave the option “turn to Communist state, or we will assimilate you” doesn’t make it non-invasive. Look at Ukraine to see how Communism invaded other countries: let them revolt, then rather than being honest about invasion, just “offer help” to the revolutionaries.

        Socialism is socialism. Nationalsocialismus is just a variant of it. Blacker? Maybe. But the alternative is not white. It’s red. Red symbolized blood – even they themselves admit it. Leftism is a hate ideology based on class-struggle. (Racism is a hate ideology based on race-struggle.)


        “And when a nation starts looking back to such a time with rose tinted glasses, well, the last time something similar happened was in the 30′s in Germany and look how that turned out.”

        And why did you think that happened? Maybe because Germans were forced to shame for losing WW1? Stripped from their rights to have a proper army, an air force, etc. They basically lost part of their independence and where subjected to the shame for decades, basically trampled on and made fun off. When that happens, you tend to make up some sort of belief system in inherent pride to be what you are (ref. Gay Pride) to feel more human (even up to feeling like Übermench).

        I wouldn’t be too surprised if one day same reclamation of national pride arose in Japan for being forced to bow down too long after having ended. Not likely to become a state doctrine, though, because of the more open economic market and dependence on it, but it could spark unrest and make politicians release statements that provoke China.

        Though, when the topic of “Massacre of Nanking” is brought up, I think the proper response should always be “which one”. Chinese themselves committed several massacres in Nanking themselves. It doesn’t of course make the one Japanese committed non-existent but it SHOULD invalidate the use of Nanking massacre as a unifier of Chinese people when the Chinese themselves have always butchered each other. And not just warred but totally genocided, without mercy. It’s hypocritical to blame Japanese for being nationalistic for not bowing and apologizing uniformly, when the Chinese Communist government uses Nanking as a nationalistic unifier of people and fuel to increase anti-Japanese sentiments among the populace.

        So accept Nanking or reject it, BOTH sides are fueled by nationalistic values and intents.
        When both acceptance and rejection of certain incidences (or the motivations behind the war altogether) have nationalistic goals from one side or another, the best way might be to intentionally trivialize the issue rather than take ANY side on those debates. It would probably be for the better if Germany also followed with trivialization of the history because the current trend of censorship and though-crime might just well fuel a new birth of Nazism. Heck, why not. They are the “good guys” fighting for Freedom of Speech (until they gain power and start to burn books… again). Bigots should not be let to gain martyrdom. It’s counterproductive and only works to make them stronger.


        • Except the Nanjing Massacre was and is an unifier for the Chinese people. If, as you yourself proclaim, you are so concerned with rather than apologetics, then you ought to understand that one of the governing principles behind ‘shades of grey’ is that moral responses are relative. War crimes inflicted by others constitute greater evil, in a relative sense, than war crimes inflicted by your own people. It’s why Japan distances itself from its WW 2 crimes while drawing attention to its own victimhood at the hands of US retaliation.

          China does the same. South Korea does the same. And please, spare us the threats of Japan having a ‘nationalist resurgence.’ Japan’s ‘nationalist resurgence’ never ended. It never managed to make full peace with any of its neighbors – not the Chinese, not the Koreans, not the Russians. In case war does break out in the future, the fault is just as much Japan’s as it is anyone else’s.

      • @novalisk it is black and white entirely, the Allies are the good guys, it’s that simple. if you deny it you are either retarded who have 0 knowledge about history or you are with the nazis and japs.

    • I find myself in agreement, as a History Student. Japan is an Ally of the US now, so what difference does it make whether or not they decide to base a game off of their old warships? The past is in the past, either learn from it, as they have clearly done, or let it go.
      America has not been as clean as most people seem to believe Between the firebombings of Tokyo, which were deemed HEROIC at the time regardless of the hundreds of civilian deaths, or the proposed Invasion of Mainland Japan, which was only passed over in favor of the Atomic Bomb because of the potential for MILLIONS of deaths, both Military and Civilian.
      I, in fact, find it refreshing to find a game based loosely on the Pacific War, told from the perspective of the Japanese, most of whom were only trying to protect their homeland.

      • The lack of argument here from those called allies of Justice show how much they suck at explaining their atrocity.

        • I’m pretty sure the only people who would be arguing here are us, and we only do it when we feel like it because, honestly, what point is it to hash it out in the comments of an anime blog? I mean I could say to that guy that Japan had been waging a war of brutal imperialism since the 1930s starting with the invasion of Manchuria, but would anyone with the kind of mindset to say the Japanese were simply protectors in a war they started really want to listen to anything I say?

  3. I disagree with your assessment, though I respect the effort you made in presenting it.

    I don’t think government should censor their media that way. If people want to create something that is potentially offensive, that’s their artistic right, regardless if you don’t think it has artistic merit or not.

    • And that wasn’t the point. The blogger doesn’t imply that anything should be censored, and says outright “Kantai Collection is not amoral, unacceptable or wrong”. The game is not the problem, but it exists because of an attitude that “What atrocities? We never commited any atrocities.” and it’s that attitude that is a problem.

  4. This blog post is absurd. Kantai Collection has as much to do with the real World War 2 as killing zombie nazis in Call of Duty had to do with the real World War 2.

    You shouldn’t feel ANYTHING negative from playing this game. It would be like feeling bad from eating German chocolate, just because it happens to be German, and anything German somehow reminds you of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. That is the current flow of thought you are following in this article in regards to this game and Imperial Japan’s atrocities during WW2.

    The Allied forces aren’t represented by the enemy ships either, because 1) the enemies clearly represent nothing human, and 2) the game simply states that they are aliens from outer space. Once again, there is no point to connect unrelated point A with unrelated point B and try to suggest that they’re the allies. If the game and its creators say it has nothing to do with the events in WW2, then there you go: the game has nothing to do with WW2. No need to try to make a bunch of something out of nothing.

    • The game never states the enemies are from outer space. Further, to say that the game has nothing to do with the events in WW2 is disingenuous to say the least.

      The game’s maps take you across historical IJN battle scenarios such as the Battle of Jam Island and the Bombing of Ri Lanka, and indeed the recent special events held every few months are reenactments of significant battles of the IJN’s Pacific campaign like the Guadalcanal Campaign and in the future, according to the developers, the Battle of Midway.

      The enemies are plainly stated – Henderson Field, Darwin Island, Wake Island and such Allied bases and enemy fleets are under the command of such factions as the ‘ABDA Fleet Command’. You are, of course, always reenacting the historical strategic actions of the IJN, such as with the use of the Kongou-class battlecruisers and sanshiki-dan flak ammunition to shell Henderson Field, and it is your job to prevail against these monstrous caricatures of the Allied forces with your IJN vessels regardless of whether the IJN actually succeeded in these campaigns historically.

      • Once again, you’re connecting unrelated point A with unrelated point B. They’re not the same battles from World War 2. They’re simply the names of the famous sites and places, because military otaku take great interest (practically a reverence) in these particular places to begin with.

        Those aircraft carrier alien girls in the game with the silly hats do not represent the USS Enterprise. If the military otaku game designers wanted allied ships, then they simply would have made an allied ship girl for you to blow up called the USS Enterprise. But since Kancolle is actually not about the allies vs. the axis, then… you get to fight aliens with big hats instead.

        When you look at the finer details of this game, for example the ship girls’s individual status points, the torpedoes you can equip, the sea planes you can use, then it’s obvious that Kancolle is just another series for fans of the technology of that era. It has nothing to do with trivializing history because the series itself is not about actual WW2 history. You know… just like every other military otaku series these days such as Strike Witches, Upotte!, Girls und Panzer, and so on.

        Please for the sake of everyone, do not try to connect Girls und Panzer to Nazism for your next blog entry.

      • You really have to be nitpicking with blind hatred if you actually say things like this.
        The funniest thing is how you think that american videogames, where we are on the allied side and the story depicts us as heroes rooting the evil is anything different. No, in fact, that’s different: here we fight against alien enemies, certainly not humans; while there they actually reanimate killing axis forces.

        Once again, there were no “good” or “evil” side in the World Wars. You are being a narrow minded idiot, and biased just because you can’t grasp this single concept.
        Try again when you can think with a clear head instead of spurting stupid things.
        KanColle references World War II – yet it purposedly avoid being as barbaristic about it as american videogames.
        Have some shame.

        • Just the fact that you think there was no ‘good’ or ‘evil’ in World War II makes me facepalm about today’s generation.

          I daresay the genocidal ideologies of the Nazis was infinitely more ‘evil’ than the ideologies of the Allies. To the degree that Japan shared the same principles, it was the epitome of evil.

          Communism, at its base, was much less evil than Nazism has ever been. Contrast ‘workers of the world unite to build a classless society’ with ‘the Aryan ubermensche must enslave/kill the lesser races’ and you have to be one damned apologist to say that the former is as evil as the latter.

      • I’m honestly amazed at some of the things you managed to take away from my comment as well as the kind of arguments you are making – arguments with holes big enough to drive an industrial truck through.

        First of all, I’m not even the author of the blogpost.

        Secondly, if you’ve actually played the game, you would know that there are enemies named after Allied forces that you must kill, in maps named after the campaign in which said forces were assaulted. Furthermore, some of the said forces are led by the ‘ABDA Fleet Command’ which, unless you are absolutely obtuse or ignorant, you would know refers to the American-British-Dutch-Australian Command of the Pacific theatre in WW2.

        I’ll break down my points in a simple, easy-to-digest bullet point format for you.

        -You claim the Allied forces are not represented by enemy ships. This is demonstrably untrue.
        -You claim the enemy are from outer space. This is also demonstrably untrue.
        -You claim the game and it’s creators say it has nothing to do with WW2, which is laughably untrue and unsourced to boot.
        -You claim that the Wo-class does not represent the USS Enterprise. I did not even mention anything about the Wo-class or the Enterprise.
        -You base the claim that the Allied forces aren’t represented by the enemy because they aren’t human, which is a non-sequitur.
        -You compare this franchise with Strike Witches, Upotte, Girls und Panzer… for what? Does their supposedly non-referential content somehow proves that Kancolle, a completely different franchise, does not reference WW2, or name some of the enemies after Allied forces?

        Note that I *never* made or am agreeing with the point that this game trivializes the things the IJN did in WW2, as the author claimed. Or that I made any mention of American video games, as novalisk bizarrely pulls out of nowhere. Or that I am imagining the war in black and white as he has similarly conjured out of thin air, or perhaps from his posterior.

        I am simply pointing out falsehoods in your original comment. That’s all.

        If you want to make an argument, at least stick to the truth. I don’t agree with everything the Aquagaze claims in this blog post but I don’t go around making untrue statements just so I can air my opposition either.

        It is in fact rather interesting that you would base your arguments on the abyss fleet being Allied forces, because the author never made that connection in the first place. He is simply claiming that the mere existence of IJN ships personified as cute, innocent shipgirls trivializes the things that the IJN did in WW2. Hell, he didn’t even mention how the shipgirls themselves constantly glorifies their achievements in the war. Why don’t you tackle those points, in an honest manner? It seems to me a fairly easy opinion to counter.

        As for novalisk – your advice ironically rings true especially for you. Approach arguments with a clear mind and stop thinking everyone with a different opinion from you is filled with blind hatred, is naive, is an idiot or a shameless jingoist.

      • “The game never states the enemies are from outer space.”

        “-You claim the Allied forces are not represented by enemy ships. This is demonstrably untrue.
        -You claim the enemy are from outer space. This is also demonstrably untrue.”

        The game has not stated it, but the developers have. Tanaka has even stated his intention to add American and British ships, on top of German.

        In addition, the only navy that ever used torpedo cruisers during WW2 was the IJN, and yet they’re part of the Abyssal Fleet. How do you explain that?

        Finally, regarding the battle scenarios, there’s nothing stopping the Abyssal Fleet from re-enacting WW2 battles against the IJN, without having to be Allied ships.

      • It’s just a fucking game that uses anime parody characters for fun, it’s literally a web game. You don’t see Americans crying about call of duty, le violence so bad omg how can you

  5. Your post is badly-researched. You claim that the kanmusume are teenage. This is obviously untrue.

    Do you also purport that the 500-year old Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade is a prepubescent girl and it is therefore immoral to engage in sexual conduct with her?

  6. Seems like your problem is not so much with Kantai Collection in particular, but with the more general problem of Japanese media using WW2 – esqe Japan while completely ignoring its faults. This is something that I’ve noticed and been bothered by as well, but it’s difficult to put one’s finger on exactly what is so troubling about it.

    Idolization of warfare in media is nothing new; games such as Medieval 2 have you lead crusades, while in Rome Total you can enslave entire civilizations. Europa Universalis lets you colonize the Americas, and in Victoria 2 you can likewise carve up Africa into colonial states. For WW2 in particular there’s no shortage of games, novels, or movies that cover all sides and aspects of the conflict. However, the key difference in such Western media is that there’s always the implication that what you’re doing isn’t exactly right. For example, in Hearts of Iron or Panzer Corps you can lead Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan to conquer the world, but such a conquest is portrayed as nakedly aggressive land grabs subjugating millions. Likewise, the movie Downfall shows a more human side to the Nazi leadership, which did exist, but always acknowledges and portrays their monstrous sides as well.

    Such acknowledgement is missing from much Japanese media. I’ve lost count of how many anime are set in an idealized WW2-themed Imperial Japan, and some media even goes so far as to turn Imperial Japan into some sort of innocent victim/savior of the world. The Western equivalent would a story where a Nazi-esque Germany is attacked by France and the USSR in the 40’s, then proceeds to liberate the crap out of them with their awesome tank skills, or the more prevalent phenomenon of CSA apologists in the US. That sort of nostalgia for a country’s dark past is dangerously close to idolizing it, and eventually risks leading to the same or worse mistakes. WW2 was in part caused by excessive German nostalgia for the more militarized Imperial Germany (which wasn’t a particularly bad state), which was used by the Nazi’s to forge Germany into a far more malevolent nation. Even today Putin’s using nostalgia for the USSR and Tsarist Russia to lead his nation in a dangerous direction. There’s nothing inherently wrong with patriotism or portraying your own nation in a positive light, but there’s only so many times one can watch a heavily militarized Japan reminiscent of it’s darkest history be portrayed in a positive light without getting concerned.

    I don’t know enough about Kantai Collection in particular to judge it; aside from the blatant sexism issues there’s nothing inherently wrong with a game about anthropomorphized moe warships. However, if they’re fighting a war heavily based on a historical conflict where one side is portrayed as cute girls and the other as monsters… Yeah I can see that being rather dangerous.

    As for those trying to morally equate the Axis and Allies in WW2, you need to read more. Neither side was perfect, but one started the war for the purpose of aggressively enlarging their nations through unjustified territorial acquisitions, treated occupied civilian populations with the utmost barbarity, systematically abused POWs, and engaged in industrialized ethnic cleansing. If you want a true example of a grey war, check out WW1.

    • There’s nothing wrong with making something fun and taking the bad stuff out of it, since they’re not forcing it down everyone’s throat as fact.

  7. @Aquagaze. I take you would have no problems with Kancolle then if it was reversed then. As in the ship daughters being based on Allied ships while the Abyss fleet was portraying the evil war criminal jap ships?

    • I like how no one replied to you, no one wants to see the other side of this. “Japan was the bad guys and we were the good guys so if it was the other way around, it’d be fine.” fucking retards.

      • My Lord you are a spiteful little imp. There was no response because there was no need for a response. It had nothing to do with aqua’s argument.

        Nice job making the totally nonsensical connection between non response and affirmation, though.

  8. Well, I might as well object to some things properly.

    “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.”

    1. Honoring someone and trivializing them are diametrically opposed. Which is it?
    2. Yasakuni is the memorial for all Japan’s war dead from 1867-1951. The controversy most recently arises due to the fact that 14 Class A war criminals were enshrined there in 1978. Do you object to visits to Japan by sitting government officials because of these 14? Or was it problematic even prior to that?
    3. Japan has never attempted to overturn the IMTFE verdicts that condemned those criminals.

    “Japan seems to be entirely isolated in its glorification of wartime efforts and refusal to discuss this attitude with other nations.”

    Nobody is really interested in discussing anything.

  9. This is literally the most Fedoracore that can be achieved in one article.
    Please stop complaining about things that aren’t meant to be taken the wrong way you butthurt scum, and go play your CoD America wins games instead.

    • I believe its worth pointing out, at least for the sake of your asinine retort, that this article was written by a Belgian, not an American.

    • the funny part is that the whole “fedora” thing is basically the complete opposite of the tone, intent and content of this article
      believe it or not, it isn’t actually your go-to synonym for “things i don’t agree with”

      • he still has a shitty opinion and is looking at it completely wrong, calling an entire country as ‘having an attitude’ or ‘trivializing’ WW2 or whatever is stupid. It’s history, who cares, it’s perfectly fine to create an artistic creation of it while taking bad things out. No one is forcing this down people’s throats as fact, no one is making you accept this, no one is denying anything, people are just assuming shit and throwing blows and it’s fucking stupid. I could go on about how stupid this is and how irrational it is, but honestly, if you don’t have the intelectual level to already see that (no one here has it.) then there’s not even a point to bother. I wasted my time typing this. I have nothing to do. I’m going to play Kancolle now even though I’m american and you know what? Fuck Pearl Harbor. I don’t give a shit. It has nothing to do with me. It’s a fucking game with cute anime girls.

        • Yeah, and you’re shit too for thinking that. You’ve got no good argument so you resort to useless insults. You have no reason or ground to defend this blatantly offensive franchise except that you want to continue jacking off to your “waifu”.

  10. >Kantai Collection is a mobage

    Stop reading right there, make your facts straight first before you implode this article with your fedora-tier hatred.

    And yes, that doesn’t change the fact that you are an angry autistic retard.

    • Excuse me, but I take offence to that. You seem to be using autistic as an insult, and as someone with autism, that leaves me wondering: Why is it that you perceive having a mind that works differently from most people as being something derogatory, or as something suited to be used as an insult? And on that note: I don’t know how well you know the author of this article in real life, but his writing shows no discernible signs of being the words of an autistic person. Again, I should know.
      In fact, this article has no indication of being written by someone describable as a retard. Content aside, it is a fairly well written article, approaching the topic from multiple angles, as well as properly citing sources.
      And actually, the author doesn’t even seem to be that angry. Sure, they come off as a bit frustrated at the whole affair, but that just lends a bit of passion to the article. And after all, the author is just trying to make a point about an implication of this game that unsettles them, as well as about a mentality that they’ve observed Japan as having. The author has even been kind enough to provide some supporting evidence for their point.

  11. Axis powers allways get the short stick when glorifying their past. It’s a matter of perspective, because far more terrible crimes has been commited by other countries in other eras if you properly scale those crimes. I could post some examples but that’s not the main point. The problem is, yeah, the japanese trivialize WWII, but at least they are aware of it and don’t try to let other people trample on then using that as an excuse. Contrary to Germany in Europe, Japan is literally surrounded by enemies: Both Koreas are deeply resentful to Japan, China has become over the years a very dangerous enemy on the region. Taiwan also doesn’t have good will toward the japanese government and, finally, there was the USSR during the Cold War era.

    There is no real good will in the diplomacy of eastern countries. We westerners are used to a gentlemanly disposition when discussing problems bettwen countries but that doesn’t exists there. Any kind of concesion from one side would lead the other to use that as leverage for an improved position. The only thing holding the current statu quo in the region (as showed in the recent Senkaku/Diaouyu/Diaouyutai islands incident) is the USA and that is currently becoming more difficult to sustain due to China’s gigantic development.

    If you want to bow and beg forgiveness to an enemy with an sword ready to strike, be prepared to lose you head

  12. I’m of Chinese descent and I see no reason why I should be offended by Kancolle. My great-grandfather was killed in a bombing on some shore, for example, so it’s not like I’m just untouched by the war and the Imperial Japanese Army. That said, any problems I would have are with the actual army, not with its representation today. “The sins of our fathers” are referenced frequently and I’ve always believed that — no — you do not have to pay for them.

    Every nation committed grave war crimes throughout the war. Why should only the American perspective be glorified and romanticized, with the hundreds or thousands of war games that exist today? I don’t see people lobbying for stopping games where you kill Nazis, or maybe USSR soldiers, but it seems any anti-American perspective is just horribly wrong.

    • I know someone who is a Bataan Death March survivor and he knows that every soldier’s job is to fight on what they ordered to… and believed in. He also knows about this game and find it cute.

      What I read just now (the blog of Aquagaze) is one big biased, boring garbage… readable garbage but still garbage.

      Meanwhile, of all replies I read here, the reply of Don Wan See This (you sir ( ^_^)b ), Even if it’s short, has much more content.

      Cause why should the Present be ‘Crucified’ because of the sins of the Past?
      Why should the Sons/Daughters pay the debt their Father/Mother left them?

      To quote: “Every nation committed grave war crimes throughout the war.”
      Do you think the Filipinos did not made a war crime?
      They can. The reason? Revenge.
      Revenge for their fallen friends and brother-in-arms.
      Revenge for the women that were raped at that time.
      Revenge for killing innocent people.

      In war, there is no Black and White.

  13. I pretty much stopped reading once it got to Hitler and Nazis.
    Don’t you know that anytime you use Hitler and his goons as an argument you automatically lose ?

    More seriously, THIS is what offends people ? cute girls in a non-sensical game/anime ?
    How about putting that over sensitive to use over wars and ethinic/religious exterminations happening right now ?

    I’LL SUE! ;(

  15. I’m sorry, but this is absolutely ridiculous. For one thing, re; sexism and what have you? The admiral’s gender is never specified, and many women, including myself, play the game. It’s actually pretty impressive that there is no automatically male audience stand-in. As for the bulk of the article, wailing about how the ships were involved in WWII, I ask you this: have you ever heard of the concept of a military otaku? Or anyone who is interested in weaponry in general? Because here’s the thing: it’s very common, and not just in Japan. This sort of thing fascinates plenty of people across the globe. The interest isn’t in what wars the tanks/ships/planes/etc in question were used and whether they were used by the “good guys” or the “bad guys”. It’s entirely on the craftsmanship of the machine, and that creates a fascination with them. Kantai Collection is partially catering to that, and partially to people who like cute girls. It has nothing to do with “fuck yeah WWII Japan was awesome”, not inherently. And I highly doubt if many people playing it in Japan care for that reason. Most of them probably just like the cute girls. Or the military otaku aspect. Or both. No one playing it actually cares about the I-8 sinking a Dutch freighter. Or Akagi, Kaga, and Souryuu being involved in Pearl Harbor. You just want an excuse to be outraged.

    I will give you that it’s a bit weird that their clothes get ripped when they’re damaged, though. I should not want my girls to get hurt, please stop giving me an incentive to enjoy that, game.

    • I can’t speak for Aquagaze of course, but isn’t the fact that the players don’t care about the fact that these girls are named after WWII battleships sort of the problem? You could argue that the game makers are trivializing the significance of important military symbols by ‘hiding’ their actual history behind cute girl designs. If people don’t care about the WWII aspect, why include it at all? That question is rhetorical of course, but I think it’s worth thinking about.

      • Because it’s the weaponry aspect that matters. The point isn’t “look at what these ships were used for at a specific point in history”, it’s “look at this incredible piece of machinery and what it can do”. It’s that + cute girls. No one is hiding anything about WWII, but the point is that you can look at a piece of equipment and respect it despite what it was used for. It’s the same way with people who are fascinated by guns in general. It’s not because they’re used to kill that they appeal to people. It’s the technology itself being incredible.

  16. :^( damn overprivileged military otaku that enjoy battleships and moe girls :^(
    As a womyn (my pronouns are xhe/xher/xhes) I feel sad that Japan (the land of kawaii anime ^_^) thinks that the warcrimes made by germany are being trivilasdised as aliens or some shit.

    You’re reading way too fucking much into it.
    This whole social justice shit is fucking retarded.

  17. If you /jp/ idiots are skilled enough in self-delusion to the extent that you can turn even battleships into fap fantasies for your freshly-warmed onaholes, then surely you can convince yourselves not to bother leaving your Abe Shinzo dicksuck racist comments here too.

  18. I can understand OP’s sentiments since he’s from Belgium, and if people from there are the same as where I live (the Netherlands, the country next to Belgium) WWII is still a touchy subject as we were right in the middle of it and each year the media gives it lots of attention during ‘liberty day’ (the day when allied forces arrived in the Netherlands)

    With that said though, OP is still trying to shove his personal sentiments down everybody else’s throat and expecting everybody to share them even if they aren’t from the afflicted areas. I don’t know about the actual game and storyline (I can’t speak Japaense) but I don’t think you are actually fighting the allied forces (sorry if I’m wrong about this). To me it seems mostly like a Pokémon-ish game with cute girls specifically interesting for military otaku (like me). If any I think players would be interested to learn more about the actual history because of the game.

  19. Don’t write an article to lambast “Otaku”. “Otaku” has no human rights and shouldn’t give treatment as a real person.

  20. As a player, I just want to point out a couple of things:

    Are the enemies in the game supposed to represent the Allied forces? There are some hints of Allied traits to the enemy ships, such as using inches (as opposed to centimeters) or the fact that an enemy fleet was named ABDA Fleet, which historically stood for American-British-Dutch-Australian combined fleet. There’s a mission that tells the player to destroy “Enemy Eastern Fleet”, which most likely refers to the British fleet in the Indian Ocean.

    But at the same time, the Abyssal Fleet has other facets that are noticeably Japanese, for having ship types that existed only in Japanese Imperial Navy: Heavy Torpedo Cruisers, Aviation Battleships and Submarine Carriers only existed in Japan, and certain enemy boss characters are directly based on existing Kanmusu, with the same design concepts and voice actress.

    The official 4-koma manga hints that a sunken Kanmusu might turn into an Abyssal ship, and if you think about where those Kanmusus come from (as they drop after a battle), it is equally possible to interpret that they are in fact both Japanese, or a mixture of Japanese and Allied ships.

    Kadokawa claimed that they’re extending the range of “foreign” Kanmusus over time, to include the Allied ships – in an article published in the May 2014 issue of “Nyantype” there was a hint of the next update which may include British ships. The parts:

    * Fumikane: It was hard to find information on the German ships, I wonder how we’d go with the British ships..
    * Tanaka: Well, wouldn’t that be nice (laugh)

    For the sake of gameplay balance they will most likely keep the fleet mostly Japanese (just how many carriers did the US deploy in the Pacific Theater? Or, how strong will have to be USS Enterprise as a Kanmusu without destroying the balance, for example?) but it seems likely that the Allied ships will make at least cameo appearances in Kantai Collection sooner or later.

    Or, let’s talk about the world itself. There are in-game evidences that clearly state that this is not WW2 period. The Submarine I-168 mentions smartphones, for one thing. We just don’t know what kind of world this is, who the Kanmusus and Abyssal Fleet really are, etc. This alternate universe may not even be our world, as many Kanmusus explicitly mention how they sunk in WW2, both in the game and in the manga.

    As a marketing strategy it might be that Kadokawa is deliberately not revealing information on them to hype up the anticipation for anime and other products down the line, while allowing the fan artists to go nuts. Kadokawa is adapting many fan-given attributes of Kanmusus in their official products, which will without doubt feature in the anime as well.

    Will the anime reveal more about the world of Kantai Collection? Probably, and while I think you made many valid points, the product isn’t fully revealed to make the final verdict. There’s a lot to be criticized, such as rigging the MMD-Cup on Nicovideo, deliberately keeping too many things secret, and poor management of gameplay balance in general, but glorifying the Imperial Japanese Navy isn’t quite the right mark.

  21. So are we going to “conveniently ignore” the fact that ignoring the ‘hero’ country’s war crimes in a media franchise created purely for entertainment is done by every single country nearly all the time?

    I mean, to stay on the WWII boat, there are HUNDREDS of movies that rolled down Hollywood’s production lines which conveniently ignore all the war crimes the allied forces committed in favour of depicting them to be the great heroes marching against the evil tyranny.

    What Kantai Collection does is nothing new. Not just for Japan, but for the entire bloody world. And I see no reason to single it out as the one franchise that is evil.

    • I think aqua’s point is the opposite, that the prevalence of media like it or Arpeggio of blue steel. Hell, remember when Samurai Girls started with the girls destroying incoming B-17 bombers as if they were defeating an evil enemy?

      America did a great injustice to Japanese Americans in the internment camps, but we don’t deny that nor do we glorify it.

      Russian troops committed grave crimes on the path to Berlin, but no one would be okay with them glorifying it.

      The same standard should be made for japan.

  22. remember hiroshima.
    remember nagasaki.
    remember Tsushima Maru.
    remember Dachau.
    remember Bombing Tokyo.
    remember Bombing Dresden.

  23. I wonder why /a/ bought me here. Huh.
    Anyway, this entire “article” is biased and seems the author is more concerned into bashing against japan media than proving his point.
    I’m wondering if the lack of source if on purpose… or if using Crunchyroll as a good example of “critic” is a satire.
    Sorry m8, I’m not coming here anymore.

  24. Well, it is indeed interesting to see how Westerners (including the OP and most of the replies, I assume) react to Kancolle, and the article being demolished.

    While the article does point out some of the more unsavory elements of the game and how Japan deal with its darker past, I am afraid I have to agree to the sentiment that this article is rather biased and somewhat uninformed. It is an easy mistake to made, though, given how the game is (supposedly) limited to audience in Japan and the tendency of the game officials withholding information.

    As others have pointed out, the Abyssal Fleet contains elements from navies all around the world, including Japanese itself as suggested by the existence of ship types only Japan used. It is true that most battles and some enemy characters are based on Allied ships (Wo-class, for example, is said to be based on Lexington class if I remembered correctly), but I think it is more due to the lack of other historical evidence for Japan: it is not like they fought many people outside the Allies, after all, and historical references are arguably one of the main reasons this game stood out from the plethora of moe anthropomorphism of weapons.

    It is also not really true that the game did not acknowldge the darker aspect of the Japanese military, though the mileage may vary. Both Kitakami and I-58 made a statement that they did not want to be armed with “that”. Said “that” is most likely to be Kaiten, or suicide torpedo used by IJN in its later days along with other suicidal weapons. True, one may argue that killing your own men is different from killing others and civilians, but I think it is falae to say they trivialised the trauma of the war in general.

    While there are no official explaination of where the Abyssal Fleet comes from (and most likely never will, seeing that the drawbacks will probably outweight the benefits no matter how they put it), personally I like to see them as the negative aspects of WW2 navies and ships, Axis and Allies alike, while ship girls are the positive counterpart that, perhaps, atone their sin by purging them with superior firepower.

    I hail from a former British colony in the Far East that got steamrolled by Japan very early in the war and had two thrid of its population relocated or… you know, but like they (and several other posters here) said, it is arguably as wrong as them if we hold grudge to the entire people of Japan, seeing that almost all of them have nothing to do with the atrocities. Seriously, give them some break.

    At least for me, I do not think everything related to WW2 need to be manifesto against war atrocities, and many can (and do) love weapons and ship girls while wishing these things never need to happen again. Just because they invaded my hometown and made a mess out of it does not mean I must not enjoy putting all the ship girls whose real life counterpart had visited it.

    I think if anything, the most unsettling abd blatant whitewashing occured in some of the fan works, especially those of the less savory genre of pornography. Then again, it is the fandom we are talking about, and we all know how vocal its minority can be.

  25. so you’re mad, just because of souryuu, akagi, kaga and the others were the one whose responsible for pearl harbor? you should see what you americans did to hiroshima and nagasaki, craved on a wound that scorched the island for over 40 years. and compared to your tiny pearl harbor, only less than 100 civilians were killed… compared to what americans did they killed a million times.

    well, war’s a bitch, so learn your own history, have your beloved country america stop meddling on other peoples country and stop murdering the innocent? if they haven’t done that, you have no right to complain.

    for the last, the only one who’s have the right to complain are those who play the game in JAPAN. because the game are mentioned not to be played by those who live overseas. which means you are off your limit with your rumbles…

    stop being a wimp, and sit tight like a man.

  26. First of all, I’m not someone who have deep knowledge about the history of WWII or whatsoever, although I know the gist of it, since I’m Indonesian and my country was one of the invaded countries by the Japanese back then, which the history lesson in my previous school has it in the book. I also didn’t do any research, so my reply may be 100% opinion in your eyes, and that’s fine.

    I just want to tell my thinking about this article. There’s one or two disagreements in my head for this. First, claiming that the Japanese Government are behaving like sweeping the dark past under the rug by not doing anything to Kancolle, Strike Witches, and other WWII themed entertainment made by JAPANESE maybe be not 100% correct. If you really don’t agree with them (heck, it’s not even the government who made the game) by “using” cute girls to “cover” the dark history, I’m really interested in hearing your opinion about those WWII games that took Allies as the protagonist. As we all know, Allies won the WWII in Pacific by dropping those 2 nukes. I’m sure you know who mostly died on those explosions; Civilians. Those events were not being glorified, but seen as something that has to be done to avoid more deaths and end the war. That is the dark history of Allies. Now as far as I know, WWII video games never include that nuke mission. Why? Simply because that’s the dark past that Allies commited, their war crimes. Most of the thing they include in a WWII video game is you as the Allies soldier battling against Axis’ soldiers, not against civilians. They’re only using the glory of Allies soldier for the story in the game, not something dark or guilty. Isn’t that also sweeping the dark past under the rug? Or am I mistaken and Allies are always feeling proud and say “We won the war in Pacific by dropping 2 nukes and killing millions of civilians in the process, folks!”?

    Second, you are saying that Kancolle is successful simply because they have cute girls in it. Now this is actually funny. You do know that Kancolle’s main selling point is the cute girls right? Isn’t it just obvious that the game is a big success because of the girls? The WWII references are actually a kind of “Bonus” (and a very good bonus. I learned few things about WWII war machines, purely because of admiration of those machines, not the war itself). You saying that is more or less the same by saying that “That hotdog guy is successful simply because he got hotdogs to sell”. You just stated one of the most obvious things in the world, bro. :/

    Last, I don’t think Japanese are trying to forget the horrors they did in the past because they have the ‘Wir haben es nicht gewusst’ (We did not know it) attitude. They are trying to forget it because it was a bad thing to do and they strive to do better in the future by not doing the same mistake (in this context, not doing such a crime) again, not because it’s a bad thing and they pretend that they didn’t do it or know it.

    Imho, this article is a bit biased against the Japan and their “moe” culture. Unless you’re the older generation who can never forget about what the Japanese did, you’re simply a close minded dude or a too critical person that has time in their hands to write this article.


    • Actually, I think most games wouldn’t include the two nuke missions because they would make for terrible gameplay. It’d just be: Fly over Japan, drop bomb, win level.

  27. call me ignorant, but all war participants are war crime committers, regardless what the reason is. You’re a war winner, so it’s only logical that you decide what warcrime is… do you even saw what your country already did to your enemy? Have you even wondered that your enemy had life as well… I think your writings is one-sided. But i can understand as i will do the same to my country’s aggressors decades ago.
    Yeah man, never say a country don’t take responsibility fir the crimes they commited, as yours do it as well…
    otherwise good article

    • Once again I have to remind everyone, this was written by a Belgian. Any perceived American winner mentality you try to add to your argument is completely misplaced.

      Not that this makes the argument valid in general, just saying it’s even less so in this case.

    • Contrast the ideologies followed by the Allies and those followed by the Axis nations and it’s obvious why ‘we’ feel entitled to make these comments.

      Nazism is one of the worst evils man has ever come up with. An ideology built upon the idea that a group of people – ie the Jews, the Slavs, etc. – are unworthy of living and must be destroyed to make space for the ubermensche is about as evil as it gets.

      The Allies, for all their issues, did not subscribe to such blatantly malicious ideologies. Whether their causes were capitalism, communism, etc., their intentions were arguably good. Yes, the road to hell is paved with great intentions. But when you don’t even start with a great intention, then there’s no hope whatsoever.

  28. To be honest, I can’t take this discussion seriously anymore. I’m just going to provide two videos that will HOPEFULLY have more effect than any words I could say.

  29. Reblogged this on Pirates of the Burley Griffin and commented:
    Assuming that CrunchyRoll get it for Australia I’m still planning to mock at least one episode for the silliness of the premise. However this article on The Glorio Blog does highlight several problematic aspects of Kantai Collection.

    Arguably, although not mentioned, several of those elements should also be considered with respect to Girls Und Panzer.

    Recommended, please click through to the original article to read in full.

  30. …..It just a game that made with the game maker creativity, fantasy, and hardwork.
    they make it in order to make money…..

    If you like it, welcome to play…
    if you don’t, then don’t… no one forcing you or actually asked you to be here…

    why can’t you just say “thank you for making the game free browser game.”.
    instead of bitching about the history or whatever, it’s not like it was your father or grandfather that died in the world war II anyway you history freak….

    • Dude, give them a break already; the discussion’s been going for a long time now, and I’ve always facepalmed when this topic resurfaced again and again.

      Oh, by the way, my grandfather does fought the Imperial Japanese behind the scenes. I don’t know the exact details, but he fought really hard for the independence of my country. And yet, he never told his sons and daughters (my mother in particular) to hate them forever despite the poverty that stroked my country due to their occupation.

      And yet, I’m a player of this game. Sure, some implications in the game are disturbing (I’ve been trained that way), but I can still judge its merit as a game, and thus, enjoy it. That does not mean I forget / do not know what ‘they’ did to our country; What can you say about a player like me?

      But seriously, give these guys a break already. They have their opinions, they are entitled to them (imperfect as it is), as so do I (imperfect as it is).

  31. Stop being so butthurt. There are no Nazis in Strike Witches (Germany resp Karlsland is still a monarchy there!) and the Japanese moe-fy EVERYTHING, dogs, cellphones, warships and even fucking cockroaches! There are tons of nationalist animé, manga or Japanese games out there, but Kantai Collection or Strike Witches ain’t one of them. This ain’t about any kind of political or even historic message, this is just taking mecha musume vs faceless enemy and sticking historical names on them to satisfy the military history otaku crowd. Hell, the *Chinese* LOVE this game (remember their illegal pirated KanColle server run by Beijing Longzhu Digital Technology?), despite the mind-bogglingly horrible stuff the Japanese Army did to them (especially the medical and bio-weapon experiments. I’d say they outdid even Mengele in that). The Axis powers DID mindbogglingly horrible war crimes (acknowledging that doesn’t necessitate forgetting Stalin being an absolutely horrible mass-murder, especially with the Holodomor, the mass rapes in Germany, installing Communist regimes and being a horrible tyrant in general), but the claiming KanColle is any kind apologeticts for that is fucking brannless.

  32. Thank you for this article, it is very well written and I agree to the fullest with your point. I don’t know what’s worse, the fact that games like this exist or the fact that they are accepted. Really, no one has a reason to defend this franchise, except that they want to continue fapping.

  33. While most of what you said is right and correct, you need to understand that most Japanese is ignorant of these facts. I myself have a Japanese friend and he knows nothing of the WWII he even think that Japan has done good things during that time and any action that violates what is “right” is justifiable by as many reasons as there is that much Japanese people to make excuses for it.
    So, my conclusion is that it will never goes across to them, especially through the internet. If you want them to understand you will need to explain it in person, one at a time, and that will takes forever.

Comments are closed.