The Unfortunate Implications of Kantai Collection

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. Yet the context on which Kantai Collection exists, is a rather problematic one.