Review: KanColle, Episode 3: The Operation to Capture W Island!

Screenshot taken from: http://www.crunchyroll.com/kancolle/episode-3-the-operation-to-capture-w-island-668645

Screenshot taken from: http://www.crunchyroll.com/kancolle/episode-3-the-operation-to-capture-w-island-668645

Review:

Oh, they’re girls because ships are usually referred to in the feminine! I get it now…

Ahem, anyway, KanColle is quickly shaping up to be a show that I simply can’t figure out how to take. From the beginning I came in with a biased outlook, expecting it to be little more than a fanservice-laden, lesbianism-(implied or otherwise)-filled show. Granted, part of that came from reading some pre-show stuff. Still, the first episode didn’t help my expectations, although the second episode wasn’t nearly as bad as I had expected it to be, and this episode even less so. There is, of course, still some questionable material, but it is more in reference to how things are meant than anything else (see the “other” section of the content guide). In terms of fanservice, this episode really turns it down—but the action and drama are turned up.

To be fair, there’s a limit to how seriously you can take a show about high school girls decked out in ship armor fighting aliens, and this episode probably hits that limit, but it does so in a good way. The first portion of the episode shows the girls rallying around Fubuki to support her in the upcoming mission. While there may have been more than the surface motives behind their actions, it is still nice to see a positive message in the support that they give her. There is also an important message here about letting those you care about know how you feel. This is, of course, one of those questionable areas because it’s not clear if the “love” the girls speak of is supposed to be a friendly love or a romantic love, and obviously, as Christian viewers, one of those is okay while the other raises some issues. As of now, we cannot say, but the message is still applicable, and it is worth asking ourselves if the people we love realize that we love them.

When the action finally kicks in, there is enough suspense to keep you on the edge of your seat. A certain scene prior to this action throws up a death flag, which is unfortunate because it does ruin some of the shock later on in the episode; however, the writers do sort of redeem themselves by creating some tension as to who will end up dying. The fighting itself should certainly scratch whatever action itch viewers may need, and for the most part the events of the episode are wrapped up before the end, leaving a satisfying ending with enough left open to bring you back next week.

It may not be fair to say that KanColle has completely won me over yet, as I still expect it to go to completely inappropriate places, but I will say that it has surprised me and kept its act clean enough to bring me back for the next episode, at least. Whether you should join me in this endeavor or not, I will not say—read my reviews, see what you think, and use your best discretion to decide.

Christian Perspective:

James 4: 13-15 – Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”

This may seem like an odd piece of Scripture to apply here, but stay with me. It seems pretty clear to me that James is rebuking his readers for making plans and determining how their lives will go for the next year when they can’t even figure out what will happen tomorrow. Ultimately, everything is in God’s hands and it is His will that will prevail, as evidenced by the end of this passage where James states that his readers should frame their statements in the context of “if it is the Lord’s will”. Another lesson that I think we can take from this is that we should take the opportunities given to us when we have them. This can get a little hairy and requires some discernment, of course, but there are times where I think it’s pretty clear, as with my application to this episode.

After all of the talk about letting those you love know that you love them, Mutuski resolves to tell Kisaragi how she feels about her. Now, I’m going to give Mutsuki the benefit of the doubt here and assume that this is a friendly love, although I will be wearing egg on my face if I turn out to be wrong. Anyway, instead of just telling Kisaragi when she has the chance, Mutsuki decides that she will wait until after the mission. This, of course, proves to be a poor decision, as the end of the episode reveals, and further hammers home the point that we should do good as the opportunity presents itself. If you have the thought to call your dad and tell him you love him, do it then, or as soon as you have the chance if “then” really is not feasible, but don’t put it off until tomorrow because tomorrow may be too late. That is, of course, just one example: this could go on and on.

Content Guide:

Language: None

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Nagato and her sidekick in their usual midriff-revealing attire; a brief shot of two girls in the bath, one washing the other’s back—you see a slight portion of one girl’s breast (starts around 8:10); a character is hit with a missile and shown sinking in the ocean—part of her bra is exposed

Violence: Fire is exchanged between the ship-girls and their enemies; explosions; one girl is hit with a missile and presumably killed

Blood/Gore: Some gooey substance is shown splattering from an enemy unit that is hit with a missile

Other: Fubuki is given a good luck charm; two sets of two girls are shown sharing a bed, although it isn’t portrayed sexually; Fubuki and Mutsuki exchange “I love you’s,” although it isn’t clarified whether this is in a friendly or romantic sense; Mutuski tells Kisaragi that she has something she wants to tell her, to which Kisaragi responds “a confession of love” and Mutsuki essentially retorts “No, well maybe”; Mutsuki tells Yuudachi that she loves her, although at that point it very well may be a friendly love between Mutsuki and Yuudachi, as well as Mutsuki and Fubuki; the nature of Mutsuki’s feelings for Kisaragi are still suspect, especially with Mutsuki’s comments that Kisaragi would probably blush when told, “I love you. Thank you.”

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Rob M.

Christian, anime fan, and gamer are a few words you could use to describe me. I've been a Christian since 2012 (and thought I was one prior to that), although I'm far from having the Christian walk down pat. At one point I started thinking about how I could use various things for Christ, and eventually put my thoughts to action, resulting in Cosplay for Christ (my attempt at a cosplay ministry) and Christian Anime Review (my review blog). As you can imagine, I enjoy playing games, watching anime, and going to anime conventions. I also like to build Gundam models, fiddle with the guitar (occasionally), and listen to music (mostly Christian rock and metal).

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