We've Watched the Kancolle Movie, Here are Some of My Thoughts

Hi everyone, Lance here. It been awhile since my last post, between transitioning into my new workplace and gouging on the behemoth known as Persona 5 ^^'' here's to hoping things settle down in the coming weeks. 

On to better news, my fellow writers and I had a lovely evening as we met up to watch the English release of the Kancolle feature film. Hanging out will always be great, as for the movie itself... it was mmkay, nothing particularly noteworthy, and is ultimately a fan film.

For those not already in the know, Kancolle (short for Kantai Collection) began as a popular browser game back in 2013 by DMM. Backed by publishing powerhouse Kadokawa, it eventually evolved into the current merchandising juggernaut with unparalleled variety and amount of media, fanworks, its own anime, and now a feature film. The setting of the franchise, at least in the anime canon, involves mysterious enemy known only as the abyssal fleet taking over the seas, and facing them fleet of kanmusus (ship girls), which are anthropomorphized  versions of WW2 era warships. That's the gist of it really, and as for plot details the 13-ep anime is an absolute requirement before even considering watching the film.
The movie is a direct sequel to the anime, this time tackling the events surrounding the Solomon Islands campaign and touches on the origins and nature of the kanmusus. There is actually quite abit of good to be found in the movie. Immediately noticeable is the visual upgrades compared to the 2015 anime, with the change to the character models in combat from the incredibly awkward 3DCG models to incorporate far more traditional 2D elements for a more consistent look throughout. The action itself is also actually enjoyable now, with some real treats for franchise fans. Fans of the browser game in particular will find plenty of cool references and lore behind the game mechanics, as the film is incredibly faithful to the original title. Throw in the appearance of new kanmusus in the form of fan favorite characters and many franchise fans would have good enough reason enjoy the film.
Outside of all that though, I did find the film to be a tad lackluster in most other departments. The overall plot is the main source of much of it, as the limited run-time of 90 minutes and the sheer amount of content to be covered meant that events are just constantly happening with most of them not having quite enough time to settle and character development of the already over-sized cast suffered as a consequence. This combined with the largely somber tone of the film stood as a contrast to the anime which I thought managed its characters and slice of life aspects pretty well despite its weaker action scenes. 

Speaking of which, when it comes to its action sequences, while it may have had a massive upgrade over its predecessor, and the amount of the action is not short per se, as the credits roll there is this niggling feeling of it being a little... lacking, like it was short on time and there should have been more we didn't get to see. It's at least a promising sign for future things to come, but as of now it does bear mention. Sound-wise its a bit of a mixed bag, with the combat SFX being too soft for my personal liking (its supposedly massive naval guns going off after all) and its lacking a memorable soundtrack, outside of the main theme 帰還 by returning artist Nishizawa Shiena and its derivatives.
Overall, I found the film itself to be mediocre at best, but it has to be said I did enjoy it during its run-time and it definitely contributed to my larger Kancolle experience with its many cameos and lore implications. It is a movie made for series fans, so while it may not impress, there is still plenty to like here. Looking forward, there are already plans for a second season soon and the Spring event is looming on the horizon for the game. See you guys next week!
Sorry, I had to XD


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