Wait a moment. High School Fleet? You mean to tell me, there is yet ANOTHER anime with girls and warships? I have no idea how this slipped past my attention, but it seems to be Girls und Panzer-esque, except in warships instead of tanks. So being a fan of the likes of Apreggio of Blue Steel, Kantai Collection, and the aforementioned Girls und Panzer there was no way in hell I was not going to watch this.
So I watched it in its entirety in two sittings. Yup. Two sittings of… Wait. Hold Up. Let me start over. High School Fleet is about the high school girls who attend a special school for girls who wish to become Blue Mermaids, who are basically the Coast Guard, but in… Warships. Because nothing screams “peace” more than nine 46cm guns pointing in your direction. Actually, I guess you COULD call that peace, albeit a warped version of it, but that’s besides the point. In fact there’s a lot of things in High School Fleet that are besides the point, at the point is cuteness and the like. So, once again…
High School Fleet is a charming anime about cute girls that while en route to go training, get caught up in a bunch of trouble and somehow must overcome their difficulties with the power of…Screw it. This was nothing but a cute girl anime dressed up with Warships, and I fell for it. There were some VERY clearly signs in the first episode, which I chose to ignore because warships. The art’s done nicely, the 3D ships are about as good as what we see in Arpeggio of Blue Steel, the characters are cute and annoying, and that just about wraps up this review. If you like cute girls, warships, and not having this show spoiled, then I implore you to enjoy the show while turning off your brain. Have a good day.
Here’s the part where I lose my mind:
High School Fleet is a charming abomination of a warship anime that requires you to turn off your brain while you watch it. Ok, so somehow Mike ends up being the Captain of the destroyer, Harekaze, while her friend becomes the Captain of the Musashi. Wait. Wait, what? This Blue Mermaid school is just handing out not just warships, but battleships too? Not just battleships, but the biggest battleship the world has ever seen?! To high school students? Ok, fine, whatever. So how did they decide who’d be doing what, in what ship? It was decided by their grades. The grades they got in a classroom environment. I mean, that could make sense, sure as this is where they start nautical lessons, but you know, the ships are automated to a certain degree, and everyone just turns out to be a prodigy, SO ITS ALL GOOD, when everything goes wrong.
Ok, when everything goes horrible, because everything is already horribly wrong, but it’s ok because everyone’s so cute and charming, and there’s this cute fat cat that’s immune to rat disease. What’s rat disease? Oh, it’s just the antagonist, don’t worry about it. I mean, sure we learn that those infected become part of a hive mind to do the leaders bidding. BUT we never learn what that bidding is, or who is doing the bidding. We’re not even given a clue, but you know that’s fine, the trading of some plot for the Equator Festival episode was totally worth it. We got to see some festival fun and stuff.
Ok, so the main conflict of this show is some disease from a rat, causing war ships to go berserk? How did that all start? Well it all started when our main friends in the Harekaze are late to training, and end up getting attacked by a teacher, who we later learn was infected with rat disease. So the Harekaze crew logically fires back to immobilize said teacher,so that they can escape with their lives. Don’t worry they used a training torpedo, and the teacher missed all the live rounds she shot at them, so no casualties, everything’s happy-go-lucky.
Just kidding, everything is NOT happy-go-lucky, they’re marked as mutinous, and are more or less marked as wanted suspects. Then everything’s cleared up. Then the Musashi is affected by rat disease. Then Mike starts to worry for her friend. Then they run into a German ship, and save some German girl who fell off the ship. Then they fight a submarine, and since the have a German with them now, they win. Then some 12 year old prodigy doctor scientist on the Harekaze crew makes an antidote for the rat disease. Then the Blue Mermaid school sends a fleet to try to contain the Musashi without hurting the students.
This is where my favorite part occurs. An experienced captain is SHOCKED to discover that a TRAINING torpedo does absolutely nothing to stop the Musashi. See, when you make the decision to differentiate between actual rounds, and training rounds, I’m led to believe the training rounds are weak. So when this experienced Captain is shocked that a training torpedo, did nothing, then that’s just funny. It’s hilarious, because it took about 19 Torpedoes, as well as multiple plane bombings to actually sink it. So yes, hilarious. It was this scene, that made me realize I was watching this the wrong way. You see, I jumped in expecting something more like Arpeggio of Blue Steel, or Girls und Panzer. What I got, was Anee-Happy KanColle edition.
“Look man, it’s a fictional cute-girl anime, what are you doing?”
I’m raving on about my disappointment, while in hysterics. Also, I’m having fun with this. Ok, so what happened next… Right. So Musashi forces everyone to retreat and disappears. Then, we see some of Mike’s back story as it’s revealed by her fear of lightning. Something something, tragic back story. Something, something they save the passengers of a sinking ship that was in a situation reminiscent of Mikes past. Then, they run into the German ship again. Then they win, and German girl leaves. Something about “you did the kind of work that doesn’t have a payoff.” Wait… was there some kind of romantic thing building up here? Sorry High School Fleet character whose name escapes me, I didn’t notice because I was probably to busy laughing at everything. Anyway it all builds up to the final fight against the Musashi, because of course it does.
Here’s the thing about that last fight, four Blue Mermiad ships try to take the Musashi on, and while they put up a fight, they ultimately fail. Then it’s the Harekaze turn, and they somehow manage to make it to the Musashi, ram into it’s side, and finally board it and save everyone. Along the way they take a hit, lose their rudder, replace it with a parachute, and get support from… THE GERMANS. THE GERMANS (and others) ARE BACK. Anyway, the day is saved everyone goes back on land for the first time since they left, and then, ONLY THEN does the Harekaze sink from the damage it took from the fight.
So yes, High School Fleet is a cute girl anime with warships. If you like cute girl anime, with no thinking required, then you may enjoy this. Some might enjoy this simply for the kind of charm it seems to carry. Then there are people like me who watched it in a purely cynical fashion, laughing at everything that occured… or am I the only one? Don’t know. But yeah… High School Fleet, I’m sorry I didn’t like you… but at least you whet my appetite for Season 2 of Kantai Collection. HAHAHAHAHAAHA YEAH RIGHT WHAT? More on Kantai Collection in the future.