As with any movie that comes from a successful series, I am leery that it might be just might be a recap of the series, put in movie form, for those folks who are too lazy to plunk themselves down and watch the whole thing, from a company that wants to make some quick money for fans who are too gullible to take a second look at things. And I will be saying this plaint again and again until I am proven demonstrably wrong. I have gotten close, but not with any consistency. Yet, “Kantai Collection: The Movie” (and couldn’t you come up with a slightly better title than that?) does try to move events along, basing it off of that which we have already seen in the series and that which we already know, to tell a different tale. Of sorts.
Now, I want to put this idea to rest right now so I won’t have to deal with it later on: I do NOT feel this is ‘yuri’. Yes, it is a 100% female cast. I have NEVER seen a man in the show and one school of thought is that if there are ladies, ladies, ladies, it is automatically yuri, yuri, yuri, even if there is no canoodling, canoodling, canoodling, afoot. But…but…but…they still have ‘feelings’ for one another, ergo…
OK, it feels like half a year has passed since the conclusion of the series and the fight with the Abyssmal is just as implacable as before. There were ‘victories’, but nothing that would turn the tide in their favor, so we are in for the long haul on this one. But something is afoot and it appears that the Abyssmal have some kind of weapon or force or power that will allow them to make things terribly terrible for our Fleet Girls. In fact, it is so bad that one of them (Kisaragi) might not ever put to sea again. Ever. EVER! EVER!!!!
The waters that the Abyssmals touch cause exterior damage to the ladies, with cracking and breaking of everything. A hole in the hull is hell, right? How are our ladies going to get close enough to those bas…I mean, the enemy, and dish out some major damage? And there is the crux of the problem. You have given us a real poser as to how to overcome it, so we overcome it by….well, let’s say that if I could guess what was going to happen, it will be a piece of cake for you to figure it out far faster than I did. (Smarter than the horse, not as smart at the raccoon.).
It certainly is all about camaraderie and pulling together at a time when it would be so much easier to fall apart. That the support from friendship is your greatest asset and personal strength is drawn from those around you. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. A bird in the hand spoils the broth. But it also wanted to showcase those fight sequences, as you still have an enemy that needs to be sent packing and those nitwits on the other side haven’t gotten the hint. I was expecting something more, but it dissolved into seeing these flirty girls in their flirty outfits doing flirty things (can blowing up the enemy be seen as flirty? Well, we’ll just have to find out).
They did not know the best way to tell this tale of victory and sacrifice and bravery in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds and numbers, and it sometimes got really close to having these girls sobbing into their pillow, upset about the unfairness of life (“I broke a nail!!!!”) It also assumed that since you knew about everyone and everything, those aspects need not be touched upon, which is a bit dismissive. In the end, it was obviously obvious, so no great surprises emerged from all of this. Which is a disappointment, as one could have accomplished more with this movie than just a way to separate fans from their money.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 8 (They are a bunch of cutie-pies)
Plot 6 (Tepid and overworked)
Pacing 7 (Too many tales to tell)
Effectiveness 7 (A bit obvious in places)
Conclusion 6 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 4 (A similar show would be “Maburaho”)
Overall 6 (No new locations charted)
2 ½ stars.