One of the roles of Sumire Uesaka in this game is the Fubuki-class destroyer. Not exactly important at first glance, but remember that "Fubuki" is Japanese for "Blizzard". Which brings to mind the Red Baron moniker from another character she played: Nonna from Girls und Panzer.
Ascended Fanon: The anime adaptation takes some in-jokes from both the fandom at large and some of the spinoffs and canonizes them.
Akagi's Big Eater status comes front and center, after Fubuki witnesses the huge platter of katsu (or bauxite) curry she ordered. Kaga gets foisted with this as well come episode 6 (while her serving appears twice as large as Akagi's, it's likely that Akagi was halfway through her plate).
Inazuma's "nanodesu", despite not being used often in the game proper, turns into a proper Verbal Tic, used in all but one of her lines in Episode 2 and it gets over-killed in Episode 6 with about 17 instances of it — the most of out all Verbal Tic-using characters in the episode. And only second to Yuudachi's "Poi~" throughout the entirety of the anime.
Zekamashi, one of the fan nicknames for Shimakaze, gets used by Kongou in episode 4.note It comes from how her name is written on her gun cannons, with the hiragana going right to left as was common at the time.
Raiden, a fan nickname for Inazuma and Ikazuchi, also gets used, again care of Kongou in episode 6.
Nagato displaying a much less serious, far more cutesy and goofy side while in private, as shown in episode 8. Mutsu even teases her about it at the end of the episode.
After Haruna's second remodel had her with dazzle camouflage, some fans started joking that she wears striped panties. Cue official art confirming that yes, she does.
Iowa is frequently paired with Kongou in fan art due to their similar personalities. In the browser game, one of her hourly lines has her expressing admiration for the Kongou sisters.
Some fan artist have drawn Asashimo with shark-like teeth. Her Fall 2016 finally shows that she indeed has sharp teeth.
Many fan artists of both sides of the Pacific has drawn KanColle-styled American Fleet Carrier girls as wielding guns instead of bows or scrolls. The first USN Carrier of this game, Saratoga, does end up wielding a gun to launch planes (an oversized Thompson SMG to be exact).
Several fanworks depicted Houshou running an on-base izakaya pub, before Chitose finally got an hourly voice line inviting the Admiral for dinner at "Houshou's shop". It's not stated what kind of shop this is, but given that Chitose is a known Bottle Fairy, the odds are pretty good that it's exactly what people were expecting.
One for the English dub of the anime: A voice actress named Megan Shipman gets to do the role of KanColle's poster girl, Shimakaze.
Elizabeth Maxwell's casting as Nagato also comes off as this, taking into account that she also voiced Fuuka's Sara Iwami, the Fallen Moon guitarist who, prior to her introduction in the said story, was known through the twitter handle "Yamato Admiral".
Originally intended to be a niche game catering mostly to the military otaku population with a modest budget and minimal advertisement, its popularity experienced a huge surge after its players (including, among others, KohtaHirano, whose Heroic B.S.O.D. on Twitter is most commonly cited as the main reason for the popularity surge) spread the word on Twitter and/or Pixiv.
Kisaragi's appearance in the anime and being sunk in episode 3 has resulted in loads of fan artwork of just her, when before she mostly showed up in group artwork or as a background character.
Development Hell: KanColle Kai was originally scheduled to be released sometime in 2014. Then it was pushed back to spring 2015. Then to November 26, 2015. Then to February 18, 2016. To add insult to injury, the final delay was announced one month before the scheduled release. While it was finally released in February 2016, many fans fear that the repeated delays have hurt the game's chances. That worry turned out to be unnecessary, as the franchise's sheer popularity have made up for its shortcoming well enough to becoming one of the top-selling PS Vita game at its release.....until it was pulled from both store shelves and from the PSN Store just over a year later.
Night-battles - Often used as a double entendre, and adopted because of the teasing way some shipgirls themselves use the term. Heavily popularized by Sendai, through her dialogue lines.
Displacement - Fanmade description for breasts; the greater displacement, the better. Though there have been some certain exceptions (some of the flat-chested carriers) and inversions for that matter (some big-chested Destroyers). "Fuel Tanks" are seen as an alternative term.
On the same note as Displacement, shipgirls' body parts are often referred by the ship's equivalent; bow for head or hair, stern for butts, rudder for legs, torpedo bulge for body fat, horsepower for musculature, etc.
Fanwork Ban: Kadokawa has prohibited fangames of KanColle from being made. This was first known back in 2013, but whether they have relaxed the ban since then is unclear.
Warship Girls is Chinese game for the Android with a similar premise like Kantai Collection. However, unlike Kantai Collection which features mostly WW2 IJN warships, Warship Girls features WW2 Warships from all sides of the War, and is also slated for an English release, which debuted at E3 2015. However, as of July 2016, due to bad blood between developer moeFantasy and distributor Patch Games, plans for an English version have been put on hold.
In the US, another Kantai clone is Victory Belles, an upcoming Free-to-Play rpg collection game & warship sim for the Web and iOS by American developer Black Chicken Studios. Victory Belles takes it Up to Eleven for not only having all WW2 Warships from all sides but having the ship characters voice by actual voice actresses from their respective countries (eg. British ships voiced by British voice actors and Russian ships voiced by Russian voice actors.), thus averting Fake Nationality.
In general, the game's success led to several other Card Battle Games involving Moe Anthropomorphisms fighting for the player to be hosted on DMM, such as Touken Ranbu, Shinken!! and Flower Knight Girl. However, Touken Ranbu is the only one of these to become anywhere near as popular as KanColle, while Flower Knight Girl is available outside of Japan via Nutaku.
Irony as She Is Cast: Sumire Uesaka is well known as a Russophile, yet the role of Verniy was given to Aya Suzaki. The official 4koma has Fubuki (whom Sumire Uesaka voices) communicating with the suddenly converted Verniy (Hibiki's second remodel) with (supposedly) good Russian, only to reveal that Verniy cannot really speak Russian apart from rudimentary words.
This became Hilarious in Hindsight, with the reveal that Sumire Uesaka will be voicing Hibiki/Verniy's Warship Girls counterpart, as well as two other VMF vessels (Kirov and Reshitelny).
Meme Acknowledgment: When the JMSDF introduced the helicopter destroyer Kaga (DDH-184), fans made a lot of art of her namesake in JMSDF uniform or with modern equipment. When she had an open house event in July 2017, official depictions of a modernised KanColle!Kaga were put on display on board the ship.
Played With in the official 4koma. One possible reason why Fubuki is able to speak fluent Russian (as mentioned in the Irony as She Is Cast above) is because a previous incarnation of Fubuki (a Harusame-class destroyer) was active during the Russo-Japanese War.
Amagi shares her name with the unfinished and ultimately scrapped battlecruiser Amagi, who was historically Akagi's sister ship. Some fanartists portray Akagi fawning over Amagi as a result of that, while in 4koma it goes with 'confusing linage' gagNote Unryuu-class girls are technically Hiryuu's children, and it was previously noted that Akagi and Hiryuu are cousins..
No Export for You: The only way to play the game is to register on the Japanese-language segment of the DMM website, which itself is inaccessible to non-Japanese IP addresses. This means to even register for the game, a prospective non-Japanese player will have to jump through a lot of hoops to do so (usually by using VPN), never mind getting to play the game, which then requires newly registered members to win a lottery for one of the limited slots per server. And competition is steep for server slots.
The January 29, 2014 update was a rude awakening for many foreign players, as the most prevalent method used to play the game (the API link) no longer worked, since DMM had the game purge its API lists every 90 minutes. This meant that anyone who wanted to play via API was now essentially playing on a timer, and they had to hop on VPN to renew their API link when the time was "up". The other choices were playing on the VPN full-time, which carried its own associated risk, mainly a chance of getting banned for using a single IP (as DMM would technically see a single IP used by multiple accounts), or purchasing a private VPN to play the game on. In any case, this caused a lot of grief for non-Japanese players, causing some of them to drop the game outright rather than face the hassle of renewing every hour and a half. However, said API renewal forced a lot of players to log in simultaneously, overloading DMM's log-in servers, and essentially making the game inaccessible to everyone for hours on end. It was quietly removed in a subsequent update.
As of late though, API links are no longer a concern. A not-so-recent method involving cookie editing allows any foreign player to play the game properly. API links have also become less viable anyway due to them locking after a set time starting from the 2015 October 9 update (initially 10 minutes, now 2 hours). The lottery was also scrapped when the considerably larger Hashirajima server came out.
Since Koreans hate this game (although it still has a fan community), the anime series is not available on Koreanote Aniplus, a Korea-based TV channel, released the KanColle anime only in Singapore and Indonesia and not in their own country. It isn't available in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Merchandise from this game isn't available in those countries, too.
However, in Singapore and other Southeast Asian countries, basically territories which suffered greatly under Imperial Japan, merchandise and cosplays of the game's various ship girls are rather popular.
Permanent Placeholder: When the marriage system was first announced, it was called kekkon kakkokari (ケッコンカッコカリ), which means marriage (temporary) and implied that "marriage system" was just a placeholder name. Kekkon kakkokari would later go on to be the official name of the system on implementation.
Jiji, the artist for the Italian ships, has done fanart of the game before. Just don't look for it at work.
Later articles also revealed that Shuu Uchida (Warspite's seiyuu) also played KanColle long before joining the cast; she even has Murasame as her "shipfu".
Schedule Slip: In general, anything the developers announce they plan to add can take a long while to be added.
Some fleet girls representing ships from the IJN, the Kriegsmarine, and the Regia Marina, that actually existed during World War II have yet to appear in the game. The most blatant case thereof would be that involving Shinano: Kadokawa had already released Alpha Art of her in supplementary materials ''way back in 2013'', but she has yet to make her appearance as of 2017. And with the successive debut of foreign Navies (currently at Four, the latest being the Russian Navy during the Spring event), and the introduction of more unique ship variants like the coastal defense ships and escort carriers, for starters, the wait is expected to become longer. To add insult to injury, Warship Girls beat them to it, introducing their own interpretation of the said ship.
To put into context the effect of the said trope on Shinano, Graf Zeppelin and Aquila (Both heavily unfinished carriers compared to the roughly-finished IJN supercarrier) were released in the Fall 2015 and Summer 2016 events, respectively, and were not even mentioned in early supplementary materials to boot.
Some of the supposed reasons for the delay in her introduction, happen to revolve around how to balance her in-game statsExplanation She was historically converted from a Yamato-Class Battleship hull, which resulted to her having quite a lot of space for a massive Air Wing and ridiculous hull armor for a carrier as a result, though she was built as more of an Aircraft transporter than an Aircraft carrier; even her actual air wing was pretty dismal for carrier standards, one of the unique Aircraft she was designed to carryNote The Yokosuka MXY7 Ouka, which was, for all intents and purposes, a jet-powered, flying Suicide Bomber, and the fact that she was planned as an End-Game reward (alongside her half-sisters) had the game itself not taken off like it did.
When the Shoukaku sisters were given their second remodels, the developers promised they would be able to operate jet aircraft. To further the hype, the Ne Type Engine was released as part of the November 2015 ranking rewards. However, for over a year, there were no jets available. Considering the case with Shinano, to add even more insult to injury, Warship Girls introduced its first jet aircraft, the Yokosuka R2Y2, into the game in Summer of 2016. Jets finally made it into the game in December of 2016 with the introduction of the R2Y2 (Jet version of the Keiun), and Kikka.
Shrug of God: The developers are ridiculously closed-lipped about the origins of both the player-controlled fleet girls and their opponents, the Abyssal Fleet, which leads not only to fans making their own theories, but even to the official print spinoffs not agreeing on where they came from.
Sleeper Hit: The game was originally meant for the very niche market of military otaku, but thanks to some Colbert Bumps from big names in the manga and anime industries (the most notable example being Kohta Hirano's epic meltdowns about the game on Twitter) it got a lot more popular than intended.
Talking to Himself: With Loads and Loads of Characters and only a limited pool of voice actresses, a lot of conversations in the anime tend to become this. Averted for the English dub of the anime, where individual voice actresses are assigned to one ship girl, as opposed to multiple ship girls of the same class, taking advantage of Funimation's larger talent pool.
Trolling Creator: The game's lead developer, Kensuke Tanaka. At times, one can't tell whether what he did was a genuine mistake or completely intentional. (If he fixes it. If not, it's probably intentional. Probably.) Comparisons to SerB have been aplenty, as a result. Apart from the Schedule Slip entry, here are some of the infamous instances:
Affirmed that ships did sink at orange (50% or less health), while the sinking mechanics were still uncertain. It took further testing to discover that ships were only at risk of sinking at red (25% or less health).
When the Autumn 2013 event was extended, he added a new ship, Yahagi, to the drop pool of the E5 boss. Some players who had cleared the event before the extension were not pleased. Then less than one month after the event ended, she was part of the starting LSC pool when it was implemented, available using the minimum recipe. Naturally, those who spent resources farming for her were even less pleased.
During the Summer 2014 event, ships used in the AL maps were locked out of being used in the MI maps. However, the last map, E6, was not known to lock out all ships used in the first 5 maps, until frontliners first got there and found that they couldn't use their best ships there, as they had already been locked in earlier maps.
In the buildup to the Winter 2017 event, the devs tweeted that one needed to prepare at least 2 saiun for the Winter 2017 event, if you wanted to tackle the latter half of the event on anything other than easy. What was not specified was that you not only needed to consume one saiun and 20 development materials for each of two attempts, it was simply wasted if your attempt failed, potentially making you need more. Some players were not pleased.
Vapor Ware: Of all the fleet girls introduced since 2013, including supplementary materials, Shinano is the one who falls squarely in this trope. see Schedule Slip entry.
The temporarily playable Fleet of Fog ships. Let's just say, if the marriage(temp) system, which was confirmed for eventual implementation before the Arpeggio event started (and was eventually implemented some time after it ended), with the concept for it being leaked out some time before that, had instead been implemented before the event started...