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YMMV: Kantai Collection

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    Tropes Present in the Browser Game 

  • Adaptation Displacement: Initially, although not anymore. The franchise (especially Shimakaze) spawned so many doujinshi and other derivative works that people were surprised to find out that it's a browser game.
  • Americans Hate Tingle: As with any Japanese media franchise focusing on World War II, many Koreans do not like Kantai Collection. In particular, there was editorial written in the South Korean newspaper, Hankook Ilbo, criticizing Kantai Collection for the conservative political shift among young people in Japan following the long-term economic recession and political instability and glorify Imperial Japan's militarism. Japan Times wrote a counter response to such criticism stating that Space Battleship Yamato had faced similar criticism when it first aired, but had little impact in Japan's domestic politics. note 
  • Base Breaker: The January 29, 2014, update turned into this for non-Japanese players, as it made the game progressively harder to play continuously by introducing a periodic reset for the game's API link. Half of the foreign players declared it the end of the world and abandoned ship, while the other half just took it as something to get used to and a minor inconvenience at best (as grabbing a new API link every 90 minutes takes less than five minutes). However, with the periodic need to get a new API forcing countless players to log in simultaneously, the DMM log-in servers got overloaded, making the game inaccessible to almost everyone for hours at a time. The API reset was subsequently quietly removed in the emergency update that followed, much to the relief of many, and shows no sign of being reinstated.
  • Breather Level:
    • The Arpeggio event in 2013-14, being a newbie-friendly event, was this compared to the events sandwiching it (the infamously nightmarish Fall 2013 event and the Anniversary Spring 2014 event). It was the first event which consisted of only three maps, no boss health regeneration (all other events had this feature after the first two maps) and it contained only the second map in the history of the game with a 100% chance to reach the boss regardless of fleet (the May 2013 E-4 map being the first, but it was also a lot harder to clear).
    • The Fall 2014 event, which consists of again three main maps plus an "extra operations" map. Much like the Arpeggio event, this came in the wake of the Fake Difficulty-filled Spring 2014 event, and is much easier by comparison, again allowing for chip damage and no Boss HP regeneration.
  • Broken Base: There's a minority of Western fans, especially in the United States, that find the ability to marry Destroyers and other ship-girls that look to be little more than children to be extremely discomforting. This unfortunately extends to people who have never played the game or know anything about it calling everyone that does like the game a Lolicon.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: The varied fleet composition requirements native to some maps were actually put into place to avert this. Because really, it would be just so easy to make a default fleet made up of a pair of Battleships, Carriers, and Torpedo Cruisers, and steamroll nodes otherwise.
    • The PVP section is mainly this, though. A fleet of one torpedo cruiser (a high-level submarine works too, though not as effective as a torpedo cruiser), four battleships with good AA coverage, and any lead ship (the one you want to grind for Experience Points) wins against almost all other formations (even carrier-heavy ones). An exception occurs when the opponent fields an all-submarine PVP fleet, but in that case you should break out your destroyers, light aircraft carriers, and light cruisers which wins handily against them.
  • Crack Is Cheaper:
    • While Bribing Your Way to Victory is possible, it takes a lot of money to give yourself a significant advantage over the other players. Following the introduction of Large Ship Construction, trying to buy resources in real money to do LSC will turn this trope Up to Eleven. The game even warns players not to buy resources just to attempt LSC because of that. And under the marriage system, buying enough rings (700 yen each) to marry all the girls (133 as of 23 April 2014) would cost around US$900.
    • Averted for the game in general however, as it has been voted by Japanese browser gamers as the most fun-to-play and the cheapest browser game, which is one of the reasons for its popularity.
  • Crossover Ship/Intercontinuity Crossover: With Arpeggio of Blue Steel, another series with anthropomorphized IJN warships, care of the anime's endcards:
  • Demonic Spiders: Ru-class fits this bill: surprisingly powerful, pops up a lot, can hit very hard and usually included in many of the later formations.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Frankly any ship with a unique quirk or design will quickly gain a following, sometimes within hours of their first introduction in-game. And you wonder why poor Fubuki always gets ignored?
    • Despite being the villains at best and Mooks at worst, the more "human" members of the Abyssal Fleet have an unusually large amount of followers, particularly Wo-class, Re-class and Northern Ocean Princess.
  • Evil Is Sexy: The more human-looking Abyssal ships have gotten this reaction from fans, to the point where some have wished for the option to play as the Abyssal Fleet, or at least have them come over to your side.
  • Face of the Band: Shimakaze is usually the first kanmusu that comes to mind for non-players whenever Kantai Collection is discussed, due to her memorable outfit.
  • Fandom Rivalry: With Touhou, partially due to how various Pixiv artists appeared to have stopped doing Touhou fanart in favour of this game, and partially due to how the Touhou Popularity Poll made a simple question asking whether the person heard of the game. NOT helped by the fact that, during the most recent Reiteisai (an annual Touhou fan gathering), several Kancolle cosplayers "invaded" the proceedings. While this resulted in more than a little ruffled feathers, ZUN himself didn't seem to mind, and went on record to say that the two series actually work well together.
  • Foe Yay: Whenever a kanmusu is shipped with someone/something from the Abyssal Fleet. The fact that the one of the Abyssal girls, Wo-Class, has tentacles does not help.
  • Friendly Fandoms: With Axis Powers Hetalia. It probably helps that Japan's default outfit is the uniform worn by IJN officers, the fact that both series are themed around World War II, and the focus of both of the series isn't about the Japanese politics in World War II.
  • Game Breaker: The Fog ships from Arpeggio of Blue Steel, who were usable for the duration of the December 2013 event. Despite starting at level 1, Iona, Takao, and Haruna all had high base stats that rival or outright beat fully-upgraded kanmusu, and what's more the latter two had a Graviton Cannon attack that can hit all ships in an opposing fleet. Iona herself was an egregious example, as she had 70 Health, which was ridiculously high for a sub, never mind her high Attack, high Evasion rate, high Speed, and long Range. Within a day of the start of the event, there were anecdotes of players clearing whole (non-event) maps with them, and their presence in a PvP team caused a lot of headaches.
    • Submarines in general are this. It is well-known that almost any map can be "subcheesed" (submarine cheesing), saving tons of resources that would otherwise have been spent clearing a map the conventional way. (To prevent this, late word maps have insanely high enemy ASW capacity and/or a high probability to encounter a dead end if you attempt subcheesing. Sometimes subcheesing outright fails fleet composition requirements) This also meant that Iona was on two levels of game breaking. At least she didn't have the Graviton Cannon, unlike in the anime.
    • Torpedo cruisers have been overpowered as well, with an extremely strong pre-emptive torpedo strike for little cost. The nerf to Kitakami and Ooi by increasing their ammo consumption has not helped much.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Surprisingly popular in China, to the point of having its own doujinshi convention there, considering that it's a Japanese game based on World War II. It probably helped that the IJN was nowhere as involved in China as the IJA was. note 
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • Enemy carriers, be it in sorties or in PvP, used to be able to launch planes at orange or even red HP due to a bug. This created jokes on how Ryuujou should be the only carrier to be able to do that. This bug has since been fixed.
      • Many inexperienced players are shocked to see Abyssmal carriers launch planes at night, even at orange HP (player's carriers are powerless in night battle) This is not a bug but reflects Allied carrier abilities in history.
    • Taihou and Akitsu Maru used to have swapped repair times (giving Taihou the repair time of a destroyer). This used to be attributed to damage done to armored flight decks being much easier to deal with than that to standard flight decks until this was fixed about a month after LSC started.
    • Due to a quirk of the game's programming, bonuses and penalties are applied not only to your fleet, but to the opposing fleet as well. This leads to ridiculous situations where getting, for example, a T-Cross Advantage (which is supposed to increase attack damage for your ships) actually benefits the opposing fleet. And heaven help you if this happens at a boss encounter!
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: As soon as Kantai Collection got extremely popular, fanvids started popping up crossing the Armored Core series with it, due to how completely nerdy the fanbase is when it comes to mecha (that is, everybody; it eventually got it own tag called "Kan-CORE" and people have parodied the commercials for AC with Kancolle characters). Several months later, in early-mid 2014, Kadokawa announced they acquired 80% of From Software (developer of AC; it should be noted Kadokawa has had a stake in From long before this), and this made the crossovers even more popular online. Time will tell if From ends up developing a Kancolle game for Kadokawa.
  • I Am Not Shazam: Parodied; Fubuki's obscurity has led some fans to call her "Kantai" as a joke.
  • Les Yay: Unavoidable, given the huge female cast. The fact that they're based on historical IJN ships gives leave for the fandom to justify their favored pairings (much like Axis Powers Hetalia, oddly enough) — see Tenryu and Tatsuta, or Kitakami and Ooi. Canonically, in the 4koma there's also that thing with Akagi and Kaga, though this was mostly due to Aoba misunderstanding their sisterly hug.
  • Memetic Molester: Tatsuta is infamous for being this, a Troll, or both at the same time, especially to Tenryuu. Danbooru has an entire pool devoted to these tendencies, called "God Damn It, Tatsuta!"
  • Memetic Mutation: Like the Shipping, rampant. Akagi's appetite, Ryuujou's extra flight deck, etc.
    • Hirako Shock/ヒラコーショックnote 
    • 2-4-11.note 
      • Has been an Ascended Meme for a while: back in 2013, the developers collaborated with an Akibahara cafe to do a KanColle novelty cafe event, and one of the desserts on offer was the "Naka-chan Set": 2 little dishes of lime jelly, 4 slices of peach and 11 bite-sized bits of cheesecake (?).
    • Isuzu Farms.note 
    • Levels don't matter!note 
    • !すでのなnote 
    • Myoukou's and Sendai's excessively expressive mid-damaged portraits and Akigumo's arguably weird head proportion became the subjects - or victims - for many collage works by many Japanese communities, usually for humor effects.
    • Wo!note 
    • In the aftermath of the November 2013 event, by which time most of the game mechanics had been deduced, inaccurate information (such as ships sinking at orange) started to be attributed to the Wo-class aircraft carrier. Occasionally, even accurate information gets this treatment, if only to confuse those still unfamiliar with the game mechanics.
      • Became Hilarious in Hindsight when a bunch of common claims that were believed to be false and thus attributed to Wo all turned out to be true (It's safe to depart on orangenote , Are you scared? There's no proofnote , Midway is months awaynote , 50k resources is enoughnote , levels don't matternote , you are too paranoidnote ), making players question whether Wo really should be doubted.
      "I will never doubt Wo ever again."
    • "Hey, admiral! It's OK to touch, but there's a time and place for everything!"note 
    • Unicorn, from the Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn OST, has become associated with close-call event clears, after several Japanese players streaming their playthroughs of the Spring 2014 Event chose to use it as BGM, especially when things started too close to maintenance time. See this, for example, where the Admiral literally cleared the final map with mere seconds to spare before Maintenance Time. Makes the crescendo of Unicorn especially cathartic.
      • This meme was actually spawned during the Arpeggio of Blue Steel crossover event, where one Japanese streamer was using that track as he was trying to hammer that last bit health from the final boss node. He succeeds, only to get a connection error during the results screen, and upon re-connecting, he discovered in horror that the game auto-resolved the battle as a LOSS and that his ship girls' efforts were for naught.
    • By the way, Gundam and Armored Core is so frequently crossed over with Kantai Collection in fanworks, KanColle could otherwise be called ''Gundam with Ship Girls! .
    • Water Skating!note 
    • Prinz Eugen's striking resemblance to Chiyo Sakura has lead to tons of fanart drawing her as Chiyo and the Admiral as Nozaki in various scenes from the manga and anime, as well as drawing Chiyo as Prinz around the Naval Base.
    • Plasma-chan. note 
    • 70万 or 70W (both meaning 700 thousand)note 
  • Moe: All the ship girls' designs definitely lean in this direction.
  • Never Live It Down: Despite なのです (nanodesu) appearing in only one line (or two, depending on technicality) for Inazuma in the game(initially, at least; she was later given two new lines with nanodesu in it, which is still not that frequent), fanon has it as her Verbal Tic and/or Catch Phrase.
  • No Yay: People who don't like shipping the kanmusu with Wo-class often cite that the latter has tentacles, which somehow makes the yuri no longer 'pure'.
  • Sailor Earth: Averting the Featureless Protagonist / Non-Entity General phenom, doujin writers have created multitudes of diverse admirals; male and female, Funny Animals (Dog Admiral, Cat Admiral, Rabbit Admiral); Half-Dragon Admirals, Macho Admirals, Masochistic Admirals, lesbian Admirals; even Anti-Hero or Reluctant Monster Abyssal Admirals. It is accepted by the doujin community that they can all be true. ...also, Optimus Prime Admiral.
  • The Scrappy:
    • For normal ship construction (which has since spread to map drops as well), Light Cruiser Naka. This is due to her high-than-normal chance of appearing in any crafting recipe where a light cruiser is a possibility, particularly in battleship or recipes used for rare ships. Disgruntled admirals, annoyed at how their hard-earned resources went to waste, just scrap her on sight as a result. Averted a bit when she gained a second remodel (who actually has good stats, particularly against submarines), but this generally just means people just keep one, and still scrap the clones.
    • For Large Ship Construction, Light Carrier Jun'you if one is trying for Armored Carrier Taihou. Disappointed admirals joke (like on Twitter) that their "Taihous" are always drunk as a result. Same goes for Mutsu if one is trying for Bismarck or a Yamato-class.
  • Shipping (heh heh): With over a hundred female characters, yuri shipping is inevitable. Touhou girls beware, they have a real contender this time.
    • There are also pairings between the fleet girls and the Admiral (regardless of said admiral's sex), but this ultimately falls under the Admiral-Artist's personal preference. Just look at the sheer variety of Admiral-Ship pairings available in Pixiv, for example.
  • Tear Jerker: Considering these characters are modelled after Japanese World War II ships, You can find many fanarts, or even videos, that depict their fates during or after the war. If you're attached to these characters, you'd be best to prepare some tissues. For some, their sinking lines alone would be more than enough.
    • Alternatively, any carelessness that results in the sinking of your ships will cause their souls to turn into demons due to their grudge (Though there is no official mention of this and mainly depicted in fanworks, the grudge itself is mentioned in the official 4-koma, and is the main objective and reason why these ship girls are trained and, in some extent, deployed in the first place). So if they die, you're responsible in sending these girls to be your enemies in the future.
  • That One Boss:
    • The Fall 2013 event's Ironbottom Sound boss, Airfield Princess (飛行場姫, Hikoujyo Hime, aka Evil Henderson Field to Western players) is the prime offender of this trope. She has 500HP, can't be attacked by torpedoes, is accompanied by other strong mooks, and is capable of dealing significant damage to your girls enough to bring them down to low HP. Not only that, without Sanshikidan (三式弾, an anti aircraft ammo), any damage dealt to her is considered insignificant and bringing her down is going to be a lot harder than it already is. To make things worse, the stage leading up to the boss itself is entirely night based. Which means all stats, including yours and the enemy's, are severely raised to critical levels where, if you're unlucky, you're most likely going to retreat halfway for repairs, making reaching the boss itself even more of a challenge.
    • To a lesser degree, the second stage of the above mentioned event is a lite version of Ironbottom Sound. Not hard, but extremely frustrating. The only difference is that Airfield Princess actually regenerates if you don't clear the stage as quick as possible, while the boss of the second stage at least can be cleared at your own pace.
  • That One Level:
    • Okino Island Waters, better known as 2-4. It has been known to be notoriously hard, with as much as five battles in a row (which means, if you had triggered night warfare even once, you'd run out of fuel and ammo.) as well as Battleships and Air Carriers plaguing almost every node. So much that the recommended fleet composition for this stage is 4 Battleships and 2 Aircraft Carriers. note 
    • Kiss Island Shores, also known as 3-2, is only clearable with a fleet consisting of only Destroyers (anything else will redirect you north immediately, where reaching the boss is literally impossible), and you will encounter at least one enemy Elite Battleship along the way, which may or may not instantly send one of your ships into heavy damage, usually forcing Admirals to retreat to avoid their ships being sunk for good.
    • Counter Attack to AL/MI Operation, the final stage of the Summer 2014 event, became this for players who dared to challenge it due to its ridiculous combination of game mechanics (Air Power and Line-of-Sight played a huge role once again) and difficult enemies (with even destroyers that have been shown to be capable of reducing Yamato-class to less than 25% health in one hit) made it a battle of sheer attrition to even get to the boss. The boss itself was the Battleship Princess again, but to add insult to injury if the player's HQ level is lv 100 or greater, the final battle pits the player against two copies of her.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Kongou Kai 2. While the Japanese fanbase reaction so far has been positive, a lot of western fans don't think that way, and they actually prefer the old Kongou design more. Considering how Konishi's art style has been evolving, it wouldn't be farfetched to say that Kongou after her second remodernization looked far different than the old one. The change of her voice (same CV, but somewhat different tone) also provoked a (relatively) low degree of negative response.
    • When her sisters got second remodels, their new art got the same reaction from the fans, albeit to a lesser extent as compared to Kongou herself since everybody already knew what to expect. This still didn't stop grumbling at the varying quality however — for example, Haruna's 2nd remodel art is considered far far superior to Kirishima's.
      • By the time the last of the 4, Haruna, got her Kai 2 this reaction had faded away and the implementation of dazzle camouflage in an otherwise standard Kongou-class Kai 2 is broadly popular. Especially since it resulted in a surge of Panty Shot fanart to demonstrate that her panties match the camouflage scheme.
    • There was an outbreak of remarkably racist commentary in the Japanese fandom when the slightly tanned Hiryu Kai 2 dropped, with a vocal minority of Japanese players calling her a "Philippine/Indonesia Whore" just because she had a light tan. Where these people were when the actually dark-skinned Musashi happened is anyone's guess.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: Submarines in practice matches are a nuisance for many admirals. Only Light Cruisers, Destroyers and (although unreliable) Light Aircraft Carriers can attack submarines (and even then they cannot attack anything else if there's an enemy submarine), but the majority of admirals overlook their use in preference over hard-hitting, tanky Battleships and Standard Carriers. The introduction of two additional submarines in the Fall 2013 event didn't help. A subsequent update allowing the change of fleet formation during practice matches mitigates this somewhat, but even then don't expect your destroyers or cruisers to do much damage to the subs with the Line Ahead formation (the offensive formation which is preferred if the opponent's fleet is composed of mixed ship types instead of all subs), unless you have good anti-submarine equipment and no more than two submarines are present in the opponent's fleet. (On the other hand, if you did have said equipment and/or used Line Abreast (the best offensive formation against submarines, and submarines only), an all-submarine fleet meant easy experience points for destroyers and light cruisers.)
    • To add to that, ASW equipment is dirt-cheap as recipes go, although the drop rate on depth charges is admittedly on the low side. All a player needs to put together a credible anti-sub squadron is to spend about 15 minutes or so in the factory, since most players have tons of light cruisers and destroyers sitting around.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Some fans can't help but view the Abyssal Fleet sympathetically; after all, in-game they exist only to be sunk by the players' fleets. Of particular note is that the Abyssals that got the most attention from fans were the Wo-class aircraft carriers, of all things. Said vessels were also the frequent subjects of various Heel-Face Turn situations in fan depictions (the reverse is also true especially when you let your ship girls sink, at least according to popular fan assumptions anyway), not to mention being the numero uno fan favorite for couples either involving the Admirals themselves or other ship girls. It's got to the point even the official anthologies feature sympathetic Wo-class.
  • Vanilla Protagonist: Fubuki is essentially made to be this, which probably explains why she's so low on everyone's radar.

     Tropes Present for the Anime 
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Both the Admiral and Nagato are subject to this after episode 3. Are they commanders forced to make tough decisions that might result in having to sacrifice some of the girls? Or are they completely incompetent commanders that get their girls sunk for no real reason?
    • Another thing to take note is that is that this is nothing new in the fanbase, which has often portrayed admirals on the Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant (sometimes literally) scale. Imperial Japan was known to be ruthless during WW2, after all.
  • Americans Hate Tingle: The anime had hit record pre-order sales in Japan for the first volume. However, the anime has received lackluster or negative reviews internationally. This is mainly because the anime is clearly Pandering to the Base, the difficulty on accessing the browser game source material, and poor characterization.
  • Ascended Fanon: The anime 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.
    • Ashigara's desperate Single Woman Seeks Good Man Christmas Cake status is also referenced by Kisaragi, after rumors of apparently another failed mixer.
    • 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.
    • Ooi, while not too on the crazy side in game, suddenly goes on a RAEG when Naka gets Kitakami's hand (Naka's trying to get Kitakami to teach Fubuki). This may have to do with the Crazy Lesbian Ooi Bot, an actual person on Twitter who regularly Roleplays Ooi and portrays her as a absolutely mad Manic Pixie Dream Girl who only only loves Kitakami.
  • Awesome Music:
    • The song used for the opening, by Akino from bless4. Double points for sounding remarkably similar to the theme song of the Arpeggio of Blue Steel Ars Nova adaptation.
    • If the English translation of the song is to be believed, it has quite a tear-jerking theme.
  • Base Breaker: Kisaragi's sinking in episode 3 split the fanbase into several factions. Some fans don't like the direction the series is going, while others are looking forward to it. Others feel the event in question was incredibly contrived and done merely to stir up drama.
    • The fact that the bulk of the episode 3 was a Cliché Storm of generic anime death flags and it all happened nearly identically to Mami's death in episode 3 of Madoka Magica left quite a few people rather annoyed.
    • Episode 4 falls into this where the episode completely ignored Kisaragi's sinking or any form of Mutsuki's character development and focused on the comedic quirks of the Kongou sisters until the very end of the episode where both Fubuki and Mutsuki mourned Kisaragi's sinking.
  • Les Yay: To a ridiculous degree. Episode 3 alone has more "I love you"s than some franchises manage in an entire series.
  • Pandering to the Base: The first episode is pretty much twenty-four minutes of fanservice to players of the game. Unfortunately, for non-players this leads to...
    • Hype Backlash: For people coming in cold and unfamiliar with the franchise, the first episode just leads to much confusion.
    • Unpleasable Fanbase: And, to actual players of the game, there are fans who think this fanservice was overblown (too much usage of in-game lines, etc.).
    • On the other side, there are some fans of the game that feel that the anime is deviating too much from the source material (Heavy emphasis on yuri, simplification of characters like Hibiki and Ooi, etc).
  • The Scrappy: Most people are quick to blame Nagato, as she was the one in command during the mission that wound up killing Kisaragi.
  • Shocking Swerve: In episode 3, Kisaragi is sunk in the aftermath of the battle for W Island, which is a huge departure from the first two very lighthearted episodes. It doesn't help that Kisargi barely qualified as a Mauve Shirt.
  • Shown Their Work: Lots of details people would dismiss as unimportant are actually historical references.
    • The different-colored splashes from Kongou and Hiei reference the dyes used by their real-life counterparts to mark their shell impacts. In this case, Kongou's was historically red, while Hiei didn't use any dye.
    • The ID bands on the planes launched from Akagi and the other carriers correctly match the right carrier air group.
    • The Type 1 AP shell close up showed that it was correctly painted as AP as per IJN regulations, and marked as a red dye round (from Kongou).
    • The Type 99 800kg bomb dropped on the Anchorage Princess at the end was also colored as AP bombs with the grey/ white scheme.
    • The type 91 torpedo dropped by another B 5 N had the correct wooden frame (type 97 stabilizer frames) attached to the tail end.
  • So Bad, It's Good: The anime has gotten this reception for it's poor writing and characterization, yet people still enjoy watching the anime just because of that. It also doesn't help to note that the anime had Kisaragi being sunk near the end of episode 3, then completely ignored this issue in episode 4 until the end of the said episode.
  • Tear Jerker: Kisaragi's rather untimely sinking at the end of Episode 3, especially given Mutsuki had earlier promised to tell her her true feelings and never got the chance. The episode ends with Mutsuki obliviously waiting at the cape for Kisaragi to return.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The Arming and Launching sequence for the ship girls.