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Azur Lane (碧蓝航线) is a free-to-play Chinese mobile Shoot 'em Up developed by Manjuu and Yongshi, published by bilibili for both iOS and Android. It officially has Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and English (US and Canada) servers and localization — the latter releasing on 20 May 2019 after a period of open beta starting on 16 August 2018. An open beta for the SEA region had also begun on 23 August 2018.

Set (mostly) during an alternative timeline of World War II, the player takes on the role of a Commander (CN/JP:指揮官, zhihuiguan/shikikan), commanding and maintaining a fleet of shipgirls. In the midst of an earlier worldwide conflict, a mysterious enemy named the Sirens emerged from the sea, devastating the divided nations of the world and causing humanity to lose more than 90% of its control over the sea.

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Decades later, deciding to unite against this enemy and reclaim the sea, the major nations of the world allied and created Azur Lane — a worldwide military organization. During the story, what starts as a mere training drill with the USS Hornet leads to witnessing the bombing of Pearl Harbor, as the Ironblood (German) nation and the Sakura Empire (Japan) form the Crimson Axis, betraying Azur Lane and using Siren technology to attack the Eagle Union (United States) and its Royal Navy (British) allies.

However, where did the Sirens even come from? What are they really after, and why would they aid the members of the Crimson Axis? Why do they seem surprisingly uninterested in the conflict itself? And what, precisely, do the leaders of the Crimson Axis seem to know that the rest of the world doesn't?...

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A preview for a PlayStation 4 game, Azur Lane: Crosswave, developed by Compile Heart and Idea Factory, was released on 13 September 2018. A preview for an anime adaptation was released 14 September 2018.

See also Kantai Collection, which has a very similar premise with shipgirls, but entirely different gameplay.


This game provides examples of:

  • Ace Custom: Some of the carrier-based aircrafts have five star Ace Custom variants.
  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality
    • Torpedo deals less damage to lightly-armored ships. In reality, torpedo acts like a mobile mine that contains package of explosive and causes damage like HE shell (only bigger). And since lightly-armored ship takes extra damage from HE shells from other ships, torpedoes should, theoretically speaking, deal extra damage to them. But in-game, their damage modifier was reduced, possibly due to balance reasons (damage from torpedo is high enough to heavily damage a ship). There are instances in real life when the lightly-armored ships were just torn in half after taking hit from torpedoes, and bigger ships, of course, would last longer before they could be sunk or require repairing.
      • Speaking of torpedoes, you can launch them at almost point-blank range in-game. First, this is a case of Friendly Fireproof that is acceptable gameplay-wise, and second, in real life, this was an impractical practice, as most torpedoes were equipped with a delayed fuse that prevented them from detonating prematurely if launched from a close distance.
    • Ships can fight without having to worry about the wear and tear of their weapons and equipment. Fuel is the only thing that matters for each sortie. Also there is the instance of Bottomless Magazines, due to the fact that they can continue fighting even when in "out of ammo" state (just with a number of offensive stats halved).
    • All guns have fixed ammunition type. In real life, most (if not all) guns are designed to fire different shell types for different purposes. For example, for ship-to-ship engagement, AP shell would be used. For coastal bombardment, the HE shell would be selected. The "normal" shell might likely be a compromise between AP and HE shells that have both types' pros and cons.
    • Some AA guns are designed to engage both surface and aerial targets. In-game however, they will only engage enemy planes whenever they get into their firing range. Some auxiliary guns. however, have anti-air stat that contributes to the overall anti-air capability.
    • When heavily damaged, ships will look like they are burning, without flesh damage.
  • Allegedly Free Game: Defied and subverted, where the only thing one definitely needs many Gems (which are also available through quests) for are mostly vanity things like skins, Promise Rings, and dorm expansion. While the Dorm allows for automatic stat and level increases, Commissions are completely free (except for oil costs) and do the same thing too. The aforementioned oil required to start missions, do commissions, and buy food for the Dorm to increase stats and levels is also very abundant. Play Every Day is enforced, as many of the lucrative quests are refreshed daily and weekly. Players also don't want to miss any of the events, as they are very helpful to level up lower-leveled ships too as well as the opportunity to acquire very lucrative and enticing rewards, for free.
    • As well, some of the commissions actually have a chance to award the player with gems, though generally only in small amounts, ~10 - when these rare commissions come up, and if they do indeed end up dropping gems. Most players recommend saving the gems earned from these and from some missions to get the dorm expansions, as they have one significant advantage over commissions (free or otherwise): the dorm restores morale over time. Low morale lowers how much XP a ship earns from battle, while high morale boosts it. More slots allow for more ships to recover morale simultaneously.
    • If you do want to take a Gotta Catch Them All approach to recruiting ships, however, spending gems on dock expansions is mandatory. The default maximum falls woefully short of the number of characters that can join your roster, and that's putting aside having enough space to avoid having to incessantly offload duplicates mid-mission.
  • Alternate History: While several maps and events are clearly based on specific famous battles and events, some changes have been made for drama purposes.
    • "The Solomon Ranger" is supposed to be a recreation of the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, yet the second map has Mutsu as the boss. While she was really there, she historically never attacked or was attacked by enemy ships then and would only be lost to a still-mysterious turret explosion in port a year later. Also, Enterprise is shown as being on a suicidal-anger plateau of the Despair Event Horizon from the loss of Yorktown, Wasp and, it's implied, Hornet; while the Wasp was indeed struck down at the Eastern Solomons, Hornet was the carrier that relieved Lucky E and Saratoga after the pounding they took in the battle. Hornet wouldn't meet her historical end until the Santa Cruz Islands a few months later.
    • "The Hunt for Graf Spee" has the titular Graf Spee scuttling herself in the middle of the Battle of River Plate, against the Royal Navy forces. In reality, she was scuttled after making it to a neutral port looking for repairs to make her seaworthy, following said clash with British forces. note 
    • "Crimson Echoes" show us Amagi, Akagi and Kaga completed as battlecruisers and a battleship respectively, and the latter two's eventual conversion to fleet carriers due to the Washington Naval Treaty. In reality, none of them were completed prior to the Washington Naval Treaty. note 
    • "Moonlit Overture", a recreation of the Battle of Savo Islandnote  somewhat glosses over some of the details regarding Chicago and Australia's role in the communication breakdown that lead to the outcome of said battle.note 
  • Alternate Self:
    • The shipgirls that the Commander personally orders to sortie are not the same shipgirls as seen in historical events (which can be experienced in flashback events or the main story). This is why your shipgirls will occasionally comment on their ultimate fate, unlike in-story characters.
    • This can lead to some hilariously peculiar moments, depending on how your drops or gacha rolls go. For example, the final boss of Chapter 3 is Hiryuu (the chapter being Midway). The previous mission (3-3), however, features Hiryuu as a drop. It is, therefore, entirely possible to obtain Hiryuu as a drop, put her in a fleet, and then have her kill "herself".
  • Anachronic Order: The events can be problematic this way: they're side stories or additional backstory to the conflict we see and some of the individual ships involved, but unlike, say, Fate/Grand Order (where the event stories usually take place between the story chapters which bracket their release), precisely when they take place in the war jumps around in the chronology and the game expects you to broadly know your history in order to keep up.
  • Anachronism Stew: For starters, everybody speaks Chinese or Japanese regardless of side (and presumably would speak English if full English voice was considered feasible), flat screen television exists, the Coca-Cola Captain Ersatz use the modern bottle design, apparently video games (as shown in Long Island's sidequest), idol singers (as shown in Unicorn's sidequest), light novels, manga, and modern romance novels as seen in Visitors From Another Dimension (the Hyperdimension Neptunia event) exist, but all the characters are based on WWII warships and have appropriate armament for WWII warships and seem to have no prior knowledge of the events of WWII.
    • However, some lines and biographies have the ships reference things that happen later in the war, such as battles they take part in long after the start of the game, or even after the war, including mentioning their eventual fates note . This is an exclusive trait to your playable ships, as the story ones appear unaware of such things. As such, much of the anachronisms are actually explained: the majority are only seen alongside the playable ships, who seem to be living in an era post-WWII, which is explains why they have modern technology and concepts, while little to none of the anachronistic elements show up alongside the story versions.
  • Animal Motifs: Most of the IJN girls have animal features such as ears and tail or wings (with the broadest association being kitsune), while other IJN girls have Oni horns. A few ships from other nations, such as the Sims or Benson classes, also get in on the action.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Danger level: It does not make clearing stage any easier, but it does make your quest for farming shipgirls much easier in the future after clearing said stage, such as Jintsuu in World 10-4. With hard mode stages, lowering it to 0/Green and 3 starring a level allows you to just fight the boss (making farming boss only drops easier to a degree). However, expect future events to be initially harder, so it is zig-zagging here.
    • A plurality of ships can be obtained in different ways instead of just spending Wisdom Cubes and Coins on the build menu and gambling in the gacha, which really helps make every ship collectible for the average player. Many are available as quest reward drops, even up to the highest rarity and including some of the strongest in the game; as boss fights guarantee a ship drop when beat with an S ranking, even casual story progression nets numerous ships. During major story events, the signature Super Rare of the event can typically be farmed as a drop from the final mission of the story as an alternative to completing point-based goals. There are only a small number of non-event-related girls who never drop from quests, and even these have ways of being acquired that don't necessarily rely on the gacha (for example, girls like Enterprise and Warspite rotate through the Medal of Honor shop, and you can farm for ships to convert into MoHs if you really want to go for it).
    • If a ship is sunk during battle, you can quit the current battle before it ends and your fleet's health will be back to the point before said battle, at the cost of spent oil.
    • Also, you have one chance per day to fully restore a sunk ship to full health after a battle.
    • Moving over enemy fleet's "carcasses" will not trigger ambush or airstrike from the enemy.
    • Some maps feature ammo replenishment point, in which you can resupply up to three ammo to have some advantage over enemy fleet (you deal more damage to the enemy when ammo is full).
    • When refilling the dorm's supplies, the game will warn you if there isn't enough room for current supply item, so you won't waste a more expensive supply item.
    • If your oil supply is full, you cannot collect oil from the Cantina. However, you can still collect oil from missions and commissions, so it will not go to waste.
    • The game warns you that the auto-battle AI is stupid.
    • The warnings for both overfilling dorm supplies and the auto battle AI can be turned off.
    • Kantai Collection veterans rejoiced on discovering that map composition requirements are explicitly spelt out, there is no RNG in where your ships move on the map, and there is no system of "locking" your ships to an event map.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit:
    • For each fleet, you can only take 3 capital ships for your main fleet and 3 screen ships for your scouting fleet.
    • You can only take a certain number of these up-to-six-ship fleets into each map. It starts at one in the first chapter and increases from there.
  • Arbitrary Minimum Range: Battleships' and battlecruisers' main guns cannot fire at targets too near to them, though you'll only see this happen in PVP.
  • Artificial Stupidity: The AI controlling auto-battle is frankly not the sharpest tool in the shed. It often blatantly runs your vanguard into projectiles even when there's plenty of room to dodge and uses abilities as soon as the cooldown is over without regard to positioning and timing. At least the game is kind enough to warn you of this when you choose the option.
    • However the auto-battle mode is very useful for Level Grinding as your ships can be basically invincible if it's 15 levels or more against the enemy.
    • The auto-battle is the only choice of gameplay for Exercise Mode.
  • Artistic License – Military: The ranks in Exercise Mode are a weird mix and match between between proper naval ranks (Ensign, Commander, X Admiral) and army ranks (Private, Sergeant, Major) thrown in together.
  • Artistic License – Ships:
    • You can, and will, equip armaments from different nations for any ship, leading to setups like Enterprise armed with Zeroes, for example. Averted, however, for Graf Zeppelin; she has a skill that makes it worthwhile to equip her with only Ironblood aircraft.
    • Like in Kantai Collection, a fleet with carriers in the backline should realistically never get in range of enemy shells unless something has Gone Horribly Wrong. It wouldn't be much fun however if all the vanguard had to do is Anti-Air duties.
    • Just like Samuel B. Roberts in both Warship Girls and Kantai Collection, Eldridge (a Cannon-class destroyer escort) is mis-typed as a destroyer, but her stats like her speed reflect the difference.
    • Nevada states that she carried two nukes in her biography. The real USS Nevada didn't even carry one nuke. In actuality, the USS Nevada was hit with two nukes, being one of the old ships used as targets in Operation Crossroads(the Bikini Atoll nuclear tests), and was meant to be the bullseye for the first test, having been painted red to help the bombardier target it (he missed). Impressively, while heavily damaged by the second test, it remained afloat, and even being used as a target for gunnery practice failed to sink it, eventually requiring the use of an aerial torpedo to finally put her down.
    • A number of ships appear to have been mixed up with ships with the same name:
      • Comet is based off of the 1930s C-Class destroyer HMS Comet, pennant number H00. However, she mentions serving in the Far East Fleet and being fitted for mine laying, which H00 never did. HMS Comet, pennant number R26, is the one that served in the Far East Fleet and got fitted for mine laying, and was a destroyer that belonged to the 1943 C-Class, a different class than the 1930 C-Class.
      • Ark Royal says she is the Royal Navy's first purpose built aircraft carrier and served as the prototype for the ones that followed, but she's based on the carrier that fought the Bismarck, HMS Ark Royal, Pennant Number 91 (built and launched in the 1930s), which is a different ship from the HMS Ark Royal that was the Royal Navy's first purpose built carrier (which was built in 1914). As well, the 1914 Ark Royal was the Royal Navy's first purpose-built seaplane carrier, meaning it carried planes that took off and landed on water, deploying and recovering them using cranes. While it was built to be able to launch some wheeled aircraft and did carry some originally, it did not have a proper flight deck and could not recover them, meaning they had to return to an airbase to land. Despite this, they never actually launched any of their wheeled aircraft, and soon replaced them with additional seaplanes. To make this more bizarre, the Royal Navy's actual first purpose-built aircraft carrier is in the game: HMS Hermes, which was also the world's first ship to be designed as an aircraft carrier (though the Japanese Houshou launched and commissioned before her due to construction delays), and they do make several references to her being the first (she's makes mention of it in several lines, she's in the Aviation Vanguard collection alongside the other firsts).
    • That said, despite these goofs, they're also good at introducing historical footnotes that most people would not know.
  • Ascended Meme:
    • Subverted. The third English server, Sandy, was thought to be named after meme queen San Diego, but it turns out all versions had this server prior to the English release.
    • There is the special dance stage furniture item released in other areas for reaching one million downloads, which is heavily about San Diego (from her face on the screen, and the legion of San Diego backup dancers that appear when you put a shipgirl on it, to her own image song playing when it happens).
    • Her sheer amount of Memetic Mutation led to the devs giving Sandy a remodel, making her the first ever playable ship above SR/SSR rarity - Ultra Rare.
    • To a lesser degree, West Virginia, where even the character designer jumped on the "Take Me Home, Country Roads" meme bandwagon.
    • The perception of greedy Akashi made by fan is becoming more and more prominent. During the Neptunia collab, she stated that she will take her share of profit made by Neptunia girls. I will get my share of the profits you earned from this event down to the last cent. Capiche?
    • This loading screen canonizes the Egyptian Gods trio of Helena, Wichita and Cleveland.
    • The poor translation of Hornet's name as "Big Wasp Yo" led to first community jokes and now In-Universe acknowledgement (as the modern, improved translation leads to Hornet warning you to not call her Big Wasp, a "feature" that isn't present in the other translations).
    • There had been circulating a lot of jokes in the fandom about how the T4 gear boxes Shiranui sells on discount are really just T3 gear boxes she painted gold. Then as of the May 23 2019 update, they actually added an image of her repainting T3 gear boxes as a potential loading screen, confirming many people's suspicions about her practices.
  • Black Box: Wisdom Cubes. They're inherited from Siren technology and allow your ships to manifest as human girls in the first place. The purpose of the Lab and its Technology tab is to research its properties and try and decipher how they function.
  • Bleached Underpants: Several artists, both for in-game art and related media like anthology comics and such, had worked on Azur Lane hentai art and doujins before (or still do while) working in official capacity.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation:
    • The quality of the English translation early on is...poor, to say at least. Like translating Hornet's name to "Big Wasp Yo". Even after the game goes into open beta/release, the quality of translation, while serviceable, can be pretty inconsistent, including some completely unnecessary translation like translating Indianapolis' "All or Nothing" skill into "Vice Defense", even though "All or Nothing" is already in English in the Japanese version (which the English version is based on).
    • Another example is Enterprise's eagle being named God of Death in the English version, a valid translation from Shinigami, but it's clearly meant to be a reference to her VF wing, the Grim Reapers, which is also a valid translation.
    • Instead of the Free French faction being called Iris Libre like in the other versions, the English version would call the faction Iris the Liberty. According to the translation team, this was an order from the higher-up, and they aren't allowed to change it back.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • It's possible to beat even the level 70 version of the Escort Cargo challenge by simply heading straight to one corner when it starts and then moving only as little as necessary to dodge the incoming torpedoes. It doesn't look as cool as staying in the centre and trying to dance through the patterns, but is much safer.
    • In general, lower rarity ships, especially if they have a retrofit. They tend not to have as impressive of stats as their higher-rarity counterparts and with very few exceptions, have simpler and less-flashy skills, but they cost less oil to field and are easy to limit break, retrofit, and in the case of commons, are easily fed duplicates for faster gains in enhancement, and a large portion of a ship's overall power comes from her equipment. As a result, when well-equipped, low-rarity ships can still be very useful.
  • Born as an Adult: The various ship girls are born/created looking whatever age they look in game, and only grow if they receive a retrofit. This is established as canon in Little Bel's event, during which Belfast mentions that she was never a child, being born in the form seen in-game.
  • Boss Warning Siren: A giant "EMERGENCY STATUS" blares up in the middle of the screen, and the music abruptly changes into the boss battle theme.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • In the Lively Afternoon Tea Party mini-event, Inazuma tells Ikazuchi that if she stays too long in her room, her portrait in the Archives will grey out.
    • Inazuma and Ikazuchi can generally see right through it.
    • In the 4 chapter of "Visitors from Another Dimension" event, there's a lot of discussion going on about gameplay mechanics like the mood bar or running out of fuel by grinding stages. Not a surprise considering it's a crossover with the Neptunia series, where breaking the fourth wall happens very often.
  • Broken Pedestal: In "Ink-stained Steel Sakura", when Nagato asks why she can't sortie during the cutscene unlocked when opening the second phase, a mysterious voice asks her how she thinks the people will be affected if they see a seemingly invincible battleship like her hurt.
  • Bullet Hell: Pretty much every boss stage has incredibly dense bullet patterns. At later maps, even regular stages will become this. Unlike other Bullet Hell games, you are expected to tank hits, especially if your levels are far higher than the stage you are currently playing if you Level Grinding.
  • Collision Damage: Bumping your ships against the enemies will cause damage to both sides. Glowworm's main skill increases the Collision Damage she deals to enemy ships while decreasing the Collision Damage she takes.
  • Crosshair Aware: A red line will appear to show where an enemy unit's torpedoes will go. There's also red circles to warn where bombs or shells will drop.
  • Crossover:
    • There's a crossover with the Neptunia series with a few event maps, special furniture, and the ability to get the four main characters and their Goddess/HDD forms from a mix of tasks (Neptune, Vert), and construction (everyone else). Interestingly, it seems that the Neptunia crossover was just the start of their collaboration with Compile Heart and Idea Factory, with both of them being revealed as the developer of the PlayStation 4 version of the game.
    • There was a mini-event doing a bit of crossing with Armored Trooper VOTOMS, where the amphibious Marshydog AT ends up appearing with the girls having no idea what to do with it; it ends up being the prize at the end (a furniture piece that you can stick a shipgirl into to start it up).
    • There was also a cross-promotional campaign with World of Warships. Azur Lane receives six new ships based on high-tier "paper ships"note , available through the research system. On the other hand, World of Warships received fully-voiced captains and unique camouflages for certain ships that are also featured on Azur Lane.
    • There's also a somewhat unlikely crossover with Utawarerumono, specifically the latter games, featuring several of the female cast as new ships.
  • Crossover Cosmology: The Sakura Empire has strong Shinto styling, but their reverence of a solitary Creator rather than a pantheon of kamisama has more in common with monotheistic faiths.
  • Cute 'em Up: More or less. Your units are represented as cute girls fighting equally cute girls on the opposing side.
  • Cute Little Fangs: Plenty, though some girls will only show their cute fangs in chibi form, such as USS Craven or USS California.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: The Tactical Training Daily Raid features bosses with over 150 HP bars for a level 60 fight — in contrast, most flagship fights of this level hover between 30 and 50 HP bars. There's an option to pick one of three modes of attack (Aviation, Shelling, and Torpedo) to boost one source of damage to hopefully kill this boss in 90 seconds (60 if you want the full reward).
  • A Day in the Limelight:
    • The "Pursuit of Graf Spee" event features Ajax commanding a vanguard of Achilles and Exeter to intercept the titular Ironblood ship, and Ajax gets the bulk of the dialogue and character development as a tactician, overshadowing even Graf Spee herself.
    • "Crimson Echoes" revolves around Amagi and a younger Kaga, around the era of the Washington Naval Treaty.
    • "Visitors Dyed in Red" focuses on the 5th Carrier Division, Zuikaku in particular.
    • "Divergent Chessboard" revolves around the Ironblood Faction in general
    • "Strive, Wish and Strategize" features Repulse and Prince of Wales at the Naval Battle of Malaya.
    • "Solomon Ranger" focuses on Saratoga, Enterprise, Atlanta and Portland as they defend Guadalcanal in the Battle of the Eastern Solomons note  from the likes of Shoukaku, Zuikaku and Ryuujou.
    • "Winter's Crown" provides revolves mostly around Duke of York, Victorious, Belfast as they hunt Scharnhorst in Battle of North Cape, and Tirpitz in Operation Tungsten. Surprisingly, it also has a Code G cameo.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: A shipgirl running out of HP merely deducts a small amount of morale with no other penalty, contrasting Kantai Collection where they can be Killed Off for Real.
  • Decapitated Army: Defeat the boss on her node and you complete the map regardless of how many mooks or planes are left, even if they were one more shot away from destroying your vanguard or flagship. Also applies to the player in PVE, though, as you lose as soon as your flagship is defeated even if there are still healthy members of the backline around. That said, it is downplayed with the player, as the fleet will simply retreat from the battle and reform with its surviving members. It will only be removed from the mission map if the entire vanguard or main fleet is sunk.
  • Defector from Decadence: Mikasa and the 5th Carrier Division defect from the Sakura Empire and the Crimson Axis, joining Azur Lane as the New Sakura Empire, in order to oppose the sirens and the 1st Carrier Division.
  • Difficulty Spike: The SP4 stage of the Kizuna Ai collaboration suddenly forces you to fight level 80-plus enemies after the much more manageable 60-plus enemies of SP3.
  • Digital Bikini: Compared to the Japanese and English versions of the game, some shipgirls get more modest outfits for the Chinese and Korean versions.
  • Disc-One Nuke: Besides shipgirl examples (such as Ranger, who is detailed in her respective character page):
    • The SB2C Helldiver Type 3 (aka Elite rarity) is infamously the strongest Dive Bomber in the entire game for raw power despite its slow rate of fire, even above higher-rarity Dive Bombers, but it can be farmed much earlier in 3-2.
    • The Repair Toolkit Type 3 (Elite rarity) can be farmed in 3-4 (or obtained via any T3/T4 tech boxes) and gives a high chunk of effective hit points, even to the end game to destroyers. Tellingly, it shows up as a droppable item all the way back in 10-3.
    • The humble Fire Extinguisher Type 3 (Rare rarity) can be farmed even earlier in 2-3. While it's ultimately a situational item against fire damage, the fact that a blue rarity item is still commonly used late game and has decent raw HP bonus regardless of fires speaks for itself.
  • Dramatic Irony: In the Moon Rabbit mini-event, Saratoga tells Lexington that she hasn't been sunk yet. Players with historical knowledge will know Lexington was the earlier of the two to get sunk.
  • Dual Boss: Some stages, including the final battle of the Urgent Ops, throw two bosses at you at the same time.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Due to the English version trying to play keep-up events-wise with the Asian countries' versions, event cutscenes are prone to introducing players to shipgirls that haven't been made available for English version yet.
  • Easy Logistics: Oil is the only thing you need to concern when sending your ships into battles. Ammo and equipment are automatically handled, unlike Kantai Collection. Also unlike both KC and Girls' Frontline, ships are automatically and instantly repaired post-battle.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": You, the protagonist of the game and the commander of the fleet, are always simply called the Commander.
  • Evil Is Bigger: Enemy shipgirls' sprites are bigger than your own, even when using the same one.
  • Experience Booster: A number of ships have skills boosting exp for select ship types, mainly those noted for being the first of a ship class or type. An example would be Langley (Eagle Union N CVL) boosting experience for carriers.
  • Fanservice: Some shipgirl designs lean more towards this compared to the other ship games, with some designs that may make the other games' racier ones pale in comparison. Particularly infamous are Albacore's base art and Deutschland's swimsuit skin, which are so lewd that the official Azur Lane Discord won't let them be posted.
  • Fanservice Pack: A decent chunk of shipgirl retrofits will result in some combination of Overnight Age-Up, increased size in their chest armor, or less clothing. Foxhound is the best known example featuring the former two changes plus the less-common new seductive pose "upgrade" upon retrofit.
  • Fixed Forward-Facing Weapon: Averted. All guns have the Angle stat which determines how big their arc of fire is. Some smaller guns even have 360o of traverse, allowing the ship to fire behind them.
  • Flunky Boss: Almost every boss has mass production ships or another shipgirl with them, and more mass production ships may spawn if you go too long without sinking the boss.
  • Forced Level-Grinding: New ships always start at level 1. In the beginning, this isn't much of an issue, but when you're up to three fleets that are averaging around level 60, you're going to have to grind the heck out of that new ship before it becomes useful.
  • Foregone Conclusion: If you know history, you know how several fights in the main story or in events will play out.
  • Foreshadowing: If you don't know history, the game still gives you clues, like the eventual sinkings of Yorktown and Hornet note , specially if you've seen the 2nd trailer that shows a photo of the sister trio, in their younger days, with Hornet and Yorktown fading away eventually.
  • Fragile Speedster: Destroyers have the quickest movement speed, highest evasion, and strongest torpedo attacks of all the escort/screen ship classes. Such advantages are offset by generally lacking HP, armor, and gun firepower.
  • Friendly Fireproof: You cannot damage your own ships from your own gunfires and aviation.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • The game tends to play from one faction's point of view for each story, but the game won't stop you from using ships from the opposing faction as more likely that not, you'll have ships from differing faction. Similarly, the game won't stop you from using certain ships that have been canonically sunk in the story, or have ships appear in cutscenes that you don't have yet.
    • It inverts upon finding out that your ships are separate entities than the ships seen in the story. This actually comes up in Akagi's substory where your Akagi is indeed aware of this.
  • Glass Cannon: A few ship types would apply. Some torpedo-focused destroyers (Ayanami being a main example) are able to do a lot of damage but can't take much punishment in return. There are also monitors which pack a remarkable punch in their barrages but lack the armor and HP normal battleships have. Even a few heavy cruisers like Wichita have excellent attack power for their ship class but lower defenses.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: The collection system gives you rewards for acquiring and leveling related ships.
  • Gotta Kill Them All: One of the requirements to get 3 stars in each map and optionally help clearing that map more easier. Also, almost every battle will only end in victory when all of enemy ships are destroyed.
  • Guide Dang It!: Besides the formerly-hidden Luck Stat, there's also the hidden Speed stat (which is occasionally confused with Evasion). Unlike Luck, its effects are fairly well-understood if a player manages to dig up external resources to run the numbers; higher speed leads to higher combat movement and greater tactical movement on Siren-based maps. In-game, auxiliary items like the gyroscope and the improved boiler add a small amount of Speed which may seemingly due nothing, since the hidden formula depends on the average speed of the entire fleet and the individual value of each item is so minuscule, besides the whole-fleet-bonus Beaver Badge.
    • Aircraft like dive bombers have their damage based entirely on the size of their bombs, making a 3-Star Helldiver one of the most powerful aircraft in the game. A fighter's damage, also, depends on whether or not it carries bombs.
  • Historical In-Joke: The game more or less runs on this, which is what gives it such a significant Periphery Demographic of history nerds and naval warfare nerds; just about every ship has some amount of reference to its real-life history built into it, and a lot of the character stories and more humorous side stories also reference the history of World War 2 in some way (usually hilarious, for the more light-hearted stuff). This is what sets it apart from something like, say, KanColle, where the focus is much more tightly on just the IJN (it took KanColle years to add foreign navies, and they still haven't added many USN ships (the Enterprise most infamously), whereas AL is willing to be a lot more even-handed about adding vessels from various navies) and where the developers tend to paste over the details of the war itself to focus on the girls being cute (as opposed to AL not shying away at all from the trauma of the whole thing). As such, in-jokes for the individual ships would be impractical to list here and are noted on each ship's character entry.
  • Idle Animation: When the player does not drag or poke the girls, or when they are not in combat, they may exhibit some idle animation. Example would be Ayanami stabbing her sword forward, Laffey drinking her Oxy-cola, Javelin spinning her "javelin", or some married girls will throw their flowers away and then retrieve it out of nowhere.
  • Immediate Sequel: Inverted with a cutscene unlocked for "Crimson Echoes" by replaying B3 or D3 after it's completed that reveals it is an Immediate Prequel for "Visitors Dyed In Red".
  • Imported Alien Phlebotinum: Siren technology (and, of course, their mere existence) has caused the main deviation in the world's timeline in World War II and the events leading up to it.
    • The opening cutscene shows Hood being blown apart by Bismarck's secret Siren weaponry.
    • The entire premise of the game is based on shipgirls who are built with Wisdom Cubes, which are a Black Box that allows ships to manifest as humans.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Light Cruisers; being the in-between of the other two escort types, though some vary between focusing more on their guns or torpedoes.
  • Kudzu Plot: A bit; while it initially seems to be a pretty straightforward recreation of World War II with ship-girls, later story chapters, the side story events and even some of the lines from the playable ships themselves suggest that the situation is significantly more complicated, but it's left to the player themselves to piece together what it means. The general interpretation is that the player's Azur Lane is a much different entity than the historical, Allies-equivalent one and that your primary objective seems to be to prevent the Sirens from breaking history too badly.
  • Large Ham: Some skill activation lines are quite hammy. For example, Akagi will loudly announce that her love is unrivaled, Kaga will say no mercy for the weak, and so on. See their character pages for more information.
    • It is rather creepy to hear two Akagis' skill activation line at the same time in PvP with a little offset between lines.
  • Level Cap: Ships are limited to a certain level when they first drop and to go past that you need to Limit Break them with either a copy of the same ship or with a special Engineer ship. Note that doing so also increases oil consumption.
  • Level-Up at Intimacy 5: Married ships' stats will rise above the normal 6% bonus from 100 affection (needed amount to marry them), up to a 12% bonus at 200. This can be done at any level, though with how you raise affection, the shipgirl may be at a decent level by the time she gets to 100 affection. This also changes some of their lines towards you.
  • Luck Stat: Luck exists as a formerly-hidden stat that was solely mentioned in-game by Mikasa's unique Zulu signal flag equipment until a Q2 2019 UI update. While the stat's exact formula remains unknown, LCK affects a ship's chance of hitting or evading an enemy's attacks and her chance to land or avoid critical hits. Often, LCK is one of the few distinguishing factors between otherwise identical Moveset Clones. Besides its mechanical effects, it's often tied into the ultimate fate of the ship during World War II in real life, leading to lots of Historical In-Jokes for those curious enough to dig up the stats:
    • In general, ships that are sunk or scuttled during WW2 have low Luck stats (30-40s) compared to those who survive (and have 60-70 Luck). Oklahoma, Langley, and most Sakura or Ironblood ships (since they lost the war after all) hover at this low Luck stat, for example.
    • On the other hand, ships with particularly astounding battle careers or are preserved for historic purposes get much higher Luck stats — San Diego has 85, Enterprise has 93 (with her signature Lucky E skill to boot), and Mikasa has a staggering 95 with the aforementioned Z Flag bonus to hit 100. Yukikaze has an even more absurd 98 in reference to the seemingly charmed life that ship led.
    • Ships that suffer particularly disastrous fates from true unluckiness sometimes have even lower Luck stats:
      • Some ships that are among the first victims of war in their respective class have sub-30 Luck: Prince of Wales and Repulse were the first capital ships sunk by pure air power on the open sea; Kisaragi was the second IJN ship lost in WW2; Shouhou was the first IJN aircraft carrier lost.
      • Astoria, Quincy, and Vincennes have 15 Luck or less (some of the lowest numbers in the entire game, with Quincy at 9) due to their loss in the Battle of Savo Island due partially to miscommunication.
      • Spence has 20 Luck due to being lost during a typhoon.
      • Arizona, unlike fellow Pearl Harbor sink-mate Oklahoma, has 17 Luck due to being turned into an (unfortunately) environmentally-unfriendly, oil-leaking war monument.
    • PR ships always have 0 luck, as they were never constructed or finished in real life.
  • Magikarp Power: In general, everyone gets this to some degree, since the limit break mechanic unlocks fairly significant amounts of power for everyone - a 5* ship is a lot more powerful than the same ship at 2*, for example. There are, however, some standout examples in terms of broad ship classes:
    • Heavy Cruisers get this in terms of survivability. Early on they have decent firepower with poor evasion and speed but past level 100 they'll start gaining some stats like evasion in rather large amounts, turning them into something more akin to a Lightning Bruiser.
    • Backline ships are this more generally, with battleships being the most dramatic. Because of the way their volleys work, a battleship straight out of the box is going to seem like a really weak unit because it only does one shot of its guns every time you activate it (poor Repulse is infamous for giving newbies a poor opinion of battleships as a result). The first and third limit breaks cause each activation of the guns to fire an additional volley, however, so a fully-limit broken BB or BC fires three times each activation instead of one. Needless to say, when combined with the huge increase in Firepower that comes with limit breaks (battleships being ruled by their Firepower stat to a large degree) the difference between an limit broken BB and an un-limit broken one of the very same model can be dramatic.
  • Market-Based Title: Not the game itself, but the Ironblood-centric event. In the Chinese and Japanese versions, it's called "Opposite Colored", but in English, it gets the more poetic name "Divergent Chessboard".
  • The Medic: Repair ships, obviously. Not only they can equip repair cranes to passively heal your ships in battle, they also give minor buffs and provide extra ammunition/emergency repairs for your fleets.
  • Mighty Glacier: Heavy Cruisers generally have the most raw power and HP of the escort ship classes, but suffer from a low speed which might make leveling a new one up tricky.
  • Min-Maxing: Thanks to Level Grinding, it's not really required in earlier story missions but as the game progresses the enemy fleets get more and more difficult and you really need to start paying attention to fleet composition, skills and making sure your ships work off of each other.
  • Moe Anthropomorphism: Of ships, much like Kantai Collection and Warship Girls. In this case, they're literally the ships manifested in human form via Siren technology.
  • Mon: The game is basically a Mon-style game (with the ships as acting as a summonable sapient being subtype), just with only one commander acknowledged In-Universe. Well, until the Kizuna AI collaboration event that explicitly notes that Kizuna herself must've been a commander with her own set of ships that you fight in SP4.
  • Mooks: Non-anthropomorphized ships fill this role, having smaller health pool and damage output compared to shipgirls.
  • Morale Mechanic: Keeping a shipgirl in high spirits (by putting them in the dorm and making sure they don't get sunk on missions) will confer additional EXP. Conversely, a shipgirl with low morale will gain reduced EXP and can even end up losing affection toward you (although getting to this point in practical terms requires actual dedication).
  • More Dakka: Eagle Union cruisers (minus the Atlanta and Omaha classes) favor this, having a secondary gun slot instead of being equipped with a torpedo and gaining the bonus "Main Gun +1" on their second limit break, meaning that they fire their main guns twice every time they fire. Many ships across all factions also have barrage or "All Out Assault" skills that fire a large burst of shots, limited by cooldown based on either time or number of normal shots fired.
  • Multinational Team: This is the norm when building teams, especially since certain nations' ships, like Ironblood (German) ones, have much less variety compared to the massive number of Eagle Union or Royal ships.
    • And, of course, the two sides also count:
      • Azur Lane, the equivalent to the Allies, consists of the Eagle Union (the United States), the Royal Navy (the British Empire), Iris Libre (the Free French), the Eastern Radiance/Dragon Empry (a combination of the various Chinas), the Northern Union (the USSR), and the New Sakura Empire (no historical equivalent).
      • The Crimson Axis, the equivalent of the Axis Powers, consists of the Sakura Empire (Imperial Japan), the Ironblood (Nazi Germany), and the Vichya Dominion (Vichy France).
  • Necessary Drawback: All weapons have a number of stats including angle, damage, range and reload rate, such that rarely will there be any weapon that is an upgrade in every way to another.
  • No Communities Were Harmed: In a similar vein to the Chinese server for World of Warships, each of the participating nations in this game go by fictional names. In addition, all IJN ship girls are given completely fictional names in the game's Chinese server.
    • Although it is zigzagged at times, and there are variations between the translations. For example, in Fortune's English biography, she says she was transferred to the Maple Monarchy. In Japanese, she says the land of maple. In Chinese, she says she was transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy, just like in real life. Achilles, meanwhile, mentions New Zealand by name in all versions of the game,
  • No Hero Discount: As elaborated on in their respective character quests, Shiranui and Akashi are selling items and gear provided by the military to you, even though they are the exact same shipgirls that the commander can deploy on sorties. In other words, they're basically selling items to themselves (via the Commander and the fleet at large). They still justify their shopkeeping as doing a service to the fleet, and there are often (mechanical, not story-based) discounts on their wares.
  • Non-Entity General:
    • In a manner similar to Kantai Collection's Admiral, Commander is a featureless entity, who commands every action taken by ship girls during combat in all fleets present and micromanages the equipment assigned to all ships, but nonetheless interacts with the ship girls much more than most examples of this trope, being able to form relationships with and eventually marry them.
    • Moreover, cutscenes for the shipgirls' personal questlines and for some events that explicitly take place at your naval base do have the Commander interacting with the girls directly, though early on we never hear the Commander talk (though it's made clear that they do say stuff). Later questlines and events introduced a "dialogue option" system similar to other games, and often there's only one dialogue option - this is still meant to reflect "you" saying things and thus requires your input.
    • This does end up raising some questions as to precisely who we are, since it becomes clear that our Azur Lane is a much broader multinational entity than the "historical" one being observed by the Sirens.
  • No Swastikas: Ironblood shipgirls have their swastikas replaced with X symbols resembling Morden's Army. That said, Z46's head decoration comes awfully close. Furthermore, the actual faction symbol has nothing to do with a swastika and is instead a heavily stylized Iron Cross.
  • Nuclear Weapons Taboo: In the Japanese and English version of the game, the atomic bomb that USS Indianapolis is sitting onnote  has its radiation symbol replaced by some sort of angry horned face. Same goes with the collection reward furniture for the Portland class, which changes from a Fat Man model to lewd Indianapolis posters.
  • One Steve Limit: Used on the Chinese server in a few cases. Here are some:
    • Let's start with an aversion: HMS Crescent. An alternate meaning for Crescent is New Moon and thus on the Chinese server, she is listed as the direct Chinese translation, 新月. However, that sequence can be read in Japanese as Niizuki, and indeed the Akizuki-class destroyer of that name is featured in the game. However, this trope is averted simply because in the Chinese version, ALL Japanese ships are given fictionalized names in Chinese, while in the Japanese version, Crescent is rendered in katakana. An English version maintenance note actually made this mix up.
    • Neptune and HMS Neptune. In the Chinese version, the former is rendered in Chinese using a transliteration of her name (涅普顿), while the paper ship uses the Chinese translation of the celestial body she's named after (海王星, Star of Poseidon/Neptune). The Japanese version has their names nearly identical, though both girls' renderings in this version are based on different Japanese pronunciations of the same word (ネプテューヌ, Ne-pu-tuu-nu) vs (ネプチューン, Ne-pu-chuu-n).
    • USS St. Louis, and MN Saint-Louis. In the Chinese version, in order to prevent a name conflict, the French paper ship is, as her name in Chinese, named after the in-game ship's namesake historical figure, Louis IX (路易九世), the real Saint Louis.note  This is of course will not be necessary in the upcoming English version (You can clearly see a different spelling), and is unnecessary in the Japanese version due to different pronunciations of the same historical figure for each ship. Notably, the French ship uses the French pronunciation of her namesake's title (Sant-Luis).
    • Averted with USS Juneau and HMS Juno, as no such measures were taken in the Japanese version, where both of them appear with the same katakana sequence (ジュノー). The Chinese version at least makes a distinction by rendering the American cruiser phonetically, and rendering the British destroyer, just like in the case of HMS Neptune, using a direct translation of the Greek deity she's named after.
    • The Pallada-class cruiser Aurora is listed in English as Avrora, directly from the Cyrillic for her name, to avoid a name conflict with the Arethusa-class light cruiser HMS Aurora. This is carried over for her entry for the Azur Lane collection in World of Warships, even though the ship itself is listed in-game as Aurora, and while HMS Aurora is also in that game, she appears in her PLAN Huang He guise.
  • Play Every Day: The game gives you rewards for logging in each day. For the first week of playing, there is a separate set of log in bonus that gives Prinz Eugen when completed. In the middle of the monthly log in rewards sheet are destroyer ships generally not available for the time being (past ones have been added to the normal construction pool).
  • Power Equals Rarity:
    • Rather zig-zagging regarding ships. Often, high rarity ships perform better than their lower rarity peers, but with an oil price to match, with some exceptions. On the other hand, some low rarity and common ships can outshine their rare sisters, such as USS Ranger (if RNG favors her then she can theoretically deal near-infinity damage), or be more useful and more cost-effective, like the HMS Leander (a valuable support piece in a cruiser or HMS fleet, even in the end-game) or the USS Cassin and USS Downes (very cheap to use and very resilient due to their self-healing nature), as player should manage their oil supply well if they want to grind their account. Still, a common theme is that purple (Elite) and golden ships (Super Rare) are usually highly appreciated and sought after more than teal (Rare) and gray (Common) ones.
    • Equipment also zigzags this trope. One notable aversion is the Helldiver listed under Disc-One Nuke; the community finally, decisively figured out that the lack of a gold border doesn't stop it from blowing its competition out of the water in raw Dive Bomber power. Several weapons are also competitive with higher rarity ones (such as the purple Twin 120mm Main Gun versus the gold Twin 127mm MK12 Dual Gun) or outright superior to competitors (the best Battleship weapons have been the purple Triple 406mm MK6 Main Gun and the 410mm "Twin" Mounted Gun) until various prototype weapons at higher rarity were released, over a year since the launch of the game, to play the trope straight.
    • Played straight with Retrofits. These power upgrades on ships increase their rarity, so a common Leander gets a teal (rare) border, for example. The only exceptions are the more controversial Retrofits that completely change a ship's functionality (such as converting a battleship to a partial carrier) and may make synergies more difficult.
  • The Power of Love:
    • Enforced. Girls with high affection towards the player (up to a certain threshold) will have their stats increased. Maximum bonus is 12% when reaching 200 Affinity (after swearing the oath).
    • Some of the gloomier shipgirls cheer up noticeably at high affection levels.
  • Punny Name: Kansen, the proper term for the ship girls is this, twice. First, it's a Shout-Out to Gundam SEED's own G.U.N.D.A.M OS, and the 2nd as a wordplay on Senkan, the Japanese word of battleship.
  • Random Drops: As a Gacha game, everything is pretty much set up this way. It's a little more forgiving than average:
    • There is a traditional Gacha currency in the form of Wisdom Cubes (which is given generously on a daily basis) to build new ships from a giant pool. The typical rate is 7% for a Super Rare ship, 12% for an Elite, 51% for a Rare, and 30% for a common.
    • The maps in which combat take place also have a chance to drop ships, equipment, and other resources. A good plurality of ships are available without even touching the build menu. There are even several ships, including some SR ones, that are obtained only from drops in maps. The extreme end include Akagi, Kaga, Yudachi, Maya, and Choukai, who are obtainable from a single map each with user-polled rates of 0.75% per attempt.
    • To downplay this trope, there are two types of Bulin ships that aren't intended to be used for battle, but are usable in place of a copy of the same ship to Limit Break and increase the Level Cap and stats. Several Bulin are given every week as part of simple Play Every Day quests, with an additional weekly purchasable supply in the Medal Exchange, no randomness required.
    • Several ships, including SRs such as Warspite and Takao, are also purchasable through the Medal Exchange to bypass the randomness factor.
  • Rare Random Drop:
    • Drop-only ships, especially SR ones. Akagi and Kaga, for example, are a pair of deliberately meta-defining Super Rare carriers commonly seen in PvP and some of the most famous aircraft carriers in history. They are only obtainable from defeating the boss of chapter 3, stage 4 (at about a .75% chance per run of getting either one).
    • The ship-building pool gradually grows as events run their course and event-only ships — which are themselves a style of Rare Random Drop since they're advertised as appearing for only a limited time, though at above-average individual rates — are added to the pool without an associated rate-up. This means that certain individual ships are obtainable only from the build menu, and at a terribly small chance even if they're advertised as "common" or "rare" rarities.
  • Real Event, Fictional Cause: The sinking of Hood in the prologue by Bismarck in a single shot really did happen, but while it was a consequence of thin armor plating in reality, here it's caused by secret weapons supplied by the mysterious Sirens. World War II seems to be precipitated by the Sirens in the first place, as the betrayal of Azur Lane and the formation of the Crimson Axis is very sudden.
  • Redemption Demotion: On higher levels, many of the shipgirls you encounter have special attacks, but if you acquire them they don't have those same attacks, and of course, they start at level 1.
  • Regional Bonus: The Japanese version of the game has gotten a few events and shipgirls before China and often having easier versions of events that ran in China, overlapping with Difficulty by Region some. This has decreased with time with events being at the same general difficulty, though it does get a few unique events still.
    • English ver: Lower difficulty for Fallen Wings (to make up for not having the ability to increase the final level cap)
    • Japanese ver.: Votoms collaboration mini event, Arte Akihabara mini event, Nico Nico Skin for Ayanami
    • Chinese ver. : Bilibili shipgrils, Bilibili skins for Javelin and Laffey, Lawson Mini event (though this may become available to Japan in the future)
  • Relationship Values: Each girl has an "Affinity" level with the player, ranging through Upset, Stranger, Friendly, Crush, and Love. In most cases their lines at each level reflect them growing to like the player more. While several of the Japanese aircraft carriers are Yanderes who are blatantly obsessed with the player from the start and instead their lines indicate the opposite, that the player is becoming more affectionate to them with each increase in Affinity level.
  • Science Fantasy: You have the high-tech production ships and planes of the Ironblood and Sirens, the futuristic technology of the Sirens, and the Memory Cubes making the game seem to fit into the realm of Science Fiction… but you also have stuff like the Royal Navy's York-class being able to use magic, Vampire and Duke of York being vampires, Centaur being an elf, Nagato and the Sacred Sakura Tree, a number of carriers that seem to use magic to conjure their planes from cards, paper, or fire, various ships being a Little Bit Beastly, Oni, or non-vampiric undead, and Grenville having a pet griffon skewing things towards the fantasy side.
  • Scunthorpe Problem: The English version's chat censor isn't exactly the best. Examples include:
    • Censoring the "ass" in "class"... in a game about warships of various classes.
    • Censoring the "pedo" in "torpedo"... again, in a game about warships that use both ship-launched and air-launched torpedoes.
      • Both of these can be circumvented by putting any form of punctuation at the end of them.
    • Strangely, the word "shit" isn't censored at all.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • Despite being a game well known for its fanservice, it contains a lot of historical accuracies, in many cases as Historical In-Jokes, be it something as small as Hood having failing eyesight, which is a nod to Hood mistaking Prinz Eugen for Bismarck in their fated encounter on the Denmark Strait, to whole Battles like in stage 3 - Battle of Midway - where the order of the flagships matches the historical records in which the Japanese carrier fleet was sunk (Kaga, Akagi, Soryu and Hiryu) and, of course, Yorktown's demise at the end of said stage. That said, they've also committed quite some goofs, as seen in the Artistic License entry near the top of the page.
    • Even some of the commission names get in on this. One potential one in the English version is "BIW Gear Transport". BIW is a common initialism of Bath Iron Works, a famous shipbuilder in the US, considered to be one of the best American shipbuilders during the Second World War, who have built a huge number of ships for the US Navy, primarily destroyers.
    • The Beaver Squad respects the origin of the destroyer squadron's true nickname (the Little Beavers, referencing the Native American character Little Beaver in the Red Ryder comic strips) with a featured cap similar to those found in a war bonnet. Of course, a literal beaver is cuter as a logo for the in-game unlockable item than an angry man with a bow, who is the squadron's true mascot.
  • Smart Bomb: Air raid is a downplayed version of this. An air raid will always clear the screen of enemy projectiles (including torpedoes), but whether or not it wipes out everything on-screen depends on how many planes are in it, how powerful they are, and the carrier's aviation stat.
  • Spaceship Girl: Wisdom cube technology actually lets ships manifest as human girls. They can still equip their rigging and guns and float on water, but otherwise they function as normal human beings with a few ship-related quirks off-duty (notably, there's still a building called a Canteen that serves oil, even though they can eat human food just fine).
  • Spice Up the Subtitles: Used liberally in some of the newer English translated content. Profanity, memespeak, and occasionally contextually nonsensical references abound. In some cases it generally works well (the Kizuna AI crossover was basically built for this kind of treatment, and the game already has assets such as the "deal with it" shades to encourage meme overload), in other cases it's a bit more debatable.
  • Spread Shot: Certain guns and all non-homing ship-mounted torpedoes behave this way. Some trade off range for huge close-range damage potential.
  • Stalker Without a Crush: The Commander resorts to this in Shiranui's Questline just to find out what she's up to and what she's like.
  • Starter Equipment: Ships themselves typically come equipped with two items of poor quality (Common or Rare) so they have something to fight with until the commander remembers to give them proper equipment for all five item slots. If it's a destroyer or torpedo boat, they get a main gun and a torpedo; gunboats and battleships get a main and secondary gun; aircraft carriers might get second aircraft or an anti-air gun coupled with a primary aircraft. These items may be useful for stripping off to fully equip a new player's fleet, but quickly become obsolete.
  • Starter Mon:
    • The classic example of the trope occurs in the beginning: Commanders start the game by picking one of three Elite-rarity ships that are usually Cast Herded as the starters across national lines. The choices are Laffey for the Eagle Union and Javelin for the Royal Navy in all three servers, and Z23 for Ironblood in the Chinese and English servers or Ayanami for the Sakura Empire in the Japanese server. You can unlock the fourth ship in either version by getting the other three and uncapping them. All four ships are bundled together in maps, which will always have a chance of dropping any of the four (once the fourth one is unlocked) if they drop at all. All of them besides can be retrofitted and upgraded to endure well into the endgame.
    • The beginner rewards questline gives Portland, a fairly strong Rare heavy cruiser who, like the starters, receives a substantial boost with a retrofit.
    • Prinz Eugen is given as a seven-day-streak log-in reward, and is often a new player's first SR ship as well as a strong heavy cruiser for diversity. She isn't that offensively strong, but she's an utter cockroach, and is able to survive a player making a lot of dumb newbie mistakes that would get other ships killed.
    • Saratoga can also count for many players. She's a reward for purchasing Gems for the first time. While that might make her seem like a "pay to win" unit... she's a reward for your first Gem purchase of any sort. That includes the $.99 pack. Needless to say, one buck barely even registers on most people's pay-to-win radar, and she's a very common pickup, especially since she's also extremely useful.
    • While the prior examples are strong ships throughout the game, the cheaper variant of this trope occurs with two Rare-rarity ships. In all three versions, you will also get Long Island as your back row ship at the start, and then Repulse as your first battleship (actually a battlecruiser) as a quest reward very early on to function as Crutch Character backline ships.
  • Stone Wall: There are some heavy cruisers that have more HP and/or stronger defensive skills than most but lack either offensive stats or skills. Prinz Eugen is a prime example of this as she has HP that rivals Battleships but her offensive stats are rather low for a SR/SSR.
  • Stop Poking Me!: The ships have two kinds of pokes: normal (areas besides the chest) which they generally don't mind, and 'special' (the chest) which gets a mix of reactions, some angry at it being done at all, some angry you're doing it in public, and a few Unique ones, like Akagi who is generally eager for the commander to continue.
    • The Live2D secretaries (the starters, Akashi, and Yukikaze) have three areas (Head, Chest, anywhere else) with different animated reactions.
  • Stupid Jetpack Hitler: Nazi Germany's equivalent, the Iron Blood, have some of the most high-tech looking ships, with most of them appearing to have mechanical limbs on their riggings (or mechanical shark heads), and use the same production model ships as the Sirens, most of which are sleek, black, covered in Tron Lines, and look like the love-child of the Sea Shadow, USS Zumwalt, and a giant mechanical shark, as well as using the same aircraft as the Sirens when faced as enemies, which look like a mix between an SR-71 and a Quinjet.
  • Suicide Attack: Suicide bomb boats will self-detonate and damage your ships if you fail to destroy or evade it in time.
  • Super Prototype: Prototype Rare ships have markedly superior stats over the rarest ships in their respective categories, and they come with extremely powerful skills to boot. In exchange, they require massive time and resource investment to obtain, not to mention powering them up.
  • Tell Me How You Fight: Discussed in Ink-stained Steel Sakura, where Mikasa tells Nagato that one battle reveals character better than a thousand words.
  • Trapped in Another World: Discussed in the Kizuna AI collaboration event, where Kizuna finds herself in the world of Azur Lane:
    Ikazuchi: I see, I see! So this is that "summoned from another world" trope!
  • Video Game Caring Potential: Your ships start off as subordinates but gradually learn to trust, like, and then love their commander. This even culminates in marriage. They get gameplay bonuses at each stage of their relationship, encouraging healthy relationships with commanders who give them reasonable time off, let them serve when they are motivated with a good mood, and keep them alive during sorties.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • For intentional comedy or otherwise, destroyers are mostly little girls, from kindergarten kids like the Mutsuki sisters to other elementary students, and are among the youngest girls in the entire base. They fight exclusively on the front line, serving as the vanguard along with light and heavy cruisers, bearing all damage before "it comes to backline".
    • Negative affinity does exist for those who truly despise certain ships. Players can repeatedly send her into battles to decrease her mood, give her poor or no equipment, make her the only vanguard (or backline) ship and take all the damage, and get her sunk more often to decrease her affinity.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: What Crimson Echoes essentially is, with Kaga having said flashbacks during the climax of Five Minutes of Fate at the Battle of Midway.


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