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Video Game / KanColle

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Your orders, my Admiral?note 

What if the most famous warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy woke up one day to find out that: A, they'd been granted sentience, and B, they'd been placed in the bodies of Japanese girls? Well, KanColle intends to answer that question.

Kantai Collection (艦隊これくしょん (Combined Fleet Girls Collection; lit. Fleet Collection), abbreviated as KanColle/KanKore for short) is a free-to-play browser Card Battle Game developed by Kadokawa Games and hosted at DMM. The original intention of this game was to have a joint product between the two companies as an experiment outside of DMM's natural habitat, but the really small investment in advertising led the game into complete obscurity by the time it was released in April 2013. The only other major reason the game was even made was because it was supposed to appeal to Imperial Japanese Navy Otaku, which is a really small fanbase.

Then some personalities from the manga and anime industry took tentative notice of the game, partly due to the designs it used for its characters, and partly for the voice cast hired to voice these. Said personalities shared their experiences playing the game via social media like Twitter, which led to more people getting interested in the game... And the rest was history.

Since release, it has experienced a massive surge in both exposure and popularity, with around 800,000 registered users as of September 2013 alone, a million users come October, and two million users as of May 2014. The massive growth of the fandom surrounding it has given rise to comparisons to the Touhou Project, particularly among Pixiv users.note 

The gameplay is centered upon a card battle game, with individual characters represented by various cards with different attributes. Each of the characters are moe anthropomorphisms of World War II naval warships which are depicted as cute girls, known as "Fleet girls" (艦娘, kanmusu, literally "ship girl"). These personified warships are based on real-life vessels which are explained in detail within the game; the physical characteristics, appearances and personalities of each of the girls correlate in some way to the real-life vessel (for example, ships with a larger displacement tonnage are often depicted with larger breasts, with the notable exception of a few aircraft carriers...and oddly enough a few cruiser-and-below ships who get depicted with large breasts). The player takes on the role of an admiral (提督, teitoku), who can be either male or female, and organises their fleets in battle in order to win. Combat is largely automated, and manual actions by the player include micromanagement such as building, repairing, and equipping shipgirls.

While the Kancolle does not have an official canon to tie all its plots together, the loose story revolves around monstrous alien ships called "Abyssals," which invade and take over Earth's oceans, destroying any ship or aircraft that attempts to traverse them. To defend against the Abyssals, "Ship girls" are created—essentially, fighting ships from World War II reincarnated as girls, who posses magical powers and more than enough firepower to take the fight back to the Abyssals themselves.

An arcade spinoff by SEGA's AM2 division underwent location tests in early 2015 and was released in 2016.

Not surprisingly the series has spawned a large number of official print spinoffs, serialized in different magazines (Comic Clear, Comptiq, Dragon Magazine, Famitsu, Monthly Comic Alive among a few).

    The Manga spinoffs 
  1. Fubuki Will Do Her Best!
    • The official manga most people will be familiar with. The 4koma follows Fubuki as a new recruit in the Fleet Academy. There she learns the basics about being a newly-minted ship girl, though most of the time she just gets exposed to the eccentricities of all the other girls attending the academy with her, especially the seniors.
  2. KanColle Play: Kankan Biyori
    • The series running in Famitsu, again with Fubuki as its lead. The comic serves as an introduction to some of the gameplay aspects of the game itself... with a penguin standing in for the player Admiral.
  3. Someday As The Seas Turn Calm
    • Slice-of-life vignettes focusing on a different ship girl per chapter, each concluding with the featured ship girl's modern Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force or Japan Coast Guard counterpart.
  4. Torpedo Squadron Chronicles
    • A series focusing on the adventures of the Akatsuki-class destroyers of Destroyer Division 6, as well as their minders Tenryu and Tatsuta.
  5. KanColle: Nanodesu!
    • Another series about Inazuma and her sisters, with focus on Inazuma's conviction to save lives, even if it's that of their enemies. Notable in how it's not set in a specific Japanese naval district, and is instead centered around a town suspiciously similar to Venice...
  6. Shimakaze, Girl of the Whirlwind
    • Initially marketed as an ecchi comedy, it focuses on Ensign Akai as he's reassigned to the Maizuru Naval District as an assistant to the serving vice-admiral there. There he encounters his new charges, in particular the titular Shimakaze, who's a problem child of a surprising degree.
  7. Tomarigi no Chinjufu
    • A yuri-flavored episodic series, centering on heavy cruisers Kumano and Suzuya. Notable in how it lampshades how the admiral never seems to be around, and instead leaves the day-to-day running of the base to the fleet girls themselves.
  8. Tonight, Another Salute!
    • Serialized in Comptiq, this series spotlights Commandante Teste, Gambier Bay and Tashkent as they open a restaurant, following in the footsteps of the mystery-shrouded burger place that came before them.

On top of those, there are several official manga anthologies.

There are also a few official Light Novels written for the franchise.

    The Light Novels 
  1. Kagerou, Setting Sail!
    • A somewhat serious entry in the franchise, this story follows Kagerou, a trainee at Kure, as she is transferred to the more front-line naval district of Yokosuka. Specifically set in the modern day of our world, or at least a place really similar to it.
  2. 1st Carrier Division, Heading Off!
    • Unrelated to the series above, this entry focuses on carriers Akagi and Kaga, as well as their charges (Ushio, Akebono, Oboro, and Sazanami), as the increase in Abyssal attacks force them to transition from merely training and expedition duty to the front lines south of the mainland.
  3. Bonds of the Wings of Cranes
    • Also unrelated to the two other light novel series, Zuikaku awakens as a human girl, yet with all the memories she had while she was a ship, in a world that's similar but definitely not the same as one she left behind.
  4. Day at a Certain Naval Base
    • Similarly unrelated to the other books, this series instead follows the day-to-day lives of the fleet girls as they go about their business at their naval base. More of an anthology of stories that all happen to be set in one place.

The series was subsequently added to the Weiss Schwarz line-up, with the majority of its characters appearing as playables.

An anime adaptation, by Studio Diomedea, premiered in January 2015. A handheld port to the Play Station Vita, titled KanColle Kai was released on February 18, 2016, after multiple delays.

Compare to Azur Lane and Arpeggio of Blue Steel, which also features female personifications of WW2-style battleships, the latter of which is the subject of a special collaboration event between the two franchises for Winter 2013. Not to be confused with Sengoku Collection, which has genderflipped Sengoku warlords instead. For a Spear Counterpart of sorts, compare to Touken Ranbu.

For tropes unique to the anime, please visit the anime page instead. For specific character-related tropes, please refer to the Character Sheet.

Beware, the following tropes and the Character-specific tropes need constant updates and may give you outdated information about the game.

Kantai Collection features the following tropes:

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    Tropes A-E 
  • Acceptable Breaks from Canon:
    • In the game proper, few of the ship girls demonstrate grudges or hangups over the Pacific War. Many fanfic writers give them such issues anyway, perhaps out of Rule of Drama.
    • The game also provides no details about the Abyssal command structure, but some fanfic writers give them their own admirals.
    • Averted for the anime; Kisaragi's sinking created such a backlash that her artist had to tweet that the anime wasn't canon to calm things down.
  • Ace Custom: Various usable carrier-borne aircraft and catapult-launched seaplanes have Ace Custom variants. Here's a few of them.
    • A variant of the Zuiun seaplane, operated by the 634th Naval Air Group, offers improved anti-ship and anti-submarine stats compared to its standard version. The model 12 improved version also has a 634th Naval Air Group variant, which has been only available as a ranking reward so far.
    • The 931st Air Group, which have so far been restricted to being ranking rewards and Ryuuhou Kai stock equipment, have higher anti-submarine stats than their vanilla counterparts.
    • The Suisei operated by Egusa Takashige, also known as the "God of Dive Bombers".
    • The Tenzan Model 12 operated by Tomonaga's squadron, whose stats even surpass the Ryuusei Torpedo Bomber.
    • Topping even the Tomonaga-spec Tenzan is the Tenzan Model 12 operated by Murata's squadron, the air group that has formerly been assigned to Akagi before being reassigned to Shoukaku after the Battle of Midway.
    • For the fighter planes, there's the Reppuu piloted by the 601st Naval Air Group, which were assigned to Unryuu and Amagi.
    • Which was surpassed by the Iwamoto's squadron on a Zero (albeit an improved one), led by none other than legendary ace fighter pilot Tetsuzo Iwamoto.
    • After years of being being overshadowed by Iwamoto's squadron, the 1st Carrier Division finally one-ups them with a Reppuu Kai Ni piloted by skilled fairies from their division, though they aren't available yet.
    • The December ranking update introduced a General Motors variant of the Grumman F4F Wildcat, the FM-2, with the markings of Composite Squadron 10 (VC-10). This squadron was operated off the Casablanca-class escort carrier USS Gambier Bay.
    • For land-based planes comes the Hayabusa Model II under Captain Tateo Katou.
    • The Extra Operation of the Spring 2021 event rewards a total of 3 planes from the famous Tainan Air Group, which houses aces such as Saburo Sakai.
    • Since 2018, Shiden Kais with fighter groups from the 343rd Naval Air Group, led by the legendary Minoru Genda in the late years of the war, has been added to the game. As of now, there are 3 fighter groups added to the game.
  • Ace Pilot:
    • The "skilled" version of the low-tier planes in game, which possess even better stats than some of the high-tier planes.
    • By the start of the Summer 2015 Event, admirals can now invoke this by "training" their planes which can now gain experience and ranks for every battle they participate. This is very useful as ranked planes gain bonus stats which can make a difference during battles. However, be wary as those plane ranks can actually degrade when said planes are shot down in large numbers. If the plane slot it occupies is emptied in battle, the plane will be completely stripped of its ranks (although planes used in aerial support won't lose ranks this way).
    • This is very much based on Real Life, as both Kaigun and USN aviators gained experience during the battle. By the end of the Battle of Midway, the Kaigun's veteran pilots were greatly reduced in numbers to the point that this is actually one of the reasons they lost their carrier-based battles.
  • Acronym and Abbreviation Overload: Due to the game using the US Navy hull classification codes in its loading screen when referring to the ships, the English fanbase has followed suit. It is very common to see many acronyms in chat channels, let alone across This Very Wiki and The Wiki Rule.
  • Achilles' Heel:
    • Installation enemies take increased damage from certain equipment, such as Type 3 Shell and WG42.
    • Some event bosses have weaknesses that can be exploited regardless of whether the debuff conditions were met or not. The Spring 2016 event had Central Princess at E6 taking extra damage from dive bombers and seaplane bombers note , and the entire boss fleet at E7 taking extra damage from torpedo bombers and land attackers. During the Autumn 2016 event, the ships involved in Operation Crossroads (Nagato, Sakawa, Prinz Eugen, Saratoga) could deal upwards of 4 digit damage to enemies at the E5 boss node, far higher than the daytime and nighttime damage caps of 150 and 300 respectively. In Winter 2017, the damage modifier for the E3 boss fleet was reduced to 1.15 for ships carrying a sonar or a depth charge, and 1.24 for ships carrying a Seiran.
  • Allegedly Free Game: The browser game has some shades of this, as Akashi's Secret Shop sells several consumable itemsnote , some of which are rarely comes by normal gameplay, as well as extra resources, all at the cost of a certain number of points. While it is averted in KanColle Kai as the Strategic Points are obtainable in-game, buying them in the browser game requires the player to spend real-life money to purchase DMM points as it does for any games hosted there.
    • Resources and consumables aren't the only thing offered there either, as certain account enhancements such as extra ship slots, repair docks and fleet presets can only be purchased there. Seasoned admirals will find themselves hard-pressed for more ship slots sooner or later as more shipgirls are stationed into their base with their limited ship slotsnote .
    • That being said, all the items mentioned above are entirely optional and players have the option to not resort to purchasing them throughout their gameplay. Bribing Your Way to Victory is averted in most cases as none of the items and perks offered there grant any guarantees of the battle outcomenote , not to mention that players have to collect their shipgirls and equipments on their own merit or luck regardless of those purchases.
  • Alpha Strike:
    • The game mechanics encourage the player to inflict a lot of damage to the enemy fleet before the enemy returns the favor itself, especially in later maps and events where your fleet will face increasingly tough enemy fleets.
    • In the earlier versions of the game (2013 to 2014), this applies to your carriers, torpedo cruisers and submarines note , capable of crippling or 1-hitting enemy ships, with battleships following that. Later on, thanks to better equipment, carriers can attack earlier during the shelling phase.
    • Destroyers, light cruisers and escort ships specialized in Anti-Submarine Warfare such as Isuzu Kai Ni, Asashio's Kai Ni D, Taiyou Kai Ni, or with a high enough ASW stat, can attack enemy submarines before said submarines unleash their torpedoes.
    • The first shelling phase has the girls attack in order of their Range. Italian and Yamato-class battleships (Very Long Range compared to other battleships' Long) and Italian heavy cruisers (Long Range compared to other heavy cruisers' Medium) (and their respective equipment) will attack earlier during the shelling phase. Shoukaku and Zuikaku in their Kai Ni form also have default Medium Range compared to most other aircraft carriers' short. Equipping them with Jet Planes also grants them an additional round of opening airstrike.
    • Before the start of the actual combat, Admirals can dispatch Land-based Bombers in the same manner, attacking the enemy fleet as well as weakening its air power should there be enemy airfields or carriers present.
  • Alternate Character Reading: The December 2013 Crossover event added in two I-401s: the Arpeggio Iona pronounces 401 as Yonmaichi but KanColle's I-401 (the reward for clearing the event) pronounces it as both Yonmaichi and Shioi.
  • Alternate Universe: Explicitly said to be the setting of the Bonds of the Wings of Cranes light novel. It has similar locations, but as Zuikaku quickly learns, not only did World War 2 not happen, Japan doesn't exist as a sovereign country.
  • Alternate History: The game is starting to show this, especially in later events.
    • The final stage of AL/MI Operation in the Summer 2014 Event have your own fleet pitted against the theoretical IJN's counterattack force, in a what-if scenario where Hiryuu had retreated to the safety of the main force, with the benefit of protection from Yamato and Musashi had the latter been commissioned in time for the Battle of Midway.
    • This eventually continues in the Spring Event 2015 depicting the 2nd Indian Ocean Raid, which is a success and pressed on further into the Arabian Sea, in attempt to secure the Suez Canal. Some suggest it might be coordinating with the events in the North Africa, which if successful would have led to the British being in serious trouble and help the Italians (Afrika Corps) in the process.
    • The Summer 2015 somewhat inverted the one above, as a Western Fleet was required to deploy, possibly against a counterattack by the Royal Navy. In the main scenario, the event is once again set in the part of the Solomon Islands known as the Slot and one of the final maps is Operation FS, which never happened in reality because of the failure in the Battle of Midway.
    • The Spring 2016 operation is purely this, without any real-world basis. The main phase involves seizing and building an airbase in Johnston Island in order to deploy Land-based Bombers. An extra operation is a return to the Solomon Islands, involving a renewed offensive to seize Henderson Airfield, a Call-Back to Fall Event 2013. The last part is an invasion of Pearl Harbor, which has to be attacked twice.
    • Zigzagged in Fall 2017 event. While it is focused in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, and pretty much repeats the same objectives of the admirals who lead the battle (Shima, Ozawa and later Nishimura), the game expects you to succeed where they fail in real life.
  • Anachronism Stew: It's implied that despite the ships being based on World War 2, the setting they're in are actually close to the present day Real Life, as shown below.
    • Historically, some ships had sunk by the time some newer ships were launched. Here, everyone can stand together and meet each other.
    • Many found it awkward when Imuya mentioned smartphones.
    • Musashi has actually shown hints of being technologically savvy, and is depicted as being able to catch onto the present popularity as well. But considering what has been mentioned above, it'll take a while until DMM & Kadokawa settle down with a proper period.
    • There's also Yuubari mentioning recording shows that air at midnight. See example for the Otaku entry down below.
    • The Christmas events could also count. Although the holiday had already been introduced to Japan, all celebrations were suppressed during the War. It’s especially hypocritical considering what many of the original ships were involved in during the 1941 season. It can be argued that the special event/holiday CGs aren't really meant to reflect history.
    • The whole issue with smartphone things goes further with the launch of KanColle for Android, where Shiratsuyu got a celebratory art with smartphone and headphone.
  • And Your Reward Is Edible: The Summer 2015 Event introduces not only new and stronger enemies, but also the combat rations, which acts as an consumable equipment that restores morale upon consumption. The saury (a.k.a mackarel pike) fishing event also introduces canned sauries which worked similarly.
    • And even before the introduction of equipable consumables, there is a mini-seasonal event when the Hishimochi are made available as a battle reward, making this a literal example of this trope.
  • Anime Hair: Despite the high number of characters with exotic hair colors, only Jun'you, with her ludicrous spiky mane, has hair worthy of the tag.
  • Anti-Air: There are two defences against enemy aircraft:
    • Fighter planes. Most of these, especially the more effective ones, can only attack other air units. Hybrid fighter/bombers can do both tasks but not as well.
    • The anti-air batteries on the ships. All ships, excluding submarines, can defend against incoming bombers. This can be improved with AA-boosting equipment, in particular the anti-air fire directors, which enable an anti-air cut-in attack that's one of the most effective ways to reduce incoming bombers. Some ships are particularly suited for this, such as the Akizuki-class, Maya, and Isuzu being specialized anti-air ships that can perform AA cut-ins without fire directors.
    • Some Abyssal Ships are said to have their own AA cut-in as well, although this is never shown when it activates. A good way to lose your bauxite.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Not in evidence during the earlier versions of the game (other than a certain event map with absolutely no branching whatsoever, and gave Shinden Kai as the reward for clearing it), but many were either discovered by the players over time (such as the fact that ships cannot sink as long as they start an enemy encounter with at least orange HP (more than 25% of full HP), although for this particular mechanic, it turned out that it didn't need discovering since it was already covered in the tutorial; see Failed a Spot Check/Read the Freaking Manual below), or quietly added over time when the staff realized the ridiculous rates of attrition some players were experiencing, particularly during events. Since then many, many quality-of-life features were added to prevent admirals from rage-quitting from sheer annoyance. And before fleets were automatically made to retreat once a flagship is dropped to red or critical status to reduce subcheesing effectivity, flagships couldn't sink under any circumstances. (This still applies to the flagship of the escort fleet when you sortie under Combined Fleet rules, since the automatic retreat only applies to the flagship of the main fleet.)
    • Fall 2015 E-2 requires you to bring a light fleet (1 light cruiser, 5 destroyers only). Furthermore, clearing its transport gauge requires you to dedicate space to non-combat equipment, reducing your damage capabilities. Fortunately, you don't need to sink the powerful Light Cruiser Princess to clear the map.
    • Fall 2015 Event also introduces the Submarine Princess. Fortunately, the map she made her first appearance is a Combined Fleet map, which doesn't cause all damage done to submarines to become Scratch Damage during the night battle, meaning it's still possible to sink her even if the day phase doesn't pan out. This is averted in the subsequent appearances in event maps however, much to the frustration of the players who wanted the 16 inch Mk.7 gun during Winter 2015 Event.
    • Winter 2016 Event introduces long-distance air raid nodes to replace the Aerial Combat nodes. While it kept the enemy fleet out of range of your carrier's fleet, the enemy fleet only have one bombing phase instead of two for both sides, thereby averting the attrition from an all-out air battle that leads to significant loss of aircraft at both sides (especially if either side have powerful air defenses). These nodes also costs fewer fuel and ammo consumption as well.
    • Event drops at Abyssal Combined Fleet nodes tend to be available from A-rank instead of S-rank for Abyssal single fleet nodes, considering that scoring an S-rank against the Abyssal Combined Fleet is much harder with the doubled number of enemy units in the Abyssal Unit on top of the high-armored bosses that serves as the Abyssal fleet flagship.
    • The map will display accordingly if you reach an air raid or submarine node, allowing you to choose the appropriate formation.
  • Anyone Can Die: Prospective admirals beware, once a ship girl is sunk (when their HP is reduced to zero), they (and whatever's equipped on them) are not coming back, unless you happen to have a special item equipped on her beforehand (damage controls, or damecons; they can only be bought using real-world money!) to make an emergency repair on-location. Even then, it's a one-time deal, and if the same kanmusu gets critical damage again (such as if you advance to a new node after that battle), that's it for her (unless you have another damecon on her, of course, but most people only equip one on a ship at most).
  • Archer Archetype: Some of the Standard Aircraft Carriers (like Akagi), as well as 4 of the Light Carriers, are portrayed as samurai archers.
  • Armchair Military: It may seem unusual that "Armchair Admiral" gets mostly played straight, but it's with justification, since conventional battleships are useless against the humanoid-looking forces of the Abyssal Fleet, so all the humans' battleships look like people (and are all-female because all ships are female, naturally) carrying various military equipment instead to match their tactical capabilities. In other words, there's literally no room for the Admirals during battles, so they have to stay at the base and give orders via radio.
  • Armor Is Useless: The stronger enemy types and bosses are so powerful that they can one-shot even the player's toughest battleships. In such cases, it can be better to just avoid the defensive formations in favour of offence-oriented ones and hope your girls can sink or cripple them before they do it to you.
  • Art Evolution: One can track the progress of an artist's improvement (or for some artists such as Yadokari, the opposite) by just how different the art of a remodelled ship (or their holiday-exclusive CG) compares to its default sprite. Examples are Kongou and Hiei (although many disliked Kongou's "monkey ears" art), Shiratsuyu and Murasame, Kinugasa, Naka and Jintsuu... But a standout example is Hiyou, whose Kai looked like it was drawn by another artist altogether. That was just how much the artist improved.
  • Artistic License – Ships:
    • No, T-crossing does not work that way. When you T-cross the enemy fleet, you don't take extra damage in return, and when you get T-crossed, you don't take reduced damage either. This is possibly one of many Acceptable Breaks from Reality for the sake of game balance, seeing as the game got most other facts right.
    • Before the update on 28 July 2014, fast battleships were unable to equip AP ammo, despite the fact that the Kongou-class did carry them historically.
    • Mizuho was introduced during the Summer 2015 event with a listed speed of Fast, when her historical speed was 22 knots (in comparison, Yamato-class, the fastest "Slow" ships, had a speed of 27 knots, and Kaga, the slowest "Fast" ship, had a speed of 28 knots). This was fixed when the event ended. The Chitose-class as AVs had a similar speed, but unlike Mizuho's, theirs weren't fixed.
    • The classification of the Yamato-class as slow may also count, seeing as how the real-life Yamato-class was faster than the smaller Fusou, Ise, and Nagato-classes. Also, the Yamato-class had the same top speed as the American South Dakota-class, which were classified as fast battleships. Then again, the class in real life wasn't designed as a "fast battleship" in mind.
    • Despite Warspite being historically a fast battleship, here she's a normal (slow) battleship. At least it makes sense since even the slowest Japanese battleship class (Fuso-class) is faster than her. Then comes Gangut, a dreadnought-era battleship who is erroneously categorized as "fast battleship" while having an actual speed listing of "slow".
    • While we're on the subject of the abstraction of speeds as "Fast", and "Slow", in the Arcade version, the ship's actual speed does matters. In an all-fast fleet that includes Kaga and/or either of the Chitose sisters and/or Shimakaze, for example, if the order for flank speed is given, this can result in Kaga and the Chitose sisters being left behind, as they are the slowest "Fast" ships, while Shimakaze effectively outruns the rest of the fleet.
    • In actual naval battles, aircraft carriers are capable staying out of enemy surface ship's shelling range due to the enormous range of their aircraft. In KanColle the surface ships are able to close into the shelling range of aircraft carriers on both sides (apart from the initial airstrikes). This is definitely out of Rule of Fun, as it would be impossible to S-rank any nodes with enemy carriers if your own fleet doesn't have any. The later-introduced pure carrier-on-carrier nodes reflect naval aviation battles more accurately, as only the carriers' air wings engage (twice) and the surface combatants don't get to fire at all, effectively relegating the surface ships to air defense role.
    • All cruisers are capable of performing torpedo attacks, including five ships (Ooyodo, Pola, Zara, Houston Mod. 1, and Helena) whose historical counterparts were not armed with torpedoes. The real ships' lack of torpedo armament is reflected in these girls having zero for their torpedo stats. However, not only can they accept torpedo launchers and be capable of launching torpedoes after that, their base torpedo stat can be raised above zero via modernization.
    • As the devs once mentioned "The Washington Naval Treaty doesn't apply here". As such, light cruisers can be up-gunned with 203mm main batteries, which are typically heavy cruiser guns. Similarly, all battleships can be up-gunned all the way to 46cm, the largest battleship main gun caliber ever constructed. This has become downplayed when accuracy penalty is imposed on battleships with overweight guns, with Kongou-class being hit the hardest by the penalty.
    • Several of the less well-known foreign ships (such as Richelieu and Zara-class) have inaccurate stats, due to their specification details and service history (such as Zara's armor and Richelieu's anti-air refit at New York) not being fully disclosed by Japanese Wikipedia.
    • In IJN proper ship classification, all aircraft carriers are considered as fleet standard regardless of their plane capacity, but lighter carriers are put in their own classification in-game. Additionally, the Shouhou-class light carriers was officially designed as Zuihou-class in real lifenote .
    • All carriers can equip all planes. Historically, certain planes like the Ryuusei and Reppuu were too large for any ship but Taihou and the unimplemented Shinano to use.
    • Just like her counterpart in Warship Girls, USS Samuel B. Roberts is mis-classed as a destroyer instead of a destroyer escort, and because of this, she is able to not only equip the USN 533mm quint torpedo launcher introduced with the November ranking rewards, she also gets a stat bonus from the launcher on top of the equipment's base stats.
  • Ascended Glitch: At the start of Spring 2017, the devs had mistakenly make Yamashiro Kai 2 a drop at E1's boss node. But then in KanColle Arcade, you can actually acquire a limited edition of Ise Kai card, complete with brand new artwork.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Aircraft carriers and battleships in general for players with limited resources, especially new players. They're much more powerful and tougher than anything lighter and they add options such as recon, air superiority and a second shelling phase that can make a big difference in combat. However, their expensive maintenance costs can really put a dent on an admiral's resources, and incur significant repair times whenever they're damaged. Superbattleships Yamato and Musashi take this to extremes, as they use as much as three times the resources to refuel and re-arm, and take twice as long to repair even when compared to Nagato, who is herself already a massive resource sink. To a lesser extent, Iowa took twice as much resources as Kongou-class battleships to refuel and re-arm.
    • The Tokyo Express expeditions (37 and 38) have a very high resource-to-time ratio, but require you to send out high-leveled destroyers (A Lv50-65 as flagship, plus some more to hit the fleet total level requirements) carrying many (4-8) drum cans, so this puts them out of reach of starter admirals. Becomes Awesome and Practical for more experienced ones that have so many appropriately leveled destroyers that they can randomly toss some into a fleet and still hit the requirement.
    • Combined Fleet sorties certainly sound cool in theory, considering that you can sortie 12 ship girls at once for more shelling and firepower. However, sortieing that many ship girls at once is bound to cost a much larger amount of resources, as well as taking away one of the fleets that could've been sent out to expeditions for extra resources (in fact, if you send both support fleets, which is virtually a must for the harder event maps, that would leave you with no expeditions to gain resources from). And that's before mentioning that pretty much every map that requires the Combined Fleet tend to have powerful enemies, and your fleet's accuracy are significantly nerfed.
    • 46cm Triple Cannons. The biggest ever gun in real life, this gun boasts the highest firepower out of all other guns. However, not only are they much harder to upgrade compared to other main gunsnote , stacking them on battleships not designed for them (read: anyone but Yamato-class) causes an accuracy penalty which admittedly isn't that obvious in single-fleet sorties, but very significant in Combined Fleet where accuracy is nerfed further; it will be very difficult for your battleships to hit much of anything at all. For some reason, the 51cm Prototype Twin Cannon doesn't suffer the same accuracy penalty, although only Nagato-class Kai and Yamato-class can equip it, and it requires even more spare 46cm guns to improve as well.
    • The first two jet aircraft introduced. They get to attack in an earlier jet assault phase as well, but that just means they get exposed to enemy Anti-Air twice, making them easier to get shot down. And the damage they do isn't even that much; they deal normal damage in the jet assault phase but reduced damage in the aerial phase. On top of that, they consume steel on a per unit, per battle basis (due to historically having lower service life). As a result, general consensus among the players is that they're not worth using. Hopefully it's just because they're fighter-bombers.
  • Back from the Dead: The effect of Damage Control (Damecon for short) prevents your girls from sinking for real. Of course equipping this item causes the ship to not performing as well as it takes up one equipment slot. There are 2 types of this items as well: the Repair Crew leaves your ship at 25% or less health, and leaves her at risk of sinking in the next battle, and the Repair Goddess that fully restores HP, fuel and ammunition to the ship that would have sunk. Some have made really good use of the latter.
    • In fact, this received an indirect buff in Summer 2015 after the introduction of "auxiliary slots" for ships which are level 30 and above, which can only hold things like Damecon etc, allowing shipgirls to have insurance while being able to perform to their full potential.
    • Sometimes, the game may disconnect on you and the ship may end up being still with you, albeit with 0 HP, like in this case. Disconnection mid-battle due to maintenance starting works too. However, it doesn't work if you initiate the disconnection.
    • There was once a time where you could avert a girl's death just by refreshing, but that has long been fixed. It is still possible to refresh to call off the sortie before the next battle is initiated however, which is useful in saving a heavily damaged shipgirl in the event of accidental orders to continue the sortie.
    • In the Arcade version, you can avert a shipgirl's sinking by either paying some credit or sacrificing your HQ and that shipgirl's level.
  • Battle Theme Music: The game has dozens of battle themes, especially ones for a particular map.
  • BFG:
    • The 46cm (18-inch) Triple Cannons which are seen in the Yamato-class, which are craftable in the game. They have longer range than the 41cm and the 35.6cm cannons, and aside from having the highest firepower and AA stat, were also capable of being an AA gun as well, before a revamp to AA mechanics removed this function.
    • A later update added an even bigger gun, the 51cm Prototype Twin Cannon design for the never-built A-150 battleship aka "Super Yamato". It's so heavy that it can only be equipped on Yamato and Nagato-class battleships, and the latter has to be remodeled to even equip such an absolutely massive gun.
  • Big Sister Instinct: The lead ships of some ship classes act as this for their sisters. Fusou is an example of this, as she thinks of her sister Yamashiro's well being most of the time.
    Fusou: ''Please look after my younger sister Yamashiro's modernization as well."
  • Black Comedy Cannibalism: Some fans interpret the "modernization" mechanic - where you select some ships to be sacrificed to upgrade one selected ship - as this, where said selected shipgirl "eats" those other shipgirls to empower herself. All Played for Laughs, most of the time.
  • Bleached Underpants: Some of the artists involved have done NSFW work before. Jiji for one is a Promoted Fanboy who's done risque fanart of the game.
  • Bokukko: Mogami, Satsuki, Shigure, Z1 Leberecht Maass, Hatsuzuki and Matsukaze. In a variant, Tenryuu, Kiso and Arashi use ore.
  • Boobs of Steel: Naturally comes with being the personifications of warships, especially more so on the more well-endowed ones. Yamato sports an almost literal (read: Type-91 Armor Piercing Shell coconut bra) definition of this.
  • Bonus Dungeon: The Seasonal Events. Essentially time-limited Extra Operations on steroids, they're held once per season for several weeks to challenge players in the bonus maps that are based on historical and theoretical Kaigun naval battles and operations, with newfangled shipgirls, equipments and items, as well the opportunity to obtain shipgirls that are either unavailable or extremely difficult to obtain from normal gameplay. Most Admirals would stock up their resources well beyond their soft regeneration limit specifically in the anticipation for the aforementioned events.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • Back in Phase 1, Orel cruising at 2-3 with submarines to farm fuel is extremely boring, but if done right you can gain fuel much faster than any expedition can provide you, and many daily and weekly quests can also be done on the side.
    • Also back in Phase 1, grinding at 3-2, node A gets tedious very fast both for the admiral and the In-Universe morale of the girls, but as long as you have a submarine in your lineup, the mooks present will target nothing else. You will have almost no risk as long as you make sure to damage the mooks to medium damage at least so they can't use closing torpedo salvo. The EXP provided is also pretty decent.
    • Double Attacks are less powerful than Cut-Ins, but they trigger far more often, especially for girls low in Luck.
    • Expeditions 2, 5 and 6 are unlocked early in any admiral's career and have low level and composition requirements, yet provide a decent intake of ammo, fuel and bauxite respectively as long as one can check the game frequently.
    • Ranking at 5-4. Sortieing to that map multiple times a day is part of the standard repertoire for people who want any ranking rewards, and the map also gives excellent EXP.
    • As of Phase 2, bringing a fleet with at least three carriers (both light and standard apply) to 2-2 will always direct you to a node with two Wa-class transports. There's absolutely no excitement to be found here, but the weak enemy fleet present, helped by the carriers' Alpha Strike sinking at least one right off the bat, means it's a very safe way to accumulate transport kills for quests.
    • Phase 2 replaces Orel with 1-3 for fuel farming. A fleet comprised of a seaplane carrier or Kamoi, at most one submarine and all destroyers for the rest will be routed such as to collect fuel after one easy battle, and the more Drum Canisters or Daihatsu equipped the better.
  • Born Lucky: While it's still unclear exactly what the Luck Stat actually does in the game (its only known effect is the probability of a "Cut-In" attack), an observant admiral will notice that certain ships will have higher-than average luck. Those who also happen to have more than a passing knowledge of World War 2 naval battles will note that the majority of these ships either lasted to the closing months of the war note , actually survived the war note , somehow avoided or survived damage that had easily taken out their sister ships during a particular action note  before they themselves got sunk, were Sole Survivors of certain major engagements note , sank in shallow waters where it was easier to raise them for scrap or were run aground or otherwise not actually technically sunk note  or simply were the last of their classes to sink note . Yukikaze in particular not only survived more major battles than she had any right to, but she also served as the flagship of the Republic of China Navy before finally being dismantled in 1970. Her luck stat of 60, higher by far than any other ship in the game (until Warspite comes up), reflects this. Hibiki, I-400 and I-401 are exceptions, however note .
  • Born Unlucky: Much like the previous entry, an admiral will also notice ships with lower-than-average Luck scores (lower than 10). More often than not, these are references to their unfortunate fates, either due to faulty design choices, circumstance, or both. Many of the ships in the latter category either sunk during their initial sorties (Taihou, Bismarck note ), never got to participate in battle at all (Mutsu, blown up while in port), or were never even completed to begin with (Graf Zeppelin, Aquila). And despite having average luck in the game (exactly 10), Shoukaku is sometimes lumped into this group as well, due to the fact that she took more than her fair share of damage in the fleets she was in.
    • For some reason, Yamagumo has even lower luck than the other destroyers, being the first destroyer to have less than 12 luck on remodel. Yamakaze has it even worse, with her luck still in single digit after remodel.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: The Winter 2015 event introduced the First Class Medal, which is displayed beside your player name on Server Lists or PVP lists. You can only get it if you complete an event on Hard Mode on its final map, already infamous for its extreme dose of Random Number God-influenced shenanigans.
    • Ranking rewards in general. Some equipment, such as the Type 0 Passive Sonar, is only available as ranking rewards, but isn't very useful.
    • Perfect S ranks.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Numerous ship girls love doing this through their spoken lines, though some of them are more blatant about it (the Yuugumo-class Destroyers for example) than others.
    Musashi: ''Admiral, it would seem appropriate to quit your browser window here if you are busy. Oh, you were actually planning on our next move? I apologize for jumping into conclusions."
  • Brutal Bonus Level: This game has so many of them that it can take a page on its own.
    • All Extra Operations are this to a certain extent, but the Extra Operation 5-5 takes the cake. With its difficulty indicated as 11 stars with a big star to represent 10 smaller stars, it is the hardest map in the game apart from seasonal event mapsnote  For a good reason: it is heavily guarded by Re-class battleships (which can attack with planes and torpedoes, can attack submarines with said planes even at night, has absurdly high HP and armor comparable to demon princesses, and only its normal form lacks pre-emptive torpedoes) and flagship Wo Kai carriers (which are simply a much stronger version of standard flagship Wo-class aircraft carriers), makes every other level in this game look extremely easy. To top it off, the standard route for the map boss itself has a disturbingly significant chance of running off-course into a dead end, making the map itself much more frustrating to clear than it already is. While is possible to S-ranking the boss node, it is rarely done except for quests that requires S-rank clears in said map.
      • As if the Phase 1 5-5 map wasn't hard enough already, Phase 2 managed to makes it even harder. Sure, the Re-class presence was greatly diminished to the point that the southern route becomes somewhat more viable (if you are willing to wade through two night battle nodes). However, the northern route now has a Tsu-class escort (infamous for killing off shipgirl's bombers) on top of a slightly higher air power and retains the ever-notorious Elite Re-class. To top it off, the boss node now can have a formation where Southern War Princess is the flagship. And then they buffed its armor past the daytime shelling cap, making it quite difficult to clear, especialy in the last dance. That being said, it also have additional branching routes that allows the player to avoid the infamous off-routing to dead end altogether.
    • To a lesser extent, the Extra Operation 4-5 also counts as one for players who wanted to obtain an extra medal. While it doesn't feature the Re-class battleships like the Map 5-5 does, this map allows you to bring as much as five battleships and one carrier for a good reason, the Seaport Princess is back and now have a much more powerful final form, with such a formidable escort that not even bringing Yamato-class and Nagato-class can guarantee your victory over her. The enemy force that you have to wade through with such a heavy fleet is no pushover either, as the shortest possible route brings you through a compulsory night battle followed by an encounter with Light Cruiser Demon and multiple Flagship Kai Wo-class and Ru-class. While support expeditions would help tremendously in this map, it's not possible to bring them for this map as you were able to in World 5 maps.
    • The time-limited seasonal events tend to have those as well, usually those with a big star in its difficulty rating. Examples include the 2014 Summer E-6, Autumn E-4 and 2015 Winter E-4 all have 12 stars. The first of the three was formerly thought to be an absolute nightmare, as documented in the Fake Difficulty entry due to the nature of the event, but subsequent events took this trope to much greater heights than even that.
    • 2015 Winter E-5 (A-class) is one of the hardest maps ever conceived at its time. Many Admirals expressed outright disbelief upon seeing two Battleship Princesses (same as Summer 2014 E-6 final boss) now as mere escorts to the even more powerful Battleship Water Demon.
    • 2015 Spring E-6, indicated with 14 stars. Before the pre-boss, you are guaranteed to encounter at least one Abyssal Princess as sub-boss, with the paths with a night battle being the easier paths. The pre-boss node has a guaranteed Aircraft Carrier Princess. Furthermore, the boss, the aforementioned Battleship Water Demon, gains an Aircraft Carrier Princess as an escort for its final form on Medium and Hard difficulty. Surprisingly, it wasn't that hard to clear (in fact 2015 Spring was considered one of the easiest events in the history of the game), but resource drain for combined fleet was massive, especially if you intend to farm Roma or U-511.
    • 2015 Summer E-7 ups the ante with its difficulty rated at 15 stars (appropriately titled "Operation FS"). Unlike the previous final event maps that pit you against an uber-powerful enemy battleship fleet, you're fighting to subdue a heavily guarded destroyer that has nigh-impenetrable armor, requiring several relentless assaults on the installations throughout the map to weaken her armour for about a day. Sounds simple in theory once it was figured out, but the map itself has random routing and the pre-boss nodes are very powerful even at the lowest difficulty, making it very difficult just to get to the boss and damage it. In fact, it's not improbable for you to complete this task after many attempts.........only to find out you don't have enough resources left for an assault on the boss herself, and won't be able to get enough until after the daily reset, by which time her armor goes back to its original value. Post-event statistics show that of the about 70% of players who took part in the event, only 45% of them actually managed to beat the map at all!
    • 2016 Winter E-3 has 14 stars again. As with the previous event's final map (and possibly subsequent event's final maps thereafter), it is a Marathon Level where you need to clear both the Transport Bar and the HP Bar. During the HP Bar phase, it's possible to get Battleship Princess (or two!) leading the mook nodes, and this is the easier route as the Carrier Task Force's route have Aircraft Carrier Princess and Wo-class flagships as the deterrent. You can assemble a much stronger fleet here thanks to Aircraft Proficiency and the map allowing you to bring up to four preemptive-strike capable shipgirlsnote , but the final boss is not any easier as the Heavy Cruiser Princess is extremely durable, and is escorted by one Battleship Princess on Normal difficulty, plus one more for the last dance even on Easy. At Hard difficulty it tops out even the Winter 2015 Event's final boss composition, as you not only have two Battleship Princesses as full-time escorts, but also one Aircraft Carrier Princess before even the last dance. Odds are good that at least two, maybe even all four, will survive into the night battle.
    • The entirety of 2016 Spring Event counts as this to certain extent, with the final map at E-7 setting a new record for the hardest boss composition ever seen. Once again having 15 stars, the final boss on Easy has four boss units - Central Princess, Airfield Princess, Aircraft Carrier Princess and Ancient Destroyer Demon. The ante is upped even further in Hard Mode with an all-boss composition with Central Princess, Aircraft Carrier Princess, two Battleship Princesses and two Ancient Destroyer Demons.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Most ship-girls could be infected with sudden bouts of crazy, lazy, or stupid or permanent quirk(s) yet can deliver the job done if under competent and lucky admirals. Kongou sisters are good example of the crazy kind.
  • Buxom Beauty Standard: The Takao sisters for Heavy Cruisers, Tenryuu and Tatsuta for Light Cruisers, Yamato and Musashi for Battleships along with the majority of foreign ships (in particular the Americans). In the former's case it's even lampshaded by Atago in the game's database section, where she mentions how her... fuel tanks are heavy and make her shoulders stiff. Also Ushio and then Hamakaze for Destroyers, the class that would otherwise be inhabited by little girls.
  • Cap: A soft cap (100 against submarines, 180 during daytime shelling phasenote , otherwise 150 for day battles and 300 for night battles) applied after pre-cap modifiers, where damage done exceeding the cap will receive diminishing returns (the excess is square rooted and added to the cap, making the effective soft cap 1 higher than the mechanical cap). There is also a regeneration cap for each of the 4 main resources depending on HQ level note , as well as a hard cap at 300000, implemented on 2014 March 28. Certain items like development materials (devmats) and instant repairs (buckets) also have a hard cap of 3000, also implemented on 2014 March 28.
  • Captain Ersatz: Some ship girls look similar to certain Touhou Project characters. Kiso looks a lot like Murasa with an Eyepatch of Power, especially after her second remodel. In addition, Suzuya has some similarities with Sanae, Yayoi resembles Patchouli (complete with crescent moon hair clip), and Akitsu Maru outright looks like she was designed by ZUN (although she wasn't), although she doesn't much resemble any currently existing Touhou character (except for maybe Yoshika).
    • Not to mention that while all of the Kongou-class wear unconventional shrine maiden outfits reminiscent of Reimu's, Haruna gets bonus points for wearing a red and white version.
  • Cast Herd: With the huge cast as well as the various historical and in-game interactions, there's several dozens of groups available. This goes from ship typesnote , ship classesnote  and ship-girls who look like each othernote .
  • Cast of Personifications: The game has you gather and organize "fleet girls" (kanmusu), warships that take form of girls, in a war against horrors of the sea, called the "Abyssal Fleet". Specifically, the fleet girls personify ships that took part in World War II, and bring with them the characteristics and history of each ship in question. At first the ships are taken from the Imperial Japanese Navy, but later updates give us ships from Germany and Italy, and even later ones give us ships from the Allies' side as well.
  • Chainmail Bikini: Yamato, when getting damaged, shows her metallic Type 91 Armor Piercing Shell Coconut Bra dropping out. It made her attire look...really paper thin there.
    • The official 4-koma played this as a joke as well. Naturally Yamato is very uncomfortable with that revelation...
    • A Genius Bonus for historians - Yamato's guns were originally specified as much smaller than the 46cm monsters they truly were. Seems that Yamato didn't want to reveal the secret of size.
  • Character Level: Shipgirls can gain levels, which increases their Evasion, Line of Sight and ASW stats. Levels are also required for remodeling. The level Cap is 99, unless you decide to marry the girl, which can increase the cap into 150.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Many ship girls are like this, either to the Admiral, or to their sister-ships. Kongou is a well-known example of the former, while Torpedo Cruiser Ooi is a good representative for the latter.
  • Cloning Blues:
    • Given how the game functions somewhat as a collectible card game, it's inevitable that a player will get multiple copies of a ship girl if they play long enough, particularly the more common types like destroyers. Not too surprisingly, this gameplay mechanic has made its way into both official media and fanwork, in the form of "clones", where it's played for either comedy, drama, or (in the case of Famitsu's KanColle Play manga) both.
    • KanColle Play featured a whole gaggle of Ooshio clones. While for the most part they were treated as comic relief, with them filling odd roles at the base (like being Naka's backup dancers during her concert), the comic also makes it quite clear that each Ooshio was a unique individual — which makes the fact that one of them had to be scrapped all the more heartbreaking.
    • Averted with the Kancolle anime, as we never see any same ship repeating itself, each ship is one and only.
  • Clothing Damage: A visual representation of your ships' condition, if they are suffering from moderate or major damage, complete with smoke coming out from their icons. Under minor damage though, their clothes and weapons are intact, although there will still be smoke.
  • Combat Breakdown: Initially inverted. When ship girl's HP is between 51% and 74% (light damage), they get a slight boost in attack power. Once it drops to 50% (medium damage) or below, their attack power is reduced to 70% and certain abilities like carriers attacking in the shelling phase or use of closing torpedoes get disabled. If their HP reaches 25% or under (heavy damage), the attack power is reduced further to 40%.
  • Common Crossover:
    • The series overlaps quite well with Arpeggio of Blue Steel, despite the latter being a much older series, due to their shared reference pool of World War 2 IJN warships.
    • There's also frequent crossover fanart with Touken Ranbu, since both games were made by the same company and hosted on the same website, not to mention that most people consider Touken Ranbu to be Kantai Collection's Spear Counterpart.
    • On a more individual level, there's a fair amount of fanart pairing (in one way or another) Nagato with Godzilla. Not as surprising as you may think.note 
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: You see this equipment list? All of these stats used by the enemy are way higher than the player's counterparts. Furthermore, stronger enemies have Your Rules Are Not My Rules, like the stronger carriers being able to launch planes at orange and night.
    • On the other hand, the enemy lacks the Anti-Frustration Features the player has. Not to mention that in every engagement, the player always gets to attack first.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: The Combined Fleet mechanism present on certain Event maps allows you to bring 12 ships to fight 6 of the enemy. Usually, those 6 enemy units will be so much stronger and tougher than normal that you'll need the added firepower.
    • Map 6-5 features the Combined Fleet on the Abyssal's side, which are far less well-organized compared to the player's while enabling the player's fleet to fire as much rounds as they did in their own Combined Fleetnote . Their escort fleet are still a nuisance, however, as they could shield the main fleet from the torpedo phase, if not completely.
  • Cool Big Sis: A lot of lines heard from the game can evoke this particular trope. Especially Hiei's desire to be like Kongou, or Yamashiro's admiration towards her sister, Fusou.
  • Cool Plane: Thanks to the aircraft carriers from WW2 eras being rendered as playable shipgirls in-game, the game has its share of planes. Planes such as Zero fighters needs no introduction, but late war planes such as Reppuu and Ryuusei are available in-game as well.
    • Various foreign planes have since been introduced into the fray over the subsequent events as well.
    • Special mentions goes towards the jet fighter planes such as Jet Keiun and Kikka. While they were never fully completed in real life, the in-game version have outstanding stats on top of their ability to strike twice. It takes a massive amount of effort to build themnote , though.
  • Cosmic Plaything: While not so obvious in the game, Shoukaku hints that she's one unlucky girl (and is depicted by fans as one, especially when receiving minor damage), thanks to how she was treated during the war, by Japanese accounts. Her database even introduced her as "the ship that received terrible fate during that war (Battle of the Philippine Sea)".
    • Displayed prominently in the 4-koma where, in quick succession, she gets pooped on by a passing bird, hit on the head by a thrown rock, and has an empty pail dropped on her. The fact that she's such a magnet for misfortune (aside from the obvious real-world WW2 references) caused Kaga to be terrified of her, once she learned that both Shoukaku and Zuikaku were joining the fleet.
  • Covert Pervert: Shirayuki in the 4-koma (she's got a weird fetish of naval rounds, of all things), which causes Fubuki to be more than a little worried. Also Sendai, who likes seeing other girls get wet in the rain as it makes their underwear visible.
  • Creator Thumbprint: Several artists use recurrent design elements for their characters, even if they are otherwise very different from one another.
    • Shizuma Yoshinori (Nagato, Yamato, the Akizukis, Shimakaze, Yukikaze, Iowa, Saratoga, Atlanta...): Almost every shipgirl drawn by him wears distinctive "Rudder Stiletto" high-heel shoes. Other main traits are being eye-catching/fanservice (and sometimes garish) and later on, the designs working in traits of the actual ships (like the bows being the Akizuki class' stomach protection), with Iowa combining the two. The only one with a significantly different shoe design is Akitsushima and they are rudder wedges rather than the usual stilettos. He also has a thing about sentient turrets, demonstrated with the Rensouhous and the Long 10cm-chan. Coincidentally, all but four of his ship girls feature exceptional stats. note  He's also the one that starts the meme "the second ships (in a class) have sexy bodies", and this shows in Teruzuki, Mutsu, Musashi and Saratoga. His art while consistent has improved in a few spots, including curve range, making fans look forward to Second Remodel work for his Japanese BBs. With Musashi's second remodel, it hints at him seeking to fix a period of KC art he considers an Old Shame.
    • Ayaki (Tenryuu, Murakumo, Nenohi...): Every ship girl drawn by this artist wear some form of Floating Headgear. Additionally, all but one of them wear bladed anklets in their unremodelled form. They also tend to take on rather dynamic poses and rather eye catching outfits. His Kai Ni out tends to drastically chance the girls' outfits; Murakumo being the most noticeable with Tatsuta in second.
    • Akira (Mizuho, French ships, Kamoi, Gambier Bay): While mainly an Abyssal artist (having done many of the bosses), he has done a few shipgirls with some eyecatching bits (like the hair of the French ships or Kamoi's Ainu outfit), though he's infamous for how lazy he is (his seasonal art for Mizuho only changes what she's holding for one example). His drawn lines are lighter than most, which is a sure way to tell he did that shipgirl.
    • Shibafu (Fubuki-class, Kitakami, Mogami, Ise-class, Akagi, Intrepid and several others...): Perhaps THE founding artist of the game. Unfortunately, the shipgirls drawn by him only feature the same few faces or so as well as relatively Boring, but Practical designs. He compensates this with consistent art as well as the tendency for some of his shipgirls to be obsessed with being fitted planes, even discounting his Aircraft Carriers. In spite of his limited style, some of his characters are quite popular and a few being effective yet gotten early; it's charming in its simplicity (in a So Bad, It's Good way). He tends to favor smaller and more slender figure for her girls, with the exception of the 5 standard carriers he draws (and Ooi). Though he has been plagued with some foul ups of recent cgs (Mikuma summer '16 and Intrepid come to mind), escalating his critics.
    • Zeco (Fletcher class, South Dakota, Houston...): His girls tend towards large rigging structures and rounded faces with large eyes. He also tends to draw girls wearing greaves, with five of his first six ships having armored leggings.
    • Kuuro Kuro (Nagara-class, Ryuujou, Hiyou, Akitsu Maru etc.): His shipgirls are usually Shinto-themed. His Nagara-class feature Shide and all but two of his Aircraft Carriers are Onmyouji. Only his IJA and Submarine shipgirls are removed from this theme. Akitsu Maru Kai ends up being a Buddhist-styled Onmyouji and both Maruyu and I-26 are as removed from the theme as it is possible. A notable feature shared his non-Onmyouji shipgirls is their ship bow anklets (the Onmyouji shipgirls wear platforms instead, even Akitsu Maru Kai has them appended to her sneakers). He's a very firm believer in buxomness, with most of his designs being noted for curves (more so after his Art Evolution, which produced a Fanservice Pack effect on his older designs like Isuzu). This tendency does have a couple of exceptions: Ryuujou (the flattest carrier of any type, to the point of Memetic Mutation), Nagara, and Maruyu (a really small submarine).
    • Bob: His shipgirls are Colour-Coded for Your Convenience as he usually draws whole classes. The Tone-class (2 girls) are Green, the Sendai-class (3 girls) are Orange and the Myoukou-class (4 girls) are Purple. Shouhou is his only shipgirl who is "alone". Zuihou, part of the same class, is drawn by another artist (Konishi). He sometimes gives his girls really reactive "damaged art".
    • Konishi (Kongou class, Shoukaku, Suzuya, British shipgirls and etc): A generally consistent artist, he's mainly known for dynamic poses and the Iconic Outfit of the Kongou class. In many ways he's conservative as his shipgirls wear traditional outfits or school uniforms and his designs never get particularly curvy (such as Kuuro Kuro or Shibafu) with Nelson being the furthest he goes. His destroyers tend to be more teenage in age and figure, and those that aren't end up so with their second remodels. As of late, he's started to run into issues with highly similar faces. It may be a result of how many shipgirls he's made getting second remodels, being one of the more prolific artists in the game.
    • Kujou Ichiso: While his shipgirl output consists primarly of the Shiratsuyu-class, they are primarly known for getting ear-like flaps to their hair upon their second remodels (See Shigure, Murasame, Yuudachi and Kawakaze)note , 3 of them also have their eyes changing color. Both Yuudachi Kai 2 and Harusame Kai have similar hairclips. Furthermore, practically all of them share the same basic face at three-quarters with prominent cheeks. More recent designs and second remodels are noted for being more eye-catching to borderline excessive extents (Some parts of Murasame's second remodel are more show than function).
    • Yadokari: Best known for doing various destroyers, chiefly the 4 DesDiv6 ships as well as the Soviet/Russian shipgirls. Another simple yet endearing artist who runs into limited facial ranges, causing most of his girls (i.e those not on the DesDiv6) to be forgotten. Until he did Gangut's art, he only did child-aged destroyers. His damaged art tends to be really conservative (a tasteful choice considering the "age" of most of his girls, barring Gangut of course).
    • Syobonne: The main sub artist, fond of schoolswimuits and rather vivid hair colors. Though most remember I-19 and - a bit less so - I-8 for both their stats, being rather curvy for their frames (the artist's curviest characters), and in I-19's case how suggestive her torpedo handling is.
    • Fujikawa (Yuugumo-class and various others): Another prolific artist who also made the art for the equipment fairies and Error Girl. Her art tend to be consistent, and can even blend in to arts of other artists as in Yamagumo, Asagumo & Kinugasa (except for Akigumo, though there's a good reason for this). Also makes a lot of seasonal arts, particularly for the two NPC shipgirls Ooyodo & Akashi.
    • Parsley (Katori, Kashima, Kamikaze-class, Hamakaze, Colorado etc): An artist that becomes more prolific with time. He generally favors teen or older designs, with a decent amount of curves usually, though with the Kamikaze class, he has them a bit younger, but even many of those have a bit of noticeable curves. He has no real outfit tendency beyond something original if he could help it. Lesser known are Maya and Choukai being some of his first designs (their Kai Nis show how far he's come)
    • Ugume (Kiso, Kuma, etc): A long running artist that tends to prefer normal school uniforms, and asymmetrical rigging. Since his early days he's radically improved, creating a mild Fanservice Pack effect as well as improved Rigging. His escort ships (D Es), however, are rather modest in both clothes and rigging design.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Averted, performance wise. The kanmusu can still perform well as long they have not taken moderate damage (50% or less, but more than 25% of their overall HP, shown as orange, performance reduced to 70%) or major damage (25% or less of their overall HP, performance reduced to 40%). Scratch Damage taken, on the other hand...
  • Critical Hit: It does an extra 50% of the usual damage a normal hit would do, before taking armor into account. It's also supposedly an Unblockable Attack, with crits ignoring evasion (even though the target's evasion affects the crit rate as well). However, for some reason, normal hits dealing 40+ damage are also called "critical hits" in the game, and critical hits dealing less than 15 damage do not register as such.
  • Crosshair Aware: In the Arcade version, enemy attacks are shown by crosshairs appearing on the water, frequently close to your fleet. If your ships are inside the crosshair, the enemy will start locking on, giving you time to move them out of the crosshair; by the time it's fully locked on, if (some of) your ships are still inside them, the enemy will attack. The boss enemies in particular tend to have good tracking capability with their crosshairs, or send out a huge number of them at your fleet.
  • Crossover: The Arpeggio event was one with fellow anthropomorphized moe ship franchise Arpeggio of Blue Steel.
  • Damage-Increasing Debuff: Introduced in Summer 2015 and has been a mainstay ever since, missing only one event (Winter 2016).
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!:
    • Within the game itself. At the screen choosing whether to enter night battle or refuse, the left button is the defensive option of refusing, while the right button is the aggressive option. At the screen choosing whether to advance in the sortie map, however, the left button is the aggressive option, while the right button is the defensive one. This can and has led to confused or tired admirals mistakenly sending heavily-damaged girls to continue on sorties, with tragic results, or extreme amounts of rage when an admiral accidentally retreats a healthy fleet nearing the boss node at the end of a Marathon Level.
    • Many expeditions require a light cruiser, four destroyers and one wildcard, not necessarily in that order. However, there are some that deviate, which can cause a careless or inattentive admiral to fail - for example, expedition 35 requires a heavy cruiser, while expedition 37 requires five destroyers with no wildcards allowed.
    • The Fall 2017 Event introduces the lookout formation... which happens to be located at the bottom right at roughly where the Line Abreast formation were once located (it have seen been relocated to mid-bottom). The Line Abreast is the prime formation for anti-submarine warfare, which the Lookout formation was ill-suited for. Cue the players who accidentally clicked the formation ended up with their fleet dealing lackluster damage to submarines.
  • Darker and Edgier: The two light novels — Kagerou, Setting Sail! and Bonds of the Wings of Cranes — are much more serious than some of serialized manga and, indeed, fan-made doujinshi. Neither, for example, mince words with the fact that fleet girls can and have died, with Kagerou in particular mentioning off-hand that the number of fleet girls slaughtered before the events of the novel started numbered in the hundreds.
  • David Versus Goliath:
    • Invoked by mission 3-2, where the boss node can be only accessed by a fleet of destroyers, the smallest class of warship (whose high evasion values are offset by having the lowest damage, hit point, and armor values of all non-submarine unit) available to an admiral. They're expected to battle elite battleships and heavy cruisers. The fact that many destroyers (like Akatsuki, Inazuma, Ikazuchi, and Hibiki) are portrayed as middle-schoolers or younger just strengthens the impression, especially since the Abyssal Fleet ships they're going to battle look like adult women or saurian monsters. Slightly better after the July 17th 2015 update that allows a light cruiser flagship to be used.
    • Invoked again on Map 6-3. Whereas Map 3-2 involves merely breaking through the enemy defense line comprised of elite battleship and heavy cruisers in order to get at the squishy light boss fleet behind, in Map 6-3 you have to actually subdue the boss fleet comprised of flagship-grade battleships and heavy cruisers. And Destroyer Princess.
    • The last main operation of the Fall 2015 Event E-3 counts as well, as the transport escort fleet which are mainly comprised of drum-carrying destroyers with no more than three heavy cruisersnote  were expected to drive off the Seaplane Tender Princess, which can easily wreck your squishy fleet to the point where it's impossible to outdamage the enemy fleet or kill the boss at higher difficulties due to the battleship escorts, so they have to kill two-thirds of the enemy fleet to reduce the transport gauge.
  • Death from Above:
    • The opening air strikes. Bomber planes are required, and they're susceptible to Anti-Air attacks.
    • Spring 2016 event introduce Land-based Aerial Support with allows the admiral to call additional firepower/aerial power against the enemy fleet using a mix of Land-based bombers and carrier-based planes. Although this had range restrictions depending on the plane type, at right chances they can severely cripple the enemy fleet (along combining the said support expedition fleet) before the fight even started.
  • Death or Glory Attack: To deal with the Central Princess, some players set up their fleet for the strongest possible opening airstrike, at the cost of potential damage during the main shelling phase, in order to take advantage of her vulnerability to such. When it works, the Central Princess gets killed in the airstrike and everything afterwards doesn't matter because killing her is all that's needed to deplete the map gauge. When it doesn't, it's now very hard to pull off a win against her in normal combat afterwards.
  • Depending on the Writer: The game proper has very little lore, leaving a lot up to the interpretation of fans and spinoff writers. As a result, the tone of fanworks and spinoff works varies from very dark (see Darker and Edgier, above) to lighthearted comedies and anything in between. Other things also change between interpretations; origins of the ship girls and Abyssals - Aliens? Mystic rituals and spirits? Super-science? Do projectiles remain proportionately small to human size, like in the anime, or do they expand to full size as per Kant-O-Celle Quest? What about the girls and Abyssals themselves? Are conventional forces relevant, or only as much cannon fodder as in kaiju films? Are the Abyssals a worldwide threat or merely a Pacific problem? So on and so forth.
  • Difficulty Levels: Introduced with the Winter 2015 event, with higher difficulty levels having higher level requirements, and replacing the old Level Scaling mechanic.
  • Discard and Draw:
    • The battleships that remodel into aviation battleships (Fusou and Ise-classes) suffer a loss in firepower in exchange for improvements in other stats, particularly the ability to carry more planes. (However, Fusou-class do get even higher firepower on their second remodel.) The Chitose-class seaplane carriers lose the ability to equip seaplanes as well as the ability they gain from their second remodel (equipping midget submarines for a pre-emptive torpedo strike) in their third remodel where they become light aircraft carriers, which gives them the ability to equip better planes. Taigei also undergoes a similar process when she becomes Ryuuhou, except that Taigei can't equip seaplane bombers or midget subs, and she becomes one of the worst CVLs (only Houshou loses to her), instead of one of the best like the Chitose-class do.
    • Reversible remodels in general lose something and gain something else when you convert them between forms. Maya, Abukuma and Kinu also lose firepower at Kai 2, but gain a lot more in return.
  • Do Well, But Not Perfect:
    • Night to day battle mechanics during the Autumn 2013 event made it such that if you sank too many enemy ships at night, the battle would end there and then, instead of going into day battle where you had more chances to sink the enemy ships. One such node was the E4 boss node. Naturally, it has not made a reappearance since.
    • During events, some rare ships drop more often from A ranks than from S ranks. In particular, during the Autumn 2016 event, Pola only dropped from A rank at the E5 boss node. While this doesn't happen often, if you're aiming to farm for such ships in particular it's important to take note.
    • In general, if you're farming a boss node on a lower difficulty but intend to clear it on a higher difficulty later on, make sure not to accidentally sink the boss when the map HP gauge is within reach of being cleared. If possible, farm the ships with A ranks. If you accidentally sink the boss, refresh as a last resort. Players used to reset the gauge as often as possible to avoid this, but starting from Autumn 2016 E5, due to needing to deal with multiple gimmicks just to access the boss node, this is no longer as feasible.
    • Spring 2017's E5 branching rules changed on clearing the map such that you were fixed to a more difficult route to get to the second boss node, the only place in the event where you can farm Littorio and Roma. As a result, players often left the boss alive, instead settling for A ranks while farming for them before clearing the map, since the farming spot would no longer be as convenient on clearing the map. Other players instead chose to farm on lower difficulties, which as above is another example.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Canonical/in-universe example - some ships featured in the game are infamous for war crimes (e.g I-8 and Tone) but the girls are portrayed as good girls as everyone else. It's possible that they simply don't like talking about it.
  • Eagleland: Both US Navy ships currently in-game qualify as Type 1, especially Iowa.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The first event, Spring 2013, had no support expeditions, and the last map, E4, did not reward a ship. Said map is also to date still the only map with no branching whatsoever. Some of the maps also had certain requirements for a fleet to be able to sortie, but this came back 18 months later and has been a mainstay ever since. Ditto for having more new ships be drops than rewards, which would not be a thing again until Spring 2017.
  • The Easy Way or the Hard Way: The new mechanic introduced in the 2015 Spring Event goes like this. The admiral can sometimes decide what path his fleet can go... For example, taking a shorter, yet harder route or a longer route where the enemy fleets present are a bit easier to deal with, at the cost of making said fleet less combat effective by the time they reach the boss node. In E-6, choosing a harder path gave the player more chances to obtain ships like Roma and U-511, assuming that his fleet can win the encounters.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Many of your enemies fall into this trope. Sure some sport a more humanoid form, but that doesn't make them any less of a monster. Also, the very nature of them is never made clear, with the fanworks and even spin-offs not agreeing on one thing.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Yamato is nicknamed "Hotel Yamato" or simply "Hotel", which embarrasses her from time to time. The reason once again came from the fact that Yamato had a real history of being treated as one - when she was secretly built by the Imperial Japanese Navy, they had the mindset of "Aircraft Carriers are the best, Battleships are just a bonus/an alternative". That, and her status as a flagship along with her high consumption, causes Yamato to spend most of her time at the bridge until 1944 (Battle of Leyte Gulf), leading her to be nicknamed "Hotel Yamato". Historically, the term is also taken from a real Yamato Hotel which was located at Manchuria (presently Dalian, China).
    • Interestingly, although it was considered a luxury to ever spend a night in the ship's bridge, the purpose of Yamato stayed true to the core. Still, she was quite unfortunate, participating mostly in escort missions instead of offensive operations.
    Yamato: 'H...Hotel!? N-No, you're wrong!"
    • The whole Yamato being treated as a hotel is played with in the official 4-koma manga, like how she was equipped to manufacture ice cream and was fully air-conditioned (both of which were true of the real battleship; back then, air conditioning was still getting phased in to the general public, but was considered a luxury). The little destroyer girls loved hugging her as a result.
    • Interestingly, Iowa thought the "hotel" was a flattering nickname to Yamato. They reconciled fairly quickly in her hourly lines, however.
  • Enemy Mine: With the addition of the Allied fleet-girls, it appears World War II has become this, with the Allies and Axis banding together to fight off the Abyssals. Even if the game timeframe were moved to the Present Day, this trope still counts as it also featuring shipgirls from NATO countries (United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany) and Russia working together with each others, which considering the current geopolitical tensions was quite unlikely to happen very soon.
  • Engagement Challenge: Under the marriage system, you have to complete a few quests (the last of which involves a fleet with a level 90-99 ship getting S rank at the 2-3 boss node) to obtain a set of wedding ring and marriage documents... or you could buy it for 700 yen at the cash shop. In addition, the ship you wish to marry must be level 99. Benefits include slightly increased stats (including HP), reduced fuel/ammo consumption by 15%, and the ship instantly becoming level 100 with a new level cap of 150.
    • Love Confession: The marriage system is chock full of these lines. Some have the ships "confess" to you, some accept your "confession", and others reject you. Still others have lines which have nothing to do with confessions.
    • Marry Them All: You can marry more than one ship, so this is possible if you wish to do so, but you will have to buy the cash item from the cash shop, each costing 700 yen or around 7 USD. As only one can be obtained free of charge, it means doing a literal Marry Them All (151 girls as of 10 April 2014) will cost more than a whole grand (105000 yen, to be exact; the first ring is free after all).
    • Stealth Pun: A lot of people have assumed this marriage mechanic to be KanColle's answer to "mai waifu". This includes many fanartists drawing the girls in wedding dresses.
      • There Is Only One Bed: The pinnacle of the marriage system is getting the couple's futon, which requires finishing the last two marriage quests.
  • Escort Mission / Reverse Escort Mission: Transport Escort Fleet, a new form of Combined Fleet introduced in Fall 2015 Event certainly counts, as your main fleet which acts as the drum carriers are being escorted by your own escort fleet. It has little offensive power compared to an actual naval task force, as not only the two-third of the fleet were reserved for destroyers and a light cruiser as the escort fleet flagship, the destroyers in the main force has to be disarmed in order to make space for drum canisters they're transporting.
    • Winter 2017 Event features a special transport gauge where you have to transport two disassembled Saiuns to an airbase in a submarine fleet to bypass the surface-heavy Abyssal fleet. However, the transported Saiuns will be lost if the player's fleet failed to scout the enemy convoy or destroy two-thirds of their fleet after they were unloaded at the transport node. To top it all off, if the player had to change difficulty for whatever reason, the player have to dismantle their Saiuns and redo the whole transport mission again.
  • Equipment Upgrade: The Improvement Arsenal. As its name suggests, it is a factory where you can modernize or even upgrade certain equipment, with Akashi as the flagship and certain ships as assistants. Modernized equipments are indicated with stars and gains hidden bonus, and certain equipments may be further upgraded into a better equipment at the cost of the existing improvement level.
    • In a way, Modernization also counts as this, in that doing so will improve your shipgirls' stats. It is done by merging any shipgirls (up to 5) onto the one shipgirl you want to upgrade, but you'll lose the shipgirl fodders in the process. Most commonly, the stats that will improve are firepower, torpedo, armor and Anti-Air; Maruyu is unique in that she can increase the Luck Stat while the Coastal Defense ships can improve HP (but only by a little), ASW and Luck Stat.
    • Also the Remodeling (Kai), which will improve most/all of the shipgirl's base stats, as well as giving them better equipment and, in some cases (especially second remodels) giving them newer functions/capabilities. The stats given by modernization will be reset upon remodeling, however (except for HP and luck). Remodeling requires the shipgirl to be at a certain level, some amount of resources, and, on a few cases, a special "blueprint" item.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Worn by light cruisers Tenryuu and Kiso.

    Tropes F-J 
  • Fake Difficulty: Luck-Based Mission and Random Number God aside, if you have enough submarines you can easily cheese out certain stages, some of which would be much more difficult to clear otherwise. In particular, if you got a submarine in the process of clearing 2-3, 2-4 becomes a Breather Level instead. (At least that was the case before ASW equipment got buffed, but all you need now is just a bit more luck than before. Or Iona.)
    • The 2014 Summer Event turned to be a particularly unforgiving example of fake difficulty. Due to the nature of the real-life event it's based on, ships used in Operation AL ( maps E-1 and E-2) couldn't be used in Operation MI (maps E-3, E-4 and E-5). In addition, operation MI requires you to deploy the Combined Fleet, which is essentially two fleets at once in a single sortie, one consisting of mostly aircraft carriers and another one with mostly light ships. To further complicate matters, the final map E-6 locked out ships used in any of the previous event maps. As a result of all this, in order to just have a chance to complete the entire event you essentially needed four full fleets of adequately powerful ships (Six if you wanted Support Fleets in both midway and boss stage of E-6). On top of all that, prior to the start of the event the only thing the dev team revealed about the whole system was that ships used in one operation couldn't be used in another, and withheld the information about Midway's Combined Fleet system or the extra operation stage which forbade any AL/MI ships. Considering that each map had several variants of suitable team compositions, the amount of shipgirls involved in the event for an elite player may well surpassed 40.
      • Elaborating on this three-front war: Operation AL's first map was fairly easy regardless of the difficulty level. However, E-2, the last map of AL, which the devs even described as 'beginner-friendly' prior to the event, is generally regarded as one of the hardest map of the entire event, especially if your HQ Level was above 60. One of the main difficulties of AL was that the branching rules pretty much forced you to use light/medium ships only. While it was possible to use heavy fleets, you then had to face either more battle nodes or the stronger enemies. Or both. And that's before mentioning that you couldn't use those ships in later event maps. Operation MI, while a whole lot easier than AL thanks to being able to use all the heavy ships at your disposal and bring 12 ships instead of the regular six, turned into a nightmare for your resources because of the very same reasons. One fleet full of heavy ships can already be quite costly, but two fleets deployed at the same time meant an even higher resource consumption. Bauxite supplies usually suffered the most, since almost all enemy fleets contained lots of aircraft carriers with very strong planes. Those that didn't were either submarine nodes or night battle nodes, which didn't make things easier. Also, ships like Akitsu Maru, who were previously deemed useless except for their equipment, actually made things easier. The last map (E-6) however, was a nightmare. First of all, you cannot send the Combined Fleet to the aforementioned map, leaving only your regular fleet of six ships that has yet to be sortied to any of the previous event maps. The first battle node pitted flagship-type carriers and battleship (among other things) against you, and it got progressively worse from there. The "safest" route was over a submarine node and pre-boss node that contained the final boss of the previous map as a regular enemy but still at full strength. To secure this route you had to use two light aircraft carriers, who due to their weak armour got wrecked easily. The alternative was reaching the boss via night battle nodes, where even mere destroyers could wreck your battleships easily. Speaking of the boss node, in order to even reach it your fleet was required to have a very high LOS rating. If you failed to meet that requirement you were sent to a dead end. And even if you managed to reach it, you found out that the final boss was none other than the Battleship Princess, the most hated enemy in the entire game due to her ridiculously high stats and ability to critically damage even your best ships in one shot. Beating this map required you to deal damage to her that amounted to a total of ten times her health bar (thankfully chip damage was allowed). And if the boss gauge had been depleted enough that you needed only one more kill to break it? If your HQ Level was below 100 it was random, but above 100 it was guaranteed that the game pitted two Battleship Princesses against you.
      • To further complicate matters, the event outright punished you for trying to figure out branching rules. When faced with a new map, the general course of action is to use different ship types and combinations and see where your fleet gets sent. However, due to the ship locking mechanic, this meant that, for example, you could send ships to Operation AL, only to realize that they were practically useless in it and were actually needed for Operation MI, but now you couldn't use them in MI because you'd already sent them to AL. Keeping two operations in mind when organizing fleets was already bad enough, but with E-6 thrown into the mix it was a punch in the face for those who didn't have a large number of ships at their disposal. As a result of this multiple-front war many players have started training two ships of the same name, which would have been insane in the past when Special Events had only one front, since two ships of the same name can't be in the same fleet.
    • Much of Autumn 2013 E4's difficulty stemmed from the fact that many, many players at the time still thought that ships could "sink in orange" i.e. with more than 25% HP left but not more than 50%. That's not to say that it would have been easy otherwise, due to the other factors that contributed to its difficulty, but the clear rate would still have been a lot higher than 5%.
    • Event maps in general can be like this. Have a certain ship? You usually get favourable routing. Don't have her? Too bad, you'll have to travel through a much tougher route. Summer 2015 had rare aversions of this; it was possible to get equally favourable routing on E5 without needing Akitsushima, and on E6 having certain ships actually made things harder. Then it came back hard the next event; E3 was nigh impossible on hard if you lacked Akitsu Maru.
  • Fake Longevity:
    • Many maps require you to drain a HP bar that is several times the length of the HP of the boss per se, meaning you need to run the map multiple times.
    • The Improvement Arsenal may count for this, as the required material for the equipment modernization are only given through certain weekly or monthly quests. There is only one daily quest which gives you the material in question, and even then you need to modernize an equipment in the first place, making it more of a daily improvement subsidy than a method to restocking the material. Depending on your equipment improvement planning, your frugality on the material and RNG favour to actually succeed at the modernisation (or paying more materials to guarantee the modernisation), you might find yourself taking weeks or even months to improve a handful of guns.
    • Certain shipgirls require blueprints for their remodeling, which can only be obtained by trading 4 Medals per blueprint, which in turn can only be obtained by either clearing Extra Operation maps or certain seasonal event maps. The former gives only one medal per map and may be cleared only once per month, whereas the latter are only available during seasonal holidays and not all the seasonal event maps have them. As of October 2015, the number of ship remodels that require a blueprint is 16 for 64 medals. Collecting medals from Extra Operations alone would take you at least a full year to gather that many blueprints at the earliest.
    • As if the blueprints weren't enough after 6 maps has been made to award one medal each on monthly basis, some shipgirls requires additional items such as prototype flight decks, new gun mount models or aerial armaments or Action Reports, sometimes on top of blueprints, or worse, requires several of them at once on top of thousands of resources. That being said, shipgirls that does require any of these things tend to be a game changer in their own right, especially since certain shipgirls such as Musashi and Akagi gains a fifth slot in their second remodel.
    • Starting from Fall 2015 Event, certain event maps have multiple phases and bosses, with earlier phases requiring the player to either deplete the TP bar or defeat one or more pre-bosses (starting from Spring 2017 Event) before the player could defeat the map boss. These multi-phase maps typically have their own bosses and their own route and branching rules. Furthermore, even unlocking the route to later pre-bosses may also require players to beat or S-rank certain nodes on the map that require specific rules to reach, such that one cannot reach all these nodes in a single run. All put together, players end up needing to do multiple naval operations to clear a single map.
  • Failed a Spot Check: The players, and how. For almost two years, the fact that ship sinking mechanics were stated in the tutorialnote  went completely unnoticed by over 2.6 million players (the whole thing was voiced, but each player could only access it once, at the beginning). This meant that all that extensive testing of said mechanics, which was done mainly in 2013 and involved sinking a lot of girls, was All for Nothing. The only testing that was really needed was whether flagships could sink, and the answer to that was no.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: Several ship-girls have intentionally asymmetrical designs (The Tone-class and many of the Fleet Carriers per example) but for a few, this trope is invoked and justified. Several of the Operation Ten-Go participants (especially the ones who make their debut more recently) wear only a left thighhigh, as if to emulate Yamato, who wears such legwear by default, and Yahagi, which is simply a trait common to the Agano-class, either from the get-go (Isokaze) or after a remodel (Asashimo, Hatsushimo and Kasumi).
  • Female Fighter, Male Handler: The game has you organizing historical warships, anthropomorphized as girls, in order to combat the menace of the seas. Plated with in that "you" ("Admiral") are a Non-Entity General which theoretically can be anything (and fanarts like to speculate unorthodox portrayals of the "Admiral"), but most of the time, they're portrayed as (adult) male.
  • Flawless Victory: A special condition in sortieing where you defeat your opponent while taking no damage on your side. Due to how RNG works, this can be either easy (do There Is No Kill like Overkill) or absurd (the possibility of you actually doing this on a hard Boss Node approaches zero quickly). Although there is no additional benefit in doing so (you receive the same experience and morale bonus as normal S rank) and is more of a Bragging Rights Reward.
  • Flunky Boss: Every last one of them. From the humblest light cruiser in 1-1 to the mightiest Demons and Princesses, all of them come with a number of escorts to distract the shipgirls from hitting the right target. Particularly sadistic bosses have lesser bosses in their fleets too, just to make the admirals' lives harder.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling:
    • Despite being the instructors of the Destroyers in the 4-koma, Ise is regularly characterized as far less serious than her sister Hyuuga, the latter of whom actually got annoyed at Ise's need to be the center of attention.
    • Some other ship classes are portrayed this way, too, such as Zara-class (Zara being responsible and Pola being foolish) or Sendai-class (Jintsuu being responsible and Sendai & Naka being foolish).
  • Foreigners Write Backwards: Due to the history of how traditional Japanese is written, Shimakaze can also be written as "Zekamashi". Inazuma's verbal tic "Nano-desu!" is also written like this in one of the decorations, becoming "Sudenona!".
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Abukuma's second remodel keeping her as a light cruiser but allowing her to use preemptive torpedoes probably should have been a hint that the event which followed, Summer 2015, would have restrictions against torpedo cruisers.
    • Libeccio's hourly line hints at Warspite before the latter gets added into the game.
  • Fragile Speedster: Destroyers in general. They possess a base speed of Fast, and have high base Evasion rates, but have low Armor and Hit Point values.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Occasionally crops up during events, but the worst case by far was during Spring 2016, where the newly implemented land base air support didn't work properly even after two mid-event maintenances (the interception mechanic didn't work at all), Iowa suffered fit penalties on her own gun, Pola couldn't equip seaplane fighters at Kai despite having it as Kai stock equipment, among others. And that was despite a long maintenance to implement the event that was meant to last from 11:00 to 20:30 and ended almost 6 hours late. Prior to the two fixes to land base air support, not a single player was able to clear E7 on hard.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: The events in the anime later get integrated into the game in later events.
    • The boss weakening mechanics starting Summer 2015 which references how in the anime the Midway Princess gets weakened after 3 carriers are sunk.
    • Starting Spring 2016 in some events you have access to airbases. Abyssal bombers will attempt to attack them like in the anime, resulting in lost of resources.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Comes with the territory of ships being referred by name and traditionally referred to as girls/women/etc., really — you won't see many Takao, Atago, Kongou, Musashi, Giuseppe, Samuel, Johnston and Nelson as girls' first names. Played completely straight for the Kriegsmarine ships, however, who actually are named after men - because, unlike most countries, the Germans think of their ships as male rather than female, thus making their portrayals in this game an outright Gender Flip.
    • On the other extreme, there are ship girls who simply happen to have genuine feminine names. Examples include Fubuki, Miyuki, Hibiki, Chitose, Maya, Haruna and Helena.
  • Genki Girl: Kongou is the most famous example of this trope. But some characters like Nenohi, Ikazuchi, Ooshio, and Naka count as well.
  • Glass Cannon:
    • Any ship with a high attack power but relatively low HP and Armor value is this, like Yuudachi or the Torpedo Cruisers.
    • Aircraft carriers can use their planes to torpedo and divebomb the enemy ships and possibly inflict major damage prior to the shelling phase under favorable aerial conditions. Enhanced by the Aircraft Proficiency System introduced in Summer 2015 that makes them capable of gaining post-cap damage bonus with veteran planes, further increasing their firepower to overwhelming proportions. However, they cannot attack at all once they are moderately damagednote  as their flight decks get ruined. Every other class can still attack at moderate or heavy damage. Not very well, granted, but even some Scratch Damage might well bump the enemy into a worse stage of damage or outright make the difference between survival and a successful sinking.
  • Golden Snitch: Sinking the enemy flagship in a battle guarantees you at least a B rank as long as you haven't sunk any of your own ships in that battle. On top of that, against bosses with gauges sinking the enemy flagship is the only thing that lowers the gauge, and all damage to the accompanying mooks doesn't count.
  • Goroawase Number: I-168 and I-58 have chosen to do this with their names to make them easier to pronounce and to make them sound more like actual names. Thus, I-168 and I-58 are also known as "Imuya" and "Goya" respectively. For the same reasons, I-19 and I-8 are called "Iku" (no, not that Iku, and not that one either) and "Hachi".
  • Gotta Catch Them All: It's called Kantai Collection for a reason. There's even a library detailing the ships/equipment you have acquired before. Naturally, the ships/equipment you have never got before are left blank.
  • Gratuitous English:
    • Kongou, who enthusiastically shouts lines like "BURNING LOVE!" for her attacks. Based on the fact that the real-life Kongou was built in England.
    • Exaggerated with Iowa, for obvious reasons.
  • Gratuitous French: French ships Commandant Teste and Richelieu, though theirs tend to be actual phrases than just random words inserted into Japanese sentences.
  • Gratuitous German: I-8, who is then followed by actual Kriegsmarine ships Z1, Z3, Bismarck and Prinz Eugen.
  • Gratuitous Russian: Hibiki sometimes talks in Russian. She has more lines in Russian after she gets her final upgrade into the Verniy. Russian ships of Gangut and Tashkent for obvious reason followed suit.
  • Grayscale of Evil: The Abyssal Fleet are evil alien invaders with white skin, black or white hair, white or black outfits, and mechanical/beast parts in dark metallic grays.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: For the collaboration event with Arpeggio, there was Iona, and later on, Takao and Haruna, all three of which were available only for the duration of the event.
  • Guide Dang It!: The game has several game mechanics that qualifies as this in spades. Even for Japanese players who don't have to deal with the overseas access issue or language barrier, there are plenty of things like branching rules, expedition requirements, recipes and especially the game mechanics that are hard to figure out without a guide. It's even worse in time-limited event maps, especially after the introduction of ship locking caused the ships to be locked to the map they're sortied to. Furthermore, some of the event maps have boss debilitation mechanism that requires substantial amounts of Trial-and-Error Gameplay to figure out.
  • Harder Than Hard: KanColle Kai, in addition to having Easy, Normal, and Hard difficulties like the browser game events; has Kou(Very Hard),which is unlocked by beating the game on Hard, and Historical, which is unlocked by beating Kou difficulty.
  • Hard Levels, Easy Bosses:
    • Usually averted, but occasionally played straight. For example, at 3-2, the boss node only has destroyers, transports and light cruisers, but most fleets are forced to retreat by the pre-boss node, which has battleships and heavy cruisers.
    • 3-5 north route also applies. The boss node is one light cruiser, two transports, one battleship and two destroyers. Nothing particularly tough. But to get there, you'll have to go through one node with up to three Flagship Wo-class standard carriers, and another with Northern Ocean Princess. The south route isn't much better; due to the closing torpedo phase, the light ships you'll have to use for it have a high chance of being damaged to red in either of the two nodes before the boss, forcing you to retreat.
    • 5-3's boss is no pushover, but one is far more likely to be forced to retreat by the compulsory night battle nodes beforehand, of which there are at least two.
    • Spring 2016 Event E-1. The boss itself is nothing unusual, but the pre-boss node has an Aircraft Carrier or Battleship Princess leading it, which is nightmarish for an event's first map that have previously been easy even on Hard.
    • Winter 2019 E-2 Phase 2. The Southern War Demon is pretty easy even with a combined fleet defending her, but one of the preboss nodes has two Battleship Princesses even on Medium, which can easily make things Hellish.
  • Hell Is That Noise: An activating Cut-In has a very distinctive sound. If you hear it, but don't hear one of your ship girls' voices following up, wince. Someone's taking it hard up the butt.
  • Hidden Buxom: Ushio has a nice stack, which can only be seen when she receives critical damage. Yuugumo, Naganami and Tashkent also play this straight. To a lesser extent, Suzuya, after upgrading.
  • Hidden Villain: If there is any high command, The Man Behind the Monsters, Eldritch Abomination or other authority behind the Abyssals, they have yet to be shown onscreen.
  • High-Tech Hexagons: Hexagonal patterns appear in several menu backgrounds, but are yet to be included in a shipgirl design.
  • Historical In-Joke: All over the place, especially apparent in the 4-koma. That said, the real-life references of the ships each girl represents are more often than not played for moe points instead.
  • Hot-Blooded: While most kanmusus have lines that show their spirit and passion when fighting, Suzukaze is particularly high spirited and hotblooded in almost everything she does.
  • Holiday Mode: Certain shipgirls will have special costumes and secretary lines on certain seasons, such as Christmas and Valentine's Day.
    • More seasonal contents was added by 2015 to the point that majority of the shipgirls in the game would at least have a special secretary line voiced for the occasion. And this is before mentioning several mini-events that was held since.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In one manga, Akagi, the "Bauxtite Queen" herself, notices Shimakaze is helping herself to an absurdly large amount of food and cautions her against wasting resources. Meanwhile, Akagi's tray has three times the amount of food that Shimakaze's does!
  • If It's You, It's Okay: Most (but not all) of the ship girls towards the Admiral in varying degrees.
  • Improbably Female Cast: Comes with the territory of being a game about female Moe Anthropomorphisms. Despite being set at a military base, there isn't a single male character in the game (Admirals can be the exception, but can just as well be female).
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Kaga towards the Shoukaku-class sisters (Shoukaku and Zuikaku). In real life, the Kaga was the slowest and generally worst-designed (but had some of the most experienced crew) of Japan's large fleet carriers, while the Shoukaku-class were arguably the best and certainly the most advanced pre-war design (with a relatively inexperienced crew).
  • Informed Equipment: No matter what you equipped on your shipgirl, their CG will stay the same, depicting whatever equipment they have in their picture.
  • Injured Vulnerability: The boss weakening mechanism in Fall 2015 Event is this, as you have to defeat certain enemies to reveal the damaged form of the boss, which takes more critical hits.
  • Insane Admiral: You can choose to become one for the sake of Item Farming and Level Grinding. Farming Isuzu, grab her radar units once you raised her enough and feed her to other ships over and over again? Check. Disassembling or feeding on your fleet girls when she's not the one you wanted or got bored of her? Check. If you are harsh enough, you can tire your ships under enemy fire just to risk their lives for victories. Your main ship / secretary ship cannot be sunk. And for the other ships? When they are sunk, they are Killed Off for Real. And don't forget they are little girls. "Shitty Admiral" indeed.
  • Invaded States of America: Implied in KanColle Kai, which has the Abyssals taking over the American West Coast, Hawaii and the Panama Canal. Spring 2016 E-7 clear message, meanwhile, pretty much says that the operation is a smash and grab operation against abyssal-controlled Hawaii.
  • Item Crafting: There are two usual ways to gain additional ship girls in the game. One is via random drops during sorties or expedition. The other way is constructing one, a much more time-consuming processnote  that uses up resources (fuel, ammunition, steel, and bauxite). Specific resource ratios during construction yield higher chances of getting "rare" ships (like Shimakaze or Yukikaze), or even ship types (in case of carriers). Even so, to get exactly what you want is a hit-or-miss thing.
    • The equipments are obtained this way as well, Apart from acquiring them as stock equipments from shipgirlsnote  or as quest rewards. Some equipments can be (randomly) crafted from the factory by expending some resources. What you get depends on the amount of individual resources you've put, though there is a chance for the equipment development to fail entirelynote , or worse yet, resulting in a substandard equipment (AA guns are prime offenders of this).
    • In the Arcade version, understandably, the ship girls and the equipments are made instantaneously, but for the former, they'll cost a credit if you actually want to have the girl as a card.
  • Jack of All Stats: Ships belonging to the Heavy Cruiser class tend to be this. They are average in every stat and can hit anything in the game (except submarines) with suitable equipment.
    • Master of None: Occasionally falling into this category for the same reason, as you can only field no more than six ships, regardless of types, in your fleet. Some maps will pretty much require you to use more specialized ships like aircraft carriers or certain light cruisers.
  • Japanese Politeness: Haruna and Houshou. They stand out when compared to other characters in the game.
  • Joke Character: Maruyu, a supply submarine introduced during the December 2013 update. Even when maxed out, her stats are all still below 10 in value, and she can't mount any equipment until reaching level 20 and being remodeled. As such, her only viable use in combat is usually just to soak up hits and force enemies to ignore the rest of your fleet. Outside combat she can also make expeditions slightly more efficient due to having even lower resources consumption than the other submarines, but her real purpose (according to the Developers) is in modernization to increase other ships' luck stats.
  • Joke Item:
    • Certain gear like the 12cm Single Gun Mount is so weak and better gear so readily available that there's no reason to keep them around.
    • The kotatsu in the official 4-koma. It makes nearly everyone useless (as in, they completely lose their will to sortie), even Nagato.
  • Joshikousei: While many of the ship girls have outfits that invoke this look, it's more obvious in the case of Kumano and Suzuya.
  • Just Plane Wrong: One of the aircraft introduced into the game as part of the April 2020 ranking rewards is the Vought XF5U Flying Flapjack. However, its equipment card lists its moniker as "Flying Pancake" instead. This is actually the moniker for the XF5U's predecessor, the Vought V-173, and is also not the first Japanese work to have committed this moniker mixup.

    Tropes K-O 
  • The Law Of Chromatic Superiority: The rankings go E (blue) -> D (green) -> C (yellow) -> B (orange) -> A (red) -> S (gold). Perfect S in particular has the words "Complete Victory" (完全勝利) in gold as well.
  • Legacy Character: Quite literally in the Kagerou, Setting Sail! light novel, as the identity of a ship is something that is passed on from one girl to another if the previous bearer is killed. This includes memories, by the way. Due to the sheer attrition implied, there are very few "originals" left.
  • Lethal Chef: Kongou and Hiei, after their second remodel, which exposes them as terrible cooks, with Hiei being the worst. How bad? Her curry makes the Admiral run around avoiding her for 2 hours. You're free to imagine what happened to the Admiral during that time.
    • According to the drama CD that comes with the limited edition volume of "Side: Kongou", it is somehow established that neither Hiei nor Kongou's cooking is actually lethal (thus making it somehow averted) but rather a result of focusing too much on "unique flavors"note . As a result, the admiral ended up traumatized by it.
    • With the introduction of Isokaze, we have yet another lethal chef, whose food makes the Admiral have a stomachache after breakfast and run away at the mention of lunch and dinner.
  • Lets Split Up The Navy: Starting with Summer 2014 Event, seasonal events may feature fleet locking that prevents them from being sortied out to other event maps. While this is not applicable for Easy difficultynote , players who wants better rewards and challenge would have to choose their fleets carefully as the fleet locking are applied throughout the event and cannot be freed up for other event maps.
    • It's much worse in Operation AL/MI in Summer 2014, as this event was held before the Difficulty Levels were introduced, and it required as much as four to six full fleetsnote .
    • The Summer Event for 2015 that is the Second SN Operation, held in the following year after AL/MI, takes this to new heights, as this event has seven maps and four fronts, two of which (four maps in total) require the Combined Fleet, with unprecedented number event map drop exclusive ships on top of an operation to stage continuous assaults in the final event map.
    • The ship-locking ante is upped even further two years later in Summer Event, as the event has five fronts, with three fronts having maps with dual-phasesnote  and requires Combined Fleet.
    • Played with in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, as the operation itself is split into two Seasonal Events (Fall 2017 and Winter 2018note ). The ship locking is not carried over, though you could potentially lock out Nishimura Fleet out of their proper route if you neglected to sortie them in Striking Force Fleet.
  • Level Grinding: At some point Admirals will have to resort to this, as certain stages require a minimum level to survive the normal nodes on it, nevermind the boss nodes that need to be cleared to unlock the stages that come after. And even then, due to the RNG-based mechanic it's not even a sure thing, since it's equally possible for a fleet averaging in the 90s to get stuck at a node as it is a fleet of levels 30s to squeak past it.
    • Levels don't matter!note 
  • Level Scaling: In effect for the seasonal event maps from the December 2013 Arpeggio Collaboration event onward, as well as so-called "Special Operations" maps. Lower-leveled Admirals faced equivalently low-level mobs, but at specific level "checkpoints" elite, then flagship-class ships start to appear. Going beyond a certain level threshold often meant the difference between a map simply being challenging, to mind-blowingly difficult, as evidenced during the Arpeggio event (where low-leveled admirals didn't even encounter named Fog ships) and the Spring 2014 event (where going past admiral level 80 spawned a Battleship Princess, on top of the already difficult-to-defeat boss present). Replaced by choosable Difficulty Levels starting from Winter 2015, though it isn't completely gone; even for the same difficulty level, the map gauge will be slightly shorter at lower levels, and in general, Line of Sight requirements are harsher for higher level players.
  • Lord British Postulate: Since Summer 2015, some event maps have had "gimmicks", most of which are Damage-Increasing Debuff mechanics to weaken the boss node. The devs' intention for some of the gimmicks is simply to make the boss easier to clear, but for others the player is supposed to activate them to be able to kill the boss. However, a select few players have cleared the boss without activating them. For Summer 2015 E7 some of the seven players who cleared it before the devs officially announced the existence of the debuff gimmick did so without debuffing (the others discovered it on their own); Tanaka would later address these seven players as the "Big Seven"note  in an interview. For Spring 2016 E6, a few players managed to clear E6 on hard despite a bug preventing the supposedly necessary debuff from working. However, none of those who made it past E6 could clear E7 on hard due to multiple Game Breaking Bugs affecting the land based support before the first round of bug fixing maintenances, although some did manage to clear on easy.
  • Luck-Based Mission: All of the sortie missions, pretty much. Your ships' stats factor only a little on your success, and you proceed in your missions based on RNG.
  • Magikarp Power: Many ships' more powerful remodels only come after significant level grinding. If the ships are particularly weak prior to their final form (most notably the Chitose-class seaplane carriers, whose final forms are some of the best light aircraft carriers in the game), this trope is played straight.
  • Marathon Level: Quite a few event maps are very long. Fall 2017 E4 is the current record-holder with so many nodes that it goes right past Z into alphanumeric designations and has not one but two bosses!
  • Marionette Master: After their upgrade to Light Carriers, the Chitose-class become this, controlling their planes by Dual Wielding control bars.
  • Master of None: The Zero Fighter Model 62 fighter-bombers have both anti-air and dive bombing stats, but are inferior in both to either dedicated fighters or dedicated bombers. They fill a very specific niche where you absolutely need just a bit more air power to get air superiority or supremacy, but don't want to make the carrier in question useless in the shelling phase, which she would be if she only carried dedicated fighters.
    • The first two jet-powered aircraft introduced in-game are fighter-bombers, but they averts this due to their impressive air power and bombing stats that could rival or even surpasses that of purpose-built piston aircraft.
  • Metal Muncher: The characters regularly eat bauxite as a resource.
  • Mighty Glacier: Battleships with a listed speed of Slow (Nagato/Fusou/Ise/Yamato classes and later Warspite) are this. They can take a lot of punishment and give it back tenfold but are very slow. On the other hand, battleships with a listed speed of Fast (Kongou-class, Bismarck, the Italians, and Iowa) are a different trope.
  • Miko: All Kongou and Fusou-class battleships have this for their unifying theme (though only aesthetically), with the Kongou-class combining it with detached sleeves and thigh high boots.
  • Mildly Military: Considering the near-total lack of uniform code, the sort of things the ships say to the admiral, and (according to the same quotes) the sort of things the admiral is implied to be doing, it seems this trope is in full effect. The official RPG goes a step further by never mentioning any links between the player's organization and the Japanese government or military.
  • Militaries Are Useless: It's not clearly stated in the game at least, but many fans hold it as an article of faith that shipgirls are needed to fight the Abyssals because conventional forces have failed in their attempts to do so. Reasons range from perfectly mundane ones like normal antiship sensors and weapons having difficulty detecting and hitting human-sized targets to more magical ones like Abyssals being spirit beings that No-Sell conventional weapons and can only be hurt by ship girls' own spiritual abilities. Played with in that the ship girls are derived from older military ships and are organized in a military group (albeit not much of one).
  • Military Mashup Machine: Aside from the aviation battleships, this game also employs historical aircraft cruisers and aircraft carrying submarines, with some (Ise, Hyuuga, Mogami, I-401, I-13, I-14) being true to their historical counterparts. Akitsu Maru and Hayasui (Japanese Army amphibious assault ship and fleet oiler respectively) can also be modified to launch planes (they're weak on that though).
  • Military Moe: The ships of the IJN and other World War II navies are now cute demon-fighting girls.
  • Moe Anthropomorphism: As mentioned in the description above, all the controllable kanmusu.
  • Mooks: The game's primary objective is that you sortie your team of 6 to fight demon ships, known as the "Abyssal Fleet" (深海棲艦, Shinkai Seikan). Similar to your compositions, they also have different types of mooks to go against you. But beware, these mooks aren't simple to defeat, thanks to the game's unpredictable, automated system. You will later come across Elite Mooks, Airborne Mooks, Aquatic Mooks, and many more as you progress.
  • Morale Mechanic: Ships can have their morale go up by performing well in sorties, which can increase their performance (and give them sparkles). Conversely, sortieing too much with the same given ships will make them fatigued, which decreases their performance. Mamiya and Irako can help boosting their morale back, and morale can also be built up by not using them and waiting.
  • My Greatest Second Chance: As each event is based on an actual historical World War II campaign, some of which the Kaigun lost (Guadalcanal, Midway), they're seen as this for a player's fleet girls.
    • Certain shipgirls has very strongly-worded battle cries during the Fall 2017 and Winter 2018 Event, both events based from the Battle of Leyte Gulf, with Yamashiro and Zuikaku taking the cake as they had to fight their Enemy Without in those events.
  • Naval Blockade: From Summer 2015 Event onward, the player's fleet can intercept certain areas in the map to debilitate (weaken) the boss for the duration of a day at certain event maps by fulfilling specific conditions, ranging from decimating enemy fleets or flagships at specific nodes to killing specific number of enemies. This is especially important as some of the enemy bosses (such as Summer 2015 Event) have ridiculously high armor or HP that makes them nigh-unsinkable otherwise.
    • Seasonal events on 2016 revised the mechanic by removing the daily resets that plagued the last year's debilitation effort, as well as introducing two potential conditions related to air defensesnote . Events from Summer 2016 onward rings the quest completion sound when all the conditions has been met, while Fall 2016 Event introduces a secondary starting point that has to be unlocked before the player's fleet can reach the boss node. It's not until Winter 2017 Event that the conditions are explicitly stated in a quest, and even then, there might be additional conditions that gives separate debuffs that is not divulged by the quest.
  • Necessary Drawback:
    • The more powerful girls tend to use more resources than their weaker comrades, even within their own classes.
    • All battleships can equip heavier main guns than what they historically carried, but take accuracy penalties proportional to the weight difference. The harshest penalty is given to the Kongou-class, meant to carry 35.6cm Twin Gun Mount, when equipped with Yamato's 46cm Triple Gun Mount.
    • The 51cm Twin Cannon is the strongest weapon in the game, but its enormous firepower comes at the cost of reducing the evasion of the Battleship that carries it. And that's before mentioning that it's only equippable on a handful of battleships.
    • The Italian 381mm/50 Triple Cannon. While it is not as heavy compared to the 46cm Triple Cannon and still grants the Battleship very long range that allows it to fire first, this comes at the cost of poor accuracy and reduced evasion. This was true of the real life weapon it's based on.
    • The 16inch Triple Gun Mount Mark 7 has the opposite drawback to Italian's main guns in that regard, as its range was limited to plain Long in exchange for its high accuracy. Also, its upgraded version was simply the same gun with the GFCS strapped on, bringing its high accuracy up to eleven while retaining the same amount of impressive firepower... after a massive amount of improvement materials and rare equipment spent to upgrade it.
    • Both Searchlight and Star Shell provide bonuses for night fighting. Searchlight always activates, but will make the enemies more likely to target the girl carrying it. In contrast, Star Shell doesn't make enemies more likely to target the user, but has a chance to not activate.
    • Some of the more powerful ships, like the Yamato-class or the Hiyou-class, are classified as slow speed, which means they have disadvantageous routing.
    • Seaplane Fighters provide additional fighter power and unlike seaplane bombers, are immune to enemy anti-air fire, meaning their ranks won't be degraded by such. In return for that, unlike Reconnaissance Seaplanes, they can't trigger the Artillery Spotting which allows the girls to trigger Double Attacks and Cut-Ins, which greatly affects your girls' damage. Of course, there's nothing stopping you from equipping one of each.
    • For all the incredible perks of the jet-powered aircraft that puts them squarely into the Infinity+1 Aircraft, they have a fairly limited range and consumes a significant amount of steel per sortienote  for its maintenancenote . Furthermore, apart from land-based airfields, they can only be equipped by the armored Shoukaku-classnote , making the jet fighter equipped further down the slot order more prone of running out. And while they are difficult to shot down in air-to-air combat, the jet bomber's ability to attack twice makes them twice as vulnerable to enemy's anti-air, making them impractical to use on maps with enemy fleets that has powerful air defenses.
  • Nitro Boost: After an update, shipgirls can equip turbines and boilers that turn even slow ships into fast ones. Already fast ones (especially Shimakaze) can be upgraded to Fast+ and Fastest. Notably, Yuubari can't reach the Fastest even with an all-boiler configuration.
  • No Communities Were Harmed: Played straight during the first few months of the game's life, when the developers went to great lengths to obfuscate the fact that its normal and event maps were based on major World War 2 Pacific campaigns (specifically the ones the Imperial Japanese Navy lost), then averted utterly come the 1st-year anniversary, where the bosses were immediately identified with the ABDA. Come the Summer 2014 or Operation AL-MI event, the devs aren't even bothering hiding the fact that the Abyssals are stand-ins for the US Navy, what with their carriers now equipped with Hellcats, Helldivers, and Avengers.
    • The event right after (Autumn 2014) showed that it was the same with the Kaigun with the Destroyer Princess looking a bit too much like Harusame, and the event after that (Winter 2015) had a Light Cruiser Demon looking like a mix of Naka and Agano. And torpedo cruisers (which only the Kaigun ever used) have been in the game since day one.
    • The Spring 2016 Event is basically the Attack on Pearl Harbor, where you send a Combined Fleet and bombard the enemy with carrier-based and Land-based Bombers not to mention that the boss is actually the USS Arizona.
    • Again in the Fall 2016 Event, where your fleet is pitted against Task Force 16. Then, in the last map, you're now instead pitted against Operation Crossroads ships.
  • No Plot? No Problem!: Either this, or the game has a very,very flimsy Excuse Plot if one squints hard enough. Proponents of the latter point to how the missions range further and further afield, starting with clearing out the waters around the naval district, before culminating in a raid at the Abyssal Fleet anchorage, complete with supporting bombardment by another squad of allied ships from your fleet. Event missions also have underlying historical stories to them, albeit used loosely.
  • No-Sell: For the Crossover event with Arpeggio of Blue Steel in Christmas 2013, weapons used by ship girls were stated to have no effects on the Fleet of Fog because of their Klein Field. However, they were modified by Arpeggio!Hyuuga to be able to avert it (mostly)note .
  • Non-Entity General: The admiral/teitoku commanding the fleet of kanmusu, basically acting as the player's self-insert. This obviously results in (male) admirals having wildly different portrayals in fanwork, though it also makes a large segment of Pixiv artists simply replace the admiral's face with a 'T' (sometimes known as "T-toku"), much like how the Producer in Petit iDOLM@STER has a 'P' for a head. (Most) female admirals somehow avoid the T-head, but still end up looking suspiciously familiar anyway...
    • It must be noted however that Murakumo calls the Admiral a "little boy" (小さな男) in one of her hourly lines.
    • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Either Admiral (提督, teitoku) or Commander (司令(官), shirei(kan)).
    • The admiral in Bonds of the Wings of Cranes plays with this, as barring the fact that he's a blatant pervert, Zuikaku had trouble not only placing his ethnicity, but any distinguishing features (like scars and whatnot), which meant that if he wasn't such a perv, it would be easy to miss him in a crowd.
    • In the 4-koma the admiral is shown, but his head is never seen and he never had any lines (but the girls talking to him act as if he said something).
  • Non-Human Head: It's common in fandom to portray the Admiral (Teitoku in Japan) as having a T for a head.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Rensouhou-chan, a trio of Danbo-like turrets that tag along with Shimakaze. Also Rensouhou-kun, Amatsukaze's turretnote . The Akizuki-class each have a pair of turrets named Chou-10cm-hou-chan. Then there is Taitei-chan, which is Akitsushima's flying boat.
  • Non-Indicative Difficulty: In the Autumn 2015 event, due to PT Imps having ridiculously high evasion (even compared to late model elite DDs) and a high torpedo stat that could easily damage any ship you were allowed to bring to E5 in the torpedo phase, the Easy difficulty was actually the hardest difficulty, due to being the only difficulty level to feature them in the final kill formation. And this was after a bug that made them almost impossible to hit was fixed. Fortunately, their evasion was toned down a lot for the next event.
  • Nonstandard Character Design: Due to using different artists, some of the girls may look sharply different from one class to another, and even within classes. For example, compare Yukikaze's design with the design of the other Kagerou-class ship girls or compare Murakumo's design with the design of the rest of the Fubuki-class and the design of the first two of the Hatsuharu-class.
  • Not Completely Useless: The 7.7 Machine Gun was previously a Joke Item. It's Anti-Air equipment, but the stat bonus it gives is exceeded by even some non-dedicated gear, and there are better items to get +1 evasion from. This meant it was good only for the scrapyard. With the March 19th 2016 update, however, it becomes a necessary ingredient in upgrading Daihatsu Landing Craft to Daihatsu Landing Craft (Type 89 Medium Tank & Landing Force).
    • Chances are any ship with mediocre stats can fall under this, if event branching rules favour them, like for Kamikaze- and Mutsuki-class for winter 2017 E2.
  • Not Drawn to Scale: Some of the girls are drawn without regards to the actual ships' size. E.g Ryuujou, a light carrier who's barely taller than the destroyer girls.
  • Obvious Rule Patch:
    • When submarines were first available to players in summer 2013, clearing maps with a lone submarine was commonplace, as being considered the flagship, she couldn't sink, and by the time she reached the boss with 1 HP, all she had to do was deal Scratch Damage to the enemy to clear the map, since most maps outside of events lacked a map gauge. When the event ended, the mechanics were changed such that the sortie automatically ended if the flagship went to 25% or less HP (although a later patch months later allowed her to continue if she had a damecon equipped, using it up in the process), and new maps having map gauges became the norm rather than the exception.
    • Refreshing right after reaching a resource node used to allow the player to gather resources easily without risking damage to their fleet. Some time in early 2014, this was secretly changed so that the resources collected during the sortie would only count if you ended the sortie normally. A hard cap of 300,000 for resources was also introduced.
    • When the combined fleet mechanic was first introduced in summer 2014, E5 nodes A and B became a Peninsula of Power Leveling for DDs and CLs due to each ship receiving 300 base EXP from either submarine node, which consumed only fuel and no ammo. Ever since the next event, every new map has had variable EXP for every enemy pattern in every enemy node, thus nerfing the EXP obtainable.
    • One of the most popular strategies to clear Winter 2015 E5 was to put submarines as the escort fleet flagship of a combined fleet, allowing her to tank damage without sinking, since the flagship of the escort fleet was immune to sinking, and you didn't have to retreat if her HP fell below 25%. Come spring 2015, submarines were no longer allowed to be the flagship of the main or escort fleet of a combined fleet. The same happened the event before with two Yamato-class battleships in the escort fleet being a popular setup for E3 and E4, resulting in all slow battleships no longer being allowed in the escort fleet. That said, there was no need to ban submarines from the main fleet flagship or other slow battleships from the escort fleet...
    • In the first event with Land-Based Air Support (Spring 2016), the combat radius of LBAS was calculated based on the maximum range of the longest-ranged plane, meaning that you could have one long-ranged plane and tack a bunch of stronger but shorter-ranged planes on to the squadron. Subsequently, LBAS combat radius was changed so it went with the shortest range of the squadron's planes. Then again, considering how many Game Breaking Bugs the event had, it was just as likely that the devs just didn't bother to fix it until the next event, which ended up being the first ever event with no new mechanics introduced (apart from the airbases being actual locations indicated in the map).
    • During the Summer 2016 Event, the boss node was very far away and well beyond the range of most land-based squadrons, therefore encouraging the players to use them for pre-boss nodes... with the Harbour Summer Princess node as the most obvious target for it. The reasons are quite telling as the concentrated attack from three airbases to a single node are very devastating. Future implementations of LBAS limited them to two airbases that can be sortied even for the final map, and it wasn't until Spring 2017 that the players are permitted to sortie three airbases to the final map.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: In the 4koma, some of the naval battles got skipped off. It's frequently lampshaded too.
  • Ojou: Definitely Kumano. Speaks like one, acts like one as well. Then there is also Arashio. Warspite even moreso, being designed like a member of the (British) royalty.
  • Onee-sama: A few of the big sister shipgirls are called this way, by Hiei, Yamashiro and Pola. Prinz Eugen also calls Bismarck this way even though the latter isn't her real sister.
  • Older Than They Look: The historical age of the ship come the start of the Pacific War isn't necessarily reflected in their appearance. Take the Fusous, Kongous and Tenryuus, World War I-era ships who don't look much older than others in their class. Or Fubuki and Houshou, the mothers of modern destroyers and carriers respectively, who don't look much older than their "kids". The list goes on. Some even go on to say that the age of the shipgirls is counted from their launch date, citing Murakumo treating the player like a "little boy" despite not looking any older than a middle schooler herself, Kamikaze denying being old in one of her hourly lines, and I-14 drinking alcoholic drinks despite looking underage as examples.
  • Otaku: Sazanami talks like she frequents 2chan. One of Yuubari's idle dialogues also insists she is not interested in watching midnight anime.
  • Our Monsters Are Weird: The Abyssal Fleet are amalgams of eerily pale humans, giant ambulatory mouths, and naval vessels and hardware, in varying combinations.
    • A minor enemy that sometimes shows up in (fan) artwork note  is the "Enemy Naval Mine", a bio-mechanical black sphere with glowing lights, at least one huge mouth and a number of tentacles, whose attack is to strip the ship girls and... presumably worse. They also prefer submarine girls and other Pettankos.
  • Out of Focus: Poor Fubuki, being the poster girl of her own game, only to get overshadowed by more popular characters like Shimakaze, Kongou or even Inazuma/Ikazuchi. Alleviated a bit in the 4-koma, where she and Shirayuki are the viewpoint characters.
    • In one of the official manga anthologies, there's a story where Fubuki gets replaced as the poster girl - by Shimakaze, of course. She goes to great lengths to win back her spot, but it doesn't exactly turn out as intended...

    Tropes P-T 
  • Past-Life Memories: Plays an important part in the Bonds of the Wings of Cranes light novel, as the fleet girls initially struggle with their memories as ships and try to integrate these with their current existence as girls and young women. Some quotes by the girls in the game itself also allude to their experiences in the past.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: Although World 3-2 has a reputation for being That One Level due to the requirements needed to even get to the boss node, it's also known as a prime leveling spot to level up ships, due to the same composition restrictions. After HTML5 rework, the pre-boss nodes have their EXP yield nerfed and World 5-3 took its place as the new leveling spot.
    • World 5-4 also counts as this for ranking points and ship levels, as this map have a high base EXP and a favorable branching route that allows the players to reach the boss node easily, awarding a large amount of HQ EXP and rare ships as possible drops. With the advent of aircraft proficiency, the flagship aircraft carrier can now consistently score an MVP in this map with a full bomber loadout.
    • As all submarine nodes in event maps don't consume ammo, they become this for destroyers and light cruisers, especially in combined fleet maps. Submarine nodes in normal maps do consume ammo, but done right, they can still play this straight.
    • Air raid nodes take this up to eleven for submarines, since they'll take no damage whatsoever, and due to how air raid nodes work, this always results in a perfect S rank with an all sub fleet, with just 1 fuel and ammo used up per submarine per battle.
  • Play Every Day: Being a browser game KanColle plays this quite straight, mostly by way of the daily quests, which are generally the most viable way to get certain resources.
  • Power Equals Rarity: Both played straight and subverted. Nagato-class, Yamato-class, Shimakaze and Yukikaze are particularly strong and rare ships in their respective ship types. However, many of the rarer ships don't live up to their rarity. Rare Random Drop Destroyers (those who are uncraftable and only obtainable from boss nodes) are not much different from Com Mon Destroyers aside from anti-submarine stats (which are better obtained from equipment anyway).
    • Completely subverted for Light Cruisers. Kinu and Abukuma only gain advantage from the faster remodeling level and high anti-sub at lower levels, and their final stats are actually lower than their easily obtainable sisters of the Nagara-class. The Agano-class is the worst offender of this; not only are their stats not that flattering compared to the Nagara-class, but their fuel/ammo cost is also on par with some of the Heavy Cruisers.
    • Played With among carriersnote . Souryuu superclass plays it straight with more rare Hiryuu being more powerful than Souryuu. Averted with the Shoukaku-class, where both Zuikaku and Shoukaku have the same stats, despite Zuikaku being more rare. Akagi and Kaga are weird about this. Akagi has higher rarity grade, but she is easily obtainable through early quest, often being the first carrier in the taskforce. Kaga has lower rarity grade, but she can be a pain to actually get. As for performance, Kaga is superior to Akagi in every waynote .
  • Power Makes Your Hair Grow: Inverted interestingly in the 4koma. There's a Running Gag that either when someone's hair grows long, they will be ready for their second remodel soon, or that they must grow their hair out in order to get ready for their remodel.
  • Power Up Letdown:
    • Battleships or standard carriers could be considered as one as their upgrades, while considered an overall improvement since it raises their stats, experience letdown on other important aspects, most significantly increased fuel and ammo consumption for sorties and repairs. This is generally exacerbated during limited-time events, particularly those in which the boss health meter regenerates over time, forcing players to repair their high-powered fleets more frequently than usual.
    • Some ships suffer a decrease in luck after their remodel.
    • A number of players refuse to do the Quest that changes Iwai Flight from Model 52Cs to Model 62s for this reason. The Model 52C has air power on par with a Reppuu, plus a few additional benefits; the Model 62 has worse air power, not very good dive bomb stats either, and worst of all, because it counts as a bomber, it's now vulnerable to enemy Anti-Air Cut-In.
    • With Akashi's Improvement Arsenal, it is possible to upgrade certain equipment into a better version. Thing is, for some of them, the bonuses from an unlevelled "upgraded" equipment are lower than a +10 version of the original.
    • The initial reaction when Kinu Kai 2 was revealed to be unable to equip midget subs like Abukuma (instead getting higher AA capabilities and a built-in daihatsu) plays this straight. Some players still haven't gotten over it.
  • Protection Mission: While averted in the browser game, KanColle Kai features this as the Abyssal Fleet can launch counterattacks to reclaim a sea area. Failure to intercept the counterattack fleet when they appears would return the sea area to enemy control, annihilating all the transport ships in the area and forces their escorts to retreat, effectively denying the resources from there. Failure to protect the headquarters would result in Game Over.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Because the variety of personalities the shipgirls possessed, the ensuing historical fleet formations more often than not become a parade of strange girls teaming up with other strange girls. First Torpedo Squadron has Abukuma for a flagship, who is pretty much a Butt-Monkey to her destroyer subordinates. In Nishimura Fleetnote , Mogami and Asagumo are the ones without serious dysfunction. Kimura Raiding Forcenote  has a very foul-tempered destroyer as flagship, three different flavors of Boisterous Bruiser, and the Mission Control girl. They all still kick a lot of asses.
  • Random Number God: Oh god RNG really is everything in this game. Even if you manage to find some construction or development recipes that lead you to what you want, be very careful not to get too worked up. You will regret it.
    • Random Drop: It's been theorised that when you get the first of a ship, you become more likely to get her wherever it's possible to get her (be it from construction or from sorties). This would explain why the "Last Sister Syndrome" (you have every ship of a certain class... except one, which you just can't get) is so prevalent: getting every other sister ship increases the chances of getting them instead of the ship you want.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Elite Abyssals get this, to accompany their angry red aura, as well as the fact that they're significantly harder to take down than their non-elite versions. On the playable side, there's Yuudachi, whose green irises turn a bright red once she's given her second remodel (which turns her into one of the more powerful Destroyers around).
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Several pairings, platonic or not, are of this kind.
    • Akagi (Red Oni) and Kaga (Blue Oni). Akagi is Emotional and somewhat prideful. The latter is The Spock.
    • Kitakami (Blue Oni) and Ooi (Red Oni). Kitakami has great pride in her abilities but she is ultimately laidback and rather goofy, Ooi is fiercely protective of Kitakami and appears to have more fun in battle.
    • Shigure (Blue Oni) and Yuudachi (Red Oni). Shigure is quiet and reserved, having also been tempered by the battles she survived; Yuudachi is cheerful and energetic, being a little power-plant who can out-fight cruisers.
    • Musashi (Red Oni) and Yamato (Blue Oni). Musashi is a Hot-Blooded Determinator who lives for the battle. Yamato, being better known for her livability, is gentle yet extremely powerful.
    • Nagato (Red Oni) and Mutsu (Blue Oni). Nagato is a dignified ship and a natural leader... if she remembers to be dignified; Mutsu is demure yet fearful of her own safety, lest she blows up and becomes torn in half.
  • The Rival: A lot. Just to note some examples (be it in fan depictions or official):
    • Fusou and Yamashiro towards Ise and Hyuuga. This is due to the fact that the real life Ise and Hyuuga were created as an improvement on the design flaws of Fusou and Yamashiro. Ironically Fusou's seiyuu also voices a different Hyuuga, namely Arpeggio of Blue Steel's.
    • Kirishima towards Haruna. This time it's due to the production rivalry/competition between Kawasaki Shipyards in Kobe (which built Haruna) and Mitsubishi Shipyards in Nagasaki (which built Kirishima), with the ships in question being built around the same time. However, Kirishima's production got delayed for a daynote , which caused Kirishima to look at her as a rival, despite them being both completed on the same day, effectively making them twins. Do note that the whole rivalry is actually one sided as Haruna does not actually think much of it.
    • Kaga towards Shoukaku and Zuikaku. Kaga belonged to the First Carrier Division, while Shoukaku and Zuikaku belonged to the Fifth Carrier Division. Since both divisions couldn't get along well during the war due to complications (mainly because of how they thought soldiers from the Fifth Division Carrier were amateurs), their rivalry began. Some lines in the game justify Kaga's uneasiness towards the Shoukaku sisters.
      Kaga: Don't put me on the same league as the Fifth Carrier Division.
  • Resource-Gathering Mission: The "Expeditions" are basically this. They're different from sorties in that the ships involved doesn't do (much) battle, and it takes much longer, but when it's done, your base will get a lot of resources. There are also daily quests that reward resources, as well as sortie maps that yields quite a few resources when completed.
  • Rocket-Tag Gameplay: Going into night battle drastically raises the damage cap and enables the usage of attacks that allow even destroyers to deal hundreds of damage to battleships on both sides. While it is instrumental to kill the enemy bosses, entering night battle in any battle before it entails the risk of being at the receiving end to those lethal attacks in return. The end result usually is that either the attacks miss or someone is getting taken out of commission. For this reason, forced night battle nodes are loathed by most players.
  • Running Gag: The developers being very slow in general. When they promise to implement something for the players (such as new ships), players usually have to wait months or even years before they're actually implemented. Bugs used to take months to fix; now they usually take "only" two or three weeks to fix. To top things off, while the game got going on 23 April 2013, the devs' Twitter account was created on 6 May 2011; almost two years before.
  • Sailor Earth:
    • Averting the Featureless Protagonist / Non-Entity General phenomenon, 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. The official tabletop RPG explicitly references several of the above types, including the shiba-inu and T-head admirals, although its canonicity is pretty doubtful.
    • It's also a common thing in the fandom to make ship girls based of yet unimplemented ships in the game, from multiple navies across the world.
  • Sailor Fuku: Not surprising, given this is a game about anthropomorphized ships, that variations of these show up worn by the girls, most obviously among the various destroyers.
  • Sarashi: The Kongou sisters, Musashi, and Kako in her Kai-2 wear it. Extremely notable in Musashi's case as she only has a sarashi to cover her chest compared to the rest who have at least another set of clothing above theirs.
  • Schmuck Bait: Submarines are very useful for farming fuel from 2-3, you say? And 1-5 drops a lot of them, you say? Especially at the boss node? Sounds like an easy way for low level admirals to farm for them there. However, farm there too much and watch your HQ level skyrocket, forcing you to face tougher enemies in event maps and future extra operations due to Level Scaling. And good luck if you lack the heavy hitters required to clear some of those maps. Thankfully it got turned around for event maps starting from Winter 2015, where you now get to choose Difficulty Levels, with harder levels being unlocked if your HQ level is high enough, making raising HQ levels for new players a desirable thing once more.
  • School Swimsuit: I-58, I-168, I-26 and I-401 wear school swimsuits covered by the upper half of their school uniforms as their unifying theme, and U-511 swaps her old costume for one as part of her Ro-500 remodel. I-19 and I-8 both wear only the swimsuit.
  • Scratch Damage: If damage dealt is calculated to below 1, a special formula for scratch damage is used instead. This gives a damage value of roughly 10% of the target's current Hit Points. If this value falls below 1, the attack is treated as a miss. This means you can deal a decent amount of damage to high-health targets, but cannot sink a target with scratch damage alone.
  • Secret Level: The Extra Operations counts as this, as they are unlocked alongside the next world map levelnote  after the main operations in their corresponding world map are cleared. These maps features boss gauge which indicates the numbers of flagship kills in the boss node that is required to clear the map. Clearing the first phase of the Extra Operationsnote  awards medals which may be traded in for blueprints, which are necessary for theoretical remodels available for certain shipgirls. Since there are many shipgirls that requires blueprints for their remodels now whereas the medals are awarded only once per stage in a monthnote , players would have to revisit the Extra Operations map on every passing month to get enough blueprints to remodel them.
    • The seasonal event maps counts as Bonus Dungeon as well, as they often come with powerful bosses to be subdued during the limited duration of the event. Interestingly enough, some of the later stages are accessed from an arrow link similar to the one in Extra Operations, only larger, and listed as "Extra Special Operation Stage" in Englishnote , even though the devs tend to divulge most if not all the event maps. Most of the final stage maps qualify as Brutal Bonus Level, as explained in its entry above.
  • Sentai: Heaps, especially those explicitly having sentai on squad names. Justified since the term sentai is largely used during World War II.
    • "Kantai" is actually a variation of "Sentai" for the marine operations.
  • Series Mascot: Shimakaze is one for the game, as she's prominently featured on the game's official site.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Some of the second remodels, such as Isuzu Kai 2 and Yuudachi Kai 2 (and to a lesser extent, Verniy). Compare them to their base forms, and the difference is staggering.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: All over the place in Kagerou, Setting Sail!, an expected consequence when the memories up to the point of death of the previous bearer of a ship "role" gets passed on to her successor. A good chunk of a prospective successor's training focuses on suppressing these memories, as well as the panic they cause.
  • Shoot the Medic First: Part of the Summer 2015 Event. The E-7 boss has ridiculously high armor, well above the night battle damage cap, effectively rendering anything short of critical hits as nothing more than Scratch Damage. It can be lowered by defeating the flagships of certain nodes. However, two of those nodes have previous bosses for flagships. Oh, and this effect resets daily and you only have limited time and resources to challenge this battle of attrition. Have fun.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The 1 million user special decoration is a poster for a silent film about a mutiny of a battleship from a faraway country, which happens to look suspiciously familiar.
    • Arare's name happens to be pronounced the same way as Arale Norimaki from Dr. Slump, and as such her Verbal Tic is "n'cha", which is a common Catchphrase in the series.
    • Yuudachi Kai 2's nickname. See Red Eyes, Take Warning for details.
    • Naka is one to both AKB48 and The Idolmaster (in fact, many of her lines are references to Atsuko Maeda). Her number in the ship library, as well as her second remodel level and Hit Point count, are all 48. She also gets into a Santa costume for Christmas.
      Naka: Naka-chan wishes you a Merry Christmas! He-he!
    • One of Yamashiro's lines can be said to be this to Touma Kamijou.
      Yamashiro: Such misfortune...note 
    • I-401's sinking line:
      I-401: I wonder if I ran wild enough this time round. A ship really sinks when they're sunk, huh. Bye bye.
    • A couple of Musashi's battle quotes are a clear reference to Amuro Ray's boast in Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack:
    • The blazing-blue left eye of a few remodeled Abyssal Fleet flagships looks very familiar.
    • A couple of Intrepid's hourlies reference various aircraft on display at the Intrepid Sea, Air, And Space Museum, located on her flight deck. The 2100 line in particular specifically names some of the aircraft on display that were also featured in Area 88.
  • Shown Their Work: To say that the attention to details, from rigging to lines to damage art, on the individual ships' histories would be an understatement and too many to list.
  • Speed Demon: Shimakaze fancies herself as the fastest ship girl in the fleet and as such is pretty hyper and cocky.
  • Spell My Name with an S: There appears to be a discrepancy in regards to what the enemy fleet, the 深海棲艦 (Shinkai Seikan) are called in English text. Kadokawa's translation for that term is "Deep Sea Fleet" (see the credits to KanColle Kai), while the English fandom's translation is "Abyssal Fleet" or simply "Abyssals". The English dub for the anime uses "Abyssals".
  • Starter Equipment: In this case, a rookie admiral starts out with a choice from a selection of five destroyers — Fubuki, Inazuma, Murakumo, Samidare, and Sazanami. In KanColle Kai, Shigure, Mutsuki and Ooshio are added to the selection.
  • The Stoic: Kaga is one, but the prize goes to Shiranui, who is arguably more stoic than Kaga. Not to mention several other stoic ships such as Nachi or Hyuuga.
  • Stop Poking Me!: Some of the ship-girls have a line about getting touched that they repeat after clicking them several times.
    Kiso: Now ya talkin', skinship's also important.
    • Taken to its logical conclusion in the 4koma.
      Hyuuga: (explaining to destroyers) I haven't done much work as his secretary, but...
      Kongou: I don't really mind the touching, but I'd like for him to know the proper time and place!
      Kirishima: He just wouldn't stop with the poking.
      Kako: Wish he wouldn't pull at my skirt.
      Nachi: That wasn't some sort of tactical maneuver!?
      Hyuuga: what I've heard.
      (cue Mass "Oh, Crap!" by the destroyers)
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Kaga is normally this, even to you. The only exception to this is her interaction with Akagi, be it in doujins or even in the official 4-koma manga. However she is not that stoic as she does offer her ears for you if you need to talk to her about something, be it for official or personal matters.
  • Super Move Portrait Attack: An interesting example. Called a "Cut-In" by players, this night battle (and later also applicable in day battles under certain circumstances) attack which procs with a chance based on several factors (the most well-known being the Luck Stat), and does damage based on the type(s) of weapons equipped, zooms in on the equipment used in said attack, instead showing the sprite of the character using them at the same size as with other attacks.
    • Big 7 battleships (Nagato, Mutsu, Nelson and Colorado) takes this further as they are capable of shelling multiple enemies at once with special cut-in attack when certain conditions are met. They can only perform this once per sortie, however.
  • Suspicious Videogame Generosity:
    • Branching rules can get pretty draconian later on. If you encounter a map that lets you bring all battleships and carriers to the boss, Combined Fleet, or support expeditions, you're going to need them.
    • In the updates leading up to an Event, if the new quests included give rare equipment as rewards, the Event may or may not require you to use it. Initially it almost certainly did (the Type 4 Sonar before Fall 2015, or the upgraded Daihatsus before Spring 2016, come to mind), but it got averted for some of the later events.
  • Taking the Bullet: Used as a gameplay mechanic - depending on the formation, ships may occasionally do this to protect their side's flagship.
  • Temporary Online Content: Each First Class Medal can only be obtained during its event. Miss or spend even one and you'll never be able to get that particular medal again, at least without others being able to get it too.
    • As far as this trope goes, every Seasonal Events also certainly counts, including all of its rewards (which may include exclusive shipgirl and equipments).
  • That One Player: Anyone who successfully frontlines an entire event is this, most notably the aforementioned "Big Seven" players for the Summer 2015 event.
  • Third-Person Person: More than a few of the girls (eg. Shiranui, Haruna, Kinu) talk like that, especially most of the newer ones. However, some of said girls make an exception in one or two of their lines (such as Haruna who uses watashi once, if you repair her from heavy damage).
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: Certain quests and branching rules require you to use some ships that, due to not being particularly powerful, would normally be ignored by most players.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Mogami and Mikuma.
  • Trauma Button: Inevitable for some of the ship girls that are famous for events of their real life counterpart (usually sinking). As an average ship girl only has around 30 lines of dialogue to work with (which can get repetitive very quickly, especially for the battle-related ones), flanderization is inevitable either way. Some averted it by either not having a major focus on such events, or having additional lines boosting the number to ~60. As shown in the 4koma (which is usually Played for Laughs) like Akagi's issue with everything even close to being related to the Battle of Midway, or the abject fear many Destroyers show for Submarines. This is even more pronounced when the Allied shipgirls responsible for those events (directly or indirectly) were added to the roster.
  • Tsundere: Murakumo, Kasumi and Akebono, each had their own way of treating their admiral.
  • Turns Red: Some boss nodes with gauges (usually for normal maps, but Summer 2014's E6 was a notorious example) become stronger when the gauge lowers enough to be emptied completely when you next sink the enemy flagship. After which it either becomes one of three possible forms (pre-final form, final form, and a third form) or it stays as the final form (for event maps until Winter 2015) or reverts to the initial form (for event maps from Spring 2015 onward).

    Tropes U-Z 
  • Unluckily Lucky: For all of their high luck, Shigure and Yukikaze engaged in a lot of battles where they survived while their comrades sank, and they get to witness it every single time. At least for Shigure it's implied that the experience broke her.
  • Unstable Equilibrium: Several of the strongest in-game equipment (such as Prototype 51cm Twin Gun Mount and Ginga) such as are rewarded exclusively as event rewards, ensuring that they could continue clearing events at higher difficulties as long as they keep playing the game and keep their resources stable, while players who can't get them will have difficulty clearing hard mode and thus continue to miss out. Ranking also counts as this despite the varying quality of the awarded equipment (ranging from Infinity +1 Sword to Junk Rare), as some of their ranking points are carried over throughout the year, making it much harder for new ranking entrants to score the top 500 required to receive the reward in the later months of the year.
  • Unusual Euphemism: The fandom has several, for example:
    • Displacement: While it depended on the artist, early on there was an obvious correlation between the maximum displacement of a ship and just how buxom its personification could be. So you had destroyers who were fairly flat-chested (due to being portrayed as kids), and super-battleships that were on the other side of the spectrum. However as time went on, the historical displacement of ships became less and less of a factor to their buxomness, to the point one had an incredibly flat Taihou (an armoured aircraft carrier), and yet also an extremely stacked Hamakaze (who as a destroyer is far lighter than Taihou). Discussed in the 4koma in the chapter introducing the Agano-class, where Agano brought up their "firm bodies" and "amazing displacement". Fubuki and her fellow Destroyers then talk about how (for light cruisers) Yuubari has closely similar displacement to Tenryuu, yet the latter has comparatively bigger breasts. Then they look at Ryuujou and then they conclude that the correlation doesn't really matter.
    • Fuel Tanks: Originating from one of Heavy Cruiser Atago's lines, where she complains about how her fuel tanks make her shoulders stiff... Except she doesn't have any visible fuel tanks, though what she does instead have is a bountiful bosom. Has become a catch-all word to describe the bustiness of Takao and Atago.
    • (Ship) Bulge: Another term for girls with supple bosoms. Occasionally, though, it refers to breast paddings.
    • Night Battle: What happens when Admirals and their favorite ship girls have sex in doujinshi. With the implementation of the marriage system, well, what would you expect a married couple to do anyway? Sendai being Sendai brings it up... in her married secretary line of all places.
      Sendai: Admiral, what's up? You're all red... O~ho, you wanna have a night battle with me?
  • Unwinnable by Design: Ship locking when it was first introduced in summer 2014. Sent too many ships to AL/MI, or just didn't have enough ships to spare for the last map? Chances are you won't be able to clear the last map. Last maps have been much more lenient since then, however; only Summer 2015 posed any problem if you locked all your important ships to E-5, which shouldn't even happen considering the ships you would need to clear up to E5 to begin with, unless you sank or scrapped all of them.
  • Verbal Tic: Several of the girls have one. Let's start with Yuudachi's "-ppoi?", which roughly means "apparently," "supposedly," "seems like," or even "~ish". Lately however, the word has quickly become a catchphrase among anime fans outside Japan since the debut of the anime adaptation, to the chagrin of fellow fans and confusion of the rest.
    • As well as Inazuma's famous "nanodesu" (sometimes just "-nodesu").
    • Somewhat enforced, both in several fan depictions and (later) the 200k user special scroll, where Kiso was struggling to have one ("-kiso"!) herself.
    • Kuma has "-kuma", Tama has "-nya", Arare has "n'cha"
    • I-19 loves to end her sentences with a "-no", usually "-nano".
    • Uzuki ends her sentences with "pyon" for a good reason, just like Kuma's "-kuma" or Tama's "-nya".
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon:
    • The final map of just about every single event in the browser game. To make it clearer, some events even include Final Stage or Final Operation in the last map's name.
    • The Abyssal Fleet Final Fleet, the final map of KanColle Kai's Historical difficulty, definitely counts. The map consists of a completely linear set of nodes filled with the toughest versions of normal enemies, capped off by a boss node consisting of Battleship Water Demon with Aircraft Carrier Water Demon and two Battleship Princesses as escorts.
  • Veteran Unit: A mechanic introduced as part of the Summer 2015 Event update. Your fighter squadron will gain ranks from repeated sorties which grants a significant amount of stat bonuses, though said rankings will reset if the whole squadron got shot down. The presence of max-ranked planes changes the aircraft carrier loadout significantly by reducing the amount of fighters needed to secure air superiority so the larger slots can be allocated to bombers instead, granting the double benefit of increased airstrike power and greater buffer from enemy Anti-Air fire.
  • Walking Armory: Floating, but still, the heavier ships (most notably Yamato-class) are shown lugging numerous heavy weapons on their person around in battle.
  • Walk on Water: For obvious reasons, this is a common ability of the ship girls. When it came to this, the official 4-koma compared it to ice skating.
    • Ascended Meme: Originally, it was unsure how the ship girls even moved while on water. On Nico Nico Douga, where Miku Miku Dance models became prevalent after the popularity of the game, videos popped up which showed the girls skating on water as a possible way of emulating the propeller on an actual ship. So it is unsurprising that the 4-koma and then the anime (the latter of which spawned a meme) decided to go along with the idea as well.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: The KanColle girls were introduced to these, care of the visitors from Arpeggio during the December 2013 event. Take note: all Fog ships barring Iona had these, and they could hit the entire squad.
  • Wearing a Flag on Your Head: The Italian shipgirls' colour schemes are modelled after Italy's flag. Iowa's stockings are colored after the American flag. Not to mention the abundance of red, black and yellow in Bismarck and Prinz Eugen's designs.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In the 4Koma spinoff, in earlier chapters every ship girls are drawn with their rigging (i.e strapped-on weapons and other ship machinery) almost whenever they appear, even when they're just idling around. In later ones, they'll only wear their rigging when they're in battle, and not for free times.
  • Widget Series: Natch. Despite being around for more than a year and a half by the time the anime started airing, more than a few people were still weirded out by the concept of fleet girls.
  • Woman of a Thousand Voices: Applied to incredible effect. Most of the game's voice actresses have more than five different roles (often voicing all the ships of a given class) and as such get the chance to showcase their versatility. Who would guess that Nagato, Shimakaze, and Jintsuu are voiced by the same person?
    • Taken to its logical conclusion in the Drama CD for the limited edition volume of the Side: Kongou manga, where Nao Tōyama performs a 20 minute skit alone with 8 of her characters.
  • World of Action Girls: All of the characters are female, and they can all kick the enemy's asses in one way or another.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Houshou and Haruna. The former for her gentle tone of voice, and her lines evoking the feel of a traditionally-trained housewife, the latter for her politeness and general "good girl" air she projects. Surprisingly not Yamato herself (despite being a "Hotel"), who can be better described as a normal girl suddenly thrust into a major responsibility.
  • You Require More Vespene Gas: While the game generates the resources on its own, it is common for Admirals to get into low reserves and the game complaining you do not have enough of them.
    • One specific Memetic Mutation even has its roots in this problem: Akagi can be acquired fairly early in the game with only a few quests, but the problem is that, as an aircraft carrier, she uses up bauxite, sometimes hundreds in one sortie, and repair buckets. Having neither usually results in having a two+ hour repair time and/or not being able to perform more sorties. Hence the reason images like this are really popular, because of the level of maintenence required to handle it.
      ...It feels like some numerical counter somewhere is dropping like a rock!
    • If regular sorties, equipment crafting and/or ship constructions didn't do your resources in, then there is the Large Ship Construction, which is unlocked by collecting all the Sendai-class light cruisers (which also unlocks the 3rd fleet for an additional fleet for expeditions). Basically a ship construction scaled up to consume resources in the scale of thousandsnote , it takes at least 2000 steel just for the default recipe. To top it off, some of the ships such as Bismarck and ''Yamato''-class superbattleships can only obtained as rare construction results from LSC with a much larger investment of resources, which means getting the LSC exclusive ships entails wasting thousands of resources per attempt in a raffle with them as the reward. It's not uncommon for some admirals to spend 6 digits worth of resources in dozens of construction attempts and not get any of them.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Kantai Collection


Random Things Into Waifus

Waifubot shows her customer how, yes, they ''can'' turn random items into waifus. Case in point: ships and entire planets.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / MoeAnthropomorphism

Media sources: