Pon. Will anyone cry for the demon ships? Ah well, who cares?
Oto. And with their victory at Midway secured, nothing could stop the combined might of the Nazi/Imperial Navy.
Pon. The end. Season two is just The Man in the High Castle. Alright, well … let’s try to be fair, like we did with that im@s movie. Let’s make a list of the things we liked. Here’s mine:
- The music
- The sixth episode, the curry one
- That scene in the first episode where they’re coming out of the Greek underworld, which was like the only interesting world-building in the entire show
- Uh …
Oto. … Yup, that’s about it.
Pon. Now, look. I love crap. I consume crap all the time. I like the challenge of making crap useful. I like digging around in crap and pulling the human experience out. But this … this is something else, man. This is on a different level. This is 100% grade-A industrial-strength top-shelf all-natural organic free-range artisanal …
Oto. I think they get it.
Pon. No, but you know what? I actually do feel like I’ve learned a lot by watching this show and talking about it with people. I feel like I understand the appeal of the game now. You’ve got this simple gameplay, these mechanics without a huge learning curve and without any pay-to-win garbage, coupled with the thrill that permadeath brings to it. And apparently the events have some non-trivial quantity of narrative associated with them. There’s this insinuation that the shipgirls and the demon ones are dredged up from the same hell. I think I’d get bored with the game quickly, but I get it! It sounds temporarily addictive, at the very least.
And based on what I know about the game at this point, it seems to me that the show fails on the level of playing to the source material’s strengths. I mean obviously it’s filled with indulgent, masturbatory memey bullshit meant to give diehard fans a momentary thrill, but that does not a good story make. I’m willing to cut the showrunners a break in the sense that they probably would’ve been drawn and quartered if they didn’t include that stuff, but … that’s not even what I’m talking about. It doesn’t matter how I feel about that.
Let’s pretend to be scriptwriters or directors or whatever. What’s the biggest thing you’d have to contend with if you’re writing a Kancolle adaptation? Well, as far as I’m concerned, it’s the game’s relative lack of context for anything, its barebones setting. Which is fine in a video game–a game isn’t film. It doesn’t have to bombard you with author-dictated story at all times because you’re busy messing around with mechanics. But in 12 episodes of TV, that’s a real issue. That amounts to a gap in the basic foundation of what a story is.
So they had two options here, basically. They could’ve gone with a format that lends itself well to the lack of context, i.e., a gag format, like in the sixth episode. Think about how many panels in 4-koma have blank white backgrounds or just a pattern or whatever. It doesn’t matter because the driving element is the punchline. And I did actually kind of enjoy episode 6. Given that they didn’t want to do that, though, they needed to use the lack of context as an opportunity to invent their own. It seems like that’s what some of the other adaptations did. We’ve already talked about how it’d be a balancing act in terms of dodging uncomfortable history, but I don’t think it would’ve been impossible.
Instead, they went with what the game gave them. Which is not a whole hell of a lot. And then they supplemented it with forum detritus, as if memes are as good as a writer sitting there and, you know, doing their fucking job and writing a character. Great.
My opinions about crowdsourced art aside, I don’t feel like I’m slighting the fans by not liking this show. I feel like I’m sympathizing with them! Once they get over the thrill of seeing their favorite characters moving around in all their jerky, uninspiring glory, what will they have left? All they’ll have left is what we had when we started. I’ve seen … I won’t say a lot, but a good few comments to this effect by people who play the game. This show is only marginally better for them than it is for us.
TL;DR fuck this show, the second season can go to hell, I’m out.
Oto. … One sec … Yeah, okay. Agreed. You hit every point I could think of. We can’t do any more shitty shows. You always steal the thunder.
Pon. Like I said, I love crap.
Oto. One last thing. Who the fuck’s idea was it to leave out that “they both came from the same place” thing? That’s badass.
Pon. That’s what I’m talking about. And you made me realize something. How is it possible to have less setting than the game? How the fuck did they even achieve that feat?
Oto. Oh man. It’s finally over. Asa no hikari mabushikute …
Oto. WANK OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOFF