HIGH SCHOOL FLEET
Courtesy of High School Fleet's creators et al., Opening Credit.
For this particular anime, I spent a total of 2 days to finish it. The anime comes in a 12 episode standard, produced by Aniplex, and made by Production IMS studio I actually came across Haifuri about 6 months ago but did not give it many thoughts. So, 3 days ago, I saw an artwork of one of its characters and decided to do a whole marathon. Though the first-time audience of Haifuri may relate it to Kantai Collection and have the impression of another warship, battle ship anime (just like me). However, the impressions all shatter later into the anime.
In a future world where all of Earth’s land has mostly disappeared, the Earthlings now rely on ships as their home and place to live. And of course, the nation of focus here is Japan with its huge navy. Enter Akeno Misaki, a freshman at her navy high school – Yokosuka as she meets her newly assigned ship (classroom), the Harekaze (はれかぜ), and embarks on her virgin voyage. Little do the audience knows that troubles lie ahead of her.
P.S. The Harekaze crew comprises of students who scored worst on the entrance exam, but with a twist that you have to watch to fully grasp the majestic story written by its author.
Story Development 8.5/10
Again, unlike its counterpart: KanColle, Haifuri is not really for the lolicons in a sense of story development where panty flashes occur very distraughtly, especially when parents are present at the bridge. Instead, Haifuri has a very interesting turn of events which leaves the audience at the edge of their bow. You might think it stops at only one event and everything is solved. But the story just goes on for 12 episodes. My point is that one event, or more familiarly: arch, going on for 12 episodes may seem boring for many of us when we think about it. However, it is the exact opposite. I feel hooked on each and every episode, as every detail, no matter how minute it is, builds up the story as a whole. On might frown upon the fact that it is another showcase of loli and more characters, but Haifuri has a storyline with depth and with extremely meaningful life lessons on friendship and leadership.
Is that all I have to say about its story? No. Haifuri is infused with gut and accurate naval strategies and terms. So much so that I have to look up on what they say to have a better understanding. For example, Spoiler alert, the strategy of smokescreens is used by Misaki to deal with a much more advanced ship.
Though the story development factor earns a very high score from me, it lacks in the normality. The character’s authority connection runs very high and if it was not for those bureaucratic connections, some feats could not have been achieved by the Harekaze’s crew. That’s all there is I have to say, folks.
Character Development 9/10
They are cute. They are moe. They are lolis. Yet, those features are not the highlights for the characters in Haifuri. The character’s histories are well-furnished. It is evident in Munetani’s flashbacks about spending her childhood along with the other Munetanis and how it molded her ideal of becoming a capable sailor. It is also evident in Akeno Misaki’s flashback about the sinking incident that took her parents’ life and how the incident gives her the ideal of everyone at sea is family to her. Although our two mainly focused characters are Munetani and Akeno, the other main characters who are present most of the time in the anime are also unique and well-built. Instead of having the rest of the ship’s crew become complementary to the 2 MCs, the author masterfully makes them the star of their own self but not too bright so as to they don’t become extras.
The art style boasts a clean and modern Japanese animation look that appeals to the viewer’s eyes. Plus, the boat’s motion CGIs look quite real and not bad at all, considering all the detailed parts of the boats, such as cannons and torpedo launchers. The art style and animation when compared to other mechanical animation works (i.e. KanColle) are visibly better.
Romantic factor 5001/10
Oh, them yuri moments.
I genuinely think its low popularity is due to crappy PR work. I mean it is hard to recognize a good anime without much exposure to the public. The anime’s magnificent and meaningful storyboard is undermined by bad PR that makes no one notice. It is a great anime for people who don’t want to watch a cliched series.
Review courtesy of NGUYEN, Hoang Anh (QC, Canada)
Watch link: http://www.crunchyroll.com/high-school-fleet