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Kantai Collection (Japanese: 艦隊これくしょん) or KanColle (艦これ) for short, is a Japanese free-to-play online card game series developed by Kadokawa Games. It was launched on April 23rd, 2013. The game was widely accepted and became popular, creating a large fanbase in a similar vein to Touhou Project.
Kantai Collection launched at April 23rd, 2013 by Kadokawa Games for DMM.com. Prior to the launch of this game, DMM.com were R-18+ adult games site. Trying to attract wider audience, DMM.com starts a partnership with Kadokawa Games to create a niche game catering mostly to the military otaku population with a modest budget and minimal advertisement.
Its popularity experienced an extreme surge after the players spread the word on Twitter and pixiv.
Gameplay / Plot
The gameplay is based upon fleet ship personifications from WW2 time zone. The gameplay goes along the fight against the hostile Abyssal Fleet. The player must menage as an admiral and organize their fleet girls in order to win.
The game is extremely popular in Japan. With 1.5 Million users as of January 2014. The common theory why the game is popular is because the player is not forced to spend money to play like other Japanese Social Online Games.
On 12 December 2013, Twitter officially released the top hashtags of 2013; #艦これ was the most used hashtag among Japanese Twitter users.
The game was also the eighth most searched term within Japan on Google in 2013. On December 30th, 2013, GameSpark named Kantai Collection as the online game category title for its game of the year awards of 2013.
The Anime adaptation is confirmed to air in 2014, the anime is produced by Diomedea.
As of April 2014, the game has 1.9 million registered players. It has also spawned multiple manga series and light novels, in addition to an officially licensed tabletop role-playing game. A television anime series and PlayStation Vita game have been announced.
There are many hundreds of thousands of fanworks and parodies on Nico Nico Douga (NND), pixiv and Nico Nico Seiga as well as YouTube and deviantART. Many of them are reprinted to Tumblr as usual. Particularly, Miku Miku Dance (MMD) user community have been providing many well-made character models for Fleet Girls, and these are often used in parody videos on NND. This heavy usage of that 3D animation movie program is one of the characteristics in KanColle fandom.
Fleet Girls are also popular subject for cosplay.
Left: Vocaloud song "1, 2, Fanclub" | Right: Puzzle Plank Galaxy
Left: Nijiura Seven | Right: MMD edition feat. El Shaddai
Hirakō Shock (ヒラコーショック) refers to a memorable event in the quite early days of the KanColle history.
On May 27th, 2013, KanColle, still a quite minor game in those days, suddenly entered the spotlight on Twitter by a bunch of hilariously maddish tweets by Japanese mangaka Kouta Hirano who was upset at the loss of Kaga and fed more than half of his fleets to Murakumo which hadn't been remodeled yet.
Kouta Hirano, also known as his nickname Hirakō, coincidently succeeded to spark explosive popularity of this game. By the spread of his tweets which are hilariously passionate as much as characters' remarks in his manga works, many Japanese internet users became to get interested to this online card game. Then, the number of game players increased over 150%, reached to 50,000 in 2 weeks after his tweets. And after 3 months, it reached to 500,000, ten times larger than initially envisioned by the developers.
This event that happened on Twitter is known as a successful self-motivated promoting campaign for KanColle, and called as "Hirakō Shock" in the same manner of "Oil Shock", a Japanese-English word meaning of "Oil Crisis".
Queen of Bauxite
The Queen of Bauxite (ボーキサイトの女王) is a nickname given to Akagi, a fleet girl known as an aircraft carrier that players can get with relative ease in early stages of the gameplay. For almost all of game players, she is the first aircraft carrier and thus they have faced the same situation to feel astonished at her who requires incommensurable quantity of resources and time for repair compared to other fleet girls they already have. Therefore, in the KanColle fandom, she became to be colored as "Big Eater" always carrying a bucket filled with rice or bauxite under her arm.
This her popular nature in the fanfic has been brought back to the official franchise. Even in the official manga series, she is drawn as a big eater and calls herself as "The Queen of Bauxite".
Crazy Psycho Lesbian Ōi
Reflecting the popular trend in Japanese fan fiction with shipping since after the late 2000s, fleet girls are often drawn as Yuri couples in the fandom. Among a vast amount of those Yuri fanfics, the most conspicuous one is a Twitter bot account called "Hardcore Lesbian Ōi bot" (ガチレズ大井bot) that has been serializing a story centering Oi's maddish love to Kitakami since September 2013.
Kitakami (left) & Ōi (right)
That fleet girl with over-the-top homosexual emotion is dubbed as a "Crazy Psycho Lesbian" among viewers, and that account is known as an atypical Twitter novel leading the KanColle fanfic scene rather than a mere bot account.
 The Japan Times – Looking at 2013's Japanese social-media scene / 12-17-2013
 Japan Today – Top 10 search terms in Japan in 2013 / 01-01-2014
 INSIDE/Game*Spark – 【Game of the Year 2013】オンラインゲーム部門は『艦隊これくしょん～艦これ～』 / 12-30-2013 (Japanese)
 niconico Douga – Search results for the tag 艦隊これくしょん
 pixiv – Search results for the tag 艦隊これくしょん
 Nico Nico Seiga – Search results for the tag 艦隊これくしょん
 YouTube – Search results for 艦隊これくしょん OR 艦これ
 deviantART – Search results for Kantai Collection OR Kancolle
 Tumblr – Search results for #Kantai Collection #Kancolle
 Wikipedia – Kouta Hirano
 Togetter – 平野耕太さんの艦これツイート / 06-19-2013 (Tweets archive)
 Twitter – ガチレズ大井bot (oi_bian)
Feb 20, 2015 at 08:53AM EST in reply to
Sep 12, 2015 at 07:07PM EDT
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