The weak character development and vague story of Azur Lane take the stage in this week’s episode. Which begs the question – are cute girls and production quality enough to carry an anime?
The episode opens up after the conclusion of last episode’s battle between Enterprise and Zuikaku. We find out that Belfast was the warship girl who stepped in when Enterprise was on the ropes, and forced the Sakura Empire girls + Prinz Eugen to retreat. We also see Enterprise’s sister carrier, Yorktown, resting.
The episode then shows us scenes of many younger girls having fun at the beach, while Enterprise sits back and continues to act on edge about the war, not able to relax. We see the Royal Navy girls, including the Queen Elizabeth, discussing the Enterprise’s condition and tendency to rush into battle with no self-concern. Belfast and Enterprise also have a little moment in the sunset.
That night, a distress signal is received. Some ships including the Enterprise head out and save a few girls from a Siren ship. Belfast ends up saving Enterprise once again.
Well, this episode was a real eye-opener. As you may have garnered from my little introductory paragraph, this episode put Azur Lane’s weaknesses on full display for us – the characters and story. So far, they just don’t work. There are too many girls to remember. And the one we do, Enterprise, has her own issues. While it’s clear they are trying to show us that Enterprise has a dark / harsh past, it just isn’t really getting across to me in an interesting way.
To be honest, the entire story hasn’t really interested me. We were just thrust into the action, and so it feels like we don’t have much of a motivation to cheer on either side of the Allies / Axis conflict. Sure, the Axis are being portrayed as the instigators and bad guys, but at the end of the day none of it matters to me. I don’t really have a reason to care who wins, either way.
As I’d mentioned before, I don’t expect the story of Azur Lane to be anything special. The one aspect that really drew me in was the stellar animation, and how it really shone by giving us very cute girls and amazing action sequences. But when an episode is really lacking in the action department, then all we’re left with is cute girls and an uninteresting story.
Which is why this episode was a real eye-opener. I just don’t think the cute girls can carry Azur Lane alone – they need the action sequences, and ideally, good characters / good story. I don’t see the story getting interesting anytime soon, meaning that the show really just needs to give us more action. Otherwise, it’ll flounder like it did in this episode.
That’s how I see things going, at least.
We’ll have to keep watching and see what Azur Lane is capable of.
Other Posts in the Series
- Season One