Azur Lane Episode 2: Arm on Fire Veins Burning Red

Favorite Girls Shown counter: 1

So here I thought we’d get a small break from the fighting but nope, we’re right back in the action as Akagi decides to let some of the other carriers have some fun against a small scouting party with some German girls thrown into the mix.

The animation was ever so slightly more strained during the high-speed action sequences so let’s hope they still have some budget left over for the inevitable big fight waiting for us at the end. I did enjoy this week’s background girls a lot more than last time, Helena was cute and the anime knew to keep Hammann completely fucking useless.

Normally after an episode like the first one, you’d get more exposition and be left with a light-hearted episode that might branch off into smaller subplots but Azur Lane keeps the adrenaline pumping with another engagement, and wouldn’t you know it, more carriers with fun ways to send out planes. I think everyone can agree that Zuikaku was the star of the episode with her meeting Enterprise up close and personal and igniting her sword like she was Sol Badguy and Nero from Devil May Cry.  Shoukaku to a lesser extent was present playing her flute so we finally got to hear what the hell her tune sounds like.

Speaking of carriers, all examples shown thus far had carriers utilize their planes in rather interesting ways. You got Kaga and Akagi using those paper-like cutouts for not only recon but for sending out planes, Enterprise literally shooting them with her bow, and now you got Shoukaku’s tune commanding hers, while the aforementioned Zuikaku ignites her blade with it. But the contention I have is that one of my favorite girls, Hornet, didn’t get a chance to actually fight. My favoritism aside, I was incredibly curious as to how she fought because she doesn’t have an obvious tool that we know of to send out planes or fight in any other capacity like the other carriers mentioned. Hopefully she comes back and gets to play some more.

Joining the fray are the German fleet who are currently repped by Prinz Eugen and Z23. Eugen can somehow fly while being a heavy cruiser and not a carrier which confuses me, but I can guess they’re going to explain it by saying its Siren technology or something around those lines. Looking at Eugen has made this issue way more clear to me about the homogenous artstyle being a downside to the anime. Not only does Eugen’s sizable rack seem diminished, the effectiveness of her outfit is halved now that her clothes seem to be not struggling to contain her chest. The bottom half though is of no consequence because we already casually see her panties anyway. The actual point I wanted to make is that Eugen’s face looks damn near identical to Akagi’s with their general expression and lips. A bit of a shame but ultimately expected.

The starter four have assembled in their respective camps and Z23, otherwise nicknamed Nimi, seems to carry out her role as the straightman of the bunch as both her appearances have her flailing in annoyance at how nobody seems to be treating her seriously. I find it fitting that the two starters of the opposing factions are basically paired together in their shenanigans and I can bet that once the story inevitably has the four fleets unite, or at least, a small number defect, we’ll be seeing the four properly assembled.

Now with the head English ship around, maybe we’ll see less of Prince of Wales being the de-facto leader handling out orders. Being completely biased here because Wales is functionally useless in the game but is most relevant because of her artist favoring her a lot.

The big bird chicks recreating the scene from Pearl Harbor are called manjuu, who act as the mascots and fairies from Kantai Collection, providing maintenance and other tasks throughout the base. While they showed up manning the market place in the first episode, they fulfill their actual roles helping around ship maintenance and other hard labor. Riggings being the actual ships condensed into portable gear is a concept I’m getting a bit more used to the more I see it happen like literal magic.

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