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Topic ID: 137
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#0, (OOTR-17) Cantata for Warships in D
Posted by Gryphon on Sep-07-15 at 09:34 PM
LAST EDITED ON Jul-29-18 AT 03:57 PM (EDT)
Notes from Gryphon
Notes from Matt

dialing it back... for this one specific purpose - UNIX administrators may wish to compare using sudo rather than logging in as root.

cut down in defeat by an ungracious victor - I-401 and her sister ships were surrendered to the US Navy at the end of World War II. The Navy's response to being handed the largest, longest-range submarines in the world was to take them out and sink them for target practice. This pathetically wasteful display of vindictiveness wasn't limited to Japanese hardware, either; most of Germany's U-boats, some of them the most advanced seagoing vessels ever constructed to that time, were taken out into the Atlantic and scuttled in an orgy of wanton pettiness codenamed Operation DEADLIGHT.

it's a long way down from here - The wreck of I-401 lies in about 2600 feet of water.

a near-vertical upward angle - Iona likes to surface this way in Arpeggio of Blue Steel. One must assume she's simply amusing herself when she does it, since there's no actual reason for a submarine to surface like that other than in a dire emergency.

Oh, Corwin, you imbecile. - Corwin is VERY MUCH off his game, and really won't get much better until he really gets at the reason why.

I-401 kai - A nod to the "original" I-401's meta-origins: Fleet girls who have had their first upgrade remodeling in Kantai Collection have kai (改, "improved/remodeled") appended to their names. See also the upgraded version of the Kawanishi N1K Shiden Striker Unit used by various Fusō Witches over in Our Witches at War, the N1K2 Shiden-Kai.

Sea Skimmer-class patrol hydrofoil - Old-timey BattleTech players may recognize this vessel from the 3026 Technical Readout. (The other Earthforce ships mentioned here are made-up extrapolations of basic concepts.)

I don't like torpedoes - And well she shouldn't, since that's what the Navy scuttled her with.

supercavitation drive - This is a thing that gets more play in the Arpeggio of Blue Steel manga than it did on the TV series; based on a real principle, it's the party piece of both sides' torpedoes and submarines, enabling them (along with advanced propulsion systems) to achieve truly idiotic underwater speeds.

test depth... one hundred meters - This was a bit of a problem with the I-400 class's design, since that's less than the length of the boat (122 m), making it theoretically possible to exceed the test depth with the bow before the stern reached a safe depth in an emergency dive (e.g. to escape air attack or an unexpected destroyer).

(As an aside, Shioi talks in metric units because she's from the 1940s; Japan metricated in 1924.)

Shioi - An alternate, slightly punny way of saying "401", based on the fact that there are several different ways of saying numbers in Japanese ("yon" and "shi" are both valid pronunciations of "4", for instance). Since real-life Japanese submarines only had numbers and not proper ship names, all the submarines in Kantai Collection prefer to be addressed by similar nicknames. I-8, for instance, is called "Hachi" (8), while I-58 is "Goya" (go, 5, plus ya, an alternate way of saying 8).

Honorable(?) mention in the pun/multiple-meaning value of this category goes to I-19, "Iku", whose nickname is reportedly both a way of saying "one nine" and "I'm going" - the latter of which is used in Japanese slang as the local equivalent to "I'm coming" (as in, experiencing an orgasm). Seriously. Unsurprisingly, fanart tends to portray her as a lewd little beast.

I felt a little strange calling you by a number anyway. - Props to Corwin, he's got the right attitude right off the bat here.

the captain's cabin - Naturally, a normal Fog ship would have no use for such things, or indeed life support systems within the hull. Shioi's Fog conversion is based on Iona's configuration, which was set up to support a human crew (although they're not hard adjustments for any Fog ship who knows what she's doing to make).

cold, dark, silent... lonely - Since, by the less liberal standards of the time, I-401 hadn't fallen in battle, her spirit was consigned to the featureless mists of Hel. Fortunately, she doesn't remember it very clearly (in part because there's literally nothing worth remembering there).

Tethys-class... Iapetus-class - The Earthforce Surface Navy's droid submarine classes are named after Earth's long-disappeared prehistoric oceans (the oceanic equivalent of the ancient continents, e.g., Gondwanaland, Laurasia).

Target J-5 - Iona designated the Iapetus-class targets with "J" instead of "I" because of a standard protocol intended to avoid confusion with I-designed Fog submarines (such as herself, I-58, and so on).

Corrosive torpedo detonation - This is what we call "Making a Statement."

underground dockyard - The visuals of the Fog's Midway base are sort of an amalgamation of the JMSDF bunker docks at Yokosuka and I-401's hidden headquarters at Iwo Jima in the Arpeggio of Blue Steel TV series.

Lionfish - A shout-out to the real USS Lionfish (SS-298), one of the surviving Balao-class subs now serving as museum ships. Lionfish is one of the attractions at Battleship Cove in Fall River, MA, alongside the battleship Massachusetts (BB-59) et al., and is one of at least three submarines on public display in New England that I know of, the other two being USS Albacore (AGSS-569) and USS Nautilus (SSN-571).

a perfectly good dream about me and Admiral Lockwood - She refers to Admiral Charles A. Lockwood (1890-1967), who was Commander, Submarines, Pacific Fleet from October 1943 through the end of World War II. He is largely credited with making the US submarine force the vital strategic weapon it was for the second half of the Pacific War, largely by weeding out the less aggressive members of the submarine officer corps and replacing them with men who got things done. The submariners of the Pacific Fleet called him Uncle Charlie. It's not too surprising that a sub who served in his fleet would be a bit (or more) in love with him - though it is a little odd that Lionfish has so completely imprinted on her template that she is too.

Léonne Poisson - The in-house visual aid for picturing Léonne is the Strike Witches character Katharine "Crasher" O'Hare, less the animal-familiar bits. Lionfish's tendency to be a bit clumsy maneuvering in port is a nod to her visual design's origins, since O'Hare is infamous for wrecking Strikers and generally being a bit of a menace (like Nipa Katajainen, though generally through actual incompetence rather than Nipa's chronic bad luck).

I freely admit to using very lazy French here.

poor Bowfin never leaves the pier - USS Lionfish's sister ship, USS Bowfin (SS-287), is a museum ship in Pearl Harbor, not far from the USS Arizona memorial.

fleet aircraft carrier Kaga - Kaga doesn't introduce herself as a member of a class because she basically isn't one. She was laid down in 1920 as a Tosa-class battleship, then scheduled for scrapping when the 1922 Washington Naval Treaty made the Tosa class superfluous. Then the Great Kantō Earthquake of 1923 damaged the hull of the incomplete battlecruiser Amagi, which was slated to be converted into an aircraft carrier along with her sister ship Akagi, beyond economical repair, and since they hadn't gotten around to scrapping Kaga yet, they completed her as the second carrier instead. Kaga remained on the IJN's books as a Tosa-class vessel, even though there was actually no such thing, and Akagi officially remained an Amagi-class ship, even though Amagi never entered service. (Just to make the matter even more confusing, one of the late-war Unryū-class aircraft carriers, construction after Akagi was sunk, was named Amagi.)

A lot of people assumed Kaga and Akagi were sister ships, because the intricacies of IJN treaty compliance in the 1920s were not well-known in the wider world, and if you didn't know a ton about naval architecture, they did look a lot alike, but both were unique ships with very different machinery and widely divergent care-and-feeding needs. Akagi was a bit larger and considerably faster, since she was based on a battlecruiser hull, and the Tosa-class battleships would have been many things, but "fast" was not going to be one of them. (You can also tell from the names if you're up on your Japanese geography and 1920s IJN naming conventions - Akagi is named after a mountain, like all large Japanese cruisers of the time, and Kaga is the name of a province of Japan, in keeping with the way battleships of the era were named.)

Ikazuchi, not Kaminari - A running joke from Ikazuchi's dialogue in Kantai Collection. "Kaminari" is the usual way in which her name is pronounced; "Ikazuchi" is an older, more poetic way of saying it. (In either case it means "thunder".)

Special Type-III destroyers - As in the third version of the Special Type destroyers, a generation of destroyers developed in the 1920s. They were technically all known as the Fubuki class, but modern naval historians usually refer to the Special Type-II ships as the Ayanami class and the Special Type-IIIs as the Akatsuki class, after the first ships of each subclass.

The lead Special Type-I, Fubuki, is the protagonist of the Kantai Collection TV series; she's among the five destroyers from which new players in the game get to choose their first ship. The others are her sister ship Murakumo, the Ayanami-class Sazanami, Inazuma, and Samidare, the lone non-Special Type starter ship, who is of the later Shiratsuyu class.

(Very, very early players could get Ōi, a Kuma-class light cruiser, as their starting ship; I think it was like a preorder bonus or something, although since Kancolle is a browser game I'm not sure how that works. Anyway, I digress.)

nanodesu - Many Kantai Collection characters have a verbal tic as a charm point. Inazuma's is her habit of adding "nanodesu" (literally, "it is so") to many of her sentences, even if it's not really called for or doesn't make sense in context.

this is essentially a First Contact here, and I'm blowing it - First contact, true, but blowing it is a bit harsh. Tho, again, boy's still off his game here.

eyeing Corwin with a hard-to-read speculative look. - Love at first fight? Perhaps...

news from the Northern Air Temple - More on this later.

destroyer squadron brought me breakfast - What's crazy is that it doesn't actually feel that crazy.

the five of us were heading out of Rabaul - The Tenryū-class light cruisers resembled overgrown destroyers of their vintage, because that is essentially what they were; they were developed with the intent that they would be the flagships of destroyer squadrons on operations. (Kantai Collection fandom has parlayed this historical fact into the "Tenryū Kindergarten" trope, in which she is virtually always accompanied by one or more destroyers, usually DesDiv 6, in fan art.)

the Admiralty Code - In Arpeggio of Blue Steel, the Admiralty Code is a little like the Matrix. No one can be told what it is. Inconveniently, however, you can't actually see it for yourself either, so it remains completely nebulous throughout the series.

Seiran attack aircraft - Extremely sophisticated for the time, the Aichi M6A Seiran float plane was specially designed for the I-400 class, with collapsible wings and tail surfaces, so that they could fit in the close confines of the submarines' sealed hangars. They were destroyed at the end of the war, but unlike the subs, one survived; it's in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution's Udvar-Hazy Center just outside DC.

Хорошо (Khorosho) - Russian for "very good"/"excellent"/"amazing"/"oh gosh wow holy crap" depending on the context. Hibiki's habitual interjection, not quite on the level of a verbal tic because she uses it in context rather than just saying it as a kind of verbal punctuation. She speaks Russian because her historical archetype, the destroyer Hibiki, was one of the very few IJN ships to survive World War II, and was surrendered to the Soviet Navy after the war as reparations. Renamed Верный (Verniy, "Faithful"), she served the Soviets until the 1950s. In Kantai Collection, Hibiki's second remodel changes her name to Verniy and adds some Soviet design touches to her uniform, but fortunately they didn't go all the way to the end of that particular cultural tram line, because Russian ships are male (Verniy is the masculine form of the adjective, the feminine would be Vernaya).

Yamato's template hadn't had one - As an advanced battleship configured to serve as a flagship, Yamato would have had a flag bridge, but the naval CIC as we know it today was an American wartime invention, first implemented on US Navy fleet carriers.

red-eyed and platinum blonde - As will be obvious to those familiar with the source materials, this is the Arpeggio of Blue Steel version of Kongō, not the KanColle one.

you break it, I can remake it - A variation on Autobot surgeon Ratchet's Tech Specs quote. Much of the ship girls' introductory dialogue in this piece was adapted from things they say in game, but since Akashi and Ōyodo have very similar introductory lines (they both say some variation on "leave it to me"), I figured I'd change it up for variety's sake.

we just don't get out much - Akashi and Ōyodo were originally introduced in KanColle as Naval Base staff-member NPCs who served as part of the game's user interface. They were only implemented as fully operational ship girls in a later patch. (This is also why they dress alike, despite not being sister ships - both were unique vessels, not part of any class.)

whatever uses Kongō's apparent new masters have in mind for us - Almost certainly nothing good, no.

sturdy-looking vessel sporting several cranes - The IJN repair ship Akashi wasn't as famous as, for instance, their fleet carriers or their showy-offy giant battleships, but - crammed with a wide range of the most sophisticated machine tools available at the time (many of them German) - she was an impressive technical achievement in her own right, and one of the fleet's most critical assets. When she was operational, any anchorage became a shipyard, meaning that damaged ships didn't have to try and make their way clear back to Japan for important repairs. After she was sunk, they did, and that journey was so long and fraught with hazards, and required so much fuel, that the Navy sometimes chose to abandon the damaged vessels in place rather than attempt it.

come Hel or high water, I will keep you free - Now he's getting his shit together!

Having your daughter kidnapped tends to make everything go a little crazy - This is an understatement.

Dammit. I did it again, didn't I - Yup. But you're starting to figure things out.

making eye contact with each in turn and speaking her name - One of the biggest things Corwin does here is treat each of them as an individual person. Pretty much standard procedure for him, but it's something that goes a long way when forming a bond with a group of essentially brand new sentient beings.

You have the experience that we'll need leading that stage of the fight. - Also, with the Union Cores aboard, Iona would be able to get the hell out of Dodge and keep those safe if everything went wrong.

Shimakaze... would never maneuver so deliberately - The real Shimakaze was an experimental destroyer configured to be as fast as possible, and was the fastest ship in the Imperial Japanese Navy (and second-fastest warship in the world at the time, after the French destroyer Fantasque). Her Kantai Collection incarnation is thus usually depicted as restless, fidgety, and impatient.

Kentarō Kurita - Just after her modernization into a fast battleship, the original Kongō was Takeo Kurita's last command before he was promoted to rear admiral in 1938. As such, it is particularly suspicious that Earthforce happens to have found one of his descendants to "coordinate" the Fog Kongō's service in their fleet.

His given name is an oblique reference to Kentares IV, an inhabited planet in the MechWarrior universe. Savage reprisals against the population of Kentares by order of the insane Coordinator of the Draconis Combine, Jinjiro Kurita, are a significant feature of the long and bloody history shared by the Combine and the Federated Suns in that setting.

blue jeans and a T-shirt - It didn't come up in the story (Kongō wouldn't have known or cared what it meant), but Corwin's shirt today is concert merch for a Niogan speed metal band called StuG Life. Their logo, unsurprisingly, features a World War II German Sturmgeschütz III armored vehicle.

Black Omega - Corwin first encountered personnel belonging to this open-secret Psi Corps dirty-tricks division back in Hunter Rose, when they took part in the invasion of Titan which the Valiant crew helped fight off.

What you don't seem to realize, though, is that you have a choice. - And that's the rub. And what Black Omega is doing quite a lot to make sure she doesn't realize.

eyes flickering in a series of incredibly rapid blinks - This is not to say that Kongou wouldn't be acting this way anyway? But Earthforce has taken a number of measures to ensure her loyalty.

Enough stumbling around. Enough half-assed clown moves. This is for keeps. - Now you're talking, boyo.

Warship March - Composed in the 1890s as part of the modernization/westernization of the Imperial Japanese Navy, "Warship March" is still the official song of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force today. Léonne might have looked slightly askance at the choice, but she's outnumbered, and besides, it's a good song.

I should note that - though I enjoy the image of Corwin taking a moment out of his busy preparations to search the web, find out what the wartime IJN's anthem was, and procure a copy of it for appropriate GFWing - he already had the song in his OmniTunes library; it's track 12 on Valhalla's Favorite Marches, Volume 3.

All ships report in position and deployment complete. Good job, everyone - It was kinda fun to find ways to work some of the various ships' Kancolle dialogue into the story. :)

don't understand why, but I feel... uneasy - Kaga's original ship was, of course, sunk at the Battle of Midway.

shits given: nil - Akatsuki and her sisters are almost universally portrayed as adorable and mostly harmless. I wanted to point out that only one of those things is true. Four well-handled Fubuki-class destroyers are not a force to be taken lightly. They were the most advanced and powerful ships of their kind in the world when they debuted in the 1920s, so far ahead of their time that they were still fully-paid-up front-line combatants to the end of the war.

I want to take a moment here to soapbox about a Fandom Thing. It ties in, don't worry. I mentioned earlier that Fubuki was the protagonist of the Kancolle TV series. That decision by the production team rustled quite a few jimmies in the fandom. A lot of people took to message boards, the comments sections on Danbooru, and whatnot to bitch that she's the least interesting and the oldest starter ship, she's boring, she looks just like six of her sister ships, and so forth. Some of them were taking the stance, as people in the most annoying corners of fandoms tend to do, that she was in some sense not "worthy" of being the main character.

So here's the thing. The Fubuki-class Special Type Destroyers were revolutionary. I noted before that they were so far ahead of their time that they were still front-line effective in World War II, nearly 20 years after they were developed. Two of them (Hibiki and Ushio) even survived the war, which is not something many Japanese destroyers managed to do (the only other one I can think of offhand is Yukikaze, of the later Kagerō class). Basically all Japanese destroyers after them were either attempts to replicate their performance within treaty limitations, or expanded further developments on their line (once Japan stopped participating in naval arms limitation treaties in the mid-1930s). Most other countries' destroyer development in the '30s was geared toward either copying or countering Fubuki and her sisters.

I would contend, therefore, that in her time, Fubuki was quite literally the mother of all destroyers,* and, as such, those people should shut up and cut her some damn slack. :)

(Besides, she's hella cute and she works hard. What more can you ask for?)

* credit where it's due to Phil, for first phrasing it this way in a studio chat conversation.

This battle is over - You're quite correct, Kongou. Just not in the way you think.

request authorization for alpha strike - This was one of the first solid visuals to arrive for this sequence, combining the archery motif of KanColle Kaga with the terrifying firepower of an Arpeggio carrier/"assault ship".

Sealion says hi, bitch - The original Kongō was sunk by Lionfish's sister ship, USS Sealion (SS-315). She was, I believe, the last battleship in history to be sunk by a submarine.

This is a priority battle order! - This was Yamato's trump card, by replacing Kongou's authority with her own (and far less ruthlessly to boot!)

recently used against Paradise Island - In The Antianeira Incident, which only happened a couple of months ago at the time this story is set.

Not today, you bastards - NOT TODAY! - So, not subtle, but quite effective!

I'm totally confused-poi - The "poi" reveals that the speaker is Yūdachi; that's her verbal tic (see nanodesu above). She has excellent reason to be confused.

a bottle of Ramune - By some accounts, the battleship Yamato didn't just stock Ramune; she had facilities aboard for making and bottling Ramune. She really was miles ahead of the rest of the fleet in terms of creature comforts. It's no wonder they called her a hotel.

Most guys would bring home a puppy - I mean, he did technically already bring home a Sky Bison. After that, it's just a matter of scale.

Lau Lau - A traditional Hawaiian dish, often served as part of a plate lunch. Pork and chicken or fish wrapped in banana leaves and steamed. Usually served with macaroni salad for a complete meal!