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This article is about the graphic novel. For the band with a similar name, see Submarine Seven, The (band).
from Galactipedia, the Galactic Encyclopedia
Seven Submarines is a comedy-action-romance graphic novel, first published on Zipang and subsequently picked up for galactic distribution by the Tomodachi-based Action Ace imprint. A spinoff of the popular dōjinshi comic series ______ Loves Corwin, it is billed as a collaboration between that title's creator, an artist using the pseudonym Nebe, and a Nekomikoka-based dōjin circle, Studio Autumn Cloud (see Authorship below).
The central conceit of Seven Submarines is that the warships of Earth's Second World War (1931-1945 SC) have been reincarnated as young women with apparent techno-magical powers (there is an implied connection with the fictional Valhalla of Rahne Sinclair's Valkyrie Adventures novels, which also features in the ______ Loves Corwin comics), and—for reasons not explored in the storyline—some of them have selected International Police operative Corwin Ravenhair as their "admiral". Under his (occasionally somewhat hapless) command, the "Ravenhair Fleet" operates as an IPO special mission force.
On the aquatic planet Manaan, sinister forces lurk in the seas, preying on transports and isolated underwater settlements and leaving no survivors in their wake. The selkath government finds its own security services unequal to the problem—any investigators they send to the sites of these disasters are themselves wiped out without a trace—and so (reluctantly) requests IPO assistance.
That assistance arrives in the form of Admiral Ravenhair and a group of seven unremarkable-looking young women in utilitarian swimsuits. Captain Hrask, the Manaan Security Directorate officer tasked with representing the selkath government on the mission, assumes they're making fun of him with their choice of clothes and is generally unimpressed—until he conducts the admiral and his troops to the site of the most recent habitat destruction.
There he discovers to his surprise that, while Corwin wears a suit of sophisticated aquanaut armor to take part in the investigation, his subordinates can survive and function in the depths with no apparent protective equipment. Moreover, when the site comes under the expected follow-up attack, the women manifest powerful weapons and expertly employ them, becoming the first people ever to defend themselves successfully from the invaders. These are revealed to be hideous, deadly beings employing technologies never seen before.
After the battle, a dying Hrask reveals a piece of information he had been ordered to withhold from the outsiders: based on the places and times of previous attacks, the MSD believes it knows when and where the next will take place. If their projection is correct, the next target will be the first enemy attack on a major city—and it will happen soon. This leaves Corwin and his submarine squadron with two tasks: prevent the next attack, and figure out why the selkath's own government didn't want them to know about it...
Admiral Corwin Ravenhair - The same fictionalized version of the IPO operative who appears in ______ Loves Corwin. He appears slightly older in Seven Submarines, though this may be an artifact of the different art style.[original research?] He wears a stereotypical admiral's cap at all times, even, for comic effect, inside the bubble helmet of his aquanaut armor (or, in one memorable scene, when wearing nothing else). A serious and canny tactician, he is kindhearted-but-faintly-clueless when dealing with his aquatic subordinates. His fighting abilities are less spotlighted here, as he is (literally) out of his element, but used to very good effect when they do appear.
Iona - Formally Long-Range Submarine I-401, an incarnation of a Japanese Sen-toku-class aircraft-carrying submarine. Iona describes herself as Corwin's flagship. Quiet, reserved, and very polite, she occasionally shows a faint undercurrent of rivalry with a couple of the other submarines, going so far as to induce a malfunction in one of them to prevent her from "bothering" the admiral. She seems to be based in a different technological idiom than the others, manifesting higher-tech-seeming equipment and usually using it in subtler ways.
Shioi - Although she describes herself as also being Long-Range Submarine I-401, Shioi has completely different weapons and equipment to Iona, and her appearance is strikingly different as well. This is not explored; when Hrask remarks on it during the introduction scene, Corwin says only that it's a long story. More outgoing and talkative than Iona but a little shy, she gives the impression of being inexperienced and a bit uncertain of her capabilities, but eager to excel. Though devoted to the admiral, she shows no sign of being possessive of him.
Iku - Type B submarine I-19. Iku describes herself as "the Sniper of the Seas" and prides herself on her facility for accurate long-range torpedo attacks. She's also very fond of innuendo, which is a fondness that is somewhat facilitated by being handy with a torpedo. She makes no secret of the fact that she'd like to carry out what she describes as a "night surface attack" on the admiral, but Iona has so far managed to prevent this from happening. Oddly, Iku doesn't seem to mind that; if anything, she think it makes the whole game more fun.
Goya - Type B Model 2 submarine I-58. Carefree, laid-back, not as fast (in any sense) as Iku. In spite of her easygoing demeanor, she's a bit of a den mother to the other submarines; it's Goya who is preoccupied with supplies and their distribution, as well as making sure everyone keeps proper station when the squadron is formed up and that no one gets lost or left behind when things get confusing. She gets frustrated when they get too dependent on her, however, as (by her standards, anyway) at least one member of the squadron has done.
Ro-chan - Formally Ro-500, although underneath her designation and her cheerful adoption of the -chan suffix, Ro-chan isn't Japanese at all; she's the incarnation of a Type XIC German U-boat, formerly U-511 before her transfer to the wartime Imperial Japanese Navy. She's gone completely, happily native, and professes it's because of three things: the food, the warmer seas, and Decchi (her pet name for Goya, to whom she is deeply attached). In combat she occasionally becomes German again, showing a precision and ruthlessness the others can only regard with mildly disturbed awe.
Hachi - Type J-3 submarine I-8. If you handed an uninitiated observer a photo of the squadron and asked him to point out the U-boat, he'd proabably point to Hachi, not Ro-chan. They're both blonde and blue-eyed, but Hachi fits the rest of the stereotypes better, with her taciturn, studious demeanor. She even speaks German, having visited that country during the war. Hachi is very self-conscious about the fact that one of her later crews committed infamous war crimes, though no one she knows holds it against her: as Tang says at one point, "You can't pick your crew."
Tang - American Balao-class submarine USS Tang (SS-306). The CQC specialist of the group, skilled at fighting hand-to-hand ("claw, flipper, whatever"). Tang is dogged, relentless, and evidently indifferent to discomfort or hardship; when asked whether an injury sustained in the initial battle scene is painful, she replies that it's got nothing on getting sunk by one of your own torpedoes. Like Iku, she's straightforward about being up for some sack time with the admiral, but she's much less aggressive about it, to the point where no one is entirely sure if she's really serious when she says it.
Seven Submarines is billed as a collaboration between Nebe, the artist behind ______ Loves Corwin (and The Adventures of Master Tintin, another Zipangi franchise distributed galactically by Action Ace) and a Nekomikoka-based dōjin circle called Studio Autumn Cloud, which is best known[by whom?] for the alternate-history World War II comic Romance of Combined Fleet Record. This is borne out by the art style, which more closely resembles Fleet Record than previous Nebe titles. Some[such as...?] have speculated that Seven Submarines is set in the future of Fleet Record, which features very similar personifications of warships taking part in a fictionalized version of that mid-twentieth-century Earth war.
On the alt.fan.autumncloud Usenet group, the collaboration behind Seven Submarines is nicknamed "Cloud Alliance".
- Dockyard 1: A Romance of Fleet Record Fan Site
- Action Ace Publications official site
Categories: graphic novels | fictional properties about IPO personnel | fictional personifications of military equipment