Azur Lane: Slow Ahead (2021) [REVIEW] | Slice O’ Boat

Might as well, since that second season or second adaptation of the Kancolle anime is still nowhere to be seen, so once again Azur Lane will outright “eat its lunch”.

And i did already review the previous Azur Lane anime adaptation, so i feel kinda obliged to cover this one as well. Not that it shares a direct connection, as it adapts an on-going Azur Lane 4-koma slice of life manga, Slow Ahead, which omits the whole “kriegsmarine” (and annexed wave ruling) aspect of the franchise and just focuses on the daily lives of the shipgirls living in the Azur Lane base, taking as main characters the girls’ quartet of Laffey, Z23, Ayanami and Javelin.

In short, it’s the usual fluff of “anime girls doing cute anime girls things”, which i feel it’s what most fans of the franchise wanted, more than warfare and serious conflict in a scenario so stupid and outlandish to feature humanoid girls with the “souls” of World War II warships. Which was already done in Azur Lane The Animation, more reason to indulge on the fluffy slice of life aspect.

I guess you could call it more “honest” as in Azur Lane (game or TV series) didn’t really care to tone down some of the bullshit, so remember ye who approach this series, this is fluff, this is fluffy garbage anime, from random fan service from the get-go (it begins with one of the girls showering, no point waiting till mid-season to drop the pretense), moe stereotype characterization cranked to the max, and since there is no big war at stake, what do you think the episodes will be about?

“I wish had bigger bahonkas” “beach episode AGAIN” “the festival shenaninghans”

The usual anime school antics, dorm pillow fights, and so on.

It’s fluff, inoffensive moe fluff.

Mostly. Don’t worry, there are plenty innuendos, wardrobe malfunctions, “joke molestations”, and general fanservice, it’s Azur Lane, after all. Heck, just the episode end cards will provide on that, so maybe you will check out the game and the racy swimsuits or skins for the character you can buy with real money. I mean, this is arguably the real purpose of this series, just marketing the franchise and the base game by integrating some stuff from it into the episodes’ “plots”, like the Meowfficers.

And a cute – if totally random – reference to Fist Of The North Star, at least i think that’s what it is (could be wrong on that).

It sure as hell won’t give any context to the character’s and their relationships, so it basically expects you to know the dynamics between some of them (like how Bismarck apparently has trouble asking out for parties Tirpiz, i guess, i never saw that myself in the game)…. but then again, the characterization is so flimsy and fairly one-dimensional you don’t really need any extra context.

Animation and drawings are decent, nothing to nitpick or to really compliment, CANDYBOX definitely did its job without really overdoing it, it doesn’t feel anyone put their best efforts, but then again, there was really no reason to make people crunch or kill themselves with this material (or make them crunch, at all).

It’s about what you would expect from the franchise, the PV and the promo material, really, so it’s adequate for pandering garbage like this, because that’s exactly what it is, and what most people would want from it. Just pandering, mostly harmeless, conflict-free comfy slice of life fluff (with a good dose of fanservice) about the mono-dimensional characters they like from the franchise.

But i will give them props for having the good intuition of making very short episodes, 8/9 minutes tops, with 7 minutes of actual show, so it doesn’t overstay its welcome like it would have in a normal sized episode. And as a plus, this time i could simply use my Crunchyroll subscription (which i pay for) to follow the series, instead of having to torrent it because “it’s not available in my region” and it’s not on any of the other streaming subscription services/platforms i paid money for.

Like the main Azur Lane TV animation series, still a no-show here.

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