Review: High School Fleet

Review: High School Fleet

Are you looking for something fun to watch? Something with ships, girls, funny moments and ridiculous situations? Then you’ve found something worth checking out.

Things about it: In a universe where every female student’s dream is to become a Blue Mermaid, Misaki Akeno has been qualified to attend Yokosuka Girl’s Marine High School where they train girls to become Blue Mermaids. Misaki’s ship and crew, who are also fellow students, set sail to their first rendezvous point but when they get there an instructor ships suddenly attacks them. After that encounter, its seems that many of the other ships have also gone rogue. The rogue ships do not respond to anyone and shoot any ship that comes near them. With the school pursuing them for mutiny and with other ships on the loose, what will they do?

People seeing the title might think this anime is just another girls-doing-cute-things anime. But if you could only turn off your brain, you could enjoy it.

You can tell in a ‘pinch’ that this is going to be about the MC and her friends figuring out what happened and putting the other ships out of commission through some clever tactics and some luck. To be fair I don’t think some of the tactics could work in a more serious setting but they work wonders here. The Harukaze, the ship Misaki captains, and all the student ships are old steam-powered World War II models. I guess you could also tell that this is kind of easy-going and light-hearted too.

So here are the point’s I would like to list out…

(1) About the characters,

One of the obvious disadvantages with a story like this includes character development. The Harukaze has a large crew of girls and most of them, you will easily forget. The girls working on the bridge are the ones that matter more. Even those girls lack proper development. There is almost no worthy changes in the characters through out the show and when they do change, it’s just for obvious reasons, like Misaki overcoming her fears, limiting her rash actions and learning to think about the crew. But your brain, already a hard-to-please anime critic, will think the characters are all a bunch of silly high school girls fooling around with their ships. I suggest you turn it off if you want to get the best this anime has to offer.

High School Fleet does have some interesting characters but they get little screen time. The crew does have some worthwhile characters here and there. Too bad the show doesn’t manage it’s characters carefully.

Screenshot (54).png

(2) The engagements

“Turn 90 degrees, hard right rudder!……..Boom…Boom..Boom!!” and just like that the Harukaze dodged the incoming fire from another ship (now you know I suck at sound effects, ah!…damn it!). Jesus, if only there were a secret trick that will save you from other ships,…… but wait there is….if you say anything similar to the above you are automatically saved, the Harukaze miraculously survives. It’s not like the Harukaze doesn’t get hit. But I wish they would just show it taking massive damage, alas, they don’t. I can’t blame them, they can’t do anything like that, one good shot and it’s done for. And here’s the fact that makes the naval battles so cliche, it’s unrealistic. After the Harukaze manages to slow down a rogue ship, it escapes without a scratch, not taking a scratch during the battles is impressive enough but really? Why doesn’t the enemy ships keep firing? Their main guns should still work, why? Their supposed to be on a rampage right? All the rogue gunners didn’t lose their skills did they? Are you telling me that their training is for shows? Does this show not follow common sense?

You’re in for some luck if all you care about is the action. I must say that they animated the 3D ships very well. The ships are detailed. The sound effects are a bonus but the show felt flat mostly because of the little inconsistencies. The power gap between the Harukaze and the rogue ships is enormous. The Harukaze’s main guns are candle sticks compared to every ship. No problem, the Harukaze will use it’s speed to get around the enemy and shoot at point blank range…..except they can’t because they’ll be blown away before that happens. The crew doesn’t have any noticeable skills either.

Screenshot (42).png

(3) The girls doing cute stuff part

There are few things required to be a successful anime with this category. High School Fleet has….Time to waste, a large cast of girls, multiple side-stories, some silly situations and an easy going pace. They go on a shopping trip, they hold their very own equator festival and they try to save people from a sinking ship. What’s not to like? They do some crazy things sometimes. The comedy here is a bit of a mixed bag. Some will laugh, some won’t. The show tries to be wacky and fun. It would help if it knew how to get the viewers interested in what the girls are doing. This could have redeemed the characters but it misses the opportunity.

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The Conclusion

   Overall, High School Fleet has a huge cast of characters but they don’t get much screen time and are easily forgettable. It’s has some worthy characters and interesting personalities but they don’t feel important. It’s astonishing how the MC and her crew survive the engagements. The show’s logic feels unrealistic. The girls doing cute things part of the anime is fun to watch. The side-stories are interesting to say the least. The animation is well done. The ships looked detailed and the characters don’t feel annoying. If you’re up for a show like this, don’t miss the chance.

-KKSparrow

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3 thoughts on “Review: High School Fleet

  1. “But if you could only turn off your brain, you could enjoy it.”

    Pretty much sums the show up for me. After reading your review I’m almost tempted to re-watch it, but.. then I remember my own rant about this show, and am dissuaded. In hind sight though, I guess… the Equator Festival was kind of nice? The action was defenitly a highlight, but at the end of the day Arpeggio of Blue Steel does it better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was pleasantly surprised by Arpeggio of Blue Steel. The show kept getting better every episode. Iona, Haruna and Takao were good characters and it got its intended message through that developing emotions was not a ‘bug’.
      I guess the main difference is in the characters and the plot. High School Fleet’s plot was entirely made up while Blue Steel’s plot felt more original. The characters in Blue Steel might seem simple at first but they do improve A LOT in the end.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Very true. They also weren’t afraid to do away with characters which to me is a plus. Even though I was pretty bummed out about one in particular. When I get two shows, and one has a greater emphasis on characters, most of the time that’s the one I’ll prefer, and this is no exception.

        When it comes to plot, High School Fleet was admittedly a bit silly, and it never truly felt like there was a problem due to the nature of the show. In fact, it entirely skips over the fact that there was someone or sometime causing all the mayhem. Arpeggio on the other hand had its premise, and stuck to it. It held its focus on the journey rather the destination, and throughout there was always some level of threat.

        Arpeggio for Blue Steel also has the added benefit of a concluding movie that basically ties up any questions you might have still had by the end of the series. Maybe we’ll see something like that With High School Fleet, who knows?

        Liked by 1 person

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