Haifuri – 03

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The gist: Harekaze gets into it’s first submarine battle, the German exchange student wakes up and, after receiving a message that all school ships can return home, the crew heads for home.

Also, they decide not to find and help the Musashi. Roll Credits!

The Good: in the opening scene with the school principle, we see that the framing of Harekaze is likely part of a larger military power grab. If the school can not capture Harikae, all student ships will be commandeered by the military or sunk if they resist. Later, after German-Name-chan wakes up, we learn that order completely broke down on the Admiral Spee for reasons unknown, which hints at more complex international intrigues going on.

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This is good, because it means Haifuri’s central conflict is interesting and coherent. Multi-level manipulation explains why everyone is shooting at Harikaze at first sight and ignoring it’s surrender flags. It also implies layered enemies, some we may not have even seen yet. Simply, as a story setting, it works.

The not as good: while the pajamas and stuffed animals were fine, some of the cute-girl stuff felt like it was padding out the episode. The ‘www boys are gross/stinky submarine’ antics were particularly eye rolling.

Sadly, the submarine warfare was a little clunky too. I get the crew needed a quirky, out of the box solution to defeat a submarine with only one torpedo, but I’d have to hit wikipedia to understand what exactly the device was that they used in that plan. Regardless, since the submarine was just a faceless enemy with no more personality than ‘it fires torpedoes that miss’ the battle lacked tension.

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The Vedrict: Most of the cast are just ‘parts of the ship’ that serve no greater function than reporting on/using those ship functions, so the large number of characters doesn’t bother me. It also helps that the characters often exist only in the part of the ship that they use: the doctor in the med bay, the engineers in engineering, the observation girl in the observation tower — and the character designs are simple enough to not draw undue attention to their lack of relevant story characterization.

All in all, the padding pulls it down from last week and the battle lacked tension, but Haifuri remains perfectly watchable.





One thought on “Haifuri – 03”

  1. The paravane they used is a devise for detonating underwater mines. Sometimes it can be used for cutting mine cables. They used it as a spur of the moment innovation to foul up the submarine, thus allowing them to drop their one depth charge on it.
    Haifuri is proving to be quite enjoyable I think The action vs Moe was kept in balance for most of the episode which is good. I’m waiting for the chief engineer to say “She canna take any more, captain. She’s gonna blow” hehe. In relation to the torpedoes missing, I thought that all right for the reason most smaller maneuverable ships like a destroyer can dodge torpedoes if they spot them early enough.

    My one gripe was the usual German stereotype employed to depict the German girl who is the deputy captain of the Graf Spee. I don’t think I can recall a German character in an anime who hasn’t been a heel clicking (blond) militarist type with a long name (except for the East and West Germans in Schwarzesmarken perhaps). I was thinking too that these girls have done very well in trying circumstances and once they get back and prove their innocence, I hope the school recognizes that.

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