KanColle: The Biggest Trend is Still a Trend

It’s been just over 1 year since the release of Kantai Collection, or Kancolle, a browser game centered on moe anthropomorphisms of historical World War II ships. For those who still aren’t aware, it’s a simple game based largely on rng and micromanagement, leveling cute ship girls as you progress through maps. At the time of release, this game planned for a small player base – no more than few ten thousand. It was just meant to be an addition to the website’s other games. However, it didn’t take long for the servers to over-flood with new players, quickly surpassing its expected maximum and beyond. Registration had to be controlled through lottery admissions as new servers were opened one at a time (in fact, after some 9 months, new players still must pass through a lottery to play). Fan art exploded, official merchandise began to be created; manga and anime were started. It invaded everything: events, crossovers, collaborations, and more, and is often compared to Touhou, a fanbase which took years to establish. In this short year, KanColle has proven to be the most explosive fandom in otaku culture history.

Art by 墨洲
Art by 墨洲

But the question is whether all this popularity is just a remarkably popular fad or actually the birth of a new fanbase here to stay. No one can really say either way, and the game developers are surely going to be playing a large role in that as one big mistake can ruin everything. Personally, I don’t see it ending for awhile, but I also don’t think it will have the longevity that Touhou has proven itself to have. As one of the many people trapped in its addictive gameplay, I must say one of its best features is the ability to play with constant breaks. Between waiting for your resources to naturally regenerate, ships being repaired from damage, or ships recovering from being “tired,” it makes breaks almost a requirement. Granted, if you are really hardcore, there are ways to get around it to still play 24/7, but you can still make significant progress without investing constant attention.

On a less technical side, its vast popularity no doubt truly stems from all the different ship girls. With over 100 girls, the art, personalities, and voices have enough variety that at least one will probably appeal to you. And with the marriage system in place, you can be sure all otaku are quite glad to marry their favorite girl(s) (yes, harem is possible too). Coupled with the fact the game is free for the most part, it is only going to get more popular for the time being. Regardless, in the end, it is a trend, and no matter how long or short it takes to die off, it will eventually lose popularity.

The idea of fads applies to religion, too.  Of the many things said against Christianity, one of them is that Christianity was just a trend. It was a new, interesting concept “back then” (which often refers to different time periods) but now we know how silly religion is, and it’s no longer needed. Say what you want about the religion, but at the very least, this argument makes no sense to me. Christianity was hardly just a trend in its infant years. It was something people dedicated their lives to rather than something to follow out of mere curiosity. When Jesus called his disciples to follow Him, it was a life changing decision for these people to literally drop everything else in their life and follow Him. When people said “Jesus is Lord,” that was not simply an acknowledgement of their new religion and beliefs. It was a direct antagonist of the saying “Caesar is Lord.” People could and would be punished for it. It is viewed as silly and foolish to die for one’s religion, but it would be equally silly to also say the people of this time period were following Christianity and giving up their lives due to a simple trend. If anything, the time Christianity is most like a trend is right now.

Art by swd3e2
Art by swd3e2

Nowadays, the biggest complaint about Christianity is all the hate we spread. And honestly, that is a really valid complaint. I’ve personally witnessed so-called Christians spew hate towards others and even towards other Christians all while simultaneously noting they are morally in the right with God. All I know how to do is scratch my head in great confusion at how this happens. But perhaps it is because Christianity has been diluted from a lifestyle to a trend. Such people are not living for God; they are only following some rules they heard from the previous generation without much thought. They do it because they grew up with others doing it.

When something is a trend, people will mimic what others are doing. It is something to do in order to join what others around you are doing.  There is no self-discovery of God’s love, only following a list of rules without true understanding.  These people misrepresent Christianity so much because they treat the religion like a trend rather than a lifestyle. But even for those of us who don’t regularly spew hatred, how often do we treat our beliefs as something less than a lifestyle, something to do when others around are doing it? You might join the latest outreach program or ministry or Bible study, but never really make personal efforts to better serve God. Christianity should not be treated as such, especially not by Christians, because it should be something to live, and die, by.

The Kancolle anime will air this summer, and it’s going to be something aimed completely at fans. If you don’t play the game, you will either not like it or all the jokes will go over your head, and that’s completely okay. Nobody is going to miss out on some epic tale of excitement and intrigue or great story writing. It may be the largest trend at the moment, but for people who aren’t fans, there is no real reason to watch.Unfortunately, people probably view Christianity as the same – something other people are really into but is of no interest to them. That is hardly a good thing because Christianity is far from, or at least it should be far from, just a trend. It is a lifestyle and an eternal relationship with God – the one thing in this world that is not a mere trend.

Kaze

Kaze is a graduate from the University of Tokyo who currently works on developing gene therapies for genetic diseases. He is a Nanatard since 2009 and mostly spends his time reading VNs and studying Japanese. Strangely enough, also a devout Christian.

8 thoughts on “KanColle: The Biggest Trend is Still a Trend

  1. I guess is going to be another ecchi series, considering the game.

    About the hate part… well, the modern world has taken its toll on everyone, with such an hostile environment things like that could happen… but, what is exactly hate? that is a word used to describe lots of things, some of them, that aren’t actually hate.

  2. Honestly, making it ecchi would probably just annoy a lot of fans. Sure, if you only look at the game, that’s a logical conclusion, and the doujin scene has more than its share of hentai. But that said, the fans also really love the historical and game jokes, along with fan-created ideas, stories, and comedy – it’s what makes the fanbase similar to Touhou and why it’s not just a game with ecchi. As such, I’d expect it be moe/comedy, and with a Fubuki POV, it’s possible it’ll just be Fubuki Ganbarimasu or related spin off. An adaptation of the 4-koma would’ve been ideal since it’s packed with a million jokes.

    What exactly is hate…well that can be a very philosophical question. But consider 2 things: 1) atheists are the ones who have been deeply hurt and use the word to describe Christians. I think it doesn’t really matter how to specify the word when someone is deeply hurt and thinks another hates him – the point is a Christian has caused suffering rather than love. Yes, a lot of people say “I hate x” which has a wide range of meanings, but if someone says “he hates me,” that tends to be more serious. Maybe it’s a misunderstanding, but the effect is the same. If atheists describe Christians as hateful, we should be questioning what the ones representing Christianity that way are doing rather than wondering if they are “truly” being hateful as atheists might just be overreacting to something that “isn’t actually hate.”

    2) Here’s a personal example that I think of when I mention hate. “Homosexuals should just be gathered into a pit and all burned to death because they’re such a plague on society.” “How can you say that as a Christian?” “It’s because I’m a Christian that I can’t stand such sinful behavior. They should all just die a painful and horrible death instead of wasting space with their **** lives.” I’ve met a number of people who said such things on a regular basis. I don’t know if you want to describe this as “actually” hate or just a result of “the hostile environment,” but a Christian should never be saying such things, even as a result of stress. Even if I were to concede it isn’t actually hate, the point still stands that saying such things is not living the way God wants us to. Saying it’s just “things happen as a result of the environment and a toll of the modern world” is merely an excuse for not following God. The idea of “well I’m really tired from life stuff so I’m going to take a break from being a Christian for a moment and then go right back to loving God” is a very dangerous line of thought.

    1. I hope that show don’t go the ecchi route then.

      Phrases like that lack charity, and are obviously hateful. But, the word hate is a used as a trump card by secularists too. Because some Christians don’t knee to the dominant cultural atmosphere, they are described as hateful. The opposition to the world, is seen as hateful. Fidelity to doctrine, is seen as hateful. Not conforming with relativism, is seen as hateful.

      Also, In my experience, in many years, both online, and in person, is that the atheists and secularists are the ones being hateful and hurtful. I live in South America, I have studied various media venues and cultural trends, and secularists of various types (basic liberals, cultural marxists, laicists) are the one being hyper aggressive. Attacks to Cathedrals and Chruches, ridiculing of Christian people in the public sphere, physical attacks to Christians, etc.

      1. I will admit that some actions are interpreted as hateful as a result of a biased perspective. However, I think that noting that is a pointless thing in the context of discussing whether or not Christians can be hateful. You’ve agreed phrases like my example are hateful, phrases which get thrown around a lot on a regular basis. Maybe not everything labeled as hate is actually hate, but that’s meaningless in the context of whether or not some Christians are, in fact, hateful.

        Of course I agree others can be just as, if not more, hateful. I never pretended Christians were the only hateful ones. I also think there is a cultural difference at play here, causing skewed perspectives for both of us. That said, I think I might take a disagreeable opinion on this: I don’t see as much of a problem with others being hateful. I may be completely unable to agree with or understand them, but I think for the most part, people fight for what they believe in, even if that “belief” is vain personal satisfaction. If a person tells me they attack Christians because it makes them feel good, I can accept that, because at the very least, they are being honest. Furthermore, the Bible says we will be persecuted for our beliefs, so any hate toward Christians I view as par for the course. As a result, I never saw the point in mentioning it because my response has always been, “well, yeah no duh, that’s supposed to happen.”

        Conversely, however, are hateful Christians, people who supposedly claim and should be living for and loving like God. Christians should never be hateful toward others; it goes against the very beliefs they claim to live by. Even in the face of persecutors, there is no spiritually acceptable reason to justify hateful speech, let alone hateful actions. I don’t disagree with anything you’ve said, but unless you are arguing that there are no Christians who are hateful, I don’t think your points are relevant to the topic. If you feel I am referring to Christians who aren’t hateful, then I think it should be obvious I’m not referring to them.

        1. I mentioned it, because lots of the hate accusations are false. Obviously, I don’t justify truly hateful speech.

  3. Hate over beliefs is a phenomenon I’ve never understood. Unless you’re in some kind of warzone where that difference is the difference between life and death, there’s no need to loathe someone for believing differently.

    My sister is a Christian, like you guys, and I am not. Looking at the joy in her face when she talks about Him is proof enough that her God exists, though our beliefs cannot be reconciled. I worship a different entity. But we don’t hate each other at all— Heck, we’re pretty close friends. We’re just very careful when we discuss religion.

    Fidelity to doctrine isn’t hateful behavior—- My sister believes I’m going to Hell, and if that ends up being the terrible price I have to pay for being with the one I worship in life….so be it. Hateful behavior isn’t when you stick with what you believe— It’s when you use your religion or your political beliefs to justify spewing cruel epithets at others.

    I think that’s what he’s talking about. 🙂

  4. So true, many Christians make God into a trend/club/cool thing to do instead of really seeking Him personally for themselves. When we spend time with God in our personal time, that’s where the real relationship is born, not just when we are sitting and listening to a preaching on a Sunday (or whichever day).

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