Hello everyone! This is my review of the Kantai Collection light novel series-Kakuyoku no Kizuna volume one! Since I have already watched the anime series, I will be comparing it to the novel version since most people are familiar with the anime series. Furthermore, I am reading the Mandarin version since I knew how to read Mandarin.
Synopsis: The setting is the present day and the oceans of the worlds are invaded by a mysterious force known as the Abyssals. All conventional weapons are useless against the Abyssals. The only ones who can stand up against them are the reincarnation of the navel ships of the past, now young girls with the strength of an one man army. The war has been going on for a while and newly awaken aircraft carrier girl-Zuikaku is the latest to join the fleet. Together with her older sister, Shoukaku, new allies and the Enigma Admiral of the base, how will Zuikaku fare in this new but familiar environment?
If I have my way for the anime series, I will use this novel as it's baseline. From the beginning of the first chapter, you are introduced to the world of Kancolle and how it's operated through Zuikaku's eyes since she is the focus of the story. The Admiral (who finally talk) unlike the anime series gave a run down on the history of the Abyssals and how the technology of the Kan Musume came about.
Zuikaku who is nicknamed "Lucky Aircraft Carrier" due to her past life being unharmed in the sea was all pumped up to help defeat the Abyssals. However her enthusiasm caught up with Kaga and self proclaimed rival, Hiyou after a successful maiden mission. But thanks to Shoukaku and other allies, Zuikaku learn how to be a better Kan Musume and not relying on her past history.
Zuikaku is the typical female lead who is strong and cared for her friends like Fubuki in the series. However she doesn't take rejections easily and even headbutt with the Admiral after one of his decsions is considered suicidal. The Admiral himself is the typical male lead who is a cross between Ogami Ichiro of Sakura Wars and evey hentai male lead who like to tease on every girl that become his secretary for a day.
Shoukaku is lovely as the calm older sister similar to her anime counterpart but more thoughts were given to her psyche since she get a bit overprotective to Zuikaku and almost make the ultimate sacrifice in the novel. The rest of the girls were given more personality like the four Kougo sisters worked well as a team. Akagi and Kaga were like their anime version with Kaga being the straight person but she is the first one who understand Shoukaku's weakness and took the hard approach on her.
The rest of the book also introduce the Submarine Musume which we didn't see in the anime and the appearance of a new Abyssal that took out a big chunk of the fleet. Without spoiling too much, this volume was a great introduction to the world of Kancolle and if you like Zuikaku and Shoukaku as your lead, this is a great start to begin with. I am almost finishing reading the second volume and so far, it is way superior with better characters and storyline compared to the anime series.
Overall, if you get a chance to read it whether it is in Japanese or Mandarin, you won't be bored every step of the way!