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Haifuri

April 22, 2016

Also known as “High School Fleet” or “ハイスクール・フリート”, “Haifuri” is a new military action series created by Production IMS. Had read the plot synopsis and watched the first promotional video of “Haifuri”, but neglected to do any further research into this spring anime which caused me to be quite mistaken about this show.

Expected that “Haifuri” would be a heart-warming slice-of-life anime focusing on cute girls their daily lives attending school with some science-fiction elements. Taking place on an alternate version of earth where rising water levels forced most coastal countries to build artificial islands, ambitious young girls strive to become ‘Blue Mermaids’, women serving in the naval force that protects the seas.

What I had not expected was that “Haifuri” would offer us a mix of “Girls und Panzer” and “Kancolle”, with the girls serving on Japanese WWII era ships like the Harekaze or Musashi. Was even more surprised when the first episode, which had all the traits of a silly, fun slice-of-life anime of girls doing cute military things like in “Girls und Panzer”, ends on a surprising cliffhanger that left me dumbfounded.

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Even though the second episode offered plenty of cute fluffy scenes of the girls’ silly shenanigans as they crew their warship, the few plot developments make me apprehensive that “Haifuri” will take a similar turn from moe to drama like “Gakkou Gurashi” or “So-Ra-No-Wo-To” did.
The underlying plot of the Harekaze crew being wrongfully accused and hunted for mutiny, with possible international political machinations in the background, holds plenty of promise, hence am curious how it will play out.

Overall animation quality by studio Production IMS is good, with most attention going to faithfully rendering the ships with lots of detail, as well as the putting plenty of effort in animating the girls, the ships and girls are the main stars of this type of show after all. Of course, with original character designs by Atto, the artist who created the “Non Non Biyori” manga, the girls would of course be adorably cute.

Am unsure what direction “Haifurui” will take, is it going to be a typical cute school girls overcoming obstacles with no doubt for the viewers that all will end well, or does heart-wrenching drama await ahead?

If you like crossover anime of cute girls and military themes like “Girls und Panzer”, “Strike Witches” or “Kancolle”, then I recommend you give “Haifuri” a try!
You can watch “Haifuri” on Crunchyroll.

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