The Azur Lane Alliance and the Red Axis face Orochi and the Sirens in a decisive battle for the future of humanity.
Episode 12 – “BLUE WATERS – May the Azure Lanes Bless You”
Azur Lane put in a spoiler from the video game, so I’ll warn those who haven’t played that part to skip to the fun section with pictures below. If you blinked, you might have missed the Siren-possessed Amagi wonder if Code G had appeared in front of them again to ruin their operation. The Sirens may as well have called Code G “Code Grey Ghost” instead. Alongside Belfast’s Elegant Enterprise Project, Azur Lane told the birth of Enterprise’s legend.
We have seen the plot device of a hero coming from the future to meet an earlier version in other video games, (Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works e.g.), so this is not unfamiliar territory for anime fans. In long-running series like Naruto, One Piece, or My Hero Academia, we see the progression of the hero starting from nothing and slowly progressing over the course of many years to reach legendary status. For Code G in Azur Lane, we see a version of Enterprise’s potential, but from a future, the current Enterprise may not see.
Their meeting at this time may have been the spark that unleashed Enterprise’s development into the mysterious Code G. Perhaps the meeting affected Code G more, because our Enterprise embraced her love of humanity. It’s a nice connection to make to the Azur Lane game, but the ending is ambiguous enough that it doesn’t change anything there either. What matters is that the Enterprise from the Azur Lane anime finally learned how to smile. Let’s see Code G do that!
That’s a futuristic-looking nuclear cruise missile. These Sirens have access to other timelines. These flashes that Enterprise has of Alterprise are intriguing. The mystery of what they are and how the Siren makes them is part of Azur Lane‘s charm.
Enterprise’s first mission is to stop that missile using magical girl versions of WW2 technology. The Sirens weren’t going to make it easy for Enterprise. That Purifier is annoying, crazy, or both. Enterprise knows how to use her little planes for defense. The surfing style makes me think of other strategy video games where you can jump in the cockpit of the plane you control. Enterprise is a good archer! Nice. Got it in one shot!
Next mission: Takedown Orochi and its fleet. But first, let’s give Edinburgh a nice headbutt from Purifier’s separated head. Yup, Purifier is crazy! Kaga can shut up now. She doesn’t even believe the crap she’s saying about using Siren technology to protect the Sakura Empire. Good, good. Let the nihilism and despair flow through you, Kaga. Ayanami’s friends will stop Kaga’s bullying. Oh boy. Orochi has a whole bunch of those cruise missiles.
Here’s fan service. Try to pick out your favorite Azur Lane ship waifu in the barrage montage.
Okay. Let’s conclude Enterprise’s character development where she embraces her own motivation to stop suffering instead of just following orders to defeat the enemy. Lots of cutting back and forth between settings. Zuikaku has had enough of Kaga’s crap. These Japanese aircraft carriers have hard heads! Gong!
Oh yeah! Enterprise is coming back! Nice eagle. Feels good. Orochi, game over, man! The Amagi impersonator thought it was Code G for a moment. More Azur Lane game references. I’ve been calling her “Alterprise,” but game fans know. They know.
Final mission: Defeat or drive the Sirens away. Let’s see what these German boats can do. Yay! Ayanami’s destroyer friends are so happy to see her! No, the enemy did not eat her. Laffey, thumbs up. Everything’s going to be okay! It’s a total Azur Lane Alliance! Cue the opening credits music. Enjoy the Sirens getting owned. Oho. Enterprise smiled at Belfast!
The Amagi lookalike didn’t think the navies would align against the Sirens. Or that Enterprise would defeat Orochi in shot? That three-month delay was worth it for Prinz Eugen’s kick shot. Nice. The Royal Navy and Sakura Empire arrived right on schedule. Enterprise showed Akagi the greatest power to end war — reaching out in friendship.
Oh, good. It looks like the mostly dead Akagi got back her soul. Aw. The Amagi puppet regained herself enough to say, “I love you,” before she disappeared back into the Black Cube. Har. Even Observer finds Purifier annoying. So mysterious about the Siren agenda. Orochi was supposed to be the perfection of ship girl technology, but those Azur Lane boats still have some surprises for them.
Epilogue time for Azur Lane. Let’s get some nice cute boat girls doing cute girl things, as boats. Hornet without her cape on is nice. Yay! Yorktown is healthy again. And just like that, Akagi and Kaga made up. Bismarck has been in the opening credits all this time, but this is her only scene. Lame. Can someone tell me what is supposed to be on the Azur Lane Alliance flag? I see a head with hair in front of a compass, but what else is going on in there?
Oh? Is Z23 going to join the small boat alliance? Fan service again. Try to find your Azur Lane waifu. Ark Royal enjoys watching all the new small boats. Ah. Conspiracy to make Enterprise the leader of the Azur Lane Alliance headquarters. Belfast will stay to help.
Enterprise has grown wise. That’s why she smiled at the end! May the azure lanes bless you too, Enterprise.
I waited three months to give my final thoughts on Azur Lane, so I had to add a new one. Yes, the three-month delay was necessary for all the sea battle action in the last episode. I’m glad not to have seen the rushed versions of the last two episodes.
Overall, studio Bibury was ambitious to put out 12 quality episodes in 13 to 14 weeks. Let’s hope they learned some good lessons so delays and postponements don’t happen again. Putting the scheduling issues to the side, they honored the fans of the Azur Lane game very well. The mix of drama and slice-of-life comedy kept the tone for the season serious, but not so dark that we couldn’t have light moments featuring the strong personalities of the ship girls.
Because the Sirens are so mysterious, as are the origins of the Azur Lane ship girls, it made sense to explore philosophical issues. Villains and heroes have to talk about something in between fanservice and fighting scenes. Enterprise tackled self-determination. Akagi’s aim to reunite with Amagi was about unique identity. Ayanami’s Friendship Project focused on individual conscience. That’s a lot of deep thinking for a show about beautiful ship girls.
Finally, fans of Azur Lane can all relate to Ark Royal. While she may prefer the cute destroyer types, we can all agree that ship waifus are good and sexy fun for everyone! They even look good as music album art. Did you enjoy Azur Lane? Let us know in the comments.