Azur Lane

Azur Lane

Azur Lane anime series cover art
Azur Lane


Azur Lane ( アズールレーン ) is first and foremost a mobile game. But this review is about the anime series based on that mobile game which began in in 2019 and concluded in 2020 despite only being a single cour in length.

The final two episodes of the series were delayed, I believe because the studio behind it, Bibury Animation Studios, wasn’t satisfied with their quality.

And I get that it’s easy to point to that and say this studio is bad because they had to delay episodes. But I actually view it the other way around. This was the studio’s first full-length anime series, and they cared about it enough to delay those episodes so they could present something they were proud of.

I don’t think you can fault them for that.

But that’s enough about the studio and their development schedule — we’re here to discuss whether or not the Azur Lane anime is good. And before I do that, I need to point out that I have never played the Azur Lane mobile game.

I went into this series blind, only knowing that it was about boat girls. So with that in mind, I’m probably going to have some opinions which differ from those of people who have played the game. Also, any criticism or praise I have for this anime does not directly translate to the game.

Now that we’ve gotten all that out of the way, allow me to set the stage.

Azur Lane is a series based around the idea of anthropomorphic battleships (and other military ships) which fight against aliens known as Sirens, and also each other, I guess. I don’t know if they actually fight against each other in the game, but they do in the anime.

Countries and Characters

The world of Azur Lane is broken up into four major countries (and I think some other countries as well, but I’m going to stick with the main four). These are Eagle Union (United States), Royal Navy (United Kingdom), Sakura Empire (Japan), and Iron Blood (Germany).

It’s pretty easy to identify ships from Sakura Empire, because they’re either all kitsune (fox) girls, or just have obviously Japanese names — like Ayanami. The same goes for the ships of Iron Blood, which all feature the iron cross on their outfits and have pretty German sounding names — like Bismarck.

Ayanami, Laffey, Javelin, and Unicorn from the anime series Azur Lane
Ayanami, Laffey, Javelin, and Unicorn

Eagle Union and Royal Navy are a bit more complicated. Half the time I didn’t know which of these two countries ships were a part of, but in the end it didn’t really matter because they’re allied with each other.

Obviously I knew Enterprise is Eagle Union and Belfast is Royal Navy. But Laffey and Javelin could be either. I have no idea.

I actually just looked it up, and I got them both wrong. My guess was that Laffey was Royal Navy and Javelin was Eagle Union, but apparently Laffey is Eagle Union and Javelin is Royal Navy.

Also, because this is an anime based on a mobile gacha game, there are a lot of characters. Most of them aren’t important in any way to the story at hand, but I found it funny just how many characters they crammed into 12 episodes. I think every single character from the game may have had a cameo.

And if you’re wondering who my favorite boat girl is, it’s obviously Ayanami. The Little Beavers were pretty cool too, but unfortunately they just had a cameo. I’d definitely watch another Azur Lane anime that focused on the Little Beavers though.

Final Takeaways

So here’s where I think I’m going to lose a lot of people. I actually found Azur Lane to be extremely entertaining to watch. That’s not to say I knew what was going on, because most of the time I didn’t, but I enjoyed myself nonetheless.

This is sort of like the reason I liked Fate/Apocrypha even though everyone else hates it. I thought that was an enjoyable watch too even though the story and main character were bad.

The first episode of Azur Lane in particular made very little sense. There was even a giant fox spirit fighting against the ships at one point, and apparently that’s anime-original. I don’t know what that was all about, but considering there’s also a character who flies on a stuffed animal unicorn, I don’t think the fox spirit detracted from the show.

Enterprise and Kaga from the anime series Azur Lane
Enterprise and Kaga

Basically, my main point is that you shouldn’t go into Azur Lane expecting there to be some great story, or even great characters. It’s a mess.

But I’m also not really one of those people who say “just turn your brain off and enjoy it.” Yes, it’s a mess. But it does have good qualities at the same time, such as the obvious fan service for the mobile game players — they get to see their favorite characters animated.

And for those of us who haven’t played the game, there’s also some exceptional animation and a pretty good soundtrack. The animation in particular was way higher quality than I expected from this series.

I don’t know what episode it was, but whichever one included the scene of Ayanami being rescued as she fell into a wormhole was potentially the best animated episode of the season — across everything I watched. If not the best animated, at least the most memorable.


Overall, I gave Azur Lane a 7/10, which is higher than most people have rated it. The highest rating I’ve seen another review give it is a 4. But also keep in mind that the other reviews I’ve seen aren’t exactly all that fair.

One was by someone who didn’t like it because it didn’t follow the plot of the game, which I’ll accept as a valid argument (sort of). But the other three I’ve seen complain about things that don’t really matter.

The first complains that the anime wasn’t a realistic depiction of naval storytelling — which it obviously was never going to be. The second claims the series has bad animation, which is demonstrably false. And the third says it’s automatically bad because it’s based on a gacha game.

Anyway, as for the OP and ED, I really liked the OP. It had some nice visuals and a really good song. The ED wasn’t my favorite, but it wasn’t necessarily bad.

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One Reply to “Azur Lane”

  1. This show only interesent me for be a very famous and praised game and also there was no MC as self-insert, I tried to like it even though the story was not interesting, however I could not because the characters they seemed to have artificial charisma

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