Tag: Azur Lane

Azur Lane: Slow Ahead!

Azur Lane: Slow Ahead!

Azur Lane: Slow Ahead! anime series cover art
Azur Lane: Slow Ahead!

Series Overview

Azur Lane: Slow Ahead! (Azur Lane: Bisoku Zenshin! / アズールレーン びそくぜんしんっ!) is a slice of life series made up of 12 8-minute episodes and is, obviously, based on the Azur Lane mobile game. I’ve previously reviewed the full-length Azur Lane anime, so this review is going to reference that a few times.

Slow Ahead! follows the four main Azur Lane girls, Ayanami, Javelin, Laffey, and Z23 just like the full-length series did. Well, kind of. I think Z23 was in the full series. But I actually don’t remember her and I never even mentioned her in my review of it.

The big difference between the full series and this short series is that the short series has no plot or action. It’s purely slice of life fan service. There’s some ecchi fan service, especially in the first episode or two. But after that, it’s basically just cute girls doing cute things.

Now, I’m not an Azur Lane fan. By that, I mean that I’ve never played the game and I have no interest in starting it. So to someone like me, the slice of life content in this series isn’t all that interesting. I don’t have a pre-existing connection with any of these characters beyond watching the full series.

If you’re not already a fan of the series, I wouldn’t really recommend watching Slow Ahead! Some people who aren’t fans of the series still enjoy it, though. If you’re really into cute girls doing cute things, you might.

But, just be warned that this series is exactly what it looks like. There’s no surprise waiting for you within it. It’s just some boat girls talking to their friends at boat girl school — yes, it’s apparently set in a school.

A Different Side of Some Characters

If, like me, your only exposure to the Azur Lane franchise before this short series was the full-length anime, some of the characters may seem a bit different. Z23 is probably the most different simply because she’s a main character this time instead of a background character.

Laffey’s character isn’t different at all between the two anime. She’s the sleepy loli in both. There’s not really much to her character than that. She sometimes takes a leadership-ish role in the main series, but I think that has more to do with there being a plot.

Javelin, to me at least, seems a lot less confident in Slow Ahead! Maybe this isn’t actually the case, but the change in setting seems to have affected her character. The school setting in Slow Ahead! means she’s being put into more social situations, and she doesn’t appear to be the best at those.

Laffey yawning from the anime series Azur Lane: Slow Ahead!
Laffey yawning

Ayanami has changed drastically between the two series. It’s almost like she’s an entirely different character. I don’t know which Ayanami is the real one (the one in the game), but my guess is that the Slow Ahead! one is the closer of the two.

In the full series, Ayanami was kind of a loner, which she still is to an extent. But the big thing about her character in that series is that she was one of the only boat girls on her side of the war to see her enemies as similar to her. She helped lead the change that resulted in peace.

In Slow Ahead!, Ayanami is a NEET gamer girl. She’s still my favorite of the main characters as she was in the full series. But if you had told me that this is what Ayanami is actually like after I finished the full series, I wouldn’t have believed you.

What Do Azur Lane Fans Think?

Now, here’s where we get to the crazy part of this review. Right before I started writing this, I saw some reviews of the series by Azur Lane fans. And let me tell you, there were some hot takes in these reviews.

Obviously, not every Azur Lane fan is going to agree with some of these opinions of theirs that I’m about to share. But at the same time, maybe I’m just the one who doesn’t understand the true appeal of Azur Lane to the people who play it.

The first thing I saw was that they consider Slow Ahead! to be the real Azur Lane anime adaptation — they hate the other one. I get that the plot wasn’t really that good and that it was obviously based on a gacha game. But it looked nice and had some interesting parts.

Javelin eating something from the anime series Azur Lane: Slow Ahead!
Javelin eating something

Where things start to go off the deep end is when they say things like the plot and action in the other series were needless. Apparently, just seeing cute boat girls doing cute things is all they want. Isn’t the plot and action a key component of the mobile game even if the plot wasn’t the same?

But, the most baffling thing to me is that people seem to like Slow Ahead! more because it has “more consistent animation.” Do you know why Slow Ahead! has more consistent animation? Because its animation is just average.

The main series doesn’t have bad animation. It just sometimes has insane animation that makes the average animation look worse than it really is. Having great animation for important scenes shouldn’t be something to complain about.


To me, Azur Lane: Slow Ahead! is a 5/10. It doesn’t do anything particularly well, but it also doesn’t do anything particularly poorly. And since the episodes are only 8 minutes each, there isn’t enough time for them to have real plots.

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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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