Iowa Brought Her Big Guns In PS Vita’s Kancolle Kai
In case you missed it, Kancolle Kai is now out for the PS Vita with a sizeable dose of freedom and democracy. Popular anthropomorphized battleship girl franchise Kantai Collection (commonly abbreviated as Kancolle) has launched a PS Vita version of its game called Kancolle Kai on the 18th of February, after multiple delays from several past launch dates due to unforeseen technical adjustments. Other than a few interface and gameplay tweaks, the PS Vita version differs little from the original.
However, the real cherry on top in Kancolle Kai is the surprising introduction of Iowa to the lineup of personified shipgirls. Iowa can be obtained by clearing the game on Medium difficulty or higher.
Iowa is portrayed as a typically tall Caucasian girl with long flowing blonde hair and a hefty, sizeable bust (reference to the size of her guns? Or the usual ‘American-sized’ joke?). Her outfit heavily resembles those worn by American pin-up girls seen in wartime posters of World War II, further accentuated by a long pair of thigh highs attached to a garter belt, with the red and white stripes represented on her right thigh while the small blue rectangle containing fifty white stars is represented as blue and white stripes on her left thigh.
Personality-wise, Iowa exhibits a playful, confident outlook along with mixed Japanese/Engrish in her speech pattern, similar to Kongou. As expected of an American battleship, Iowa is extremely prideful and enjoys showing off her firepower.
In real life, the USS Iowa (BB-61) is a fast battleship intended to escort carriers within a combined task force during World War II. Commissioned in 22nd February 1943, the Iowa saw action against the Imperial Japanese Navy, sinking the IJN light cruiser Katori. She went through constant decommissioning and recommissioning over the next five decades after the end of World War II, going into action as far as the First Gulf War. The Iowa was finally decommissioned in 26th October 1990 and placed into a reserve fleet until she was struck from the Naval Vessel Register in March 2006. After a series of proposals and biddings, the Iowa was finally converted into a museum ship in 10th December 2011.
It’s also interesting to note that Iowa is likely to be the first ship introduced into the Kancolle series that has not been sunk or scrapped, still afloat and serving a purpose in its post-service life well into this day, as with most of her sister ships of the same class.
Reactions towards Iowa has been tremendously positive (overenthusiastic even) for both fans and non-fans alike, moreso as the series first US shipgirl, with dozens of fanarts getting churned out on Pixiv and Twitter within days of her inception, alongside the usual Murica’ and Donald Trump jokes.
Kancolle is a free-to-play browser based video game launched by Kadokawa Games and DMM in April 2013. It features card-based gameplay mechanics using personified representations of warships and all kinds of seaborne combat vessels from World War II, primarily those from the Imperial Japanese Navy and some from the German Kriegsmarine as well as other naval powers. The franchise spawned a television anime adaptation in January 2015 and various merchandises such as PVC figures.
Official screenshot and other miscellaneous information on Iowa via Kancolle Wiki.
Kancolle Kai boxart cover via Play Asia.
Iowa fanart via Pixiv.