From countries and camera lenses to burgers and government corporations, Japan has a vibrant moe culture of personifying inanimate objects – in other words, turning them into cute, giant-eyed anime characters. The latest addition is a game populated by beautiful, shapely “warships”, which seems like a very modern idea but may actually have its origins in the prewar era.

As it turns out, the tradition of personification dates back further than would be expected, with ships personified as beautiful women in pre-war tourism marketing.

This tourism poster from the early 20th century seems to show three lovely Japanese ladies as the personifications of the three ships named below. The Nitta Maru, Yawata Maru, and Kasuga Maru were originally commissioned as passenger ships, but with the outbreak of war they were converted into warships. None of them made it out of the war intact.


Fast-forward to the present day, and we have the online game Armada Collection -Warships-, a simulation game where you amass, train and strengthen your fleet of.. cute girls?

Each ship is personified in the form of an adorable doe-eyed girl, who really looks like she has no business being part of a fleet of warships. But hey, looks can be deceiving, and I’m sure these girls are packing some serious firepower. Not only that, but they’re fully voiced too, to strike high-pitched terror into the hearts of your enemies!

▼ All the best commanders will tell you their secret to forming a strong fleet is to select your warships on the basis of cuteness.


Here we have an example of the game in action. Right now I’m not sure if it’s trying to appeal to military otaku or anime otaku – perhaps a specific subset that would appear in the very middle of the venn diagram?

A couple of sage Japanese Netizens weighed in on the topic with the following comments:

“That’s right, even before the war Japan was personifying its ships. So Armada Collection is really quite late to the game”

“These days it’s harder to find things that haven’t been anthropomorphized”

I can’t help but agree with the second one. Any bets on what’ll be next?

Source: Jin115