This month Kantai Con, ‘the anime convention on an aircraft carrier’, was held aboard the USS Yorktown in South Carolina, and attracted some fabulous cosplayers dressed up as the hottest warships in town.

Kantai Collection, more usually referred to as KanColle (KanKore in Japanese) by those in the know, is the latest fad that otaku in Japan are going crazy for. It started out as a free-to-play online card game, but has since grown into a huge franchise encompassing manga, music, drama CDs, and more. Oh, and it has also just got itself an anime, scheduled to begin airing in January 2015. Who’d have thought that a game about World War II warships would get so popular? It probably has something to do with the fact that within the game said warships are personified as super-moe anime girls!

It seems like in its continuing quest for world domination, KanColle mania is now infecting hordes of otaku overseas too! This was the first year for the Kantai Convention, a con for anyone who’s a fan of battleships and anime held aboard a genuine aircraft carrier. From the looks of the video, attendees were a little thin on the ground, but there were plenty of fun activities such as martial arts lessons and demonstrations, and of course the cosplayers were out in force.

KanKore was without a doubt the hottest thing to cosplay at this year’s Comiket, but the Kantai Con cosplayers were more than a match for them (although hopefully suffered from less intrusive photo-taking). In particular one muscular chap’s male version of fan-favorite Shimakaze is a fresh take on the character, and he pulls it off with aplomb.

▼ Montage of some of the cosplayers, set to seriously epic music.

▼ Ahoy there, sailor!


▼ Japanese cruiser Tenryū.


▼ Every hero worth his salt spends at least 10 minutes per day staring broodingly into the distance.


▼ Kendo practice.


▼ Japanese destroyer Shimakaze in moe-girl form.


▼ Japanese destroyer Shimakaze in irl-moe-girl and guy form.

Battleships: cuter than you thought, right?

Source: Culture LABKantaiCon, YouTube
Other images: KanColle Wiki (Shimakaze image), Twitter