Cardigans may not match armor plating in protective capabilities, but they’re definitely the warmer, cuter option.

The hook of video game and anime franchise Kantai Collection, more commonly referred to as KanColle, is that it takes historical warships, primarily from the Imperial Japanese Navy, and turns them into cute girls, with costumes that contain turrets, rudders, and other nods to their military hardware origins. But now fans in Japan are progressing the evolution from battleship to schoolgirl even farther by popularizing the Twitter hashtag “It’s fall, so let’s dress the KanColle girls up in cardigans or sweaters!” (#秋になったし艦娘にカーディガンorセーター着せようぜ).

While a couple of the Fleet Girls, as the characters are properly known, retain vestiges of their official, in-game costumes, most of their combat accouterments have been scrubbed clean in favor of something actual humans might wear.

Aside from bundling up the Fleet Girls in extra layers of clothing, artists have been adding some seasonal appeal by having their muses pose with roasted sweet potatoes, an autumn snack so popular in Japan that it’s sold by vendors who drive around neighborhoods in small trucks equipped with an oven to cook the treats.

But are all those piping hot potatoes and warm knit clothing making the Fleet Girls uncomfortably warm? Either that or, the world of anime fan art being what it is, some artists realized that “It’s fall, so let’s dress the KanColle girls up in cardigans or sweaters” doesn’t say anything about completely dressing them in said garments.

▼ Also not mentioned in the hashtag: pants.

Additionally, the hashtag doesn’t specify what type of sweater has to be used. So while school uniform-styles have been the most common, others are taking the more daring option of bringing back the boob sweater.

Meanwhile, cosplayers have also gotten onboard, with decidedly more reserved wardrobe choices.

With the leaves just starting to turn color in Japan, there’s plenty of fall left, which means we’re likely to see much more autumnal KanColle fan art, until it gives way to Christmas themes, since anime fan art, like natural scenery, always changes in seasonal cycles.

Source: Kyupo

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he regrets not buying anything from the sweet potato truck he walked by last weekend.