Azur Lane is a Chinese mobile game that has managed to become popular in a number of markets. For those who are curious, it is a side-scrolling shoot ’em up with both RPG and simulation elements. Story-wise, it is centered on moe anthropomorphizations of World War Two warships called shipgirls in an alternate World War Two. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about Azur Lane:
1. Runs On the Concept of Moe Anthropomorphizations
Anthropomorphization isn’t exactly a new concept, seeing as how human nature makes it easy for us to see human characteristics in things that are not human. However, moe anthropomorphism has become very popular in certain segments of Japanese pop culture. Essentially, it can be summed up as creating cute characters that represent various things that include but are not limited to countries, weapons, and websites.
2. Influenced By Kantai Collection
Kantai Collection is the Japanese game that popularized the concept of shipgirls in recent times. As a result, it inspired a number of parties to follow in its footsteps with varying results. In the case of Azur Lane, the people behind it were interested in the basic premise but wanted to do something very different, which is why it is a side-scrolling shoot ’em up rather than a strategy game.
3. Less Focus on Japanese Ships
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Kantai Collection is focused on shipgirls based on Japanese warships from World War Two. In contrast, Azur Lane has a much greater focus on shipgirls based on ships from other nations in said conflict, though shipgirls based on Japanese warships are still included in it.
4. Uses Japanese Voice Actors
With that said, Azur Lane actually uses an all-Japanese cast of voice actors. In part, this is because Chinese voice acting isn’t anywhere near as developed as its Japanese counterpart. However, the people behind Azur Lane were also interested in giving some newer Japanese voice actors a chance to perform. Whatever the case, there are a fair number of characters in Azur Lane that will probably sound very familiar for people who pay close attention to Japanese anime as well as Japanese video games.
5. Different Markets Are Handled By Different Companies
Currently, Azur Lane is available in four markets but handled by three companies. In short, the Chinese version is handled by Bilibili, while the Korean version is handled by XD Global. Meanwhile, both the Japanese version and the English version are handled by Shanghai Yostar.
6. More Popular than Expected
Initially, Azur Lane didn’t have more than a small team because no one expected it to become as popular as it is in the present time. This proved to be a mistake because those employees became over-burdened by their unexpected responsibilities, so much so that they had to work from morning to midnight in those earliest days.
7. Has Had Collaborations
Like a lot of mobile games, Azur Lane has had crossovers with other successful franchises for the purpose of generating additional interest for both sides. Some examples range from Hyperdimension Neptunia to World of Warships. However, the oddest might be the crossover with the Armored Trooper VOTOMS anime series, which was broadcast in the 1980s but has had a number of OVAs released in the time since then.
8. Has Had Spinoffs
Considering its popularity in Japan, it should come as no surprise to learn that Azur Lane has spin-offs in the form of manga as well as light novels.
9. Getting a PS4 Game
Curiously, Azur Lane is getting a 3D shooter that will be released at some point in time for the PlayStation 4. In it, a collection of new characters will be taking on both realistic warships and realistic warplanes, meaning that it will be a significant departure from the mobile game.
10. Received a Boost By Avoiding Problems in Kantai Collection
When Azur Lane was launched, it received some criticism for being a supposed clone of Kantai Collection, which isn’t entirely unreasonable but nonetheless off of the mark. However, there can be no doubt about the fact that the mobile game received a boost by avoiding some of the problems that can be found in its predecessor. For example, Azur Lane is nowhere near as luck-based as Kantai Collection, which was a common complaint by Kantai Collection players. Likewise, the people behind Azur Lane were much more aware of the need for post-release improvements from the start, which is something that the people behind Kantai Collection struggled with to a greater extent.