After a short reprieve to catch up on Sentai anime, the KanColle spotlight is back. After the last one I tried to decide a new KanColle spotlight via Twitter poll, and it wound up being a tie. One coin-flip later and here we are with …
Kaga is an aircraft carrier (CV) in Kantai Collection, which means she hit’s hard and consumes resources like a champ. She’s somewhat iconic in the in the KanColle game, and anime due to her calm-and-collected personality. In terms of my own fleet Kaga was the first standard aircraft carrier that I received in game, because I was stupid, and didn’t realize that Akagi was an easily attainable quest reward. Since getting her in game, she has been an asset to my fleet in many scenarios. Currently she’s helping me farm in the Summer 2016 event for an Italian aircraft carrier. Kaga has been an incredible asset to my own fleet in the time I’ve had her, and if you don’t have her yet I would strongly urge you to get her (and her sisters).
State wise, Kaga shines in a few areas. She doesn’t have great firepower, anti-air, line-of-sight, or luck which would make most people weary of using her over other carriers. However, she shines in her health, armor, and aircraft capacity. In fact her health and aircraft capacity are the highest among standard aircraft carriers in the game. Her higher health and armor give her higher survivabilty in combat, and her high aircraft capacity gives her greater control of the skies. She might not be the newest ship-girl at the event, but she’ll carry your sorry hide to victory. For those who don’t think she’s that impressive right now, just remember that she only has a Kai right now. If she get’s a Kai Ni (assuming they ditch their incredibly loos “historical accuracy”) then she’ll be even more incredible!
As stated before, Kaga is one of the calm and collected characters in KanColle. Her personality is that of a stoic warrior, who is somewhat strict with the younger carriers in the fleet. She remarks on carrier division 5 (Shoukaku/Zuikaku) in mostly disapproving tones, and talks proudly about carrier division 1. In the anime her personality is tweaked just slightly to include an infatuation with Akagi, but overall her personality remained the same. Some of her more notable lines from the game include:
- CarDiv 5, have you improved your skill? Really? Very well. You shall demonstrate it, in actual combat.
- They’re all excellent kids after all. (Referencing her pilots)
- Akagi, I won’t leave you behind by sinking!
- That was an excellent battle strategy. With this kind of fleet, I’ll look forward to sortieing with them again.
- 1800 hours…thank you Admiral, you have worked hard for today’s mission.
Kaga’s roll in the anime was that of the strict older sister, as she is put into a fleet with Fubuki, Kongou, Ooi, Kitakami, and Zuikaku. She spends most of her time in this fleet arguing with Zuikaku, but Kaga does have a slight change of heart when she fights alongside her rival carrier. The two have an interesting dynamic in their rivalry, as they are both the sibling ships of carriers with gentler personalities (Akagi/Shoukaku). We will certainly be seeing more of both ships in the upcoming KanColle Movie!
Kaga was originally meant to be a Tosa-class battleship until the Great Kanto Earthquake damaged the Amagi that was supposed to become an aircraft carrier. After the damaged was assessed, Kaga was re-purposed into an aircraft carrier. She was modernized between 1933-1935 to be able to carry the newer and heavier aircraft of the times. Her early service record includes support missions for the Second Sino-Japanese War (invasion of Manchuria) in the late 1930’s. It was in this action that Japan would learn the importance joint carrier attacks, and assigned Kaga to the first carrier division with Akagi.
In December of 1941 Kaga would participate on the raid of Pearl Harbor. Her pilots claimed hits on numerous ships including the Arizona, which was lost early in the attack. The Kaga’s pilots also claimed to shoot one American airplane out of the sky, and took out 20 on the ground. Kaga would go from Pearl Harbor to conquering the pacific after the Pearl Harbor attack. The year proceeding year for Kaga began with her assisting in the Invasion of Rabaul. Her bombers and zeroes shelled out the small Australian garrison, and helped the Japanese ground forces secure a vital port in southern waters. From here she would bomb Darwin before heading to Sasebo for repairs. Despite a good start to the war, her next run would be her last.
In the famous Battle of Midway, Kaga would meet her end along with Akagi, Hiryuu, and Souryuu. Three critical strikes hit the Kaga in this battle. One hit set the berthing compartment on fire, the second began a chain of detonations in the hangar, and the third killed the senior staff of the ship as it blew up the bridge. These explosions also damaged the aviation gasoline lines, causing it to pour into the hangar. The combination of gasoline and fire caused the 80,000 pounds of explosives in the hanger to erupt, blowing out the sides of the hanger. Unable to contain the fires, the remaining crew of the Kaga were rescued by the destroyers Hagikaze and Maikaze.
In August of 2015 Kaga took to the seas once again, but this time as a “Helicopter Destroyer”. The JS Kaga (DDH-184) is set to be commisioned in March of 2017 after an extensive run of sea trials. The game had been out for 2 years prior to the launch of the new Kaga, and when it was announced the KanColle community warmly welcomed her with fan art DDH-184 as a more modern Kaga. The new Kaga is depicted above being welcomed by her former fellow carriers (Hiryuu is a firefighting ship, Akagi is a patrol ship, and Souryuu is a submarine). One can only hope that there will be a painting of the iconic KanColle girl somewhere on or inside of the new Kaga!
TL;DR: As a carrier you want Kaga in your fleet. Period. She’s tough and packs a hell of a punch to just about everything that isn’t a submarine. Just load her up with the right planes for the job, and send her towards the abyssal enemies. Her personality may seem cold, but she’s a very caring ship-girl who only wants you and the others ship-girls to perform well.