Aoba’s little sister, Kinugasa looks up to her big sister (As we get to Aoba, you’ll ask yourself… why?), and, otherwise, mothers the poor Commander if she’s ever put in the Secretary position. But that, honestly, isn’t a bad thing, so I appreciate her character, at least.
Skillwise, Kinugasa has a reasonably quick All Out Assault (9 shots at 1, 6 shots at 2), and a 30-60% chance of buffing her firepower by 20-40% every 20 seconds. She’s alright, but unremarkable.
Like most grey-tier/common girls, they don’t stand out, but they’re the mainstay and incredibly reliable. AL went to pains to make sure that all the girls are at least Viable up into lategame, even if they’re not optimized
Japanese Heavy Cruiser, somewhere in between the Furutaka-class and the Takao-class. Little sister of the Muckraker, Aoba. Didn’t get to do much, mostly tagged along with her older sister while Admiral Goto made stupid decisions that got his cruiser division cut to ribbons.
Got murked by Enterprise the day after the Knife Fight in a Phone Booth that was the second battle of Guadalcanal.
Aoba is a scummy journalistic type, looking for revealing photos and tabloid stories on all the other shipgirls (and the commander.) Why Kinugasa looks up to her… Nobody knows. She is, however, one of the few who will at least try to call out that if the Commander is basically living in a harem anime. So… That’s one thing going for her, I guess?
Japanese heavy cruiser, best known for having some of the most-asshole captains to ever asshole, Directly responsible for the sinkings of Kako, Furutaka, Fubuki, and Murakumo due to captain assholery, and abandoned the Kumano to US Retaliation after Samar in October 1944. They also ordered her subordinates in the same cruiser division to kill prisoners of war to ‘save resources’, so… War criminal.
Characterized as a total muckracker and yellow journalist as one of her crew was considered ‘The father of Japanese Science Fiction’ novels
Skillwise, she’s another somewhat boring one. Full Firepower and an All Out Assault. She’s somewhat speedy, but nothing special.
Decent enough mechanically, but one of those personality types that makes you wonder why she hasn’t been slapped into the brig for harassment, slander, libel, and sundry
One of the Three Stooges, with Glowworm, Omaha, and San Diego collectively having less braincells than fingers. The Omaha-class Light Cruiser is basically a pre-world-war I design, only built in the inter-war years, because someone in the US had a boner for stupid decisions. Spent almost all of WW2 pootling about South America to avoid getting sneezed at by anything more lethal than a mild glare
She’s the hungry one of the three, and… Well, that, and anxiety about her weight are pretty much her character. You’re fine, Omaha, enjoy your snacks!
Skillwise, she’s utterly unremarkable. Quick Reload and an All Out Assault. Waves tiny flag and woos quietly.
Omaha’s career was unremarkable, with a bit of snark in 1937, when she ran aground off of Castle Island, in the Bahamas. As per the official report, “she quickly and evenly decelerated as the bottom engaged the smooth reef.”
Meanwhile, in 1942: “One day, as she was at anchor in Carenage Bay, Trinidad, one of her sailors had returned from an especially “hard liberty” (read: drunk off his tits) and found a spot on Omaha’s direction finder deck to sleep off the effects. When the ship rolled unexpectedly the inebriated sailor rolled from the deck, down an awning, across the quarterdeck and then over the side and into the water. According to Captain Chandler, “probably due to his perfectly relaxed condition”, the sailor was uninjured.
Despite having the rather boring skill pair of Quick Reload and All Out Assault, I like Raleigh. She adjusts her glasses when she wins battles, she’s a strict teacher, and if it weren’t for her visrep being much younger than her personality, I’d like her more.
Omaha-class ‘scout cruiser’, got to pootle around most of the war. Was torpedoed at Pearl Harbour, and her gun crews claimed five kills. Got to spend most of the war patrolling the Aleutian and Rat island chains, wasting ammo on rocks shaped like people.
She quickly becomes a mainstay in the two main fleets I run with, bless her. 🙂
Norfolk is, honestly, a sweetheart. She’s not very brave (although that’s arguable, considering she still does her job), she’s shy, she doesn’t like the dark, and she likes fairytales. So… A smol of a cruiser. She also dislikes winter, and there is a story behind that, as implied by her talking about her radar freezing when you meet her.
Skillwise, she’s not badly armoured, is good with torpedoes, and, apart from her All-Out-Assault, her defensive skill, Forward Armour, isn’t that bad. When she takes damage, she has a 15% chance to spawn a shield for 5-15 seconds that blocks up to 12 shots. That’s normal shots, not the special shots, but that’s still less damage, and, if she’s at the front, that’s the whole formation she’s protecting when you’re moving forward or staying neutral. That ain’t bad.
Norfolk is one of five ships that gets shields, so she’s in rare company. While her appearance and lines go all-in on the ‘Little Red Riding Hood is Scared’, in this case, Little Red Riding Hood has eight 203mm guns, and a distinguished service history.
While much of her time in WW2 was spent wrangling arctic convoys and patrols, she was not only responsible for shadowing Bismarck and Prinz Eugen, leading up to Denmark Strait, and then following through until naval aviation could be brought to bear, two years later, she was responsible for putting out Scharnhorst’s eye; in the Battle of North Cape, one of her barrages destroyed the Battlecruiser’s Zeetact radar system, preventing Scharnhorst from noticing Duke of York’s interception.
She’s a good girl, and her little sister, Dorsetshire, is right in admiring Norfolk for all that she was able to do.
Ah, the HMS Hermes. How can I describe her? Oh yes… Scots Twitter Yu-Gi-Oh Carrier.
Okay, the Scots Twitter part is an exaggeration based on her costume, it’s much more “Yu-Gi-Oh protagonist who happens to be an aircraft-carrier-girl”, and many of her lines are direct references to the joy and power at the heart of the cards. It’s her passion, it’s her life, and y’know what?
Hermes also shares a VA with a Yu-gi-oh Protagonist.
She has the skills to back it up, especially post retrofit. As it is, she has a 15-25% chance to deal double damage for 10 seconds after each airstrike, and post retrofit? She has the Destiny Draw. At base, she gets 7 extra luck when her health drops below 30% But that’s only a cherry on top. No, every 20 seconds, one of three things will happen to her chosen target, and they all have quite evocative names. 1 in 3 chance of the Blackburn Fire Blast (a Heavy Incendiary Bomb), 1 in 3 of the Swordfish Bombardment of Destruction (3 Medium Bombs), and 1 in 3 of the Obnoxious Carpet Bombing (A whopping 24 Light Bombs)
She’s a keeper. And regardless of her Yu-Gi-Oh character, I still prefer to believe there’s that Scots Twitter touch, like that famous Scots Twitter Poketrainer.
Okay, okay, she was constructed in England. So it doesn’t work. But I so badly want it to…
Historically, HMS Hermes was the Very First Carrier to ever be laid down as a purpose-built aircraft carrier; all her forerunners were conversions, and at that point in time, her only forerunner was USS Langley. Due to construction delays and strikes however, she was the last of the ‘First three’ to be completed, having been beaten not only by Langley, who had been converted from a coal-hauler, but also Houshou, who had been laid down after Hermes, but completed two years before.
Hermes, for her part, spent her career basically teaching the Royal Navy how to, and how not to, operate a Carrier; while quickly supplanted by the Furious-class conversions, Ark Royal, and, in 1940, the Illustrious-class, she was still considered a vital part of the Naval Air Arm’s force projection. Until mid-1942, where at the battle of Tassafaronga, she was caught redeploying under orders from the admiralty with no escort (barring the very out of date HMAS Vampire) and proceeded to get dive-bombed to pieces by some 90 Japanese planes.
Hermes took a minimum of 40 direct hits before sinking, and lost over 300 of her crew.
That’s… That’s a lot…
To paraphrase one ‘Mighty Jingles’, Former RN officer and Youtube snarker over World of Warships, ‘British Carriers are tough as old boots’
York is an odd one. Yes, she talks about the Force, which leads some to call her a Jedi (More accurately, considering the destructive bits, a Sith, if you interpret her that way), some think she’s just an embarrassing, deluded character (The japanese term is chuunibyou, and has a somewhat loose definition)
Chunni directly translated to ‘Eighth-grader syndrome’, where someone pretends to be something much more impressive than they actually are. Eg, an eighth-grader being a shounen protagonist.
but… Honestly, I’m not really convinced by either of these interpretations. Is she someone who Dramatically speaks in inconsistent Capitals of Important Nounage? Yes.
But also, post retrofit, well, her skill is Darkness (or Terror) Field, and… Yup, Darkness fits well, because it both extinguishes the “Light” (read: Bombships do 20-40% less damage, HE rounds do 5-15% less), and dramatically expands her Dark Force (Her secondary gun gets 40-70% extra crit chance, and ignores armour type.
As it is pre-retrofit, she gets Armageddon Cannon (MAGIC… ARMAGEDDON… CANNONNNNN!), which, after every shot of any of her weapons, has a 20% chance to increase her firepower by 20-40% for eight seconds.
Like all Heavy Cruisers, even without you being able to play with her secondary mounts, she’s boasting a brace of small guns that let her be a bullethose. Armageddon Cannon is hilariously overpowered as a result.
It’s kind of a shame she’s both unlucky and somewhat squishy, although, bravely, she fights against Fortune. The concept, not the ship. That would suck.
Historically, HMS York is one of a handful of heavy cruisers lost in WW2 from the Royal Navy; she was badly mauled by explosive motorboats while defending Crete from Italian and German invasion, then picked apart by torpedoes, dive bombers, and high-altitude level bombers until she was more scrap than ship.
I looked up the damage assessment in the official Royal Navy assessments; it took up about 3 pages in a 400-page book. Warspite took up less paper space.
Ah yeah, one of the quotes reference that as a nightmare she feels she has to face. And that definitely counts as a nightmare!
Her sister, Exeter, didn’t have much luck either, being mauled by Graf Spee in her first Engagement in WW2, then getting slaughtered by IJN bombers in the Java Sea. Looks like the York Class was rather unlucky.
As a side note, York and Exeter are, in the Azur Lane universe, members of the Royal Family. Specifically, they’re both Princesses. So, so far, we have the royal knight, and at least one of the two Princesses.
Tennessee is focused. She’s combative. She’ll push the Commander because god help her, if he doesn’t shift his ass, she will, and, as such, she’s terrifying to her foes. There’s not a lot to say beyond that, and honestly? There doesn’t need to be. She speaks for herself, and she’s a good shitkicker in a fleet.
Tennessee is a Pearl Harbour Survivor, and her focus, drive, and need to beat people flat is almost wholly her coping with the trauma of seeing pretty much her entire family get murdered around her. In fact, she took only minor damage during Pearl, which only exacerbates her issues and self-flagellation
In fact, let’s borrow from wikipedia for a picture.
That’s Tenn, barely scratched, next to her younger half-sister, West Virginia. Who is quite visibly sunk. In front of her at the time was Maryland, who took multiple bomb hits, and Oklahoma, who died incredibly horribly. Behind her? Arizona. Tennessee spent 3 days surrounded by her dead or dying sisters before she could be pulled free of her moorings.]
Much like Pennsylvania, she Really wants to expend her hate-on towards Japan by hating them out of existence.
Oh boy, Pennsylvania’s even scarier. But we’ll get to her soon enough…
And that terrifying nature? Represented in her sole skill, Coercion. Every 15 seconds, the enemies deal 8-15% less damage for 8. It’s not a bad skill, and with her 200% damage on DD guns, bombships aren’t getting anywhere near her.
I like Shouhou. Real down to earth gal, admitting she’s unlucky, but hey, ya live life, y’hear?
Do you get that in Western terms, she’s a southern gal, which is represented in Japanese by the Kansai dialect (due to many of the same cultural associations)?
She loves life, and she’s a solid support carrier, having, funnily enough, the skill of the same name, healing the Escort fleet (which is that again?) for 3.5-8% of their max health after every airstrike. Load her with a Steam Catapult, and quick launching planes, and you’re golden… Especially after her retrofit, where, again after every airstrike, she increases the Air Power of other carriers and light carriers in her fleet by 5-15% for 8 seconds.
Shouhou’s solid, and yeah… I love joie de vivre!
I don’t have much to say about Shouhou; she didn’t have a long career at all, with her most notable feat being the target of the infamous line ‘Scratch one Flattop’ at the Battle of Coral Sea.
So, I mean, getting bombed to shit, and torpedoed by Lexington and Yorktown, and subsequently becoming the first Japanese carrier sunk in world war 2 is notable, but it’s not exactly a ‘happy’ note.
Her character references her swift destruction, but she’s one of the few that is in a reasonably decent headspace about being smacked by overwhelming firepower.
Ah, sister Sara. That’s sister to other shipgirls, not sister as in nun. That’s another shipgirl. Saratoga, of the Lexington class, is a prankster and a Virtual Idol in her spare time, and… Well, she has trouble taking things seriously, even if her heart’s in the right place. She does, after all, apologise for her pranks… Sometimes. When reminded.
While given the name ‘Sister Sara’, there’s nothing little about her. During her 19-year career in the USN, she was the first of her class to be launched, first to be completed (making her older than her big sister, Lexington), and last to die. Also, until the Commissioning of USS Midway, one week after World War 2 ended, Saratoga held the title of ‘The World’s Longest Warship’ from 1927 until 1945. She was also the only warship in the world to be over 900 feet long until Midway was completed.
She’s a carrier, it’s true, but she’s by no means only a carrier. Her skill Artillery Support means she fires a barrage every 20-10 seconds (damage dependent on level, and it’s kind of a spray and pray deal… But it makes for a nasty surprise to someone in the wrong place at the right time), and, when she launches an airstrike, she improves the escort fleet’s damage by 5-15% for 8 seconds.
That’s a Spray and Pray of Eight-inch shells, referring to her original design specifications being outfitted with heavy cruiser guns, just in case. It was soon realized that heavy guns were not really a viable option for a carrier because firing across the flight deck would ruin the deck and send planes flying off the side. Also, if a carrier’s in gun range, shit’s fucked.
After her retrofit, however, she gets her unique skill, and it’s a fun one: Witch’s Prank. After launching an airstrike, she has a 40-70% chance to launch extra planes, whose damage is based on skill level and aviation stat (why would you not buff both to max ASAP?)
Sara has, bar none, the highest natural aviation stat in the game, too.
Said planes also cause burn and flood damage on hit. That’s two separate damage over time effects, at the same time. Sister Sara’s fun.
Sara’s a Survivor. She took more abuse than Enterprise, more often, but was often pulled off of the line of battle because while Enty kept getting bombed and lit on fire, Sara kept getting torpedoed, which required the rather obvious repair of ‘fix that hole in her side before more water gets in’. Also, surprising next to nobody, she was often considered one of the prettiest warships made, due to her origin as a battlecruiser; the long lines and sleek, tapered bow, gave her and her sister character that very few ships could match.
Post-war, exhausted, battle-scarred, and still wounded from her last engagement, Saratoga was subject to the Able and Baker Nuclear Weapons Tests at Bikini Atoll. She sank in shallow water, with her flight deck less than 50 feet from the surface, fully upright. Her wreck is a popular diving spot, as are the wrecks of the other ships that had their existences snuffed by sunshine in a can.