Azur Lane 04 (The Plot Unfolds!) #azurlane_anime

Azur Lane 04
アズールレーン episode 04

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis

At a Sakura Empire base, heavy cruisers Kako and Furutaka, and carriers Souryuu and Hiryuua greet arriving carriers Akagi and Kaga as well as the destroyer Ayanami. Iron blood heavy cruiser Prince Eugen and destroyer Z23 also arrive, but are left alone. Souryuu and Hiryuua then go to greet arriving carriers Shoukaku and Zuikaku. Ayanami is then greeted by destroyers Yukikaze, Shigure, Yuudachi, whom are excited that their friend has seen combat.

Azur Lane 04

Meanwhile at the Azur Lane base, Royal light cruiser Belfast wakes Union carrier Enterprise. She makes Enterprise come to the dining hall to have an English breakfast. Enterprise cannot understand Belfast’s desire to see her hidden human soul. After breakfast, the pair walk to where Dragon Empery light cruisers Ping Hai and Ning Hai have set up a stand, selling Chinese panda buns. They give some for free to Enterprise and Belfast for saving them.

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Later, Ping Hai and Ning Hai are debriefed by Royal battleship Prince of Wales, Enterprise, Union carrier Hornet, and others. The pair recount their battle with the Sirens. Afterward, Enterprise speculates that the increased Siren activity and the Sakura using Siren technology must be linked. Belfast informs her that they have already infiltrated the Sakura base.

Azur Lane 04

Meanwhile, on the Sakura base, battleship Nagato is briefed on Project Orochi and the Black Box that allows them to communicate with the Sirens. Akagi and Kaga aren’t too happy that Nagato is hesitating on the project. Elsewhere, Zuikaku pays a visit to heavy cruiser Takao for a chat. Meanwhile, the destroyer Shiranui wonders where repair ship Akashi is. She encounters Royal light cruisers Edinburgh and Sheffield in disguise.

Azur Lane 04

Akashi has rescued a cat, but finds herself lost in a cave. She discovers a Siren ship there with Akagi on its deck. The Siren, named Observer, is conspiring with Akagi. Akashi attempts to sneak away, but is stopped by Kaga. Observer decides to destroy Akashi for eavesdropping. However, the small ship-girl is saved by Edinburgh and Sheffield. The two Royal ship-girls have to fight to make good their escape, but they take the frightened Akashi with them after she begs them to.

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Thoughts/Review

Good grief! Could we cram in any more characters into Azur Lane 04? 😂 But that aside, interesting plot developments happened, which I liked.

Azur Lane 04

Moving the Plot

I’m really starting to like Azur Lane more and more from the standpoint of its story telling. Yes, there are some moments that do nothing for the main plot, but those are fine. These moments add local color to the series as a whole. That said, questions I had regarding the series are being addressed.

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I had previously asked where the humans are. Azur Lane 04 provided a throw away line from Kaga regarding humanity barely hanging on, thanks to the Sirens. So that would explain why we see no humans around. I wonder if the series will allow us to see some.

Azur Lane 04

Next up was a reason for the Sakura Empire to attack Azur Lane. The logic of this attack escaped me. However, something about Project Orochi forced them to do this. We didn’t get specifics, but the Black Box seems to be an energy absorption device in addition to being a way to communicate with Sirens.

Azur Lane 04

Sakura Empire

One thing that seems clear from Azur Lane 04 is that Akagi is nuts. Before this episode, she just seemed like an ojousama type who’s a little out there. Now that we know that she’s conspiring with the Sirens, there’s no doubt to me that she’s just nuts. And sadly, Kaga’s deep affection for her sister ship has blinded her to this. Also, Akagi is clever enough to hide her insane side from the others.

Azur Lane 04

Still, why would Akagi go to the Sirens? Initially, I thought maybe they were controlling her somehow. However, the writers made an excellent point of showing this not to be the case. And Observer made a point of mentioning a reunion to Akagi. Historically, Akagi and Kaga were a pair. I’m not aware of another ship, so I’m not sure what this reunion is referring to.

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That said, one thing that seems clear to me is that the Sakura Empire may end up working with Azur Lane to defeat the Sirens. Their initial disagreement with Azur lane seems to have stemmed from taking so many Siren attacks.

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Finally, the Sakura base was amazingly beautiful.

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Deaths

It may not be realistic, but I’m kinda glad there have been no deaths in the series to date. I do think there’s a possibility of Akagi dying before all is said and done. Azur Lane rides the borders of being a very dark anime series. But then it has plenty of light movements to balance that out.

Azur Lane 04

For example, in Azur Lane 04, if Observer had slaughtered the cute, loli ship-catgirl Akashi, that would have been VERY hard for me to deal with. And no amount of comedy on the side would negate that. The Fate franchise WILL slaughter a poor loli in a brutal, horrific fashion. So I’m glad Azur Lane doesn’t appear to be going there.

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The Enterprise Journey

Once again, the character arc story for Enterprise is touched on. I found it amusing that as guarded as she is for a ship-girl, she’s a pretty heavy and vulnerable sleeper.

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In addition, I found it amusing that she didn’t really protest Belfast forcing her to eat a proper meal. (As an aside, anime episodes are KILLING me by always displaying food! 😂)

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Final Thoughts and Conclusion

In the end, Azur Lane 04 turned out to be quite enjoyable. While we are drowning in a cast of characters (and I understand why that is), the characters are interesting. Further, the story is pretty compelling. I’m glad I picked this series up.

Azur Lane 04

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