The last twitter poll saw a tie between two ship girls, that I resolved with a coin flip. Kaga got her day in the spotlight last time, so now it’s time for the other girl to get her chance to shine. When people think KanColle they think this girl (or Kongou), but many people don’t know much about her aside from her thong-wearing-loli status. I’m speaking of course about the iconic destroyer known as…
Shimakaze is the fastest destroyer (DD) in your fleet, and she’s not shy about telling you so. Her design alone is well known around otaku communities, even if they don’t know where exactly she comes from. I personally didn’t get Shimakaze until much later into the game, and by that time I already had high level destroyers. Currently she’s languishing in my “Need to work on” list, but rest assured that this isn’t because she’s a bad ship. Destroyers unfortunately are harder to level up than other ships, and other destroyers are higher priority due to the equipment they get when you upgrade them. However, despite her lack of ship-specific-equipment, she is an asset in many fleets.
Her statistics are what drive up her worth, and make her a worth while ship to use in fleets that requires destroyers. Among destroyers her torpedo power is the highest at max, and she shares the highest evasion and armor statistic with Yukikaze. The firepower and HP of Shimakaze is above average as well, so it’s safe to say that in terms of stats she’s head and shoulders above the competition. With gear she’s a fantastic ship to have for night combat torpedo attacks, and her defensive stats make her hard to hit. Her only drawback its that she is the most expensive destroyer to send out, at a cost of 20 fuel and 25 ammo per node. However, these costs are negligible when stacked next to the costs of bigger ships, and her speed and power more than makes up for the cost. She might not have a Kai Ni upgrade, but her Kai is better than most destroyers in the game.
Shimakaze’s personality really varies depending on where she is being portrayed. In the anime she is seen as a free spirited and simple minded girl with a knack for speed. In a manga featuring Shimakaze she is characterized as a trouble-making destroyer with a chip on her shoulder for being the only girl in her class. In this respect the anime’s Shimakaze was closer to the game than the manga was, as Shimakaze’s lines display a hyperactive nature. She’s not the deepest character in the KanColle pool, but if you’re looking for a fun girl then Shimakaze has you covered. Some of her more notable lines include:
- Want to race? I won’t lose!
- Hmm… Ah! I’m just talking with Rensouhou-chan now… sigh…’cause I’m bored!
- I told you there’s no escape from Shimakaze!
- I’m the best? Really? I knew it! I’m fast, after all!
In reference to that second quote, Shimakaze is the only ship-girl who’s equipment is given characterization. She is often depicted with three 12.7 cm turrets known as Rensoushou, who follow her around like pets. These turrets really don’t serve much of a purpose except to lend credence to Shimakaze’s quirky personality. This personality shines through in her short appearances in the anime, as she is usually shown in a carefree manner. Hopefully in the movie we’ll see more than just a few glimpses of the iconic destroyer.
Shimakaze was the first and only prototype super-destroyer that the Imperial Japanese Navy ordered near the beginning of the war. Due to the timing of the order (1939), she wasn’t finished till the middle of the war years (1943). Her construction was revolutionary in that she was fitted with an experimental steam turbine engine, which gave her the speed she is so famous for. Shimakaze’s speed trial clocked her at an impressive 40.9 knots, making her the fastest ships in the Pacific theater! Unfortunately for her and her crew, she entered service when the Japanese Navy was on the retreat more often than not. Due to this, her service record is incredibly short.
Japan’s newest destroyer would spend nearly her entire service career picking up survivors from failed battles. She started her active service time by evacuating troops from Kiska Islands following the successful allied assault on the Aleutian Islands. From here she would go on to participate in the Battle of Philippine Sea, and rescue survivors of the battleship Musashi from the Battle of Leyte Gulf. In 1944 Shimakaze found herself in the Battle of Ormoc Bay, where she would be sunk by American aircraft.
Today Shimakaze is once again a destroyer serving Japan, this time as the JDS Shimakaze (DDG-172). She is a guided missle destroyer, and she finally has a sister ship in JDS Hatakaze (DDG-171). Her new namesake was built by Mitsubishi in Nagasaki, Japan, and she now sports Rolls-Royce gas turbine engines. The new Shimakaze traded in most of her torpedo tubes for missle launchers, but she till maintains 6 torp-tubes for submarine threats. She’s not the newest girl in the JMSDF as she was built in 1988, but she still dependably serves her re-born nation.
TL;DR: Shimakaze is a stand out destroyer in a game that is inundated with destroyers. She’s fast, hit’s relatively hard, and has an adorably quirky attitude. In short, there’s a reason for her popularity other than her ahem interesting appearance. Look for her next time you’re in worlds 2 through 5!