Sorry about the recent scarcity of posts. > <; It's been a busy(er than usual) week this past week. (Although my free time yesterday evening was spent enjoying the
Kurogane Pukapukatai is about a Japanese commerce raider called the "Unebi" that is manned by an all-female crew (aside from the elderly male captain, who merely sits in the ship's bridge while adorably sipping his tea, a la Kuroshitsuji's Tanaka). The Unebi mostly clashes with the British navy as a result of its intent to eliminate British cargo ships transporting goods between Britain and its colonies. The historical setting is well-realized (complete with Kurihashi's lovingly detailed, yet never detracting, descriptions of the ships and submarines), considering the massive handwave of having women in military leadership positions in WWII- or serving in the military, period-, but all one really needs to know is that, aside from the Unebi's Gunnery Officer Obama (yes), the female cast is quite gay. The sword-toting Executive Officer of the Unebi, Mamiya, is smitten with her thickheaded yet highly competent Commander Kuki (who favors guns), who once saved her from drowning (which of course, means mouth-to-mouth resuscitation)- as a result, Mamiya also acts as Kuki's bodyguard. A pilot who does reconnaissance missions for the Unebi, named Kurushima Kiku (nicknamed "Chibikuru"), and her flying partner Nojima Atsuko (nicknamed "Atchan") are close, but somewhat more ambiguous; they could simply be friends, but they could also easily be seen as more. The Unebi has a run-in with the "Cutlass", a British destroyer commanded by Captain Ann, whose wandering eye for women (including Kiku) sometimes lands her (and an unwitting Kiku) in trouble with her cutlass-wielding girlfriend, Commander Mary. Fortunately, the Unebi has an ally in Nina Stortebeker, the Captain of a German U-boat who also likes Kiku and women in general. Towards the end, a member of Nina's crew named Elsa appears to be interested in her (with Nina reciprocating), but Nina transfers Elsa to the Unebi as a result of the Gestapo beginning to shadow her. (Elsa's Jewish.)
Despite the surprisingly poignant ending, Kurogane Pukapukatai is a silly screwball comedy through and through. Lowbrow, slapstick humor abounds, and the setting is largely an excuse to see women shooting, slicing, and blowing things up. And hitting on or flirting with each other. It works for me. :) There isn't really any character development, and hardly any character depth (plus, Kurihashi doesn't seem to have any particular direction in mind for the story), but I don't care as long as said characters continue to entertain.
The art isn't Mokona Apapa-stellar, but it's solid and serves the story well, especially during the action and comedy scenes.
Light as air (despite the ship and submarine trivia), but recommended for something fun, action-y, and yuri-packed that's different from the usual. ^^