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Konpeki no Kantai
紺碧の艦隊
Genre Alternate history
Original video animation
Director Takeyuki Kanda
Hiromichi Matano
Writer Yoshio Aramaki
Ryousuke Takahashi
Studio J.C.Staff
Released 1993
Episodes 32
Original video animation
Kyokujitsu no Kantai
Director Takeyuki Kanda
Hiromichi Matano
Writer Yoshio Aramaki
Ryousuke Takahashi
Studio J.C.Staff
Released 1997
Episodes 15
Game
Publisher NEC Interchannel, MicroCabin
Genre Strategy
Rating ESRB: T (Teen)
Platform PC-FX
Released JPN March 1995
Game
Developer Access
Publisher Angel Studios
Genre Strategy
Rating ESRB: T (Teen)
Platform SNES
Released JPN November 1995
Manga
Publisher Tokuma Shoten
Demographic Seinen
Original run April 1992September 1996
Volumes 20
Novel
Author Yoshio Aramaki
Publisher Tokuma Shoten
Original run December 4, 2004August 4, 2005
Volumes 10
Anime and Manga Portal

Konpeki no Kantai (紺碧の艦隊 ?, lit. Deep Blue Fleet) is a Japanese alternate-history original video animation series produced by J.C.Staff. The series focuses on a technologically advanced Imperial Japanese Navy and a radically different World War II that was brought about by Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto's revival in the past due to unexplained circumstances. The series is also notable for using the Imperial Japanese calendar instead of the Roman calendar in denoting the years where the events of the series take place. It also spawned a 1997 OVA sequel called Kyokujitsu no Kantai (旭日の艦隊 ?, lit. Fleet of the Rising Sun), one manga sequel, and two turn-based strategy games for the PC-FX and the SNES.

Konpeki no Kantai is largely based on the novel written by Yoshio Aramaki. The first volume of this series, Konpeki no Kantai (Deep Blue Fleet) was published in December 1990. The novel's popularity reportedly rose dramatically due to the start of the Gulf War the following month. Aramaki later wrote a different series called Asahi no Kantai (The Fleet of the Rising Sun), elements of which were used in the OVA sequel. The two series, totaling some 25 volumes, eventually sold more than five million copies.[1]

Contents

Point of Departure

In Konpeki no Kantai's first episode, Admiral Yamamoto's death still proceeds exactly as in the real event. Yamamoto blacks out before awakening in a ship quarters. After speaking with a crewman, he discovers that he is aboard the Nisshin and that the Battle of Tsushima has just ended. Yamamoto realizes that he has somehow been transported back in time (or to a parallel world) to the year 1905.

After Yamamoto decides to revert to his old name of Isoroku Takano,[2] he vows to use his advance-knowledge of the next 38 years to ensure that Japan does not make the same mistakes as before.

Yamamoto's first priority is to spearhead a massive naval construction program. Code-named Deep Blue Fleet, the program involves the building of advanced warships, nuclear submarines that are evolutions of the real-life I-400 class, and advanced fighter planes that were in prototype form during the late stages of the actual Pacific War.

His plan for success begins with a coup d'état against the hardline Tojo regime on the eve of the Pearl Harbor attack and installing an ally, Army Lt Gen Yasaburo Otaka as prime minister. Otaka, who has also been transported back in time, agrees to work with Yamamoto to change history to ensure a Japanese victory in the Second World War.

Alternate Events of the Attack on Pearl Harbor

The first episode of the series depicts the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. In the alternate history depicted, Yamamoto uses his advance knowledge of the future, combined with now superior technology of the Japanese navy, to ensure that the strategy and outcome of the attack are considerably different from the actual events which occurred:

Alternate Depiction Actual Events
Japan's declaration of war against the United States is made before the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Japanese embassy in Washington did not deliver a written statement that peace talks were at an end until after the attack had began. The actual declaration of war was not made until the following evening.[3]
The attack is launched at night since Japan has perfected nighttime aircraft carrier operations. The technological limitations of the time made the landing of planes on carrier decks in the dark nearly impossible, which was why the attack did not begin until morning.[4]
The raid begins with Japanese pathfinders dropping flares. No flares were used during the attack by either side, since the attack took place at daytime.
The entire military base at Pearl Harbor is destroyed. Most of Pearl Harbor's infrastructure, such as the power station, fuel depot, shipyards, submarine pens, armories, and the military headquarters sustained no damage during the attack. (Yamamoto later stated that sparing these facilities was a critical error.) [5][6]
Following the initial attack, the Japanese fleet regroups and annihilates the remainder of the US Pacific Fleet, including the three aircraft carriers, as they return to Pearl Harbor to join the battle. The Kido Butai Battle Group [7][8] turned back immediately without any further engagements with American forces. The huge distance the fleet had to travel between Japan and Hawaii (as well as the return trip) meant that the fleet's fuel supply only permitted it to operate near Hawaii for a limited period of time. In addition, many of these ships were needed immediately for operations in Southeast Asia.[9][10]
The episode ends with Japanese troops launching an invasion of Hawaii. The Japanese military briefly considered trying to seize the Hawaiian Islands but decided that it was impractical, since Japan's ground forces were already fully committed not only to the Second Sino-Japanese War but also for operations in Southeast Asia that were planned to occur immediately after the Pearl Harbor attack.[11][12][13]

After Pearl Harbor

Following the successful invasion, Japan grants Hawaii independence from the United States. In subsequent episodes, the Japanese military easily defeats Allied forces in Southeast Asia and grants independence to all of the territories formerly under European and American colonial rule. The IJN then cripples US naval power in the Tasman Sea and the Torres Strait, and advance across the Pacific Ocean. An IJN submarine-carrier flotilla destroys the Panama Canal's Gatun locks to hinder American efforts to transfer ships from the Atlantic. After suffering more crushing setbacks (including a second Panama Canal raid and a surgical airstrike on the Manhattan Project's Los Alamos facilities), America eventually sues for peace and accepts the surrender terms offered by Japan. They also prove too much for US President Henry Roosevelt, who dies of a stroke after learning of Los Alamos' destruction.

Although the Japanese are initially allied with Nazi Germany, German dictator Heinrich von Hitler becomes concerned about their string of victories and the rapid growth of Japan's technological and military power (partly boosted with the expertise of Albert Einstein). After Germany defeats the Soviet Union, conquers most of Africa, and establishes the Great European Empire, Hitler declares war on Japan. Japan's first thrust against Germany comes in the form of a precision attack by three intercontinental flying-boat bombers on the Nazis' atomic weapons research facility.

German forces start the invasion of India and England. On the Indian front, the Wehrmacht conducts an airborne assault on Kolkata and sends troops south to Cochin to meet other German troops coming down the western coast. Japan comes to the rescue by deploying armored forces with surviving British units. Another IJN carrier fleet is also deployed to the Indian Ocean. The Americans, which signed a peace treaty with Japan, lend their support by bombing German convoys. The submarine-carrier flotilla that attacked the Panama Canal is later redeployed to the Bab el-Mandeb to ambush a Kriegsmarine force being sent to the Indian Ocean.

The tide quickly turns on the Wehrmacht after they reach Mongolia. They are also driven to a stalemate in India after Japanese bombers destroy the invasion headquarters in New Delhi and antisubmarine warfare ravages the Kriegsmarine's U-boat force in the Indian Ocean. Nationalist Chinese forces work with the Americans to stop the German advance in Xinjiang province while Japan sends military forces to bolster the People's Republic of East Siberia (a new state created in the Siberian region after the fall of the Soviet regime).

While the Germans are stopped in Mongolia, the US, Britain, and Japan team up for further action in the Atlantic. British troops and Japan's air and sea forces hold down the German invasion in Britain while the US invades Europe through France's Brittany coast. At the same time, Japanese commandos infiltrate Hitler's main command center and destroys it with explosives, but Hitler survives. A subsequent coup by German State Secretary Erhardt Goering fails and he is executed along with two other top officials. The turn of events, plus the Allies' successes, forces peace talks between Germany, Japan, Britain, and the US. The war ends by 1950.

Kyokujitsu no Kantai

In the 1997 sequel Kyokujitsu no Kantai (Fleet of the Rising Sun), Japan builds up on its success in the earlier series by expanding its blue-water capabilities to reach the Atlantic Ocean. The series further details the presence of the IJN Atlantic fleet revealed in the latter half of Konpeki no Kantai.

After Germany declares war on Japan, the Japanese navy begins challenging the Kriegsmarine in the North Atlantic. In a climactic battle in the second episode, the IJN Atlantic force's flagship, the super-battleship Yamato Takeru (lit. The Brave of Yamato) engages and destroys Germany's own super-battleship, the Bismarck II.[14][15] The Japanese later launches attacks on German naval facilities in Kiel and a French-based battery of Heracles railway guns threatening London, earning them the Victoria Cross, which is bestowed on fleet commander Admiral Oshii. The move paves the way for trans-polar travel between Japan and Britain.

Having defeated the Soviet Union, Germany turns its focus to the West, destroying the White House in a surgical strike. A nuclear attack on New York City in 1947 finally drives the US to join Japan in the fight against Nazi Germany, which launched a modified Operation Sea Lion against Britain on October 7, 1948. Most of southeast England falls to the Nazis, with the British government evacuating to Inverness. However, the Japanese fleet arrives in time to destroy the German beachhead and stop the invasion forces, many of which are found in Kingston-upon-Hull and Grimsby.

Characters

To keep in line with the World War II theme, Konpeki no Kantai/Kyokujitsu no Kantai also features some characters who closely resemble actual historical figures from the 1940s. Only their first names were changed.

Japan

United States

Nazi Germany/Great European Empire

Others

Media

DVDs

Cover of 1st Kyokujitsu no KantaiDVD Box

Konpeki no Kantai was released from 1994 to 2003 on LaserDisc and DVD, with the DVDs containing two episodes each. JC Staff eventually compiled it and Kyokujitsu no Kantai into three large DVD boxed sets. The first was released on July 29, 2005 by Tokuma Shoten and Happinet Pictures, only a few days before the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II.[16] The first set in particular contains an art booklet and the 1997 special episode Secret Launch of the Sorai, a story of two Japanese engineers who develop the Sorai (the series' counterpart of the J7W Shinden fighter) and deploy it against a Tokyo-bound force of US B-30 long-range bombers launched from Alaska. The interception itself is featured in Episode 3. Pre-order rewards include a Zippo lighter replica from 1941 and a scale model of the I-601 submarine carrier.[17][18] The second DVD box set was released on September 23, 2005.[19] The last compilation was released on November 25, 2005.[20]

The series is available for purchase over the Internet from a number of sites but is only sold in DVD Region 2 format, which is not compatible with most DVD players available in the United States and Canada (which are Region 1) - although some newer DVD players are (or can be modified to be) region-free. However, all releases, including those available over the Internet, do not include dubs or non-Japanese subtitles. Neither series has been (or is planned to be) translated for release outside of Japan because of their Japan-centric content, such as the Allied powers being depicted as villains while Japan's conduct during the war is depicted as being noble.

Games

In March 1995, NEC Interchannel and MicroCabin released a Konpeki no Kantai PC-FX turn-based strategy game [21]. The SNES version of the game, which was published by Angel Studios (now Rockstar San Diego) and developed by Access Co., followed suit in November of the same year.[22]

The game follows all combat operations depicted in the series, with battles fought on an isometric map. The player also has the capability to develop new weapons.

Manga

Tokuma Shoten published Shin Konpeki no Kantai (新紺碧の艦隊 ?, lit. New Deep Blue Fleet) in 20 bound volumes between April 1992 and September 1996.[23][24] The entire series was eventually re-released in three bunkobon volumes. The first volume was released on April 25, 2003.[25] The second volume was released on March 25, 2004 [26] and the last on July 25, 2005.[27]

Novel

Tokuma Shoten published a ten-novel Konpeki no Kantai series between December 4, 2004 and August 4, 2005.[28][29] The issues were later compiled into four volumes, with the first book released on December 8, 2006 and the last one on March 2, 2007.[30][31]

Cover of Konpeki no Kantai novel
Title Date ISBN
"Konpeki no Kantai 1" (紺碧の艦隊1 ?) December 4, 2004[28] ISBN 4-19-892162-8
"Konpeki no Kantai 2" (紺碧の艦隊2 ?) December 4, 2004[32] ISBN 4-19-892163-6
"Konpeki no Kantai 3" (紺碧の艦隊3 ?) January 6, 2005[33] ISBN 4-19-892178-4
"Konpeki no Kantai 4" (紺碧の艦隊4 ?) February 4, 2005[34] ISBN 4-19-892192-X
"Konpeki no Kantai 5" (紺碧の艦隊5 ?) March 4, 2005[35] ISBN 4-19-892208-X
"Konpeki no Kantai 6" (紺碧の艦隊6 ?) April 6, 2005[36] ISBN 4-19-892223-3
"Konpeki no Kantai 7" (紺碧の艦隊7 ?) April 28, 2005[37] ISBN 4-19-892235-7
"Konpeki no Kantai 8" (紺碧の艦隊8 ?) June 4, 2005[38] ISBN 4-19-892250-0
"Konpeki no Kantai 9" (紺碧の艦隊9 ?) July 6, 2005[39] ISBN 4-19-892266-7
"Konpeki no Kantai 10" (紺碧の艦隊10 ?) August 4, 2005[29] ISBN 4-19-892281-0

See also

References

  1. ^ Thinking the Opposite: An Interview with Yoshio Aramaki by Mitsutaka Oide (available at the Dalkey Archive Press, University of Illinois.
  2. ^ In 1916, Isoroku was adopted into the Yamamoto family (a family of former Nagaoka samurai) and took the Yamamoto name. At the time, Japanese families lacking sons often adopted suitable young men to carry on the family name.
  3. ^ Prange, Gordon William; Goldstein, Donald M.; Dillon, Katherine V. (1988), December 7, 1941: The Day the Japanese Attacked Pearl Harbor, McGraw-hill, ISBN ISBN 9780070506824, http://books.google.com/books?id=iydtAAAAIAAJ  , page 58.
  4. ^ Prior to the development of Optical Landing Systems in the mid-1950s, pilots relied soly on their visual perception of the carrier deck and the aid of the Landing Signal Officer, who helped guide plans using colored flags, cloth paddles and lighted wands.
  5. ^ Gailey, Harry A. (1997), War in the Pacific: From Pearl Harbor to Tokyo Bay, Presidio, ISBN 0891416161  , page 98.
  6. ^ The only military infrastructure to sustain serious damage were the airfields and hangers. Japanese military planners decided that unless the airfields were immediately targeted, the large number of American aircraft based on the Island would pose a severe threat to the Japanese attack force. Consequently, nearly all Japanese fighters not assigned to attack the warships in the harbor were ordered to strike the airfields. While this strategy was largely successful in its primary objective (all of the airfields suffered severe damage and very few American aircraft were actually able to join the battle), it meant that Japanese aircraft had to refrain from attacking nearly all of the other land-based military facilities.
  7. ^ The Kido Butai (機動部隊 lit. Mobile Unit/Force) was the Japanese Combined Fleet's main carrier battle group until July 1942, when it was disbanded and its ships were transfered to the IJN 3rd Fleet.
  8. ^ Kido Butai!: Stories and Battle Histories of the IJN's Carrier Fleet by Anthony Tully, last updated July 12, 2009.
  9. ^ Prange, Gordon W. (1999), The Pearl Harbor Papers: Inside the Japanese Plans, Brassey's, ISBN 1574882228, http://books.google.com/books?id=q2pFnALHfykC  
  10. ^ The three Aircraft Carriers of the US Pacific Fleet were not at Pearl Harbor during the attack. The Enterprise and the Lexington were relatively close to Hawaii (the Enterprise managed to launch a limited number of aircraft during the attack) but neither encountered the Kido Butai battle group (although the Enterpise did sink Japanese submarine I-70 on December 10). The third carrier, the Saratoga was near San Diego during the attack, and did not reach Hawaii until December 15.
  11. ^ Despite several requests from the Japanese Combined Fleet, the Japanese Imperial Army refused to supply ground forces or resources for an invasion of Hawaii as it wished to focus on operations in China and Southeast Asia (a lack of cooperation between the Army and Navy hampered Japanese military operations throughout the war.)
  12. ^ In late December 1941, Yamamoto tried to secure support an invasion of Hawaii, but continued to face stiff opposition, not only from the army but also from Fleet Admiral Osami Nagano (永野修身), who felt that such an operation was too risky. Eventually, Yamamoto reportedly secured a tentative agreement for an invasion of Hawaii after military operations in Southeast Asia were completed and additional grounds troops and warships were available. However, Japanese losses at the Battle of Midway made any future operations against Hawaii impossible.
  13. ^ Weinberg, Gerhard L., A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1994, page 260, 323, 329-330.
  14. ^ The Yamato Takeru (lit. The Brave of Yamato) is presumably named after Prince Yamatotakeru (日本武尊, やまとたける), who was a legendary prince of Japan's Yamato dynasty.
  15. ^ The fictional Yamato Takeru is intended to be a hyper-advanced version of the real-life battleship Yamato which, along with her sister ship, the Musashi, were the largest and heaviest battleships ever constructed. Likewise, the Bismarck II is intended to be a similarly modified version of the Bismarck, which was the second largest battleship constructed by Nazi Germany during the war (her sister ship, the Tirpiz was slightly larger). Both were among the most famous warships of the Second World War.
  16. ^ Konpeki no Kantai, Kyokujitsu no Kantai Complete DVD Box 1 at Play-Asia.com (English).
  17. ^ "紺碧の艦隊 x 旭日の艦隊 Complete DVD Box 1" (in Japanese). J.C. Staff. http://www.jcstaff.co.jp/sho-sai/kon-shokai/konpeki-dvd/konpeki-dvd.htm. Retrieved 2009-02-01.  
  18. ^ "Konpeki no Kantai, Kyokujitsu no Kantai Complete DVD Box 1". cdjapan.co.jp. http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/detailview.html?KEY=BBBA-9144. Retrieved 2009-03-19.  
  19. ^ "Konpeki no Kantai, Kyokujitsu no Kantai Complete DVD Box 2". cdjapan.co.jp. http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/detailview.html?KEY=BBBA-9145. Retrieved 2009-03-19.  
  20. ^ "Konpeki no Kantai, Kyokujitsu no Kantai Complete DVD Box 3". cdjapan.co.jp. http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/detailview.html?KEY=BBBA-9146. Retrieved 2009-03-19.  
  21. ^ "Konpeki no Kantai". GameFAQs. http://www.gamefaqs.com/console/pcfx/home/587878.html. Retrieved 2009-03-19.  
  22. ^ "Konpeki no Kantai". GameFAQs. http://www.gamefaqs.com/console/snes/home/571374.html. Retrieved 2009-03-19.  
  23. ^ "『紺碧の艦隊』の読み方〈1〉紺碧要塞の戦理論 (トクマ·ノベルズ―戦略裏読みシリーズ) (新書)" (in Japanese). Amazon.co.jp. http://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/4191548387/. Retrieved 2009-03-19.  
  24. ^ "紺碧の艦隊〈20〉亜細亜の曙 (トクマ·ノベルズ) (新書)" (in Japanese). Amazon.co.jp. http://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/4198503346/. Retrieved 2009-03-19.  
  25. ^ "新 紺碧の艦隊 1" (in Japanese). Tokuma Shoten. http://www.tokuma.jp/comics/tokuma-comics/1176095845136. Retrieved 2009-03-19.  
  26. ^ "新 紺碧の艦隊 2" (in Japanese). Tokuma Shoten. http://www.tokuma.jp/comics/tokuma-comics/1176095851273. Retrieved 2009-03-19.  
  27. ^ "新 紺碧の艦隊 3" (in Japanese). Tokuma Shoten. http://www.tokuma.jp/comics/tokuma-comics/1176095860398. Retrieved 2009-03-19.  
  28. ^ a b "紺碧の艦隊1" (in Japanese). Tokuma Shoten. http://www.tokuma.jp/bunko/tokuma-bunko/1176094333760. Retrieved 2009-03-19.  
  29. ^ a b "紺碧の艦隊10" (in Japanese). Tokuma Shoten. http://www.tokuma.jp/bunko/tokuma-bunko/1176094367780. Retrieved 2009-03-19.  
  30. ^ "新紺碧の艦隊 1" (in Japanese). Tokuma Shoten. http://www.tokuma.jp/bunko/tokuma-bunko/1176094436690. Retrieved 2009-03-19.  
  31. ^ "新紺碧の艦隊 4" (in Japanese). Tokuma Shoten. http://www.tokuma.jp/bunko/tokuma-bunko/1176094450203. Retrieved 2009-03-19.  
  32. ^ "紺碧の艦隊2" (in Japanese). Tokuma Shoten. http://www.tokuma.jp/bunko/tokuma-bunko/1176094334047. Retrieved 2009-03-19.  
  33. ^ "紺碧の艦隊3" (in Japanese). Tokuma Shoten. http://www.tokuma.jp/bunko/tokuma-bunko/1176094338317. Retrieved 2009-03-19.  
  34. ^ "紺碧の艦隊4" (in Japanese). Tokuma Shoten. http://www.tokuma.jp/bunko/tokuma-bunko/1176094342317. Retrieved 2009-03-19.  
  35. ^ "紺碧の艦隊5" (in Japanese). Tokuma Shoten. http://www.tokuma.jp/bunko/tokuma-bunko/1176094346877. Retrieved 2009-03-19.  
  36. ^ "紺碧の艦隊6" (in Japanese). Tokuma Shoten. http://www.tokuma.jp/bunko/tokuma-bunko/1176094351157. Retrieved 2009-03-19.  
  37. ^ "紺碧の艦隊7" (in Japanese). Tokuma Shoten. http://www.tokuma.jp/bunko/tokuma-bunko/1176094354591. Retrieved 2009-03-19.  
  38. ^ "紺碧の艦隊8" (in Japanese). Tokuma Shoten. http://www.tokuma.jp/bunko/tokuma-bunko/1176094358875. Retrieved 2009-03-19.  
  39. ^ "紺碧の艦隊9" (in Japanese). Tokuma Shoten. http://www.tokuma.jp/bunko/tokuma-bunko/1176094363446. Retrieved 2009-03-19.  

External links








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