Virtual anime YouTubers are being tuned into warships thanks to a bizarre collaboration between Azur Lane and Hololive.
Alright, so, we’ve got a lot to unpack here. Let’s start with Azur Lane, the Chinese-made mobile game that’s available on iOS and Android devices. The game itself is a side-scrolling shooter that’s combined with RPG elements. That’s because every ship you send into battle is actually a woman.
Sorry, I forgot — the whole game is centered around these anime girls that are also naval ships from World War II. There are over 330 characters so far with names like USS Laffey and HMS Javelin. They’re a specific time of anime called “moe anthropomorphism” that basically tries to make people out of inanimate objects. The only thing that really ties them to their inanimate forms is a whole bunch of accessories. Like cannons for earrings and a cape that’s actually an aircraft carrier’s flight deck.
As for the RPG elements, each of these naval ladies is kept in a "Dormitory" when not on a mission, and you can befriend and eventually "marry" these ships to increase their stats. As strange as this whole thing is, Azur Lane is actually very popular in Asia where it consistently rates as one of the top mobile games.
Earlier in November, publisher Yostar announced a collaboration with virtual YouTuber agency Hololive to bring some of their girls into Azur Lane, but as warships. This is a bit of a departure as previous characters are named after actual warships that served in WWII, but these will be named after the Hololive personas.
(And if you don’t know what Hololive is about, imagine real people wearing mocap suits and controlling virtual avatars that sing and do stuff on Twitch.)
Characters include Shirakami Fubuki as an SSR destroyer, Ookami Mio as an Elite aircraft carrier, and Natsuiro Matsuri as an Elite destroyer.
We still don’t know when these new "shipgirls" will be added to the game, but we do know it’ll come along with a live event. Stay tuned.
READ NEXT: Diablo 3 Needs A Mobile Port