The seas were stolen from humanity with the rise of the Siren. The seafaring magi-mechanical monstrosities stalled commerce and forced the world back from its shorelines. A desperate world develops a new way to fight, by using young women who are the embodiment of warships to take back the seas. The Azur Lane alliance, built from the world's strongest navies, succeeds in its goal of mitigating the damage done by the Sirens. Yet with peace comes cracks in the alliance pitting the Eagle Union and Royal Navy against the Sakura Empire and Iron Blood.
We see famous ships from history take to the open seas like destroyers Laffey and Javelin, battleships Akagi and Nagato, and aircraft carriers like Enterprise. The beginning of the story even starts with a familiar historical homage as the Sakura Empire launches a sneak attack on the Eagle Union and Royal Navy as they lay anchored in a glistening tropical harbor. Azur Lane allows us to ogle some anthropomorphized weapons of war as young women who are struggling to reconcile their roles as tools with their growing humanity. We know Azur Lane isn't an entirely original concept and have come up with some moe, we mean more, adventure with a similar take on war and its weapons.
Similar Anime to Azur Lane
1. Kantai Collection: KanColle
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 2015- March 2015
The "deep Sea Fleet" or "Abyssal Fleet" has taken over the world's oceans, cutting off global trade and laying waste to the conventional naval fleets of the time. The greatest hope humanity comes in the form of the Kanmusu, girls who possess the spirits of old warships. Kanmusu wear special rigging suited for their class of ship: destroyer, cruiser, battleship, or aircraft carrier, all from the early 20th century. The events of KanColle focus on Fubuki, a destroyer who arrives to join her destroyer squadron. She is a very raw recruit that needs a lot of intense training to go from liability to combat-capable. We get to watch Fubuki's growth as we watch the girls of the fleet glide across the seas to seek out and destroy the great threat of humanity, the Abyssal Fleet.
We have a lot of direct similarities between Azur Lane and KanColle. First, the shows are filled with cute girls whose ages and proportions are directly related to the size of the ship they embody. Second, how they are geared out for combat is nearly identical, though the girls of KanColle don't have the luxury of using the actual ship they are named after. Third, the enemies, the Abyssal Fleet and the Sirens, both came out of nowhere and take over the seas. Fourth, they skate across the seas. The girls in both programs skate across the ocean after they've been kitted out, except for the aircraft carriers in Azur Lane who seem to have the ability to fly. We put KanColle at number one because we are sure if you are enjoying Azur Lane you'll love this one.
Kantai Collection: KanColle PV
2. Strike Witches
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: July 2008- September 2008
The world is at war. The year is 1944 and the Neuroi (aliens) who invaded Europe in 1939 have been seizing land and pushing humanity out as they change the atmosphere with their miasma. Humanity finds a way to fight back most unconventionally, with witches, flying girls with furry ears, tails, and automatic weapons. The young witches are each fitted with Striker Units, magi-mechanical devices that resemble the nose of a fighter plane that mount onto their legs. It is when they use their magic power to start these engines that the ears and tails that best fit their attributes magically appear. Armed with guns or cannons, the Strike Witches are then ready to go toe-to-toe with the alien menace.
We will state right off the bat that the witches are human, they just have magical power. The girls of Azur Lane talk about having a human side but it isn't clear if they are human or not in the anime. The girls in both shows carry their armament into battle, giving them the mobility they need for combat. The girls of Azur Lane, however, can just stand atop their floating namesakes and direct their awesome firepower at the enemy. We are also fighting an enemy from an unknown origin in a time period that reflects the technology of the early 20th century. If you like action moe, especially with the enhancement of fluffy ears and tails, you've got to watch Strike Witches and its sister program Brave Witches.
Strike Witches PV
3. Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio: Ars Nova [ Arpeggio of Blue Steel- Ars Nova-]
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: October 2013- December 2013
The warming of the planet has caused the seas to rise and the rise of the Fog. The Fog are a fleet of autonomous warships with advanced weaponry that take over the seas as part of an undisclosed objective. The most powerful ships in the Fog have a Mental Model, a humanoid avatar that represents the ship's heart. The only rules they are programmed to follow are that of the Admiralty Code, except for I-401, Mental Mode Iona, whose only directive is to be Gunzou Chihaya's ship. She takes on Gunzou Chihaya and a crew of his fellow National Marine Academy alums as they become privateers taking on dangerous missions ranging from rescues to transports and challenging the balance of power on and below the waves.
The two anime have more than one attribute in common. The first being that both anime feature girls who are ships but also have human-like avatars that can stand upon their actual vessels. We also have an enemy that appeared out of nowhere and seems to have a big love of water and a big hate of humanity. The Fog's activities seem to parallel the role of the Sirens as technologically superior disruptors of human naval operations. We also have similar storylines that describe the duality of being both human (or human-like) and tools for war. The Mental Modes have taken on not only the look but also the emotions of humans and quickly find themselves questioning their programing and their reason for existence. Similarly, Enterprise struggles with her role as a ship of war and her very human side. If you want a series that is not only a fun adventure but also delves into the idea of pushing beyond just following orders you might want to give Arpeggio of Blue Steel a chance.
Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio: Ars Nova PV
Any Anime Like Azur Lane ?
4. High School Fleet
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: April 2016- June 2016
The coastlines of the world have changed in the last hundred years with water levels rising and tectonic shifts expanding the oceans. A world with more of its surface covered in water made shipping over water more important than ever. This leads to the establishment of the Blue Mermaids, a female-centric maritime force that uses specialized ships to protect the vital waterways. The story focuses on Akeno Misaki, a senior at Yokosuka Girls' Marine High School and the captain of the training destroyer Harekaze. Akeno and her crew immediately have engine trouble and fall behind the rest of the fleet. When the Harekaze finally catches up they find the rest of the training fleet has gone rogue and begins opening fire on them and any other peaceful ships they come upon. Will Captain Misaki and her plucky crew be able to unravel the mystery of the high seas? You'll have to watch to find out.
High School Fleet and Azur Lane are both nautically themed shows that, like any anime, involve cute girls. The girls of Azur Lane may be ships and the girls of High School Fleet may sail them, but it doesn't mean their adventures are that dissimilar. The Sirens haunt the seas in the world of Azur Lane and we don't know where they came from or what their objective is. The strange behavior of the training fleet is also unknown and why they want to disrupt the sea lanes is unknown as well. We get a very interesting collection of girls too, from the serious to the comical, to the ever-steady hand of the leader. The ships are also all named after famous WWII Japanese naval vessels too. If you are looking for a noteworthy nautical adventure, High School Fleet is a great place to see a Senpai and her Kohai on the high seas.
High School Fleet Trailer
5. Girls Und Panzer [Girls & Panzer]
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: October 2012- March 2013
We find quickly that nothing signifies refinement in a young lady like her participation in Tankery or Senshadou. This sport features teams of high school girls competing in elimination matches using World War II-era tanks. The mechanized combat sport is one of most popular high school clubs of the day. During the Senshadou world championships, being hosted by Japan, the obsession with the war game reaches a fevered pitch. We follow Miho Nishizumi, a high school girl that comes from a long line of tank enthusiasts but has retired from the sport. She transfers to Ooarai Girls High School where the Shenshado program is on the verge of collapse. Upon hearing she used to be a great commander, the members of the tankery program draft her into the club. Miho must not only overcome her tragic tankery past but find a way to win or have not only just the club shut down but the school as well.
The girls in this anime aren't personifications of tanks or countries, though they do play into some cultural stereotypes, such as the English always drinking tea. We do however get that nostalgic flair in which technology from the first and second world wars provide the backbone of the story. We also get a lot of cuteness. The girls are adorable as they run these massive machines and battle each other with explosive rounds, all as part of a game. So if you like moe girls and explosions you want to give Girls und Panzer a chance.
Girl Und Panzer Trailer
6. Hetalia: World Series
- Episodes: 4
- Aired: December 2009- July 2010
We've seen a lot of anthropomorphism in on this list and in Hetalia it moves beyond ships or planes to encompass entire nations. The story is based on the idea that states like Italy and Germany are a group of guys that hang out between 1915 and 1939 (the years between WWI and WWII). The bishonen characters take on the stereotypes their nations are known for such as the Italia character wanting to eat nothing but pasta and chase women or the Japanese character named Nippon being represented by an otaku. The World Series story is an expansion on the Hetalia: Axis Powers anime that incorporates more countries into the collection of self-aware states.
Hetalia has a few things in common with the Azur Lane, the first being the personification of inanimate things. The second being the political alliances both representing the early 20th century before the second world war. The character design is firmly directed at their target audience, such as women for Hetalia and men for Azur Lane. You may not be in the target audience but giving the gentlemen of Hetalia a chance might be just the kind of change you're looking for in a medium continually filled with anthropomorphic additions.
Hetalia: World Series Trailer
Azur Lane isn’t just a clone of KanColle. The story has a very intricate plot that make it a little more complex than the KanColle. Azur Lane stands out by making both sides in the war deal with the same complex emotions. The two camps are filled with girls who have sisters they hold dear and ideals they want to uphold. We love anime that don’t always divide the camps into “Good” and “Evil” but let us pick the side and character we’d like to support. You should check out Azur Lane which is currently streaming and take a look at any of the other shows on this list if you need to add more mecha-moe to your viewing.