Hi everyone. This is Sune. Morgane is overworked again. As such I will answer the questions that have come up that mostly fall under my specialty.
If Japanese shipgirls aren’t kami do they see themselves as kami?
Most do not. One does but she should not be taken seriously.
Where are the other Japanese shipgirls?
Pacific’s focus is on American shipgirls and their friends. Japanese shipgirls only appear when they make sense in Pacific’s overall storyline or have important roles to play.
I am too lazy to retype all of that.
Thank you for your comments.
The main volume Pacific character design process moves roughly in chronological order. We are somewhere around Midway and Santa Cruz right now. The contributions you mention by the British Pacific Fleet occurs in 1944. This is well after America established naval dominance through systematic attrition, superior shipbuilding, capable development of novel naval battle tactics, and an overall strategic vision that we lacked.
Personally I have no impression whatsoever of Royal Navy capabilities. In Japan among naval enthusiasts they are famous for suffering crippling defeats at the hands of the Imperial Navy in 1941 and 1942. In fact from my own (Japanese) sources it is understood that the British only joined in the Pacific War for fear that America would free up their former territories and colonies. In any case a general sentiment in Japan is that we lost (or in the words of our prime minister “the war ended”) to America and not the Allies.
If the contributions of the British are very significant then unfortunately I do not know about it. We are happy to learn more about it but the matters of the Royal Navy rarely come up within team discussions. Without knowing anything about the Royal Navy we obviously cannot create shipgirls that would be a good and faithful depiction of the actual history.
Furthermore. There is no one on the Pacific team who works on the Royal Navy. Not since our British person retired years ago. Without someone to advocate for British characters it is unfortunate but inevitable that they get pushed back further and further on the illustration schedule.
By the way Morgane is an anglophile who loves many things that are British. She has a degree in Arthurian and Celtic legends. She is also very knowledgeable in the roles that were played by the Royal Air Force in the Battle of Britain and the European theater. However Morgane is busy working on everything else. As such the British shipgirls that she has created are relegated to background status and once again do not get drawn.
The reason why the Soviet characters get drawn first is that there are people who are actively working on them. Furthermore given Pacific’s world building the USSR remains a dominant power. Without anyone working on the resurgent British Empire it is natural that foreign shipgirl art tend to prioritize those that the team are interested in.
We are very sorry.
And now actual content.
I want to do a Fireside Chat too. Should I title it that?
Despite my reputation for being the one who provides fanservice I also provide significant cultural elements into all of our shipgirl designs. For the Japanese shipgirls that come into Pacific I want to make their “Japanese-ness” explicit. In other words rather than drawing from contemporary Japanese culture such as the high school uniform or the school swimsuit I draw almost all of my inspiration from traditional and ancient Japanese culture.
There are certain character attributes that are immediately recognizable by those familiar with the references. As such my Japanese shipgirl designs draw liberally from all sources. For instance below.
The armor pattern of this particular shipgirl is not simply that of the approximate shape to what her turret mounts would be. Given her namesake’s region I thought it prudent to provide Sima with reference images of an iconic individual from said region. As such you can see that specific armor pattern weaved into her clothing design.
A great deal of the Japanese shipgirl’s personality comes out of a composite of their histories, crew, historical performance and the like. However much like how American shipgirls in Pacific exemplifies certain aspects of America the Japanese shipgirls do so as well. For example because of its association with Japanese faith and primitive religion Pacific’s Kumano is a reserved and calm individual. She is not very similar to her KanColle counterpart in that regard who makes funny howling cat noises during attack. In the example above the shipgirl is heavily associated with winter due to the magnificence of the wintery frost that appears every year.
An example of this is preserved in art as you can see above. With this theme her personality writes itself. Someone who is outwardly cold but like the joys of winter is warm inside. This aspect symbolizes the part of Japan in which she is named after and it superimposes over any “ship” part that is her.
Afterwards it is my honorable duty to make the shipgirls sexy. I have never understood the prudishness that some of our western readers exhibit.
Seriously. They are shipgirls. GIRLS. DO I NEED TO SAY ANYTHING ELSE.
Morgane’s pretty darn busy, so I’m going to have to try to Morgane today. Bear with me.
I really have no idea how Morgane can go and write basically an essay a day. I guess I’ll make up my lack of quality with quantity. Here goes!
“Why use Tautog to explain everything?”
I think you’ve all noticed that whenever I post something, it’s generally in the format of a dialogue between characters, or a 4th wall break-y dialogue between a character and various members of the team. Very rarely do I flat out speak to you guys.
I do this since I think it allows for characterization. In having them talk to you, we’re able to show you exactly what they’re like, what their interests are, and how they like to do things. It makes them “come alive” better than if I just told you what their personality is. “Show not tell”.
Plus, it’s more fun to write (and to read, I hope). If I wanted to just tell you how submarines worked I would have just linked some manuals.
“Why is the Soviet Union here? What’d they do?”
At risk of sounding like a Tankie:
For me, reading some of the memoirs and accounts of soviet submariners, there was just something different than the accounts of other nations. It’s like, there’s some “special sauce” that I just can’t quite put my finger on. It’s not quite motivation, but a lot of the stories are plenty moving. It’s not quite nostalgia, though a lot of the stories are quite nostalgic in tone. It’s not quite the tales of heroism – there are tales of heroism from all sides of the war.
The Soviets fought a much different war than, say, the Americans. In all respects it was a war for survival. There’s a reason they call it the “Great Patriotic War”. The war in the East was brutal – the Soviets took the most casualties by a large margin. They were fighting for Mom and Dad, Their brothers and sisters, and fellow comrades at the front. It’s something I feel like we just don’t get today, and something that as Americans we don’t quite get. America was fighting to defend their ally’s people and lands. The Soviets were fighting to defend their people and their lands. I think that maybe this “special sauce” stems from that.
Go find a recording of Farewell of Slavianka listen to it. The Red Army Choir version is excellent. Here’s a stanza.
Прощай, отчий край, – Farewell, fatherland,
Ты нас вспоминай, – Remember us,
Прощай, милый взгляд, – Farewell, sweet glance,
Не все из нас придут назад. – Not all of us will return.
See what I mean?
When I showed this song to Morgane, she said “Why doesn’t America have this kind of song?”
It’s the “special sauce”. It’s this sort of thing I’d like to capture in Pacific.
“OKAY DOGBOY. WHERE SHIPGIRL!?”
Alright. So, there are a few subgirls we have finished up but we still haven’t revealed yet. Here’s a draft of one of them:
Since I spent a while talking about the Soviet Union up there, I think it’s fitting to show you guys the other soviet subgirl appearing in Silent Service.
Don’t worry, it’s not all subgirls either.
This is a little ship that I think kinda gets a bit of a bad rep from most other shipgirl works. She’ll make her appearance soon.
Or what should be titled “Alternative history in Pacific”
“Why is Pacific set in sorta-90s and not the modern day like most of the other works?”
First of all, the “start” of the Pacific plot (think of it as 40k moving the plot forward) hasn’t occurred yet because the Abyssals haven’t invaded. The vast, vast, vast majority of non-historical works, ranging from the shipgirl introductions in the Pacific books or Silent Service, is set in this pre-Abyssal invasion period. So approximately 1987-1990.
Everything else, such as AR’s histories or my site updates, ranges over a period of about 40 years.
To me, I think in order to create a believable world (after all, my purpose is to immerse yourself in our world design), the overall technological capabilities should match what you’re trying to communicate with the story.
Pacific’s tale isn’t about fall from paradise. It’s not about working towards an idealized society. It’s not really slice-of-life or relationship drama or battle-tech-epic. It’s about fighting off an extra-dimensional, all-consuming threat. Simply put, it’s about humanity and what humans do. Pedantic, I know, but that’s the point. Right off the bat this rules out any generalizability of post-human or future-fiction level of technology, civilian or otherwise. If humanity can still be starved into submission with matter replicators or gauss weaponry then humanity is either very incompetent or my Abyssals are. Doesn’t really work that well.
Considering that the focus is on humanity at large, there is a close theme of international cooperation. Thus, it necessitates that I set the world in a time period where it is easy to acquire information. This basically means that anything earlier than say, the 1850s, would be difficult. Not to mention anything before that simply wouldn’t fit – if the Abyssals nom modern armies like a snack, Napoleonic navies wouldn’t stand a chance, period. It isn’t realistic either.
Lastly, Pacific is America-centric. This basically narrows down the time period to sometimes within the last seventy years. Why choose to start the tale in a “90s” type setting as opposed to immediately plunging the world into the Abyssal war in 1950? Why wait for 40 years before kickstarting what should be Pacific’s main event?
Well. It’s what I want to do. You ever play with little plastic or metal soldiers? The set-up, the build-up, the development. The, uh, laying of your dudes on the carpet (age 5) or the selection of your paint scheme (age 19) or the readings of many history books (age 23) are all a part of it. I don’t want to just “pop” out a world setting. I want my reader to see how the world got to that point. For instance I’ve told you that communism is still alive and well in the USSR. How? How is this even possible? I’ve told you that the US in Pacific is also considerably more unified, peaceful, and prosperous than its real-life counterpart. Again, how?
If we simply follow the trajectory of history in real-life, these things cannot be. They would be wishful thinking. You need to know how they turned out differently to see (or start to see) how our thought processes arrived at this kind of a conclusion. For instance, consider for instance one of the earlier Lens of Histories.
Take this incident. Note the key locations. Rickover is clearly pissed at something that’s happening in the Kuril islands. If you understand the history (as well as the real life claims by the Russians and the Japanese) you’ll quickly understand why the KOG is ticked off.
In real life, that area has both strategic and economic value. Fishing and natural resources are very important. Now, consider that in Pacific’s world, there are now shipgirls. Wouldn’t that be a good place to develop a base? What if there are other strategic materials underneath there that may be useful to the countries that want that land?
Ah, so now you see it. First of all, Rickover’s calling about something – what appears to be supplies – given to the Soviet Union. Considering that the USSR has literally been made Great Again (TM) under Draa and K9’s development, the first question should be: what? Reading that appears to be defensive armaments or weapons. Hm. What could the Soviets buy from the US?
Actually, a better question would be: how in the WORLD is the US selling weapons to their #1 “cold war” rival? Noticing this point you immediate can reach two conclusions.
Rickover is doing this under the table. This is plausible, as STEC has a gigantic amount of covert operational capabilities. STEC literally crafts its own pseudo-sci-fi tier tech. Just think about the tech requirements for something like MERLIN to function. That’s beyond even the military of Pacific’s timeline.
Relations with US and the USSR are actually warm enough that weapons are sold as-is.
Relations with the US and the USSR are enough to facilitate trade. STEC just made up an excuse (like, calling them tractors or cranes or something) and nobody checked the packages.
Which one of these is more plausible? Well. Consider some other pieces of information you’re given. The answer here is all of them. I’ve written on the KOG before (and there are well-written autobiographies of the man out there if you’re curious), but the telltale signs of 2 and 3 being plausible are all over the place. There’s no grain embargo in the Pacific-verse. AR2 talks about exchange of military advisors and attaches – something that would never happen during the Cold War. On top of that the USSR was too focused internally to be spreading communism worldwide, and that they are at least aware of the Abyssal threat very early on and seem to be nominally cooperative.
On that last point, too, is something worth thinking about. There is a sort of masquerade that goes on. Conspiracy theorists would have a field day in the Pacific universe, because at the moment it is quite literally the elites of the world gathered together to create a secretive, high-tech special force dedicated to fighting basically space fish-monsters and occasionally “monster girls.” The degree of operational depth that STEC possess is going to be immense given that there’s been virtually no leakage of the Abyssals, period.
(A reminder, too, that if you think about it, with STEC’s observational capabilities… Remember how I mentioned earlier that STEC has entire divisions of staff combing news to see if the secret is out in OCEAN –
Aw cripes I forgot I haven’t posted the translated OCEAN yet.
Um, just know that STEC basically watches for “conspiracy theorists” involving the Abyssals because those folks are likely pretty damn capable to have started to figure things out to begin with. STEC may or not, I dunno, have like Marby launch a few floatplanes over NYC or something to keep the UFO or Lizard guys guessing.)
So, looking at this island dispute, you can immediately gather that:
The world is currently unaware of the Abyssals as of 1982. This is probably because the collective powers that hold shipgirls all decide, in one way or another, that the costs far outweigh the benefits.
But, the build-up. Well, think about this. Let’s say we suddenly massed a lot of troops to South Korea. Surely everyone would be reporting on it, right? So…
This build-up is either insignificant or otherwise went unobserved by the world’s collective militarizes at large.
This build-up is par for the course in the area as a sort of routine provocation and it’s probably not worth the paper it’s printed on to report heavily on it.
News is slow to travel.
STEC and the other shipgirl organizations. In effect and in no particular order, their strengths lies in the ability to innovate, the shipgirls themselves, basically free semi-sentient/intelligent labor/assistants (fairies), and a fully functional and complete intelligence system.
That’s why I joke that Pacific is high fantasy. You step on Avalon and you realize that half the stuff on it is really magic – or technology so capable that it’s indistinguishable from “magic,” anyways.
In the outside world? By necessity, there needs to be a contrast. Fairies aren’t house-elves. There aren’t a fairy for every electric appliance or vehicle out there for everyone to use. MS-DOS was invented in the real world in 1981, and in Pacific’s setting the internet basically got invented earlier – but its use in the real world is still currently very limited. Media companies latched onto the LED extremely rapidly (fairies had a hand in helping the development of the technology), and so you have a curious 60s-styled minimalist programming coupled with basically high definition TV and a sort of prototype Netflix-on-demand (let’s just say Pacific PBS is a major network and a significant producer of content) nationally available in the US.
However, TV has yet to supplant radio as the king of home entertainment, and in a strange fashion, because the American right never developed in the same way as it did here (well, less threat from the communists, after all!) contemporary arts and entertainment turned out differently as well. Hollywood’s music industry, for instance, never reached the same level of prominence it did in real life – its position of prominence are challenged by a large number of US cities such as Nashville or New Orleans. The golden age of Hip-hop basically showed up about twenty years earlier than its equivalent and faded away even faster. Classical and neoclassical music is probably actually dead in the US given how much it’s developed across Europe and ironically, the USSR. Country, popular in the Pacific timeline is on the rise. Rock and roll is experiencing a resurgence. Metal is probably more popular than what we’d expect in this society. So on and so forth.
Why might this be? Well, basically, an important factor to consider is that in Pacific’s America, thanks to some important changes in legislative precedent, large corporations simply never had a chance to rise. Today you can count media conglomerates on one hand, but in Pacific’s world, the “big names” are still pretty much small fries compared to where they’d be in real life. Competition forces innovation. Innovation results in change.
Take, for instance, music, again. Suppose a new alloy comes out that results in vastly improved acoustics for any musical instrument of your choice. What’s more, it basically drives the prices down such that every school can afford to buy itself an orchestra’s worth of musical instruments. Let’s say the US is a population of 200 million. Let’s say out of 100 people only one picks up an instrument and plays with it. Ten years later that’s still 2 million extra musicians in which one can add to the pool of talent.
What didn’t get developed as much? Well, ironically? Word processing software for some reason hasn’t hit the vogue yet. Most news outlets are still operating with the trusted typewriter. Print media is cumbersome, slow, but otherwise reliable since paper is a lot cheaper. Newspapers are still alive and well with little evidence of decline.
This went on for way longer than I had intended. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that US culture at large is much slower than it would be in real life. Technology has massively improved the lives of most Americans. Rural life isn’t usually so dreary that many wishes to head out to the ‘big cities,’ and city life isn’t usually so hectic that the average city-dweller is overwhelmed and overworked. A 20-20-60 rural/urban/suburban split is pretty approximately what Pacific’s America look like.
In contrast, due to improved infrastructure, public transportation is used a significantly greater deal. Information travels slower as I’ve mentioned, and most of the nation gets its news from radio or print media. Due to improved production certain cultural phenomena such as fast food took off and evolved past in the blink of an eye (well, when microwaves became ubiquitous and preservation/rapid freezing technology is excellent would you really want to pay 1$ for a burger when you can get a full course for 3$ at the local grocers), so the result of which is a sort of stagnant 90s level tech with oddities of 50-60s era mentality with flashes of inspiration from modern day. I use the term stagnant because the improvements tend to be incremental rather than dramatic in 90s Pacific timeline. The groundworks for potentially revolutionary concepts have been buried way earlier – like the internet, for instance. However, America’s currently preoccupied with more trivial things like making a better and bigger oven or a lighter type of canvas fabric rather than figuring out how to get everyone to spend all their time glued to a screen.
… In fact, I’d say that the most innovative thing to pop out of the Pacific timeline that’s managed to hit general use is probably the humble hand-held calculator in the 70s. Basically, to put things simply, this sparked off an actual tech war between US, UK, and Japanese companies. The result of which is that 90s Pacific has basically … super-calculators? Think like, basically modern-day cellphone type UI and highly advanced mathematical functions, but it can only really do math.
(Like, nobody’s honestly thought, hmm, I wonder if we can’t make this fancy stuff into some kind of hand-held entertainment device. Nope. Better just leave it to do work instead.)
If you read history you know what’s coming. Generally, something comes along that tends to shake up the order of things every couple of decades. Again, it’s almost as if Pacific’s got something waiting to happen…
We get this question a lot. “Will you ever do modern shipgirls?/are modern shipgirls a thing?”
I’ve answered this many times. Pacific covers shipgirls inspired by WW2.
I didn’t say Pacific doesn’t have spin-offs or special projects.
This one’s actually Sima’s design, and I’ll basically be translating his words here. You might now ask. “Wait, the Type 055 JUST entered the water like, last week! How the hell do you design a shipgirl based on something that’s not even complete?”
Well, so that’s the thing. Sima already came up with a list of designs in terms of her looks. Here are his thoughts below. Note that this one I basically acted as a rubber stamp – let’s just say I’m proud of the team and I found his notes to be quite sound.
Chinese-esque outfit design because China, with its thousands of years of history, have traditional clothing types that are immediately discernible at a glance. It’s not a Qipao because the “buttflap” of the Qipao will seriously get in the way of her rigging.
Color design is based on Chinese navy camouflage. Black is used to fill in some space to maintain color balance.
Sword is actually a Chinese naval sword awarded to officers and captains. You can google 深蓝之剑 to get an idea of what it looks like.
Rigging design is a lot more sci-fi looking than equivalent Pacific shipgirls because Sima wanted to emphasize that this is a modern shipgirl. It’s also less minimalist than many of the Pacific girl designs for a similar reason.
Shows quite a bit of skin because, well, modern ships have no armor. May or not be an excuse because we like pretty ladies.
She’s a catgirl because in Chinese, naval vessels are read off using their unique set of nomenclature. The 0 in Chinese (as I learned it is pronounced Ling), but Sima says that it’s pronounced Dong (literally hole) in naval nomenclature. 05 is pronounced Dong Wu – literally a pun on “animal” or “critter. Thus, Sima decided that it’d be cute to draw her as a catgirl.
Additionally, the catgirl design is based on a Chinese lynx because he thought that as the leading shipgirl of her class, she should be mature and big-sisterly. However, the typical Chinese big cat, tiger, has very strong thematic connotations, and he wanted to pick something slightly friendlier.
Now, her personality’s still up in the air. Following the theme we have for Pacific, Sima says he’s going to try to write her as soon as they figure out which Chinese city she’s going to be named after. China has regional stereotypes much like us, so if she’s named after a northern city she might rightfully be expected to be more boisterous, whereas if she’s going to be named Nanking then she’s going to be a cunning and sly but cute “southern” girl.
Now, I can already hear the feedback now.
Remember this is a spinoff.
and let me just pre-emptively answer a few questions.
Because China is a major modern naval power? Leaving China out of a spin-off in the Pacific universe involving modern shipgirls is like leaving out the Royal Navy in Pacific proper.
“IS THIS CANON”
Since when is anything we put on the site not canon?
“WILL YOU MAKE _____(SHIP THAT I SERVED ON) A SHIPGIRL”
Maybe. Give us time to work and thank you for your suggestion. I’m always happy to hear about your stories.
“CAN SHE BE MY WAIFU?”
“CAN CATGIRL SHIPGIRLS REPRODUCE?”
(Yo, not actually picking on you – yes, you. You know who you are, but this question I get at a depressingly common frequency so I might as well speak more clearly.)