[Mail Call] 2017/07/07 – “Abyssal morality”

In kancolle the abyssals are just trying to prevent the evil humans from destroying their ancestral homes. They just want o be left alone! Why are the abyssals evil when the shipgirls just kill them? they are only fighting back in self-denfse…

Okay. This is a very weird way of looking at it. Not to um, criticize but have you read any of KanColle’s materials at all? I mean, Tanaka even came out and said that these are vengeful spirits that attacked humans first. They hunt human ships for fun and sport. That’s part and parcel in the light novels which are still canonical as far as I’m aware.

Secondly, in case you haven’t noticed, we use our own Abyssal designs. Hoppou show up in OCEAN because OCEAN is a fun book. Half of that book is set outside of Pacific’s universe proper and is about the shipgirls visiting locations in our “world” referring to real-world events. Heck, we even have Roar and Margaret visit from Kannnu’s universe, as you can see below.

Secondly, I find the argument that the Abyssals are just fighting back in “self-defense” pretty hilarious. I mean, Japan only invaded China in “self-defense” too. So did Germany to Poland – remember how Polish saboteurs supposedly killed some German soldiers?

Yeah, well. The Abyssals in KC canon doesn’t even have that. There is no “shipgirl/humanity attacking helpless Abyssal transport.” None. They just showed up one day and started to literally nom ships.

Sure, the Abyssals don’t seem to be doing much (because Tanaka need to spread out the events so KanColle can sell more figurines), but that’s an in-story decision made by the creative staff. They’ve chosen to freeze the storyline so that we can perpetually be on the cusp of victory/defeat, which means there’s always a reason to introduce more shipgirls.

Pacific is a little different. For starters, our Abyssal “swarm” hasn’t showed up yet at all. STEC is doing fine handling basically scouting (not even skirmishing elements) of the Abyssal fleet, but they’ve been fortifying and building up strength in anticipation for when the attack arrives.

You’d think that within 40 years someone might have thought about making diplomatic contact. Maybe try to talk to the Abyssals. Figure out why they want to do all this.

Well, consider Pacific Abyssal’s motivations.

They don’t want to rule over you. I mean, they don’t care.

They convert you into material and use you to make more of them, but given the interstellar/interdimensional nature of the Abyssal fleet, does one world really make much of a difference at all?

Even let’s say that they just want to nom you. Okay. You try to negotiate with them. How many people do you feed to the Abyssal Fleet? Ten thousand? A million? A billion?

Note that I’ve explicitly designed the Abyssals as a precise counterpart to the shipgirls. The shipgirls are paragons of morality. They represent humanity. The Abyssals have no such qualms. Morality is alien to them. Why would they honor this deal? Why don’t they just kill you?

See, therein lies the issue. We have a tendency to apply human rationality to our inhuman antagonists in an attempt to humanize them, ostensibly to create “depth.” Even STEC’s own internal understanding of the Abyssal (as well as my ability to describe them to you from the author’s perspective) basically chalks it down to “they hate us for what we are and want to destroy us and our way of life.”

That is not untrue. That’s exactly how I would explain it. But it only scratches the surface. The Abyssals exhibit certain biological behaviors (they respond to stimuli, they are drawn to concentrations of fairy energy in ways that STEC theorizes similar to animals on earth, they appear to display a moderate degree of self-preservation, etc) but any attempts to try to assign a human reason or a rationale to their action is going to be pointless at best and downright dangerous at worst.

Morality doesn’t exist for the Abyssals in Pacific. They create facsimiles of humanity to fulfill niches such as terror or demoralization. They cannot understand humanity in the same way as humanity cannot understand them.

In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that the instant a particularly intelligent Abyssal agent becomes aware or at least capable of understanding humans, that’s the instant where said agent might as well cease to be an Abyssal altogether. It would certifiably be insane if insanity exists in the Abyssal fleet’s “vocabulary.”