Azur Lane is a Chinese shipgirl-themed side-scrolling shoot 'em up mobile game developed by Shanghai Manjuu and Xiamen Yongshi and published by Yostar.
Like Kantai Collection, the game is set during World War II and mainly features collecting and controlling moe personifications of warships from major participants of World War II. Unlike Kantai Collection, it features side-scrolling shooter gameplay with mechanics akin to those of Touhou. Other gameplay elements, such as customization of a interactive backyard and marrying in-game characters, are also present. Also, the real life factions were replaced by fictional counterparts (such as Empire of Japan being called as "Sakura Empire", United States as "Eagle Union", etc.)
The game has been adapted into several manga and novelizations. Azur Lane: Crosswave, a PlayStation 4/PC game was released on August 29, 2019 in Japan and February 13th, 2020 worldwide. A TV anime adaptation aired during Fall 2019. The game also held an annual collaboration with World of Warships since 2017.
Azur Lane was launched on May 25th, 2017 in China, on September 14th, 2017 in Japan, on March 27th, 2018 in Korea, on August 16th, 2018 in English, and around September 2019 in Taiwan. As of 2021, the number of players registered surpassed at least 25 million.
During the Japanese launch of Azur Lane, the game had several disputes with the then-dominant Kantai Collection, with both sides' companies criticizing the other's game for their different themes and character design motifs. Kadokawa called Azur Lane "a generic idol game with a ship-themed rigging", while Manjuu called KanColle "a far-right ultranationalist game". Manjuu and Kadokawa&DMM have also clashed over the use of term "Kanmusu" which DMM had originally trademarked in 2014 but which was used by Manjuu in couple of their Japanese advertisements, ultimately this led to AL devs apologizing and withdrawn the use of the word to avoid legal consequences.
Nevertheless, due to various factors, primarily the stance of KanColle's team to keep the game exclusively inside Japan, Azur Lane has supplanted KanColle to become the most popular shipgirl game internationally to date. Its reception in Japan has been mixed though, primarily due to the continued predominance of KanColle as the dominant shipgirl game in the region.
The same rules that apply to Kantai Collection apply to Azur Lane. Don't tag mecha musume, personification, sisters, ship, World War II, or Imperial Japanese Navy unless these things are literally present or present beyond the shipgirls themselves.
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- Koumakan: English Wiki
- Wikipedia: Azur Lane