|◄ Volume 11||Manga guide||Volume 13 ►|
Volume 12 is the final volume of the Part I of the manga, and covers the final conclusion of the battle between Kongou's hunting fleet and the "Blue Steel", co-lead by Chihaya Gunzou and Iona, as well as various aftermaths of the aforementioned battle.
This volume hasn't been officially released in English yet.
Chapter 67 Edit
Hyuuga survives her confrontation with Hiei due to her Union core not being inside her now-destroyed Mental Model and thus taking no damage. Meanwhile, Hiei took some heavy damage and lost her Mental Model; her core went into autistic mode and current performs self-diagnostics.
Both of their Union cores are then collected by Yukikaze, who stops being just a passive observer. Yukikaze doesn't disable their communication abilities, however, and even informs Hyuuga that Kongou is summoning Ise, which, according to her, spells (more) troubles for I-401.
Meanwhile, Iona had brought Ashigara and Haguro to the bridge and more or less forced them to assist her with getting out of this whole mess alive and in one piece. Ashigara was assigned to assist Kyouhei with weapon systems, while Haguro was tasked with helping Sou maintain I-401's support systems.
Chapter 68 Edit
Even though Hyuuga's Union core was collected by Yukikaze, Gunzou and Iona decide to continue their mission. Gunzou also surprised Ashigara and Haguro by thanking them for what they did to save Iori.
Meanwhile, Kongou (who is still in process of transferring Ise to the battle site) comes to a conclusion that the auxiliary SGC ships of I-401's are the biggest threat at the moment and sends Myoukou with a pair of destroyers as her escorts to find and destroy them.
Seeing as the action has died down for now, Nagato recalls Atago, citing that she got all the information she needed at the moment. Atago's new mission is to go (stealthily) to the Tokyo bay and spy on Maya there.
Chapter 69 Edit
Gunzou proposes an interesting idea that could actually lead to the defeat of Kongou's fleet. In short, by reducing the natural buoyancy of the warships, one can make them more or less immobile and, thus, unable to dodge incoming attacks. And a large amounts of Methane Hydrate on the seabed could just create the necessary effect...
Meanwhile, Kongou finished transferring Ise to her location. With that, Kongou has every vessel she wants and disengages her Flagship equipment.
Chapter 70 Edit
Gunzou initiates the (counter) attack against Kongou's fleet. To give the Auxiliary Super-Graviton Cannon ships the time they need to charge up - Kongou correctly deduced their position and targets them before I-401 - Iona's attacks Ise while also creating interference with Nachi's sensors.
Chapter 71 Edit
Gunzou activates the Auxiliary Super-Graviton Cannon ships and aims the cannon at the Kongou's fleet, which entered the methane hydrate saturated zone. And while this attack wasn't directly aimed at any of the ships, Nachi still got dragged into the SGC firing path and even Ise was affected. Furthermore, incredible output of the cannons reduced Kongou's fleet detection abilities to nothing, masking the barrage of Corrosive Warhead Torpedoes fired at them from Matsushima.
Just before this, Kongou revealed another ability of hers. While definitely not as flashy as her Flagship Equipment, it is possibly more powerful: namely, she showed that she can calculate optimal attack courses for an entire battle group in real time by just herself - this turned her entire sub-fleet into what was compared to a 'living organism', capable of instantaneous reaction to any external stimulus.
Chapter 72 Edit
Having used the spatial anomaly created by Auxiliary Super-Graviton Cannon ships to sneak up on Kongou, Iona launches a barrage of (unguided) torpedoes. At the same time, Gunzou does the same from Matsushima. And, deciding that the amount of firepower they are using would be insufficient for what they have in mind, Yukikaze - who has been a rather passive observer up to now - adds some as well.
While Kongou's fleet struggles to keep their buoyancy, Iona launches three warplanes carrying Corrosive Warhead Torpedoes. And seeing how well those planes fly, Kongou correctly concludes that I-401 is controlling them while letting her (human) crew operate her boat. This realization sends Kongou into tranquil fury as she tries to blast the planes from the skies. At least one of them, however, manages to reach her. Still, not content with losing just like that, she fires her normal cannons at Matsushima. And scores two direct hits.
It is interesting to note that in this chapter Yukikaze uses the name "Kotono" when speaking about Yamato. This is likely the final proof that Kotono Amaha is Yamato's second Mental Model.
Chapter 72.5 Edit
This chapter is one big flashback to the events surrounding I-401 first manned voyage in 2045. This chapter shows us that Ryoukan Kita was actually opposed to Shouzou being chosen as I-401's captain. Furthermore, it is revealed in this chapter that the mission given to Shouzou was surprisingly similar to the one Gunzou has now: establish contact with America. They were even heading to the same port: San Diego.
Finally, during the actual ceremony, I-401 was focusing quite intently on Gunzou and just him. Even if Kotono Amaha was present in the dock as well.
Chapter 73 Edit
Matsushima's destruction is confirmed, and I-401's bridge is nothing short of chaos. And since Iona is being a little ...overwhelmed, it is Hyuuga, who temporarily takes command, ordering everyone to continue with the original plan while she (utilizing Yukikaze's capabilities, presumably) searches for Gunzou. It still takes a direct confirmation from Gunzou for Iona to accept that order and cancel her own search and rescue.
Then, the news about Kongou's sinking debris drifting towards Matsushima changes Iona's mind as she fears it might kill Gunzou. Ashigara tries to play the voice of reason, telling I-401 to concentrate on protecting her remaining crew, but Iona doesn't bulge. And every human on the bridge agrees to follow her to the end. Thus, I-401 sets course for the Matsushima's wreck.
Even though Iona's last attack destroyed her Mental Model and broke her hull apart, Kongou doesn't give up on killing Chihaya Gunzou just yet and makes one more attempt to destroy Matsushima II by firing a volley of Corrosive Warhead Torpedoes at the disabled submarine from her relatively-intact bow section.
Thankfully for Gunzou, Yukikaze (with Hyuuga's core aboard) is close by and she saves him by intercepting those torpedoes, as well as the second barrage. Kongou's response to this is to send her bow on the collision course with Matsushima II. Yukikaze, guided by Hyuuga do their best to stop that and other attacks against Matsushima II - including the destruction of I-201 - but, in the end, they are unable to stop Kongou from ramming Matsushima II.
In a rather surprising turn of events, Supreme Flagship recalls Yukikaze (with both Hyuuga's and Hiei's union cores) from the area, leaving sinking Matsushima II temporarily defenseless against whatever the rebooting Kongou's fleet might throw at it.
At about the same time, U-2501 and U-2502 under the command of Zordan Stark continue battling against Lexington with one of their goals being gathering information on assault and suppression vessels and their combat capabilities. Lexington, however, denies them much of that information as she's fighting defensively ever since the information from the battle between I-401 and Kongou's fleet stopped being uploaded onto the Joint Tactical Network. Eventually, Lexington decides to go investigate that battle's site, and Zordan orders his submarine fleet to shadow her.
Haruna, Kirishima and Osakabe Makie are on their way to the Yokosuka city via a car with Maya monitoring their journey from the sea. And during their ride, Haruna, with some input from Kirishima, is having quite a philosophical discussion with a lady, who has been assigned to tend to their needs while they investigate the Japanese National Maritime Institute of Technology. In a bit of a twist, this lady is actually aware that she's dealing with the "Fleet of Fog" Mental Models. She is still rather friendly with them, though.
This chapter begins with Gunzou's mental conversation with a mysterious person (based on what is happens in the later chapters, this might be Akashi). Then, the point of view switches to Hyuuga, who gets her hull restored and is reinstated as the flagship of the Second Oriental Fleet. According to Nagato, this was done under Yamato's orders.
Meanwhile, in Yokosuka, Atago's Mental Model moves in with Yamato (who is secretly infiltrating the city). Supreme Flagship also makes Atago a student of the Japanese National Maritime Institute of Technology, perhaps in order to have an extra way to influence the events that are bound to happen there soon.
Meanwhile, Repulse continues to argue with Vampire just about everything, while also being a massive tsundere towards the humans aboard Hakugei III and captain Komaki in particular. For the time being, she stays a good distance away from them, but will likely follow them as Hakugei III makes its voyage across the ocean.
Next, I-400 reveals to Takao and co, that the Japanese government is aware of both Haruna's and their true identities. With expected results. In the end, I-402 decides to initiate a more-or-less open contact with humans.
At about the same time, Yamato is contacted by her youngest sister, Shinano, and they talk about finding their place in the world. Their communication ends just as Atago returns from her first venture in to the human city, and is quite ...perplexed by the stuff she has been given. Much to Yamato's joy. Which then doubles as the supreme flagships has Atago try out the institute's uniform and various hats she has procured from somewhere.
Japanese Intelligence is aware of multiple Mental Models on the country's soil, and vice-minister Kamikage Ryuujirou insists people keep a close eye on those, especially the ones attending the Japanese National Maritime Institute of Technology.
Akashi arrives to Hashirajima, where a "Fleet of Fog" reconstruction facility is located. And while Kongou's stern has been lost, Akashi had picked up something else; something very interesting... Chihaya Gunzou.
Finally, I-402 makes a direct contact with humans; namely, with ex-army commander Ryoukan Kita. And to show that she's come in peace - at least for the moment - she brings him a gift: a large fish of the kind that can be caught only in the open seas.
|◄ Volume 11||Manga guide||Volume 13 ►|