As you would expect from Girls und Panzer on water, Hai-furi has more than its fair share of characters taking care of all the tasks aboard their ships. While we will probably end up calling most of them by their post (torpedo-girl, navigation-girl and so on), the show is also kind enough to highlight the main players by giving them special nicknames, and it seems cats are the name of the game.
Misaki Akeno’s "Mike", China Moeka’s "Moka" and Munetani Mashiro’s "Shiro" are all popular cat names, along the lines of “Spot”, “Mocha” and “Snowy” respectively. While some other members of the crew also get catlike nicknames, the above three also have a color theme going on (tricolor, brown and white). Akeno’s nickname in particular is the classic name for calico cats, and if Suzumiya Haruhi taught us anything, it is that the tricolored fellows are natural main characters of the Japanese feline world.
More importantly, the naming pattern is unmistakably meant to foreshadow the catfight that the love triangle will eventually lead to. Moeka seems easily in the lead right now, but the road ahead is uncertain. Typical anime tropes would have Akeno’s kindness and cheer break though the tsun-tsun wall of her deputy-captain just in time for the two to face, and ultimately overcome, Moeka’s behemoth of a ship. But a twist or two could not possibly hurt, right?
Looking forward to where the choices those kittens make will lead them.