The upcoming major Azur Lane event “Inverted Orthant” will add new shipgirls to the Germany-inspired Ironblood faction, such as KMS Peter Strasser and Prinz Heinrich. While most other shipgirls to date are named after historical entities and development records, Prinz Heinrich holds the distinction as the first character with an original name in the popular mobile naval shipgirl combat game, not counting the fictional Bulin upgrade ships.
The game’s official Japanese Twitter account confirmed that KMS Prinz Heinrich is a P-class Panzerschiff (armored ship). The latter refers to a group of 12 heavy cruisers that were actually designed by the Kriegsmarine to succeed the Deutschland-class cruisers. However, none of them were constructed by the time World War II ended.
All of the P-class cruisers only received provisional names Kreuzer P1 through P12. There were no historical records that suggested a more specific name for any of the ships. Even World of Warships, the game that collaborated with Azur Lane and is also known for its hypothetical paper ships, has yet to feature cruisers from this class. This leads to the conclusion that the name Prinz Heinrich came from Azur Lane staff members from Manjuu, Yongshi, and Yostar.
Even so, the naming of Prinz Heinrich is also clearly inspired by World of Warships. Like how the late-tier ships Roon and Friedrich der Große were named after existing German WW1 ships, the former is based on SMS Prinz Heinrich, a German armored cruiser that launched in 1900 and took part in World War I.
In Azur Lane, KMS Prinz Heinrich’s personification will be accompanied by a living sea serpent-like ship rigging, which she calls Eisen. She has a very optimistic personality. Even when she worries about something, she will completely forget her troubles the next day. She can also befriend anyone in a short amount of time.
KMS Prinz Heinrich will be added to the Android and iOS mobile game Azur Lane in the “Inverted Orthant” event that will run from December 29, 2020 until January 14, 2021.