|“||I'm aircraft carrier Hiryuu. Leave the carrier battles to me, I can fight on against any and all adversity.||„|
Hiryū (飛龍, "Flying Dragon") was an aircraft carrier built for the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) during the 1930s. The only ship of her class, she was built to a modified Sōryū design. Her aircraft supported the Japanese invasion of French Indochina in mid-1940. During the first month of the Pacific War, she took part in the attack on Pearl Harbor and the Battle of Wake Island. The ship supported the conquest of the Dutch East Indies in January 1942. The following month, her aircraft bombed Darwin, Australia, and continued to assist in the Dutch East Indies campaign. In April, Hiryū's aircraft helped sink two British heavy cruisers and several merchant ships during the Indian Ocean raid.
After a brief refit, Hiryū and three other fleet carriers of the First Air Fleet (Kido Butai) participated in the Battle of Midway in June 1942. After bombarding American forces on the atoll, the carriers were attacked by aircraft from Midway and the carriers USS Enterprise, Hornet, and Yorktown. Dive bombers from Yorktown and Enterprise crippled Hiryū and set her afire. She was scuttled the following day after it became clear that she could not be salvaged. The loss of Hiryū and three other IJN carriers at Midway was a crucial strategic defeat for Japan and contributed significantly to the Allies' ultimate victory in the Pacific.
- Souryuu and Hiryuu, being originally designed as sister ships, share many similarities. Namely, they wear colour-differentiated versions of the same clothes.
- Hiryuu wears a yellow kimono top, with the bottom of the sleeves fading to gray with red stripes. Her bottom is a green pleated skirt. She also wears a flight deck apron like Akagi and Kaga (the kana "ヒ" is inscribed on it, referring to her real-life identification mark). Her full flight deck is attached to her left arm. Unlike most other archer carriers, she doesn't wear muneate.
- She has short brown hair.
- The hole on her Kai Ni CG's flight deck when she gets damaged is a reference to the damage her real-life counterpart sustained when she was targeted by planes, some of which were Yorktown survivors, launched from the USS Enterprise. She was struck by bombs which caused the forward portion of her flight deck to cave in. Although her propulsion was unaffected and she wasn't holed, the fires from the attack were uncontrollable. She was scuttled by torpedoes from Makigumo and it took some time before she sunk as reported by one of Houshou's aircraft.
Hiryuu is a favourite subject in artwork featuring both Ship Girls and their actual commanders in WWII. In her case, she's usually shown with the famous Yamaguchi Tamon, who, according to reports, went down with her while calmly admiring the moon with her captain Kaku Tomeo.
- One of two "fluffy dragons", along with Souryuu.
- She, along with Souryuu and Unryuu, has been nicknamed the "fluffy dragons" because of their generally soft and womanly appearance.
- More cheerful than Souryuu.
- She constantly mentions about Tamon-maru (Tamon Yamaguchi).
- Her name translates to "flying dragon".
- She has exceptionally high luck probably because at the Battle of Midway, she survived the initial US air attacks that sank the Akagi, Kaga and Souryuu. Her planes raided and indirectly sank the U.S. Carrier Yorktown (Hiryuu herself was later sunk, too. Yorktown was damaged by Hiryuu's attack and later sank together with USS Hammann (DD-412) by I-168's torpedoes).
- Her planes were responsible for sinking the USS Arizona during the Attack on Pearl Harbor.
- Her moderate/heavily damaged CG is based on her historical damage condition after being attacked in the Battle of Midway, just like everyone else in the 1st and 2nd Carrier Division. As in 4 direct hits in the front~middle section of the flight deck, which later caused a further explosion that blew the front part of her flight deck away. The K2 damaged CG shows the condition after the said explosion.
- Scuttled after the Battle of Midway, 5 June 1942.
- The main character of Capcom's Strider series, Strider Hiryuu, is named after this ship. Interestingly, both characters' names share the same kanji writing, though the Strider's name kanji is slightly different using a more simplified writing for the 'Ryuu' kanji, (飛竜) interpreted alternatively as a Flying Wyvern.
- Because of this, there are some fanarts of kanmusu Hiryuu using the Strider's weapons, or dressed as one.