I finished watching the 2nd Season just a few minutes ago I think it’s effective to write some comments as soon as possible. I’ve been neglecting doing this for the five or so Animes I’ve finished watching before Hitsugi no Chaika but I can’t postpone it for this one. Yes, the title doesn’t indicate that I will write the things I wanted to happen in the Anime but didn’t. The title is the way it is because everything I wanted happened!
As what I usually review, Hitsugi no Chaika isn’t a new Anime from this or the previous season. The first season aired April-June 2014 and the second season continued October-December of last year as well. And because I’m in a satisfied mood right now, I’ll give a decent background about the Anime for those that haven’t seen it yet and planning too. Even though anyone who’d find this post probably already knew who Chaika is.
Why Did I Watch It?
I watched Hibike! Euphonium by KyoAni recently (it was one of the few Animes which review I procrastinated on), and I really love the trumpet player girl named Kousaka Reina. I snooped around her profile on MyAnimeList and looked into the Voice Actress who took the role. She wasn’t a familiar name (to me) but I noticed she got the main role in Hitsugi no Chaika – one of the unwatched series in my HDD marked with “to watch”.
I was going to watch Chaika sooner or later but the fact that the main girl is being voiced by someone who played Reina made the encounter faster. It was only when I started watching this series that I realized how different Chaika is from Reina.
The Emperor’s Remains
As the title suggests, Hitsugi no Chaika or Chaika: The Coffin Princess is the story of girl named Chaika. She’s always carrying a coffin which I thought would be more significant in the story – well, it is significant in a way. But it was used in a way I didn’t expect but that really didn’t impact my judgment on the Anime. It was so trivial anyway.
Going back to the story, Chaika Trabant – is what the main heroine call herself, even though the people in the story refer to her as Chaika Gaz most of the time. I’d like to call her Chaika Gaz in this review so I’ll be continuing as such. She is supposedly the deceased Emperor’s daughter who was killed five years ago just as the war was coming to a close. Yet alive and quite a jolly one, Chaika ventures from one place to another to collect her father’s remains (as in body parts) which were given as rewards to the eight heroes that subjugated the Emperor, and give a proper funeral for her father.
My friend commented “horcrux lol” when I told her about it.
Well anyway, that’s pretty much the story. It isn’t anything extravagant, but the characters themselves were quite praise-worthy. I got a lot of favorites from the cast.
Chaika is the Emperor’s daughter as mentioned above. At first I thought she’ll be more of a damsel in distress, well she is at times – but Chaika can fight. She uses an armament generally called gundo and it is in a form of a sniper rifle. It isn’t fired just by pulling the trigger though. Chaika has to recite some spells before it activates; she’s considered a wizard because she can use this skill.
Chaika is quite inept. She’s very trusting and innocent that made me wonder how she managed to live up until the first episode of the Anime. She also talks weird, like a foreigner. It was not annoying for me, which is surprising really since I have encountered the same type of character from “Brother’s Conflict” and smirked at the way the guy speaks. I’ll start calling myself double-standard from now on.
She has thick eyebrows, as you can see and she always carries around a coffin, which she uses as a storage for her gundo. She also puts the remains she collects in that coffin, hoping someday that she’ll be able to complete everything and give her father a proper funeral. For some reasons, Chaika has a lot of money as well. It wasn’t shown anywhere in the Anime though where she’s able to get it and continue to get it from.
When the truth about her identity unfolds, the characters would often refer to her as the “White Chaika”.
Touru is a character that I did not expect would be wonderful. I’m quite judgmental when it comes to male characters, especially heroes, but he exceeded my expectations. I’ll willingly call him awesome or excellent, to be honest.
Anyway, Touru is a jobless and poor saboteur that met Chaika in the forest while he was gathering vegetables for food. Chaika was lost and he offered assistance in exchange for a meal. Just as Chaika accepted his offer, they were attacked by a wandering Unicorn (which is a type of monster in their universe) and with the help of each other, they were able to kill it. Later in the episode, Chaika offered him a bodyguard position which he accepted, since saboteurs lost their purpose when the war ended five years ago.
Touru has this nice ability called “Iron-Blood Transformation” which transforms his appearance. His hair becomes color red, and red marks appear on his face as well. While in this mode, he’s plenty stronger than usual. In the latter part of the second season, he transformed into what I wanted him to be and became even more awesome. I’m conflicted whether I’ll put it here though but I guess I won’t.
I like him because he is intelligent and a very good fighter. Like your typical shounen hero, he has this ’emotion-driven’ actions sometimes but he was NOT in any way as dramatic as the usual main male characters. He is very capable. It made me want to applause really.
Akari is Touru’s sister – not by blood, but they grew up together. She’s also a saboteur like Touru but unlike her brother, Akari seemed to be working even before Chaika hired both of them as her bodyguards. Given a normal circumstance, she’ll probably be my favorite. But there are too many promising characters in the series to even choose a favorite so I’ll table that topic for now.
She’s what we may call Kuudere. She calls her brother “Ani-sama” and often spouts brocon-filled lines whilst donning a poker face and speaking in a deadpanned voice. She seems to get jealous whenever Touru is too close to Chaika so she often cut in the middle of the two. She does so regularly (still deadpanned) so it’s almost like a running gag rather than an actual romantic rivalry.
Akari can also use the “Iron-Blood Transformation”.
I also noticed, she loves to pretend to be a member of some street-performing troupe; hence, she’s a good actress and only shows proper facial expressions when she’s acting.
Even though I said I’ll table the topic for now, I can probably consider Fredrica as my sort-of favorite character in this series. It’s too bad for people who hates spoiler but I can’t really say my comments about her without spoiling anything. Anyway, Fredrica first appeared as a villain in the series – a Dragoon Cavalier and one of the Eight Heroes that defeated the Emperor.
She possessed one of the remains that Chaika was looking for as well. Even though she initially helped Chaika’s group when they were attacked by Orthros (rabid dogs) in the forest where her castle was, they eventually had to fight her.
I really didn’t know what to make out of her character when she was introduced. She was narcissistic (I actually liked it), and has an appearance of a tall woman wearing an armor. She lives alone in a mansion in the middle of the forest. Touru and the rest found her mansion creepy, because it was full of her portraits and statues.
It was not long before Touru realized who she is. During their fight, Fredrica revealed her true form – the Dragoon itself. According to her, her master – the Dragoon Cavalier Dominica Scoda, whose appearance she copied, had long died after the war was over. The Dragoon didn’t want to forget its master’s appearance so she put up those portraits and statues all over the mansion.
Fredrica can transform into anything but she usually pretends to be a cat, or a little girl that resembled her deceased master. She is supposedly immortal as suffering from any type of wound does not kill her. She said that she can be killed by sword when her forehead was stabbed deep enough until her brain; but she has the ability to create dual structures of her body, so killing her once would not suffice. She’s also fixated in getting Touru to have a duel with her. In the second season, she gave a very nice proposal that made me “LKSJALSJFKJKLF” in front of my computer.
Call me biased, but I didn’t think it was enough to just put one of her appearances (pictures) so I put everything to make my comments clearer. Hahaha!
- The Kliemann Organization
One may call them villains, or maybe supporting characters. But if Chaika wasn’t someone to be considered a trigger for a war, the Kliemann Organization could be main characters because they have the correct sense of justice. It just so happened that it opposes Chaika’s group’s objectives. There are a few members of the Organization but I couldn’t remember all of their names. I was able to remember Gilette-sama, Vivi and Nikolai though.
The Gilette Squad
- Alberic Gilette – is a nobleman and cavalier; he’s also the leader of the Gilette Squad under the Kliemann Organization. They are mostly handling the “Chaika Case” throughout the story, but they were given minor tasks as well. Gilette-sama looks like your typical ouji-sama, he’s blonde, valiant, and kind. But he often doubt about the real significance of Chaika’s actions (gathering the remains). In the second season, he briefly suffered in memory loss and became a villain.
- Vivi – Her sort of tsundere nature didn’t really sit well with me at first, but when she transformed into a half-Chaika (oh, you must be confused if you did not watch the Anime, but I have no plans of explaining it haha), I thought she became really beautiful. I think the white hair really suited her!
There are several Chaikas in the series, and all carry coffins – dead set in gathering their father’s remains. They also have different types of style and abilities, as well as unique personalities. They also have different reasons why they’re collecting the remains.
- Red Chaika – The Red Chaika was the very first identical Chaika that Chaika (White) and her group met. Unlike the White Chaika, she sports her hair shorter and wears a red outfit; although the way they talk are very similar to each other (accent). I actually love this girl. She’s a tsundere but she’s amusing. During their first meeting, she was taken hostage by Touru, much like how the Red Chaika’s subordinates took the White Chaika. Their personalities are very different. Unlike the White Chaika who is inept and too trusting, the Red Chaika is very fierce, ill-tempered and good at fighting. She doesn’t use a gundo like White Chaika’s sniper rifle, but she uses a Snake Blade, which is a type of sword that extends itself and becomes a whip.
After staying with Touru and Akari in the place of the White Chaika, she was impressed of their fighting skills – especially Touru’s – and developed a liking to them. She proposed that the siblings ditch the White Chaika and work for her instead, and she was flatly rejected to her dismay. It later developed into something else and it was not only once that it was implied that she might have developed some feelings for Touru in the process. She collects her father’s remains because she wanted ‘revenge’.
- Blue Chaika (Layla) – She was the second Chaika that they met. Unlike the White and Red Chaikas, she speaks in a more normal manner, and she also seemed to know more than any other Chaika. Apparently, it was not the White Chaika that was shown in the Anime’s prologue, but Layla. Precisely because she knew more, she abandoned her name and introduced herself as Layla. Her specialty is mixing aphrodisiac scents or something and she uses the favors she got from different men to be able to achieve her goal – which is to gather the remains and use them as her Floating Castle’s magic fuel; and later ignite war amongst the nations. Basically, she wanted to do something akin to a suicide bombing.
Layla allied herself with one of the Eight Heroes, specifically the youngest son of the hero.
- Black Chaika – The Black Chaika is the last Chaika shown in the series. She allied herself with the last Hero, King Hartgen, the same person who beheaded the Emperor. I’m uncertain what type of power she has because she’s able to control people at will and she also recites chants (so she’s a wizard as well). She did not have any weapon-like gundo with her, but she was often seen sitting on a throne (which might be her gundo, actually). The Black Chaika also speaks in a normal manner much like Layla, and she sports a bangs that made her appearance a bit different that the previous Chaikas.
In the later part of the Anime, she was the one that was able to complete the remains of their father and was also the reason why the Emperor was reborn into a new body. Even in death, she was proud of what she did. It seems she was killed by the Red Chaika.
Might as well be Hatsune Miku’s and Luka Megurine’s child. Seriously, when I first saw her I blurted out, “Oh. Vocaloid?”
Niva Lada is one of the reasons why the second season was awesome. She was only showed a couple of times but she never failed to astound me. Supposedly an invention and the Emperor’s “fortune”, Niva Lada is the strongest gundo ever made. She appeared as a young girl who doesn’t have any facial expression yet have a distinct personality.
Prior to meeting the White Chaika, Niva Lada was on stand by mode, thought to be inoperable by the wizards that created her. Upon hearing Chaika’s name though when the Red and White Chaikas were put on the same room as her, she activated and spoke. Before the Red and White Chaika escaped from the wizards that captured them, the White Chaika freed Niva Lada – wounding her finger in the process. Niva Lada sucked the blood – which seemed to activate an even more complex feature within the gundo. It enabled Niva Lada to recognize the White Chaika as someone that she should follow.
Niva Lada functions depending on the conditions laid out, ultimately meeting whatever her Master required of her. When the White Chaika used her, she enveloped Chaika’s sniper rifle and became it, enabling Chaika to activate higher class annihilation magic.
All in all, I think Hitsugi no Chaika is a pretty cool series. It did not deviate from the main plot even during Season 2, and was able to put conclusion even in the trivial scenes (like Vivi and Gilette’s fortunes – from the cookies). It had little to no ecchi fanservice, well “fanservice” depends on how the audience define it anyway. Since ecchi seems to be a regular occurrence on most series now, Chaika is a breather.
I did think that the ending was sort of anticlimactic, at the same time it wasn’t. As I said, everything I wanted happened so I really liked it. But there was one thing, I wished the last episode was 5~10 minutes longer. The Red Chaika took on a role that is even more amusing in the conclusion of the Anime (an allusion to the Red Riding Hood, perhaps?). And Akari’s brocon tendencies took a hike, I guess. Haha!
As for Touru and the White Chaika…well. They are the reason why I wanted the last episode to be a bit longer.