From SkyHigh. Better Late than Never
Hello and welcome to our latest First Impression. I am joined by HWY, and we are quite pleased to jump into some extended coverage of this show. What’s the play, HWY?
The play is to make a little girl carry around a giant coffin with a big-ass gun in it. And don’t let her say more then 2 word sentences. But this show is definitely a lot more than that.
Let’s Lock and Load
skylion: This was actually a show I wanted to cover when I was making my decision to join the writing team. At that point I was already booked for WIXOSS and Black Bullet and didn’t want to over-load my debut season. After watching the first episode, I was happy with this decision. I like it well enough to watch, not enough to blog. But time does change things and the show has gotten progressively better episode to episode. BONES creates top notch production, and with the writer of Magician’s Academy and Outbreak Company we can see it going to some riveting places.
Highway: As skylion says, there just aren’t enough hours in the day to blog about all the anime you want to blog about. So having a chance to write about another show a few times, when it turns out to be a lot of fun, is a chance worth taking. Hitsugi no Chaika wasn’t really a big hype show before the season started, and it’s not hard to see why. The concept is a little hard to explain in simple terms: A girl who speaks in fragments carries around a coffin that holds a giant gun and gets the help of two assassins to recover the chopped up body parts of her dead supposed father. Riiiiiiight. But the reality is the show is getting better and better, and has taken some nice turns that I have really enjoyed. It’s gone from a show that I picked up because it was on CR, to one that I make time for on Wednesdays, a crowded night for me.
..and bloody action
skylion: The biggest two initial draws for me was both the combat and the magictek. BONES are delivering some superb action sequences with many neat trick elements thrown in. Both Toru and Akair are acrobatic, deadly and smooth. Always a treat to watch.
I love how the spells in the world have to go through a physical medium, basically a magic wand. It really creates a rich tapestry of objects to manipulate. From Chaika’s sniper rifle, to the Count’s mansion, to the fantasy version of automobiles, it hasn’t failed to fascinate me.
Highway: This show had the easy route to being a rinse-and-repeat “raid the guy with the important thing” show. And it started off that way, with a straight up raid on Count Abarth. But they changed it up with the second attempt at reclaiming the part from Dominica, who was more interested in a straight up fight, and who Chaika didn’t want to fight at all. In fact they went in from the beginning to negotiate. It makes me feel positive about the way they’ll set up the further retreivals. I also like the conceit of the saboteur, and I don’t know if we’ve really seen a demonstration about what the Iron-Blood Transformation really entails yet, just that Tooru turns red. It will be nice to have more explanation of that, I think.
“He. Trustworthy bandit. Join Party.”
Highway: I didn’t see any guile at all in Chaika’s plan to try to put her “father” to rest. I think she sincerely believes that her only goal is to try to retrieve these body parts to do so. But it’s certainly not above anyone else to use a girl who doesn’t know what’s going on as a pawn for their own ends. So while it seems Gillette is ascribing motivations to her that don’t fit, they surely could fit with other people that we haven’t met yet.
skylion: I’m incredibly happy they didn’t settle for a bog standard good vs. evil theme. The introduction certainly set it up that way, but as we get deeper into the show, we find that there are factions, there is power, and everyone has an agenda for that power. The main bone of contention is quite cool. Chaika is on her quest to retrieve the body parts of her slain father. Admirable? Well, when he was the ruthless and powerful wizard-king of an Empire that spanned 500 years, and was known as the Taboo Emperor, Arthur Gazu is sounding like the kind of deposed king you want to stay that way. There is at least one other faction, The Postwar Agency, that is very much vested in Chaika’s plan not coming to fruition. In the world that has settled into peace after long and vicious warfare, there is fear that the reconstruction of the body parts could be like Armageddon comes again.
Toru and Akari, who seem to be our protagonists, would not be uncomfortable in this scenario. At least Toru wouldn’t. Bring back the war? Yes, please. I’m a saboteur, anxious to test my skills. This world of peace has nothing for me. As part of the Postwar efforts, Gillette and crew are quite ready to put a stop to this.
Gillette? Nice Harem dude
skylion: And while it is all well and good to stop potential war, Gillette and his crew are discovering that not all things are as they seem with Chaika. Conflicting reports are never a good thing when you are stalking an enemy. Multiple Chiaka’s? Potential suspects committing suicide over being captured? And, wait. How did the former Royal line function? As the story progresses there is one more chief element that sticks out a better than average. We got the road set to travel, we have our mission. In what could have been a series of fetch quests we get instead, a change up. Dominica came off as a great character. Or at least her drago
on did. Yeah, they kinda played it hard to trope in the “Defeat the Enemy, let them join us, but they might still be an enemy thing”, but hey. It’s a LOLi dragon/cat voiced by Chiwa Saito. The road just gets more interesting.
Highway: More interesting indeed, and adding Frederika to the group seems like an interesting move. I think it’s much more that Frederika wants to be needed, as we saw from her near worship of Dominica, whom she adored. Being with people who will be her companions and maybe even friends, that’s another really good message from this anime.
Well, as I hope to show, Hitsugi no Chaika went from just a touch of potential and shot up in interest very quickly. I came in for the Coffin LOLi, the magictek, and the combat, and am staying for the good characterizations and what looks to be the beginnings of a not-at-all-boring or unfulfilled fantasy world background. I’m just a touch spoiled, having read some comments around the ‘net, but they only provided a hint of the dish, and I find myself quite hungry for more. What did you think, HWY?
It’s surprising that the show is this much fun. It has a lot of fun conceits, a lot of fun coincidences, and even a quirky sense of humor with names. Someone is a big automobile fan, since we have Chaika, Gaz, Trabant, Acura, Abarth, Skoda, Callaway, and even Avtotor (a large Russian auto plant) in names of characters. Just one of those little things that make you laugh as you watch if you pick up the joke.