So, after a bit of a depression and of work-related time-consumption that prevented anything meaningful to come from me, I took up several friends recommendations (as well as another blogger‘s recommendation) and picked up Hitsugi no Chaika. Typical of series I really had no intention to watch (or seasons with the same reason), I gave it the three episode rule and will just bring to my thoughts and screen caps into
one big, ignorant post three separate posts because I took many screen caps for episode one alone.
So, let the stupidity begin!
So, first off,the show has the lost princess, bringer of calamity, and all that jazz, Chaika. Next is the aloof, well-meaning and hideously skilled brother, Toru. Then there is the idiotic sister (?), Akari. Wait haven’t we seen this be- Oh wait the LN was written by Ichirou Sakaki, same guy who wrote Scrapped Princess. So already there was a check for that, good. The action to me is…halting. Granted I’ve only seen three episodes so far, but I can’t help but feel there is a bit of a stop and go with the action scenes. Was I expecting the same quick and decisive actions like in other series, maybe. Granted after a few rewatches of the fight scenes I appreciated the smoothness of the flow and rid myself of that halting feeling.
The series focuses on Chaika Trabant, Akari Acura, and Toru Acura as they follow Chaika in her attempt to collect treasures (actually body parts) of the Gaz Emperor, a really bad dude who ruled for 500 or so years and was finally defeated in battle five years ago. And yes, as per Sakaki’s MO, the theme of this anime is Cars. I mean for Scrapped Princess it was firearms.
Now, the characters. Chaika’s weird speech is what i guess is part of her cuteness, a pillar of her right to be as moe as possible. Her butterfly themed hairband or clips are nice, while her clothing gives me an impression that she is someone to be protected and treasured. Like a baby sister of the sort. Then again, I’m interested on her weapon, the magic-based rifle that looks like a cross between an Olympic Biathlon rifle in its styling, the barrel of an anti-materiel rifle, and has the needed glowy magical bits and ‘magic’ reservoir I think, right before the bolt-action.
The other woman in the main trio, Akari Acura, is the aloof one. The one who I can categorically say is the COMPLETE and TOTAL opposite of Raquel Casull. She’s a bit of a ditz. Good at what she does, not much in anything else. I mean she’s dependable, but tend to be so air-headed and goes from air-head to “wait, I’ve got news for you” infodump. It’s annoying, she has a bit of a love for her brother that borders between “hokaaaaaay” and “PLEASE DON’T KILL ME”. This proves amusing in the first time we are introduced to her, with her wrecking the restaurant with her hammer.
The third and final main character is Toru Acura. He’s a saboteur (well, so is Akari) and can invoke a spell that no doubt increases his body in a way to turn him into a walking wrecking ball. His style of fighting is in the one-handed short-sword akimbo school, with an added ‘blade to the back’ impractical yet cool. He’s lazy (not as Akari) and means well, but his motivation to help Chaika is a little, simple, pig-headed? Granted at first, this want to bring calamity and war back to a still recovering world seems stupid, though later on we’re given a hint on the general state of things after the fall of the mighty Emperor Gaz and his empire. I think this is merely a way to introduce the requisite burgeoning romance triangle (because according to the wiki, Akari and Toru aren’t related).
Anyways, the episode.
The episode starts off with Chaika in a sleeping gown, being told she has a role in opening some sort of fate for humanity, by something that looks like half-Dragon, half-Deep Ones. After the intro, Chaika, now in normal clothing, meets Toru in the forest. After initially mistaking him to be a bandit, they are found by a Unicorn. And apparently Unicorns in this world are evil beasts who want to make you their dinner, not shy, timid, and pure beasts as in most fantasy works in recent memory.
Managing to evade the unicorn momentarily, Chaika shows off her gun, giving Toru, who had been waiting for death, to finally get off his ass and fight the beast. After an intense battle, the Unicorn is slain, and Chaika treats Toru to lunch. Meanwhile a mysterious figure inspects the body of the slain Unicorn after Chaika and Toru have left. At the restaurant, Toru’s appetite frightens Chaika, only for Toru’s lunch to be interrupted by what seemed to be a lover, Akari. Chasing him around the restaurant, it is revealed that Toru is her older brother.
Afterwards, while being admonished by the restaurant owner, we’re shown that the siblings are jobless, and are employed by Chaika to do a job.
At a huge mansion, a large carriage-like semi-truck and trailer is seen entering it. Its occupants are meeting with Count Robert Arbath, a Hero of the last war. Surprised at the man’s age, the Chevalier Alberic Gillet (who is named after a Belgian auto manufacturer rather than the makers of safety razors, my annoyance with some fansub groups who have no QC), requests a favor from Duke Arbath. He asks for the artifact he had gotten in the last war, and cannot say why due to confidential national secrets. The Count responds by throwing him and his two female colleagues out. The object in question appears to be a severed hand.
Chaika hires the siblings for a job, which is to infiltrate and steal this treasured thing from the Count. They decide to accept it and go about in casing the joint.
Contemplating this turn of events, Mr. Gillet discusses with his crew his initial impression of the count, and how he doesn’t seem to be that proficient of a magic user and that his home is too lightly guarded. An observation that the siblings also note.
The scene switches to their cabin, as they ready to infiltrate the mansion. Chaika also attempts to bake bread using her rifle, and instead makes an unholy mess of the kitchen. After knocking out the lone guard and transporting Chaika and her coffin inside, Chaika magically finds the object in question, only to meet the Count. The count reveals his power, tossing swords and chairs at Toru, and stopping and then using Akari’s throwing knives against her and her brother. All seemed lost until Chaika appears, and the Count, unsure why someone he killed was still alive, loses composure, and his control over the swords.
Not a bad start methinks. It has a potential to be good, and if anything like Scrapped Princess, would be a good twist at the end. I look forward to this.
Also, I’m liking Chaika and her cuteness. Not so much on the cooking department.