Chaika the Coffin Princess

Chaika the Coffin Princess

20140527-160955-58195266.jpgThe year is 1604. On the continent of Verbist, an age of war is ending with the demise of the northern nation: the Gaz Empire. Deemed “the root of all evil”, the empire finally fell after the militant forces, wizards, saboteurs, mercenaries and dragon cavalries. And to the winners go the spoils – including the scattered remains of Emperor Gaz, which supposedly contain magical powers. Enter Chaika Trabant – wizard and daughter of the deceased emperor – who is on a mission to hunt down the remains of her father and give him a proper burial.

Toru Acura is a 20 year old saboteur forced into early retirement due to peace in Verbist. Struggling with the post-war unemployment, he has a chance encounter with Chaika, a young girl who speaks strangely and carries a coffin on her back. With hopes of finding some meaning to his life again, Toru joins Chaika on her mammoth quest. Accompanied by Toru’s adopted sister Akari, the three of them travel together to gather the remains of Emperor Gaz.

20140527-160954-58194988.jpgChaika – The Coffin Princess is an anime that started off quite quietly and tried to hold on to as many of its mysteries as possible. As a result, it took a bit longer than usual to reveal how high its stakes were, who is a threat to Chaika, and the reason behind why these ‘heroes’ that overthrew the Gaz Empire are keeping decapitated limbs in secret safes.

Chaika herself is a very distinctive character, and quickly became popular. Her look is a very distinctive gothic-loli mage, defined eyebrows, softly-spoken diction and speaking in broken sentences. It has certainly endeared her to more than a few. Her mission to risk global warfare just so she can give her father a proper funeral is either naive or, at this point, a lie (at least I hope so for the future of this anime). Her coffin-encased magical gun is known as a Gundo, and we are learning as we go just what sort of capabilities it has. Toru and Akari, as saboteurs, have their own set of powers and they work very well as a team. I am interested in the premise, the characters, and the pace is good. The sub-characters are many and as a result don’t really stand out to me at the moment. Being about halfway through the series at the moment, I have high hopes for more development and interaction from them.

20140527-160954-58194312.jpgHaving said that, Chaika is quite a solid concept, and quite rightly so. It does have a solid team behind it (BONES Animation Studio) who were behind Fullmetal Alchemist and Ouran High School Host Club. The artwork has similar consistencies with these works, and whilst not the most impressive art-wise that I am watching at the moment, it definitely makes up for with action, fighting and magic. From the beginning they have supplied the viewers with a dose of action (decapitated unicorn, anyone?), so lets hope that this pace keeps up through the rest of the series.

20140527-160954-58194660.jpgIt’s not the most earth-shattering anime in the Spring 2014 line-up, but Chaika is definitely a solid contender. Everyone loves Chaika and her strangely endearing eyebrows, and she already has her own fanbase. Even though magic plays a big part in this world, it’s not the be-all-and-end-all of everything as it sometimes is in animes – this way we can still have some great sword-fighting scenes and get introduced to knights and dragoons. Since the plot of this anime seems to be so well ironed-out from the beginning, I’m looking forward to seeing if there are any upcoming problems that will take this anime’s agenda to the next level.