Hitsugi no Chaika / Chaika the Coffin Princess, another anime that I’d recently re-watched and finished.
Like many others, I’d basically forgotten everything about it, except for some of the major points. While it’s technically two seasons, totaling 22 episodes, they’re connected in a way that makes this just one complete story. And so, this review is technically for both Hitsugi no Chaika and Hitsugi no Chaika: Avenging Battle.
The anime takes place in a world where peace has been achieved after 300 years of war between various nations and the Gaz Empire, lead by Emperor Arthur Gaz, an incredibly powerful mage. We follow Tooru, a man trained by birth to be a saboteur and fight under the service of someone, now surviving in a world without war with his sister (also saboteur) Akari. However, this changes when he comes in contact with a mysterious coffin-carrying girl claiming to be Chaika, the daughter of Arthur Gaz.
First up I’d like to bring up Hitsugi no Chaika’s world building. I don’t know what people actually say about it, if anything, but I’m going to call it underrated. Because regardless of other people’s thoughts, I found myself realizing how little I appreciated this anime’s world the first time I watched it, many years ago.
It’s spectacular. But not in what would maybe be the expected sense. It’s not fantastical elements that makes this world so interesting, something that an anime like Made in Abyss can boast. It’s the history.
We’re thrown into a world where everything’s settled down (at least at first), after a long war that ravaged nations and lead to the deaths and suffering of many people. But, what’s interesting, is that the war just ended. Very recently. So recently, that many people throughout the series can and will recall memories from during the war, from life in the Gaz Empire, and so on.
What I love so much about this aspect of Hitsugi no Chaika is that the world’s history, which is very relevant to the anime’s present-day story, is like a puzzle that is slowly pieced together.
This might be an odd comparison, but it reminds me of Dark Souls in a way, where the player is thrown into a world with an extremely rich history, with no real explanation. You just have to figure things out as you go, by exploring, talking to NPCs, reading item descriptions, and so on.
Of course, Hitsugi no Chaika isn’t a game and so it’s much more direct when giving us information, but the feeling is still the same for me. A world with a history waiting to be found out.
As always, with anime like this, I have to mention the sense of adventure we get from start to finish. I typically bring this up when I notice it, but Hitsugi no Chaika has that feeling of “a lot has happened” when you think back to episode 1 after all is said and done. I know that this is normal for stories like this, that sort of build up the stakes as the characters travel around and work to accomplish their goal(s), but I guess I like bringing this up because it’s kind of important for this type of story.
That, and I like an anime where I can think back to the beginning with this feeling that I’ve experienced a real journey while watching the story unfold.
We get to see a lot of the world as we progress through the story, and we also get to see the characters grow as well. I guess, overall, it’s just a textbook adventure in many ways. The story has some interesting twists and turns, and does get a little strange at times, but it all falls in line in the end.
And speaking of, I was pretty satisfied with the ending. I don’t know what other people think about it, and I could see why some people may think it’s a bit cheesy in a way. But for me, I thought that it was a really cool ending to the story, and that it wraps everything up nicely.
I can’t really say too much about the characters because I don’t want to spoil anything.
We get to meet a wide variety of characters, and follow quite a few as well. They’re not all on the best of terms, and sometimes are enemies of one another. And of course, they cross paths every so often, leading to some fun interactions.
There are some notable characters that I really liked, but I will say that I felt like many of the main cast were fairly average characters, not really standing out. And there was one character who goes through a bit of a transformation and I didn’t quite understand it, even if the anime sort of explains it, I thought it was just strange and maybe wasn’t necessary. But then, maybe I’m forgetting something important related to it.
There are quite a few cute gals in this one, too.
The cutest (and most aloof) being Fredrica, I think!
I’m going to give Hitsugi no Chaika a 8 / 10.
It’s a good fantasy / adventure story, with overall good characters, that takes place in an interesting world. While it doesn’t exactly push the envelope or do anything really unorthodox, it’s just a super solid and satisfying story all around. I feel like if you like fantasy anime, it’s a sure thing in many ways.
At the very least, I’d recommend Hitsugi no Chaika to anyone who likes adventure anime and is looking for solid examples of that to check out. You could say that the story gets a little strange at times, but the ending does manage to close everything out nicely.
And that’ll do it for Hitsugi no Chaika. I remembered liking it, but I think that I ended up liking it even more this time than last time. I feel like I’ve gotten better at knowing what I like, noticing certain aspects / details, and so on, which helped me to appreciate it more this time around.
While it’s not exactly the same, I feel like Hitsugi no Chaika has a similar feel to Akame ga Kill!, in terms of the world, magical items, and certain characters. Which is making me want to rewatch Akame, although I’ve already seen it twice!
Anyways, if you haven’t seen Hitsugi no Chaika and decide to watch it, I hope you enjoy it.
And if you’ve already seen it, feel free to comment with your personal thoughts.
Until next time,
Thanks for reading.