Chaika – The Coffin Princess – Review

Toru used to be a saboteur during the war. Now he can hardly hold a job. Until he runs into Chaika, a strange girl carrying a coffin on her back and traveling the kingdom looking for her father’s remains.

This is a high one. Think FMA: Brotherhood and Trinity Blood. There’s even an arc where people are tortured and their pain and fear powers a device. It’s not quite WZ level, but it gets close… If violence freaks you out, steer clear of this one.

Some b-words here and there, but not too frequently. Expect quite a few more sh-ts and d-mns though, especially in fight sequences.

Oddly low considering the set up. But aside from a few costumes that are tight and such, not too bad. The creepy sister-who-isn’t-a-sister-but-still-loves-her-brother arc remains ever creepy, but it’s used purely for comedy and the series never takes it seriously.

Magic is used in this world. By the end it is implied that magic has more to do with creatures that can produce it biologically or futuristic technology, but that aspect is so rushed it hardly matters. Thus if magic is something you hate in shows, this one ain’t for you.

Personal impression:
This was strangely good. And as I’m writing this I’m trying to figure out why I liked this title. The set up itself is… well, ok it’s odd and maybe that’s why I got hooked. But that wasn’t all. We also have two side leads that are super good at what they do, which is something you don’t see much in anime these days. Usually you get the wet-behind-the-ears heroes only. While Chaika herself isn’t the best mage out there, she’s pretty good. And her saboteur hires are even better fighters. So we don’t really have to muddle through a bunch of episodes where the cast have to “learn” how to fight and such. So that was nice. But that wasn’t all. You also had a story that wasn’t afraid to let it’s cast get hit around, injured and put in some pretty extreme danger. I guess I should have seen that coming, considering studio Bones was involved, but still.
Overall, I think it was a bunch of small factors like the above that made this show enjoyable for me. The story itself is a hint odd, but not to any extreme. The characters are actually interesting, though still a bit cliche and the action… ok, the action was actually really good. Well choreographed stuff. So while the art and music were pretty standard, this show was actually good. It never dived into pure fanservice trash, like I feared. It never made me so frustrated with our moe lead that I wanted to gorge out my own eyes, like I feared. It even completed its story instead of having an open ending, like pretty much every other show out there.
Was this a groundbreaking Bones title? No. But was this a good, solid Bones title? Yes. If you’ve been craving a decent action show, this will give you what you want. It’ll even give you a proper ending. Now that’s something we could use more of these days.

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 22 (includes seasons 1 & 2)
Languages: Sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Action, adventure, fantasy
Production: Bones
Company: Kadokawa Pictures/Sentai Filmworks
Official streaming: Crunchyroll 


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