Chaika the Coffin Princess Season 1 – Anime Review
Synopsis: Toru Acura, an incredibly lazy man with some hidden talents, has been forced by his sister Akari to actually go outside and search for work. However, he is in for a big surprise when he meets Chaika Trabant in the forest, and they are suddenly attacked by a monster! How will they survive? Who is this mysterious girl, and why is she being targeted? (Official The Anime Network Synopsis)
Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: Chaika starts off with a bang, featuring a crazy combat showdown where a freaky looking undead unicorn ends up being blown to pieces in the first five minutes of the show. This really hypes the viewer up but unfortunately for me, that was the high point during the entire first season. It’s not that the rest of the show is horrible by any means, but the intensity of those opening minutes made the rest of the series pale by comparison.
Tom: Chaika opens with an indeed eye catching battle, but I disagree with Linny in that I feel Chaika has an engaging narrative as we follow both Toru and Chaika travel around the world in her effort to gather the remains of her deceased father. The story is peppered with enough twists and turns to make the journey through this first season feel worthwhile. I will admit however that some episodes feel a tad fillerish, padding out the journey in some unnecessary ways, ways that ultimately contribute to a troubled season 2, but that’s for another review.
Linny: There are of course things one can definitely enjoy and appreciate about the show such as the character and costume designs along with the usage and presence of magical elements in the show. Despite her appearance and bumbling mannerisms, Chaika isn’t some totally helpless lolicon maiden in distress as she’s shown to be efficient in combat ever so often. And if you find yourself growing weary of the main story line, you can always sit back, tune out a little and enjoy all the interesting new magical creatures and the action packed magical fight scenes the show comes up with as it proceeds.
Tom: Chaika isn’t perfect. It drops several smaller plot lines, or sidelines more interesting ones in favor of those fillerish episodes I mentioned before. Certain characters also never quite live up to early expectations and ultimately feel superfluous to the overall narrative.
Linny: Also, the ‘final villain’ for Season 1 is ridiculously cliche and over the top, coming off as nothing more than a lip licking psycho caricature that you’ve probably seen in a million anime before and already grown tired of. It even features the overdone trope of one sibling being obsessed and almost psychotically in love with the other. Nothing gets resolved even by the final episode which could prove frustrating for viewers who like some proper developments and at least a little resolution. Even though it has a second season, Chaika season 1 leaves too many plot points up in the air such that people might worry they will never get a proper resolution. That said, it does have some decent twists and reveals which might make others feel invested enough to pick up the next season. All in all, if you are a big fan of magic aided melee combat and don’t mind being left with a million questions by the end of the season, by all means, give Chaika the Coffin Princess a try. Just be aware that if your taste have more or less lined up with mine over all these reviews, there’s a chance you’ll be left disappointed.
Tom: Overall Chaika’s season 1 was an enjoyable ride, with enough interesting twists and turns to outweigh the more boring aspects of Toru and Chaika’s journey. That said, I do have to take into account Season 2’s troubled nature, something we’ll address in another review. But even so I think Chaika is worth starting, as Season 1 has enough highs, and Season 2’s troubles aren’t prominent enough that I think this journey isn’t in fact worthwhile.