That makes not two, but three strong female characters that happen to be lolis!
I’ve been meaning to give this note-taking style of aniblogging a try for a while now, so here it is for Hitsugi no Chaika. I might start doing this as my main form of episodic aniblogging, though I’ll still do essay-style posts when it’s more fitting. But even then I can still have a “notes” section for each post.
• After the OP, the series opens with a weird dragon thing talking to a little girl atop some ocean cliffs. It explains to the girl, “The taboo emperor, Arthur Gaz… His daughter is the successor of the empire, and subsequently, the decider of its fate. […] A fate surpassing the imagination of man lies ahead. You are a mere tool whose sole purpose is to set that fate in motion.”
I’ll be completely honestly, I totally spaced out when this was being said and didn’t bother to re-watch the scene until after finishing the episode. And go figure, certain parts of the episode make a lot more sense knowing that Chaika is the daughter of Arthur Gaz.
• Next we see our blue-haired male lead, Tooru, scrounging around for some plants to eat. He then meets Chaika as she too wanders around, but carrying a coffin and wearing a kawaii dress. She then comically scurries around some bushes in a circle, and then starts speaking to Tooru in some jumbled Japanese. I hope her speech just means she doesn’t know the language very well and this isn’t some form of moe; i.e., I hope she’s not mentally challenged. She does start speaking another language later on as she casts a spell, so I can hope!
• Gee, that’s a pretty badass unicorn. Fantasy nerds just continues to reclaim that majestical beast as a totally not girly animal.
• I figured that the coffin was full of weapons, but like, why use a big heavy ol’ coffin to carry those? Why not use a suitcase, especially since the weapons themselves are pretty heavy to begin with? And how is this girl supposed to lift all that weight with her puny little loli arms? Ugh. I mean, as a stylistic choice I do like the idea of using a coffin to carry weapons, since it does look cool. It just seems a little too silly at the moment; particularly since it’s being carried around by a loli. It’s pretty amusing though how the coffin resembles a randoseru with how the loli carries it.
• So wizards here use “Gundo”? Sounds like Musashi Gundoh. Just the title though; I’ve never actually seen that anime.
• So Tooru can transform and do cool stuff too, though it’s quickly apparent that against a unicorn, he really is only strong enough to buy time. Though I’m not sure what the deal is with him turning red. Did it just make him able to withstand more blows or something? Or is there something else to it? On another note, I like the action scene too, even at the end the unicorn seems to stay conveniently still for Chaika to take the shot.
• Huh, so the girl was being targeted by someone. Probably because she’s the daughter of the former emperor.
• Haha! It’s hilarious how Tooru’s sister, Akari, just waltz into the restaurant and starts wrecking the place up; trying to smash her brothers brains out for slacking off with another girl. What’s even better is how nonchalantly the bystanders take the whole thing, and taking the sisters side upon hearing what a deadbeat Toru is. When you know, normally you would defend the person getting attacked and stuff. See, this is proof of how much misandry is in anime! *snickers*
It is a pretty over the top scene though. Since Akira and Tooru don’t seem to be too well off, you would figure Akira wouldn’t just go off wrecking a restaurant when they don’t have the money to pay it off. But then again, the restaurant owner doesn’t actually seem to ask for much money from Chaika for the repairs… Also, misandry jokes aside, with the way these people just expect the worst of Tooru like that, it’s no wonder why he would so easily give up against a unicorn and accept death. I mean, as a jobless bum he doesn’t have much going for him.
• After paying for their meal and the damages, Chaika asks if she could hire Tooru and Akira as “saboteurs,” which I’m guessing means some sort of mercenary with special powers. Tooru responds to this with reluctance, saying “Well, I haven’t worked in years…Springing this on me now is kinda…” Okay, now the guy really does just seem lazy, and doesn’t quite understand the situation he’s in. Especially when you’re mooching off someone else like him, you gotta take work when you can, even if you’re a bit rusty at your job. The fact that he uses “I haven’t worked in a while” as an excuse to not work is pretty telling with how contradictory it is. There’s no way you’ll get back in the game without actually doing it, right?
• Given that they’re some sort of mercenaries, it’s no wonder they don’t seem to get much work. You would kind of need to travel for that, right? And they don’t even seem to be in a place with a lot of fighting or wars going on. I wonder why they’re mercenaries in the first place though. These are just teenagers after all, so it seems doubtful that they would be former-soldiers or anything. Maybe they were gifted with these special powers and just didn’t bother to learn any actual trades.
• Meanwhile, some kid Alberic from the Kliemann Organization, pays Count Abarth a visit. We’re clued in that Abarth is a member of the “Eight Heroes” who took down Emporer Gaz, as Alberic asks to have the “article” that Abarth acquired at the Battle for the Imperial Capital of the Gaz Empire. The Count of course, refuses, and Alberic explains that such information of why he needs it is “confidential.” I’m sure the kid is telling the truth when he says its a matter of life and death, but you can’t really expect the Count to give something important like that (whatever an “article” is supposed to be,) when the kid refuses to give him any explanation of why he needs it.
• So the article is some sort of disembodied hand. Okay.
• While riding with his team, Alberic notes that Abarth doesn’t seem to be too skilled at martial arts. But how could you discern how efficient someone was in martial arts just by a brief conversation on some coaches? And hell, why is Albertis’ team mostly comprised of teenagers? Is this whole organization just teenagers?
• After Tooru expresses doubt Akira’s confidence in his skills, she exclaims “Even if you are my brother, I won’t allow you to insult the brother I so deeply respect!” Sure, I can see why she wouldn’t want him to be self-degrading, but that’s a pretty weird way to word it. Also, it’s at this point that I noticed she’s referring to him as her “oniisan” instead of “otoutou”. I figured that Tooru is the younger of the two, but I guess not.
• Chaika attempts to cook some bread by shooting at it with her magical gun. Gee, that’s uh… You know, maybe she is mentally challenged instead of just being unknowledgeable about the language.
Also, you can’t have a loli character without covering them with some sort of white, sticky goo at some point:
• Akira and Tooru proceed to break into the mansion, showing off their high skill in infiltration. Though on the other hand, the mansion is also pretty lightly guarded—to the point where once they’ve broken in, Tooru can just walk through the corridors casually without any sneaking. This is some pretty obvious foreshadowing that Abarth is in fact still skilled at fighting.
• Finally, Abarth catches Tooru as he’s sneaking around, and uses some sort of telekinesis to move a bunch of swords in the air; So maybe he did stop using martial arts but got skilled at magic instead. Before he can cut Tooru into a hundred pieces though, Chaika shows up and shocks the Count into dropping all the swords—think that she was dead. Makes me wonder if he’s afraid of whatever immense power she holds, or if he’s simply shocked from seeing that the former Emperor’s daughter is still alive. Who knows, we’ll see next episode. It’s also worth pointing how the Kliemann Organization knows about Chaika but Abarth doesn’t; showing that they probably do know a lot more about the situation than he does.
Quite a few aspects of Hitsugi no Chaika are pretty silly and well, anime-ish, but this is a solid first episode in spite of that. It’s mostly just introducing us to the three main characters—the loli gun wizard and the two “saboteur” kids,—while only hinting at what the big picture is in regards to the setting. Not to mention the main conflict of the story isn’t quite clear yet. The action and mystery is also good enough that I can suspend my disbelief a little over the fact that most of these characters are just a bunch of teenagers, with a little bit of loli pandering.
Not going to lie, I prioritized getting this finished over my Knights of Sidonia post solely so I could keep the pattern going of blog posts with “Loli” in the subtitle.