Hitsugi no Chaika Ep. 10: Into the flying fortress

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This is a pretty plot-heavy episode, so there isn’t any particular topic I want to focus on. As a result, the post will just consist of my observations on the plot.

— So our heroes have made their way to the new town, but it’s an odd, little town. A miserable one, actually. The domain lord forces any young woman in the city to his mansion, and then… well, they are never seen again. Not only that, he taxes the hell out of his own people. So naturally, I have to ask why this town is even populated. Why have people not run for the hills? Why has this town even been allowed to exist? The only complaint I heard two weeks ago was that some duke was refusing to return a floating fortress. There was no mention whatsoever of an entire gender disappearing. You’d think that would be a bigger deal.

— So how do you reach a floating fortress from the ground? Well, that’s why you have a dragoon at your disposal, huh? Fredrica has just been so convenient in this anime. Whenever our heroes need a large advantage to get them out of sticky situations, Fredrica will show up out of nowhere. When they don’t need her, however, she disappears entirely from the picture without a fuss. Of course, Fredrica has been waiting this entire time to fight Toru. Why doesn’t she just, y’know, do it? Do you really need the other person’s consent to fight? But it’s pretty obvious we’ll never get to a point in the story where the two of them will actually fight. Hell, maybe Fredrica is just tsuntsun about helping Toru out anyway. By the way, the plot suddenly makes it a point to inform us that Fredrica can only die if you destroy her brain. Otherwise, she is effectively immortal. I suppose we better hold onto this bit of information.

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— Chaika is as annoying as always. The siblings are carefully assessing the situation to determine how best to infiltrate the fortress. Meanwhile, Chaika screams, “Toru, enter, hurry!” Unfortunately, there aren’t any openings that the siblings can spot. The very next day, our heroes volunteer to have Akari give herself up to the Duke. Y’know, the whole kidnapping the young women and forcing them to the fortress thing. We then get a scene in which soldiers drag a bunch of unwilling girls out of their homes. From what the old man had said at the start of the episode, I got the impression that the kidnapping of young women has been going on for quite some time. So color me a touch surprised when there are still young women left to drag out of their homes. There are so many questions to ask. As before, why haven’t these people moved away? If you’re wondering why the soldiers are willingly kidnapping the young women, however, we learn later in the episode that they’re being mind-controlled. So that’s one question answered. Still a whole host of them to go, though.

— These soldiers must be blind. Akari is able to just sneak off into one of the side passages without anyone noticing. You’d also think whoever’s in charge would insist on a head count, and therefore, someone would notice by now that they’re missing a person.

— We also see that Alveric’s people have managed to infiltrate the fortress themselves. How did they get in?

— Elsewhere, the Council of Six Nations intends to attack the floating fortress. I’m more surprised to learn that the Council of Six Nations would have a majesty who ultimately decides everything. Also, why is Konrad so apprehensive about using force here? An emissary has already been killed. The duke is obviously up to no good, and oh yeah, he’s got a fucking floating fortress. But it doesn’t matter anymore what he thinks, because things are underway to subjugate the duke. We thus get to see another floating fortress take into the sky. The Gillette Corps worry, however, that Vivi and Zita won’t be able to get to the ground from such a height. Well, that is certainly pickle. You can obviously smell a potential alliance between Alveric’s people and our heroes from a mile away. That would be one way to wrap up the first season of Chaika, wouldn’t it?

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— There appears to be another Chaika aboard the flying fortress, and she manages to spot White Chaika making her way into the Soara. Later in the episode, it is implied that she’s working with the bad guys to achieve a shared goal, but what this goal is, we don’t know yet. In any case, when our heroes are reunited, Akari has nothing new to tell Toru either. Everything seems to point in the direction of the control room, but other than that, we’re still given no information about what exactly goes on in this place, especially with all the young women.

— At one point, our heroes encounter a massive Gundo that gives the fortress the ability to float in the sky. It looks like a massive spine.

— Out of nowhere, a bunch of soldiers surround our heroes, forcing them to split up. This is not before another one has managed to leap forward and stab Fredrica right through the gut. She is then knocked off the platform, falling to God knows what. Of course, the anime already took the time to tell us that Fredrica is immortal unless you destroy her brain, so this scene isn’t as shocking as it probably should be. There’s no tension in the scene whatsoever, because we know she won’t die. As a result, I’m not sure why the anime bothered to remind us of Fredrica’s immortality. Plus, Toru reminds Chaika that our dragoon will likely heal from its wounds. All this does is take all the impact out of the scene. Normally, we’d be like, “Oh shit! Fredrica might be dead!” After all, she got stabbed right through the gut! But since she’s immortal and all that, it’s just whatever. She’ll be back. Not only that, this is one convenient way to remove a trump card from our heroes’ deck. They won’t be able to rely on Fredrica to turn the tides of the battle… for now. She’s immortal, though; she’ll recover eventually, and, well, turn the tides of the battle eventually. Point is, I just don’t agree with how her character is being handled.

— Although Toru and Chaika have managed to elude their pursuers, Akari is not so lucky. Before she gets captured, however, I notice she doesn’t bother to use her Iron-Blood Transformation ability. Why not? Anyway, she eventually comes face-to-face with Ricard Gavarni, who claims to be the duke’s youngest son. Not only that, he tells Akari that he’s killed his parents a long time ago. He thinks Akari has been sent by the Council of Six Nations, and he goes on to wonder about the color of Akari’s heart. He then confesses that he “loves slicing people’s bodies apart.” Okay there, Hannibal. I wonder how many young women he has dismembered. No matter how psychopathic he is, however, he seems rather overly confident. After all, this kid is incurring the wrath of other nations. These are the same nations that took down Gaz as well. Why openly defy everyone when all you’ve got at your disposal is a single floating fortress and a small town? Anyway, Grad Lancia, some wizard, convinces Ricardo not to dice Akari up. Instead, they’ll mind control the girl instead to help them capture the rest of our heroes.

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— When we finally return to Toru and Chaika, they run into the evil Chaika, but they don’t know yet that she’s evil. Are we ever going to run into another Chaika that isn’t antagonistic? Maybe not this season. Maybe not ever. In any case, our heroes are all too trusting. Granted, he is hesitant to help the hooded girl. Chaika, ever her naive self, insists that they help rescue her anyway. But this is where Toru would normally chime in with “How do we know we can trust her?” No such thing this time. We’ve come to expect this sort of naivete from Chaika, but Toru as well? Isn’t there a good possibility she could be working for the bad guys? Or is Toru just all too trusting when it comes to girls? He doesn’t know anything about this stranger whatsoever. It seems foolish to assume that she’s just one of the innocent girls that have been kidnapped. Honestly, it feels as though Toru has turned off his brain at such a convenient time.

— Sure enough, this new girl, who claims that her name is Layla, leads our heroes right into a trap. Toru finds himself fighting the now mind controlled Akari. Meanwhile, all Chaika can do is cry out Toru’s name as Layla steals her away into the elevator. Man, that girl will never be useful. Anime fans have a soft spot for helpless girls like Chaika all the time. Personally, I don’t know if I can tolerate yet another season of her bullshit.

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9 thoughts on “Hitsugi no Chaika Ep. 10: Into the flying fortress

  1. flamerounin

    how’d Vivi and Zita managed to get in? Apparently in the same way that Akari got in (as hintied in one dialogue).

    One thing I noticed is that this third Chaika actually speaks Japanese (or this world’s common language) rather fluently, unlike the two other Chaikas with their stilted speech. Also, her voice seems a bit different.

    Reply
  2. A_teo

    This world’s current goverment (monarchy?) is not really benevolent. They are willing to kill a bunch of innocent people without considering other alternatives in order to avoid this kind of supposedly hard decissions. They even admited that they don’t have enough information about the enemy. So, what surprises could they encounter? I would expect this kind of decisions to be made when the whole country is being annihilated.

    About Chaika, I am starting to look at her as a plot device. She seems to be just there to keep moving the plot forward and develops Toru’s character.

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      I’m not sure there are very many alternatives to take. The floating fortress is itself a weapon. An emissary had already been killed in cold blood. I’m sure the person representing the duke has been quite belligerent in their correspondences with the Council of the Six Nations. Yes, they could’ve waited for more information. Yes, I wouldn’t say that the current government is very benevolent. I’m just not sure they’re really wrong here.

      Reply
  3. kaoknight

    yeah, I get that he’s supposed to be her somewhat bodyguard but the white chaika becomes the damsel in distress WAY too many times.

    And it’s funny that she’s only useful when she’s sniping from far away yet she’s always doing these infiltration missions where she literally cant do anything besides scream for toru.

    And I found it funny when that the random guard stabbed frederica, a surprise attack and it hits the only person who can heal from it. It’s like wolverine from x-men having the healing factor means that he’ll always get stabbed/shot but everyone else has their plot armor protecting them…

    Reply
  4. asdf

    E Minor, you’re one of the few people responsible for me not giving up on humanity just yet.
    Your fiancée/wife is a lucky gal.

    Reply
  5. Boytitan

    I normally hate characters like Chaika but I don’t hate Chaika. The humor she brings and the fact her magic is a trump card has made it so I don’t hate her yet.

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      I guess the difference between you and me is that I don’t find anything she does humorous. Without that, she is just another cute little girl who needs the hero’s protection.

      Reply

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