Man, what an exciting aerial battle between two gigantic, floating fortresses. Now kiss!
Alright, alright, time to get serious. Or is it? See, I’m just copying Hitsugi no Chaika‘s fake-out style of storytelling. I say one thing, but then it turns out I’m doing the opposite instead! It’s wild! You guys should try it too. Case in point, you’re trapped in a flying fortress with no way of getting down to the ground. Boy, a dragon sure would be useful right about now. It’s just too bad she went and got herself killed. Or did she? Look closer, my friends!
Fucking asspull, man. So yeah, the heroes now finally have a dragon on their side to turn the tides of the battle. They’ve always had a dragon, but we needed to stretch this arc out. As a result, they’ll pretend as though she had died not once but twice… only for her to come back to life chest burster style, of course. Yep, that sounds about right. In fact, this storytelling technique is so cool, let’s use it again!
Near the mid point of the episode, we see a giant fuck-off laser heading straight for both Alveric and Leo. Of course, the camera follows Leo because we just care oh-so-much what happens to him. As a result, we get to see the aftermath where the catman pick up Alveric’s sword and scream out his name as if something terrible had just happened. Or did it?!
Wait, that’s not Alveric. That’s Vivi’s hair turning white in an instant due to the grief from learning about her lover’s death. Gosh, it couldn’t have happened to a better girl. But c’mon now? Is Alveric really dead? After all, did we even see a dead body? It’s just one of the conventions of storytelling! Unless there’s a dead body, nothing is certain. Even when there’s a dead body, nothing is certain either! But whatever. Seeing as how there’s a sequel coming soon, I bet this fake-out will just take months to complete.
Anyway, the bad guys intend to suicide themselves and their floating fortress into the capital at Cadwell, and somehow, this alone will plunge the whole world into war. That’s a bit of a leap, but I have never expected Hitsugi no Chaika‘s politics to be one of its strengths anyway. Plus, they don’t seem to realize that the other floating ship had decided to beat them to the punch and suicide into them, thereby causing the Soara to slowly sink into a nearby body of water. Oh well, let’s see if our heroes can save themselves. Chaika finally realizes she could just use her magic gun to blow open the locked doors to her room, thereby freeing herself. Unfortunately, that’s pretty much the extent of Chaika’s usefulness this week. She ends up getting caught by Ricardo, so she’s back to being the damsel-in-distress.
The final battle — for this season, anyway — comes down to a sword dance between one Chaika follower against another. Apparently, Ricardo isn’t just a maniac who likes to carve up young girls. He can actually go toe-to-toe with a saboteur, albeit a tired and injured one. Still, this is making me really question whether or not being a saboteur is all that special. Seriously though, isn’t Ricardo just some rich guy’s son? Sure, it’s possible that he may have had combat training, but enough to get the upper-hand on Toru, a veteran of war who has been trained to fight since he was a kid? Ehhhhhhh… I guess we can only assume that this is the case, but when you force the audience to fill in those narrative gaps for themselves, there’s just something dissatisfying about it all.
But nevermind the storytelling! After all, we’re all about the fake-outs! Toru leaves himself vulnerable in the fight! This way, Ricardo would let his guard down, allowing our hero to get in the finishing blow! But wait, did Toru leave himself too open? It looks as though Ricardo has gotten in a mortal strike as well!
Or… did he?!
Good lord, give the trope a rest, you guys. You’re just beating the tar out of this poor, dead horse of a trope, and it doesn’t deserve it! Anyway, our heroes retrieve yet another one of Gaz’s remains, but they still have plenty of pieces to go. So y’know, this story is nowhere near finished just yet. Just as Toru and Chaika are making their plans to leave, however, Layla returns one last time to shoot Toru in the chest with a crossbow. Oh, did I say chest? I really mean his shoulder, so it’s not even close to being fatal. Nevertheless… don’t you do it, Bones! Don’t you try this bullshit fake-out trick again! But oh look, Toru has just fallen over the side of the railing. Alright, alright… it appears as though Toru is falling to his death…
See? He’s fine. Of course, I’ll give the anime credit for one thing: Chaika ends up saving Toru this time around. But wait, how did she get pass Layla? Layla was going to shoot Chaika, after all, but it’s the season for asspulls, so we got ourselves a Guy ex machina ending. This distraction is enough to give Chaika the time she needs to fire her gun off and defeat Layla once and for all. Afer floating around with Toru for a bit, the rest of their friends eventually come to meet up with Chaika and her tool. They even interrupt a potential kiss between the two lovebirds, ’cause this is anime. Therefore, physical intimacy is icky, but it’s cool if i just stuff a few dead girls in the walls of my floating fortress. Yep, no “Suteki da ne” for our lovers here.
Our heroes eventually escape from the now-submerged fortress by casting an air bubble around themselves, then just flying out on their Puff, the Magic Dragon. As for the rest of those dead girls, they get to treat themselves to a nice, luxurious dip in the pool. I sure hope no one goes to drink from that lake for quite some time… yeesh. Wait, weren’t one of those girls still alive? …ah well! I’m sure her family has already assumed that she’s dead anyway!
Layla shares one final moment with Ricardo, but I’m not sure why I should care because one of them is a serial killer, and the other one wants to instigate a war just because she’s angry at the fact that she was created to be a tool. Man, what a tool. And yeah, the bad guys have stories to tell too, but do they deserve a touching moment when they are this unrelentingly evil? See, I don’t know about that…
In the end, our heroes resolve to continue their journey. After all, nothing has been resolved. We’ve confirmed that Chaika is a creation, but this is something we’ve been expecting for quite some time anyway. We still don’t know why she was created. We still don’t know much about Gaz or even if he deserved to be taken out. We still don’t know who Guy is and what his aims are. We still don’t know, well, anything. So onward we go onto our very next adventure… in October:
Nice Marvel heroine pose from Akari there… But ahem, what do I think about Hitsugi no Chaika‘s first season? If I had to give it a grade, it’s somewhere around the C+ area. It’s competently made for a series, but there’s nothing special about it. It also says nothing special either. It’s a nice enough show with nice enough character interactions, and nice is just a hair above average. So C+ it is. Would I blog about the second season? Sure, the story isn’t terrible, and I wouldn’t mind having the questions above answered. At the same time, however, if the second season somehow never came to light, i wouldn’t lose any sleep over it. And that says C+ to me.
P.S. I’m sorry, horse, but we just couldn’t afford to get you the plot armor that you needed. We spent all of our money on Fredrica.