Hitsugi no Chaika – Avenging Battle Ep. 7: War for its own sake

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Chaika, Chaika, Chaika.

— Damn, gates are so easy to infiltrate! And of course, every underwater system is gigantic, blah blah blah.

— I also don’t understand why Toru gets to wear pants but Akari doesn’t. It’s just fanservice that doesn’t add anything to the anime.

— Haha, this whole setup is hilariously convoluted. Hartgen went up to some poor architect and demanded two gigantic, swinging blades just in case anyone managed to hold their breath long enough to swim through that tiny passage our heroes had swum through. Here’s a better idea: how ’bout installing stronger gates? Or smaller passages that a grown person wouldn’t be able to swim through. Just a thought, man. Just a thought…

— It even looks as though there’s just enough space to slip by these swinging blades, but that wouldn’t have looked cool enough. That’s why Toru had to pin those blades back with tiny knives. Those giant blades must weigh a ton each, but hey, Toru’s knives are special. I also like how they keep swinging in perpetuity, but that’s probably explained by magic. Magic in this world requires fuel, though, so this still feels like a waste of valuable resources.

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— Our saboteurs finally come face to face with Brother Shin. He easily overpowers our siblings, then taunts Toru: “I told you…  You’re not cut out to be a saboteur.” I’m inclined to agree. But I wonder what Shin is referring to. Toru’s lack of strength? Or his inability to strike down a former mentor?

— Oh come on! They escape by simply jumping through the blades! Why didn’t they just run past them earlier! You can’t tell me our super saboteurs weren’t fast enough. In any case, our heroes are repelled already. They hardly got anywhere.

— When they meet up with Chaika, they decide to split up again. Toru and Chaika will enter the tournament, and Toru doesn’t think Hartgen has any intention to hand over the remains. Meanwhile, Akari and Frederica will try to infiltrate the castle once more and steal the remains. It sounds like a good idea… Frederica is overpowered, so it would make sense to put her on the more important mission. Oh well, we’ll see how things will go horribly wrong.

— Elsewhere, Guy takes Niva to see Hartgen. Guy states that Niva can certainly plunge the world into war again. But that’s the thing that bothers me. It’s easy to assert this fact, but making it sound believable is another thing altogether. How does a powerful gun plunge a world into war? The anime hasn’t tried to convince me of this whatsoever. It’s strong, but so what? Is it as strong as an atomic bomb? Can a bad guy use it to frame a country, thereby forcing other nations to go to war against the framed sovereignty? These are all possibilities, but at the moment, Chaika gives us nothing to work with but characters standing around, making assertions without much supporting evidence.

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— Hartgen, like a lot of broken characters in this story, desperate want war to start up again. I just don’t buy it. It’s silly. Ask any soldier right now if they want to go home and be with their loved ones. Most of them would say, “Hell yeah.” Sure, there are a few odd eggs here or there, but Chaika makes it seem like everyone is begging for war to return. This whole “Battle is what gave purpose to our lives” nonsense sounds poignant, but it’s really not. It just doesn’t make any sense. And even if these fools do exist, why do they keep rising to power without any backlash from the masses? The story is braindead.

— If you want to say I’m taking the story too seriously, then I can just as easily say that you’re not taking the story seriously enough. So y’know, that argument is pointless and never goes anywhere.

— The next day, the tournament begins in earnest. It’s interesting to see Frederica assume a larger form for the festivities.

— If you look across the crowd, the only female characters are the major characters in the anime.

— It’s also a misconception to believe that you can’t use your strength in a peaceful world. It’s not as if the world has solved all of its problems, but let’s just face it. These are bloodthirsty idiots who literally want to use their strength in one way and one way only: to murder other people.

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— Hartgen’s “daughters” want the two and a half Chaikas to fight amongst themselves away from the rest of the tournament. Why? Shrug. For fun? For amusement? There are so many characters. You don’t get the chance to really understand any of them or their motivations.

— People are just start randomly fighting each other. That’s the other thing that gets me. We go to war because we feel that it’s a necessity. We believe we need to go to war to protect our loved ones, our homeland, so on and so forth. War in this universe has no purpose. They just want conflict for the sake of conflict. Again, this renders these characters’ decisions and motives even harder to believe.

— Vivi is just annoying. Why even bother sitting down to talk to our heroes if you’re going to be so impatient and, as a result, hardly bother to listen to what they have to say?

— As a series, this anime lacks a character who questions everything. It lacks a character that the audience can identify with. Everyone else just goes with the flow. Toru just wants to fulfill his duties as a saboteur. Chaika just wants to fulfill her duties as a daughter. Even someone like Vivi is just trying to fulfill her duties, whatever they are. Probably vengeance for her lost love. The point is, there isn’t a single person who stops and actually questions the events that are happening around them. It’s hard for me to get invested in the story, because I can’t empathize with characters that are so single-minded in their focus.

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— Then after sharing some information, the two sides still don’t get down to brass tacks, i.e. “What are your intentions?” The big oaf just goes “Don’t think you can get away from us!” before running off. These characters are so… dumb. All they do is eat, fight, and sleep. No wonder they want nothing but relentless war with no purpose. They’re fucking idiots.

— It’s also odd how there’s all this fighting, but there’s hardly any gore. The story can’t even embrace the full brutality of its own story.

— Man, Konrad’s assistant is literally named Bombardier.

— Also, the Council of Six Nations try and debate whether or not they should mobilize an army against Hartgen. Some of them are sensible enough to realize that war will, y’know, actually spill blood. It’s just too bad they’re portrayed as a bunch of indecisive politicians akin to to the useless United Nations. We’re too complacent! Too complacent! Let’s fight! Let’s fight now!

— Konrad continues to have a private meeting that discusses what we already know. Hartgen wants war, there are a billion Chaikas, and his people have been put in confinement. Uh-huh. Get on with it already.

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— It’s odd hearing Frederica trying to sound excited with her deeper voice.

— Then the episode just ends with Toru and Chaika taking a breather and reaffirming their resolve to recover the remains. What an odd place to end the episode. Oh well.

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11 thoughts on “Hitsugi no Chaika – Avenging Battle Ep. 7: War for its own sake”

  1. Those guy who want war rise to power because they are nobles and heroes. This is medieval age, so the mass don’t mean shit. Plus most of them seems to be manipulated by Guy anyway. As for why many people want war, there seems to be mass unemployment in this world and we already met plenty of people who don’t want war, it’s just that they’re unimportant to the story.

    1. Those guy who want war rise to power because they are nobles and heroes.

      The question is why they stay in power when they are obviously evil.

      This is medieval age, so the mass don’t mean shit.

      Peasants have revolted.

      As for why many people want war, there seems to be mass unemployment in this world

      Only ’cause they refuse to adapt.

      Yep, the story still makes no sense.

      1. – “why they stay in power when they are obviously evil”
        They are evil, not stupid. Plenty of brutal leaders stay in power despite their action. Plus in Hartgen’s case, the peasants doesn’t seem to be starving, so no big rebellion, and he hasn’t even start the war yet. And in medieval age, minor conflict and battle happen all the time, so few complain about that.

        1. Oh and adaption for people who trained the whole life in war is not simple. It’s silly to say that people are unemployed because they refuse to adapt. Just look at the world right now. Do every person who do not have a job refuse to adapt? Rise of unemployment after the old order fell is nothing new in history. I don’t mean everybody who is unemployed want war, but just that Chaika’s path and Guy’s plan cause people who want war met each other.

          1. We see nothing to suggest that anyone is trying to adapt. All we see are people who claim they can’t find jobs, but what else are they doing to improve themselves? Learn new skills other than to fight? And it’s silly to leap from “Welp, I can’t find a job” to “Let’s start up a new war so I can have a job.” And you’re right. Rise in unemployment following a war is nothing new. Clamoring for war just because you can’t find a job, however, is beyond ludicrous. Ask any war veteran if they wanted a new war simply because they had trouble finding a job.

        2. And plenty brutal leaders have been deposed in the past. But if you look across the Chaika landscape, it is nothing but brutal or imcompetant leaders.

        3. I get your point. It’s true that this show’s viewpoint and idea are simplistic and naive. About the leader thing, we actually know very little about most of them.

  2. “– If you want to say I’m taking the story too seriously, then I can just as easily say that you’re not taking the story seriously enough. So y’know, that argument is pointless and never goes anywhere.”

    I find this “argument” odd whenever it is invoked, because the best entertainment both financially and critically always maintains logic and good composition and execution in its writing and gives the audience reasons to care about its conflicts and characters.

    Maybe if I were eight I’d find the knives pinning the chains cool, but now I just question why axes would be even used for security with such a design flaw to exploit, or why a dumb “tournament” should factor into a plan at all. In my opinion, fiction is an abstraction and rearrangement of reality, so it stands that fictional characters should think and act like real ones and fictional situations should be practical and logical to a degree while still being interesting.

    1. Don’t exactly agree on the entainment arguement.If that were true than something like Flowers of Evil wouldn’t of been such a huge bomb. The entainment that is sucessful are the ones that aim for the average IQ and don’t challenge you(nothing wrong with some simplicity every once in a while).

      1. It depends how you define “successful”, though. Yes, dumb, non-challenging series tend to be popular and make a lot of money because everyone can enjoy them, but you won’t find classic literature to be any of these things and still it has huge influence on our culture. I’m sure Mushishi makes less for its creators than something like SAO, but it gets made anyway for those who enjoy a little more thinking in their entertainment.

        It’s not even that simple – look at hour-long TV dramas recently and you’ll find a slew of really complex series that require more thought and investment from the audience than anything you’re likely to encounter in a given anime season. Do smart, well-written series lose out to shlock there? Hell no. Sherlock is rolling in money. Breaking Bad sells like gangbusters. Clearly they’ve found a market for it.

  3. Our saboteurs finally come face to face with Brother Shin. He easily overpowers our siblings, then taunts Toru: “I told you… You’re not cut out to be a saboteur.” I’m inclined to agree. But I wonder what Shin is referring to. Toru’s lack of strength? Or his inability to strike down a former mentor?

    Given the timing of this comment, I took it as a reaction to the fact that Toru had put himself at risk to save Akari when she went down, rather than using the opportunity to attack or escape like… some kind of self-defeatingly emotionless assassin should?

    The gist of it seemed to be that he’s too attached to his friends to be a “good” saboteur, even if saving Akari is probably the tactically sound choice anyway. Why sacrifice an ally’s life to buy two seconds when you can take a second to protect them and keep a numbers advantage for the rest of the fight? Still, going by edgy saboteur mentor logic I wouldn’t be surprised if he’d be criticized for this choice.

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