「迷夢憶えし港」 (Meimu Oboeshi Minato)
“The Harbor of Phantom Dreams Recollected”

Team Chaika vs the scardy cat hero. Also, KILL THE MONSTERS AHHHH!

Laugh So You Don’t Cry

If your first instinct was to call out the latest hero for being a wuss, or tell him to suck it up, stop—the dude clearly has PTSD. And while the superstition does seem silly, and I laughed when Tooru and Akari tweaked his fears for all they were worth, it’s a serious situation. Plus, who wouldn’t be freaked out if the guy you’re killing was smiling the whole time? That’s creepy.

Buzzkill aside, Scardy Spearman led to probably my favorite scene of the episode—when Akari was demanding that Tooru strip. Not for the bit itself, but because when Clay began to laugh, I realized that I was laughing too. They just plied their usual comic trade, and there was this moment of simpatico. It just worked damn well.

Falling Out, No Seriously

Tooru’s whole argument with Chaika felt wrong for the longest time. Saboteur are supposed to be their master’s tools, so why was he arguing? He certainly gets a vote because Chaika isn’t a tyrant, but past a certain point he should have clammed up. At most he could have played the “You hired us for the remains job, not this island job” card, but once Guy gave them that tip they had to suspect that Red Chaika had it too, so going to the island became a potentially good remains-collecting opportunity to claim the one Red Chaika has. It felt forced.

Then Akari pierced Tooru’s tsundere bluster and exposed how he was just concerned for Chaika, and didn’t want her running off to this dangerous island. Which still struck me as false because come on, if that’s what they were going for then where were the hints! And abandoning her is a good way for her to be in even more danger, even from mundane things. Seems like it was just an excuse to split the party, which is too convenient by far.

Unleash the Kra—Dragoons!

I have a certain amount of cynicism that there was this Bermuda Triangle-esque Evil Sea in the area where Emperor Gaz’s secret island was supposed to be, and nobody put two and two together. Hiding it with magic was the first thing that came to my mind. I’m less thrilled about how they found the island than I am what’s on and around it. After Fredrica insinuated that the enemy dragoons were fake, I was sure she was going to wipe the floor with them, and then nope! And the kraken … ugh. That’s the stuff of nightmares folks. I wouldn’t wish getting sucked down into that deep dark nothingness on my worst enemy.

Looking Ahead

Hitsugi no Chaika has a lot of things going for it, but it’s definitely the secret of Chaika and Emperor Gaz’s grand master plan that have me interested the most. And Vivi, who was sadly absent from this episode, but—whoa, what the hell?

The secret of the island—plus what the hero who cut off Chaika’s head is doing with two Chaikas (assumed), who are hanging off his legs and calling him otou-sama … creepy—means we have plenty of mysteries still to explore.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Team Chaika faces down the scardy hero, but it’s their own issues that put them in danger. Also, enemy dragoons & kraken #chaika s2e3

Random thoughts:

  • Sleepy Chaika is adorable, but you shouldn’t drive like that. That’s how people die.
  • I don’t think you get to call yourself the kawaii imouto when you’re threatening your ani at knife point, Akari!
  • Even her sheet has thick eyebrows!
  • That is one thick spear (hur hur hur). How do you even stab people with that thing?

Check out my blog about storytelling and the novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Flawed genius, Steal like an artist, Between novels, and From me to you. For book updates, please sign up for my mailing list.

 

Preview

42 Comments

  1. I was wondering the same thing about that spear. It doesn’t even have a pointy end! He might as well have just been swinging an iron bar around.

    plus what the hero who cut off Chaika’s head is doing with two Chaikas (assumed)

    White hair, purple eyes, interested in the remains… we haven’t seen decapitation scars, but so far they’ve got all the signs.

    Tooru’s whole argument with Chaika felt wrong for the longest time.

    You know, when you start a paragraph off like this it usually implies you’re going to end it with some statement that goes along the lines of “but then I realized it all actually worked because…” and go on from there. “Felt” being past-tense, and all that. But you didn’t, suggesting that you think it still feels wrong.

    Wanderer
    1. On the Chaikas, they’re probably Chaikas, but I realized that it was unwise to incontrovertibly assume they were based on appearance alone. Just covering my ass really, lol

      As for your last point, in this case I was implying that I would change my mind by the end of the thought (which in this case spanned two paragraphs), but their attempted counter was insufficient. A little misdirection for the reader there, I admit, but I thought it served my purposes well … showing that yes, there is justification, but it still fell flat.

      Stilts
    2. Probably a mistranslation or no direct translation for specific name. Definitely a pole-arm user though, and not the typical stabby spear user type with those large circular swings.

      Drasca
      1. The hero’s weapon class is called “Conlancer” in the novels, written with the character for “spear, lance” and a character which can mean “machine” or “chance”.

        ckuri
  2. ” After Fredrica insinuated that the enemy dragoons were fake, I was sure she was going to wipe the floor with them, and then nope! ”

    Yeah same here. Freddy got seriously injured by those fake Dragoons 🙁

    Rick Anime
  3. This might be just me, but overall the heroes this season seem more interesting than the ones last season.

    On Tooru and Chaika’s random breakout, I get some hasty adaptation vibes. Though the novel would still have to have lots of groundwork to justify that one.

    Now we get two new Chaikas in one go? After red and blue Chaikas, it seems weird seeing two Chaikas side by side and not be at each others’ throats…

    Oh, and this time’s remains are the least creepy ones. Probably because there are no spikes.

    Erimaki
  4. I agree that the (temporary) break-up felt kind of forced. Such things happening to force the plot along have been one of the flaws of the series since the start, really. Just think of all the times they had to conveniently remove Frederica from the picture in the first season, because they’d be overpowered otherwise. Going by the D&D analogy you used before, it felt like these were instances of the DM railroading the plot instead of letting it flow organically.

    Regardless, this episode was enjoyable as usual. I felt kinda bad for Clay – I mean, calling in entertainers every day just to keep your mind off of his memories? That’s some trauma he has there. However, since he did still have some remains, I guess that means the unnamed seventh hero is the one who sold them. Because I doubt the leader hero (who now lives in a doom fortress, so I doubt he can still be called one) gave up his. And I get bad vibes about his relation to those purple Chaika daughters of his. Also, zomg Gilette.

    Kind of interesting that the Kraken was based on a Nautilus too, instead of the more common giant squid or octopus. Creepy thing.

    Dvalinn
    1. Frederica is a sore spot for me. She feels like she’s just on hand to power them up when they need it at the end. It’s not like Xellos (of Slayers fame), who can act as an unreliable ace in the hole, but for good reason—his unreliable and trickster attributes are part and parcel of his personality (and Show Spoiler ▼

      Frederica doesn’t have that good of an excuse. Definitely railroading. She’s going to end up being too convenient or ignored/underutilized, and either way is going to annoy me.

      Stilts
      1. @Stilts: “Frederica is a sore spot for me.”

        Welcome to my world. I’ve read LN volumes 1 & 2 plus chapter 1 of volume 3 and Frederica’s part got cut… a LOT (as did quite a few things). First two LN volumes were “covered” by the anime in 4 episodes (though part of volume 01 was moved to EP 08 IIRC). At least for volume 02 stuff concerning Frederica, the anime simplified/changed her intro. There’s a whole back story with Dominica and her deceased little sister that was cut. In the LN that actually played a role in Toru discovering that Frederica was impersonating Dominica. LN version much better IMO than the anime’s. FWIW, same goes for how in the anime Toru just “knows” where the remains are hidden because… it moves the plot along faster? Well, the change did accomplish that. There was also some introductory exposition for Frederica in vol 02 that was cut.

        LN vol. 03, Chapter 01 was a natural hot-springs (e.g. out in the wild – no hotel) scene where Frederica had a lot of dialog/conversation with Toru. Learned quite a bit about her. That was all cut out by the anime. I wish the LN translation would resume because I liked Frederica in the LN, but in the anime, as you note, she’s reduced to deus ex loli-cat-dragoon with paper thin depth. >_> Frankly, I don’t remember her even transforming into a cat for the parts of the LN I read. I wonder if the anime added the cat transformation so they could keep her around and still cut her dialog to save time, well – except for the required power-up/transportation/etc. bits.

        IMO, the series works well enough stripped down, but at least for the first two volumes, another case of source > anime. Also would say manga adaptation > anime. While not quite as detailed as the LN, it’s pretty close to the source material. From what I read, I’d say the manga’s a good, faithful adaptation.

        — If you don’t mind, just gonna make one post and one other topic I want to mention: “Tooru’s whole argument with Chaika felt wrong for the longest time.

        Totally agree though you could have ended the sentence with “wrong”. That felt SO forced/ham-fisted. I mean really, Toru had just stopped Chaika from trying to board a ship by herself to the hidden island, and he’s trying to passively protect her by leaving her alone because surely she won’t try to go alone again to the island. >_> And yeah, the whole contract being ended via dubious verbal interpretation, contradictory actions to saboteur code, etc. Bleh.

  5. RELEASE THE KRAKEN
    Sorry,just couldn’t resist saying that. 🙂

    We can all fairly guess by now that all Chaikas are clones of the original dead princess, though each has their personality, all are “programmed” to collect the Emperor’s remains.

    As former leader of the squad that raided the Emperor’s castle, would Hartgen have access to the Emperor’s cloning technology and cloned himself two Chaikas to raise as daughters?

    Similarly assuming this wild theory is correct, could this cloning be applied to other “dead” people – ie Gilette?

    echykr
      1. Looking at that screen shot….

        It seems to suggest that like Chaika…. Guy is also another character that can be “awakened”

        Seems like Gilette might have been awakened as Guy in the next episode to serve alongside Vivi-Chaika

        cruiser2710
  6. Stilts, not um exactly nitpicking here, but your two paragraphs has Tooru labeled as Toori. Just sayin’

    Anyhow, I was pretty conflicted on this episode. On one hand, I can see where Tooru’s coming from, but how can you say no to that cute Chaika face?! ლ(ಠ益ಠლ) Like seriously- I know she hired them on the technicality of finding the remains, but c’mon! One season and three episodes in, and the relationship is still of a saboteur and master? You could have taken Chaika’s feelings into consideration! Siiiigh.

    Akari, still the most hilarious character ever right next to Fredrica! See, Mahouka, if you wanted to do a yandere siscon right, THIS is what you should be emulating. Oooh, Shin. Another Sakurai Takahiro baddie? I see where this is going… Then again, Hartgen is kimoi-creepy. I’m getting some really bad vibes from the dude.

    Murasaki

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