「蠢く島」 (Ugomeku Shima)
“The Writhing Island”

The secret of the Chaikas is revealed, and it’s what we all pretty much assumed once a second Chaika popped up.

Not Even Pretending Anyone is Dead

After Tooru and Akari sunk beneath the waves in kraken-laden waters, I thought they were going for a death cliffhanger … only for the preview to spoil that they were alive. Turns out that was all according to plan though, because it wasn’t two minutes into the episode itself when Tooru and Akari appeared. Same with Fredrica—many stories wouldn’t have shown her until she saved Akari, to which I would have exclaimed “Well that’s convenient!” and then flipped a table. Here though, since she had already been shown, I just gave a wry “Fredrica is overpowered” chuckle and moved on. No complaints here, it’s just Hitsugi no Chaika eschewing the easy drama in favor of … other easy drama.

The Talking Kraken of Exposition

I like the idea that some of the Fayla (magical monster creatures, for those who have forgotten) are intelligent, with Fredrica being the obvious example. The choice of a kraken for their intelligent, exposition-spewing creature is an odd one. When would it have a chance to overhear anyone? It lives in the water! But the logic of it having vocal cords or an equivalent organ aside, the talking kraken was a typical cryptic D&D-style quest NPC, saying a bunch of things that only kind of make sense until someone else spells them out clearly. There was a certain gravitas to the atmosphere of the scene that I liked, but … really? A kraken?

Villainous Scientist Model #037

This villain isn’t even trying to be original in his assholery. Being racist toward the demi-humans (who I assume will eventually betray him) and wanting to cut out the two Chaikas’ brains because SCIENCE are so typical of Villainous Scientist Model #037 (that’s the researcher variant, not the one who engages in fisticuffs with the heroes, because that’s a good idea). And there’s nothing else to say about him other than 1) I hope he dies, 2) thanks for all the exposition, and 3) is that super Chaika in the background? Yes, she doesn’t look like the typical Chaika, but at this point I’m calling all mysterious young girls Chaika until stated otherwise.

The Secret of the Chaikas

The secret of the Chaikas is that they’re all orphans who were experimented on with magic, their memories are fake, and they’re just tools to gather the emperor’s remains. Oh, and Arthur Gaz didn’t have a daughter. On the scale of surprising revelations, this rings in as a “Duh.” Not that that’s bad—it’s what Emperor Gaz’s big plan is, plus what Vivi will do, that I’m really interested in. Mostly I’m just happy to have confirmation, because it means we’re closer to answers on the more interesting questions. And have I mentioned that this guy needs to be shot? I can understand why Layla despaired after meeting him. Oh, and I guess the whole I’m-a-magically-altered-orphan-tool thing as well.

Looking Ahead – By Our Powers Combined, We Are … Still Chaika

I thought White and Red Chaika would end up fighting, but could a team up be in our future? I hope so! Hopefully that, plus some answers about test tube girl, will be coming up next week.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – The secret of the Chaikas is revealing … and it was pretty obvious. Chaika team up time now please? #chaika s2e4

Random thoughts:

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  1. And there’s nothing else to say about him other than 1) I hope he does,

    Hope he does what? Or is that “hope he dies?” Because I can totally agree with that. I admit it’s almost a given with this stereotype of villain that he’ll die, but it’s not absolutely guaranteed.

    Hey, on the plus side, despite him being utterly cliche, they’ve still managed to make us dislike him enough to want to see him dead, rather than just cause us to say “meh, another evil scientist, like I haven’t seen that before.”

    PS: Finally, we know the source of the neck scars.

  2. os
    1. New theory.
      His goal was to make a Chaika idol group, and control the mass with pop song.
      Miku Chaika (I can’t be the only one who thought that, right ?)will be the lead singer, obviously.

  3. Overall, pretty good episode in the usual Chaika way. Actually, IMO a bit better than most simply because I felt the story progressed more than usual (i.e. “Thumbnail get!” Now on to the next body piece!”). So while maybe the big reveal wasn’t a complete shocker, it worked for the story and I have no qualms with it.

    Some random comments/@Stilts:

    “Same with Fredrica—many stories wouldn’t have shown her until she saved Akari, to which I would have exclaimed “Well that’s convenient!” and then flipped a table. Here though, since she had already been shown, I just gave a wry “Fredrica is overpowered” chuckle and moved on.”

    TBH, I wouldn’t have given it a second thought because that’s Chaika SOP, but yeah, it did come across better from seeing Frederica before that scene. Still, see point about Chaika SOP: In a bind? Deus ex loli-cat-dragoon to the rescue. Shame Frederica’s character was minimized in the anime (at least compared to what I read – LN vol 02 & ch 1 of vol 03).

    “The choice of a kraken for their intelligent, exposition-spewing creature is an odd one.”

    Stilts, sorry but I must take exception here. Rather than “odd choice” I say about damn time! Finally, these wise, helpful denizens of the deep are no longer hidden away in the dark or reduced to an unintelligible mass of roaring tentacles. Kudos to Chaika for taking a bold new step. Personally, I’m looking forward to the the Chilean Seabass of Wisdom. OK, fine, I’ll stop. 😛 Seriously though, in a show with magic chanting Fayla such as shark-toothed unicorns, dual headed dogs, etc. a talking kraken didn’t phase me. Kraken’s are top-tier monsters in mythology.

    As for the ass**** researcher guy (didn’t bother to learn his name), I LOL’d when even before the demi-human guard had left the room, he starts talking to himself loudly about how the demi-humans are no longer needed and he might as well use them for experiments. Yeah… that will turn out well. Any bets on some not-so-subtle foreshadowing here?

    “I thought White and Red Chaika would end up fighting, but could a team up be in our future? I hope so!”

    Glad to have Red Chaika back (best girl IMO though White Chaika is close). I’m all for teaming up now that we’ve had the “Let me tell you about the evil plan since you’re going to die and there’s no possible way you could escape *wink, wink, nudge, nudge*” speech. Just please, PLEASE(!) NO MERGING!

    1. Why would they merge? It’s not like they were ever part of a single person, no matter what some people had theorized. They’re completely different people with fake memories and some magic plastic-surgery.

      1. @Wanderer: I didn’t explain that well. My bad. I mentally inserted “Chaika Rangers” (as in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers – ’cause, well, there’s red, blue…I’m sure black and/or yellow’s around somewhere and white is a color), but left that out of the post (obviously). Can’t remember where I first saw “Chaika Rangers” mentioned, but ever since then, it kind of stuck in my mind. (2) Merging just seems to come up in cases where I wouldn’t expect it (not mecha either). I’m just not a fan of merging (or mind swap for that matter).

  4. I really liked seeing how the two Chaikas reacted differently when told the truth.

    Red (seemingly) hasn’t encountered as much of the conspiracy behind all this, beyond doubting her own motives, so understandably denied it right away.

    But our White Chaika has been unsure of herself for a little bit now, and seemed to accept it more quietly, while still taking a shocking blow now that there’s no room for denial anymore. Really makes meeting Layla that much more of an impact, in hindsight.

  5. I dunno man, I find the idea of a talking kraken to be pretty radical. If I’ll ever run a D%D campaign, I’m going to totally use that myself, just to freak out the players. Fear the chatty tentacle monster!

    And yeah, the revelation that one of the Chaika’s were real wasn’t exactly a big whopper. Layla pretty much told us that already. Though I do wonder who the Chaika was that the heroes cut down in the palace – Dr. Insano’s brother did say that this project wasn’t started until after Gaz was dead, so that doesn’t add up.

    I also find it interesting that Emperor Gaz was pretty much the grandfather of all modern magic in that world. Makes you wonder at what kind of scope his big evil plan will be operating on, or if that spread of his magic tools was part of the plan to begin with. And then he’s also got the Chaika’s running around, coupled with hidden flying fortresses and that Twintail. He’s got the whole ‘my death is just the beginning’ part of being an evil overlord down pat.

    And Chaika team-up, yay!

    1. Thank you for catching this. That was my big question as well; if Gaz never had a daughter and the Chaika’s were made from war orphans, then who did the heroes kill? Because several of them have corroborated the story that there was a girl who was apparently the princess that they killed. Clay Morgan being the obvious one because he saw it happen, but even Claudia didn’t deny the story.

      And that girl obviously looked exactly like Chaika since Morgan had a nervous breakdown when he saw her. I hope the answer isn’t just ‘she was the prototype’ because I think that would be a little weak.

      1. I really hope it’s not that simple. The fact that there WAS a Chaika in Gaz’s castle that was killed by the heroes and that the heroes accepted her as Gaz’s daughter is something that has been seeded since episode 1. If the answer to that mystery is just ‘he made an early model and let her wander around the castle where she eventually died’ I’ll be disappointed.

        It’s not impossible, though since from what we’ve learned, the act of searching for the remains is part of what defines the chaikas so it’s also a little wonky. Anyway, I just hope the answer is more exciting than that.

  6. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s also more to Emperor Gaz’s remains than we know. All we’ve ever been told up to this point is that they’re a source of huge quantities of magic fuel, but really, how often are tremendous sources of any kind of power JUST tremendous sources of power and not things that are actually capable of doing so much more than what was previously imagined?

    An immediate example I think of being the Infinity Gems from Marvel comics or, more recently, the movies. The Tessarect, for example (that was most prominently shown in Captain Ameriva: The First Avenger, and The Avengers) was seen by The Red Skull, Nick Fury and other humans to be a source of limitless, powerful energy, but clearly, as we now know, it was capable of doing so much more beyond human understanding (as is the case with the others like the Aether from Thor: The Dark World and The Orb from Guardian of the Galaxy).

      1. A forum discussion suggested that the Chaika they beheaded wasn’t Emperor Gaz’s daughter -since he didn’t have one anyway- but his wife ala Umineko style, because the dark corners of the internet cannot be creepy enough.

  7. Guess that partially explains Vivi’s Chaikafication. Maybe she was a faulty Chaika, which led to her incomplete and belated transformation?

    If there was no princess to begin with, then who was the one that got beheaded by those “heroes” back then? The Chaika clone template?

  8. I can’t wait what the dead Emperor’s great plan is…
    Raise himself from the dead?
    Ressurect himself as a twintail girl?
    Or just power up some doomsday device to destroy the world as vengeance?
    Also, note that the Heroes all remembered actually killing a Chaika, so maybe there really was one real after all the “mass produced” were modelled?

  9. Makise Kuristina
    1. Maybe the reason he wants brain slices from the current Chaikas in front of him is because their presence somehow activated the twin-tails girl and he wants to study the connection further. Back when Layla-Chaika came by, Twin-tails was still being prepared and he would not have been much interested in the brain of some brainwashed orphan.

      Also, I think he gets a kick out of seeing despair and frustration on people’s faces (and what easier way to achieve this than tell Chaikas the horrid truth?).


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