「皇帝の遺産」 (Koutei no Isan)
“The Emperor’s Fortune”
Hitsugi no Chaika offers up one of its most kickass battles yet, while all the answers we get only lead to more questions.
Chaika Coping Strategies—Confusion & Denial
In light of the reveals last episode, it’s fascinating how our Chaika and Red Chaika deal with the situation differently. While Chaika initially despaired, and remained confused and uncertain to the end, Red Chaika had a different coping strategy—denial.
When faced with the (presumed) truth that Emperor Gaz had no daughter, and they’re all just orphans who have been modified with magic—and in spite of the obvious evidence of multiple very Chaika-like girls running around calling themselves Chaika—Red Chaika decides “Naw, I’m the real one. That’s a crock of shit.” Which is good in a way, because she struggled where our Chaika was preparing to give up. It also gives reason to her companion’s desire to fight at the end, because our Chaika isn’t so sure about all that anymore, and Tooru figures they’re being played by Guy (finally, someone realized!).
Granted, Red Chaika never met Layla (to our knowledge), nor the twin purple Chaikas, and none of them are aware of what has happened to Vivi, so while one extra Chaika can be dismissed as an impostor, six and counting is hard to reject. I can’t help but wish Red Chaika had come around to the truth now though, because the team ups we got this episode were so cool!
The Glorious Double-Chaika Team Up
D’aaawwww, Red Chaika is so tsundere for the team up! This entire episode was rife with things I love, including some mid-battle laughs, a ton of team combat, and team ups between non-morally opposed antagonists (with a big damn heroes moment (trope!), just to show off). I find it silly when Superman and Lex Luthor team up, because Lex isn’t a great guy—and if Batman and the Joker every team up, don’t tell me, because that’s dumb. But our Chaika and Red Chaika aren’t morally opposed, they’re just competitors in the same quest, so seeing them team up to kick some ass had Stilts-oniichan skittering about with glee!
It was tantalizing though, so tantalizing. I still half expect we’ll get a glorious Team Chaika / Team Red Chaika / Vivi & friends team up at the very end, because what a final battle that would be, am I right? This was hitting all those final battle notes, save for the absence of the final boss. They just had to tease us with what (I hope) is to come, because more of this is just what Stilts-sensei ordered.
What is Emperor Gaz’s Fortune, Really?
I’ll admit that I’m something of a bore. I started out thinking that Emperor Gaz’s fortune was the army of mass-produced demi-humans and fayla, because the evil world-conquering bastard in me says “Mass produced soldiers who will do whatever I say? Hand me the keys to the world, baby!” That’s too mundane though, and too easy—though to be fair, I wouldn’t be surprised if that research still factors into the story later on.
No, it looks like Niva Lada may be Arthur Gaz’s fortune instead. A human-form gundo that can do some serious damage when the conditions are right, though we’re still not entirely sure what those conditions are. Every answer we get leads to more questions … but that’s okay, because they want to keep us watching, and I want to knooooow!
Avoiding the Stupid Mistake
As for the mass-produced soldiers, Hitsugi no Chaika once again avoided my ire and showed that original creator Sakaki Ichirou has the rare ability to actually think things the fuck through. If all of the fayla had dropped dead, I would have raged, because that’s too easy! That can certainly be justified, but it has to be wrapped up into whatever the heroes just did, and it needs to make sense. Think of the end of the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie, where the bad guys pointedly did not drop dead, but chose to surrender because their powers had been stripped away.
Likewise, it would have been stupid if whatever let Evil Scientist Model #037 control the fayla was somehow tied into their lives. Them collapsing for a bit and eventually starving to death because the control #037 had over them was a little too absolute? That’s better. Still a little convenient, but it’s justified and makes sense, so that’s full marks in my book. (The two demi-humans deciding to stay on the island was convenient … but eh, it’s minor, so I’ll let it pass.)
Looking Ahead – Tournament Arc?
It looks like Vivi & friends are off to the Principality of Hartgen to investigate this martial arts tournament with remains for the winner, and both the Red and White Chaikas will be there as well. More chances for team ups, woohoo!
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – The Chaika reveal leads to a kickass battle, which leads to the truth(?) of Emperor Gaz’s fortune coming to light #chaika s2e5
- I liked that look Tooru gave Cyril at the beginning. He knows an exploitable animosity when he sees it.
- Turning his back on Tooru … these demi-human guards aren’t very good. That’s what you get with mass-produced soldiers.
- I’m one thousand percent sure the favors Akari earned from Red Chaika’s companions will come back before the end of the show.
- Surprised Chaikas saying Tooru in stereo! Great!
- “Your defense is weak, neba-neba [Sticky]!” Akari is kind of like Drax in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, in that she’s funny because she says ridiculous things with a straight face … only Akari absolutely knows that she’s doing it. Save all the innocent girls from anii-sama!
Check out my blog about storytelling and the novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Only once, Worth doing, You’re not good enough, and Win conditions. For book updates, sign up for my mailing list.
Full-length images: 05.