「闘争の鐘」 (Tousou no Kane)
“The Bells of Contention”

The day will come when the courage of men fails, and when you look behind those men, you will find one thing: Chaikas. Soooo many Chaikas.

Catching Madness

This episode brings up an interesting theory—what if all those who were there when Emperor Gaz were driven mad? Perhaps not just by the act, but by Gaz on purpose. Only heroes that were absent (like Claudia) seem to have gotten off okay, while the ones who were there were varying degrees of screwed up in the head. Most of them I would be willing to say just have PTSD and/or were seriously unnerved by a powerful madman who laughed as he died, but Hartgen might be a different thing entirely. He came back a changed man, and now wants to become the next Emperor Gaz. I wonder if Gaz didn’t soul jump and lodge away in Hartgen, and then wait for a Chaika to show up to help reveal the Gaz within and reclaim his old power?

That seems unnecessarily convoluted, but it’s just a theory for now. It’s equally likely that Hartgen became disillusioned for the same reasons Tooru did, and Black Chaika-oneesama (Tange Sakura) (P.S. I knew it! I should have trusted my seiyuu sense. Can’t mistake that voice) got to the best pawn first. And then created a whole lot of other pawns. Is there any girl in this world who’s not a Chaika? That’s Emperor Gaz’s real plan. World domination by Infinite Chaika Works.

Small Girl, Big Sword, Big Pain

The meeting between Vivi / Nikolai and Gilette, much like the Red vs White battle, is something I wish was shown with more gravitas. Time constraints prevented that, but it was done well within the bounds of what they had. I expected (hoped) Vivi would get through to him, but I didn’t expect her to take off his hand first. We finally got to hear the old Vivi again, the faithful girl instead of the cold half-Chaika, but it was all confusion and pain.

But Why Didn’t They…?

I must admit to having a fairly … direct tactical mind. And bastardly. When it’s a serious fight, rules are things that other people follow, and if someone tells me what to do, my first instinct is to tell them to $@#& off. I feel like our three protagonist groups could use some of that. Why didn’t our Chaika just blast the gate down when they got tossed in the tunnel? The Gilette Squad did that. Why did they let Vivi and Nikolai fight Gilette instead of going all enemy-of-my-enemy and ganging up on the Black Chaikas? And why did they meekly do what the Black Chaikas said instead of, I don’t know, shooting them! You have a Gundo Chaika, I watched you shoot people with it. Shoot them! It might not work, but c’mon. Shoot the floor out from under them, or shoot the ceiling so it collapses on them! Why don’t you just shoot them already!? (trope!)

Versus Red Chaika, Versus Shin-nii

Of the last two battles, the one against Red Chaika was more compelling. Not because it was better—Red Chaika was an idiot to stop attacking our Chaika and gun for Tooru instead. That’s beyond an amateur mistake. That’s Magic Combat 101, Lesson 1: Attack the squishy casters first! Especially since Chaika has virtually no close in defenses, as we were reminded during the next battle. No, the battle was compelling because Red Chaika admitted defeat and said that she also had something to protect. It sounded like she didn’t want David to die for her, nor (absent) Selma, so she gave up once beaten instead of struggling futilely. That’s quite the change, but one that was hinted at for some time.

As for the Shin-nii battle, they just got rocked. A small part of me was like “Maybe they have a plan…!” when Chaika was grabbed, but no. Just failure. At least they’ve never gotten overpowered, I suppose, and when Tooru beats Shin-nii, it’s going to be really satisfying.

Looking Ahead – Final Battle Incoming

With only two episodes left, it looks like the final battle will be in or near Hartgen’s place, though I still feel like ‘ol Gaz himself is going to show up in some form. Only two more episodes though, so it’s rapidly coming to a close.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Editor: “Another Chaika?” Sakaki-sensei: “Everyone’s Chaika!” I’m starting to think Sakaki just didn’t want to think up more names.

Random thoughts:

  • Don’t just stop to banter until you’ve gotten to the next stage, Vivi.
  • I liked how Tooru didn’t say whether we wanted a war or not. “I’ll keep your words in mind.” That’s a good answer. If he had decided immediately, it would have felt like a capitulation to Chaika rather than his honest decision.
  • “Shock … Chaikas!?” You’re really out of touch, Chaika. We’ve got Chaikas for days.

Check out my blog about storytelling and the novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: The allure of magic, Import, don’t recycle, Impostor syndrome, and Save it for your daydreams. For book updates, sign up for my mailing list.

Full-length images: 09, 12, 22.




  1. It’s so weird that there are only 10 episodes. Aren’t there usually 12-13 in a cour?

    This is a show that’s been steadily pretty good so far, so I hope the ending is not terrible.

      1. But that sucks big time.

        If we had 12 episodes last 2 arcs would be done perfectly and separately. There would be no reason to rush everything.

        This way it seems that they will merge last 2 arcs into single one to tell everything and wrap up the story.

        Brother Coa
  2. This week on 5 and a half Chaikas:

    Chaika, Chaika, and Chaika have been killing Chaika to make puppet zombie Chaika. Chaika3 make Chaika fight Gillette, and then Chaika must fight Chaika. Only Chaika gives up. Chaika has Chaika captured regardless. Fate uncertain for Chaika and Chaika, but most of all Chaika.

    -Plot summary from reddit

  3. It’s raining Chaika’s! Hallelujah!

    Not sure if Haartgen is possessed by the Emprah, but I suspect that he just wants to gain his power (perhaps through the remains?). If so I don’t doubt for a second that Black Chaika’s using him. It kinda makes sense in a way that White Chaika has the last remains; she’s probably the least competent on her own and would logically be one of the last ones to show up to Black Chaika’s trap. Anyway, great episode and can’t wait for the next!

    1. “Not sure if Haartgen is possessed by the Emprah”

      Please, do not compare that old and deranged magician with ‘Just as Planned’ face with our glorious Lord and Savior – The God Emprah. Thank you in advance.

      With loyalty and purity, the Holy Imperial Inquisition.

      p.s. We know where you live 😉

      On the serious side I am more inclined that Guy is in fact Gaz’s spirit. Hartgen seems that he was broken after last battle and that Black Chaika somehow ‘seduced’ him ( mindcontrol perhaps? ) into doing her bidding. I am also inclined that Black Chaika is also used by Guy to his own needs, who knows what was Gaz’s ultimate objective. But I will tell you right now – war sure was not as he was thinking far beyond mere conflicts.

      Brother Coa
  4. It’s refreshing to see a series where the sidekicks sort of have some importance and gravity that the other team mates care enough to forfeit the battle. By the first impression, they were quite crudely drawn and felt as disposable pawns, I’m quite satisfied with the overall direction of the anime.

    And while the red and white Chaika are cute, Black and purple chaika are just as great. I cannot fault Hartgen for letting himself be manipulated.

  5. Dragoon is down. Again. To be honest, I haven’t been enjoying this season as much as the first. I mean, yeah, it’s still entertaining, the animation is still solid, and the plot is progressing well, but my beef is with the characters, their decisions, and/or the way they are handled.

    Anyways, full-speed to the finale, I guess =/

    1. Yeeeeeah, that’s the problem with having a seriously overpowered secondary protagonist. It’s a bit of The Worf Effect (trope!), and a bit of simply getting her out of the way so the others can shine. Either way it’s annoying because it would have been better to not have such a powerful secondary protagonist at all!

      Still have Frederika, mind you, just don’t make her so powerful. Maybe she could have had some of her power tied into the manor back in Season One due to some injury? Who knows, but she’s a problem that constantly has to be taken out to make things dire, which gets annoying.

  6. Shocking Truth(TM) :Chaikas, Chaikas everywhere!
    That aside, I am increasingly more curious about the Dead Emperors Master Plan – especially as his gambit looks increasingly like the one Bhaal used in the Baldurs Gate saga… With Chaikas doing the job of the Bhaalspawn, to collect all the pieces of his power in one place…
    I am quite fond of Red Chaika now, that she seems awakening to the idea that gathering remains might be not the only thing worth doing in life. Finding someone to care about makes her more human now than just a tool of someones revenge…

    1. I wondering if the rest of those Chaika’s where collected or came to the the castle and turns into puppets. The where alot of girls begin turned into Chaika’s in the flash back…. the probably all didn’t make it back to “broken” normalcy.

      1. I was assuming they were all lured to the castle and brain-wiped by Black Chaika-oneesama then. She seems to have been using the others Chaikas to collect the remains for her. It’s just a bit wonky that only White Chaika and Red Chaika actually managed to collect any of them (probably shouldn’t think about that too much. It’s too convenient.)

  7. On a side note, we now why there were so few Chaika still lurking around, knowing how many poor lil girls were Chaikaized by Gaz Evil scientist #347.
    It was Black Chaika who gonna catch them all! (…and puppettify them all up!)

  8. I am the Chaika of my Emperor
    Chaika is my body and magic is my blood
    I have created over a thousand Chaikas
    Unknown to Death, Nor known to Life
    Have withstood great pain to create many Chaikas
    Yet, those hands will never hold anything
    So as I pray, Unlimited Chaika Works.

    (You said it first)
    Also, with infinite Chaikas, why would Emperor Gaz need an army of demi-humans and such on a hidden island?

  9. This seemed a rushed episode to me. Lots of things going on including a series of very quick, perfunctory battles which were not all that satisfying to watch. Not bad, but also not up to par when you consider previous battles IMO. A quick check on MAL gave the reason why – a 10 episode season. For some reason I though this was a 12 episode run, but evidently not. Oh well. The fast pace did, however, allow for some plot progression along with at least partial, if not full, answers to some of the questions remaining though I hope Gaz’s plan is more than simply “posthumously start another war”.

    @Stilts: “But Why Didn’t They…?”

    Agree. Everyone just played along which I thought was odd a times. And yeah, attack the “squishy” mage(s). Always try to take out those pesky mages first when playing fantasy RPGs.

    “Of the last two battles, the one against Red Chaika was more compelling.”

    Agree as well. I liked the fact that Red Chaika was able to find something meaningful beyond “gather remains for revenge”, and the foreshadowing of that helped to sell the idea.

    This episode brings up an interesting theory—what if all those who were there when Emperor Gaz were driven mad?

    FYI – that doesn’t work Dominica, at least not per LN. Her sister’s death is what ultimately lead to her decline, illness and death.

    1. What does revenge mean to Red Chaika? What was her plan after gathering all of Gaz’s remains? If it was to restore Gaz to life wouldn’t she consider aligning with he Blacks? I can’t remember if anyone even asked her. Seems like her obsession was to get the remains for revenge but she didn’t seem to know what that meant in terms of how it would be accomplished by gathering the remains.

      1. @Bear: “What does revenge mean to Red Chaika?”

        Good question and one I would like answered as well though at this point, it’s probably moot. I get the feeling that somewhere in the LN, that question was answered, but with the anime’s hyper pacing, it got cut along with a bunch of other stuff.

        Re: your comment below

        I’d be surprised if Black Chaikas were not aware of Guy and Niva. Seems like they have been on top of everything for a long time – including manipulating the others to one degree or another via Hartgen/Guy.

        As for the compression – agree. Lots of things going on, several plot lines remaining and only two episodes left to wrap it all up. Really don’t know why this show didn’t get 12-13 episodes this season. As I noted before, hope some kind TL will pick up the LN so I can fill in all the details the anime left out.

      2. @daikama

        Of course the Black Chaikas know about Guy and Niva—Guy delivered Niva to Hartgen with the twins in the room. Plus you know Black Chaika-oneesama is pulling all the strings (that Guy isn’t pulling himself).

        And it didn’t get more episodes because of Season One sales. We’re lucky they announced a second season prematurely, to be honest.

      3. @Stilts:

        First, typo correction go my above post. Should read: “FYI – that doesn’t work for Dominica,…”. I’m sure you figured that out anyway.

        Oh, yeah. I forgot about that scene with Guy, Niva and the Black Chaikas. Thanks for reminding me. At least my intuition was right. :P. Just to clarify, I know that Guy isn’t pulling the proverbial strings himself. I meant that the Black Chaika’s were pulling the strings from behind the scenes by ordering/manipulating Guy & Hartgen(sp?).

        “And it didn’t get more episodes because of Season One sales. We’re lucky they announced a second season prematurely, to be honest.”

        I don’t know about that. I think what “Brother Coa” posted below is correct – it comes down to pacing decisions (approx. 2 episodes per LN volume). I’ve read elsewhere that the anime is starting to significantly deviate from the LN (more so than just cut material), but I have no idea if that is true or not. Anyway, my primary point was that I thought the hyper adaptation pacing was more noticeable than ever in this episode, and another 2-3 episodes would be quite beneficial from a storytelling standpoint. Watching the fights reminded me of watching ESPN SportsCenter NFL highlights. 30 seconds of clips and here’s your final score. Contrast that with battles in previous episodes, particularly early season.

        If the first season sales were so poor, then I have to wonder why they bothered with Season 2 in the first place. Sales must have been good enough so that Bones et. al. concluded there was money to made with a second season. JMO, but since they decided to make S2, might as well do the best job they can since that certainly wouldn’t hurt sales. Hopefully the last two episodes will turn out well but after Ep. 08, I get the feeling that the conclusion will be very rushed (more so than before).

  10. “Chaika Rangers Assemble!” No, wait, we did that one. At least we’ve got a Chaika that knows what’s going on and is running the show. Now if she would do the evil overlord bit and tell us what Gaz planned to do… (of course I expect Hartgen to get a major surprise when the Black Sisters betray him). On the other hand, we haven’t seen Guy and Niv around. Do the Black Chaika’s know about him? Are they due for a surprise too? Then we’ve got the floating fortress coming to the party also. They’re really compressing things it seems.

    Tooru’s not answering could be argued from what he’s been saying about achieving the goals of his employer. If Chaika doesn’t want war then Tooru will do whatever it takes to prevent it. His personal desires take second place.

    1. I do! She’s not in my top five seiyuu, but she’s definitely one of the seiyuu I like to hear.

      (Shizuka Itou, Tamura Yukari, Hanazawa Kana, Matsuoka Yoshitsugu … and I can never decide on the last one, ahhh!)

  11. That’s Magic Combat 101, Lesson 1: Attack the squishy casters first!
    If you just notice, Clauda’s training beard fruits. Chiaika is always well hidden behind terrains and pillars, so that Red Chaika can’t reach.
    But other than that the good point of the fight was just Reddie giving up in an heartbreaking fashion. It looks like than she’s definitely giving up on Tooru more than anything else. I was sad.

    1. Yes, but Red Chaika could have continued to pursue our Chaika instead of giving up and aggroing on Tooru. That’s what I was referring to. That’s what opened up their loss, because no meleer was harassing or taking out White Chaika.

    1. Not sure what company you’re talking about. The studio? Almost certainly not. They rarely have input into the number of episodes, or if they do, not much. The publisher? Undoubtedly. But they don’t decide things without a reason. I don’t have evidence to back it up (nor will we ever get it), but it’s reasonable to assume the sales are to blame since Season One got 12 episodes, then the sales were crappy, then Season Two comes out with 10 episodes. They’re cutting their losses.

      1. Actually, it was decided like that because of the source material.
        They had just enough for 10 episodes.

        “It’s confirmed that 2nd season starts from vol 7 and I’m sure they will get the 5th remain part in second episode. Then episode 3-4 will cover vol 8 and it will be about getting the 6th remain, and episode 5-6 will cover vol 9 and about the 7th remain. Episode 6-10 will cover vol 10 & 11 and about the final remain and the endgame.”

        The series was made liek this: 2 episodes per 1 volume.

        Volume 7 – 1,2
        Volume 8 – 3,4
        Volume 9 – 5,6
        Volume 10 – 7,8
        Volume 11 ( last one ) – 9,10

        So the 10 episode fits entire series perfectly. Only difference is that only episodes 4-6 ( island arc ) cover LN ( Volume 7 ) – everything else is pretty much anime original with final 4 episodes being mix of Volumes 8,9,10 and 11.

        Plus the anime ending will be slightly difference in some manner but it will be the same as in LN.
        So poor sales were not the issue here. I heard it was Bones decision to do it like this since they knew how it would end and they probably took little free creativity.

        Brother Coa
      2. You know? I’m amazed how they succeeded at making this right even with that tremendous squeezing off those bunch of novels. Usually you see plot holes and pacing issue everywhere even when summarizing far less strictly than this, but that don’t seem to be an issue with Chaiuka. Just see what happened with Black Bullet as an example.


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