Home > Episode by Episode > Check-in Station: Chaika the Coffin Princess ep4 (I am man, she is loli!)

Check-in Station: Chaika the Coffin Princess ep4 (I am man, she is loli!)

Watching this episode, I was a little bit surprised at Chaika’s reticence towards conflict.  I know she doesn’t want it, but she seemed extremely apprehensive given her life goal is to retrieve those remains.  Good grief, I wonder how much farther she would have gotten if not for Toru and Akira?  In contrast, I do admire Toru’s professionalism.  He’s trying to be nice and respectful while attempting to balance his need to be efficient and opportunistic to do his job as a saboteur.  I’m sure he didn’t want to incite conflict either, both because he was saved by the same woman he’d have to fight to the death, and because  she is supposed to have a dragoon on her side to match her skill and its easy access to magic.  By the halfway point of this episode, the group is already in a very awkward situation, probably hoping they could assume the role of scoundrels and thieves again so that they may more easily obtain their goal.

After seeing the group search through the mansion with nary any security around, I couldn’t help but get the idea that a few things were afoot.  For one, seeing all the security, all the pictures and no sign of the dragoon gave me a few theories.

  1. The dragoon is the mansion.
  2. The dragoon is the cat that roams the area.
  3. The pictures are being used to spy on everything they’re doing in this abandoned abode.
  4. I have no idea where the hidden remains could be, except behind a picture, under all those statues, or under that projector in the middle of the garden – but that’s too obvious.
  5. The dragoon is dead and the master of the mansion is somehow still using its magic.

When it comes to magic, there are no rules unless otherwise stated.  Think Naruto or Hunter X Hunter for that stuff.  But even then, those rules are frequently broken if deemed so by the mangaka/author.    So my mind was free to wander.  The truth is that I was close but wrong about everything.

Toru manages to be upfront with their host, but the response is a simple and upfront one pointing (literally) towards battle.  That evening they do battle, and we learn that the saboteur “siblings” don’t go into anything without thought and planning.  Even given as little information as they get here, they’re able to read the signs and come up with an effective strategy.  And in doing so, the mystery of the missing dragoon and the strange mansion is solved.

The many paintings and statues have no magical power, but they do have significance.  It was strange to see such a serious and stoic character seem like a narcissist, that’s why all the paintings and statues and even the projector were so strange.  This isn’t a mansion – this is a memorial!  The real owner of this place, the real Dominica Skoda died long ago.  The dragoon has only taken her form out of love and deep mourning.  Everything in there is just a reminder of the only person who truly cared for her, and valued her.  After the war, she was just an inconvenient and murderous beast to all those around.  This explains how the townspeople know of the ruler, and believe in her existence while seeing so little of her.  It also explains the drastic change in how the area was ruled.  The taxes were low, and the oversight was nigh nonexistent because the dragoon didn’t care about money, or the realm – just Dominica.  The dragoon was not the mansion, or powered by it.  The pictures spied on nothing.  The statues did not come to life, they did not hide traps, they did not curse a soul.  And the projector was nothing more than a way of letting the dragoon remember its former master with some life.  It was really somber to look at, and the dragoon was in no way defeated by the damage done to the mansion at all.  Instead it was defeated by Akari’s poison needle.  A simple solution, for a monstrous problem.  The dragoon’s full form was very frightening.  The battle was handled so adeptly, that if Akari and Toru wore masks all the time, then I’d be happy to call them proper ninja.

I guess the only thing that threw off what I thought was almost a perfect episode was when the dragoon transformed after admitting defeat.  What we get now is a very helpful companion, with a rather annoying personality, as Frederica (as the dragoon now calls itself) has decided to make it her new life goal and purpose to join the group until she has the proper chance to duel Toru again and kill him –


Ugh!  That completely took me out of the mood, though I won’t say it’s the end of my loving this series, for now.  She has healing powers, and she’s technically a dragoon after all.  And with being able to change forms, she becomes a powerful, helpful and diverse ally.  That reminds me though, I was right about one of my guesses.  With Frederica revealing that she can transform into a cat, I was right about the cat spying on everyone.

Overall, it was great episode.  It started off slow, but fun.  And I love episodes with simple mysteries and characters like these.  It reminds me of a Cowboy Bebop episode.  I think what a lot of people forget about Cowboy Bebop is that no matter whether an episode was part of a larger narrative, or just exclusively held to that one episode, they were all about characters and situations we cared about.  Even in the lightest of stories, there was some story there that we found interesting that affected the characters in an interesting way.  Even if Faye was dealing with gambling debts or her broken past, Spike faffing about or killing his old syndicate buddies, or even Ed and her screwing around somewhere with Ein, you found something interesting.  I’m not saying that this show is in Cowboy Bebop’s league, but I see lessons learned here.  Things that made shows like Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and Cowboy Bebop fun for me to watch, this show seems to be trying to do.  You give me an interesting story and characters week in and week out, and I’ll love you for it.  It doesn’t have to have brains and social commentary  of Legend of the Galactic Heroes, the excitement and energy of TENGEN TOPPA GURREN LAGANN or be mysterious and twisted like Revolutionary Girl Utena.  Just keep me entertained and make me care.

I certainly hope this show can keep up this quality, because it’s charming  and fun.  It’s pretty well animated and I enjoy the character designs.  the use of magic and the monster design at times is pretty inspired.  And Chaika is adorable on the level of being almost intoxicating.  Plus there’s something about a loli character carrying around a sniper riper the size of a small cannon that screams anime.  I may be late to the party when it comes to enjoying this show, but I can’t stop enjoying it.  Give me more, give me lots more!

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