While there are little niggly things about the first episode of Chaika that could only be called as “fucking anime bullshit”, I was quite impressed by the structure and storytelling capabilities of this episode. We establish our main character. He is a fighter of sorts who has fallen on rough times and is struggling to place down a full time job. We establish our support lead character. A mysterious girl with a coffin on her back. We establish the world they’re in, being a world of magic and unicorns full with guts. We establish there’s something ~mysterious~ going on with this girl. All of this with basically zero exposition. Congratulations on that Chaika. You might not have great dialogue but you told a story without needless exposition. Wish more anime took a leaf out of your book.
Other signs of getting away from bad writing was the lack of stupid proper nouns. The main character was a Proper Noun, but he was the only one I counted in that episode and I think you’re allowed to have one Proper Noun. The main girl was a sorcerer, a proper noun I think I can handle because it’s already in our lexicon. She casts magic. She casts magic with what appears to be a giant sniper rifle, but that’s cool. I can roll with that. I can extrapolate without you having to explain why.
Also another sign of getting away from bad writing was humour. The main guy’s sister starts smashing up a restaurant because her brother is a worthless NEET freeloader without a job. You would think the clientèle would be annoyed that she’s smashing up the place, but instead they’re commenting on what a poor girl she is for having to put up with this useless freeloader brother, even thought from our perspective he is clearly trying to be useful and get a job. A joke delivered quickly, succiently, with even a little bit of social commentary to give it an edge, and best of all didn’t have the main character yell “whaaaaaaaaaat you’re on her side” like we can’t already bloody see that. All right, it’s not exactly Monty Python level of humour, but these things build up.
For those reasons, I was relatively impressed by Chaika the Coffin Princess. I’m even staying around for more, even if the premise isn’t exactly bursting with originality. However it does have the aforementioned fucking anime bullshit factor, which rears its head at little scenes. The little girl being covered in cum I mean sorry bread dough in a leery camera angle. The sister character muttering the line “even though you have me” because all sisters want to fuck their brothers. Fucking anime bullshit rears its ugly behind every now and then to remind you that one of these aspects could easily become a more central plot point and ultimately derail the entire proceedings.