Anime Reporter brings you the word on Coffin Princess Chaika- the Complete First Season. This collection is already available in the UK and Ireland from the fine people at Animatsu entertainment so, if you like what you read about in this review, you can pick up a copy for yourself whenever you like.
Set in a world somewhat similar to the 17th century of our own world, (but you know, with monsters and magic), this series follows Chaika, who has picked up the name Coffin Princess for two very important reasons. 1- Her father was an evil emperor. 2- She walks around everywhere with a huge coffin strapped to her back. Yeah, that part is just a little ooky, spooky and other Addams family related adjectives. Well, as it happens, Chaika’s father was not widely perceived to be a good dude. In fact, the eight people who killed him are known as the Eight Heroes just for taking him out. That doesn’t stop Chaika from travelling to reclaim the various pieces of her father’s body, kept as trophies so that she can put him to rest. Graphic? Perhaps a little.
Chaika, while certainly the focus of the story, isn’t exactly the main character, which is honestly something of a relief, given her pained, forced inability to speak whatever language you might be watching it in. Luckily, the very first moment we see her is when she encounters Toru, an unemployed saboteur (magical mercenary). Chaika happens to be a powerful, if slightly lacking in precision, wizard, channelling magic through what looks like a hefty rifle. After some surprising, splatterific action involving a unicorn, she hires Toru and his sister Akari to help her on her quest. It won’t be easy though. Many see Chaika’s father as such a powerful entity that gathering his body looks like an act of war to some, while others would seek to harness that power for themselves.
And that’s essentially the plot. Our trio meets new people and expands its roster from time to time. There’s certainly a lot of imagination in terms of creatures and magic and the action is both intense and inventive. Unfortunately, for me, it’s the characters carrying the plot which fall somewhat flat. Their interactions lack warmth and personality and it’s hard not to feel like what you’re watching is a lot of actors reading their lines, thinking about what they want for lunch that day. This series has genuine promise, but right now, it really lacks that much required spark of humour and personality that could make it really great.
I suppose for me, this title has to rank somewhere on a par with A Certain Magical Index, a cool premise, a seemingly varied bunch of characters and plenty of over the top action, but just not enough personality to hold my interest for too long. Still, there’s always Season 02.