When I saw her, I thought I saw the chance to end this listless, peacetime life...
It's been five years since the defeat of Arthur Gaz, ruler of the Gaz empire, when a group of heroes finally confronted the evil monarch in his own throne room and slew him. The world has since then experienced a relative period of peace, but for those whose lives revolved around conflict, the transition to peacetime was anything but easy.Toru Acura was one of these unfortunates. A former Saboteur, the years since the fall of the Gaz Empire have not been kind to him, and for the most part, he'd spent most of it moping in the home he shared with his adopted sister Akari. For all her disturbing devotion to her older brother however, even Akari's patience had its limits, and when it finally came to the point where Akari started to seriously consider having him taken to a taxidermist and stuffed, Toru decided then and there that it was about time to go out again into the world that had since rejected him.And then, as he was foraging for edible plants in the mountains around his hometown, he encounters a strange girl with long white hair, who spoke in halting Common, and who carried a coffin on her back... And in the process it seems that he's gotten another chance to experience the life of battle he never though he'd experience again.Coffin Princess Chaika (棺姫のチャイカ Hitsugi no Chaika) is a light novel series written by Sakaki Ichirou (who also wrote Scrapped Princess, Magician's Academy, and Outbreak Company) and published by Fujimi Shobo under its Fujimi Fantasia Bunko imprint. It currently has nine volumes out, as well as a manga adaptation by Sakayama Shinta. An anime adaptation aired as part of the Spring 2014 Anime season, beginning on April 10, 2014, with a continuation airing in the Fall 2014 Anime season.
Light Novel notes that that's a common problem for all wizards — their spells are slow and not very flexible, and thus are used more akin to the artillery on the battlefield.
The gandr that wizards used are supposedly this, if you go by how the average one is described in the Light Novel, as large, unwieldly, and generally not man-portable. It's why Chaika's rifle gandr was described as "unusual"... Then the anime goes on to show that the sniper rifle-type gandr was the gandr of choice for most of the wizards shown in the series. Unique it was not.
Ax-Crazy: Fredrica. A Running Gag following her introduction was for Toru and/or Akari to get into some sort of altercation, at which point she would appear, drawn by the violence and keen to start killing people.
Badass: The Acura siblings are expert warriors and practitioners of the "Iron Blood" skill.
Chaika is actually a Princess and daughter of Emperor Arthur Gaz of the Gaz Empire. She is also the only surviving member of the royal family after all of them were killed during the civil war.
Toru witnessed the death of his older sister figure Jasmine after she was attacked by bandits. Also, Jasmine was trying to protect her newborn baby.....which she failed.
Deus Exit Machina: The plot contrives situations where Fredrica is either not present, or is incapable of contributing to a melee fight, because as a dragoon she'd just destroy any opposition put against Toru's group.
Dying Curse: It's rumored that Arthur Gaz put one on the eight heroes that slew him. Considering Dominica Scoda's sister Lucie was murdered (while in the anime Dominica passed away of disease), and Simon Scania was betrayed and driven to poverty and madness (and that in the anime, in the Light Novelshe was dead long before the beginning of the story), it's possible.
Chaika's gundr takes on the appearance of a .50 caliber sniper rifle that fires magic spells. It's not unique for being a fantasy-style gun but because it's incredibly small for a gundr. Most others can't be carried by a single person because of their size and weight, though this is true only for the Light Novel originals. In the anime rifle-type gandr are a must for any traveling wizard.
The most widespread type of gandr in their world is a mechanical carriage. Yes, you can drive only if you're a wizard, because there the cars are magical wands.
The unicorn's magic such as making platforms for it to run on.
When Chaika cast spells it makes magic circles that form around the barrel of her gandr.
Lotus-Eater Machine: Subverted. Simon Scania uses his remains to create a hallucinogenic fog. While the hallucination initially starts out blissful, the person ultimately ends up being betrayed by their loved ones and left alone, mirroring what happened to Simon himself. Toru falls into the fog and nearly crosses the Despair Event Horizon before Akari and Fredrica snap him out of it.
MacGuffin: Invoked. The Emperor's body parts that the main trio are searching for. The protagonists have on various occasions run out of magical fossil fuel and search every store for more despite owning multiple pieces of the most powerful magical fuel in existence. Antagonists who own parts seem to have no quarrel in using the parts for home defence.
Pragmatic Adaptation: The anime compresses, rearrange and changes scenes and omits some details and background that are in the light novel source material.
Spell My Name with an S: Gandr, gundr, gunda... no one can seem to agree on how to spell the name of the magical focus objects in this world * The term is a pun with the term "Gandr", which is Old Norse for “magic staff, stick”, and the Japanese pronunciation of "gun" being "gan". Ergo, a gun that serves as a magic staff..
Spiritual Successor: To Scrapped Princess. A pair of powerful siblings escorting a somewhat hapless fugitive princess who may cause the end of the world, being chased by a group of professionals tasked to stop them, the latter of which made up of mostly decent folk just doing their jobs? They also get joined by an immensely powerful being called a dragoon that can take on the form of a cute girl. Sounds about right.
Spoiler Opening: The opening spoils, or at least heavily foreshadows, the existence of the Red and Blue Chaikas (Chaika is even seen casting aside a blue veil in an identical manner to Layla/Blue Chaika during The Reveal). It also foreshadows an injured Toru falling into the water, and Chaika diving in to save him, during the final episode.
Chaika drops another layer on the Theme Name trope, as "Gaz Chaika" is the full name of the Soviet luxury car, GAZ-13/14, but a Trabant (her alias) is about as low-rent economy as you can get.
Voluntary Shapeshifting: Dragoons are capable of this; their true form is a giant metal dragon about thirty feet long. Dominica Scoda's dragoon, Fredrica, initially masquerades as her deceased mistress, but can also transform into a cat as well as a Token Mini-Moe (specifically, into the form of Dominica's younger sister Lucile, who is, ironically, completely Adapted Out in the anime) form, both of which she uses to tag along with Toru and Akari.
War for Fun and Profit: It's probably an act, but Toru does spin his attitude this way to Gillette. Dropping the whole continent into the chaos and war once again? At least his skills will be needed again.