Hitsugi no Chaika Season 2: The Final Episodes
The second season of Hitsuga no Chaika is now behind us, and it left rashly with many things unsaid. The story continued the travels of three people, a princess named Chaika and her two helpers Toru and Akari. They are on a quest to gather the remains of Chaika's father, king Gaz, whose body has been cut up and spread across the land.
I have never been a huge of this anime, but parts of the plot intrigued me. I have always liked a mystery, something truly curious. And the mystery at the bottom of Hitsugi no Chaika lies in the many versions of Chaika, all claiming to be the kings daughter, trying to collect the king's remains. It was really interesting. Where they all his daughter? Did «our» Chaika lie? What purpose was there truly in gathering the pieces of the kings corpse? I honestly did not know, and that is what made me keep watching. But now the second season has revealed it all, and we know. It should go without saying that I will spoil a couple of things in the next sentences.
Setting it up
We reach a point where the all the pieces are gathered, and we find that someone is manipulating everything behind the scenes so that the king's corpse can be reunited in their hands. In true anime-style there is a sequence of people manipulating each other only to be manipulated by someone else. We get the build-up of the main characters coming together, we get battle and almost all the side cast all meeting. And then it all collapses.
I honestly had trouble believing it when I learned that episode 10 would be the last episode. King Gaz had been brought back to life just at the end of episode 9, revealing himself as the final puppetmaster behind all the other puppetmasters. And just 20 minutes to wrap everything up?
King Gaz and his Plan
The finale is therefore a bit of a mess, with the side characters fighting a meaningless battle which in no way influences the outcome of anything. We learn that everything was set in motion by king Gaz, who planned his own death and resurrection. The question is why. Why would you kill yourself only to be resurrected, spending years of time and leaving so much up to chance? Honestly I have no idea. Gaz gives us a small line about wanting to expand the myth about him, to let himself grow into a true monster, as these emotions would fuel him. One line of dialogue to explain the entire plot, and one which only raises questions.
Why people fearing Gaz would strengthen him is never explained, but it also strikes me that he went about it in a strange way. How could he be sure that he would not be forgotten or ridiculed. The moment Hitler died we started laughing at him and making him a classical character in comedies all over the world. Would it not have been better to stay alive and commit some truly horrible acts so that people feared you? And on another matter, how did Gaz know that his body would be split into parts? I can not remember if it was ever explained why his body was filleted and separated, but I find it odd that he predicted all of this.
Also, there is the matter of timing. What if the Chaikas had proven too effective and gathered everything in a couple of months, before any rumors about Gaz started circulating? What if one body part was destroyed or lost so that no one could find it? A lot of risks was taken here, for a reason I do not understand. No, I do not understand Gaz, and so I do not understand the plot as a whole.
The Relief of Tension
And then, suddenly, it ends. Gaz's own weapon turns on him, because the weapon, who has a will of her own, had spent a little time and no character development with our heroes. It seems pretty stupid to have your weapon be a person who can defy you, but Gaz is a person beyond my comprehension anyway.
In the next moment we are transported away from the battles and fighting and plots, and we are in a small cabin where our main characters now live. Everyone are happy, everything is good. How did Chaika come to terms with the fact that she was a fake, that her past, her reason for existing, her everything was fake. We do not know, she just gets over it. Everything revealed, all the actions taken at the end amounts to nothing, it seems, for any of the characters. It is as if it never happened.
Hitsugi no Chaika was never my favorite, but it had several elements I really enjoyed, most related to the plot which I found very original. So it is disappointing to me that it is exactly the plot that suffers in these final episodes, as the drama is built up and then relieved all too quickly, and none of the characters really gets to react. Chaika gets to act with disbelief and sorrow, but we never really see here put herself back together again. Toru never resolves his problems with his former mentor. Akari is left at the sidelines. To be honest, when there was just five minutes left of the final episode, I still could not believe it was the end, it seemed like it was too much that needed to be wrapped up. But then I suddenly saw the end credits, and all I could do was to stare at the screen, lost for words.