Chaika – The Coffin Princess Episode 4 Recap – “The Dragoon’s Wish”
Stepping right back into the standoff between Toru and the Orthos, we learn that Toru’s saviour is indeed Dominica Scova, the ruler with the remains they are searching for. After scaring off the Orthos, she invites all 3 of them to her mansion. While she unlocks the front door, Scova asks them what their connection to each other is. Akari comes up with a story of forbidden love between siblings to cover their tracks. She really puts herself into it, even adding a suicide pact and an elopement into the forest to shake off pursuers. Scova’s reaction: “Forbidden love huh? I wouldn’t mind experiencing what that sort of yearning feels like.” WHUT. Toru surreptitiously tells Chaika that they aren’t actually related by blood, but just grew up together. I hope this doesn’t go in the direction I think it might. It’s anime after all.
Very peculiarly, Scova’s mansion is littered with statues and paintings of herself. They search the mansion for clues on the whereabouts of the rumoured Dragoon, and as they do, a grey cat watches them from the doorway, with very knowledgeable eyes. To me, the cat was immediately the Dragoon in disguise. Their search leads them to a courtyard with a glowing box that projects an image of Scoda in battle form. Chaika also befriends the cat and takes it back with her to their rooms. So silly Chaika!
As they discuss their next steps, Chaika doesn’t want to fight Scova since she saved them in the forest. Toru continues with his great character development, thinking that no matter how good Scova is or what the circumstances are, the most important thing is to fulfill his mission for his master, who is Chaika. I’m intrigued by the morality choices that Toru has made over the course of the series so far, and how they tie into his position as a Saboteur. It’s great that the show doesn’t just have a cut and dry perception of good and evil, right or wrong.
During a night bath, Akari explains to Chaika that as Saboteurs they are programmed to obey and complete their missions. Toru isn’t trying to pressure Chaika, it’s just they way he is hardwired. The cat is listening in on the whole conversation though, and it looks like it understands what they are saying far too much. As Akari rinses Chaika’s hair, we see a red ring around Chaika’s neck….possibly hinting that she has been beheaded before? Also, kudos for making a bath scene that wasn’t oversexualised, and had an actual point plot.
At dinner, Toru asks Scova to hand over the remains straight up, which Dominica answers by drawing out her sword and challenging the 3 of them to a fight. She’ll give them the remains if they can defeat her. Akari seems disturbed that Toru called Chaika “someone precious to me” – hold on, are we seriously going down this route guys? Can we not? I know they aren’t blood related, but she still calls him Brother. Toru clarifies that it’s only that Chaika’s mission has finally given him some purpose in life, after he had become resigned to being a washed up Saboteur.
Just before they start the fight, we quickly cut away to Chaika, Toru and Akari talking last night about how the whole situation is a bit strange. Chaike felt a large magic force but the Dragoon is nowhere in sight. Toru has it figured out though, and thinks that Dominica is not really Dominica. Otherwise, wouldn’t she be surprised to see Chaika alive, like Abarth was?
As the battle progresses, Scova uses her rapid healing ability to gain the upper hand. She blatantly tells them her weak point (her forehead) and that you have to hit her square in the brain to actually kill her. Also, on a side note, it’s nice to see Akari doing some fighting for once. In fact, everyone gets in on the fight this time. 🙂
Eventually they end up in the courtyard, where Toru starts destroying the statues, much to Dominica’s dismay. Toru outs her as the actual Dragoon and not the real Scova. Chaika, peeking out from one of the windows, hits Dominica with her Gundo, revealing a large metallic dragon. The battle continues and seems stagnant until the Dragoon becomes sluggish, and stumbles to the ground. In a clever move, Akari poisoned their food from dinner. Chaika blasts at the Dragoon’s wings and Toru stabs it in the forehead, defeating but not killing the Dragoon.
The Dragoon recounts the untimely death of Dominica, which occurred shortly after the end of the war. The statues and paintings were so that the Dragoon didn’t forget her, “the one person who wanted me.” Toru sees that it just wanted to fulfill it’s master’s wishes, just like he does, so he doesn’t strike the killing blow.
After they collect the remains from the projector box (two eyeballs yecch), the Dragoon makes the decision to join them on their journey, but as Fredrica, a younger looking version of Dominica. She also heals Toru’s wounds, so that she can beat him fair and square later. She joins them in cat form (called it!), but for once I don’t think I’ll dislike this character. I hope Fredrica is a constant in the series.
Chaika – The Coffin Princess is already in my picks for best show of the season. The Akari – Toru “love?” sideplot doesn’t ruin the show for me, but could leave a dark spot on it later. One of my favorite shows, Baccano! had a similar problem. But unless something truly disastrous happens, I’m sure this will be covered in my best of the season article.