The story of this anime may not look particularly original if you only read the synopsis, but getting into it it provides a really satisfying adventure-filled romp through various places. I didn’t find the story either too simple or too complex, it was filled with just the right amount of twists and turns and didn’t over complicate itself with overly wordy explanations, but you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t pay it full attention, as it’s full of little details.
The art style of Chaika was probably the largest turn-off for most people. But all in all, the art actually complimented the show quite nicely. Although Studio Bones did choose an original style, overall it doesn’t really compete with some older anime. The animation however was decent enough, and each fight scene was very engaging, especially considering how they fought. Another thing about the art that stood out were the 3D magic effects. On their own they looked nice, but together with the normal art made it seem out of place most of the time.
The soundtracl of Chaika is arguably one of the highest points in the show. The voice actors for Toru and Akari fit their personalities and roles quite well. Chaika herself stands out the most, however, at times her voice did at times get a little annoying but for the most part it was alright. Also the opening (DARAKENA) is an Excellent choice for the show’s tone. Personally, I couldn’t get through it each episode without replaying it.
The cast of characters I thought was phenomenal – you have the two main characters, Toru and Akari, brother and sister but not by blood, Chaika, the coffin princess, Frederica the dragoon and a host of other side characters, each of which added something to the story. The interactions between the main characters are funny, sometimes adorable and always somewhat believable. Akari is obsessed with Toru, but it’s a running gag that this show does not overuse so it doesn’t come across as needy and annoying.
And they both have an actual personality to support such gags, as opposed to them being essentially token characters. Chaika is a bit of a mystery – she seems innocent and pure, however throughout the story she is made to doubt herself and her purpose. I can’t say much more without spoiling the story.
I found even the side characters had their place in Chaika, either adding another bit of comedy, seriousness and depth – the mysterious entity telling Chaika where to find remains, Gilette-sama and his band of followers and various other parties are met along the way and they all add a little something more to Chaika.