I find many calling this show to be like a Dungeons and Dragons campaign, where a group of adventurers are going from one area to another, gathering artifacts and fighting monsters and other adventurers. That description is rather true, as long as you accept the fact that it’s not an official campaign, but one written by a rather amateur Dungeon Master who wanted to have fun with his friends. For you see, there are lots of things that feel random in the setting, from having snipers in the same team as magicians, to the overall world map and backdrop story being written on the spot, depending on how the Dungeon Master feels like it at the moment. Ok, there was a war in the past and hmmm, you start in a generic town. Now here is a nameless forest and inside it is a typical villa. Go there and steal a hand or something.
If anything, Chaika is a fun show if you just watch it for the action and the adventure. Despite being an adaptation of light novels (a terrible medium in terms of quality) it is avoiding most of the usual stereotypes found there. There are no done to death school settings, most characters are adults instead of teenagers, and the main characters act as if they are the bad guys, trying to resurrect the Dark Lord by defeating the legendary heroes who killed him, while chased around by other heroes who want to protect peace and stability. Why would they want to do such an evil thing? Well, two of them are mercenaries who are very bored of peace and find purpose only in slaughter and chaos, while the third is the daughter of the deceased evil wizard, apparently she really liked her daddy and wants him back.
At the same time, it’s not like the show is that serious either. The dark tones are easily lost under silly things such as the daughter being a moe maid, the world being full of ridiculous things such as dragons turning to cute girls, and of course the unavoidable fan service bits. It feels like it tries to be a bit better than the usual fuss, but not by much. This makes it very easy to either like it or dislike it depending on how you see it.
So leaving aside the hit or miss overall feeling of the show, what else is there in it? Well, the battles are fun for starters. They have far more choreography, motion, and strategy than most fighting shonen do. And the visual effects are very well done. Plus, they aren’t afraid to show gore; especially when it comes to killing monsters. When most shows would have them go poof in stardust, over here they are butchered to pieces and blood is splattered everywhere. Then there is Chaika herself who is this cute little moe thing, dressed as a goth maid, going around doing and saying silly things in broken Japanese. Awww, so kawaii! And then there is a lolidragon for more kawaii. And then there are more identical Chaikas for extra kawaii. And yes, the show is turning from action adventure into a moe harem.
It is a fun show but it’s in no way smart or complicating. You are watching it for the action and the moe girls, with the war and the evil wizard resurrection being an afterthought. I can even say that the action loses a lot of excitement after the lolidragon joins the team, as she is basically able to do a dozen different things to get them out of most problems in a few seconds, while otherwise following them because she wants to kill them. So yeah, it’s all about the moe and the harem. Doesn’t do much to remember it as something great but look on the bright side. No schools for once.