Friday, May 9, 2014

Chaika the Coffin Princess (Hitsugi no Chaika): How can things go so Horribly wrong? So fast?

Last Seen: Episode 4

I don't from...?
Just... No.
I have Never seen an anime derail so fast or so hard from its derived source. When this episode first began rolling in, it was completely in sync with the manga, as of last episode moving into this one. Sure, my brain was niggling at me that maybe her armor design was a touch different, but after a week I'd more than easily forgotten about it, and they're free to improvise and improve things like that in the work of adapting into the anime from the manga.
[EDIT]: In fact, I like the new armor design more than the original. [EDIT END]
But it all went downhill from the first statue of Dominca. Cliff-face-vertical-drop down, downhill.
*Takes a step back to breath*

Ok, let me just take a moment to clarify that I'm not some sort of fanatic "IT MUST ALWAYS ADHERE TO THE MANGA" nutcase. I'm all for improvising, adapting, and attempting to improve when changing mediums, its a necessary thing. But! As I have repeatedly said, and beat into the ground, that does not include the plot and story core. Change a few elements of the story to make it come across better in the anime? Fine. Fabricate something to end it before its time? Poor taste, but fine, I understand not every anime can be a long runner.
WHAT THE HELL! know what. I need to go review the manga to clearly define the limits of my annoyance. I'll be right back.
Alright. So. They converted 13 chapters into 3 episodes. That's fairly fast considering the first episode trimmed out some of Tooru's character building.
They just converted 11+ chapters into 1 episode. (some manga untranslated at time of writing)
Does that give you an idea of the scale? Even contained to just this anime? I've honestly never bothered to do this comparison before for any other anime, so I have no example cases to give, but I think my point has come across just fine.
They have literally ripped, like, 4 bones out of Dominca's story, maybe a 5th I can't be sure about since the manga still hasn't been translated for the rest of this arc of the story.
They have taken those bones, and jammed them into the dirt to grow like flowers for this new story.
That is not how bones work.
Ok, I'm done with the analogies now, sorry. I'm not joking though, they pulled four plot bones out, and completely repurposed them for this new story. That projector in the courtyard? That's an original plot element. What it's projecting however, is not even remotely related to what it does or means in the manga. That fourth bone? Fredrica. That name is significant from the manga, but to save spoilers for both the anime and manga, I can't say why or how. Just know that if they don't make a point of it having a meaning next episode, they're never going to. It will just be a random bone from the manga.
Now I want to take a moment for something:
*Click* Ranting Mode Off
This episode was a good episode. As a contained unit, and a piece of the anime, it was good. Nothing mechanically wrong here. As a figurehead of what the studio adapting this manga is doing, it may as well be a gravemarker for the original story. This anime is only (super)loosely going to follow the manga. The new story they're telling, is alright in my opinion. After I calmed down a bit, I assessed it and decided I liked the new Dominica story they told. Too short, but it's alright. If you really like this anime by the time it ends, which I can't imagine being much further than 12-13 at this point, (unless they do a complete spin-off) then go get the manga, because it's going to have a lot more story.
The Manga tells a very Humanity strong story. The anime is aiming its sights at Action as best I can tell.
Alright, now that that's out of the way.
*Click* Ranting Mode On
I feel like, specifically on the Fredrica topic, that they even bothered to include the name means they have an option of retroactively imposing a heart of Dominca's story into the anime, but since they haven't retro'd in Tooru's laziness...or even bothered to emphasis it at all, and instead are weaving a new element of 'I just had no purpose in life before this, when the war ended', I'm not inclined to believe they will do any catch up.
I want to take a moment to emphasis this point:

I was very attached to Domica's original story. It has not finished being translated in the manga, but I like it very much so far. My anger and annoyance is very likely 50% fueled by my personal fondness for the original story. You are now an informed audience.

I haven't seen anything to undermine the quality of the anime, objectively, up to this point. I now have very little trust in whatever studio it is that did this adaptation, so much so that I'm genuinely afraid to look and find out who, because I might let my personal feelings bleed into my judgement in the future, and prevent me from watching another of their works that by all means could be a perfect masterpiece.

I'd cook up some sort of 'Biggest Let-down of the Season' award for this, but only four episodes in is far too soon for me to let myself judge this show so harshly...also I don't want to keep track of so abstract an Award. To be perfectly honest with myself as well, it's not the anime that's a let down either, as much as it is the adaptation and studio working on it. If they didn't have the time/resources to make an anime that could be truer to the original Plot, if nothing else, I don't even know why they decided to make it in the first place. Popularity maybe? I'm not sure. It's one thing to clip story and characters, like how I don't mind much that they trimmed Tooru's introduction paper-thin, but you don't hacksaw the plot like this without major consequences to quality. That's the way I think about this, anyway. I'm a little too emotionally-fueled right now to have confidence in my objectivity, even calmed down as I am now.
[Aside]Completely unrelated to any of this though, I've found that I quite enjoy re-reading Manga. I have such a powerful memory for Plot and Story, that I usually don't get much out of re-reading books, or re-watching movies and Anime, but somehow I really enjoyed re-reading the manga for this. I wasn't predicting or instantly remembering every next step of the story and plot as I read. It was a rather liberating experience. So at least I got that from this endeavor.
(and no, it is not a Perfect Memory. I just don't forget plot and story easily, and instantly remember with the smallest of pieces. Works almost as well for music, too. Or would, if I ever bothered to remember the names of songs, or composers/muscians. [which I don't] )
[Aside End]

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