Chaika the Coffin Princess
Chaika the Coffin Princess/Hitsugi no Chaika
Publisher: Fujimi Shobo
Same author as Outbreak Company and Bluesteel Blasphemer
Complete at 12 volumes
Anime licensed by Sentai Filmworks
Manga licensed by Yen Press
Toru, a saboteur (kinda like a hired mercenary), is out gathering herbs in the woods when he comes across Chaika, a young girl carrying a coffin, who has been lost in the forest for days. They are attacked by a unicorn and with Toru's skills as a saboteur and Chaika's as a magic-user, they take it down together. Introducing herself as the Princess of the Gaz Empire, she claims to be Arthur Gaz's daughter even though a group of heroes had killed the Emperor (and took various parts as magic fuel) and his daughter in the war a few years prior. She hires Toru and his sister Akari to help her reclaim her father's remains so that she may bury him. On their journey to reclaim the parts from the old heroes, they encounter the Gillett Corps who wish to stop her quest, a mysterious informant named Guy, a shape-shifting dragoon called Frederica, as well as other Chaikas who are also searching for Gaz's remains-calling into question of who is the real princess and possibly, whether there was one to begin with.
I really enjoyed the anime, so I'd like to read the novels it was based on. It's a straight-up action-adventure story in a fantasy setting with some mystery and a touch of romance plus the main girl lugs around a huge coffin on her back and wields magic through a rifle, how cool is that? JNC has two of Sakaki's works already, so might as well collect them all, right?