Chrono Crusade: The Complete Series
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In New York, 1928, the seals between Earth and Hell are breached. Hold on to your rosary as professional exorcists rage against depravity in this iconic series from the creators of Afro Samurai and Trinity Blood. Brandishing sacred weaponry, Sister Rosette and her partner Chrono dutifully serve the Magdalene Order, a divine organization that cleans the streets of demonic filth. Their main target: Aion, an indomitable devil raining apocalyptic horrors upon America. A doozy of a devil himself, Chrono's true powers can only be released at Rosette's command - draining her own life in exchange. Staring mortality straight in the face, this dynamite pair races against time to destroy Aion and restore the balance between good and evil.
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The main character is Rosette Christopher, a cheery 16-year old who's eager to find his younger brother again. Ever since her brother was taken away by a being she reffers to as "Aion", Rosette insisted to join the Magdalene Order to become a nun. The Magdalene Order is an organisation of which consists people who work day and night to rid of the evil that surrounds the cities of America in the late 1900's. Demons, as they call it. However, the new technology of those days build great arsenal power to the organisation. Guns with bullets filled with Holy Water, and more. Anyways, Rosette always fights demonic monsters with the help of her companion, Chrno. He's a great friend and very loyal to Rosette, even though when he does smart remarks, she always goes a little rough on him. But not too rough, just to kid around. There's a strange bond between Chrno and Rosette, and for that... you'll just have to find out within the episodes, so that I won't spoil much of it.
I have just seen the last episode. I was greatly moved by it, and the plot twists always made me think "Oh my god... what'll happen next?!" so I always continued watching it until the very end. The beginning of the series show some comedy relief between the episodes, but near the ending, that's where the REAL seriousness shines. Some say that the ending was just awful, others say it wasn't what they expected...Read more ›
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The story itself follows Sister Rosette Christopher, a spunky girl great at destroying things, and her trusted partner-in-mischief Chrono, a peaceful, child-like devil. Both of them work for the Order of the Magdalene, a fearless group of exorcists and devil-slayers. Early on in the series, Rosette and Chrono are sent on a collection of unrelated missions, either to destroy threats from devils or to save those in danger. In one of these missions, they meet Azmaria, a girl with a tremendous power to heal, yet a power she's unable to control. They take her under their wing. Soon after, the real story begins. Chrono and Rosette's histories are revealed, and the two main enemies, Aion and Joshua, Rosette's brother, begin their quest to start the apocalypse. This ignites a war between man-kind and devil-kind, and though the sides are sometimes blurred between the two, it's clear that the final outcome wanted by Aion is one that may be inevitable. Still, help for the good-guys comes from odd places, including a pagan jewel-witch who has the power to materialize creatures from gemstones, and a horde of devil/hell-police, who want to keep the order in place, the way God had intended.
By the end, I, personally, was floored. Not only did I like the idea of devils with morals, but I enjoyed the fact that Chrono Crusade was fearless in its attempt to present a great story, controversy or not. It uses stories from the Bible, as well as religious mysticism, and mixes things that would be considered sacrilegious in our society, such as the love between a human girl and a devil. Even with that controversy, though, the message of this series is deep, and one that tells the story of human history and how many mistakes we have made over the years.
And of course, there is the actual climax of Chrono Crusade, which I will admit brought more than just one tear to my eye.
Chrono Crusade ranks close beside Last Exile as one of GONZO's greatest anime. The story ranges from moronic to dead serious, and pulls this off well by presenting a message and a theme, something that's uncommon in anime meant for laughs. The ideas in this story, though rich with controversy (if anime were as mass marketed as Harry Potter, this would be a series in the burning pits), are unique for an anime, and the ending is one of the best I've seen, especially when you consider the history of anime endings. I recommend this box set to anyone who wants to see something unique and worth multiple viewing, because that's exactly what Chrono Crusade is.
The extras on the first disc include the original on-air openings for the first five episodes, as well as commentary on episode one by the American voice actors for Rosette and Chrono. The only difference between the five on-air openings is about ten seconds of footage in the middle; otherwise, it's the exact same opening. Because the difference is so slight, it made this feature rather boring to watch. The only extra on the second disc is commentary provided by the American voice actor for Joshua and ADR Director Matt Greenfield. The fourth disc contains the unused on-air openings for the final four episodes. These unused on-air openings are exactly like the openings on the first disc, but with different footage during the ten seconds in the middle.
The fifth disc contains several bonus features. First is "Azmaria's Extra Classes." These are a series of eleven three-four minute pieces that explain various aspects of Chrono Crusade. The topics covered in this section include: America in the 1920's, the Magdalene Order, weapons used by the Magdalene Order, the Apostles, the beasts Satella summons, the devil worshippers, "the Sinners," the pursuers and the Believers, stigmata, the ritual of Atonement, and the Head of Pandemonium. Next, is the clean opening and clean close (which are the opening and ending credits without the credit text).
The "Chrono Crusade Chronicle" is a feature that is designed to look like a newspaper. This is divided into four sections: "Famous People Sighted," "Mysterious Creatures Discovered," "Mechanical Curiosities," and "Chrono Crusade Slang." All of these contain various pieces of information, and is done in a slideshow format (the only exception to this is "Chrono Crusade Slang," which is a list of slang words from 1928 that the viewer can page through). Outside of "Chrono Crusade Slang," the viewer has no control over when the screen changes to the next page of information.
Next is "Production Sketches." This feature is not done in a way that the viewer can go through at their own pace. Instead, it is done as a 36-minute long video file. The disc also includes ADV Previews and DVD credits.
While I was disappointed in the packaging of this set, and wish some of the special features had been done differently, this is a good set to own if you are a fan of Chrono Crusade.
Chrono Crusade is a surprisingly deep anime. It starts out with a devil-a-day feel, but quickly moves on to an actual plot. The first half is mostly action and and comedy punctuated with drama. The second half is where this series really shines by getting much darker and more tragic. The story has several background stories that really flesh out the main storyline and add complexity and realism as well. The characters themselves are never very complex, but they are likable and not too stereotypical.
A short warning for those who might take offense: there is a perverted old man employed by the Order whom often looks up the Sister's skirts. Also, this story is both flattering and damming of the Christian religion. Most of the bad things said about God and Christianity are said by the bad guys, but it is insinuated that even some of the good guys are of the same, or a similar, opinion by the end.
I've watched Chrono Crusade twice now and I was even more impressed with it the second time I watched it. The production value seems quiet good, the voice actors all did an excellent job, and the soundtracks one the best I've ever heard. One warning though: Rosette's English voice actor is completely intolerable. Watch it in Japanese, your ears will thank you.
Chrono Crusade is probably the best Christian influenced anime I've ever seen and one of my favorite anime overall (I've seen lots of anime). It isn't for everyone, with the heavy religious overtone and the darkness of the later half, but for those of you who don't mind such things it can be a very enjoyable series. And finally at a low price in a nice compact form!
I've also read the manga and found that this is one of those very rare instances where the anime and manga diverge yet both are equally good. If you enjoy the anime, try giving the manga a shot as well.
So all in all, after that long review, I would recommend this to anyone who isnt in absolute love with the manga, which is very hard not to love, and likes a anime that has tragedy, love, some comedy, and is over all alittle dark.