AM! #4: Chrono Crusade

Anime Me!  #4: Chrono Crusade

This week, I bring to you Chrono Crusade.  Easily one of the best presented anime on my all-time list.  The shonen manga was written and illustrated by Daisuke Moriyama.  The individual chapters were published in eight tankōbon volumes by Kadokawa Shoten from December 1999 to September 2004.  The anime itself first aired on Fuji TV in Japan on November 23, 2003 and ran for 24 episodes until June 10, 2004.

Of quick note, you will sometimes find the spelling of the name to be different.  Sometimes it is “Chrono”, and others “Chrno”.  In a bit of an embarrassment, Moriyama’s publishers during the original serialization apologized for the typo.  It has since been corrected as well as the logo itself has gone through a rehaul to be less confused with other stories that use the word “Chrono” in the title.

After the first few episodes you start to feel like it’s the same story.  It starts to have a “villain of the week” type plot in every episode.  As anyone who knows me, knows I don’t look fondly on “villain of the week” stories.  But the moment you feel this, it switches up and give you a swerve.  An actual story, lol!

Chrono Crusade is set in 1920’s.  The division between rich and poor is growing day by day during WWI.  At this time, a darkness is rising influencing the choices of mankind.  A fictional organization known as the Order of Magdalene fight demonic forces across America.  The main characters of Sister Rosette and her demon partner Chrono are part of this organization.  The main story arc that is revealed breaks up the seemingly “villain of the week” episodic nature, and starts driving that arc right through the end of the series.  We see that Sister Rosette and Chrono have more of a past than we are led to believe and they are connected spiritually as well as “physically” (I really do not want to spoil any further).

Sister Rosette Christopher is an impulsive, 16-year-old, and the protagonist of the story.  She seems like any other 16 year old, considering she is a demon hunter.  Except the swerve I mentioned earlier, involving her “contract” with her partner.  Again, I will not spoiler any further.  But from the moment we learn of the contract, the series switches from a “villain of the week” type story to more of a character driven one.  While her character is altered more in the anime than in the manga.  I feel it, in no way changes her character for the purpose of the story.

The anime follows the manga story through the events of Vol. 4, but it really diverges during a crucial point in the plot and as a result, creates different arcs and endings.  Most anime that diverges from the manga story, I have always felt falls flat.  In this instance, the only aspect that I disagree with is the final confrontation between Aion and Chrono.  While I will not reveal specifics, it feels way too fast for the build up it gets throughout the series.  I won’t reveal anything further, but I will say, it’s not even the end.

Let me say this.  I have NEVER watched a more emotional scene than the final 10 minutes of the final episode.  I DARE anyone, who has sat through the entire series, to watch the final scene…and NOT cry.  ANYONE!

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