Chrono Crusade Episode 01

Chrono Crusade

"Sister Rosette"

Yay a new sries. <-- Not a typo.

The thing is, anime heroes now, they can only have one vowel in their first name. (But don't worry, "Chrno" is still pronounced "Chrono", I figure it's just more stylish and sexy this way. We all know about anime and style, right?)

Well, there's no better way to sum up a show by trying to compare its various parts to popular shows that have come before. We've got something of Hellsing's style (and theme), with lots of cute silliness thrown in, with a main character that has a Vash the Stampede-like habit of leaving destruction in her wake. I think the show definitely has more fun with itself than Hellsing, not taking itself too seriously. The Hellsing similarity is probably due in part to the fact that this is a Gonzo show, so much of the usual Gonzo trappings exist (the best of which being the high production values).

Chrno Crusade takes place in the 1920's in New York City, a very unique setting for an anime series. It involves a semi-secret organization that hunts down demons (no breaking ground there). The character designs are very good, owing in large parts to the setting of the show. Much of the action in this first episode takes place at night, so the vibrant colors of the characters costumes is lost in the gloomy haze. I suspect this is something that will continue in further episodes, as demon hunting is generally a nighttime activity.

It's always hard to judge a first episode, but this one stands out from the pack just for its weird setting and appealing art. There's something immediately weird about a girl nun wielding a tommy gun that makes you curious for more.

Rating: B

Posted by Kei at 11:46 PM | Comments (12)

Chrono Crusade Episode 02

Chrono Crusade


Chrno is a devil. Thus he is dangerous, because even though he's cute, he's still a devil.

I just saved you twenty minutes.

Let's set that aside for a moment. While Chrno looks fine with his little demon ears, Joshua (introduced at the end of the episode) looks absolutely ridiculous with whatever ears those are that he has.

Okay, back to the story and everything else. This episode is pretty much the same thing as the last episode. Chrno and Rosette fight some personality-deprived demon using their sanctified (or somehow holified) bullets. Rosette always gets into trouble, and the Elder (their engineer), has made a new type of weapon. Obviously this can't continue for the entire series, but so far it's back to back almost identical episodes. In fact, even the policemen are a carryover.

Oh, and don't forget, Chrno is a devil, and is very dangerous. Does it sound like I'm beating a dead horse?

Just passing on the experience.

Rating: C+

Posted by Kei at 12:21 AM | Comments (1)

Chrono Crusade Episode 03

Chrono Crusade

"The Servants"

Looks like we're getting rolling now, as we have a cliffhanger story in this episode. I'm happy for Gonzo that they were able to reuse the radar pinging effect from the eyecatch of Full Metal Panic! in Chrno Crusade' s ending credits.

I was a little underwhelmed by Azmaria's character design. Her voice actress is also very similar to Tessa in Full Metal Panic! (another white-haired, soft spoken female of great importance), and she falls into my most hated of all character archetypes, the weak girl.

It's nice to see Rosette in a different costume for a chance, wearing a nice cocktail dress while she's working undercover at a hotel. Chrno doesn't need to change, he is a demon after all. This episode doesn't really flow very well, with a bunch of different scenes, themes, and other stuff thrown together. Not to mention the only thing that really keeps you going through the episode is the certain knowledge that something bad will happen by the end of the show.

It was a bit of a chore to get through this episode, but the problem is probably because we are overburdened with exposition at this point. Once we get more of it out of the way (and I get the feeling we have more long explanations in the near future), maybe the show can move a little more.

Rating: B-

Posted by Kei at 11:50 PM | Comments (0)

Chrono Crusade Episode 04

Chrono Crusade


Four episodes into Chrno Crusade and I think I'm allowed to not give it the benefit of the doubt anymore. (One might argue my standards are ridiculous though, as most anime don't seem to hit their stride until the episode count hits the teens.)

This show is pretty blah, so far, with a legendary demon hunting his own kind, paired up with a bright, bouncy nun (the only refreshing part of the show). As it's a Gonzo show, the action sequences look good, have good production values, and are generally interesting. The plot, on the other hand, is so blah that I can't really be brought to care. Not only that, we have a genuine transformation sequence in this show! (That's an immediate foul in my book.)

As I'm no longer being introduced to new characters, I really wish a story arc would get underway, so I could figure out where exactly all this is going. Every anime seems to think that its plot/concept is overwhelmingly original, so they should be allowed to take their time going through the same paces we've seen in about a dozen other shows, instead of getting to the point and actually showing us what's different and interesting about it.

This episode was not very good, but maybe when this show actually starts, it could redeem itself. Seems hopeful, given all the angels and religious types running around.

Rating: C

Posted by Kei at 08:08 PM | Comments (4)

Chrono Crusade Episode 05

Chrono Crusade


There's probably a new genre that Chrno Crusade could fit into. Were I to name it, I'd call it "techncal Catholic action" (again, not a typo). The "technical" aspects of the show aren't really all that important to understand what's going on, but listening to the various phrases bandied about make it feel like the otaku-like jargon in mecha shows. Just replace gears, and fusion reactors with pseudo spiritual energy and holy water.

I think the main plot of the show starts off here, with Rosette's ultimate quest described vaguely. Though, the actual story of the episode winds off in a different direction, and it ends up being more about Azmaria (yawn) than Rosette. At least with the story moving forward, we've broken the mold of the first couple of episodes, and can hopefully find out more about the world and setting of Chrno Crusade.

So far the show seriously underuses its unique setting, as most of the stuff that we see in this episode could take place in any number of time periods (overly high tech training equipment, generic looking church buildings).

All in all, I have very mixed feelings about this show so far. On the one hand, it seems to have the potential to be a different and entertaining show, but it just sort of comes off as nothing special. Some character development could probably give it a kick in the pants.

Rating: C+

Posted by Kei at 12:58 AM | Comments (0)

Chrono Crusade Episode 06

Chrono Crusade


A show like Chrno Crusade relies heavily on the strength of the chemistry of its team of main characters. In Chrno Crusade, the wildly different personalities of Rosette, Azmaria and Chrno make for some great comedic moments, along with those requisite cheesily sentimental ones.

Azmaria falls into that character stereotype that I don't particularly care for (mousy, subservient, etc.), but I think Rosette's boisterous over-the-toppedness makes up for it. I just think the idea of an outgoing, loudmouthed nun who fights demons with guns blazing is a stroke of genius.

This episode uses some more bits and pieces of the show's setting, which I think is the other strong point of the show. It seems criminally underutilized, with large stretches of the show of ambiguous chronology (ha ha!).

As much as I like the characters, the adventure they go on in this episode is a little flat. There's some demons running around, and it's up to the newly-promoted Rosette and crew to clean up the mess. Rosette shoots, Chrno brawls and Azmaria runs around trying not to be a target. Pretty standard stuff.

Of course, episode six is still early, so this is probably just more extended setup before the real story kicks in (which I assume will be about Rosette hunting for Joshua).

Rating: B

Posted by Kei at 02:53 AM | Comments (1)

Chrono Crusade Episode 07

Chrono Crusade

"The Devil"

I love the little character design details they added to Rosette to separate her from the other nuns. The most visible difference is the fact that she has long slits on the sides of her skirt, which immediately makes her stand out (and also provides possibilities for fanservice, which I guess is the other point of it).

In this episode, we get to see a lot of the stuff that makes me like this show: namely, the brothers and sisters of the Magdalan Order killing demons, zombies and other evil things with tommy guns, pistols and other weapons of the period. It's all good fun.

Then you've also got the reapparance of Aion, who appears to be more than a match for our heroes, as Rosette was forced to resort to opening up the hourglass for Chrno.

This episode seemed to show a little bit more of the show's overall story arc, but it was still a little light on plot movement. However, I think the show's a lot of fun to watch, just for the setting and characters.

Rating: A-

Posted by Kei at 12:31 AM | Comments (1)

Chrono Crusade Episode 08

Chrono Crusade

"Falling Rain - The Puppet"

This episode reminded me a lot of one of the last episodes of Trigun, where Vash has to face off against Legato, who uses the innocent people of the town against him. This always creates a big problem for do-gooding heroes, because they are severely handicapped trying not to hurt the bystanders who get caught up in their mess.

There was about a 50/50 mix of silly and serious in this episode, the silly parts focusing on the interplay between Azmaria, Rosette and Chrno, and their energetic approach to mundane tasks.

While Chrno Crusade is fairly entertaining, I would say on the whole, it's still fairly average (though it's an attractive package). Other than the setting, there hasn't really been anything to elevate it above the mass of other shows of this genre. It's good enough to recommend watching for fun though.

Rating: B

Posted by Kei at 10:19 PM | Comments (0)

Chrono Crusade Episode 09

Chrono Crusade


And now it's time for a flashback.

After some brief exposition, we're taken back in time to when Rosette and Joshua were kids (and still together), living in an orphanage in the countryside. This illustrates the brother/sister bond that existed between the two of them, but more importantly, showed how they first met Chrno.

Joshua is afflicted by the sort of coughing sickness that seems like the number one choice of uncurable ailments for anime characters. It's fun watching all of them run around as kids, and makes you wonder exactly how Joshua ended up being the way he is now.

Like any flashback episode worth its salt, it's actually a multi-part flashback, so next episode we'll likely see the other half which brings the story up to the point where Chrno binds himself to Rosette, Rosette joins the church and Joshua goes missing.

Pretty good, as far as flashback episodes go.

Rating: B

Posted by Kei at 01:30 PM | Comments (0)

Chrono Crusade Episode 10

Chrono Crusade


In this episode we:

"see the other half which brings the story up to the point where Chrno binds himself to Rosette, Rosette joins the church and Joshua goes missing."

While this episode gives away specifics about what happened all those years ago, most of it is stuff you've probably already guessed at this point. Oh, with the exception of one little thing, which helps bind everything we've seen up until now together.

Now that we're up to speed, and almost past the halfway mark for the series (flashbacks out of the way), hopefully it's time for the show to really hit its stride.

Rating: B+

Posted by Kei at 01:38 AM | Comments (0)

Chrono Crusade Episode 11

Chrono Crusade

"Gabriel Hound - The Beast"

After the two flashback episodes, this was a disappointing followup. Instead of continuing the Joshua storyline, we're treated to another filler episode, and an extremely formulaic one, at that.

The mafia is up to its old tricks again, getting involved with a demon hound which is terrorizing "Brooklym". I try not to be too picky about things like this, but seriously. They should at least get place names right. Grand Central shows up again in this episode, which appears to be the only New York landmark the show's creators are aware of. Or perhaps it's some sort of nexus for demonic powers.

This episode features the usual filler-episode suspects including fanservice (modest fanservice, owing to the setting's fashions), a throwaway plot, and the usual interference of Satella. Satella is a part of this show I could do without. She has a cheesy "summoning" sequence for her jewel helper and cheesy, "I choose you, Pikachu!" lines that seem really contrary to the less standard parts of the show.

Azmaria appears in this episode for no other reason than to prove she's in the cast (and probably appease loyal Azmaria fans). Same with Chrno and Elder.

Pretty forgettable.

Rating: C

Posted by Kei at 11:10 PM | Comments (0)

Chrono Crusade Episode 12

Chrono Crusade

"Holy Night"

It's been a while since I've watched a Christmas episode of an anime series (though it feels more than a little strange, being that it's the middle of September right now).

The gang's getting ready to head to San Francisco (San Framcisco?) to find Joshua, but before that, they're coerced into staying to celebrate Christmas. My favorite part of this episode is watching Chrno participate (and question his participation) in the various festivities.

And then you have Azmaria showing off the Christmas spirit, and Rosette in her decidedly un-nunlike Christmas outfit.

Rating: B

Posted by Kei at 10:59 AM | Comments (0)

Chrono Crusade Episode 13

Chrono Crusade

"Marionette Train - Older Sister"

It's westward ho for the gang as they head off in search of Joshua in San Francisco. I'm looking forward to seeing some new locales, as I felt that New York was not really that well utilized, and maybe we'll get a little more diversity on the opposite coast.

Minor spoilers follow.

In this episode, the bad guys try really hard to separate Rosette from Chrno and Azmaria, but in the end fail after several valiant attempts. Which means that this episode devolves into another filler episode. No character advancement, not much plot advancement (other than it taking time for them to travel).

Nothing very memorable about this one, unless you want to see Rosette's clothes get ripped to shreds.

Rating: C+

Posted by Kei at 10:12 PM | Comments (0)

Chrono Crusade Episode 14

Chrono Crusade

"Invocation - Prayer"

This episode has the highest quantity of superdeformed, off-the-wall, zany character expressions so far in the whole series. I'd even hazard to say that there are more in this episode than the rest of the show combined.

In this episode, Chrono comes down with a fever (it just happens), and Rosette is determined to find cold medicine that will work on demons. As an interesting sidebar, I'm sick even as I write this, so I'd settle for cold medicine that works on normal people.

Anyways, Rosette traipses around San Francisco, stopping at every pharmacy with Satella in tow. Eventually she finds a fortune teller that tells her a spell that will lower Chrono's fever, and once you see it set up, it's pretty obvious what it is.

Yep, it's another filler episode, but it looks like we'll get hooked back into the plot next time.

Rating: B

Posted by Kei at 08:21 PM | Comments (5)

Chrono Crusade Episode 15

Chrono Crusade

"The Pursuers"

The one thing that sticks out to me about the main characters of Chrono Crusade, is how they so completely fail to conform with the expected. Take Rosette, a nun. She never really exhibits any of the characteristics you'd associate with a nun (violent, not reserved, consorts with demons, rarely mentions her face). Then you take Chrono, who never acts like a demon (nice, cute, helps others, not self-centered, not evil!). Obviously, Chrono has to be a demon for his part in the story to make sense, but it's like all this backstory for Rosette can pretty much be tossed away. Sure it gives her a unique, cool character design, but other than that, her nun status is pretty much throwaway.

Which is my gripe with the show in general, but luckily the package as a whole is entertaining enough.

In this episode, we learn more about Chrono's background (which is good, because it's integral to the story). Rosette also makes a deal to assist other demons to take out Aion. It's pretty amazing how progressive the Catholic church was back in these days. But Chrono's a pretty nice guy, so they're probably fine.

I'm curious how much longer Rosette's "new" look will last (she's lost the habit and church vestments), or if any of the other characters will get a wardrobe update just to keep things fresh.

This show's entertaining, but not much more than that. It lacks character development and interesting plotting, which would really put it over the top.

Rating: B

Posted by Kei at 12:23 AM | Comments (2)

Chrono Crusade Episode 16

Chrono Crusade


Well, naturally, just as I mention it, Rosette is back to her... I guess it's not accurate to describe it as her standard nun outfit, but you know what I mean.

I wonder if it's uncomfortable for Azmaria's seiyuu to maintain that high-pitched squeak, or if they just have her suck on some helium balloons for a few minutes before her recording sessions.

So, in this episode we get a fuller version of Satella's backstory (and if you've read my reviews, you know how much of a thrill this is for me). It goes something like this: a demon found Satella's clan and killed all of them except for Satella. That's what we already knew. In this episode, we see some of it, but find out two important other facts: 1. the demon was Aion, and 2. Satella's sister survived also.

Satella is also, of course, unable to put up a fight against Aion. (She's tied up, but it wouldn't have made a difference anyways.) After all, if she could, there wouldn't be much for Rosette and Chrono to do. So, there's a lot of talking, then in the last few minutes, Chrono and Rosette burst in, they try to take on Aion, fail, and then he leaves to fight another epis... er, day.

Rating: B-

Posted by Kei at 03:58 PM | Comments (0)

Chrono Crusade Episode 17

Chrono Crusade


It seems really silly to me that Chrono and Rosette keep running off, leaving Azmaria alone. After all, she's kind of critical to Aion's plans, and she's not exactly capable of protecting herself.

I felt a little like I was watching Demonball Z in this episode.

One of the problems with the huge battle in this episode is that most of the demons have been hastily (if that) introduced over the course of the last two episodes, so half the time, I'm not really sure if I'm tracking the battle properly. And then there's the matter of the big holy superweapon the Magdalan Order unleashes on the demons, which appears to totally destroy some of the demons, but Chrono (in weaker form) coasts through just fine.

Rating: B

Posted by Kei at 12:09 AM | Comments (0)

Chrono Crusade Episode 18

Chrono Crusade

"Photograph - Four People"

I think that the reason I like Chrono is that he reminds me a little bit of Kenshin. He's got a similar sort of voice (the TV Kenshin, not Hitokiri Battousai Kenshin). The comparison sort of breaks down there, but I believe there's an intangible sort of similarity between them.

I was happy with this episode because it finally featured what I've been waiting for all this time: the relationship between Chrono and Rosette. I feel somewhat cheated that it took 18 episodes to really get to this moment, and then a little more cheated that it was so short.

The rest of the episode plays out in classic filler style, with our intrepid heroes going to a street festival in the city, even in the aftermath of the enormous battle that happened just before.

On the flip side of the coin, Joshua gets a new outfit (I almost laughed out loud at the part when he, newly outfitted, walks out of the house with Aion). Joshua looks the part of a John Woo hero or villain, and when the screen freezes on him, with the wind blowing his cloak back, well, it seems quite out of place.

Other than all the fluff, there's a few bits of character growth with the non-Chrono, non-Rosette characters, which is good, too. This might be the filler send-off episode though, as I'm pretty sure that we're locked in to the heart of the matter for the rest of the series.

Rating: B+

Posted by Kei at 12:48 AM | Comments (0)

Chrono Crusade Episode 19

Chrono Crusade

"Atonement - Neck"

Well, things have gone from bad to worse.

This is the episode where The Plan is revealed, and the real showdown between good and evil begins.

This is also a big revelation episode, so I don't want to take away from your enjoyment by spoiling everything for you. Suffice it to say, Aion has a suitably convoluted and complicated plan, and that I don't really understand it en todo, but it's pretty obvious (and has been made obvious in previous episodes) most of what's going on here.

I felt happy, as it seems like all the filler and waiting is going to pay off (or at least there's a chance for payoff), so I'm looking forward to finishing off the show strong.

Rating: B+

Posted by Kei at 11:26 PM | Comments (2)

Chrono Crusade Episode 20

Chrono Crusade

"Temptation - Poison"

For a few seconds there, I thought that I had totally missed something with Remington, but hmmmm.

Spoilers can be inferred below. In fact, spoilers can be inferred from the fact that I am telling you that there's something about this episode that spoilers can be inferred from.


This episode had a moment that should have been very emotional. Somehow, though, I feel like the ball was completely dropped, and I really didn't care. I mean, I do care, but not because the show is telling me that I should, I just feel a little bummed out, which is not something you want to happen when something so earth-shattering happens in a show.

There are also a lot of big revelations (like the previous episode), that went over my head a bit. I get what's going on, but it's spelled out in that great "you've been through twenty episodes, now here's the story from the beginning of time to the present" way that anime tends to employ.

Nothing much is going right for the good guys right now, so I can't help but wonder how they're going to pull themselves out of this hole.

Considering how important this episode was, I'm really disappointed I don't care more.

Rating: B-

Posted by Kei at 08:33 PM | Comments (0)

Chrono Crusade Episode 21

Chrono Crusade

"Mary Magdalene - Magdalena"

Hey, well that explains everything, doesn't it?

I'm pretty glad for it, too, because if it hadn't happened, I was really wondering if they'd really be willing to just toss off the really important thing that seems logical that will have to happen at the end of this show.

So more revelations in this episode, mostly about Chrono's past, and what caused him to split up with Aion (friends always split up over women).

Three episodes to go, and Aion's plan seems to be going pretty well. Just a few more loose ends to wrap up before the end.

Rating: B+

Posted by Kei at 11:14 AM | Comments (1)

Chrono Crusade Episode 22

Chrono Crusade

"Sayonara - Goodbye"


Well, judging from the title of the episode, you know someone's leaving. I'll make it easy for you: Chrono and Rosette aren't done yet, and Azmaria's too cute to kill off. (And killing off a bad guy doesn't get you into a title like that, usually.)

So this is the end of Satella's story. It's sad, in the end, but it's also kind of cheap. Apparently Satella has this extremely useful jewel summoning move, but she has to hold Fiore in place and trick her into staying there as she impales them both. Obviously the creators of the show liked the idea of Satella sacrificing her life to save and stop her sister, but end up doing the deed in a fairly unconvincing way. On the one hand, I can see how she needed to catch Fiore off guard, on the other hand... come on. I'm sure Satella can materialize that thing anywhere she wants. She can probably guess.

But that's a nitpick, and most shows would fall into the same trap (which doesn't make it okay, but makes it understandable).

Since she's gone, I guess it's time to look at Satella as a character. She was useful mainly for getting the kids out of jams early in the show, and then her money gave them access to various necesseties later on. She's pretty much the same character: perhaps a little less selfish and self-centered, and certainly more tolerant of "good" demons like Chrono (of course, that's almost there immediately... who couldn't like Chrono?). Considering she's one of the main characters of the show, her arc is pretty blah. At least Steiner won't have the mansion all to himself.

The other stuff that happened in the episode, I liked a lot better. It's about time someone noticed that the Magdalan Order has a demon in its ranks, and the mob reaction you'd expect pretty much plays out.

The showdown should be just around the corner, and I'm ready to see the sparks fly.

Rating: B+

Posted by Kei at 11:53 PM | Comments (0)

Chrono Crusade Episode 23

Chrono Crusade

"The Noise"

Here in the penultimate episode of Chrono Crusade, everything's finally come to a head.

One thing that's been kind of lacking from Chrono Crusade, in general, is a lack of tension. Sure there's bad stuff happening, but it doesn't really connect to the viewer. Even when terrible things are happening to the main characters, it feels somewhat unreal, or that I haven't gotten attached and involved enough with what's going on to really care.

Part of this is probably because Aion does so much. The characters dance to his strings, or react to things he does. Rosette and Chrono and Azmaria just go with the flow, like anyone watching.

I'd say the contest of religious rambling to stuff happening in the episode is a little too far weighted towards the former.

Rating: A-

Posted by Kei at 09:00 PM | Comments (3)

Chrono Crusade Episode 24

Chrono Crusade


Here we are, at the end of the road. Major spoilers, probably.

Given that the final battle between Chrono and Aion really comes down to about three seconds on the screen (there's the posturing, first, but everyone knows that's not going to lead to a victor), I suppose it's not too surprising that only half an episode is given over to finishing the relationship between Chrono and Rosette (Azmaria, who must be the fan favorite of the show, gets the other half).

I finally realized the extent of the mispronunciation of "solitaire" in the closing credits.

So here we are, at the end of the road, with Rosette's life all but spent, as she spends her last moments in the company of Chrono. Which leads me to one of my big problems with their relationship, and how the show hinges upon it.

Chrono and Rosette obviously love each other, but they never vocalize it. You might say that this is just the way they are, but with Rosette the way she is, I'd expect her to need affirmation of this relationship, to verbalize and vocalize it. Instead, it's more of an "understood" relationship, and (all but one) most of the times their love is referred to, it's always other characters talking to Chrono or Rosette about it, or to someone else entirely.

So in the end, when Rosette screams that she doesn't want to die, it's more the fear of death than that she wants to be with Chrono more. Of course, that's what she means, but it's not real enough, not big enough.

And then the perfect ending is missed for another 15 minutes of Azmaria, when that could easily have been the first half, and Chrono and Rosette's end at the very end.

All in all, this was an entertaining show, but it should have had less filler and more Chrono and Rosette, the two characters that absolutely make the show.

Rating: A-

Posted by Kei at 03:49 PM | Comments (18)