Chrono Crusade, The Complete Series – DVD Review

Review by: Kiki Van De Kamp

Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
MSRP: $49.98 US
Running Time: 600 minutes
Genre: Action/Supernatural
Rating: TV 14
Release Date: Available Now

There’s more to this series than just pistol-packing nuns and devil worshipers.

Chrono Crusade was one of those manga series I revisit every once and awhile because there was something about the story that spoke to me so – naturally – I found myself loving the anime version for many other reasons that include finally being able to see Chrono and Sister Rosetta in action and it didn‘t disappoint. FUNimation brings us The Complete Series of Chrono Crusade and trust me when I say that you will find yourself drawn into the world of interesting new exorcists.

Covering the 24 episodes that make up The Complete Series collection, Chrono Crusade takes place in 1928 New York City where a convent of the Magdalene Order dispatches Ministers and nuns into exorcising demons they simply call Devils. Among the Order is the attractive yet impulsive Sister Rosetta Christopher and her loyal partner, Chrono, who happens to be one of the Devils yet comes off as kind and considerate. Together, they make an interesting pair as they exorcise Devils and look into cases involving the supernatural.

Aside from taking out Devils with her guns and ticking off Sister Kate, who is in charge of the Order, Rosetta is searching for her brother, Joshua. You see, Rosetta and Joshua once stumbled upon an underground temple where they first encountered Chrono. Befriending the demon, though, came with its own set of problems as Joshua was whisked away after a dangerous Devil called Aion placed demon horns on the young boy. So Rosetta made a contract with Chrono, one that has shortened her lifespan considerably as the hourglass pendant around her neck counts down what life she has left.

Sure, Rosetta is a walking wrecking ball that ends up destroying buildings and every vehicle she gets her hands on but she and Chrono get the job done. However, the pair finds themselves suddenly thrust into a case that might involve Aion who is targeting a special group of people the Order calls Apostles that have been touched by God much in the way that the three children of Fatima were touched. One of the targets is a cute young girl named Azmaria Hendric who happens to be an accomplished soprano who is being held by her domineering father who also has a contract with Viscount Lerajie, a Devil much like Chrono.

They manage to rescue Azmaria who comes to join Rosetta and Chrono in the Order and becomes a regular character in the series as well as the duo’s partner. All three look into Aion’s mission to collect Apostles and meet the beautiful and wealthy Jewel Witch named Satella Harvenheit who joins them despite the fact that she takes an immediate disliking to Chrono. All four end up becoming powerful allies against Aion and his Devils who are still targeting Azmaria and now Rosetta using her brother who seems to confuse his sister with his caretaker … a girl named Fiore who might actually be connected with one of Rosette’s companions.

Aion, in the meantime, sends his cohorts after them starting with a puppet master who can manipulate people into doing her bidding. There are more Devils as well and little by little we learn of Chrono’s connection with Aion and his followers. We also witness Joshua’s suffering due to the horns as he finally runs into his sister who he – sadly – does not recognize. In fact, he has little memory of what he did when he obtained his horns that fateful day.

The series has many lighthearted moments scattered throughout with all the comical mischief coming from Rosetta herself. It’s fun to see her goad Satella on or watching Azmaria try to keep up with group’s difficult battles. Half way into the show, the series turns darker and more dramatic as Aion’s plan becomes revealed and finally executed as the truth about the Devils, Apostles and Mary of Magdalene comes to light.

There’s also plenty of action but the real fun of the show are the characters and how they develop throughout the series … particularly Chrono and Rosetta’s relationship that turns into something even more special. That’s why the ending is a genuine tearjerker so I dare anyone to watch final episode without tearing up. On top of that, there are some great performances both in the original Japanese track and the English dub. And those who like a complete package will find exactly that with this set seeing as it comes with some great extras.

The Complete Series of Chrono Crusade has everything you could ask for in a supernatural-themed anime series and there are more than enough reasons you will find yourself totally captivated by its story. Aside from the interesting theme, exciting action and funny moments that turn serious by the end of the series, you have a different kind of love story that shows us that even the darkest of days has its bright moments. This is one series you really should consider checking out right away.

DVD REVIEW BREAKDOWN

MOVIE/EPISODES: A-
Sister Rosetta and her kind Devil partner, Chrono, are exorcists for the Magdalene Order in 1920s New York City and their job is going to get very dangerous thanks to a Devil named Aion who knows what happened to Rosetta’s brother. Meanwhile, the pair befriends allies in the fight against Aion and his secret plan to use special people known as Apostles to carry out his evil plan involving a Holy figure.

VIDEO QUALITY: B+
The animation might be a bit on the dated side but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have anything good to look at throughout the entire series. The visual effects, fight sequences and the Devils definitely give us something to look forward to visually.

AUDIO QUALITY: B+
The voice acting in the series is excellent either way you prefer the standout performances by the original Japanese cast or the English dub cast with Hilary Haag and Greg Ayres doing spectacular work voicing Sister Rosetta and Chrono. Then there’s the score that’s superbly cinematic and the opening and closing theme songs are favorites here in the office.

EXTRAS: A
This set includes a number of extras that range from the cleaning opening and closing theme songs but also the original on-air opening for certain episodes as well as two unused never-before-seen openings for Episodes 21-24. There are also a few FUNimation trailers as well. Best yet there are two audio commentary tracks with Episode 1’s track featuring Hilary Haag and Grey Ayres with the ADR Director Matt Greenfield that’s a lot of fun. Then there’s the audio track for Episode featuring Greenfield plus Chris Patton (the voice of Joshua) that’s rather interesting.

Still, the best stuff comes in the form of all seven volumes of Azmaria’s Extra Classes that feature Azmaria lecturing viewers on the era, exorcist weapons, enemies and key figures of importance that relate to the series. It’s worth a view if you’re not familiar with the religious elements or never read the manga series. Plus, Azmaria is pretty darn cute too.

OVERALL: A-
There are a very few anime series out there that that takes religious context and makes it absolutely riveting, comical and thoroughly entertaining but Chrono Crusade manages to do it almost perfectly. Ripe with dramatic moments and great plot twists, the series blends a good sense of humor and plenty of action to make The Complete Series set a Must Have for those who like a different kind of Heaven versus Hell story.

Review copy provided by FUNimation Entertainment

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