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Chrono Crusade #1: A Plague of Demons PDF Print E-mail
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R1 DVD Reviews
Saturday, 21 January 2006 00:00
Chrono Crusade - Cover Art (Volume 1)Chrono Crusade introduces the nun with a gun, Rosette Christopher, and her unusual sidekick Chrono.  Together, it's their job to help rid Prohibition-era New York of devils and demons - which would be fair enough if Chrono wasn't a devil himself.  Hardly a match made in heaven, but when push comes to shove, they're hard to beat...

If you're wondering why some episodes have two titles - each episode of Chrono Crusade has both English and Japanese titles.  Where they don't match, I've given both - the first one is the English, the second is the translation of the Japanese.  Sometimes the differences are just in interpretation, but there are a few instances through the series where the two titles are completely different.

1 - Pilot / Sister Rosette
Rosette Christopher is a young nun of the Magdalene Order.  It's Prohibition era America, and deprived of their easy access to drink people are beginning to turn to other ways of finding their fun - such as summoning demons - and the Magdalene Order has taken on the role of exorcists and banishers of the demons that are now loose in the world.  In Rosette's case, "exorcism" involves lots of heavy-caliber weaponry, and unusually, a pact with a devil: Chrono, who despite the misgivings of Rosette's boss Sister Kate, has become her personal assistant.  When an apparently abandoned ship arrives from England & the dock staff who went on board to check it out go missing, a demon is suspected and Rosette and Chrono are called in to investigate...

Chrono Crusade - It's the nun with a gunChrono Crusade - He's got something she wants

2 - The Covenant / Contractor
Flashback to when Rosette was a child, and she and her brother Joshua entered an ancient shrine where Chrono dwelt.  But far from seeing a devil as a thing of fear, the young Rosette saw Chrono as a new friend.  Shortly after they met, though, the demon Aion appeared and took Joshua.  So much for backstory, and back to the present day, as Rosette and Chrono are once again called into action.  By chance, Rosette's carrying some new Spirit bullets created by the Order's Elder - each round contains a devil, and the theory is that when the round is fired, the devil inside will be released & destroy the target before being destroyed itself.  Unfortunately, Rosette manages to lose her gun, with the round loaded inside, before she's able to fire it.  It's picked up by another demon, who uses the power of the devil inside to increase its own powers.  When the demon attacks Rosette, Chrono's unable to control his rage...

Chrono Crusade - First meeting with ChronoChrono Crusade - Enjoy the carnage

3 - Apostles / The Servants
Rosette and Chrono have been tasked with protecting 12-year-old Azmaria Hendric, who is believed to be an Apostle of God.  A talented singer, she's fallen into the clutches of a known devil worshipper who appears to be trying to use the power in her singing for darker means, so the Order have decided she's in need of their protection.  Problem is, Mr Hendric seems to be contracted to a demon, Lerajie, who knows Chrono, and isn't about to let Azmaria (or more importantly, her power) out of his grasp.  While Rosette & Chrono are able to get Azmaria back to the Order's HQ, an unauthorised field trip gives Lerajie an opportunity to take her back...

Chrono Crusade - What's Asuka doing here?Chrono Crusade - Azmaria is taken by Lerajie

4 - Sinners
Rosette & Chrono took quite a beating during their battle to protect Azmaria, and Rosette's not at all happy at her inability to prevent her from being taken. She wants to go rescue her, but she needs Chrono's powers to be able to do that - and because of the nature of the connection between them & the source of his powers, he's initially not willing to help. She finally manages to persuade him, though, and the pair head off on their rescue mission. Meanwhile, Ricardo has a use for Azmaria's powers - the body he's inhabiting is very much dead & rotting away, and she may have the power to instill it with life again. But as with all bad guys, betrayal isn't far away...

Chrono Crusade - Ricardo's plan goes wrongChrono Crusade - Chrono's true form

The Joshua / Aion flashback in episode 2 at first doesn't seem particularly relevant, but it soon becomes clear that Aion is still keeping an eye on Rosette and Chrono, while Joshua is firmly under his power and working for him - and has a truly frightening level of power (and if that's what Joshua is capable of, what's Aion's own power like?).  It also perhaps explains why the bad guys are so interested in Azmaria - on its own, her singing has healing powers, but if corrupted like Joshua, who knows what damage she could do.

As for the contract between Rosette and Chrono - every time Rosette breaks the seal of Chrono's powers, it costs her some of her own life force.  Since Chrono sees himself more as her friend than contractor, he's not willing to put her at risk.  Rosette's well aware of the price of unleashing Chrono, but sometimes needs must.  This makes for some good set piece battles, but I'll admit I prefer the Rosette-and-heavy-weaponry action to the devil -vs- devil scenes.  Personal preference at work.

The other mystery about Chrono is just why he's working with humans in the first place.  He was once a high-ranking devil whose name struck fear into those who lived in the world of devils - so what happened to knock him down, and what did Rosette do (apart from simply being friendly) to make him betray his own kind?

All questions for another time, though.  This first volume does a good job of introducing the setting and the core cast, and at 24 episodes there's plenty of time yet to fill in the blanks in the story.  While there are some darker or more thoughtful moments, so far at least Chrono Crusade plays as an action comedy and is great fun to watch.

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