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Chrono Crusade #5: Between the Devil & the Deep Blue Sea PDF Print E-mail
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R1 DVD Reviews
Wednesday, 12 July 2006 00:00
Volume Five (Cover Art)The setup appears to be completed now, as Chrono Crusade delves into the real meat of the story and the unholy alliance between Church and Devils attempts to bring Aion to heel.  As you'd expect, though, the scheming one is fully prepared for anything Rosette and her allies can throw at him, and has a few surprises of his own up his sleeves...

16 - Believer
Satella's beginning to have serious doubts about Rosette's pact with Duffau - to the point where it's giving her nightmares.  With there still being mysterious disappearances in San Francisco to deal with, she opts to look into them herself and try to have as little to do with Rosette's new allies as possible, and her investigations begin with reports of devil-worship at a nearby mine.  Rosette & Duffau, meanwhile, begin planning their next move.  To have a chance of taking on Aion, they have to first disrupt the source of his power.  The first target is a powerful devil-worshipper - the same one into whose clutches Satella has just fallen...

Don't worry, he's friendlySatella falls into Aion's clutches

17 - Accomplices
After her confrontation with Aion, Satella's withdrawn into herself - what she's learned seems to have destroyed her will to fight (as well as Aion have discharged her jewels), and even Rosette's best efforts don't seem to be getting through to her.  Meanwhile, the marks that have been appearing on Rosette's body finally become too much for her to hide. They're stigmata - the markings of God, and a sign that she's the chosen one for the battle ahead - and Chrono's more than a little upset by their appearance.  Later, Duffau's group tracks down another group of Aion's devils, and Rosette and the others are called in to back them up...

Battle of the DevilsPraise me!

18 - Four People / Photograph
Things aren't going well in San Francisco - the first battle against the Sinners effectively ended in defeat for Duffau and the Magdalene Order, and now there are signs that something's not right with the Astral Line in the city.  For Rosette and the others, it's time to rest and regroup, and Azmaria has an idea for how best to do that - a funfair.  Given the circumstances, neither Satella nor Rosette are overly impressed at first, but eventually they come around to the idea and make the most of the opportunity.  Unfortunately, Aion has also decided to pay the funfair a visit, and has brought Joshua with him...

Calm before the stormJoshua returns

Some fairly big revelations this volume, beginning with confirmation of Aion's involvement in the deaths of Satella's family. The bug guy certainly seems to get around.  It's news that she takes a while to get over, but there's nothing quite like a good reason for revenge when it comes to boosting fighting power later in the series - especially once Azmaria inadvertently restores Satella's jewels to working order after Aion discharges them.

Duffau and his people have been something of a surprise, and not necessarily in a good way.  It's interesting to see how some of them seem quite happy protecting humans (including at least one noble sacrifice), but despite representing the greater numbers, Aion's own group seemed easily capable of dealing with them.  That desire to protect humans extends to Chrono as well, who chooses to fight in his "normal" form to avoid using any of Rosette's lifeforce.  There's a scene near the end of episode 18 that's very touching, as it conveys quite well just what the bond between the two of them is - although I doubt either of them would openly admit to it.

Back with Aion, his plans have progressed to the point where all he needs now to get going are the final Apostles, but Joshua's condition continues to deterioriate (at least, until he meets Rosette in the end-of-disc cliffhanger), so it's time for him to really get moving.  The skirmishes on this disc point out the problems Rosette and co are going to have once Aion gets directly involved, and his presence with Joshua at the end of the disc would seem to suggest that's not too far away now.

The story is really beginning to move along at a fair pace now.  There's still some comedy to lighten things up, but for the most part Chrono Crusade has now become a much more serious affair, although that in no way spoils the feel of the show.  With six episodes to go, the time of the final confrontation is near - and I can't wait...

Rating - ****

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