It is the early 1920s, and New York City has a problem of evil proportions – demons. With devil worshipping on the rise, foul spirits and monsters have begun to surface, causing fear and panic in their wake. Combating this threat is the Magdalene Order – a group of religious officials charged with exorcising the evil that is spreading throughout the city. Rosette Christopher is a young nun who takes on missions alongside her contracted partner – a young demon named Chrono. Now it is up to this unlikely pair to wield God’s power – and plenty of holy bullets – to destroy the menace in front of them and confront the demons of their past.
StoryAs always with GONZO, you can expect high class animation, fanservice here and there, action, comedy and dramatic moments -- Chrno Crusade is no different. The story follows the same pattern as Full Metal Panic. It kicks off with some action and lighthearted moments then goes into smaller arcs while there is an underlying plot being developed. The story jumps around like that for 2/3rd of the series and you get to know the characters, background etc. It's done in a standard, fully OK way. The last third is then decidated to serious action so to speak. Hardly any comedy, just action, drama and strong feelings. There are still some moments of fanservice (although very small and very few) during these times which I personally found inapropriate. It kind of kills the whole mood. They've done the same in the past with animes like Kiddy Grade. This is just a minor thing however and is rather easy to just ignore, though it's still unnecessary from my point of view. But such things as intended audience and standards plays a role I guess. AnimationThis is GONZO we are talking about, and they tend to hold the trophy in this department. That being said, Chrno Crusade had fluid animation, nice character designs, vibrant colors and awesome CG integration. The CG is used heavily during the dramatic moments in the form of shading, smoke, lighting, and explosions. Very crisp animation in general. The character design is of the more "traditional" doctrine. We have the younger characters with big eyes (not as big as in dating-sims though), smooth face outlines and wide smiles. The older characters have narrow eyes and a more pointy and accentuated face. SoundIt's discreet. I liked the OP and ED tune very much (8/10 on that) but the music in the anime is okay, nothing special. Actually, while I sit here writing this, I am trying to actually remember the music, but I find it very hard. The music is, in other words, okay and it blends in nicely with what happens on the screen. The instruments used in the tracks vary -- some tracks are created solely with classical instruments, whereas others utilize a synthesizer. I have to praise some of the VAs in this show. I don't know their names but they have once again proven that Japan has some highly skilled VAs. I cannot go into specific details since that would spoil. but there are moments which depict desperation, sadness and fear in an extremely moving way (not necessarily all of those at the same time). It was a frequent occurence that I felt I had to wipe my eyes if a scene didn't end soon, but that was just a fact in this series. CharactersWe've got some nice character development here. Not so much in the beginning, but the development department kicks in every here and there and really kicks in during the last third of the series. The characters are by no means deep or special in that way. They are rather generic, per say, with the happy girl who carries a big burden inside and the strict person who acts cold but in reality is very caring. Regardless, they did a good job at giving these generic characters time to develop, and it's done smoothly. OverallNuns, devils, sinners, angels...Pistols, rifles, swords, holy crosses, barriers and so on, one helluva mix. Chrno Crusade is an anime which has been heavily criticized by some groups for being too mainstream -- I do not quite agree. While it does have many elements combined which just screams "lots of different audiences at the same time", I think everything is wrapped together in a neat package. Or to put it like this: It might be mainstream, but it's very good mainstream. There are some elements, as I wrote above, which I found unnecessary and from what I have heard these elements do not exist in the manga which I am currently collecting. I have, however, not read it yet. I will have to give it 8 out of 10. I can't give it more because the first 1/3rd is too generic with a 'Monster of the day' theme. The remaining 2/3rds is nice in the aspect that this is when the character development kicks in for real, and the underlying plot becomes more visible. The last third is just awesome with action, lots of drama and quirks. Although some things feel very clichÃ© (what doesn't nowadays) there were unforeseen moments all the time. I don't know if it was because I saw the last parts around 2 AM, but that was how I saw it. All in all, check out Chrno Crusade if you like action, drama, some spiritual and Christian stuff wrapped up in a package consisting of top-of the line TV animation.
PROPER MINDSET Boy, did this show stir the animedom when it aired. It is still amongst the favorite of many even after all these years and I can even tell you why. 1) It is shounen yet people die in it permanently. Do you know how weird it looks to have that in a genre where usually the characters never die or are resurrected soon afterwards?2) Sad, weird ending. Again, this is a shounen and yet the ending is not fairy tale-ish. 3) Christian flavor. Who says no to that? Especially when it concerns blurring the difference between good and evil and having a romance between a human nun and a male archdemon. Yeah, taboo romances are the easy way to go. There you have it; three very good reasons of why this anime was cherished by so many. Sadly, they all have to do with aesthetics and not with good storytelling. Boy, very few ever care about pacing or directing and I am one of them. So to spoil all the fun, I say the premise of the show is damn good but the presentation is far from great. I can also tell you why. 1) Way too much dead time. 2/3rds of the show is pointless fluff.2) Out-of-place and practically unneeded fan service that works against liking the characters.3) Made by GONZO. You know, good visuals and premises but shitty presentation and closure. The story makes little sense, leaves a lot of things unexplained and even ends in a vague way. It is also sad to see this being director Kou Yuu’s first work and also his best. Afterwards that stupid studio turned his brain to mash potatoes and he went to direct nothing else other than badly made softporns. DAMN YOU TO HELL GONZO! These are the main issues which I will explain next in a bit more analytical way. PRODUCTION VALUES: 7/10 GONZO is very good at making interesting worlds, with lots of details and vivid colors and this is no exception. The setting of the early 20th century was made to look great and the sceneries are the best thing to stare. Unfortunately, it is the only one thing that was done great. The character figures are otherwise quite average in details and the intended oversexuality of the females is actually a mood killer when in comes to character drama. But that is for a later section; all you need to know for now is that all girls are busty and provide medium amounts of fan service, which to be honest don’t offer anything special to the show. I mean, it is not over the top to work meta-series and not excused in-series, so ends up being completely useless and unappealing. Chrono himself is presented as a wimp just to look cool when he goes all berserk but again, it strikes more lame than interesting, aesthetically-wise. Another thing is the battles, which to be frank are not exciting or special in any way. It all ends up who has the better looking spell or goes berserk faster with little effort at strategy or field tactics. Seriously, the whole thing results to you looking at very well done backgrounds and the two main heroes moving silly in the foreground, waiting for some romance or story revelation to come forward. Action and fan service end up being dead time you just beg to end so the good stuff will have their turn. SCRIPT: 4/10 The story has ups and downs along the way and I guess that is another reason many people liked it. First it appeared to be a silly comedy with an aloof duo of demon hunters. Then around episode 7 it becomes a drama around revenge, rebellion and looming death. Then at 10, it turns to some formulaic adventure where new characters are constantly introduced and colorized. Then at 20 it turns to an epic battle for the future of mankind before in ends tragically and leaves you wondering what exactly is going on with that prophecy. And what was that shot?Although to the shallow minds that will appear like an awesome story, because it keeps changing themes, in reality it is just bad directing with no regard to proper transition from one subject to another. The premise of the story is very good; it has to do with a girl trying to save her brother and a pair or archdemons fighting to set free the world from God’s control, while a lot of side characters intervene to make things more complicating. But as far as good storytelling goes, it is very GONZOed. What, who, where, why and when keep happening randomly and usually the whole deal ends up being ridiculed with silly fan service and mistranslation of Christian teachings. I mean, really, do moral Christian sisterhoods let their nuns roam around with revealing clothes? The nuns I know have mustaches and are hardly sexy. And why are the most powerful archdemons look like gays and sissies? Are they even demons and not just people with horns? And how is it humanly possible for a Christian to use demons to fight demons and even fall in love with one? Or how is it possible for a demon to use God’s power in a way to defeat Him? Makes no sense at all. We could of course say it is an anime and these things are excused but they are using Christianity and not some made up religion, and they are supposed to depict pure good and pure evil. Well I’m sorry, I see no good or evil here, just deprived nuns and sissy demons bastardizing the largest religion on Earth. And it’s not even pure parody to just laugh at the absurdity. The funny thing is that I am not a fanatic Christian. I just don’t like seeing any religion being f*cked up like this without a reason at all. There is this live action movie called Dogma which makes fun of Christianity so openly that it ends up being funny; but not this anime. And even without this element in the way most episodes end up being useless in the overall plot so regardless of even noticing the bastardization you still end up watching fillers for the sake of waiting for the main story to return. CAST: 7/10 Although there are numerous characters present, story-wise the ones who matter is only Chrono (main hero), Rosetta (main heroine), and Aion (main villain). All the rest are just there make fun and eat up airtime so the producers can fill a full season. Now about the main trinity, it is good how they are all colorized and developed thoughtout the show. You really see them under a different light by the end of the show and not the same nun with guns and boobs, accompanied with a sissy demon and chasing a gay demon. They also get their catharsis in the end, which is not a happy one but still counts as one. The sadder thing is how they are otherwise quite typical as personalities and looks and even their motives are not that great in the longrun. Did Rosetta even care about her brother in the second half or just looked for a way to bed Chrono? What would Chrono accomplish by stopping Aion? Could Aion even get that crazy plan to work in the first place? All these things end up being good only on paper because in practice they feel absurd and unsupported. LEGACY: 4/10 I did like the premise of the story and the core drama. Yet all that were covered only a third of the show while the rest was fillers, useless characters, out-of-place fan service and improbable masterplans. It did have good scenario ideas. It just didn’t make good use of them. SUGGESTION LIST Series where the heroine has an expiration date: Mahoromatic, Seikano, Looking for the Full Moon Series with girl and boy fighting demons: Blue Seed, 3X3 Eyes, Inu Yasha
Story Good, if a little cliché. It throws together as many story niches as possible to try and make people like it. It is done rather well so should be commended on that. Animation Very good, crisp. Everything is done very well and it looks good at all times. Sound The music does not take anything away form the show, which is good. It is forgettable though. The voices are very well done. They fit in nicely to the era that the show is set in without being too over the top. Characters Generic, all the characters aren't really new. However the characters are saved by nice development. It is a bit slow with some however you do get a real sense of depth and humanity from each (even the demons) Overall Good, ticks a lot of boxes. I would recommend watching it, even if it is just to be amused by the production companies lack of spelling skill.
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