Chrono Crusade Manga Review



An anachronistic manga based around a nun hunting ghosts and demons in the 1920s, "Chrono Crusade" establishes itself as being pretty weird right from the start. It wavers between "silly" and "endearing", but has enough characterization and development to pull through.

Chrono Crusade follows Rosette Christopher, an exorcist of the Magdalan Order. Her job, and the job of her order of priests and nuns, is to hunt down demons and other evil spirits. Assisting her in this task is Chrono, a friendly demon bound to her life-force by a contract. Early on, the series follows a simple "adventure" pattern - Rosette and Chrono are sent to hunt down some demon, and they take it out (while making new friends along the way). However, some of these missions start leading to a larger conspiracy, which also leads into Rosette's major goal: to find what happened to her brother.

Chrono Crusade's protagonists are Rosette (who uses guns and special holy bullets) and Chrono (who can turn into a full-fledged demon at the cost of Rosette's life force). Later on, Azmaria (a young girl whose singing can heal wounds) and Satella (a bounty hunter who uses jewels to summon guardian statues) are added to the group. Rare for an action manga, the enemies in this series are actually fairly limited. Apart from the initial antagonist-type demons, there's only a single group of major enemy demons. This is accounted for by the fact that the manga is relatively short, and also makes for more tense fights overall. Each bad guy gets much more time and a more detailed fight than comparative enemies from other series, and each usually has some trick or puzzle to them rather than being a straight-up brawler.

The art is detailed enough that it's pretty to look at in normal conversational scenes, but gets a little overcrowded during action scenes. This isn't bad early on, but later, as the scale of the series increases, the fight scenes become more and more difficult to parse. Still, for the most part it's pretty good. The plot gets a little out of hand, and the ridiculous "standard anime costumes" look really out of place in the metropolitan 1920s, but the characters are reasonably interesting (especially due to the fact that the lead is an aggressive female, although she's still bound by a lot of tropes and cliches).

Chrono Crusade is pretty solid overall. The plot twists later on are eye-rolling, but for the most part it's a good series for action fans. It's hardly perfect, but it's short and compact enough that it feels like the story's been finished instead of meandering through a thousand pointless fight scenes. The characters and designs are good enough to make it enjoyable to read through. Ultimately, it's a good series.

Rating: 8/10.

Purchased at Waldenbooks.

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