Mania Grade: A
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- Art Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: B
- Text/Translatin Rating: B-
- Age Rating: All
- Released By: ADV Manga
- MSRP: 9.99
- Pages: 190
- ISBN: 1-4139-0084-4
- Size: B6
- Orientation: Right to Left
Chrono Crusade Vol. #01
By Megan Lavey
June 05, 2004
Release Date: May 01, 2004
Chrono Crusade Vol.#01
© ADV Manga
Translated by:Amy Forsyth
Adapted by:What They Say
America in the roaring 20s, a place and time of gaiety and peace, has recovered gracefully from the Great War. Lurking in the shadows, though, is a dark being, ready to pounce upon that newly-gained harmony. Sister Rosette Christopher is an exorcist working as part of the Magdalan Order, and this gun-toting nun is on a mission to annihilate the demonic threat that plagues her world. Along with her companion Chrono, her rampage might lead to the destruction of more than demons! When the two come across Azmaria ? a young girl with a voice so beautiful, it is capable of opening the gates of Heaven ? Sister Rosette and Chrono know they must save her from her cruel stepfather?s wicked plan.The Review
This is a pretty attractive book. The front is a large, color shot of Rosette brandishing her guns with Chrono in a supporting position behund her. Above them is the logo - which brings us to the logo check!
Chrono Crusade is written here in a standard font, with a watch face in the first C and a cross in the second. Why a watch? You'll get it by the time you finish the book.
The back of the book is done in a different style than I've seen before, and I like it. There's no summary back here, just a shot of Azmaria, hands clasped with wings behind her, standing inside of a cross. The words "Mary Magdalene" are written across the bottom. The title and author of the book are repeated back here as well. However, there is no blurb about the series to be found, even within the first pages of the book. The "What they say" I had to get from ADV's Web site. You might miss some new readers with this one if they don't fully get what's going on just by scanning the volume.
It's the standard artwork found in a lot of action series, so there's not much here that sets it apart from other series. The reproduction is nice and the color pages at the beginning of the book turned out well. I like the character designs here, and cracked a smile at the ribbon at the end of Chrono's braid (wanna bet that was a Rosette touch?). The part for me that really stands out is the range of emotions that Chrono displays when he believes that Rosette is dead. Moriyama ran through the gamut of instant shock, grief, then anger very well.
The translation of the story for me was good. It was a clean read for me. However, what really threw me was the SFX. The SFX is untranslated, with translations running alongside it. That didn't bother me that much, because it was integrated enough with the art to where it didn't stand out. What did stand out is the large amount of Japanese dialogue that remained. The translation is provided, but dialogue not contained within a word balloon is left untouched. This is extremely weird for me and I understand they're trying not to mess with the integrity of the art. But, the result is extremely messy pages at times, and you have a hard time matching the English text with the Japanese. This is the first time that I've seen it be done like this and it is very strange.
Our story opens in the year 1924, with a nun dragging her assistant out of a Model-T Ford style car to face several monsters that have attacked the pier (and subsequently destroy the car.) They turn out to be Sister Rosette Christopher and her assistant, Chrono, exorcists from the Magdalen Order.
As they finish off the monsters and look through the ship, they discover a room of gold that will pay off England's war debts from World War I - and that the dead bodies they come across don't have a soul. The monster returns and attempts to take Rosette's soul, but Chrono manages to get a barrier up in time for Rosette to break free and take the monster down - in the name of the Gospel, of course.
This is what Rosette and Chrono do, in the time just five years before the Great Depression grips America and the rest of the world - before science has the ability to take care of the monsters and other creatures of the darkness that the Magdalen Order exist to take care of.
Chrono is a demon and has made a pact with Rosette. She keeps him sealed, but whenever she chooses to let him regain his original form, it comes at a dear price to her. But, that doesn't matter, as they go into their first real case and help to save a girl, Azmaria, also known as the Angel of Fatima.
I knew I was hooked on the page when Sister Rosette turns, shoots the monster and goes, "Don't interrupt me when I'm talking!" If that isn't a hook, I'm not sure what is.
There are some neat revelations regarding the relationship between Chrono and Rosette that are revealed toward the end of the first volume, but I did not want to mention them in the review because I think the book is definitely worth picking up to read for it. I've enjoyed all of the characters so far. Chrono is not what he appears to be, but when he does reveal is true demon form, he is essentially the same Chrono that you meet at the beginning of the story. It's very intriguing.
The book ends with the completion of the Angel of Fatima story, so you're not left hanging. But, the questions that arise about Chrono and Rosette really make you want to keep going. I also like the setting of the series. The 1920s isn't too common of a setting in any sort of book, and Moriyama captures the feel of the era and gives it is own twist pretty well. I like the concept of how there's normal bullets, but also bullets with holy oil - purifying demons, essentially. Otherwise, how else are you going to have gun-toting nuns go around without killing everyone?Comments
I can't believe how much I like this series so far. I know the anime's pretty popular, but I was expecting something completely different when it came to this series. The concept is unique and the characters are enjoyable. The issues that I have with the way text is handled does not detract from the actual story being told. I'm looking forward to the second volume.