Chrono Crusade Vol. #2 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 12 & Up
  • Region: 2 - Europe
  • Released By: ADV Films UK
  • MSRP: £19.99
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Chrono Crusade

Chrono Crusade Vol. #2

By Kim Wolstenholme     June 08, 2005
Release Date: May 16, 2005


Chrono Crusade Vol. #2
© ADV Films UK


What They Say
Chrono and Rosette are back, and there’s a whole new legion of the damned out to get them! But this time they’ve got a little help in giving the devils hell, as Azmaria and a new demon hunter join in the fight. Unfortunately, there are bigger, badder demons yet to come, and when the devil who kidnapped Rosette’s brother resurfaces, it looks like the Magdalene Order may have met its match. Can our heroes cheat the devil out of his bargain? Find out in the second thrilling volume of Chrono Crusade!

The Review!
The second volume of Chrono Crusade builds nicely on the first, with some interesting revelations and even more action.

Audio:

I watched the show alternating between both of the audio tracks provided on the disk. The Japanese Stereo track is perfectly functional with all dialogue and sound effects coming from the front sound stage. There are a couple of directional sound effects that use the left and right speakers but not too many. The English 5.1 track utilises all of the surround speakers and there is some good directionality with both dialogue and sound effects. In addition the English track on this disk seems to be a lot louder than on the previous volume, although this could be down to selecting this option for more action orientated episodes. Overall the voice actors on the English dub do a good job, however the one duff note for me was Tiffany Grant who voices Satella. Whilst I am aware that Satella is meant to be of German decent the accent used is more ‘Allo ‘Allo than Das Boot and this slightly spoils an otherwise decent track. Both tracks are perfectly clear and I noticed no dropouts or distortion.

Video:

Chrono Crusade is presented on disk in its original aspect ratio of 1:33.1 and I didn’t notice any major problems with the transfer, although at times it did appear to be a little soft. The colours used throughout the show came across well and there is a nice distinction between the daytime and nighttime scenes. Colours are noticeably brighter and more vibrant during the day and these same colours are given a more muted appearance at night. The nighttime scenes are also softened by the use of fog, which is a nice atmospheric touch.

Subtitles were in the usual ADV font and yellow in colour, I noticed no grammatical errors and only 1 minor spelling mistake (Brooklym as opposed to Brooklyn)

Packaging:

Once again ADV have supplied a nice reversible cover although yet again I preferred the alternate artwork. The main cover comprises of a single shot of Rosette with all guns blazing as she appears to be falling backwards. The backdrop to the cover is once again dark in tone and shows some sort of building; overall it’s a nice stylish cover with the volume number clearly identifiable both on the front cover and the spine. The back cover follows the same layout as the previous volume, with the squat cross containing volume information and screen shots, with the usual ADV information displayed on the bottom of the cover.

The reversible cover has a picture of Rosette and Satella against a lighter sky coloured background, and both of them are showing quite a bit more flesh than usual. Once again the reversible cover contains a bit more information about each episode and has more specific screen shots.

Menu:

The menu continues with the cross theme, with another cross taking up the centre of the main menu which displays scenes from the opening credits. The menu options are in separate boxes around the outside of the screen, and the cursor is also displayed as a cross. All the menus are accompanied by music from the show and all access times are quick.

Extras:

Opening up the extras we have another 2 instalments of Azmaria’s Extra Classes, which provide us with a bit more information about the Chrono Crusade world. The first instalment gives us some more information on the weapons used by the Order of Magdalene while the second one concentrates on the Apostles. Following this we have the anime staple of the clean opening and closing credits, in addition the Original On Air Opening for episode 5 is also included.

The Chrono Crusade Chronicle section includes information on characters, places, weapons and the Magdalene Order. Next there is another set of Production Sketches again in a slideshow format, and finally we have a set of ADV previews.

Once again it’s a nice set of extras that compliment the show well.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review will contain spoilers)

It’s not often that I start to watch a series that has an immediate impact on me and makes me count down the days till the next volume, so I was actually quite surprised when the first volume of Chrono Crusade had me eagerly waiting for the second disk to arrive. My expectations after the first volume were high and I was wondering whether the second disk would be as good. I wasn’t disappointed as the second volume continued to add more depth to the central cast of characters and continued to build on the story arc with some interesting developments.

The second volume starts rather neatly pretty much where the first left off, Azmaria has become a more permanent fixture at the Order and has joined the choir, but her ambitions don’t stop there. Rosette on the other hand is even more determined to find her brother and the other Apostles to the extent that she plans to leave the Order after Sister Kate refuses to let her devote her time to this mission. Luckily for Rosette, Father Remington informs her that there is a way in which she could stay at the Order and still search for the Apostles. By joining an elite rank of exorcists called the Militia Rosette would be allowed to devote more of her time to specific investigations. Father Remington thinks Rosette has what it takes to join this rank but she must prove that she has the skills required to defeat even the most powerful devils. In order to prove that she has this ability Father Remington sets up a test for Rosette in the training chamber at the Order.

Meanwhile Azmaria has indicated to Sister Kate that she would like to become an exorcist in order to help the Order, and unbeknownst to Rosette and Remington she is also in the chamber when Father Remington releases a ‘soul eater’ devil for Rosette to battle as part of her test. This devil takes over Azmaria and it’s up to Rosette to save her without the backup she would normally get from Chrono.

The next episode sees Rosette promoted to the Militia and she is given her first mission, tracking down the devils that the Mafia are bringing into New York. Chrono is obviously along for the ride, as is Azmaria, who is now allowed out on missions. During this mission they run into the path of Satella Harvenheit, a jewel summoner who fights devils using unique powers. Whilst Satella is also dedicated to vanquishing devils she works on her own and is employed on a ‘bounty hunter’ basis by third parties.

Satella has an immense hatred for all devils and when she realises that Chrono is also a devil she tries to destroy him but is stopped by Rosette. When Chrono later saves her life when a devil attacks an uneasy truce is formed, but Satella refuses to hide her overriding distrust of Chrono. Interestingly enough, Satella and Rosette are actually very similar characters that go about their goals in very different ways. Satella is also searching for family, but has chosen to do this using her own abilities rather than join another group who could help. She’s certainly more independent than Rosette although she’s just as determined and headstrong. Her power is also quite unusual as she’s a jewel summoner and can summon entities that are under her control by using gemstones. No explanations are given for how Satella discovered this power and this is something I’d like to see explained as well as the disappearance of her family.

After defeating the devils summoned by the Mafia, the Order of Magdalene is faced with it’s biggest challenge so far – the reappearance of Aion. Several portents are reported that indicate that Aion is about to make an appearance. He’s also managed to break the Seal of the Seven Wings around Central Park that needs to be re-created before the living dead take over. Rosette, Chrono and Azmaria are sent to the park to recreate a section of the seal, however, before they can recreate their section Aion arrives and tries to take Azmaria with him.

After hearing bits about Aion in the preceding episodes it’s interesting to finally meet the devil that used to partner Chrono and kidnapped Joshua. Aion’s plan is finally revealed in this episode as he plans to change pandemonium, although to what purpose is not revealed. This is something that he’s been planning to do for a long time now and originally Chrono was his partner in making the change, but somewhere along the line Chrono decided that this was something he didn’t want to do. Aion is certainly everything that you might expect a high level devil to be - he’s charming, handsome, eloquent and enigmatic but also manipulative, cruel and something of a megalomaniac. In this episode alone he attacks Chrono, manipulates Rosette and almost manages to make Azmaria go with him voluntarily.

In the final episode on this disk Rosette is asked by Father Remington to pick him up at Grand Central Station. As Rosette has something of a crush on the Father she readily agrees and arrives just on time to pick him up. Upon entering the building she finds out that a puppet master, a devil that has the ability to control peoples actions, has taken the all the passengers in the building hostage. This devil has been sent to take Rosette to Joshua who appears to be seriously ill. As Rosette and Father Remington are seriously outnumbered will Rosette go with the devil to see her brother…

The episodes on this disk are certainly as action packed as the first four and we have a slight change in tone to something a bit more serious. There are still comedic moments, but again these are only included where it’s appropriate. Now that she’s been promoted to the Militia Rosette seems a bit more aware of her actions and is even more determined to find Joshua and the other Apostles. Chrono becomes more interesting with each episode and I’m left wondering what exactly happened to make him question Aion’s plans and leave to fight other devils. Father Remington also gets more exposition this time round, and it’s becoming obvious that he knows about the bigger picture but is only giving out pieces of information when they become relevant to the current situation. Satella is another interesting character and while similar to Rosette is sufficiently different to create a good dynamic between the two. Her refusal to accept help, obvious dislike of devils and her shady past could make for some interesting situations.

Finally we learn a little bit more about Joshua, who up until now has been left in the background. It appears that Joshua is in thrall to Aion and to a certain extent worships him. He’s aware of Aion’s plans to find the other Apostles and use them in his plan, but he’s looking forward to meeting these people. Joshua’s failing health is also making him aware that he’s not seen his sister in a long time and he’s looking forward to seeing her again.

As with the first volume the productions values here are very impressive. Devils are given a unique look and feel, even if they are only on screen for a few seconds, and backgrounds are nicely detailed. It’s obvious that a lot of thought went into creating the right kind of atmosphere for this show and it’s some of the smaller touches that serve to reinforce the fact that the show is set during the 1920s.

In summary-

The first disk of Chrono Crusade established the characters, environment and story very well and the second disk continues to build on this in a well-crafted fashion. New characters are introduced skilfully and actually seem to have something to add to the overall story arc instead of being introduced for no apparent purpose.

If you thought the first disk left you with a lot to think about the second disk throws even more information out and I’m left with a huge list of questions that relate to each character, which I’m hoping will get resolved. So far the series has been highly entertaining and, as well as being visually pleasing to watch, has got me thinking about the much bigger picture, something I don’t find myself doing all that often.

Features
Japanese Language 2.0,English Language 5.1,English Subtitles,Azmaria’s Extra Classes,Clean Opening and Closing Animation,Original On-Air Opening Animation (episode 5),Background Information for Characters and Settings,Production Sketches

Review Equipment
Panasonic 42” Plasma, Arcam 88+ Prog Scan DVD Player, Kef Egg 7.1 Speaker system with a Ruark log sub. Denon 3802 amplifier.

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