Mania Grade: B+
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: B+
- Packaging Rating: B+
- Menus Rating: B
- Extras Rating: B+
- Age Rating: 15 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: ADV Films
- MSRP: 29.98
- Running time: 75
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Chrono Crusade
Chrono Crusade Vol. #6
By Chris Beveridge
July 11, 2005
Release Date: July 05, 2005
Chrono Crusade Vol. #6
What They Say
© ADV Films
Nothing has prepared Rossette for what happens as the jaws of Aion’s trap finally close. Torn apart and tortured, Rosette’s dark rite of passage leads her to a place she is unready to go. In the embrace of a demon she must make her decision; to fulfill the destiny which has been preordained. Allies die, friends betray, and the hopes of mankind revolve around a young girl whose strength is at its end. The apocalypse draws nigh…The Review!
As the series goes towards its final moments, revelations abound and the series only takes darker twists as it lays it all out on the line.Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese due to two of my favorite voice actors working on this show. The show has a very solid stereo mix that makes really good use of the forward soundstage. You can hear a lot of effects being thrown to each of the stereo channels and the dialogue flowing across nicely during some of the action sequences. The music as well fills it nicely and has a very warm feeling to it. Throughout the four episodes, we had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.Video:
Originally airing in 2003, Chrono Crusade is presented here in its original full frame aspect ratio. Being a Gonzo show, it's a very up front show with its color and style and just goes all out with it. On the plus side, it handles the color gradient issue fairly well though there are some noticeable instances of it. Part of this is muted at times due to the general intentional softness of the scene while some others are stronger. There are some soft scenes based with lots of fog and the creepiness that's intended and then it'll shift to an outdoor daytime scene that's just as clear and beautiful as any other Gonzo animated moment.Packaging:
Rosette and Chrono set against another dark and moody background make up this volumes cover which means it's fairly similar to a lot of the previous ones, making it hard to pick out each volume on the shelf to know whether you have it or not. I do like the artwork but as an overall series choice I think they didn't work it as best as possible. The back cover goes with the minimal religious symbol look with a squat cross taking up most of the background and providing lots of shots from the show, a brief summary and the usual array of production information into the various blocks. The discs extras are clearly listed as well and the increasingly becoming standard technical grid at the very bottom keeps all the key information easy to find at a glance. The insert has a good looking cast image of the four leads after getting done at a festival as they're all smiling and looking happy. The reverse side provides plot summaries for the individual episodes as well as information on Azmaria's Extra Classes. Not missing a chance to do a good looking reversible cover, this volume's reverse side this time goes for an important key background character that gets some good screen time in this volume and just looks great with the soft and light colors here. The reverse side back cover lists the episodes and titles, provides a slew of shots from the show and fleshes it out with the production information and the technical grid, making it a very useable reversible cover.Menu:
The menu style for the release goes with some of the quasi-religious feel, heavily felt due to the choral style vocal piece that plays briefly to the menu. The layout is centered with a small cross in which sepia toned animation clips play through while the menu selections themselves are cast around it in various blocks. It's a good looking little menu though a bit plain in some ways but it sets the mood nicely. The transitional animations for this are among the briefest I've seen and work very nicely. Access times are nice and fast and the disc properly read our players language presets without a problem.Extras:
The extras essentially mirror the previous volumes though it again drops the commentary track. The big extra to me continues to be the Extra Classes section and this volume is definitely helpful in going over some various religious items that are talked about in the show fairly heavily. Also included in this release is the unused on-air opening for episode twenty-one which had clips from that episode used to provide some foreshadowing for those quick enough to see it. In addition, there are some good standard extras included. The home video version of the opening and closing sequences are provided in textless. The Crusade Chronicle is a small subsection that lets you check out the people, powers, weapons and locations of the show in what's basically an art gallery form mixed with liner notes. A full series of production sketches is also included separately. Content:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
As frustrating as it is to only have the three episodes per volume right now for this show, I will definitely begrudgingly admit that they are well placed in providing the right kind of cliffhangers to make each volume horrible when it ends while keeping a mostly self-contained mini-arc within the volume. These three episodes follow up well from where events led us in the last volume and it provides numerous revelations and exposition in order to lay the final groundwork for the last set of episodes in the next volume.
The scheme that Aion has been working out for what turns out to be quite a few years hits a high mark right from the start of this set of episodes as he's finally got the family reunion he's wanted to happen with Joshua and Rosette. Rosette is beside herself having finally gotten to him after four years of effort but is so completely crushed when she realizes he doesn't know who she is. Even worse is when Fiore shows up and he treats her like Rosette of old. The scared and furious nature of Rosette comes tumbling out as she tries to grapple with it while Aion provides some snarky commentary meant to push her emotions up even higher. With this and with his minions bringing in the last of the key players to the stage, the series feels like it's going into finale mode much too early as the ritual of Atonement begins and Rosettes stigmata begins to force her to fall under Aion's sway.
There is so much going on here between the dialogue and the visuals that it's a powerful moment as she raises up into the air and the blood streams forth that as useful as the dialogue and revelations are, they almost feel like they're crowding things. Chrono's role in all of this is the saddest though, from the blow suffered at first to his new transformation that has him recalling promises of the past. The ritual itself causes much pain across the board as does the fight that Chrono undertakes with Joshua in order to try and save Rosette. Though you can see some of the internal debate over what must be done, the resolve Chrono has in doing what he has to is strong and it's visible as he takes on his opponents with no quarter given. These are somewhat stretched out fight scenes but they're quite good and mixed with some amusing dialogue.
With the ritual done in San Francisco, it causes a ripple effect across the country as the fear level is raised but it doesn't necessarily translate into new faith in God to protect people. It does force some other players to movement though such as Duffau and his group of devils who launch an attack without the help of humans as well as Minister Remington who reveals more of his true nature and strengths as things only seem to get worse. One of my favorite moments from this section is the discovery by Satella that her sister is actually alive and has been working for Aion, which brings that part of the family a touch of closure of sorts but also introduces more pain into Satella's life. Both she and Azmaria certainly have their share of it but it's unfortunately something that's almost swept under the rug not long after it happens.
It's not a real complaint against the series, but the one area where things aren't necessarily difficult to follow but they get so caught up in the exposition is all the religious material. With it being based around this it's not really a complaint, but it's the kind of thing where if you're more familiar with the stories and material then you'll get more out of it. There's plenty of basics here that are explained along the way so that you're not lost, but you do get the feeling that if you are more familiar with the core source material that you'll be getting a lot more out of it otherwise, whether groups would appreciate the association or not.In Summary:
Chrono Crusade hits some great notes here and lots of things change, including getting Rosette practically naked which means lots of nun-fanservice, and getting her into the closest thing to a gothic Lolita outfit. That's all really secondary to the plot itself which is really well revealed here and done in detail as well as practically an entire episode that's given over to Chrono's past and the origin of many key things to the series. This is one of those lynchpin sets of episodes that if done poorly everything will fall apart. They did a good job with it and it solidly sets up for the last set of episodes to end it all.
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 5.1 Language,English Subtitles,Chrono Crusade Chronicle, Azmaria’s Extra Classes, Video segments of various production sketches, Unused on-air opening for Episode 21,Clean opening animation, Clean closing animation
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player via DVI, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.