Chrono Crusade Vol. #7 (of 7) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Thursday, April 24, 2008
Release Date: Monday, March 20, 2006
What They Say
Aion's plans have reached fulfilment and the thin blue line of the Magdalene Order is powerless to stop him. Will the ultimate plan of the Master of the Sinners reach fruition? All that remains to complete the overthrow of Heaven itself it is one final act of betrayal...a betrayal carried out by a Devil in a blue dress! The future of all Creation hangs in the balance in the final apocalyptic volume of Chrono Crusade!
For this review, I listened to the Japanese track. The audio wasn't a problem - again very clear and concise regarding effects, with some superb moments within transition regarding some of the scenes, namely the battle between Satella and Fiore in particular. I switched over to the English Track as well for half an episode and there was no problems with the 5.1 Track either, the voices comes through clear without losing any of the music and sound effects from the transfer either.
Chrono Crusade wows the eyes in the final volume, once again merging the dark and gloomy atmosphere of old San Francsico along with high colours and advanced battles - there was no problems regarding the video - the colour style and merging throughout the series has been quite superb mostly - Gonzo has to be credited with their ability to change from a scene of dark fog with a Gothic Lolita style Rosette in a church to a battle between Jewel summoners with so much ease. Sometimes you may think the switch is a bit unnerving because of some of the dull colours used, but it works for a series with the setting of Chrono Crusade to near perfection.
The front cover finishes the series in a homage to the photograph taken during the festival episode where all 4 of the leads get in a shot with their known outfits - Satella in the back, Rosette to the left, Chrono to the right and Azmaria in the front shot with a blazing red fire like background. The piece is very dynamic and a very true setting for the final volume of Chrono Crusade. On the back, as per the previous volumes, we get the 12 small screenshots with the watch now shining, ready to expire with the summary of the series and the listing of the extras neatly presented. The inside slip has the episode summaries as well as a summary of the final session of Azmaria's extra classes, whilst the picture has a sweet shot of Satella and Fiore embracing - Fiore in her maid outfit whilst Satella is in her beautiful gold dress. Finally, on the inside cover we have a sweet shot of Chrono and Rosette lying down on a grassy area, Chrono dresses as he usually does but Rosette in a plain but still attractive white blouse and long grey skirt...in other words, the outfit she wears in the final episode...a fitting final shot to the series as the bright packaging in and out is once again to a very high standard.
A very poetic and good looking menu as the main sections are divided like a cross, with the episode list at the top, extras at the bottom, and set up and scenes selection to the left and right, whilst in the centre scenes from the disc show to some eerie background music. Selecting one of them also brings a unique twist depending what you've selected, from the rattling of machine guns in the set-up to the ending of each episode being shown in the background in the extras selection. Easy to go through and pleasant to look at.
General extras as per standard are the clean opening and ending animation however for this disc we get the continuation of Azmaria's Extra Classes - here, good old Az explains for the final volume the true story in biblical terms of the Head of Pandemonium in reference that it was the head of Lucifer and how it's essential to Aion's plans. More biblical knowledge is explained as Azmaria talks about the 7 deadly sins and how it's relevant to Jesus' crucifixion and how it's similar to Aion's plans with Rosette as he is using her faith to turn it into violence -the final class is a bit different as it seems to focus on Azmaria's thoughts of the episodes rather than a lecture so to speak but still informative. The Chrono Crusade Chronicle returns with character studies of Fiore and Magdalene - and an interesting piece for fans of the style is how the Gothic Lolita clothing originated due to Rosette's change of wardrobe this volume. There are also brief discussions of some of the disasters that happened in 1929 (the relevance of the year revealed in this volume) - The Wall Street Stock Market crash and the St Valentine's Day Massacre explained briefly. The production sketches make a return also - mostly focusing on just the main characters and their weapons for the final volume as colour and line shots of Rosette, Chrono, Joshua, Azmaria, Satella and Remington among the sketches.
Finally, we get the unused openings for episodes 22-24, which are a very different opening to the usual ones as they are cited in flashbacks of the areas where the main characters visited throughout the series combined with some CGI and neat background effects. Each opening is slightly different as they show scenes of the episode in question but it's an interesting little extra to see what Japan got when the series came to it's dramatic finale.
The final 3 episodes hit the nail on the end - well, I say 3, what I meant was 2 episodes and one truly tearful epilogue.
With the revelation's of Rosette last episode, it is confirmed when Rosette's nun friends find her in a Gothic Lolita style outfit performing miracles - but she doesn't recognise them and the shock of seeing Aion with Rosette's dull eyes in a beautiful animated sequence of lights shining parallel through her eyes gives everyone a shock. Chrono, Satella and Azmaria needless to say go out to find Rosette as this new Holy Mother - unfortunately Fiore has escaped her prison and has rescued Joshua as the two teams meet in the crossfire. Fiore's devotion to Joshua despite being used by Aion is too much for Satella and she finally confronts her sister in a Jewel Summoners battle. Various flashbacks are intertwined during the battle, which Satella is badly losing, but at the end of the battle, it's a surprising and touching scene which began the first of many tears that I shed during this volume. Satella was a character which originally seemed as a counter to Rosette and not one of much interest - but once the plot that her sister was alive and revealed as Fiore came about, her character took a new twist and became not only more interesting, but a character I genuinely came to care about. The final scene with Azmaria granting her last request was so beautiful I had to re-watch it a few times so I caught all of it - my eyes were too cloudy.
During the battle though, Chrono and Azmaria were trying to locate Rosette - however as revealed in the previous volume, Rosette's blood is a dangerous weapon to devils, and Aion's plan to use Rosette's faith as a catalyst against Chrono and put the human mind into an era of violence begins as Chrono is forced to escape. However, when a little girl gives him a note to meet Rosette, he finds Rosette and Aion in a church, with Rosette asking Chrono to 'give back her time.' Aion's mind games referring to Magdalene and now with Rosette really affirm him as a top quality villain as whilst he has his powers, his true strength is literally warping the minds of those he is fighting against. From this, Chrono is blaming himself for what has happened to everyone, but fortunately before he wallows in self-pity, Azmaria snaps him out of it, with her own words and a surprise present she receives from a photographer. Azmaria doesn't really get much to do this volume, and indeed for a majority of the series she seems more of a spectator. However, she reaffirms herself as basically that little bit of hope for all the characters to get their life back on track - Rosette, Satella and Chrono have all benefited from her presence. It leads to a brief but ultimate conclusion between Rosette, Chrono and Aion where after it, Azmaria and Remington can't find Rosette or Chrono...and we then see someone with some horns enter a certain petrified orphanage...
The battles seem to end there, but the final episode gives what the future shows for the cast. It starts off seemingly happy with the orphanage returning back to normal, Azmaria now a sister of the Magdalene Order and a more than welcome visitor at the orphanage, more truth about what Remington really is, how Aion's horns were used to free the spell cast and that his words still affect the general public, what happened to Joshua...and then the second half...well, I can't really say too much about it, because if I do I'll start crying again. Needless to say, it's a beautiful yet emotional number of scenes as regrets, hopes and finalisations are made. Once Azmaria, Anna, Mary and Claire find the location of Rosette and Chrono, it seems a bitter sweet ending for the girls, but it's a smile with tears as the Magdalene Order begins to restore itself. Truly, a beautiful number of moments are made here to end the series.
The only reason this volume didn't get a perfect score was due to two weak moments - one the actual ending of Chrono Crusade after the beautiful epilogue involving Remington and a possible spotting of Aion seemed a bit forced on and didn't really add anything necessary apart from what was a minor history lesson and showing Remington's 'curse.' Lastly, the battle between Aion and Chrono was sadly way too short for the emotional baggage Chrono had been carrying, as well as how he was able to snap Rosette back to normal so easily. Another episode would have been welcome for that, however, that aside, the epilogue mostly made up for that as the show's final scenes reaffirm just how good this series is.
Chrono Crusade delivers where it counts the most - in the finale. After a lot of build-up and the links to all the characters have been concluded, it ends with a bitter sweet ending which was definitely not expected even though the hints were there even after the first volume. The tears flowed several times as characters you cared about got their cherished last moments and there is hope for the future. A combination of beautiful visuals, engaging characters, a truly fantastic villain, a good dub (switching to English, Hilary Haag, Greg Ayres and Andy McGavin as Rosette, Chrono and Aion in particular were fantastic) and a fantastic Japanese vocalization means Chrono Crusade has great replay value and a series everyone should watch at least once. Very recommended.
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 5.1 Language,English Subtitles,Azmaria's Extra Classes,Clean open and ending animation,Unused On-Air Openings for Episodes 22, 23 and 24,Chrono Crusade Chronicle,Production sketches
Toshiba 37C3030 - 37" Widescreen HD Ready LCD TV - Tangent Ht-50 Home Theatre System Multi-Regional DVD Players/Speakers - Tangent Subwoofer 50-150 Hz, Impedenced 8 OHM
Mania Grade: A
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: A-
Menus Rating: A-
Extras Rating: B+
Age Rating: 12 & Up
Region: 2 - Europe
Released By: ADV Films UK
Running time: 75
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Chrono Crusade