Chrono Crusade Vol. #02 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Friday, November 05, 2004
Release Date: Friday, October 01, 2004
Translated by:Amy Forsyth
What They Say
Within the shadows of a bustling American city, demons are on the prowl, stealing the souls of innocents and causing widespread panic. One person is fighting the infestation of these damned creatures and she shows little mercy. Clad in a habit and partnered by a faithful sidekick, Sister Rosette of the Magdalan Order continues her mission. This gun-toting nun may be tough, but this time, her past is resurfacing, beginning with a revelation: she has a brother! Haunted by her memories, Sister Rosette is quick to overlook a more pressing matter — the demon Aion wants to make a deal with Chrono, and it might be too tempting to refuse. The entire cast of hard-hitting exorcists and their demonic enemies return to wipe out another stain of evil upon the world in volume 2 of Chrono Crusade.
The book resembles the first volume in many ways. The front cover is a full-bleed photo of Rosette and Chrono in action. The back is white and features Joshua inside of the cross looking off into the sunset with the words "Mary Magdalene" in the cross and the author's name and the title of the book. I thought that the use of the name "Mary Magdalene" was unique to the first volume, given Azmaria's abilities, but I see it's just a cosmetic effect now. One of the other notes I made on the first volume mentioned how there was no book summary anywhere. There still isn't a summary, but on the inside cover, there is a paragraph explaining the story thus far.
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?). We get some new characters here, including Rosette's brother Joshua. I love the little details that are included that show just how much Joshua and Rosette are related.
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.
Review (WARNING: Will contain some spoilers):
Five months after its initial release (and coinciding with the anime release), we finally get the second volume of Chrono Crusade. We get all of our answers raised in the first volume answered here, but in the process, get introduced to the character who will turn out to be one of the main antagonists.
Much of the volume is devoted to giving the back history behind the series. Four years earlier, Rosette was a happy child living with her brother, Joshua in an orphanage in Wisconsin. One day, they come across an unusual childlike creature. The creature tells them that he is a demon and his name is Chrono. Rosette being who she is, she befriends Chrono and the three of them band together during the next year or so.
But Rosette's brother is getting ill and can't heal himself, even though he has the ability to heal others. Joshua decides to join the Magdalen Order so he would be able to get strong so he can help Rosette achieve her dreams. But the night before he's to leave for New York, a disaster occurs that winds up devestating the orphanage and seperating Joshua and Rosette. As he's a large reason why this is happening, Chrono does his best to help Rosette, but he lacks power. So, Rosette offers to give him the contract that he needs in order to gain the strength to find Joshua and end the conflict with the demon, Aion, who has caused this. In return, Rosette gives him her life.
Toward the end of the book, we bring Azmaria back into the picture. It looks like she's going to play a bigger role in the overall series plot than I originally plot, as we get some dreams on her end that possibly foreshadow some action between herself and what looks to be Joshua. Once Azmaria gets the mental and emotional boost she needs to be on Rosette's level, the trio head west in search of Joshua.
The concept of the contract is one that intrigues me. It explores the notion that a person has a finite amount of life energy, and if that is used up, then the person will die a premature death. It's one that fans of Babylon 5 are familiar with, when Captain John Sheridan enters the same sort of contract with Lorien, one of the First Ones. It's part of the scientific nature that mixes with the religious overtones in the series and it's something that I like.
The characters are still fun and multi-layered. I find it highly amusing that while you can tell Rosette has grown from her time in the orphanage, she is essentially the same Rosette - very optimistic and headstrong. Azmaria is growing more confident as well, and it's a joy to see her grow thanks to Rosette. Chrono is an interesting character, and you don't get that much background to the conflict with Aion here. We know that his horns are gone and that Chrono appears to be the demonic equvilant of the Hitokiri Battousai, complete with the rurouni-type persona when Chrono is trying to conserve energy.
Chrono Crusade is highly enjoyable. There's a lot going on here, but it's written in a manner that it's very easy to digest. We cover a lot of ground in volume two, which is mainly the set up to the bigger conflict. There is an epic plot in the making, but it's broken down into chunks that allow you to receive a huge chunk of information, then digest it as you move through some character development that allows you to how what you've just learned affects the overall plot. There's a lot of plot that has been used before in other works, but is drawn together in a manner that makes Chrono Crusade stand apart from the pack.
Mania Grade: A
Art Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: A
Text/Translatin Rating: A-
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Released By: ADV Manga
Orientation: Right to Left