Chrono Crusade Vol. #04 (Mania.com)

By:Matthew Alexander
Review Date: Sunday, May 14, 2006
Release Date: Tuesday, November 01, 2005



Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Daisuke Moriyama
Translated by:Amy Forsyth
Adapted by:

What They Say
With the first leg of their cross-country journey complete, Rosette and company reach the hustle and bustle of Chicago. No sooner do their feet hit the pavement of the great city than they are attacked by a violent gang of demon-pursuers. They'll have to call on this city's chapter of the Magdalan Order to holy-roll their way into action and save the day! The road to San Francisco grows longer, as the sinners invade the streets and threaten the weapon-wielding nun, her sweet-tempered trainee, and demon sidekick in Chrono Crusade, Volume 4!

The Review
Packaging:
ADV continues to use the original Japanese cover art for this title. The front cover is a picture of Chrono and a sexy looking Rosette, both standing in front of a lit up ferry-go-round. Rosette is sitting down and showing quite a bit of leg protruding from her side-slit warrior nuns dress. There are many colors but certain color schemes (such as the purples, reds, and blues) are repeated throughout the frame creating a pleasing piece of art. The back cover is all white except for a cross-shaped picture of Aion looking down at someone or something.

The printing is very good and the blacks stay solid throughout the book. There are a lot of extras, including the inside cover, which is a color picture of Satella wearing a short brown dress. Next is a two-page color picture of Chrono, Rosette and Azmaria wearing bomber jackets and standing in front of a biplane at dawn. The table of contents and the first two pages of the story are also in color. At the end of the book there is also a short comic telling how the author/artist attended the voice recording of the Chrono Crusade anime, translator notes, a letter from the translator staff at ADV and a one-page description of Chrono Crusade volume 5.

Artwork:
Moriyama's artwork is stunningly beautiful with an amazing attention to detail. Panel layout is very dynamic with many panels covering the top or bottom of two pages, or stretching the height of the page. This series also has some of the best and most detailed backgrounds I've come across. The characters are very attractive with beautiful older female characters, cute younger characters, and a nice dichotomy between Chrono's weak and innocent young boy form compared to his rough and powerful true demon form. Satella's character design is very similar to her anime version, but her manga version is even sexier.

The artist is also very adept at depicting battle scenes and a wide range of emotions through the characters facial expressions. The fight scenes are well choreographed and really lend themselves to enhancing the drama of scene.

Text/SFX:
The text is nicely centered in all the dialogue boxes and the font used for the demons dialogue is kind of jagged and always in bold, which adds a nice touch. I didn't find any problems with the grammar and the translation read very well. There are no honorifics because the story takes place in America with American characters. The Japanese SFX remains with English translations added in a way so as not to cover or detract from the artwork.

Contents: (Oh yes, there may be spoilers)
Chrono, Rosette, Azmaria and Satella find themselves in Chicago trying to catch up on some rest when their location is discovered by demons known as Pursuers. The Pursuers have left Pandemonium to track down Chrono and all the other Sinners. The ensuing battle takes on a grandiose scale as more of Chrono's past is revealed and it takes everyone working together as a team, along with the intervention of the Chicago branch of the Magdalene Order, to defeat the Pursuers.

But then luck shines on Rosette and the others as they get their first real break. The Chicago branch donates their assistance and flies them to San Francisco where Father Remington takes command of the mission to find Joshua. Before the mission can commence Rosettes team has some down time so they decide to attend a fair. I thought this portion of the story was quite touching as everyone gets to play games and spend some relaxing time together. The sentimentality of the unnamed narrator is really felt when that person explains how the single picture of them, taken at the fair that day, was the only proof that all four teammates had ever existed.

Father Remington begins the mission to retrieve Joshua by sending his men to scope out the house where Aion and the other sinners have been hiding out. But everything plan after that goes to hell. The Sinners launch a counterattack and Aion takes Joshua to seek out Chrono and Rosette. Will Rosette be able to steal Joshua away from Aion? Will Chrono and Aion face off against each other in one last battle until the bitter end? What about Satella's search for her sister, will that ever yield any information?

Comments
This volume has a number of flash backs for both Chrono and Satella, all of which lets the reader peak a little deeper into the characters souls. The most satisfying revelation is the story behind Chrono's background before he met Rosette. I don't really want to say anything more for fear of ruining for anyone but believe me it's good. The fight scenes continue to be magnificently detailed and the art is of really high quality. The story telling is just as good and the development of the characters personalities and dreams continues to retain a level of excellence. Overall this is much better than the anime and I recommend it highly.



Mania Grade: A
Art Rating: A+
Packaging Rating: A
Text/Translatin Rating: A
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Released By: ADV Manga
MSRP: 9.99
Pages: 176
ISBN: 1-4139-0239-1
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left