Manga Review: Chrono Crusade Volume Three, by Daisuke Moriyama

In volume three of Chrono Crusade, we are introduced to Satella Harvenheit, a rich debutante who moonlights as bounty hunter known as Batman Hexen der Juwel, the Jewel Witch. She is a gem-summoner, someone with the ability to summon spirits from gemstones. She specializes in hunting monsters and the undead, and she meets up with Our Heroes when she accidentally totals Rosette’s car. Satella is less than impressed by Rosette, and the feeling appears to be very much mutual! However, since they are neck deep in undead human centipedes, they end up fighting together.

At some point during the battle, Rosette has to release the seal. Chrono’s adult form looks a great deal like the demon that massacred Satella’s family, and kidnapped her sister Florette. Satella is extremely alarmed, but also confused and unsure that Chrono is the same demon. She accompanies Rosette, Chrono and Azmaria to the park where Chrono’s kindly nature continues to knock her off her stride. After a second battle with undead creatures where Chrono actively keeps Satella from coming to harm, she questions him at sword point about his whereabouts eight years ago. Chrono and Rosette both state that Chrono spent fifty years in a tomb and only woke up four years ago.

(I vastly prefer Satella in the manga to in the anime. Satella in the anime is a lot more hostile toward Chrono. In the manga, once she discovers that Chrono is not the demon who massacred her family, she becomes friendly to him. Possibly a little too friendly, since she thinks Chrono’s child form is completely adorable. That’s what you get for rocking the Little Lord Fauntleroy look, Chrono.)

Satella, Rosette, Chrono and Azmaria end up in cahoots, since their investigations are taking them in the same direction. (Also, Satella ends up feeling a certain sense of sympathy for Rosette and Chrono, and she wants to help them.) They take a trip on a train, which gets hijacked by the same demon we met briefly back in chapter two.

The demon attempts to isolate Rosette by leaving a message that is apparently from Joshua in a bag of muffins. The note says that she should come alone to the dining car. When Rosette goes to investigate, the demon reveals that she has taken control of the entire train. The demon’s name is Rizelle and during the course of the conversation, she reveals that she has been sent by “Master Joshua” to bring Rosette to him. (What is interesting is that in the manga, Rizelle is apparently acting under Joshua’s orders, something she deeply resents because of her extreme jealousy of Joshua. What is even more interesting is that Rosette at first mistakes Rizelle’s obsession for Joshua as affection, instead of hatred and jealousy.)

Fortunately, Rosette is a complete failure at subterfuge. Chrono is able to come to her rescue, though Rizelle still has the drop on Rosette. Since Rizelle has control of everyone on the train, it is fairly easy for her to take Azmaria and Satella hostage. Rizelle then tries to set up a situation where Rosette will be forced to kill Chrono. This game backfires, because Azmaria is able to use her powers to evict Rizelle’s spiders, and Rizelle is forced to change her tactics.

She hauls Rosette out of the car, and disconnects the other cars. Rosette attempts to bargain for the lives of the engineers, but she discovers that Rizelle ate them. Horrified, Rosette attacks Rizelle, though she can’t use her gun because recoil plus fast moving train with nothing to hold onto is contraindicated. While Rosette is trying to find a way to kill Rizelle, Rizelle is ranting about Joshua, her jealousy of him and her low self-esteem issues. (Rizelle is basically a seething mass of self-loathing and total misery. You could almost feel sorry for her if she was not loudly planning on torturing Rosette.) Rosette is able to outwit Rizelle, get the upper hand, and kill her.  Rosette is rescued by Satella, Chrono and Azmaria, who arrive on a one of Satella’s gem-creatures. (It looks like a cross between a manta and a jet plane and is called “Tief Fischen.”)

Chrono finds one of Rizelle’s surviving spiders. Through the spider, Rizelle warns Rosette that Joshua is “easily sucked in by ‘it.’” When she is asked what “it” is, she tells them “Pandemonium, the demon world.” She also tells Chrono that the reason why Aion kidnapped Joshua and is looking for the Apostles is because Aion has a plan to create a world of “true freedom.”

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Filed under Chrono Crusade, fantasy, manga/anime, Review: Manga

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