Manga Review: Chrono Crusade Volume Five, by Daisuke Moriyama

 Volume Five of Chrono Crusade begins with a reunion between Rosette and Joshua that goes extremely sour. It turns out that Joshua does not recognize Rosette. Aion takes this as a sign that Rosette will not serve as a good “limiter” for Joshua so he moves to the next part of this little encounter. He goads Rosette into shooting him, and then goads Chrono into a berserker rage. There is a definite purpose behind his actions that seems to go beyond the usual villain confrontation and mustache twirling.

Aion is the kind of villain who has multiple plans all going on at once, and any one encounter will have multiple purposes. (His strategic style could be called the Xanatos Board Game Family Pack.) In this case, the initial confrontation is a set up to see if Joshua will become more lucid when he sees his sister. It is also an opportunity to intimidate (or maybe test) Rosette and Chrono, and distract them from his attempt to “retrieve” Azmaria.

The end result of the encounter is a resounding defeat for Rosette, Chrono and Satella. Chrono’s berserker fit and battle with Viede wrecks half of the city and nearly kills Rosette in the process. Azmaria has been kidnapped by Aion for unknown reasons, and Rosette’s brother seems to be working willingly with the bad guys. The only bright spot here is that Satella now knows that Aion is “the demon without horns,” and that her sister seems to be alive (though she is also working for the bad guys).

The point of view then shifts to Aion who is returning to “Eden,” a kind of floating habitat in the sky. This is the main Sinner base of operations. It was apparently designed by a species with no concept of safety regulations. There are a great many catwalks along the bottom of the habitat, none of them with railings. Azmaria discovers this when she wakes up and tries to leave the room and nearly plunges thousands of feet to her death. Fortunately, Shader catches her. (Unfortunately, Shader is completely oblivious too how freaked out Azmaria is.) She also meets Joshua who seems like a very nice if extremely creepy boy!

Azmaria is slightly freaked out about how friendly Joshua, Shader and Fiore are. She attempts to take a brave stand and refuse to eat the breakfast prepared by Fiore on general principle. Shader however talks her into eating. (She sympathetically points out that demons might be violent and inherently “bad” but the food Fiore took the time to prepare was inherently neither “good” nor “evil.”) 

Next up is Rosette, who is waking up after having her “time” drained by Chrono. She discovers that the situation has gotten a lot worse–the “Astral Line” is now visible in the sky and Chrono has been confined and restrained after his rampage. (He subsequently went completely catatonic and seems to be committing passive suicide.) For the first time in a long time, Rosette does not have Chrono’s support, and everything seems to be falling apart on her. At first, Rosette seems a little lost, but she slowly regains her determination after conversations with Remington and Satella. The volume ends with Rosette getting ready to attempt a very dangerous procedure–attempting to reach Chrono by “diving” into his soul. (Which is possibly not the smartest move, considering they have a contract and Chrono might accidentally absorb her soul.)


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

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