Chrono Crusade is based on a manga by Daisuke Moriyama. The anime series follows the manga through the first half, but then diverges into its own story after the halfway point. The anime was produced by Gonzo and was directed by Yu Ko. The anime aired on Japanese television from November 24, 2003-June 10, 2004. The series was originally licensed by ADV Films. As of this writing, FUNimation Entertainment holds the North American license for Chrono Crusade.
The series is set in the United States during the 1920s. Rosette Christopher is the main character of the series, and she’s an impulsive 16-year-old girl who is an elite exorcist for The Order of Magdalene. Rosette is part of The Order of Magdalene in order to search for her lost brother, Joshua Christopher.
The Order of Magdalene is an organization of the Catholic Church that banishes devils and demons to Hell. Rosette works for the New York branch of the Order, which is headed by Sister Kate Valentine and Father Ewan Remington. Sister Kate is a strong-willed woman that leads the order with an iron resolve. Father Remington is the Minister of the Magdalene Order; he is also a field agent and second-in-command to Sister Kate.
Rosette’s partner is a demon named Chrono; when Rosette was 11, she made a contract with Chrono. As part of the contract, Chrono feeds off Rosette’s soul as an alternative to the astral energy he got from his horns. His horns were taken by Aion, the main antagonist of the series. Rosette has the power to unseal Chrono’s true devil state, but it comes with the cost of Chrono taking more of Rosette’s life.
It turns out that Chrono had formerly helped Aion; however, when Aion ordered Chrono to kill Mary of Magdalene, Chrono refused because he was in love with her. Now, 50 years later, Chrono has fallen in love with Rosette. During the series, Rosette and Chrono travel around the country to eliminate the demonic threats to society.
They are joined by Azmaria Hendrich and Satella Harvenheit. Azmaria is the Apostle of Charity and Songstress of Vegas who has a gift of healing with song. Over the 12 years of her life she was traded among families like a trophy, so she has a low sense of self-esteem and self-worth. Rosette and Chrono make it a mission to help Azmaria to value herself as much as she does others. Satella is a German jewel summoner and bounty hunter, who survived an attack from a “hornless demon” that killed everyone in her family except for her and her older sister. Her sister was taken by the demon, and Satella is searching for her sister.
Overall, I really enjoyed watching Chrono Crusade. I was riveted by the characters of Rosette and Chrono and by the relationship they had with each other. Azmaria and Satella were wonderful additions to the story.
The series has several “feels” in it, starting with what happens when Rosette finds her brother Christopher, and the ending when the audience finds out what happens to both Rosette and Chrono. When I saw the final scene of the series with these two characters, it almost made me cry.
Over the years, I’ve heard complaints from fans of the manga that they didn’t like how the Chrono Crusade anime ended. Unfortunately, I have not had the chance to read the manga, so I really can’t comment on this.
If you like anime series that feature exorcists and haven’t checked out Chrono Crusade, it might be worth giving it a shot. However, if you’re already familiar with the manga and haven’t checked out the anime, then I would say that if you want to try the anime to go into it knowing that it will diverge from the original manga telling at some point.