ADV Films // 2003 // 75 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Mitchell Hattaway (Retired) // May 26th, 2005
On the highway to Hell.
Rosette, the young nun with a gun, continues her crusade to stop the demon Aion and his evil followers. Having reached the midway point of the story, the locale switches from New York to San Francisco, where Rosette hopes to find Joshua, her long-lost brother.
This fourth volume of Chrono Crusade contains three episodes. Here's a brief synopsis of each:
* Episode 13: "Older Sister"
Joshua is slowly being driven mad by the voices in his head, and it becomes clear that the only person who can help him is his sister. Thinking she can win Aion's favor (and his love), the spider Rizel sets a trap for Rosette. Rizel and Rosette battle atop the train that is carrying the nun and her companions to San Francisco.
* Episode 14: "Prayer"
Having lost most of their belongings in their misadventures aboard the train, Rosette, her friend Chrono, and the angelic young girl Azmaria find themselves wandering around the outskirts of San Francisco. They are soon discovered by their (sometime) ally Satella. Chrono comes down with a fever, so Satella takes the travelers back to her villa. Satella and Rosette go searching for a remedy for Chrono, which, given his demonic nature, proves to be more than a bit difficult. Rosette soon comes down with a fever herself, and a mysterious stranger arrives at Satella's front door.
* Episode 15: "Pursuer"
The man at Satella's door turns out to be Duke Duffau, a pursuer looking for Chrono. Pursuers normally hunt down demons, but Duffau offers to join forces with Chrono in order to defeat Aion. This idea doesn't sit well with many of the leaders of the Order of Magdalene, nor is Satella too thrilled, but the New York chapter of the Order suggests that the deciding vote be left to Rosette, who eventually agrees to join with Duffau. Duffau later tells Rosette she has been chosen by the forces of Heaven to play a major part in the coming war. Rosette initially disbelieves Duffau, although she changes her mind after she begins showing signs of stigmata.
I didn't enjoy these episodes as much as I did the previous installments. With the exception of the fifteenth episode, as well as the last few moments of the fourteenth, what's here is primarily filler ("Older Sister" and "Prayer" could very easily have been condensed into one episode). There's also an uncomfortable tonal shift in the middle episode; humor has always been an element of this series, but "Prayer" contains far too much slapstick.
The technical aspects of this release are on par with the previous volumes. The transfer is bright and vibrant; the only flaw is a small amount of edge enhancement. The Japanese stereo mix has a nice spread, but you won't find much bass activity. The 5.1 English dub, on the other hand, contains some nice low-end action, and the mix is expansive and immersive (a flashback to Chrono's time in the netherworld in "Pursuer" sounds very nice). Extras also reflect those of the other volumes. The most interesting, oddly enough, is a discussion of the true nature of the Antichrist.
Despite my problems with the episodes presented here, I'm still looking forward to seeing how Chrono Crusade plays out. Let's just hope that this slight dip in quality is nothing more than small bump in the road.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: ADV Films
* 2.55:1 Non-Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Japanese)
Running Time: 75 Minutes
Release Year: 2003
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Azmaria's Extra Classes
* Background Info for Characters and Settings
* Production Sketches
* Clean Opening/Closing Animation
* Official Site