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Chrono Crusade Vol 7: Hellfire
Chrono Crusade is a series of ups and downs. Some of the shows are very entertaining and advance the plot, while other episodes feel like filler and others just seem to drag. Up until the last volume, the series had been pretty good overall, but the last set of episodes contained on volume seven really add a lot to the show and the story it is telling. This disc manages to wrap the series up in a most satisfactory way. There are some unexpected twists and it also answers most of the questions that have popped up in the show. If only all anime shows had such well thought out and strong conclusions.
Rosette is a nun who belongs to a unique order, the Order of Magdalen a group dedicated to hunting demons. She's looking for her brother Joshua who was stolen by a monster at a young age. Fighting at her side is Chrono, a devil himself who looks like a young boy, and Azmaria, a little girl with some interesting powers. Set in America during the roaring 20's, this series has a wonderful art-decco look to it, and some references to ancient pop-culture that add a sense of fun to the show.
In this part of the series, Rosette, Chrono, Axmaria, along with the Satella the jewel summoner find themselves in San Francisco. The battle between the demons and the Magdalen Order for the fate of the earth has come. The demon Lord Aion has been plotting to destroy both heaven and hell, and
Aion's plans are coming to fruition, and that's not good for humanity. The Order of Magdalen has captured Joshua, but he doesn't stay in their custody for very long. Satella's sister, Fiore, helps him to escape. While looking for the missing Rosette, Satella encounters her sister fleeing with Joshua. Abducted by Aion years ago, Fiore fights her sister as if she doesn't remember her. Satella tries to bring her sister to her senses, but she's not the same person anymore. Fiore is willing to kill her sister, and tries her best to.
Meanwhile Rosette shows up, looking very pale, and heals some people leading the tired and wounded populace to believe that she's an angel of God who has come to Earth to aid them. By her side is the demon Aion though and it's clear that she is doing his bidding. Aion causes pandemonium throughout the US, causing mobs to riot in Rosette's name, thinking they are doing God's will. Chrono can't stand to see Rosette used in this way, and goes to the final show down between he and Aion, a battle that he's been putting off for a long time.
The final episode is an epilog that shows the after effects of the events that have taken place. It wraps up the series in a very satisfactory, if bitter-sweet, manner.
This series had its ups and downs, but at its conclusion told an interesting and very good story. This isn't your typical light-hearted anime series, bad things do happen to good people. Some of the characters that you've grown to like over the series aren't saved at the last minute like you are expecting them to, but then again others are saved.
The final episode can be a little bit confusing in parts, but I really liked the way they devoted an entire episode to wrapping the series up. You get to see what happens to the main characters and how the events of the show shaped their lives. A memorable ending to a solid series.
Like the previous volume, this DVD only contains 3 episodes. The DVD comes in a clear keepcase with a reversible cover. There is a double sided insert with the episodes on one side and an image of the main characters on the other.
This DVD has a Japanese stereo sound track with optional English subtitles and an English dub in 5.1. Both were very good. While I wish that the original language track was in 5.1 also, I couldn't complain about the sound quality. The dialog was clean, and there was no distortion or other audio problems. The English 5.1 track had a bit more punch to it, and used the soundstage a bit more. The voice actors were very good. I was quite impressed. There were not any stupid accents or phony sounding voices. While I prefer the Japanese track, I enjoyed the English dub as well.
The video quality was also very good also. There is a lot of motion in this show, something that is hard to transfer to DVD without digital artifacts, but the authors did a great job. There wasn't any noticeable aliasing or other common defects that plague animation. The lines were tight and the bright colors stand out well. This is a good-looking DVD.
This DVD had a good selection of bonus material.
One of my favorite extras was Azmaria's Extra Classes, where the character from the show gives viewers some background details about the show and its setting. Another extra I enjoyed was the Chrono Crusade Chronicle, a text based newspaper that explains some more background about the show.
There are also a clean opening and closing, a gallery of production sketches, unused openings for the three episodes on this disc, and a selection of previews. Altogether a great set of bonus material.
This series did drag in a few places, and I think it would have been better if they had trimmed a few episodes, but in the end it was definitely worth watching. This last volume really wrapped things up in a satisfactory manner. If you've followed the show this far, you won't want to miss this one. A high Recommendation.