Chrono Crusade is set in the height of the Roaring Twenties, where jazz is king, bootleg liquor flows freely, and the mob rules the streets. It is a time of prosperity, luxury and decadence, and the division between rich and poor grows even wider in the wake of the First World War. It is at such times of great change and upheaval that the dark things that lurk below the world of man can come to the surface. In the world of Chrono Crusade, a fictional organization known as the Order of Magdalene (or more specifically, the characters of Sister Rosette Christopher and her soul-bound demon partner, Chrono) exists to fight the demonic threats that appear with increasing regularity across America. Both Rosette and Chrono are revealed during the course of the story to be driven by a shadowy past, centered on a search for Rosette's lost brother Joshua who is shown to have been taken from her by the sinner, Aion, a demon who shares a dark and bloody history with Chrono. He seeks nothing less than to overthrow the delicate balance between Heaven, Earth, and Hell (in the manga it is the demons hierarchy he wished to destroy).
The anime follows the manga through the events of Volume IV, but it diverges during a crucial plot event, creating different courses of events and endings. The characterization of some the characters, including Rosette and Aion, and their roles in the story were changed drastically in the adaptation of the manga. Much of the story is driven by the individual pasts of the main characters and the complex relationships between them.
The Order of Magdalene is an organization that banishes devils and demons. The Order has many branches around the country (some that are mentioned/visited include the Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and Seattle branches); each one is presided over by the Council of the Catholic Church. The New York branch of the Order is headed by Kate Valentine, assisted by Ewan Remington, who lead the fight against the forces of darkness. The Order has many members; however, in times of great crisis, other less generally accepted individuals may be introduced into the Order to help fight the forces of darkness.
They use various weapons, mainly guns, swords, and melee weapons, many of which are developed by the New York branch's own Edward "Elder" Hamilton. The Order's preferred handgun is the Colt 1911, often loaded with Sacred, standard bullets containing holy water, and Gospel, bullets with alchemy-transformed silver. The bullet Spirit was also developed, but upon test-fire it was found to be too dangerous, using a repressed lower-class demon for its explosive power. Tetragrammaton, a gun with high power against demons with low backlash, is given to Rosette and later used by Chrono. Besides using guns, there are members of Order with special powers as well, using devices like tomes, violins, or dolls. They also use Angel Capture Fields, specialized barriers that can repel demons, their powers, and other astral based substances, and are set up by creating a rectangular array of cross-shaped stakes in the ground and activating them. The Order also developed Soul Dive, an experimental system used to dive into souls for direct exorcism. The Order also unveils its flagship, the Metatron, in the final showdown with Pandaemonium and Aion.Rosette Christopher (ロゼット・クリストファ, Rosetto Kurisutofa)
Voiced by: Tomoko Kawakami (Japanese); Hilary Haag (English)
The impulsive, 16-year-old, protagonist of Chrono Crusade
. Rosette is an elite exorcist of the Order of Magdalene and goes out on missions to destroy deadly spirits and devils. Her primary motivation is to rescue her younger brother Joshua, who has been kidnapped and later brainwashed by Aion. Because of a contract she formed with Chrono when she was 12, her life is slowly ticking away. Despite this, she continues to run towards her goal, confronting every challenge with a headstrong attitude. This conviction inspires others like Chrono and Azmaria to push forward surpassing their own limitations and personal doubt. She is almost ideally unfazed by the future she chose when she made her contract with Chrono, claiming she's still going to be "kicking and screaming 'til the very end". Despite knowing exactly who and what Chrono is, she doesn't seem the least bit afraid of him and trusts him indefinitely as her partner. Rosette is somewhat simple and prone to impulsive behavior that gets her in trouble; she claims it's because she knows she's short on time and can't afford to hesitate on things she may never live to do again and later regret. Rosette's character takes a rather different turn due to events in the anime compared to the manga.
Rosette's character design remains much the same in both the anime and manga although she is significantly bustier in the anime.
Chrono (クロノ, Kurono)
Voiced by: Akira Ishida (Japanese); Greg Ayres (English)
Rosette's contractor, partner, and closest friend. Chrono is stoic, loyal, kind, and somewhat quiet. This mild facade of a young boy belies a fierce, full-grown demon of infamous power and utmost rage. His contract with Rosette allows him to exist without his set of horns, which were ripped from his head in an early battle with Aion prior to the initial storyline. Demons' horns allow them to absorb astral energy, which bestows both power and life. In order to maintain Rosette's remaining life force and prevent Chrono's subconscious from stealing the rest, her life's energy is kept sealed in a pocket watch that is worn around her neck, the creator of which is none other than the sinner Shader.
Despite being a demon, Chrono cherishes life and those he loves. This creates conflict whenever Rosette is required to unseal her pocket watch, allowing him to harness his immense power to defeat powerful foes or rescue them in desperate situations. Chrono will always try to persuade Rosette to think of other solutions as releasing the pocket watch not only creates pain in his partner, but also lowers her already shortened lifespan.
Whenever his powers are sealed, Chrono retains the form of a young boy who appears extremely docile and rather charming, often surprising the humans he is familiar with. Although considered a "reformed" demon, Chrono has quite the temper, and if provoked will go into a terrifying rage that blinds him from most everything around him, including the people he cares about. Despite this, Chrono is deathly afraid of hurting others, or of being unable to protect those most important to him. His shadowy past with Aion and the series' namesake Mary Magdalene is what motivates him to accept Rosette's contract despite the pain she will suffer and the end that he sees ahead. In the manga, Rosette has unsealed Chrono significantly more times than in the anime.
Azmaria Hendrich (アズマリア・ヘンドリック, Azumaria Hendorikku)
Voiced by: Saeko Chiba (Japanese); Jessica Boone (English)
The Apostle of Charity and Songstress of Vegas. Azmaria is a 12-year-old girl with the gift of healing with song. Sensitive and fearful, Azmaria is initially more of a liability to Rosette and Chrono than she is an asset. She was traded among families like a trophy for most of her life, so her self-confidence and feeling of self-worth is extremely low. She has a spectacular soprano singing voice, and as such began her young life singing with a Portuguese orchestra, but when it was discovered that her singing voice had healing powers and marked her as an Apostle, she became an object of pursuit. After rescuing her as part of the Order's roundup of the Apostles, Rosette and Chrono soon make it their personal mission to help Azmaria to value herself just as much as she does others. She is hardworking, diligent, and very eager, and idolizes Rosette as an older sister and mentor.
Being an apostle, although bestowed with immense power, Azmaria is also conflicted with a curse, the curse of misfortune. While Joshua is plagued with poor health, those who come into contact with Azmaria will meet misfortune and suffering.
Satella Harvenheit (サテラ・ハーベンハイト, Satera Hābenhaito)
Voiced by: Michiko Neya (Japanese); Tiffany Grant (English)
A beautiful German jewel summoner and bounty hunter who specialize in demons. Her entire family was wiped out by a "hornless demon" leaving only herself and her older sister Florette (AKA Fiore) alive. She was then raised by her kind butler Steiner, who still remains by her side. She is now on the search for her sister, who was taken from the massacre by the demon. At first she feels uncomfortable around Rosette and the others due to their trust with Chrono, a hornless devil she thought was responsible for her suffering. This changed after spending time with them, she recognizes them as friends and worthy comrades in battle. In the Manga, she is significantly friendlier with the others, and even flirts around with Chrono, much to the annoyance of Rosette.
Although highly irritated at Azmaria for her clumsy ways, Satella truly cares as she sees a part of her former self in her when she was younger. After hearing Azmaria's soprano voice, she is proud of the young apostle and states that there are good point to her after all. Satella firmly believes that to move forward and grow, one must identify weaknesses first.
Although never stated, Satella's connections with demons may run deeper than she thought. In Fiore's memories, Aion came to their home to enlist the help of their father, who the antagonist states was their elder and teacher. With his refusal, the family home was razed and the family killed. From this, it is possible to assume that both Satella and Fiore may be part demon.
Her ending is changed significantly between the anime and the manga.
Sister Kate Valentine (ケイト・ヴァレンタイン, Keito Barentain)
Voiced by: Yoshiko Sakakibara (Japanese); Laura Chapman (English)
Head of the New York Branch of the Magdalene Order. She is a strong willed woman who often seems out of place fighting demons and devils. She leads the order with an iron resolve, making sure the New York Branch Office runs as smooth as clockwork. She also distrusts Chrono despite his gentle nature due to his status as a demon. She is openly irritated with Rosette due to her aloof ways but deep down, she truly cares for her.
Sister Kate is later demoted when Chrono loses his sanity and openly attacks Viede and Aion in San Francisco causing countless casualties and revealing to the public the presence of demons.
Father Ewan Remington (ユアン・レミントン, Yuwan Reminton)
Voiced by: Sho Hayami (Japanese); Jason Douglas (English)
The minister of the Magdalene Order. He also serves as a field agent and second in command to Sister Kate. In the Anime, towards the end he leaves the Order. He is seen quite a while later, looking about the same age but unshaven, when the third Prophecy of Fatima happens, just before, seeing someone who appears similar, if not the same, to Aion. He also has the apparent ability to warp, moving from the Magdalene NY HQ to a carnival in San Francisco instantly without anyone's notice. Immediately afterward, during the phone conversation with Sister Kate, he states that he is an Angel, and implied to be a "fallen" one. In the manga, it is revealed that he had initial history with Chrono as he was the boy who failed to save Mary Magdalene from being kidnapped by Chrono. It is revealed that he suffered an injury that would have ended his duty in the order but volunteered to be infused with Legion (a devil's equivalent to cells) in order to continue his work. After the events of the story, he retires but continues his duty as a father of the Catholic Church.
Edward Hamilton (エドワード・ハミルトン, Edowādo Hamiruton)
Voiced by: Tomomichi Nishimura (Japanese); John Swasey (English)
Edward is the person who makes the weapons used by the exorcists. He also has a great love for women which is why he may appear perverted, though he greatly cares for all the girls. Although he appears aloof and whimsical, Elder can display great authority and leadership spurring those around him including Sister Kate into action.
Elder was involved prior to the initial story involving Mary Magdalene. He was the first one who accompanied Mary from the orphanage and explained her powers to her. He later accompanies the young Ewan in their pursuit of Chrono who kidnapped her from the Order.
Sister Anna (アンナ, Anna)
voiced by: Yuki Masuda (Japanese), Mandy Clark : Ep. 01 – 15 / Brittney Karbowski : Ep. 16 – 24 (English)
voiced by: Noriko Rikimaru (Japanese), Sasha Paysinger (English)
Sister Mary Magdalene
voiced by: Ema Kogure (Japanese), Michelle Maulsby (English)
Mary is the foreseeing Holy Maiden after whom the Order was named after. Having spent most her life inside the Order, she was more than willing to follow Chrono to the outside world. In the manga, after her 'abduction' by Chrono, she becomes close friends with the Sinners notably with Chrono, whom is implied to have developed feelings for her. She was killed by Aion, who was controlled by Pandemonium, and mourned by Chrono who then left the Sinners due to the seeming lack of alternative.
Voiced by: Norio Wakamoto (Japanese); Rob Mungle (English)
The leader of his own army. In the anime, he allied with the Magdalene Order to fight against the Sinners and managed to eliminate Genai. He led his troops in an attack on Aion but was slain along with the rest when sprayed with Rosette's blood. In the manga, he appears much later in the story scouting the city in his human form. Duke Duffau led the assault on Eden and fought well against Aion with his bare hands. He ultimately falls when a geas is cast on all demons worldwide leaving him immobile and open to execution by Aion who has ripped out his own horns to escape the geas.
Voiced by: Takayasu Usui
One of the members of Duke Duffau's army. He was killed along with his enemy Viede (one of Aion's Sinners).
Voiced by: Masayuki Nakata (Japanese); Victor Carsrud (English)
One of the members of Duke Duffau's army. He followed Duffau on the attack against Aion but was wounded by Rosette's holy blood. He managed to escape and went back to Chrono to warn him about Rosette, but died of wounds soon after.
Aion (アイオーン, Aiōn)
Voiced by: Kazuhiko Inoue (Japanese); Andy McAvin (English)
The antagonist of the anime/manga series, a Sinner and a demon, and also Chrono's twin older brother. He is after all of the Apostles, including Azmaria, for reasons that are unknown until Chrono reveals them. In the manga, his goal is to rebuild the world out of the "system" that binds everyone to their respective roles.
Aion is very intelligent and manipulative while still remaining charismatic to those around him. Throughout the manga, his goals remain ambiguous until the last volume. Although he is the antagonist of the series, he can not easily be classified as "bad", although his views and methods are highly controversial. He is fighting "Pandemonium", the system that maintains the roles that each of his siblings much take. If they were to ever reach a higher domain like himself, they will have learned too much and are disposed of.
Joshua Christopher (ヨシュア・クリストファ, Yoshua Kurisutofa)
Voiced by: Junko Minagawa (Japanese); Chris Patton (English)
He holds allegiance to Aion's Sinners, and is also the Apostle of Hope and Rosette's younger brother. He is able to freeze people's time with the use of Chrono's devil horns, granted to him by Aion. He was tricked into taking Chrono's horns and followed Aion because he didn't want Rosette to have to take care of him all the time. He wanted to be strong enough to take care of her and be her support.
Like Azmaria, Joshua was afflicted with the curse of ill health and suffering. Although he could heal the wounds of others, he could never alleviate his own suffering and is usually confined to a bed. He took Chrono's horns so that he could be stronger and fulfill his promise to become an explorer with his sister.
Both Joshua and Rosette were left orphaned when their parents went missing after their ship sank. He knows that the grave stone they attend is not real as their parents' bodies were never found. As a result, he pledged never to grow old as adults lie and hurt others.
Florette/Fiore Harvenheit (フィオレ/フロレット・ハーベンハイト, Fiore/Furoretto Hābenhaito)
Voiced by: Natsuko Kuwatani (Japanese); Monica Rial (English)
Fiore is a very powerful jewel summoner who is Joshua's caretaker/maid (whom he refers to as "older sister"). When she was younger she was taken by Aion, who erased her memory. Aion replaced her memories of Satella with memories of Joshua, which in turn makes her think that Joshua is her brother. She is completely devoted to Aion and Joshua, vowing to always protect Joshua no matter what. Later when she encountered her sister Satella she had no idea who she was. However, in the manga, she retained her memories and insisted that her existence as "Florette" ceased the day she died. In her fight with Satella, it is revealed that she is a mannequin and could reattach any limbs which were severed.
Fiore makes the gems that the sinners wear allowing them to fight without their horns.
Rizelle (リゼール, Rizēru)
Voiced by: Yoko Soumi (Japanese); Christine Auten (English)
A spider-like sinner who sends out miniature spiders who latch onto the necks of her victims allowing her to control them like marionettes. All she desires is to be helpful to Aion. She is one of the six members of Aion's team and the first one to be killed. Her waist was slashed by Pandemonium's claws killing off the legion that reside there. As a result, she forever lost the lower half of her body which are now replaced by metal legs much like a spider.
Her death in the anime is slightly different from the one in the manga. In the anime, she vanished when she fell off the train screaming all the way. In the manga, the upper half of her body is shown floating away in the stream beneath the bridge. Chrono contacts her through one of her spiders and she laments if only he never left. She mocks Rosette one last time before she quietly dies drifting away.
Voiced by: Yuko Sasamoto (Japanese); Kira Vincent-Davis (English)
She is one of the six members of Aion's team. She is animorphic with both cat ears and tail who also displays cat like behavior like enjoying a nice pat/rub and favoring fish as her food. Shader is the one that invented the devices Chrono and Aion have to absorb "astral" since they no longer have horns to absorb energy from the Astral Line. She's the fourth to be killed by Remington. In the manga she survives the events of the main story and continues to live in modern America with Fiore.
Voiced by: Masafumi Kimura (Japanese); George Manley (English)
He is one of the six members of Aion's team and the second to be killed along with his enemy Carv. A massive hulk, Viede is normally paired off with Genai on missions and as defense. His quiet and thoughtful manner is in stark contrast to Genai's outburst's and irrational behavior. Although he was injured fighting Pandemonium, he was only affected by the force field she threw up rather than the claws she slashed with and was able to make a full recovery. In the manga he dies defending Eden against the order and Pandemoniums' pursuers.
Voiced by: Kouichi Toochika (Japanese); Jay Hickman (English)
He is one of the six members of Aion's team. He wanted to avenge Rizelle after learning that she had been killed. He's the third to be killed by Duke Duffau. In the manga, he displayed fondness to Rizelle and was greatly angered at her death to the point that he challenged Aion with his decision.
Genai's left arm and eyes were slashed by Pandemonium's claws and as such the legion that reside there have died off. Aion had Shader construct metal appendages to replace the killed off limbs. Genai wears a mask that covers his eyes which hide eyes sewn shut. He slowly dies after the battle on Eden against the pursuers and the Order. As he dies, he reaches his arm towards the sky saying how beautiful the sky is and whether Rizelle could see them too.
Highly experienced personnel of the Order. These agents are normally sent out in the field on missions either partnered or solo. In order to acquire this position, one must be with the order for a number of years and satisfactorily complete a test that the branch director approves. Rosette obtains this level after she was able to exorcise a demon from Azmaria after taking a dive.
Dive is the process of literally diving into the soul of an individual in order to exorcise a demon or to contact them from within once they have withdrawn from the outside world. Dive can be done on both humans and demons with the latter posing significant risks and dangers.
In order to perform a dive, special equipment must be attached to both individuals. Once done the diver can hence 'dive' the moment they place on the visor.
Sinners are demons who have separated themselves from the demon hive Pandemonium and openly rebelled. In the case of the story, after Aion reached a higher domain and acquired forbidden knowledge, he was classified as a sinner with both him and his brood marked for execution. As a result, he becomes the de facto leader of this group who eventually fight their way to freedom on Eden although many comrades were lost.
Of the sinners only Joshua and Fiore are not demons.
As the name suggests, pursuers are demons sent by the elders of Pandemonium to eradicate the defected sinners. The strength of their demons varies from weak to powerful with numbers many times over those of the sinners.
In an interview with ADV Manga, Daisuke Moriyama expressed his own opinion about the differences and similarities of the anime and manga, with one of them being the theme of the story. Although the bond between Chrono and Rosette and the idea of time running out were the same, Moriyama felt that the anime and manga showed this theme in different ways. While the anime centered more on the currents of time, fate and trust, Moriyama believed that the manga focused more on the Rosette's individual ideology and how the potential strength of her will can change her current situation.
In producing the English-language version, ADV did extensive research in keeping the slang words within 1920s canon. One word, "bimbo", is explained to mean a tough man in 1920s slang, while the modern version refers to a stupid female. The English voice actors for Rosette and Chrono (Hilary Haag and Greg Ayres) nearly lost their voices on numerous occasions due to the fast-paced voice work demanded by the anime.
Written and illustrated by Daisuke Moriyama, Chrono Crusade has 59 chapters, called "Acts". It premiered in the November 1998 issue Dragon Age and ran until its conclusion in the June 2004 issue. The individual chapters were published in eight tankōbon volumes by Kadokawa Shoten from December 1999 to September 2004.
The series was licensed for English language release in North America by ADV Manga in 2004. In addition to releasing all eight volumes of the series, ADV Manga published some of the series chapters in its anime and manga magazine Newtype USA. The series was released in English in Australia and New Zealand by Madman Entertainment. It was also licensed for regional language releases in France by Asuka, in Mexico by Grupo Editorial Vid, in Italy by Planet Manga, in Germany by Carlsen Comics, in Hungary by Mangafan and in Denmark and Sweden by Mangismo.
Most recently, a reprint of Chrono Crusade was released in Japan, beginning in January 2010 and releasing two volumes per month. These featured brand-new book design and artwork. Of note is the crucial spelling correction from "Chrno" to "Chrono", following the statement made by Moriyama's publishers during the original serialization apologizing for the typo. The series logo itself underwent a massive change, perhaps as a disambiguation from the logos of the video games Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross, which also incorporated a clock within the first C in the title and was cause for some confusion among fans. The reprint features brand-new artwork on each volume with minimal ornamentation, featuring one character each (in order, Rosette, Chrono, Satella, Azmaria, Aion, Mary, Fiore) until the last volume, which featured a collage of the main cast, including Joshua, Sister Kate, and Father Remington.
Chrono Crusade was first aired on Fuji TV in Japan on November 23, 2003 and ran for 24 episodes until its conclusion on June 10, 2004. The series was originally licensed for an English language release in North America by ADV Films, Kadokawa Video, Gonzo, Happinet Pictures and The Klock Worx, which aired its English dubbed version of the series on Showtime Beyond in the United States from February 17, 2006 to July 28, 2006. On June 25, 2010, anime distributor Funimation Entertainment announced on their online panel FuniCon 4.0, that they had acquired the North American license for this series along with 3 other former ADV titles, after ADV's shutdown in 2009.
SyFy aired Chrono Crusade from February 22 to May 12, 2011. But did not air episodes 21 & 22.
Original Soundtrack, Volume 1 and 2 were composed by Masumi Itō, under her pseudonym, Hikaru Nanase.
A light novel adaptation, Chrono Crusade: Wings, They are the Light of the Soul (クロノクルセイド: 翼よ、あれが魂の灯だ, Kurono Kuruseido: Tsubasa Yo, Are Ga Tamashii no Akari Da), was published in Japan by Kadokawa Shoten on April 20, 2004. Written by Tominaga Hiroshi and illustrated by Miyazawa Hiroshi, the novel is an original side story for the series, in which Sister Rosette and Chrono investigate strange events in St. Louis.