Region: 2 - UK
Volume: 7 of 7
Length: 75 minutes
English 5.1 Surround
Japanese 2.0 Stereo
‘Hellfire’ is the final volume of Gonzo’s Chrono Crusade, which sees Aion’s plans finally reach fruition. The world has literally fallen into chaos and ironically it seems the only person who can put things right is another Devil Chrono.
Volume 7 of Chrono Crusade has such a dark feeling compared to much of the rest of the series that it seems almost a different show. Much like volume 6 there is an urgency here to resolve the plot. It makes the series much less enjoyable and I felt myself watching not so much for pure pleasure than a desire to see the resolution of the series.
The first episode of the disc resolves Satella’s story arc as she confronts her past and learns the ultimate fate of her missing sister. Whilst it’s important to the show the sudden concentration of this arc seems to obscure the main Chrono/Rosette story. When we finally do get to see Aion and Chrono face off it’s an abrupt fight that seems to have seen inserted to quickly resolve matters rather than the better fights of previous volumes. In fact it’s rather curious that the battle between them last volume was far more dramatic than the ‘final battle’ of the entire series. The final episode on the DVD acts as an epilogue explaining what happens to the surviving characters and discussing the impacts of the battle with Aion on the world. The first half of the final episode focuses on Azmaria’s views whilst the second sees an abrupt shift to a later time period and the evocation of some well known Christian mythology such as the prophecies of Fatima –in fact you’d be forgiven for thinking things had lept very much into a DaVinci code state of affairs.
That said there is still a fairly firm ending to Chrono Crusade something sorely lacking in a industry that is all to aware of keeping it’s options open for movies and OVAs, and it’s still a rewarding purchase if you’ve followed it this far.
The extras remain fairly strong for this release, which includes several alternate openings. There’s also the final ‘ Azmaria’s Extra classes’, it probably says something more about the reviewer than it does the DVD when I say it has taken until now to realise that Azmarias’s lessons are also included in Japanese, the language settings which effect the main show also relate to this extra.
Chrono Crusade is a hugely enjoyable series but if you’re a fan of action shows then you’ll have to be prepared for the change in tone and the slowing of the pace towards the end. It’s a series which rewards emotional investment in the characters and which relies on this bond to succeed.