Man, those nuns in that Catholic school I went to as a kid completely fupped up their history classes something awful. They failed to tell us about all the warrior-clergymen and women in New York City in the roaring twenties who exorcised horn-stealing demons with crucifix swords, holy bullets and friendly demons of their own. All we learned about in school was prohibition, flappers, Black Tuesday and jazz music. Thank God for the Japanese and their more accurate records of American history! Thank God for Chrno Crusade (And yes, it's spelled "Chrno" and not "Chrono"... It's spelled that way something like 20 times during the course of the show, and after such wonderful products as Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross I think the Japanese know how to spell it that way if they wanted to. The lack of an "o" is deliberate, moron).
Chrno Crusade is a mix of period piece, religious drama and wacky, soulless demon fights. Oh, and warrior nuns too. Kinky. I do find it quite humorous that the Japanese use the image of the "young Catholic nun" as a kick ass demon hunter in more features than Western pr0n makers use the womanly career path-taker as a horny angel who's just looking for some earthly lovin'. But I digress. Chrno Crusade is all about the Magdalene Order of the Catholic Church who's job it is to keep disruptive and destructive demons off of our plane of existence. The main characters are Rosette Christopher (think either of the Dirty Pair in a sexy penguin habit) and Chrno (hornless demon who's life is now entwined with Sister Rosette). Things start off slowly (veeeeeeeeeeeeeeery slooooooooooooooowly) as the pair go out on mission after mission to stop renegade demons or rescue orphans with great singing voices. Honestly, up until episodes 18 and 19 I wasn't even planning on reviewing this show. CC was all blah, cookie cutter anime. Monster of the week with a *gasp* mysterious mystery surrounding Rosette and Chrno and their unending hunt for Rosette's younger brother, Joshua. But episodes 18 and 19 showed that CC had balls... And fangs. That's when some pretty huge things happened and I realized that the writers were willing to actually take some big risks and sacrifice (major pun intended) some of their characters and storytelling sensibilities. Then episode 24 came... And with it came my love for this series. That was a better ending than I could have ever HOPED for. It's the kind of ending that you pray (yup, religiously humorized) your favorite show will have. There's just one image that sticks with you after you see the last half hour; it kind of makes you tear up whenever you think about it. *Sniff* And I ain't no sissy! I will not go into it or even come close to describing it for that would be a total disservice to you if you ever chose to watch CC and stick with it till the end. The ending completely makes up for the averageness of the beginning and middle (seriously, only the last 1/5th of the show is really fun), but you have to wade through the beginning and middle to get to and fully appreciate the end. It's your call. But oh man, the emotions the finale plays with and the way it plays with them should be illegal... Or at least a sin. Heh heh, I can't stop with the religious humor... Sorry.
Anyway, CC's use of Catholicism to tell the story is actually pretty much on the ball. Probably more so than it would have been if it had been written by Americans (who would have felt they had more room to mess with the faith and its beliefs). The Fatima Prophesies (which aren't even Catholic dogma), the beliefs in the saints, the occurrence of stigmata... I was very impressed at how serious and cordial they were in their presentation. Honestly, I was hoping they would have screwed it up a little for some much needed "Japanese trying to interpret Western religion" humor. But alas, the writers actually did their homework. They even got most of the American history of the time correct too! But they did seem to miss the fact that the Golden Gate Bridge wasn't built until 1937.
As for the prophecies of Fatima, yeah, they got the first two right, but they chose to run with the official Vatican release of the third secret foretelling. They play it out that the third one was all about the 1981 assassination attempt on JP the Second, though most scholars agree that the few lines that were even revealed about the final prophecy point to something else which is still being kept a secret (possibly the arrival of the anti-pope... Yeah, I can't make that kind of shit up). Oh, and contrary to Chrno Crusade, JP stands for JOHN Paul, not Joan. But that's the biggest and funniest cultural or language mistake in the whole show. It's still worth a chuckle though.
Back to the story and characters. Satella, the freelance demon hunter, is a hottie, Rosette is a firecracker, Chrno is cool when he wants to be, and Azmaria is the wide-eyed newbie. Along with a couple dozen priests and nuns, and some unholy and nihilistic demons this series would seem to have almost too much to wrestle with in a mere 24 episodes of planning, but after all is said and done it really should have only been a 13 episode show which would have been packed from opening to ending with nonstop intrigue and holy-hell busting out all over the place. It's just waaaaaay too stretched. Too little story for so much time. Oh well. Whatever. Maybe suffering through the boring parts is your penance, and your salvation is the final 5 or so eps. Or is that too deep?
Tsk tsk. A very difficult show to review for me. See, it did have lots of evil in it, and evil was kicking good's ass for most of the series. And even in the end I'm not really all too sure that good even won. Seriously, what the hell was Aion's plan? I didn't get it, and he was originally one of my minions in the first place. That's just fucked up.
And then there was that Battle Nun, Rosette... She was kind of heretical with her demon boy-toy and all, and her slutty nun outfit. So that was good. But then her personal demon pet kept putting the kibosh on some of the eviller demons who were just trying to end the world... Or were they? Seriously, what the hell was the main plot about? And what were those "Apostles" all about? Weren't there like only 7 in the show? What the? I mean even I, the Princess of All Wickedness, know that there were a couple more of the goody-goodies than that. I call "bullshit!"
If you're going to fuck around with a religion for the basis of your entertainment show, at least have the common courtesy to not make the bad guys out to be lamers without a real purpose, and to make sure you count out the number of followers a man/God had when he was walking around the planet a couple thousand years ago. That's just a pet peeve of mine. Jeesus!
Why the hell does the Asian man feel he have ta fuck with the Western man's faith and religion? Seriously? What the fuck? Why the hell don't some big Hollywood guy just go around and make a Shinto priestess show about some little Nippon chickie who likes to shoot evil, tentacle oni with those anal beads that they's always usin' in all them pornos over there? That'd teach them fuckahs a lesson.
That's pretty much all Malcolm Z has to say on the subject. Case fuckin' closed, beeyatch.