is my favorite manga, and an excellent read for anyone that enjoys action manga — particularly if you’re tired of typical shounen tropes like Loads And Loads Of Characters
or series that drag on for dozens of volumes.
The characters are its greatest strength — every one of them has their own motivations, both hero and villains, and the story focuses on character development and relationships as much as it focuses on action. Chrono and Rosette’s relationship is the centerpiece, and it’s carefully built up to its final, bittersweet conclusion. But a major theme of the manga is also about dealing with family members that have made bad choices in life, meaning that this is not just a romance, but a story about family and friends.
CC’s greatest weakness is exposition. Moriyama purposefully holds back on revealing the backstory for the first four or five volumes, which is a lot in a series with only eight volumes total. He manages to take all the time he needs on Chrono's past, but when it's time for us to learn Aion's
motivations, he has to rush to get through it. Moriyama’s built up a very detailed world, but you might have to reread the series to fully understand Aion’s plans, the true nature of the demons, or some of the character’s backstories. Once you figure out what’s really going on, it makes sense and is rewarding — but this is not
the manga for people that want everything clearly laid out for them in the beginning.
It also should be noted that the manga is different than the anime. If you’ve seen the anime first, don’t go into it expecting the same experience. The anime focuses more on the occult/supernatural, while the manga mashes together steampunk and sci-fi. The two versions aren't mutually exclusive to the point where you can't enjoy both, but they're hard to compare because of how different the story is in the end.
Overall, if you enjoy shounen with strong characters, clean art (after the artist hits his stride around the third volume) and a unique setting, this is highly recommended. If you prefer series that are a little longer or faster paced, it might not fit your tastes as much. This series has more in common with Fullmetal Alchemist
than it does with Bleach
. It's up to you to decide if that's a good thing or a bad thing.