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Manga / Chrono Crusade

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Clockwise from bottom: Azmaria, Rosette, Satella, and Chrono.

"My name is Chrono. I'm what you humans call a demon."

Chrono Crusade (or Chrno Crusade if you want to be literal) is a manga by Daisuke Moriyama that ran in Monthly Dragon Age from 1998 until 2003. Studio GONZO made an Animated Adaptation of the series towards the end of the manga's run.

The story takes place in America during the 1920s and follows Rosette Christopher, a "gun-toting nun" and exorcist who works for the Magadalan Order, and her assistant Chrono, a cute, chipper boy who is really a demon himself. Together, the pair aim to stop demons that would harm innocent people while searching for Rosette's missing brother Joshua, who was kidnapped by Aion, a demon with ties to Chrono's past. Along the way they pick up Mysterious Waif Azmaria and Cool Big Sis Satella and slowly begin to unravel the mysteries behind the powers of the children known as Apostles, and the plans Aion has for Joshua.

This series is known, regrettably, for confusion among Western otaku over how the title should be spelled. Originally titled "Chrno Crusade" in Japan, even though the katakana indicates "Chrono", this name carried over amongst people who watched the anime via fansubs. Those same people were unhappy when the series's Western publisher "corrected" the title, refusing to acknowledge it. Years later, a reissue of the manga restored the missing "O" (which was highlighted by a flame just so you know it's there).

Both the manga and the anime were licensed in North America by ADV via their various publishing arms. The manga fell out of print when ADV shuttered their comics division in 2007 and is currently unlicensed, so if you want to read this series legit and see any volumes for sale anywhere, snatch them up. Funimation picked up the rights to the anime in 2010 and has released it in a single set containing all 24 episodes. It has also aired on American television, first on The Anime Network (created by ADV), then on Showtime Beyond, before Manga picked up the broadcast rights and aired it on Syfy's now-defunct anime block.

Has nothing to do with the Square games Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross. Not even if the original Japanese logo with overlapping "C"s bears a striking resemblance to the aforementioned games', and if Crusade sounds like the next in the series after Trigger, Cross, and Break.

It must be noted that the manga and anime for Chrono Crusade differ on some things – particularly the ending, which drastically changes depending on which version of the story you're seeing. Because of this, this page is divided into three sections: tropes that are universal for the series, and tropes that only fit the manga or anime.

For character-related tropes, please see the character page.

Chrono Crusade provides examples of:

    open/close all folders 

    Applies across both versions 
  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: Several, although they're often interrupted by the villains. Considering how much the relationships between the characters are used to highlight the themes of the series, these scenes pop up frequently and are very important overall.
  • Action Prologue: Both versions begin with Rosette and Chrono being called in to help in a demon attack, and save most of the exposition for the second chapter/episode.
  • Age-Appropriate Angst: Many of the younger characters were deeply affected by the loss of family members, while one of the older characters is more concerned with the loss of a love interest.
  • Alas, Poor Villain:
    • Aion somewhat has this in the manga – he and Chrono have a heart-to-heart chat before their final battle. His motivations are still portrayed as twisted, but at the same time many readers sympathize with his reasons.
    • Fiore – In the anime she dies trying to get back to Aion with Joshua. In the manga she's frozen in crystal trying to protect Joshua after defying Aion's orders to kill him.
    • Rizelle – Mildly, she laments her unrequited love for Aion as she dies, making her death scene somewhat sympathetic.
    • In the manga Genai's dying words indicate he's going to the afterlife to meet with Rizelle again.
  • Alliterative Title: Even more obvious in the original Japanese.
  • Alternate History:
    • Manga: There's obviously no ring orbiting our planet and New York City has not been wiped out by a freak tsunami in 1924 by an enormous flying fish city-thing.
    • Anime: San Francisco wasn't destroyed by anything in 1929, nor was there mass-rioting across the United States.
  • And Your Little Dog, Too!: Chrono had plenty of reason to dislike Aion, but it wasn't until he kidnapped Joshua that he and Rosette started getting involved in his plans.
  • Anti-Climax: Some complain that the final battle between Chrono and Aion is much too short in the anime. The manga has a much longer, drawn out battle between the two, but their true final battle is never shown; all we have is a page of them charging at each other that then cuts away to follow Rosette. We know Chrono probably won, but not much else.
  • Anime Catholicism/Christianity is Catholic: The liner notes for the anime state that, although it's technically interfaith, the Order of Magdalene is at its core a Protestant Order, which is absolutely silly if you know anything about how Protestant churches tend to operate.
  • Arc Words:
    • "Mary Magdalene" – so important that the words are in the logo of the series.
    • In the manga, Chrono's "Someday, I'll have to tell you a story about something that happened a long time ago..." may qualify.
  • Audio Adaptation: Both versions spawned at least one Drama CD. The anime version is set in a High School AU.
  • Back Story: Almost all of the characters have them, and many of them connect to other character's pasts – particularly Aion and Chrono.
  • Badass Boast: Rosette delivers one in the first chapter and the first episode when dealing with the Nepalese/Indian idol going on a rampage.
    • Manga: "Send peace to those who are lost!
      "Send rest to those who threatens others!
      "And send death to the demon!
    • Anime: "Bring peace to the lost lambs,
      "Give rest to the fangs of wolves,
      "And call the hammer of death unto the devil!"
  • A Boy and His X: A girl and her demon.
  • Body Horror: Too much to list, although Chrono's horns breaking through the skin on Joshua's head is particularly memorable and bloody.
  • Body to Jewel: Rosette's timepiece contains her life-force, which Chrono sponges off of whenever he needs a power boost to fight.
  • Boy Meets Girl:
    • Besides the fact that Chrono's a demon, you could explain the plot similarly to this trope – demon meets girl, demon loses first girl, meets another girl, demon slowly kills girl but falls in love with girl at the same time.
    • And in the anime, demon meets girl, demon loses girl, demon meets reincarnation of girl, girl gets kidnapped by demon's old "friend", demon and girl are reunited at last and die together. OR...
  • Boy Meets Ghoul: Girl meets demon.
  • Canon Foreigner: Lilith and Grandson of Joshua and Azmaria from the manga, Eliza Brown from the anime, Father Joel from the Drama CDs and Slim from the Novel.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Several times in both versions after nightmares. In the manga, both Rosette and Chrono come out of a coma with one of these.
  • Central Theme: According to Word of God, "the idea of time running out".
  • Character Development: Important in both the manga and anime, although since the manga is a bit slower paced it spends more time on it. Chrono's character development in particular is very key to the overall plot.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: A variation. Chrono and Rosette met when she was young, but he only looks around her age.
  • Coming of Age Story: For Rosette in the manga (and a little bit in the anime). Arguably Chrono, as well.
  • Complete Immortality: The demons age very slowly (if at all after they mature), and have regenerative powers to boot – as long as they have their horns or another source of astral energy, anyway.
  • Crucified Hero Shot:
    • At one point in the anime, Chrono is sent flying backwards by an explosion. He's shown falling in slow motion, his arms outstretched.
    • A promo art for the anime shows Joshua on a cross.
    • Also, in the manga, after Chrono destroys most of San Francisco and goes comatose, he's shown bound to a cross.
  • Darkest Hour: After the disastrous battle with Aion midway through the series.
  • Dead Person Conversation: Mary Magdalene speaks to Rosette in the manga and Chrono in the anime.
  • Debut Queue: Chrono and Rosette are introduced in the first episode/chapter, then Azmaria is in the first main plot arc. The following set of chapters/episodes concern flashbacks setting up Aion and Joshua, and the next arc introduces Satella.
  • Devil, but No God: In the manga, the demons are actually aliens and there doesn't seem to be any proof that God really exists. In the anime, Aion accuses Him of being uncaring and "sleeping". Then again, Rosette and the others fighting against Aion and others evil suggest otherwise.
  • Distant Finale:
    • The manga has an unusually-structured one – the epilogue jumps 70+ years after the main story where we learn what happened to many of the characters… then it flashes back to 1932 (eight years after the story) where we see Rosette's death.
    • The anime's final episode also ends with one: Father Remington in the Vatican on May 13th 1981, 52 years after the "end" of the series, where Aion appears and apparently is behind the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II.
  • Don't Split Us Up: In the backstory, Rosette was very upset at the idea of Joshua going by himself to the Magdalene Order. Joshua was much more complacent about the idea.
  • Doomed Hometown: Seventh Bell Orphanage, where Joshua and Rosette grew up. Everyone at the orphanage were frozen in stone when the power from Chrono's horns overwhelmed Joshua.
  • Due to the Dead: Considering how much the series deals with themes of death, how the bodies of the dead are treated comes up quite often in the series. (Not to mention in Fan Fic)
  • Dysfunction Junction: Pretty much everyone has some sort of tragic past or present. In the manga, this includes Aion and the Sinners.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Repeated theme throughout. Particularly noticeable with some New York mobsters who wanted demons to use as enforcers.
  • Fanservice: Shower scenes, clothing damage, and quite a few promotional drawings of Rosette in a skimpy outfit. An interview somewhere states that there would've been more fanservice, but the mangaka's family was reading the manga so he decided against it. He seems to have made up for it in his latest series.
  • First-Episode Twist: Chrono being a demon isn't revealed until the second chapter/episode.
  • Flashback Nightmare: Used in both versions, although mostly just to tease and foreshadow the actual flashbacks that cropped up later in the story.
  • First Law of Tragicomedies: Both versions of the story start off fairly lighthearted, but get Darker and Edgier as the series goes on. This is especially true of the anime.
  • Foregone Conclusion: We learn very early in the story that Rosette is destined to not live long due to her lifespan being the thing that powers Chrono's One-Winged Angel form. And indeed, she doesn't.
  • Foreign Language Title: Considering Chrono Crusade is from Japan.
  • Foreshadowing: Both in the anime and the manga, although some bits of foreshadowing in the manga made it over to the anime without their payoffs being animated as well. Most particularly, that bit where Rosette's soul is leaked out of her body through the watch? That's important.
  • Foreseeing My Death: Mary Magdalene knew from birth that she would die as a result of her then-future contract with Chrono.
  • Freudian Excuse: Most everyone has a tragic background that explains some of their quirks.
  • Genericist Government: It's not really clear if Pandaemonium is even conscious, much less how much power the Queen actually has. Not to mention what roles the Elders have, what "ranks" are, how Pursuers work...
  • Good Morning, Crono: Although the trope is named after the other Crono, both versions of this series open with the main characters sleeping in their car and being woken up by a phone call.
  • Grand Finale: Both the anime and the manga version end things with a bang.
  • Gratuitous English:
    • The title, originally.
    • And in the anime, "South Brooklym", "Joan Paul", and a doozy from the preview:
      "When the darkness enveloped the hidden world, the sudden post-war development of this new continent was gathering strange phenomenon and people wandeing [sic] in the darkness who are not human, regardless of the season was spring."
    • In the Japanese vol.1, Rosette says "Dam!"... probably a misspelling of "damn".
  • Happy Flashback: Any time Rosette thinks about her days in Seventh Bell… at least before it all went to hell.
  • Happy Place: Rosette has a lake near the Order that she takes Azmaria to when she's having a bad moment; other characters mention that she goes there often. It's destroyed near the end of the first volume, possibly the first sign that the cast is heading into danger.
  • Historical Fantasy: This series likes to mix actual historic events in with the demons and witches and fictitious religious orders.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Chrono and Rosette, when Chrono is in his true form.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight
    • Satella VS her sister, Florette/Fiore. It doesn't work.note 
    • Rosette VS Joshua in the manga.
  • I Shall Taunt You: One of the most effective tactics against Chrono, thanks to his insecurities, emotional personality, and overprotective nature towards Rosette.
  • It Always Rains at Funerals:
    • Azmaria has a flashback of being at a raining funeral, possibly her parents'.
    • In a manga flashback, we see that it snowed at the funeral for Rosette and Joshua's parents.
  • It's All My Fault: Chrono says this in the anime once things take a turn for the worst, saying the cause is that he followed Aion instead of opposing him. In the manga he never says this word-for-word, but it's implied he feels at least some guilt for certain events.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: There's a machine that allows the exorcists of the Order to "dive" into a person's soul.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: At one point, Chrono tries to convince Rosette to retreat. She argues with him, which only gives their enemy an opening to seriously wound Chrono.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Both Chrono and Joshua seem to have amassed a harem around themselves, which is only the start of how complicated things get.
  • MacGuffin Super-Person: Azmaria is a young choir singer. She's sought after by the bad guys because she's an Apostle; a human with holy power. In her case it's healing power.
  • Market-Based Title: Chrno Crusade became Chrono Crusade for the US release. The Japanese reprint of the manga went with the 'Chrono' spelling as well.
  • Marshmallow Hell:
    • Twice in the manga. Once with Chrono and Satella, and one with Azmaria and Rosette.
    • There's also a gag episode in the anime that has characters repeatedly fainting into Satella's breasts.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Chrono and Rosette, particularly when it comes to housework. This tends to be exaggerated even more in fanfic.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: Chrono and Rosette. She'd be the mayfly even if she hadn't made that contract. As it is, she and Chrono die in each other's arms in both versions of the story.
  • Mental World: Shown when a character "dives" into the soul of another. Azmaria's shows her mourning over the graves of those that have died for her in the past, Chrono's appears to be the grave that Rosette found him sleeping in.
  • Mercy Kill: Fiore offers this to Satella after she's badly wounded in battle. Satella has other plans.
  • Multiple Demographic Appeal: A shonen series with a heavy focus on relationships in general, and in particular the central tragic romance, plus lots of pretty girls and boys, and a dash of a lot of different genres (including supernatural thriller, fantasy, comedy, drama, and in the manga, sci-fi).
  • Nightmare Sequence: Rosette has one both in the anime and manga. Chrono has a few himself.
  • Non-Indicative First Episode: The first episode/chapter is just Chrono and Rosette fighting a demon on a ship, with next to no indication that anything is up with either of them.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: When Rosette causes massive property damage during a mission in the beginning of the series, she wails "Why does this sort of thing always happen to me?!" (The rest of the series gives the answer: because she's incredibly Hot-Blooded.)
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: A large group of demons attack the beach house where Joshua and Fiore are staying. Joshua calmly asks Fiore to go back inside and make him some coffee. By the time she returns with the coffee, Joshua has slaughtered all of them, taking only a minor injury to his hand in return.
  • Orphan's Ordeal: Most of the orphans in the series waffle between this and Conveniently an Orphan. It certainly frees them all up to be running around the country, but most of them have character flaws that are (at least partially) explained by the trauma caused by their parents' deaths.
  • Parental Abandonment: Features heavily in the backstories of pretty much everyone. Including Chrono and Aion in the manga.
  • Past Experience Nightmare:
    • Chrono is shown occasionally having a bad dream, mostly to hint at bits of his backstory before they're fully revealed.
    • Rosette also has one in the manga after the battle in volume 5, showing how traumatized she is after it.
    • The anime version introduces Joshua with a nightmare of Rosette's in episode 2.
  • People Jars:
    • A young Rosette warns Joshua that this will happen to him if he joins the Order.
    • The Apostles are held in these when Aion captures them.
    • Ricardo keeps the soulless body of his wife in one.
  • Phenotype Stereotype: Yes, this series takes place in the United States. Yes, Rosette, Joshua, Remington, and Mary are blond. However, there are plenty of brunettes in the series too. Plus, Satella is a redhead and Azmaria seems to have albinism.
  • Post-Victory Collapse:
    • In the manga, Rosette collapses right in front of Chrono when she shoots the horns off of Joshua's head. And then she dies in his arms. Ouch. note 
    • Chrono collapses after his final fight with Aion in the anime.
  • The Power of Love: Far, far too many examples to list, but notably it's what brings Rosette back to life in the manga.
  • Prophecy Twist: Mary Magdalene's prophetic dreams that Chrono would be the one to "take" her life is deceptively worded. Mary figures it out once things begin to fall into place. In the manga, Chrono doesn't realize Mary's lived on in his watch until the end.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: The anime ending. You could possibly consider the manga ending this as well, but most characters have much happier endings despite the overall bittersweet feel.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni:
    • Inverted. Rosette is hotblooded, but wears blue. Chrono is the calm voice of reason, but wears red.
    • Played straighter with Chrono and Aion. Chrono is emotional, bad with demonic technology and cares about people over everything else. Aion is coldly logical, shown playing chess, and sacrifices people he cares about for the success of his plan. However, the anime version switches the roles for them — a scene in a flashback shows Chrono silhouetted in blue, and Aion in red.
  • Restraining Bolt: The geas spells used to control demons.
  • The Roaring '20s: Takes place during this period. Hammered home further in the anime, which name-checks the era multiple times and ends right as the stock market crashes.
  • Rubber Face:
    • Anime – Shader does this to Chrono in a flashback.
    • Appears occasionally in the manga as well, normally when Rosette is fighting with someone.
  • Running Gag:
    • Rosette hitting Chrono, usually to get out her aggression over a problem that may or may not be his fault.
    • Joshua's hatred of veggies, particularly carrots.
    • Manga version only: Satella flirting with Chrono (which upsets Rosette and squicks Chrono).
  • Say My Name:
    • At one point in the manga, Joshua repeats over and over the word "Sis."
    • Also shows up constantly in romantic moments, dramatic moments, angry moments... pretty much every moment you can think of.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The manga has a shout-out to Pokémon: The Series (and other mon shows) when Rosette briefly tries to order a confused Chrono around similarly to how trainers command their monsters.
    • A music shout out in the anime's English dub to Jerry Lee Lewis, from episode 6:
      (Rosette gets clocked over the back of the bench with an errant basketball, which shouldn't be possible)
      Azmaria: Goodness gracious!
      Chrono: Great ball of fire!
      (Rosette gets up with a fiery Power Glow)
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Chrono Crusade is interesting, since there's conflict between these both in the story and OUTSIDE of it. In the story, Rosette tends to represent a very idealistic way of thinking, which contrasts with Aion's very, very cynical beliefs. Break outside the fourth wall, and the conflict exists in the two different versions of the story – The manga tends to show Rosette as often (but not always) in the right, and ends on a fairy idealistic note. The anime, on the other hand, gets Darker and Edgier towards the end, and comes across as being much more cynical including a final shot with a monologue lamenting that humans continue in their evil ways, which invites trouble.
  • Surrogate Soliloquy: The ending of both the manga and anime have a character talking to Rosette's grave.
  • Tears of Blood: So much blood...
    • Anime, a statue of the Virgin Mary cries tears of blood.
    • Joshua also has Tears of Blood after getting Chrono's horns.
  • Thematic Rogues Gallery: Naturally, the only enemies Chrono and Rosette fight are demons or supernatural beasts.
  • There Are No Therapists: The Sinners in general could use some good group therapy, not to mention all of the orphans. But are there therapists? No – a few good talks with the local priest, but no therapy sessions. Possibly justified, considering the time period.
  • Throwing Down the Gauntlet: Aion challenges Chrono to "Get up! Kill me now!" when he's "killed" by Joshua at the carnival.
  • Transformation Trauma: When Joshua gets Chrono's horns, they grow out of his skull and break through the skin on his head with enough force to spray blood over the walls of his room and his clothing.
  • Transformation Trinket: In a sense the pocket watch is this.
  • Translation Convention: To be expected for an anime set in the United States – you don't communicate with Americans in Japanese, you just don't; and you don't speak Japanese or English in Germany…
  • True Companions: Made all the more poignant since most of the main characters are orphans. The Sinners are also shown to be like this as well in the manga, which serves to show how ruthless and committed to his goals Aion is when he sacrifices them without outward remorse.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Chrono and Rosette are the most obvious, but a lot of other pairings have this between them, too. One of the funniest moments related to UST in the manga is probably a scene when Chrono walks in on Mary Magdalene washing her clothes in a river in nothing but her underwear. While Chrono flails around behind her, she tells him "You missed me bathing earlier. Too bad!"
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Nobody seems to find Chrono's appearance particularly odd despite the fact that, even in disguise, he has purple hair, pointed ears, red eyes, and fangs.
  • Urban Fantasy: The vast majority of the story takes place in either New York City or San Francisco.
  • Villains Out Shopping: The very first time Aion is actually shown in the flesh, he's coming back home from a shopping trip for Fiore. In the manga, it's the first of several scenes showing the Sinners as somewhat of a dysfunctional, but caring, family unit.
  • Viva Las Vegas!: In Chapter/Episode 3, Rosette and Chrono are sent to Vegas to save Azmaria from her casino magnate "father", and Rosette can't resist playing the slots.
    • Vegas is a rather long way (read: over 2500 miles) from the Order's base in New York. It would take several days to get there by train, which makes the anime's decision to move the casino to Atlantic City, New Jersey – which is close to New York and was a gambling hotspot at the time – understandable.
  • Wham Episode: The battle at the San Francisco carnival – Episode 19 in the anime, about midway through the 5th volume of the manga.
  • Was It Really Worth It?: Both the anime and manga bring up this question in reference to Rosette and Chrono's contract – Chrono himself even questions if there wasn't another way they could have done it in the manga.
  • Where I Was Born and Razed:
    • As mentioned in Doomed Hometown, Joshua was responsible for freezing everyone in Seventh Bell into stone.
    • Also, in the manga, Aion's ultimate goal is the destruction of Pandaemonium and "remaking" Earth by using its legion. He succeeds in the first, but not the second.
  • World War I: Briefly mentioned at some points – in fact, extras made for the anime discuss how the war affected the time period of the setting.
  • You Said You Would Let Them Go: Azmaria promises to go with Larajie if he doesn't hurt Rosette and Chrono. Of course, he goes back on his deal as soon as she's within arm's length.

    Manga Only 
  • Afterlife Express: Transports souls to the afterlife. Rosette takes a ride on it when her contract with Chrono weakens her soul, but decides to jump off and revive before the end of the trip.
  • Angst Coma: Chrono goes into one after volume 5. It takes a Journey to the Center of the Mind to get him out of it.
  • Art Shift: Volume 1 has some English sound effects and Rosette often mixes in English words in the Japanese version. But her use of English words is seen less often in the later volumes and English sound effects are never seen again after the 1st volume.
  • Ape Shall Never Kill Ape: Killing another demon is a major taboo for law-abiding demons... unless the other demon is a Sinner.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: The "holy" or possibly Astral-based technology behind the Order's weaponry - some of the more powerful bullets are explicitly based on bound and captured demons. Which leads into the demons' legion cells, which compose them and the entirety of their Organic Technology. Father Remington is even infected with legion cells to make him a more powerful combatant, but they've been slowly growing more numerous.
  • Art Evolution: Subtle within the series, but comparing art earlier in the series to towards the end makes it obvious that Moriyama improved as an artist while working on the series. And then the brand-new reprint covers were released, and his art style has changed so much it almost looks like a different artist altogether drew the cover.
  • Artistic License – Geography/No Sense of Direction:
    • The party's journey from NYC to San Fransisco takes them from New York to the Seventh Bell Orphanage (in Michigan), to Washington DC, to Chicago, and from there to San Fransisco. This route is about 1500 miles longer than it needs to be, especially given how important this mission is to Rosette. Particularly egregious given the absence of interstate highways, which wouldn't exist for roughly another 30 years. Either Moriyama didn't know better, or Rosette is totally incapable of cross-country navigation. For the record, the logical path would have been to go from NYC, to Seventh Bell, and then San Francisco. There was no stated plot reason why they had to go to DC at all, and the sole reason they went to Chicago is because that's where the train they were on was going (After wrecking the car in DC).
    • The manga locates the Seventh Bell Orphanage in Michigan. The problem with that is that (1) Rosette is easily able to get there by car, which is unlikely to have been the case in 1924, in addition to it being hundreds of miles away from New York City; and (2) it's near a lovely mountain lake, but Michigan is pretty flat as far as US states go – ~1400' separate its lowest and highest elevations. The anime fixes both of these problems by putting Seventh Bell vaguely in Upstate New York, probably in the Catskills or Adirondacks.
    • As mentioned above, Chapter 3 has Rosette and Chrono pick up Azmaria in Las Vegas, which is over 2500 miles from the Order's headquarters in New York. That a several-day trip by 1920's-era train, and would probably have been impossible by car due to the lack of reliable highways over the Rockies at the time.
  • Artistic License – History: The manga has Rosette and Chrono go on a mission to a casino on the Las Vegas Strip... even though Nevada didn't legalize gambling until 1931 (7 years after the story is set) and Vegas didn't have much of a reputation for casinos until after World War II. The anime has the casino in Atlantic City, which both avoids this and explains why someone from the New York branch of the Order would be sent there (New Jersey being much closer to NYC than Nevada). Doubly smart because, unlike Vegas, Atlantic City was known as a gambling hotspot during The Roaring '20s.
  • An Ass-Kicking Christmas: The Grand Finale takes place during Christmas Eve and Christmas.
  • Berserk Button: Harming Rosette will piss Chrono off.
  • Berserker Tears: Happens occasionally. For example, this is Joshua's reaction when he finds out about Chrono and Rosette's contract.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Rosette dies. Beyond that, Satella is revived, but decades have passed and almost everyone she knew is gone – Azmaria having died only one year beforehand.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Demon biology is very different from human. They're composed of "legion" cells which have integrated magic (astral) power into their metabolism, giving them incredible regenerative ability and effective immortality. They're so resilient that even if they take a wound so horrible they can't regenerate from it no matter how much astral they draw on, they can still take grafts and prosthetic limbs very well. Their horns are basically collection organs for ambient astral energy and antennae for connecting to the Pandaemonium hive mind. Also, in the manga the demons are literally aliens, hive workers in service to a queen/mothership.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Used often to show when someone's injured badly. Thanks to Chrono's tendency to throw himself in harm's way, it happens a lot with him.
  • Crashing Dreams: Chrono experiences this when he has a nightmare where he almost agrees to follow Aion again, but is stopped by a ghostly woman.
  • Cue the Sun: In the ending, Rosette looks out over a rising sun and says "There's plenty for us to do!"
  • Darkened Building Shootout: A variation, when Rosette and co get chased into a warehouse by some Pursuers.
  • Destination Defenestration: In one scene, Chrono becomes so frustrated when Rosette won't wake up in the morning that he actually throws Rosette out the window.
  • Distant Duet: Joshua and Rosette are both shown singing Israfel.
  • Distant Finale: Technically it has two – one in the early 1930's showing Azmaria and Joshua becoming full members of the Order. And another in 1999, when Satella finally emerges from her stasis and learns that Azmaria had died of old age just one year earlier, but not before recording a video explaining what happened to everyone else.
  • Doing In the Wizard: Demons are really aliens.
  • Dream Sequence: Chrono has one that foreshadows later revelations about his backstory.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Although some characters have more traditionally happy endings and others are more bittersweet.
  • Engaging Conversation: Shader tells Fiore "I want you to be my wife!" after Fi makes everyone a delicious meal. She's probably joking, but it's hard to tell with Shader sometimes.
  • Epilogue Letter: The manga uses a videotaped message from Azmaria to Satella as a framing device for a flashback that covers what happened to the characters in the months leading up to Rosette's death.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: During an extra at the end of volume 7, Rosette shoots a car that immediately explodes on contact.
  • Eye Awaken: Chrono and Rosette defeat a demon by the skin of their teeth. As soon as they begin to relax, the demon jumps out of the rubble – and is promptly finished off by backup arriving just in time.
  • False Crucible: Remington challenges Chrono to a duel to the death when he's ordered to execute him, but in reality he's testing to see if Chrono can learn to control his rage. He succeeds, and Remington gives them supplies before setting them on the path to their final battle with Aion.
  • Fictional Document: Mary Magdalene's book of prophecies and Azmaria's memoir.
  • Gainax Ending: The end of the manga is strange, somewhat open-ended, and rather rushed and abrupt, causing the ending to come off as pretty weird. To make matters worse, the original published ending was VERY open-ended, with a lot of loose strings not tied up until the final collected volume was released several months later with an additional epilogue added onto the end. (And even THAT ending has some questions that are never answered, and raises new ones on top of it!)
    • And yet it's considerably more upbeat than the anime's infamous Downer Ending.
  • Go Through Me:
    • Chrono throws himself between Aion and Mary Magdalene. Aion, knowing full well Chrono will heal, actually does just go through him.
    • Repeated later when he attempts to save Rosette. It works, thanks to a spot of "luck".
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Father Remington was infected with demon cells to make him a more powerful combatant and effectively part-demon. When Rosette (and readers) learn about this near the end of the series, his body mass is already 40% legion, and it's shown to have only gotten worse in the epilogue. Aion and Chrono are as well, because their mother was a human who was pregnant when she was taken to be the new host for Pandaemonium, infecting them with legion cells before they were born.
  • History Repeats: Mary was possessed by Pandaemonium, which led to Aion wanting her dead and Chrono making a contract with her. Later, when Pandaemonium is killed by Aion, she seeks out a new body: and decides on Rosette. Aion can't help but point out that "It's just like we're reliving what happened 50 years ago!"
  • Hive Mind: The demon race is technically a hive in service to Pandaemonium, who is both queen and mothership, though many of the more powerful demons still have their own individual personalities as well - individual enough for some to rebel before they can be forced into compliance, even.
  • Holy Water: Demons are weak to holy water. The bullets in Rosette's guns use holy water instead of an explosive charge and, in the anime, Chrono burns his hand once when he attempts to use it against a demonic enemy.
  • Home Sweet Home: After her adventures, Rosette returns back to the orphanage she grew up in and becomes a caretaker there.
  • Horde of Alien Locusts: Aion plans to use the corrupted legion in this way to destroy the world and rebuild it.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: When Aion fights Duke Daffau, he purposely loses the battle, before revealing his plan to weaken the demons that still have horns, and that his sword has a device built into it to enhance his own powers.
  • I'm Not Hungry: When kidnapped by Aion, Azmaria refuses to eat. Shader convinces her to eat by telling her that "food isn't good or evil."
  • Implausible Deniability: Joshua tells Rosette "You're not Rosette. My sister was nice."
  • Inelegant Blubbering: Rosette, towards the end of the manga when she realizes she's died.
  • Intangible Time Travel: Rosette dives into Chrono's soul to relive his memories in this way.
  • Ironic Echo: "If you had to pretend to be a big shot, you should never have come to the front lines."
  • I Was Having Such a Nice Dream: Parodied in the first chapter. Instead of asking for five minutes, Chrono asks Rosette if he can sleep for ten hours. Of course, Rosette doesn't agree to it.
  • I Will Wait for You: In the end of the manga, Chrono promises Rosette that he'll come back to her right before he leaves to fight Aion in their final battle. He either takes 8 years to finally return for some unexplained reason, or was killed in his final battle and comes back to her as a ghost. Either way, he returns to her just as she takes her final breaths.
  • Leave The Two Love Birds Alone: Azmaria arranges for Chrono and Rosette to be alone at the Carnival.
  • Mind Screw: Demons are actually just Sufficiently Advanced Aliens and Hell is their Space Whale buried under the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Morality Kitchen Sink: Most of the Order and Rosette's companions are on the white side of the scale (with some sliding), the Sinners are mostly on the blackish side of gray, and the other demons are usually black (but occasionally sympathetic).
  • The Mountains of Illinois: Some of the background shots around Seventh Bell show jagged mountains. Problem is, you won't find that sort of scenery in Michigan – no point in the state is higher than 2000'. For this and logistical reasons, the anime moved Seventh Bell's location to somewhere in Upstate New York, a much more fitting setting.
  • Organic Technology: Anything to do with the demons. It's all based on their "legion" cells. Aion's grand scheme involves poisoning the living demon mothership, Pandaemonium.
  • Our Hero Is Dead: Rosette actually does die, but is later revived.
  • Plot-Based Voice Cancellation: In the manga, a promise Joshua made to Rosette when they were children is scribbled out in the text bubble, and revealed later on.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: Demon contracts consume the human's soul. Azmaria's foster father used a great machine with her at the center to channel the Astral Line which was hijacked by his own contracted demon. Much later, Aion has been doing the same thing with all the Apostles, including Azmaria and Joshua now that he has them. And finally, we learn that Pandaemonium's living core died nearly 10,000 years ago when the ship crashed on Earth, and the demons have been capturing suitable human women and plugging them into the ship to act as a series of temporary cores just to keep their species alive. And the last Pandaemonium was pregnant with Chrono and Aion when she was taken, infecting them with legion cells in utero as a result.
  • Power Incontinence: How Aion created the corrupted legion – by feeding them more power than they can handle.
  • The Power of Blood: Blood is exchanged when a demon makes a contract with a human. (The anime doesn't specify if it follows this or not.)
  • The Promise: There's several promises made from one character to another that later come into play.
  • Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You: The manga has several scenes where Joshua points a gun outside of the frame and off towards the page.
  • Shower of Awkward: Rosette chases the Elder out of the shower... naked. Chrono, of course, is standing right outside, and gets to see Rosette in her full glory. He then gets blamed for the incident and is punched by Rosette.
  • Storming the Castle: The manga ends with two stormings in rapid succession.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Chrono and Rosette's reaction when they discover the full extent of Aion's plans.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Chrono, in Volume 5. A main part of his character development is him learning to control his rage.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The final volume contains a bonus chapter that's one of these.
  • Where It All Began: Chrono and Aion's final battle takes place in Pandaemonium the very place Chrono first joined Aion over half a century ago. Not to mention that their battle starts and ends with the corpse of their mother nearby...
  • You Are With Me: Used at least twice...
    • " each light is its own life."
    • "The place Chrono could go back to was decided four years ago!"
  • Your Favorite: A variation – Fiore cooks someone her sister's favorite food, because one reminds her of the other.
  • Your Soul Is Mine!: Sort of the contracts, although more a case of Deal with the Devil since both of Chrono's contracts are willing. However, in the manga Aion makes contracts with kidnapped, or possibly murdered, victims that the Sinners round up for him. Fiore then somehow turns them into jewels, which Aion uses to power himself up during fights.

    Anime Only 
  • Accent Adaptation: A strange one in the dub – a generic police chief was given an Irish accent to match the stereotype of New York cops of the time period. In the commentary track, the director admitted this was for Rule of Funny. The dub also gives Satella and Florette German accents (something that she's noted to have in the manga, but was cut out of the Japanese anime track).
  • Anime Theme Song: The opening is (apparently) a love song from Rosette to Chrono, while the ending theme is a sad farewell song to match the feel of the ending.
  • Artistic License – History:
    • A panning shot in Episode 21 of the anime briefly shows what appears to be the Golden Gate Bridge, which did not open until 1937. One of the next episode previews also alludes to the bridge in the original Japanese, though the English dub writers noticed the error and removed the reference.
    • One quick shot of Manhattan in the anime appears to show the Empire State Building, which did not exist at the time (it was started in late 1929 and completed in 1931).
  • As the Good Book Says...: This version of Aion seems to be meant to be the anti-Christ, with constant scripture quotations to back that up.
  • Cartesian Karma: When Joshua is forcibly separated from Chrono's stolen horns, he is able to revert back to his old self. Problem is, he becomes "locked" in that state, stuck with the mind of a 12-year-old for the rest of his life, with no memories of Rosette or any realization that the events of the series (which he does remember) actually happened. He fares much better in the manga.
  • Color Failure: Happens to Azmaria, Rosette, and Satella's butler in episode 14 after he passes out on Satella's chest.
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: In the English dub of the first episode, Rosette literally threatens to kill the Elder with a spoon.
  • Double Entendre: In the preview for Episode 2, Rosette frets over having lost something "very important". When Chrono asks her what she lost, her response is a vague "when a girl says she's lost something very important, what else could it be but that?" It turns out the object she's referring to from the episode is actually her gun, but Chrono assumes the sexual meaning (and is immediately scolded for being perverted).
  • Dude He's, Like, In A Coma: Rosette kisses Chrono while he's trying to sleep off a fever.
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: While not exactly a plot hole in the strictest sense, in the original Japanese dub, Satella's seiyuu sounds just as Japanese as all the other characters (who all happen to live in 1920s New York, by the way), while in the dub she has a fairly thick German accent. Therefore, Azmaria's sudden realization that she's German when she calls a hot dog a "wurst" makes the otherwise established intelligent girl come off as rather slow.
  • Esoteric Motifs: A pentagram is drawn in the air behind Rosette when she releases the seal on the watch.
  • "Everybody Dies" Ending: The only main characters to survive the last episode are Azmaria, Joshua (sort of), Sister Kate, and Remington.
  • Forceful Kiss:
    • Aion forces a kiss on Rosette not once, but twice.
    • He also does this to Satella after revealing he killed her parents and before molesting her.
  • Fork Fencing: Rosette attacks the Elder with a spoon in the first episode.
  • Gecko Ending: The anime shows signs of splitting from the manga from almost the beginning, but splits pretty solidly in episode 7 and becomes nearly completely different somewhere around the halfway point.
  • Intertwined Fingers: In the last episode, Chrono and Rosette clasp their hands together in this way as they both die in each other's arms. This is a very iconic image for the series – chances are you've seen a clip of this if you've ever watched a Chrono Crusade AMV.
  • Intimate Healing: Chrono comes down with some sort of demon fever, and Rosette is told by a fortune teller that a folk remedy for fevers is... a kiss. She tries it, and it works.
  • Kiss of Death: Aion kisses Rosette after giving her a Breaking Speech.
  • Partly Cloudy with a Chance of Death: Chrono and Rosette die as the sun sets.
  • Present-Day Past: The story takes place in the 20's, but newspaper articles often have modern headlines.
  • Retraux: Used in the ADV Films trailer, particularly the narration that mimics old newsreels. Also shows up a little bit in the opening and title cards, although isn't used too frequently in the anime proper.
  • Spit Take: Sister Kate does this when Azmaria asks to be an exorcist like Rosette.
  • Sick Episode: Chrono falls ill during the trip to San Francisco.
  • Sprouting Ears: Rosette displays some cat ears when Satella picks them up while they were traveling in the desert to San Francisco, and then goes into Rich Bitch mode to tease Rosette for not having better prepared for the trip due to their lack of funds and training.
  • To Be Continued: Every episode (except the final one) ends with a title card displaying this phrase, which then melts away in a way reminiscent of old, worn film.
  • Together in Death: Chrono and Rosette are buried together in a grave with a single headstone.
  • Transformation Sequence: Chrono was given one in the anime when he turns into his true form.
  • Unrequited Love: Rosette uses this against Rizelle on the train, and taunts her that despite everything the spider lady is doing for Aion, he never notices her. It seems to set off her Berserk Button, which also allows Rosette a brief opening to bypass her defenses.
  • Voice of the Legion: When Chrono's transforming in the anime, his voice echoes – particularly in the second episode when he thinks Rosette's been killed and tries to break through the seal on his own.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Both played straight and averted. The "played straight" part is that Azmaria is the only main character to survive the end of the series without extreme mental damage. Averted, in that some young children are killed because of their powers (although they're minor enough to not even have names).