There are two anime studios I can safely say I’m a huge fan of without any real caveats: Ghibli and Studio 4c. The former delivers for me more in terms of consistency, but the latter is by far my favorite in terms of how they use animation. As such, whilst a few of my more Studio Rikka-inclined colleagues were eagerly looking forward to Harmonie, I was more looking forward to Chronus. And I’ve got to say, whilst I don’t think it’s great overall, it delivered way better than the former did.
First off, I loved how the first half or so basically resembled Boogiepop Phantom or Serial Experiments Lain in terms of presentation in order to represent the main’s powers regarding the supernatural. I love that sort of cryptic direction when it’s done well, and Chronus pulls it off in a way that can be a bit heavy, but not to the point that I can’t see what’s going on. Said presentation disappears in the second half when the story goes more traditional and kind of action-y, but it’s still kept visually interesting through the free-flowing animation and colorful visuals. Movement was pretty fluid and it delivered on visual intensity whenever it needed to. In short, this thing is pretty damn interesting visual-wise. But is said visual style being applied to something worthy of it?
Well, I think the story is pretty damn cool. A kid grows up with the ability to see soul-stealers, but he doesn’t do anything about it because he doesn’t see the point. But when said soul-stealers go after his female friend/crush, he realizes he has to take action. In essence, it’s a romance anime just like Harmonie was. However, this romance is between a girl who is about to die and a dude who’ll brave different dimensions and scythe-wielding specters in order to save her.
In short, it’s a romance anime where cool stuff actually happens rather than one where you just blab about said cool stuff like you’re in a typical VN adaptation and proceed to do nothing but weakly tie it together with the most basic of plot elements. When you tie it all in with the awesome visual style and a pretty damn cool ambiguous ending to the thing that leaves me wanting more, you know you’ve got something worth watching.
Yeah, this looks to be my favorite of the Anime Mirai stuff this year. Unless A-1 gained talent just for their contribution or something.