Chronos Ruler Series Review: Cool Concept Does Not Equal Good Story

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Overview:

Time eating demons have stolen Victor’s time leaving him looking younger and without memories of the past 12 years. Together with his son they are hunting the demon that ate his time in order to get it back.

Review:

This actually should have been kind of fun. Two guys with weapons that can slow down and speed up the time of particular objects (Kiri uses water and Victor uses a deck of cards) to fight horologues (time eating demons) that target people with regrets who want to turn back time. It all sounds like it should be kind of fun to watch.

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Then we get the reality where Victor is the particular kind of annoying protagonist that is ridiculously cocky in his own abilities so acts like a complete fool almost 100% of the time. Never taking anything seriously, drinking, hanging out with girls, teasing his son, he’s basically incredibly annoying in every single scene. That I could probably overlook given a lot of the early focus in on Kiri who plays the straight man of the duo. The son forced to deal with the fact that his father barely remembers anything about him and to also deal with the fact that his father acts like a three year old fairly continuously. Except that the series then wants us to take Victor’s plight seriously and the entire final arc asks us to start seeing Victor as a good guy. Sorry. Too late. I have no empathy for the character and I want him to get eaten.

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This is kind of the problem with the whole show. It wants to have those serious emotional moments but the characters have not been presented to the audience in a way that makes them plausible. It wants the villains to have weight and feel threatening but has spent too long with the characters playing the fool for us to actually believe the villains they fight are any kind of real threat. There’s no balance between the comedic moments and the more serious moments and the writing doesn’t lend itself to having the audience really looking for much from this series given the plot just kind of drifts along with no sense of urgency at all and villains appear for no reason other than to inject a fight sequence and then disappear with no consequence.

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Basically this show is built around an idea that is very cool and could be really fun to watch. The group of Chronos Rulers could have been really awesome and we could have had a nice and simple linear narrative fighting some opposing force. Instead we follow Victor and Kiri, and later Mina and Blaze, as they wander about looking for a character’s memories when they’ve given us no reason to be invested in that quest. We learn nothing about the greater war that is going on or any of the other characters, though their brief appearances suggest that knowing less in this case is probably a good thing.

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For most of the season this show dropped into the They Made This category and I stand by that placement. Though this show could have built something quite interesting it was held back by poor characters and writing and ultimately wasn’t all that enjoyable to watch. Even the time manipulation element which at first was kind of interesting, never went anywhere as characters just used the same basic attacks over and over again.

I’d love to know your thoughts if you watched this show last season.


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Chronos Ruler Episode 13: At Last The End

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Review:

As the final episode comes around I wonder if this show has accomplished anything? Victo/Victor (subtitles changed mid-series) still hasn’t got his time back and in point of fact now knows it should be impossible to ever do so and yet apparently feels it could still happen. Kiri is still trailing after his useless amnesiac of a father and enduring the absurdity of being put down for not being able to eat pasta through his nose. The only real change is they now have Mina and Blaze also tagging along, whenever the writers remember they should be relevant.

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This wasn’t a satisfying final fight. Last week the horologue revealed his true form and this week unleashed a barrage of attacks that really should have just annihilated the team. However, Victo then decides he can work with the others and trust them in order to achieve victory and for some reason this also means he doesn’t die when he very clearly should have.

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Honestly, this was no worse than any other episode in this show but all and all the writing and characters have been terrible and literally the only reason I’ve stuck with it was I was kind of interested in the time manipulation element. Too bad they never did anything with that. Will write a final review soon.


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Chronos Ruler Episode 12: Obvious Symoblism Before A Final Form Reveal

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Review:

Chronos Ruler hasn’t exactly been great. In fact, the writing and characters have been pretty terrible and these final episodes are certainly cementing that point. Episode 11 was basically a series of extended mini-fights with the side characters before we got back to the main boss and episode 12 pretty much screams boss fight from start to finish with a minor character moment mid-episode just in case they haven’t convinced us yet that Victo (Victor) is actually a really great guy (something they decided in the second half of the season because in the first half he was scum).

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But hey, chain symbolism. Haven’t seen that in… Never mind.

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If that wasn’t bad enough, we then get all the good guys together and they start overwhelming the bad guy. Who of course then does a final form reveal right before we cut to the end credits. Why don’t villains ever use their ‘true’ form from the start of a fight? It would save us a lot of time.


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Chronos Ruler Episode 11: What is a Fight Without a Twist?

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Review:

Last week set up three separate fights for this week and episode 11 delivered but my question becomes, why bother? When all three fights follow the exact same pattern of one guy gets the upper hand and monologues about their amazing technique before they go for the kill and the other guy does the exact same thing with a smug self-satisfied look, it all just becomes pretty tedious. Not to mention, we don’t know enough about how any of the powers in this show work to know whether or not what the villains are doing is even vaguely plausible so there is no shock factor in these twists.

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That isn’t to say the action itself isn’t good. The fights are decent enough. Not exactly something to rave about but there have certainly been worse fight animations in anime.

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And at least the fight that Kiri has jumped into seems to have taken a more serious turn. I wish I could actually be invested in that fight but there’s pretty much no way they are actually going to kill Kiri so I assume Victo will get over his issues next episode and save him.

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I am kind of glad they’ve stopped translating Victo as Victor, but for the purpose of consistency I’m not changing his name in my reviews. That said, one of the final lines this episode makes no sense unless you realise his name was supposed to be ‘victor’.


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Chronos Ruler Episode 9: Victo Finally Got Slapped, by Himself

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Review:

So this week the Kiri, Blaze, and the maybe wife of Victo are running around the forest fighting a snake. That is literally the entire part of their role this week because they just kind of drag it out intercut with scenes of Victo dealing with his family issues. The snake runs, they chase, short confrontation, continue.

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While there’s some okay dialogue between the group, there’s zero plot development happening here until the end of the episode where they discover a wall. So basically this whole episode could be wrapped up in about two minutes if they’d just done it.

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But Victo is still playing house and ends up involved in a situation where young Victo has to give his mother blood for a transfusion because it is a super rare blood type and so young Victo misses an exam and blah, blah, blah… Once again, I would care more if they hadn’t spent the majority of this show making Victo a complete jerk. And young Victo is worse. Not even a little upset when older Victo slapped him sideways, though not supporting violence against children.


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Chronos Ruler Episode 7: Why Am I Still Watching This?

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Review:

You know, there’s something to be said for knowing when to cut your losses and if I was a sensible person, I’d be cutting Chronos Ruler from my watch list. It has never been particularly good but there was at least the hopeful notion that it might do something really interesting with the time manipulation aspects. However, the fight sequences have now become rinse and repeat of harden the element with slow down and then fling it at the enemy with speed up. All and all, Kiri actually gets it right.

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And that’s the other issue with the show. It is trying really hard to be cool and just walks along the edge of the characters being self-aware of their tropes, but it doesn’t commit to actually being self-aware and it just isn’t good enough to pull off being cool.

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All and all, this show is pretty ordinary. It hasn’t offered anything that anime fans haven’t seen before and done better and it is becoming increasingly clear that it has no interest in developing its own gimmick. Despite this, I’ll probably watch the next episode and still complain about it even knowing what I’m likely to get.


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Chronos Ruler Episode 6: I Hate You / I Love You

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Review:

This show continues to have an intriguing premise and some interesting developments but is so busy burying it all under poor execution, terrible characterisation and dialogue, as well as some really cheap jokes to actually deliver on what might otherwise be a fairly promising show. You walk away from each episode wanting to have enjoyed it and wanting to know more about the story but having face palmed so many times you have to wonder why you still are watching it.

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Having kind of resolved the whole joining Chronos thing and now being given random titles that I do not see any reason or need for at this point in the series, Victo has managed to read some of his old notes and they are going to the place where he had his last mission before losing his time. I’m all kinds of confused because Kiri is clearly older than 12, so why doesn’t he know whether Mina is his mother or not? Or why didn’t he know about Victo working for Chronos? And yes, given he isn’t yet 18 it makes sense that he was really young when whatever happened to Victo happened, but he has to know something.

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Meanwhile the is she or isn’t she question of Mina remains. To be honest, I really hope she isn’t because Victo is annoying enough, a Victo and Mina combo for the remainder of the series would just be annoyance overload.


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Chronos Ruler Episodes 4 + 5: My Time is Faster Than Your Time

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Review Episode 4:

I’m going to comment on the opening of this anime, because I haven’t in the reviews of episodes 1 – 3. What is that supposed to be? In addition to sounding horrible (which I guess is technically subjective), visually it is an eyesore.

Moving away from that, this episode was a direct continuation from last week which means Victo is fighting someone who claimed to be a god but from the sounds of it is technically more a descendent of someone who might have been a god. And of course she initially comes across as wanting to kill him but then gives him a chance to defeat her by not using her powers directly on him. Basically, she’s just going to let him win because why would any hot maybe-god like woman want to actually kill Victo? Other than he’s completely annoying and hasn’t done one thing in four episodes to make me think all these people should actually be hung up on saving his life or memories.

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Though this episode did clarify Mina’s position and basically while she’s a little bit of a pathetic character, at least she’s not a pathetic traitor. Her loyalty to Victo is pretty straight forward at the end of the day.

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Is this getting any better? Not really.

Review Episode 5:

All this episode does is draw the two fights to a close. Kiri vs fire guy who turns out to be a complete idiot with a ‘tragic’ backstory (I really think writers are running out of ideas for tragic backstory), and Victo vs self-declared-time-goddess.

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Neither fight is particularly interesting. Both Victo and Kiri pull out something random as a twist that is, I guess, supposed to be clever but basically it is the we’re the protagonists and we’re not going to lose move. In Kiri’s case it kind of works simply because we know he wasn’t trusting Mina before they entered the place so some basic preparations make sense, in Victo’s it makes very little. But still, watching Kiri beat a guy that is completely useless isn’t exactly satisfying.

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Watching Victo get beaten up before his final move on the other hand was a bit more satisfying, though he ended up technically winning the fight and to be honest, I’d have happily watched him get pounded into the ground.

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The writing is still pretty dreadful and while they are doing some fun things with speed up and slow down the plot of this hasn’t progressed in nearly three episodes because they’ve been so busy showing us these ‘cool’ fight sequences. Pretty forgettable stuff, really.


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