Chronos Ruler – Anime Preview
Synopsis: Chronos Rulers are those who battle against demons that eat the time of people who wish they could turn back clock and reverse the mistakes of their past. Victor and Kiri, the Chronos Rulers, travel the world in their fight against the demons.
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Chronos Rulers doesn’t look great. Its character models lack detail and definition, not to mention a handful of downright ugly designs. Compounding that is low frame rate CGI which makes certain action sequences less than desirable to watch.
Linny: The sub-par animation isn’t helped by the fact that the episode literally starts with a super fast rewind montage where a ton of the scenes in the episode are flashing past you at headache/eyesore inducing speeds, thus kicking things off on a sour note.
Tom: Underneath its unimpressive, even off-putting animation, is writing that just doesn’t inspire. Our leads Kiri and Victor are very basic, predictable shonen leads, reminding the viewer a lot of off-brand Alphonse and Edward Elric. They’ve got the classic ‘brotherly’ bickering persona, but their quirky nature just isn’t realized in an appealing way. Either their bickering feels bland, or contains jokes that often fall flat. There’s a couple stand out moments between them but a lot more than fail to nail the landing.
Linny: The show has a hard time playing its drama convincingly. A good number of the more emotional or intense scenes lack conviction, while some come off almost comically strange. This, I believe, is partly due to the fact that the conversations in the episode feel extremely staged, with people using responses and sentences that sound unnatural and give the episode an air of artificiality.
Tom: Chronos Ruler feels a lot like generic shonen. The whole time mechanic our heroes utilize to beat the generic villains in this first episode could be interesting, if they didn’t overuse it so often. Not only is the ability ‘slow down’ visualized in an unimpressive, more matter of fact fashion, but it’s also overused. Victor and Kiri reuse this ability again and again and not once does it look cool, eye-catching or interesting.
Linny: Also, considering how melodramatic the show starts, it tries a little too hard to balance it with the comedic bickering between Victor and Kiri. Like Tom already mentioned, the jokes don’t always land, so that’s already an issue, but its juxtaposition to the show’s dramatic element only makes it look all the more odd and uneven. Also, it would be remiss of me if I didn’t mention that in some parts, the episode is so bad at handling its thrills and tension that it turns into unintentional comedy. For example, in one scene, Victor tries valiantly to save a woman but the second she dies, he just starts talking to someone else like none of it mattered.
Tom: Some Shonen can play off a melodrama to comedy swing, hence my earlier comparison to Full Metal Alchemist. But the writing really needs to be there. Trouble is Chronos Ruler’s just isn’t. Everything moves along exactly as you’d expect and while it’s rare for shonen to truly deviate from formula, there’s usually a few original aspects or interesting nuances to latch onto. Chronos Ruler’s only ‘sit up and take notice’ element is a reveal at the very end of this first episode, but it’s not big enough a moment to wash away the bland nature of the rest of the premiere.
Linny: Chronos Ruler is not for anime veterans thanks to its lower animation quality and the fact that both its melodrama and comedy have been done better by many shows before it. However, if you’re new to anime, it might have just about enough to keep you interested, especially thanks to a surprise curve ball towards the end. And as always with these more average to weak shows, if you pick it up, go in with lowered expectations for the best results.
Tom: If not for its lackluster animation I might say Chronos Ruler is ‘okay’ in the strictest sense of the word. Its writing is bland, but it follows the formula, a formula that often works and keeps teen audiences at least semi-hooked. But Chronos Ruler’s troubled visualization is enough to make me confident that it’s not worth your time.
Chronos Ruler is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.com