Polona

Blogger with a passion for anything fantasy related!

Chronos Ruler is an anime about time and memory.
Anime Reviews

To Rule Time Or To Be Consumed By It?

Andressa Andrade

Do you wish you could turn back time? Think again!

In the world of CHRONOS RULER, that’s a very dangerous wish. When regret sets in and people desperately want to go back, that’s when the horologues attack. Time-consuming monsters will literally eat your lifetime. It doesn’t sound like that bad of a deal to look a couple of years younger, right? Or take another chance on things you have let slip by?

But horologues are insatiable creatures. So they’ll just keep on eating your time until you become a baby, then a fetus, then… nothing. You’ll turn back into inexistence.

So? Still want to relive those good ol’ days?

To be a Chronos Ruler

To every chaos, there’s a sort of rule and structure. CHRONOS RULER focuses on the battle between the two factions, creating a black and white world. The horologues pray on humans remorse and steal away their time, promising they will return things back to the way they were. But there’s no “devils contract” stopping the demons from eating up too much and eventually killing.

As Victor struggles to survive and the monsters hold on him is slowly taking its toll, he gets to meet people who call themselves Chronos Rulers. A secret organization that not many people know about is struggling alone to keep people safe. As their numbers are drastically declining and not many are left, they are joined by Victor and Kiri.  Understanding time and appreciating it gets a whole new meaning.

Victor and Kiri’s story

Chronos Ruler Victor PutinVictor Putin’s regrettable actions, such as gambling and neglecting his family caused him to come in contact with a strong horologue. It stole Victors time and ate it, together with his precious memories. Now Victor, who should be 39 years old, barely looks 15. Not only he didn’t get to save his wife, but now he’s on a quest to find that horologue and claim back his lost years. To do that, the blue-haired boy uses his Oath Of Time, a tool that allows him and other Chronos Rulers to control the time around certain elements. For Victor, those are gambling cards, which he uses both to attack his adversaries and to attract cute girls with party tricks.

Kiri and Victor Putin, the Chronos Rulers

Victor’s companion in this adventure is Kiri. The smart, red-eyed Chronos Ruler uses his Oath Of Time to control water. He has sworn to get Victor’s time back no matter what. He’s also the responsible adult around, making sure Victor and his reckless attitude don’t put their mission — or themselves — in danger.

To new and old acquaintances

The Chronos Ruler Mina Later, Mina joins them. This young and cute Chronos Ruler can control air and swears she’s Victor’s long-lost wife. Of course, Victor has no memory of that, but that won’t stop Mina from doing everything in her power to protect her darling.

This review wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Blaze! This hot-tempered Chronos Ruler likes to play with fire — literally. He has set off to be the world’s biggest villain and will leave no stone unturned in the way to achieve that. Blaze, the Chronos Ruler of fire

The party of four sets out together from the Chronos Ruler headquarters to find the horologue that ate Victor’s time. As each of them has a different ability and fighting style they complement each other rather well.

No time wasted in the first season

CHRONOS RULER first season has just ended — it aired between July and September this year.  It served only 13 episodes and man, we can’t wait for the next one!

Having watched one too many anime where the production seems to waste a lot of time with pointless subplots and filler scenes, watching this one was quite a relief. Every little scene and dialogue serves a purpose. You’re always learning something new about the characters and the plot continues to move forward every minute. The creators of the series clearly know the value of time, and they honored it.

The characters have proven to be very charismatic, making it one of the best traits of this anime. It is impossible not to love Victor and his childish manners. And the others don’t fall behind, with well-rounded, complex personalities that we didn’t expect to find in such a short anime.

Victor Putin is a Chronos Ruler with an eternally childish heart

CHRONOS RULER adds more depth in the later episodes, making us see the emotional bonds as it were our own everyday life. The bond between a father and son, a husband and a wife and the most painful to watch – between a mother and a son. All the regret, shame, and pain gathered in some intense moments really made us love this show.

When memories fade away

As much as this show seems light-hearted and fun, there’s a slow transition to a more complex anime by the middle of the season. Episodes that depict the raw human emotions and the decisions that follow them have been the most satisfying to watch. As stated before, these parts of the anime are never stretched out and fillers, but rather bridging elements. CHRONOS RULER ended up being more of a family anime than one of friendship. The connection and relationship between Mina and her older sister and the whole Putin family often take the spotlight but rarely disappoint. The way things are developing in the first season makes many wonder if getting the years and memories back is still a good idea.

We need more time. And better music.

Not everything is perfectly shiny in this anime, though. Looking at it objectively, there are some aspects of it that need improvement. Many viewers commented that the show is just too full of plot holes and has some major logic issues, plus lacks structured continuity. Not to say that these comments are irrelevant or untrue, some scenes really don’t need too much explanation as this anime serves up a supernatural world.

As for the graphics, some scenes were poorly executed, especially noticeable at the beginning of the season. Later on, the overall look of the anime improved and stayed like that until the end of the season.

Music is always an essential part of any anime. With this one, we get some very interesting combination that might not be to everyone’s liking. The jazzy kind of music during fight scenes felt anticlimactic, like purposefully trying to detach the viewer from the violence. We hope that potential next seasons will get more time and develop the anime even more, with a greater care for the details.

Time stands still

The story mixes up the exact amounts of action, drama, and comic relief.  Along with some great laughs, it also made us shed a few tears. This anime may appear light and trivial at moments, but it does have a lesson to teach us. Instead of making mistakes and thinking we can always just fix things later, it pushes forward the value of time and memory. It makes us want to seize the days with more passion and make the best of them.

The ending of the season was very satisfying. They managed to close every arc that had been opened, without rushing things nor leaving loose knots. But they also made clear that Victor’s tale is not over, and we can’t wait to see what awaits him in the second season. While that is not possible, we recommend that you check this first one. All 13 episodes are available for streaming on Crunchy Roll.

 

Have you watched CHRONOS RULER? What did you think of it? Please share your thoughts in the comments below! And be careful with what you wish!

 

Andressa & Polona

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Special Features

S.O.S. – Everything right with Elfen Lied

Polona

A lot of people associate anime with cartoons and deem them suitable only for children. Along with this mentality also follows the notion that anime depicts only light and fuzzy themes, showing happy kids and their carefree school days. When they include war or anything resembling violence they are usually labeled as something inappropriate. As it’s Halloween season, a bit darker anime is definitely in order.

Whether it be a drama anime, psychological one or horror, there are some anime that are simply special and so well made they serve more purpose than merely having fun watching heads being chopped off. Here’s why I think you should watch Elfen Lied!

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AnimeAnime ListsAnime ReviewsInterestsSpecial Features

Back To School From A Teachers Point of View?!

Polona

September is upon us again and the promise of endless text books and studying surely is making all of you, who are still studying, super excited. Even though there will be a lot of work and then some extra curricular activities, you can still have some fun. Every year there’s that one teacher that’s somehow special or even weird. Here are the five sensei to check out and follow their example……or not, it’s up to you.

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AnimeAnime Reviews

Another summer anime or should you watch DIVE!! ?

Polona

It’s been a month since Dive!! anime started and there are six episodes already.  Since this is a summer oriented anime, I felt like I really have to pitch in my five cents and talk about it. A lot of people compared this anime to Free! but it’s not really that similar. This one is just about diving and focuses on specific characters rather than a group of friends. I included some SPOILERS, sorry guys!

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AnimeInterestsOpinionWeekly Topics

F.I.A. – Friendships run the world!

Polona

I’ve been thinking of communications in anime a lot lately. Relationships in general as well as the most common and repetitive form – friendships.  Even when it’s not about teenagers, but includes adult characters, the theme of friendship and companionship is always somewhere close at hand.

 

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AnimeInterestsLifestyleOpinionSpecial Features

S.M.S. – A Splash of Water on A Hot Summer Day

Polona

Ever wondered why water is such a frequent sight in anime? A common scenery that we get to see in almost every anime is a character at the beach, by the river bank or by the pool. Especially important as an element for Japanese gardens, it seems like a part of defining time and giving life a deeper meaning.

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attack on titan
Anime ReviewsSpecial FeaturesWeekly Topics

The World of Titan Shifters And Unknown Forces

Polona

Attack On Titan season 2 has been much-anticipated and it finally happened this year. In 12 episodes we were left excited, speechless, bored, confused and more. For those of you who read the manga and are up to speed with it, I am sure the anime tells a completely different story. As this season opened a number of new questions for me, I am about to read the manga as well. So here’s what happened this season!

Where to start …

If you haven’t caught up to the anime yet, you might want to skip on this blog post for now, as it includes spoilers. Remember how season one ended? Well, season two doesn’t jump right in, but rather they chose to go with a new story arc first. The anime opens with a huge titan head in the middle of the wall. For some reason it’s there and no one can explain how it got there. Furthermore, it must be protected from the sun. Unfortunately, we never really got any answers about that. There was a sense of strong foreshadowing and suspense from the first two episodes. From there the pace of the show completely changed. It went slow, felt detailed with a lot of backup stories. Some of those really were crucial for understanding another character, but most of them felt like extensive character building.

titans

Beast titan

Ending of first episode shows a huge, hairy monkey-like titan. He was later named Beast titan and actually only shows two more times until the end of the season. We don’t get to know much about him, but everything points in direction of him being more present and important in the next season. If my theory is right, then he is either Eren’s father or some other relative. He has shown new abilities, that many didn’t know titans could have. Abilities like talking, thinking and commanding other mindless titans. I am also convinced that he can turn people into titans, like it happened with the Ragako village. This was also confirmed by Ymir in episode 9, or was she just guessing? About this, at least, I am sure we will get more information in the next season.

Ymir needs to start living for herself

A lot of the season went to developing Ymir and Christa, their relationship and both of them as characters. Ymir has a couple of surprises for us. We get to see how she started to care for Christa and how attached she is to her. She’s a titan shifter as well. Later in the season explanation is offered on how she became one. The most we get to know about her origin as well as the origin of titans, comes from the glimpse of her past. As a child she was an orphan, taken in by a cult. The cult placed her as a marionette on the leadership chair, however she seems pretty passive about it. They were betrayed and banished, punished by making them turn into titan forms. That was over 6o years ago, making you wonder what her true age is.

Christa’s true identity

Christa is a character that is more easily understood than Ymir, though her origin is still not completely known. We get to know that the Wall Cult has had their eye on her and that she is somehow a descendant of someone important. Christa becomes her true self and accepts her birth name, Historia Reiss. By the end of the season we see her fight titans, no longer hiding in the back. She seems to also understand Ymir better than anyone else, or at least better than I do. Ymir should be dubbed Enigma, as I was never able to predict her actions or quite understand them. In the end, Ymir decides to help out Reiner and Bertholt. I really thought she would go with Historia though, but I guess it was a perfect opportunity to see what will happen in their »hometown« next season.

Bertholt & Reiner

These two are a lot of things, but for some reason I’ve never expected them to be shifter titans as well. And not just any titans. They are the Colossal titan and Armored titan. They came along with Annie and Marco, who ended up being Ymir’s lunch, granting her shifting power. The betrayal of these two runs deep and shines a different light on some scenes from season 1. They are shown as two people doing what they had to and at the same time two completely broken personalities, that holds especially true for Reiner. The additional information we got from these two is that every shifter titan can have a sort of specific, special power. Reiner is quick and has hardened skin, so attacking his neck won’t help. Bertholt is strong, albeit very slow and cumbersome. He can protect himself with a cloud of steam, making Survey Corp gear useless.

Coordinator Eren

Eren becomes the focus of the season after episode 7. The one epic fight he has in his titan form happens in the latter, when he almost breaks Reiner. He ends up defeated and kidnapped by the two shifter titans. Recovering from the loss of his limbs and except for spiteful words and acting like an angry kitten, he is basically harmless. Who would want Eren alive? He must be wanted by someone important (maybe Beast titan?). It’s not until the season finale that they finally show us why Eren is so special. He discovers a new power, similar to the one the Beast titan has – he can control other titans. The extent of that control is unknown for now. The new power may be the reason behind Reiner calling him Coordinator? Eren has become a dangerous tool and a fight over who has him will no doubt continue.

Mikasa goes soft…

Even as kids, it seems Mikasa was constantly thinking instead of Eren and always protecting him. The deep relationship they have developed over the years is admirable. After he gets kidnapped, Mikasa is determined to find him and save him, no matter what. The level of dedication displayed is immense, providing a new look into Mikasa. She is in position where she gives Eren a pep talk of sorts, in a way also confessing her emotions for him. Eren kinda dodged her confession and her attempt to maybe kiss or hug, I am still confused what that was supposed to be. The translation into English here might not be detailed enough, but his response seems to promise a possibility of him reciprocating the same emotions in the future. She is finally seen being taken care by him. I’m inclined to ship them, so I hope this gets sequence.

Titan origins…

Based on Ymir’s flashback story, there was a “hometown” that Reiner and Bertholt mention and it existed already for a long time. A cult was formed and they have been banished along with her. Being hurt and pushed over the wall made them turn into titans. But these were the mindless kind of titans, that could not turn back into humans and were forced to stay like that. Ymir gives up on herself, stops, lays down and wakes up about 60 year later. So for one – titans don’t decompose, they also don’t show signs of ageing and only some of them can turn back into humans. I think it’s ok to presume they were men made, making this a war of men against men.

 

What else do we know about titans?

Different shifter titans manifest distinct powers, they can be also weaponized. Henge confirms that walls are indeed made from titans hardened skin, which makes it look like titans are protecting other humans from titans. We have no answers about the role of the Wall Cult yet or why they think Historia Reiss is important. Also, the cult mentions that as long as Ymir is with them they will be blessed with immortality. My guess is that they somehow gain that by becoming titans. Remember how I described Ymir after she was rotting underground for 60 years? If the origin of titans is actually humans, that means Survey Corp is killing their own people. Does this make them heroes for saving other humans or mass murderers? Furthermore, does eating humans in titan form count as cannibalism?

Overall impression

The season included crazy amount of flashbacks. Some of them were relevant or funny, but the timing of those in separate episodes seemed off. Looking back on the whole season though, it gives a lot more information and a basic feel of where this is all going to go in the future. For example, flashback to Mikasa and Annie having a fight was in the middle of Eren and Reiner’s fight. It seemed to slow and ruin the momentum of the fight scene, but it clicked together later. The flashback served to show us Bertholt was actually making eyes at her back then. It’s a minor detail, but you get the gist. In general, I liked this season, but I can’t really say whether is was good or bad.

Is this transit over now?

I have too many questions now, therefore reading the manga is in order. I have one year to catch up, as season 3 is already announced for next year! Again, these are just my ramblings about the season. I hope this blog post gave you some more orientation or clarified certain information. There were a couple of amazing fight scenes, like in episode 4 and later in episode 7. A lot of funny moments as well, like Armin and Mikasa munching on soldier rations for dear life! A bit of everything really, but what killed my enthusiastic mood was the extremely slow pace and the feeling we are not moving anywhere with this story. Looking back on the whole season, we do have a lot of new information! Overall, the season feels like a transit one. One long preparation and a lot of character building for something epic, I hope!

Have you seen season 2? Feel free to leave a comment!

Thanks for reading!

If you liked this blog post, don’t forget to like it, share it and follow Unime for more!

 

Love, Polona

 

**Photos used are screenshots of the anime.

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AnimeAnime ReviewsInterestsOpinion

Summer And Music Special – We call everything on the ice …

Polona

Are you a fan of sports? Sports that exhaust you and leave you breathless? Do you also enjoy anime? Then you have come to the right place, because this article will be dedicated to just that! A combination of thrilling movements, excitement, beauty and anime, all in one.

Do I really have to do sports?

You guessed it right, I am not big on sports. Even as a child I was never attracted to any kind of sport, except for winter sports. Specifically ski jumps and figure skating. Ski jumps are sort of national sport and the whole family always watched it. About the same time a lot of figure skating competitions aired on local TV. So I got to be entranced with it at a young age. I was a kid in the era when Johnny Weir, Brian Joubert, Stephane Lambiel and Evgeni Plushenko were at the top of the world. It’s actually funny how I got to be reunited with figure skating through anime.

Early this year, I binged all 12 episodes of Yuri!!! On Ice. And let me tell you that is some addictive crack. Honestly, I was sold the moment I saw the intro with Victor. The story focuses on Yuri Katsuki and Victor Nikiforov, a dime-a-dozen figure skater and a five times gold champion! Former one is about to retire, because he sees himself as a failure and the latter doesn’t know what to do for his next competitive season. Their main competitor is Yuri Plisetsky, first time senior, eager and determined to win his first Grand Prix finale! Together they discover their own strengths and weaknesses, becoming better versions of themselves.

To be a figure skater …

If you think dancing and skating are easy, well think again. The amount of training skaters go through is insane. It’s not just skating. It’s ballet, gymnastics, endurance training and other dance classes. Usually some Yoga and Pilates as well, as you really need those core muscles. Yuri!!! On Ice has kinda blown out of proportion and has been received with open arms by skating otaku as well as anime lovers.

It may have become popular mostly because of the relationship between the main two characters, Yuri and Victor. In reality, it explains competitive figure skating pretty well. I find it one of the most informative anime I have seen so far. The level of dedication to the sport is very obvious here and those who love it, deeply appreciate the attention to details. Even if you know nothing about skating, they explain it in detail – from points, technique to competing rules.

The show

It’s really an underdog, first time around and it amazed a larger group of people than expected. Sports anime can be a bit too specific and let’s be honest, figure skating isn’t exactly  super popular (unless you are Russian). It’s not like volleyball anime Haikyuu!! or Kuroko No Basket, a basketball related anime, which both include super popular sports.

However, the show is a sensation for viewers both versed and unversed in anime. The fact that main characters are mostly young adults grabs attention and makes more people relate. It shows not just the struggles of a young man with his anxiety, but even more importantly, his professional future.  Yuri Katsuki, at the age of 23, thinks about retiring. His window for  success is rapidly closing down on him. Once you stop, there’s usually no way to go back in like four years  or so. Presenting this internal struggle and how it shows on the outside was very well depicted.

Can you make an individual sport worthy of anime?

Figure skating, as presented in Yuri!!! On Ice, is an individual sport, which makes it a tricky choice. Usually in anime we have team sports, making it easier to present the fears and hopes through communication between players. Furthermore, you get to see how a team dynamic works. Or how an individual prepares to battle another competitor, how to control the ego and focus. Here it’s different, because on the ice they are alone. Skaters get to repeat the same program multiple times before the final competition. Even side characters do the same routine, to the same music and it may appear boring and repetitive to the viewers. Unless you really love figure skating and after multiple viewings, you still squeal like a little girl when they land a jump. 😛

Telling a story

Every competition consists of  a short and a free program. Yuri’s both routines are impressive, and have swayed many real-life skaters as well. They have publicly stated the show captures the essence of the sport exceptionally well. The villain is not someone else, some other competitor, but you yourself. Foremost you need to beat your own score and be better every time you perform. Figure skating or any dancing really, should tell a story. Anime has chosen to show us how Yuri’s emotional state changes with every performance. Another thing that may seem boring and monotonous, but it’s actually the essence of how much willpower and effort goes into one routine. This was also excellent chance for the animators to provide an insight into skaters state of mind.

Complex animation

The animation was varying and constantly changing, making many people cease watching. They were right though, some scenes were on the sloppy side. I think that was intentional sometimes, to create a more comical scene. From the three main characters, Yuri Plisetsky actually got better animation work than Katsuki. He’s also most expressive about his ups and downs. His liquid movement and Hauru’s inspired hair reflect just that very well.

Figure skating is an artistic sport that lends itself to visual presentation. To do an animation that could portray movements as liquid as they are while on the ice it must have been pretty hard. Dancing is similar, but the fluidity of movements on ice is greater and faster. There were some animation fails and scenes where body parts were elongated or faces were poorly detailed. This bothered me the most – facial expressions are the ones that add the dot on the i. You fail that, you keep the character from telling his story properly.

Is figure skating realistically represented?

Well, yes and no. Some parts were definitely exaggerated and altered, but it’s anime, what do you expect? The figure skating elements that they show the most are different jumps, step sequences and spins. And all of those were flawless. There were times when I thought to myself they made it look even better than it is in real life. The jumps however could be done sloppily as most casual viewers don’t see a difference between a triple axel or quad salchow. The animation for jumps must be easier than for the step sequences as they include a lot of quick and deliberate movements. Moreover, the step sequences are supposed to be Yuri’s strong point, so the animation and choreography had to be as perfect as possible.

The sound of knife shoes

Routines for sure are showstoppers, but the sounds that accompany their movements deserve a lot of credit as well. Blades scraping through ice, a slight echo or reverberation do the trick of informing the audience of the size of the rink, the intensity of the routine. Skating wouldn’t be what it is without amazing sound design. The sounds were actually recorded while the choreographer was skating the routines, so it gives that lived in feel. The sharp sounds of landing a jump ring true and gives each routine more depth.

Planning routines

The animators have done their homework and went very close to real life in matter of competitions. Especially with the Grand Prix. The scores they present are realistic, the amount of points are never exaggerated to hype up the moment. We get a lot of talking about what jumps to include, how many, how to slowly build up to get the best performance in the finale. Those are very close to real life and they, along with informing the viewers, also project the relationship between Yuri and Victor, student and coach. The soundtrack has been praised a lot and I must say they really worked on it! It’s original and specially made for the anime. Every competitor has a different theme and I like they don’t repeat much. The costumes though have been made more dramatic or at least, that’s my opinion.

The pressure of being a professional athlete

The pressure of competitive figure skating is  presented really well from the first episode onward. Yuri’s Grand Prix result placed him the last. But that still means sixth, like sixth on the whole planet! And that result is still awesome, especially to all of us, who are not sixth on the whole darn planet in anything. So the anxiety, depression Yuri feels mix well with the way this sport is. The heavy focus of the anime are strength, competition and of course, the pleasure of winning (or at least beating JJ). Although the competitors do share a sense of  camaraderie.  They support each other, cheer, feel the pain of someone elses fall. As competitive figure skating is focused on performance and beauty, their connections and reactions offer a break from the usual ego boosted sports.

 …love

The amount of hard work that goes into one routine is mildly put,  extensive. Creators of Yuri!!! On Ice have taken that and molded it into anime with a simple story, that was able to touch many viewers. To be a competitive figure skater takes the young childhood years and then some. If by the age of 15 you haven’t made a name for yourself… It takes a special kind of love to sacrifice so much, but I guess the same goes for any athlete. I hope that with this post you got to see Yuri!!! On Ice in a different light than usual. We can still talk about the romance some other time! 😛

 

Thanks for reading!

If you liked this post, don’t forget to like, share and follow UnimeTV!

Love, Polona

 

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InterestsOpinion

The anime way – breathing life into dreams!

Polona

Music in anime is very important to me. It helps me understand the message the creators were trying to get across. Connecting with the characters is easier, envisioning the story and it’s meaning beyond as well. Soundtrack stays with me longer than the words or actions between the characters. A good one leaves a residue of a feeling I had while watching. Here’s why I think music breathes life into dreams and how it affected me.

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InterestsLifestyle

The Magical World of Sapphire’s Lair (Introduction)

Polona

Hello!

My name is Polona and I run on coffee, tea and anime! I have been a blogger for a couple of years now. Started my first blog, UniqaPoly, back in 2012 and it’s still running.  I felt like expanding and thought on writing about other interests in my life. So I ended up creating Sapphire’s Lair! One thing led to another – I got into anime world and got sucked into the infinite vortex of amazing creativity! Now I’m here, about to write for Unime and I am really excited!

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