Chain Chronicle – The Light of Haecceitas –

Chain Chronicle – The Light of Haecceitas –

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This is the story of the Chain Chronicle, a book that describes everything that happens in the world. The citizens of the remote continent of Yggd once thought that there was nothing beyond their continent. The continent was divided into several regions, each with its own king. Though there were small skirmishes amongst them, a lord, chosen by the kings in conference, always maintained balance — until the evil Black Army arrived.

The Volunteer Army, led by Yuri, was no match for the Black Army. During the fighting, the Lord of Black captures half of the Chain Chronicle, as well as the capital. During their retreat, Yuri and the Volunteer Army encounter a boy fighting the Black Army all by himself. So begins the story of the Chain Chronicle, of the Volunteer Army’s and Black Army’s battles for the fate of the world, and of friendship.

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Chain Chronicle – The Light of Haecceitas – is an animated movie that has been split down into three four-part episodes. It is an anime movie based off a video game of the same name. The premise is based on a large tome named the Chain Chronicle, which is said to be a book that documents and records everything that happens in the world. The Black Army, controlled by the Lord of Black, wants to claim the book for himself in order to destroy the world that it describes. Naturally, the volunteer army and their leader, Yuri, rise up to oppose the Lord of Black. During their battle, the Lord of Black proves to be too strong and half the Chain Chronicle is claimed.

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When I watch an anime that is based on a game or visual novel that many people may not have seen, I usually recommend that they watch it anyway. Usually an anime is produced in a way that a viewer can watch it with little or no prior knowledge of the concept or its background. This is perhaps not the case with Chain Chronicle – The Light of Haecceitas –. If you happen to have some knowledge of the way in which fantasy and RPG-based stories go, this will help. But this particular anime movie throws you right into the thick of it at the start. The first part is all about the volunteer army confronting the Lord of the Black and his own army of darkness. And the heroes lose. People die and the Chain Chronicle that they protect is torn in half. This made me wonder if I’d missed something – a build-up, some background, or something that was meant to go first before the heroes arrived at what they thought would be the final battle. But Chain Chronicle – The Light of Haecceitas – is set up differently. In an interesting twist, it focuses on the heroes recovering from the aftermath of a defeat rather than working up to the usual fantasy-quest endgame. This is what made me persist with the confusing premise and all these characters that I didn’t know. I wanted to see just where they went from here.

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However, one of the drawbacks of suddenly launching into everything from the get-go is that you miss out on any real world-building and to be introduced to so many characters is rather overwhelming even if their costumes meant I could quickly identify them as a knight, a mage, a healer, an archer etc. But so what? Who were they really? Without the context, things appeared stereotypical and generic; confusing and insufficient. It took me the majority of the first part of the movie to get up to speed with who what who, what was going on and why they were doing what they were. But once I did, I began to enjoy things more. It was easier to identify with this fantasy world and how it worked and it didn’t take me an age to tell one character from another – particularly when new ones were introduced.

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You can tell that the production levels on this once are high. The level of detail, the colours, the fluidness of the fight scenes all blend together to form something impressive and enjoyable to watch. The musical score I believe is also noteworthy with its dramatic orchestral-feel that gives it a breadth of emotions which it uses to its full potential: gently and quietly in the low-key scenes and really upping the tempo and tension for those impromptu battle scenes. As a TV series, Chain Chronicle – The Light of Haecceitas – opens with the rock-like “My Liberation” by Nano.

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Chain Chronicle – The Light of Haecceitas – is definitely a slow-burner, particularly if you aren’t familiar with the genre or with the background of the game itself, but I do like to invest the time in some anime movies as they do usually have the higher production values, meaning that design, music and special effects tend to be more impressive than the usual fare. If you’re looking for an easy watch, don’t look here, but for those that have the time to invest I would say it was worth it in the long-run.