The story centres on “Chronos Rulers,” those who fight the time-eating demons that appear when people wish they could turn back time. The Chronos Rulers fight a time-manipulation battle against these demons.
Horologeom are time-based monsters that don’t kill you, such your blood or steal your soul – they take your time. They feed on the seconds of your life, eating up your hours. When schoolgirl Koyuki attracts the attention of a horologue, she is save by the Putin brothers – serious-minded swordsman Kiri and the charming and reckless Victor. However, by the end of the first episode we discover that Victor has been bitten by a horologue and the wound is constantly slowly sucking away his time. Turns out that Victor is not Kiri’s brother, but his father.
I really enjoyed the first episode. Most of the story and characters were for the initial exposition and the animation was a little jarring in places, but I wanted to persevere. The ideas of the time manipulation used by protagonists and monsters alike piqued by curiosity. Kiri and Victor are also good leads. Victor is the handsome, roguish, gifted father and Kiri is the long-suffering son, acting more like the parent than his father and constantly worrying that a cure for Victor’s condition won’t be found – especially if Victor continues to frivolously use his powers, thus exacerbating his condition.
Then things suddenly lose their dark, gothic feel (and, honestly, some of its allure to more). The Putin’s find themselves engaging in a fight with another Chronos Ruler, Mina, who seems to have a connection to Victor (although, due to his condition, Victor cannot remember her). She has an annoyingly a-symmetrical hairstyle, like somebody cut off one of her pigtails, claims to be Victor’s wife and keeps calling him ‘darling’ in English and it is the worst. She leads the way to the headquarters of an organisation called Chronos, which Victor was supposedly a part of (though he can no longer remember this, either). Tempted by the promise of finding answers to all of his questions, the Putins are lured in. But does some sort of trap await them?
We’ve seen a few battles between the Putins and the members of Chronos, but I haven’t exactly been overwhelmed with any of them. The way they tend to win their battles are so contrived and complex that I fail to get my head around them. Although this might have something to do with the fact that I just cant’ fill understand these time-based battled with their ‘speed up; and ‘slow down’ every few minutes and then the breaks to explain just what happened and why. With all this on top of the “Is Mina my wife?” conundrum just means that I feel forever distanced from the story. Just when I feel that I’m starting to get back into things, up pops another annoying tow-dimensional character with a gimmick for a personality and I just think “ugh, just what exactly is this anime trying to achieve?”
It seems to have settled down into a trip to restore Victor’s time, all the while battling horologues intermittently when they get in the way. But aside from targeting the big horologue that actually took his time, there’s no real antagonist here and it feels like a real difficulty facing our protagonists just doesn’t exist. No one seems to be as strong as Victor, not even those who call themselves ‘gods’ and have the blood of Chronos flowing through them. Where is the challenge supposed to be?
Chronos Ruler seems to be a very middl-of-the-road anime. It started off as something very promising and took a different, less interesting path to what I expected. I feel a little let down about it becoming a standard, methodical fantasy story and the characters are just a little too annoying and flippant for the source material. And every time Mina says “darling” I still want to pour hot wax into my ears.