For those of us who’s been reading manga since late 90’s or early 2000s, Chrno Crusade is one of the series that will make us go “oh, that’s nostalgic!” and probably get an urge to go reread it as well. No matter how many times you reread Chrno Crusade, the journey of Rosette and Chrno, the enemies and the people they befriended, will still touch our hearts in a way that not a lot of manga could emulate.
One of the cleverly-crafted manga by Moriyama Daisuke, Chrno Crusade was set in the 20’s America, revolving around a young Nun known as Rosette Christopher and the demon she made a contract with: Chrno. In a world with a peaceful façade, where not much part of the population knows that the Church is battling demons on a daily basis, they seek to find and bring back Rosette’s younger brother, Joshua, who had been kidnapped by the ‘Sinners’. Along the way, Rosette and Chrno did not only encounter demons to defeat, but also companions and friends, most notably the Apostle girl Azmaria and the demon bounty hunter, Stella.
The summary above is really a simplified version of what Chrno Crusade actually is about. Moriyama Daisuke weaved a rather complicated world, bordering on confusing, made out of Christian elements, apocalyptic myths, and a touch of sci-fi, all wrapped up in heartfelt humane relationships in-between the characters, regardless of whether or not they’re actually human. Chrno Crusade had a marvelous built-up in regards to plot and character relationships, and on the other hand, it also offered neat, gorgeous artwork, especially in its action scenes.
If you’d enjoyed Chrno Crusade, we’ve compiled a list of six manga similar to Chrno Crusade that might just help cure the nostalgia a little bit. See for yourself if they work!
Similar Manga to Chrno Crusade
1. World Embryo
- Author/Mangaka: Moriyama Daisuke
- Year Published: 2005
- Genre: Action, Drama, Mystery, Romance, Seinen
- Volumes: 13
Another work Chrno Crusade’s mangaka, Moriyama Daisuke, World Embryo introduced a world where a new kind of virus was spreading through cellphone signals. Amami Riku accidentally got tangled in all of it when he received a text message from his dead sister and went to the ruins of the hospital that held their childhood memories. He found several things there: that this new virus was turning humans into monsters known as ‘Kanshu’, that there were people in an organization called FLAG fighting it, and a mysterious cocoon that would later unveiled a… baby?! Who looks very similar to his dead sister?! Amami Riku’s normal life began spiraling down into mystery from there, and little did he know that everything he held would lead into an apocalyptic scenario…
If you’ve read Chrno Crusade before starting to read World Embryo, you’d definitely feel all of Moriyama-sensei’s elements in this manga. From its action, to its badass heroines with a touch of ecchi fanservice here and there, to how, after everything is revealed, we might question if any of the villain characters could actually be called villains. Both series also focused heavily on the role of an organization actively fighting ‘demons’, or in World Embryo’s case, ‘Kanshu’. While the main characters of Chrno Crusade and World Embryo are distinctly different—Riku and Rena’s relationship dynamics are nowhere near similar to Rosette and Chrno—both series also plays a bit with the concept of ‘being family’. If you’re in the mood for a manga with a similar plot and atmosphere building, action scenes, executions and reveals to Chrno Crusade, World Embryo is definitely a must-read.
2. Lagoon Engine
- Author/Mangaka: Sugisaki Yukiru
- Year Published: 2001
- Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Shoujo
- Volumes: 7 (Incomplete)
Venturing to the shoujo genre a little bit, this manga is a tiny gem that sadly got discontinued for unknown reasons—like all of other Sugisaki Yukiru titles, really. Those who have probably once heard a little bit about Lagoon Engine Einsatz; well, this is the original Lagoon Engine title. The manga revolves around the brothers of the Ragun Household, Yen and Jin, who were both successors of their family’s business: fighting evil spirits. Yen was responsible for defensive barriers and ‘negotiating’ with these spirits, while Jin took care of actually attacking them. As the story unfolded, Yen and Jin found themselves surrounded with mysteries: who was the girl who kept appearing in Yen’s dreams? Who was their mysterious cousin Ayato, actually?
Genre-wise, Lagoon Engine isn’t very much similar to Chrno Crusade, but it does offer a similar atmosphere and emotions that Chrno Crusade evoked. For example, Lagoon Engine also has its share of focus in siblings relationship, just like how Chrno Crusade did with Rosette and Joshua, Aion and Chrno, or Stella and Fiore. Both deals with exorcism—just the different kind, because the Ragun Household fights ‘evil spirits’ instead of demons. Most importantly, if Chrno Crusade incorporated Christian myths and legends, Lagoon Engine did the same thing with Japanese myths and legends. If you’re the type to not mind about changing genres and reading an incomplete series, Lagoon Engine should really be on your reading list!
3. Stigmata ~Sekiran no Seija~
- Author/Mangaka: Ko Yasung
- Year Published: 2006
- Genre: Action, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Shounen
- Volumes: 3
Originally serialized in Comic Blade, Stigmata is the work of Ko Yasung, and is probably the one manga that is most similar to Chrno Crusade out of the rest in this list. Set in a post-Holy War world, Stigmata presented a chaotic mix of post-war politics and approaching apocalyptic events, in which the Vatican sought to suppress the knowledge of the Holy Knights who ended the Holy War in order to further its influence within different countries. The Holy Knights were those with the Holy Power born out of the stigmata they bore, and were also known as the Stigmasters. But as the old power that caused the Holy War once again brewed and caused chaos, the organization RADEM attempted to once again gather the Holy Knights to counter the threat. In the middle of it all, a rather violent Nun known as Sister Rose managed to find the most dangerous and powerful Holy Knight: Father Gabriel Iota, who was rumored to have been the one who ended the Holy War ten years ago…
A lot of the elements played in Stigmata would remind you of Chrno Crusade, probably also because both series incorporate the use of Christian elements and deal with priests fighting demons. But that’s not the only thing: Sister Rose’s personality would also really remind you of Rosette—a young woman who can’t sit still, who somehow managed to wreak havoc wherever she went and causing headaches to her superiors. And even though Iota isn’t very similar to Chrno, his relationship with Sister Rose would sort of remind you of Rosette and Chrno’s comedic skits and heartfelt trust between them. If you’re curious as to how it would feel to read something similar to Chrno Crusade, except with a lot more complicated politics thrown in the kettle, Stigmata would be a good choice.
Any Manga Like Chrno Crusade ?
4. Yakusoku no Neverland
- Author/Mangaka: Shirai Kaiu/Demizu Posuka
- Year Published: 2016
- Genre: Drama, Mystery, Shounen, Supernatural,
- Volumes: 3 (Ongoing)
Currently serializing in Shuukan Shounen JUMP, Yakusoku no Neverland brings you into the world through the eyes of Emma, a little girl who live in an orphanage taken care by a ‘Mama’ with about thirty or more siblings. No one ever asked about the meaning of numbers printed on their necks, and no one asked about the merciless tests they have to take every single morning. All in all, Emma was perfectly happy about her life in the orphanage, waiting to be adopted by one of those wonderful families she’d seen her siblings left for. Except one day, she and her friend Norman witnessed something unbelievable that revealed the truth: their orphanage was a human plant made by ‘demons’ to raise children as stocks. Horrified by the truth but unwilling to give up, Emma and Norman began to devise a way to escape from the orphanage along with all their siblings, but would they succeed?
Yakusoku no Neverland is really one of those manga that is actually darker than you’d expected. If you had liked Rosette as the heroine in Chrno Crusade, though, you would definitely love Emma. Just like Rosette, Emma was heroic and prone to act before thinking, the caring older sister type who pulled everyone along with her. The orphanage would also remind you of both Rosette and Joshua’s orphanage, as well as Rosette’s daily life in the church with Sister Kate, except in Yakusoku no Neverland, everything was no more than a façade. For those who like shounen series with a powerful female lead, Yakusoku no Neverland is a good choice to be put in their reading list.
5. Vanitas no Carte
- Author/Mangaka: Mochizuki Jun
- Year Published: 2015
- Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Historical, Mystery, Sci-fi, Shounen, Supernatural
- Volumes: 2 (Ongoing)
Vanitas no Carte is Mochizuki Jun’s current ongoing work, serialized in Square Enix’s Gangan Joker since 2015. In Vanitas no Carte, Mochizuki threw vampires, steampunk setting, late 19th century and magic together set in alternate historical Paris. After humans won the war between them and vampires, the mythical beings were now forbidden to drink human blood and had to conceal their identities to mingle with normal humans. Among vampires, however, there existed an infamous myth of a cursed vampire born under the blue moon, called Vanitas, and his grimoire that could curse vampires back into blood-sucking monsters. Noe Archiviste, sent by his teacher to make contact with the Book of Vanitas after the grimoire’s existence had been confirmed to be real in Paris, found himself involved in the incident involving a curse-bearer vampire and a ‘doctor’ who saves said curse-bearer with the Book of Vanitas, claiming to be a normal human who had inherited the name Vanitas from the vampire of the blue moon himself. Simultaneously fascinated and more than annoyed at Vanitas, Noe decides to stick close in order to finish what his teacher had assigned him to do, and the adventure of those two begins.
Vanitas no Carte and Chrno Crusade had a similar way of building the plot and atmosphere of the story, especially in how they riddled their characters with unexplained past and later revealed them in a way that would make the readers wallow in pain for days. Both series were also set in a historical late 19th/early 20th century, and their use of comedic relief was also similar—extremely silly and abrupt at times, but managed to keep from causing any dissonance in readers from the sudden change in the atmosphere. Both series deal with exorcisms, Chrno Crusade had demons and Vanitas no Carte had vampires, though the series presented it more like ‘healing the vampires’ instead of exorcising them. If you liked Stella in Chrno Crusade, you would also definitely like Dominique in Vanitas no Carte. It’s definitely a title worth trying to read!
6. Chrome Breaker
- Author/Mangaka: Abeno Chako
- Year Published: 2006
- Genre: Action, Fantasy, Shounen, Supernatural
- Volumes: 4
Serialized in Beans Ace in 2006 and ended in four volumes, Chrome Breaker told the story of a young girl named Nagisa Akira, who was said to be the reincarnation of Virgin Mary herself. In order to protect her from groups of demons called ‘Numbers’, the Vatican sent Takagi Chrome, one of its elite agents who was codenamed ‘Crimzon’ and seemed to have mysterious demonic powers. Was it true that Nagisa was Mary’s Daughter, considering how she did not posses any holy powers? What was Chrome’s cursed power about, actually?
A lot like Chrno Crusade, Chrome Breaker also incorporates Christian myths and elements into its storyline and positioned the Church—or at least a part of it—as the organization dealing with demons and exorcisms. Both also have really neatly drawn action scenes, and a storyline that sort of confuses readers at first and somehow made sense in later parts of the story. While you can’t really compare Nagisa to Rosette, her relationship with Chrome is interestingly nostalgic of how Rosette is with Chrno at times, especially with how both Chrome and Chrno have to protect Nagisa and Rosette respectively and how it feels like there’s an underlying romance underneath. If you’re in the mood for another take on the world of exorcisms and demons, Chrome Breaker is one of the titles to consider!
For a lot of older manga readers, Chrno Crusade was one of the classics who had left them with a rather powerful impact. It’s sort of hard to find another manga that could execute complicated concepts and plot and balance them with the more emotional part of character and relationship developments without the feeling of everything being dragged out, but some of the titles presented above should be able to quench your thirst if you’re ever nostalgic for something like Chrno Crusade!
Have more suggestions, or simply wanted to comment that you’ve read one of the titles above? Let us know in the comments!