FEATURE: What’s in an Animation? “Chain Chronicle”

Inside the shadowy throne room of his castle, the Black King peers at the intruders with his gleaming red eyes. To him, they are merely a bunch of stragglers—a woman, a fairy, and an unremarkable young man of average build. There is no way these weaklings should be able to stand up to him.


“Why do you not understand?” says the Black King as he readies his strike. “This world is fated to end. Accept it.”


This should have been enough to cow his foes, but instead the young man comes forward, brandishing his sword.


“Fate this, fate that!” There is nothing but fierce determination in his eyes. “You’re not the one who decides that! We’re the ones who live in this world!”



And thus, the curtain rises over Chain Chronicle: Haecceitas no Hikari (Chain Chronicle: The Light of Haecceitas), a new TV anime series set to be released early next year. Set in the continent of Yggdra, a land of swords and sorcery, the story follows a hero named Yuri, who assembles his ragtag team of adventurers in his quest to defeat the evil Black King. If this sounds like a typical setup for a role-playing game, then you won’t be surprised to hear that the anime is based off a popular Japanese mobile game by the same name.


Chain Chronicle is a big deal in Japan. The game was first launched in 2013 on iOS and Android, and since then it has already been downloaded over five million times. It’s a pretty entertaining cross between a fantasy RPG and tower defense game, with some neat artwork to boot. Personally, I like it better than Granblue Fantasy, the other upcoming mobile-game-turned-anime, so it’s a shame that there’s currently no English-language version of the game to play.


Still, there should be plenty for anime-only viewers to enjoy in Chain Chronicle. Judging by the promo video, the action scenes should look quite nice, especially the special effects. The animation production is by Graphinica, a company which built its reputation by doing photography and 3D effects for other studios, and it shows in Chain Chronicle’s PV. The integration of 2D animation and 3D objects is very smooth; you can barely notice that the armies are rendered with CG. Plus, the sword-fighting parts look really cool.



This anime also marks the singer debut of Nao Toyama, the popular voice actress. She has released many character songs before, but “True Destiny/Chain the world” is her first solo single. You can hear a portion of “Chain the world” in the promo video above. It’s a catchy tune that sounds fittingly epic for a high fantasy story.


By the way, this TV adaptation of Chain Chronicle should not be confused with the short OVA series released in 2014. There’s a world of difference in the look and feel between the two series. The TV series isn’t so saturated with bright yet flat colors, instead going for a darker palette and more nuanced tone.


Compare this…


…to this.


Promo videos have been known to be misleading before, but it looks like Chain Chronicle will finally be getting the visual treatment it deserves. For viewers in Japan, the first four episodes of the anime will be screened in selected theaters this December, indicating that this anime was made with the silver screen in mind. Fans of high fantasy and adventure stories should buckle up and prepare for a treat.



Kim Morrissy is a freelance writer and translator. He writes about anime, light novels, and Japanese culture on his personal blog. You can also follow him on Twitter at @frog_kun.