One of the most creative concepts Mashima-sensei introduced in Edens Zero and once again it continues to fascinate. The Chronophage, it was bound to resurface sooner or later and it appears that in an arc where Ziggy is the enemy residing on a planet that has been converted into an living military android production factory, the circumstances have aligned to bring it back into focus. The Chronophage is an existence that is drawn to time and for yet unknown reasons, consumes time. Whether it is for sustenance or accumulation of energy for a certain objective, too little is known at present to lean on any specific conclusion. I suspect though that there is an intention driving the Chronophage’s actions, one that is very particular about the planets targeted.
If time abnormalities were the point of interest for the Chronophage, Blue Garden would not have escaped consideration, yet here we are with no Chronophage incident taking place even though Rebecca resided on Blue Garden for many years and even used her Cat Leaper powers for the first time on the planet. I honestly do not believe summoning the Chronophage is as simple as positioning Rebecca on the planet and having her use her Ether Gear. But Rebecca is almost certainly related to the Chronophage in some intimate manner. Sure there will be a signal being transmitted as Rebecca uses her Ether Gear but will it catch the interest of the Chronophage in the first place? Do the Chronophage even care if there is an individual who distorts time and traverses across it? It is not like the Chronophage are the executors of time or anything – unless they are? But assuming the Chronophage aren’t the embodiment of orders’ agents given how absent they were during all of Rebecca’s time leaps (expecting there to be more than one Chronophage), the role they serve must be something completely different.
What I anticipate the Chronophage to be related to is balance. Rather than exist as agents of order, they appear to represent more an entity to equate conflicts that have gone too far. With Norma, Drakken Joe induced countless horrors through the application of his Ether Gear and products. Likewise, when he left Norma and settled his business on Guilst, the planet was left much poorer to the point of being broken as a result. Effectively, the Chronophage served to undo the horrors done to the respective planets. Like with Rebecca, Drakken Joe can also serve as a commonality to the Chronophage or at least the consequences of his actions.
Further, another element that was relevant to both Norma and Guilst which could serve to summon the Chronophage or at least direct their attention is Pino. Unlike Rebecca or Drakken who weren’t on Norma when the Chronophage consumed planet’s time, Pino was present. She had arrived on the planet by as of yet unknown means with someone who referred to themselves as only “The Great Demon King”. Her maintenance took place in the current year at that time and while still on the planet, the Chronophage consumed 50 years of Norma’s time and reverted the planet to it’s form from 50 years ago. Pino remained on the planet, seemingly unaffected in terms of age (Professor Weisz recognized her by her appearance) but still affected in regards to her memory which remains inaccessible within her system.
Again on Guilst, Pino was present. There may have been a script within her programing that sent out a signal which caught the attention of the Chronophage until certain events which changed Pino took place while on Guilst. It was during the Guilst Arc that Pino came to understand the human heart and in response changed how she expressed herself. Pino was less systematic after the Guilst Arc and more naturally emotive, illustrated by the form Pino took during the Digitalis Arc and the dream she eventually arrived at. Indirectly and subconsciously, Pino may have deactivated certain operations within her system that related to the Chronophage after Guilst. As such, they stopped appearing on planets the Eden Zero visited.
The reason I focus on Pino is because of her yet unknown functionality and some similarities she shares with the Chronophage such as how they both can throw the Ether of a subject into disarray. The Chronophage can send the Ether of a planet in reverse and with Pino, she can in a sense do the same with her EMP and abilities by completely rendering Ether in the area inactive for a certain time. There is also the fact that Pino is immune to the Chronophage’s time consumption effect. Pino was not physically affected during the Norma incident, likely because of her EMP abilities that nullified any Ether within her surrounding area thereby canceling any Ether alteration the Chronophage actualized through it’s consumption of time. It is almost as if Pino was created to deal with or take advantage of the Chronophage. I honestly would not be surprised if during the Lendard raid, Ziggy reveals to Pino and/or the group that Pino’s purpose was to summon the Chronophage and destroy planets inhabited by the living. The timing and positioning of the characters seems too perfect not to have some hint of Pino’s purpose revealed during this arc. Rebecca from my perspective is only a misdirect by Mashima-sensei. Events will take place during the arc where Rebecca’s Ether won’t draw the Chronophage to the planet but after Pino finds out about her purpose from information from Ziggy, she will realise what she needs to do. I expect Pino’s relevance and focus within this arc to rise considerably comparative to the previous arcs.
The plan in place to use against Ziggy is very curious but I wonder if all the parties present in the Edens Zero meeting are aware of the power Ziggy stole from Nero. Are they aware of the warping abilities Ziggy now possesses? Taking advantage of the Chronophage sounds perfect but what will be the point in terms of stopping Ziggy if he just activates Wormhole and warps to another planet? Ziggy has already mentioned that he has positioned Edens One “elsewhere” which implies somewhere likely off world i.e. not on Lendard. If the Edens One is located on a different planet, it is almost certain that when Ziggy finds himself in an unavoidable pinch, he will use Wormhole to warp to Edens One. The moment he notices Chronophage approaching and understands the inevitability of what is to come, he will warp away from Lendard thereby unraveling the plans the Edens Zero alliance have. If the crew do wish to stop Ziggy, someone will need to stay behind to keep Ziggy from using Wormhole. I doubt this will happen given that Ziggy’s conclusion isn’t positioned for this arc. The most I can see happening is Sister being taken or “removed” from play in order complicate the situation surrounding Labilia going forward. And on the topic of Labilia, I love how she has embraced her new perspective and bonds with the Edens Zero crew.
Going back to the discussion of the Chronophage, beyond Lendard, I wonder if the story will have it affect other planets such as the planets Elsie and Justice were from in order to bring those planets back to a time before the incident that destroyed the Kingdoms occurred. Regardless, even if the Chronophage doesn’t achieve that, the conflict between Elsie and Justice will need to be settled, especially with the story now in the Kaede Cosmos. Really enjoyed this chapter and the set-up laid down – the Edens One calculating the location of Mother is immensely foreboding (with enough processing power and data, Mother could theoretically be located). Very much looking forward to the coming chapters and the eventual payoff.