Girls, Dragons, and Giant Mecha Robots! What more could I ask for?

It’ll probably take about six episodes to realize Cross Ange handles everything it presents with the finesse of flamethrower. To some degree that’s what makes Cross Ange slightly unique. It feels like blatant shock value which worked sometimes, and other times made the show unwatchable.

If anyone is wondering does this anime display sexual exploitation? The answer is yes. Very bluntly and it’s highly questionable. Ange get naked against her will on numerous occasions, Salire gets spanked, and there are plenty of Yuri scenes.

Exploitation is the practice of taking advantage of something for personal gain and Sunrise clearly wanted to create an anime that has a lot of tropes and themes mashed together while hoping for the best.

We got Dragons, Mecha, Ecchi, and Yuri blended together with themes like sexuality and racism.

Cross Ange is unapologetically all over the place like an M.C. Escher painting, but nowhere near a masterpiece. Cross Ange does shine brightly with its voice cast. Nana Mizuki voice actress for Ange and Yui Horie voice actress for Salamandinay really deserve praise.

The Aftermath of Episode 1…


Violated & Broken

We begin with the story of Angelise Ikaruga Misurugi. She was the princess of the Misurugi Empire and on her sixteenth birthday her life took a turn for the worse.

You see, the world has two races and the people who can use “Mana” are the cream of the crop. The “Norma” are considered degenerates because they are unable to use Mana. The sole purpose of the Norma is to fight Dragons, and since they are immune to Mana they’ve gone so far as to separate both races. Mana users are safely living in the Misurugi Empire, while Norma are sent to the island of Arzenal. The Mana users look down upon the Norma with anger and disgust.

Angelise during her baptizing and coronation ceremony was exposed to the entire Misurugi Empire as a Norma by her brother Julio. Julio wanted control of the empire for himself and banished Angelise to the island of Arzenal.

It’s sad to see Angelise’s own people turn on her, but that’s how deeply rooted the racism is. Angelise went from golden child of royalty to scum of the Earth all because she was a Norma.

Angelise immediately realizes her new life is not one of royalty, but of cruel survival. Some viewers might detest the scene of Ange getting violated and the aftermath of episode one really can be a deal breaker for some viewers. But, Angelise needed her world of intolerance to be shattered. Let me be clear, no one deserves to be violated like that, but in terms of the plot this traumatic event laid the ground work for what’s to come and Ange had the challenge of being a Norma ahead of her.

Character Growth


Ange was once a Royal Princess, but now she’s a rebellious Pilot of Villkiss.

Characters in Cross Ange may appear edgy and ruthless, but you shouldn’t judge these characters based on what you see on the surface. For example, Hilda started off as a coldhearted cynic and your typical mean girl leader. However, she has her reasons for acting the way she does and in Episode 9 Hilda has a revelation about her place in the world. She has a change of heart and by the time Cross Ange reaches its conclusion Hilda’s redeeming qualities standout.

I’ll say that Ange herself endured very graphic and traumatic events in order to become someone who couldn’t be bought, bullied, or negotiated with. In short, Ange wanted to watch the world burn and went about her own business while not caring about anyone, but herself. I can understand why she cannot sympathize with those unwilling to stand up for themselves. Thankfully, kindhearted souls such as Momoka, Task, or Salamandinay pulled her out of reclusion.

The character growth deserves some praise because with a lot of muddle plotlines and the story not being focused you’d be surprised at how some of the characters just leave a good impression.

Chris was my favorite character and her motivation for turning on her friends was very personal, but to some it might seem superficial. In Chris’s defense, its tough being in a friendship that feels like no one respects you or is willing to listen to what you have to say. It’s even worse when you are peer pressured into acting a certain way and doing something you really don’t want to do.

Cross Ange in the beginning has a lot of explicit stuff. The fanservice in the form of comedy gags, sex scenes, flirtatious behavior, and humiliating or even torturous punishments can get frustrating and redundant.


It’s Twister with a twist.

Embryo Seductive Villain Extraordinaire


Hello Ladies isn’t this birdie cute?

Embryo was a different type of villain since his motivations are extremely egotistical and the world reflects his hypocritical beliefs. His vanity ultimately leads to his downfall, but he had a way of seducing women. His goal of creating a new world by merging the two existing ones comes across as complicated. The only reason he wants to destroy the two worlds by merging them is because they don’t live up to his vision of perfection.

In addition to creating a perfect world he wants the perfect wife. He admires Ange’s strength and courage and deems her worthy to be his wife. His attempts to sway her sound charming, but he strongly desires to have sex with her which makes him a pervert. For some reason Embryo can make a girl feel immense pleasure and we see him use this ability on Ange to the extent that it’s borderline hentai.

When Salire, Ersha, and Chris join Embryo I liked how Embryo had different ways of messing with their minds. He’s a master manipulator and anyone with Mana was under his command. So, he even makes Momoka turn on Ange at one point.

Like a true coward he rather let others do his dirty work and you can’t kill him unless you find his original body and Ragna-mail.

When Task gloated about having sex with Ange it really got under Embryo’s skin. So much he attempted to rape Ange in the finale and claimed he must purify her. Okay, that’s bad writing and at this point the audience already knew he wanted to have sex with Ange.

Also, the running gag of Task finding his face stuffed between Ange’s legs was done repeatedly and got annoying. Cross Ange does beat the dead horse on a lot of things and the story failed to maintain any coherence.

IT MAKES NO SENSE!

The story of Embryo creating two types of humans really makes no sense.

Embryo is conducting a science project for the perfect human and trying to create a utopia. But, the perfect human doesn’t exist since even when you give the humans the power of Mana they immediately turn against their fellow man. Embryo by design has revealed the evil of mankind and continues to perpetuate a false utopia by teaching Mana users to hate all Norma.

The Dragons are actually the good guys.

So, the perfect utopia is based on the suffering of the Norma and the murder of countless Dragons.

The only reason the power of Mana exists in the first place is because Embryo ravaged the Dragon’s world and captured their God. The Dragon God Aura is basically being used as a power source.

Also, Dragons are human beings? Wait what? This never gets fully explained it just is…

Anyway, the audience is introduced to the second world and it’s completely inhabited by Dragons. The Dragons basically run a peaceful society lead by Salamandinay.

In the end the world-building has no rhyme or reason and it got way too complicated. But, at least the characters somehow keep the ship afloat and they are well designed as they develop into people Ange can finally trust. If you just ignore the story completely and focus on the character conflicts you’re in for a much better viewing experience.

Final Verdict


Uh I can explain…

Cross Ange at times cosplays as a deranged version of Gundam Seed. The animation could have been better and fight scenes did feel a little copy & paste. But, I liked the colorful and fast paced action that was complemented by the engaging soundtrack. Whenever someone sings you know a powerful move will be unleashed.

I stand by what I said earlier. Cross Ange handled everything it presented with the finesse of flamethrower and thankfully things didn’t burn to the ground. By the time we got to our conclusion I was feeling like this…

They pulled off a happy ending that caught me off guard. Even characters that switched allegiance to Embryo got redemption and lived. I’ll conclude this review by saying Ange’s new world has tolerance hand in hand with forgiveness.

Score/Grade: 5/10 (Mediocre)

Positives
Characters Grow and Change (Especially Ange)

Happy Ending Actually Worked

Blatant Shock Value (When it was used properly)

Negatives
Fanservice Grows Tiresome and Redundant

Story and World-Building Made No Sense (Thanks a lot Embryo)

Sexual Exploitation

Lack of Focus Causing Thematic Content to Fall Flat

Finesse of a Flamethrower Can Make Things Unwatchable

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