CROSS ANGE – 05 Review
That’s what “funny” looks like according to this episode.
This has been one of the worst episodes I’ve seen this season! At least, in this instance the episode was bad enough to be actually laughable. This episode basically tries to throw romance, fanservice and character-development in an effort to introduce a new character named Tusk and to develop Ange as a character. Also, they fall in love with each other in a rather cheesy scenario. But this episode gets it all SO wrong starting with how the plot doesn’t really make sense and ending with how idiotic the characterisations are in this episode. If this next episode doesn’t get much better, I really will start to think about dropping this series.
Ange ends up stranded on an island – but it isn’t an emergency. After all, there’s a good-looking guy there who can take care of her. And that good-looking part is an important plot-point as it’s the only reason why Ange isn’t just thankful but kinda falls in love with him.
He also has fallen in love her, tells her as much as well. His reason: She looks good. The end. In fact he doesn’t like her personality at all! And naturally he has a tragic past that’s indirectly connected to Ange’s storyline because God forbids any character would ever do something without it being his or her fate or destiny or whatever.
Also, there are a lot of stupid island-hijinks going on which are also mostly perverted and fanservice-heavy in nature. Not that the more serious moments are any less stupid in comparison…
In the end, Ange’s “friends” actually manage to find her thanks to Tusk’s plot-convenient, miraculous repair-work. And hey, Ange has become a better person as well thanks to Tusk… even though, she and Tusk never saw eye-to-eye on a lot of things because of how often his head was between her legs…
That’s what this episode considers to be a “romantic remark”.
For four episodes this series has been thoroughly selling the idea to the audience that Ange is a horrible person. Scene after scene has shown just how far Ange’s disgust for Normas goes. And even if it didn’t make her a compelling character, the absurd notion of such a person being this series’ heroine had a certain appeal. Ange either pitied herself or lashed out at other people no matter what intentions they had. How would such a character ever be able to redeem herself?
Well, the answer is love, of course! And naturally it’s not the love for another woman because that’s what evil girls do. Instead, Tusk steps up to the plate to be a really charming lad who just happens to be completely perverted and objectifies Ange every step of the way.
Okay, so let’s start with the humor. Holy shit, it’s just… I have no idea how anyone could’ve written this thinking this is even remotely funny. Not only do they have a stupid moment of Tusk landing on Ange’s crotch facedown, no, they even turn it into a fucking running-gag! More than that, the series portrays it as sort-of charming! When Ange got sexually attacked by the other girls, it always was portrayed as dark and threatening. But when a dude sexually attacks her, it’s completely fine because he didn’t do it on purpose and hey, it’s kinda nice of him to show a perverted appreciation for the situation, right?
And if it were just this stereotypical, fanservice-laden piece-of-shit, that would be at least understandable but this episode’s writing isn’t just bad, it’s lazy. And I’m not talking about how there are no original, creative ideas present in this episode, I mean basic stuff like scene-transitions, character-arcs, drama and so on. It’s just all over the place!
Just take the relationship of Tusk and Ange for example. Tusk had saved her… and that’s the first thing: How exactly did he save her? How did Ange end up on an island by falling unconscious in the middle of an ocean? The plot of this episode doesn’t work at all. But Tusk has saved her and just to be on the safe side, he had stripped her naked and had bound her to a bed. Then he wakes up as she wakes up and screams – and he reacts flustered (then naturally his face lands on her naked (!) crotch). Why does he react flustered?! HE had been the one who had put them both in that situation in the first place! And that’s a real trend in this episode. Nothing actually works on a believable level. Less than being as absurd as the previous episodes, here just stuff happens without giving a shit about how much sense this makes.
The huge amount of blood and gore of this sequence really came out of nowhere. It wasn’t even shocking like the sudden deaths of the pilots at the start of this series. Ange just… snapped for no discernible reason.
This episode really becomes straight-up laughable in its attempts to portray the growing relationship between Tusk and Ange. As Ange is fleeing from Tusk, she finds her mecha which doesn’t work anymore. She’s desperate and that’s when a thunderstorm with lightning, rain and all that jazz starts because of course that would happen. Shivering she wanders into the jungle – and immediately gets bitten by a snake. She stumbles through the jungle aimlessly (it never seems like Ange actually knows what she’s doing, she has absolutely NO idea what to do about her situation) and conveniently walked in a circle dropping to the ground near the point where she had Tusk left hanging. And as he sees her plight, he IMMEDIATELY frees himself and helps her. Naturally, the snake-bite was near her crotch and so he needed to put his face there AGAIN for like the millionth time on that day, I imagine.
And after that, that’s when Ange starts to develop fond feelings for Tusk – which is shown with a montage. Yep, this stupid episode has a fucking montage-sequence! And the scenes of that montage are SO cheesy and stereotypical. Even the series was like “Yeah, nobody has time for this shit, let’s just speed through it.”. There are even idiotic moments like Ange trying to cook and creating some explosive thingy demonstrating to you that she’s a terrible cook – because of course she is. The greatest thing about that fucking montage is to realize is that Ange does NOTHING! She isn’t helpful AT ALL! Tusk kinda treats her like a kid he has to take care of – because don’t get me wrong, that’s what he’s actually fucking doing in this episode. Ange just doesn’t know what to do with herself. The kids of Lord Of The Flies had better survival-instincts than her! Tusk has to do everything for her. He repairs the mecha, he finds the food and cooks the food, he has prepared the shelter for her to sleep in, he finds a place to bathe for her and the list goes on and on.
So why does he put up with all this bullshit, you may ask? Well, he’s in love with her. And the way this episode handles their romance is just as laughable as everything else. Because here’s the thing… This episode has one of the MOST superficial romances I’ve ever seen! Tusk and Ange don’t have a chemistry, they aren’t similar or really share some meaningful goal. No, the thing that makes them fall for each other is that they both look good. And Tusk even spells it out for the audience! In that scene where Tusk confesses his love, he’s basically like “Hey, girl, I like you. I know that your personality really sucks but you look really good and that’s enough for me. Give me a fine woman’s ass and I can put up with whatever bullshit that comes out of it!”. And Ange’s moment of truth when she realized her feelings for Tusk was when she caught him naked!
The whole thing gets even more preposterous when the Norma-girls at the base are clearly separated into two factions. On one side you have bad girls who follow Hilda and on the other side are all the good girls. And here’s the thing: The good girls want to save Ange, they actually care about her. Naturally that’s despite all the verbal abuse everyone had to suffer in Ange’s presence and then there’s also that little incident where she indirectly got three other pilots killed. I mean, it’s okay for them to forgive her but there needs to be some sound justification. But the justification really seems like they simply take pity on her and would rather be Ange’s friend than to actually make her repent for her crimes.
But naturally the “good girls faction” is right in rescuing Ange because all of a sudden Ange’s a nice person. Yep, within the course of this one episode Ange has developed into a different character! Naturally the episode actually lacks some sort of character-arc to support this development. Instead she simply becomes more of a generic tsundere as soon as she started to interact with Tusk and at the end of the episode she’s suddenly very interested in doing the right thing and be nice and shit like that. This episode never even really resolves her problems that led to her horrible behavior. She just… changes and that’s it. It was weird enough to let Ange be this horrible person for this long but it’s even weirder to just change her THAT fast. Then again, at the end of the third episode, I’ve also thought Ange would now decide to become a better person – but she didn’t.
And at this point, I would rather want Ange to keep being this unapologetic asshole because this absurdity is what keeps this series from becoming a pile of uninspired, fanservice-driven shit. In addition, what this particular episode demonstrates is that this series can even sink lower than that. This episode had been bad enough to warrant being laughed at. The writing in this episode was just SO hamfisted and broad without even managing to appear somewhat believable. That’s the sort of thing where it seems almost unbelievable that this isn’t one single person’s fault, no, a whole group of people have been fine with… this.
- Hilda isn’t the least bit concerned about what will happen once Ange gets back…? Even the mere chance of Ange having survived should make her panic a little bit.
- Tusk’s flashbacks are the usual story-device of tying Tusk’s character to the meta-story of this series. It’s not very inspired and it’s even less so through letting a character Ange knows very well appear in his flashback.
- It’s a bit weird just how much Tusk and Ange avoid talking with each other about their respective lives.
- Another stupid moment was when the ships carrying the frozen DRAGON appeared and Tusk just threw himself on Ange telling her to keep quiet… Uhm, I’m pretty sure those ships won’t be able to HEAR them. And also, just lying on top of Ange is hardly a way to hide yourself when that means you’re still lying both out in the open.
- Also, the hints Tusk drops that the DRAGONS are possibly not the bad guys they are made out to be… *sigh* It would be rather unoriginal and dull, if that were to turn out to be true. Those DRAGONS are already fairly dull and they really don’t get more interesting by giving them some backstory where they end up being the victims instead of the generic enemy-role they currently have.
Posted on November 2, 2014, in Anime, Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryū no Rondo, Reviews and tagged Anime, CROSS ANGE Rondo of Angel and Dragon, Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryū no Rondo, review. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.