CROSS ANGE – 12/13 Review

[HorribleSubs] Cross Ange - 12 [480p].mkv - 00003And instead she’s now abrasive, abusive and a real asshole. Sure, that’s just the sort of character-development to get invested in!

What was even the point of this series’ first nine episodes or so…? I mean, if Ange simply had been a sensible person who hadn’t managed to get three people killed on her first day as mecha-pilot, a whole lot of drama could’ve been averted. And ultimately it was kinda pointless as well. Story-wise all the new revelations kinda negated the necessity of these DRAGON-battles and character-wise we watched Ange fuck up and be a real dick about it until she gradually became less of a dick and the others just sort-of forgot why they were mad at her in the first place. You don’t need an entire season to do that! But now the series has stopped fucking around and wants to be REALLY serious. And nothing screams “serious” more than a lot of explosions and meaningless deaths, right?!

Review:

The second half of the series starts with a mythology-episode. I mentioned a couple reviews ago that Cross Ange seems like a very 90s-like world-type-anime and this episode certainly cements that impression. This episode is basically an explanation of how this setting came about and what the deal is with the situation the characters found themselves in. It’s all very exposition-y but then again in world-type-animes the fates of characters are always very closely tied to the fate of the world they live in. And since the first half of this series tried to be “edgy” using excessiveness in all its forms without any sense of self-awareness, the characters range from unlikeable to not very relatable. But here comes the 12th episode that finally gives this series some much needed direction and focus.

When it comes to exposition you can naturally always point to the “show, don’t tell”-rule but beyond that, personally I feel like a series should also never sound preachy when exposition is dropped on the audience. It should never feel like the audience is forced to listen to some drivel about Tolkien-esque world-building-bullshit that takes ages to be summarized for the audience. World-building is like writing a historybook or some religious mythology. You try to give a context to something the characters should know about but the audience doesn’t. So how do you communicate something the characters know but not the audience? Well, the simplest solution is the audience-stand-in, the character who doesn’t know shit and needs to be told what shit is what. Animes have plenty of those with all their bland male protagonists but the more exciting variant of the same trope is to have some sort of revelation ready. This is what Cross Ange is going here for.

This episode’s exposition delivered by Jill shines a new light on the previous 11 episodes and tries to shock the audience as much as excite them for what’s to come. I don’t like it when series make these differences between “mythology-moments” and “random-stuff-episodes”. It always feels better that you can at least tie all the moments of the show together when it decides to drop some truth-bombs on the audience. Mythology-episodes shouldn’t just explain what’s going on, they should be the product of a slow build-up that occurred over the course of the season. And Cross Ange wasn’t very effective in setting up the reveals of this episode. There were a couple moments where the revelations of this episode were lightly hinted at but the problem with those was that Ange was pretty much left out of those. Until this episode a lot of the most important characters of this show didn’t really understand what was going on but they also didn’t push for any sort of understanding. The series felt directionless because Ange had no real destiny. It wasn’t clear what her future goal was. But then it actually addressed the issue of the Norma-racism (in its usual excessive, simplistic way) and hey, that was something.

But that was just a setup, a way to change the atmosphere of the series. It started to settle into this more serious tone where the excessiveness of the previous dozen episodes disappeared and was replaced by more typical shenanigans. And when this episode started to explain its mythology, it did so without any of the excessive silliness that had characterized the beginnings of this show.

[HorribleSubs] Cross Ange - 12 [480p].mkv - 00004Actually the first time she had boarded her mecha she ended up killing more humans than DRAGONS. So this experience shouldn’t be new to her.

It’s hard to say how much this show has gained and lost due to this change in tone. I mean, what this series had done in the previous dozen episodes was far from good and only entertaining in an ironic way. Now that the show has started to get more serious with its story and its setting, it’s more coherent than ever but you do start to wonder what this series exactly had gained by being directionless for so long. The last couple episodes didn’t feel like a finale and this 12th episode didn’t really feel like the start of the second half of this show either. Rather it felt like we’ve just left the first act and the second act has swiftly concluded its little mini-arc that also served as a midseason-finale. But the meta-plot has barely moved since the start of this show and only now it has leaped forward with this mythology-episode. This episode has done its job in establishing a villain, the stakes, a world-based mystery and the heroine has been assigned a destiny tied to the one of the world. And naturally there’s some talk of an apocalypse going around that can reset the world. It’s the kind of 90s stuff a world-type-anime would pull although it should be mentioned that apparently it’s the villains who cling to the hope of resetting the world.

The thing with this series suddenly getting more serious and establishing its mythology is that actually none of it is that interesting. The sort-of karmic rival-meeting from last episode and the revelation that DRAGONs are humans lack character. The problem with these things is that they lack build-up. There’s a very acute sense of dissonance happening in this series as it simply didn’t address its more serious storypoints at all until a certain point. More than that, it becomes really obvious just how oblivious this series is in regards to what it had actually been doing during the first half. At one point during the 13th episode Ange is talking about her time at Arzenal and well, she actually speaks fondly of it. The truth of the matter is that she was barely starting to think of the other Norma-girls as friends and be more nice to them before the whole shit with her younger sister hit the fan. It was clear that towards the end of that first half the series tried to create a bond of friendship between the all the girls in Ange’s mecha-unit. But the friendship between Hilda and Ange actually was the most convincing one as the series actually had some genuine drama ready to explain that development. As for the rest… The series simply started ignoring the part where Ange managed to get three people killed within one day and she continuously treated everyone like garbage for the longest time. If her becoming friends with everyone was the goal, that first half certainly had put in a lot of effort to run into the opposite direction with her characterization. The excessive degree of asshole-ish behavior was simply counterintuitive! I mean, what has been the point of that when the series actually never wanted to commit to this ridiculous characterization? The series sacrificed its cohesion for the sake of faux-grittiness that just ended up a stepping-stone for rather generic character-developments.

And the 13th episode really does go all the way in making it obvious that we’re entering the second half of the show now. These two episodes have enough story-related revelations and destruction to completely change the status quo of the first half. The series isn’t very subtle about the whole thing as well. First, you get the villain who’s the “boss” of the villains of the first half in the form of Embryo, then there’s the unceremonious death of the villain from the first half and then the place the protagonist has called “home” gets destroyed. And the roles of the characters change within the narrative as the Normas have suddenly become rebels who want to end the reign of the “humans”. In a narrative sense this series has simply flipped the table over and revealed a new table underneath the old one.

[HorribleSubs] Cross Ange - 13 [480p].mkv - 00003You’d think that a massacre accompanied by big explosions is anything but that… He’s right, though.

It is a step into the right direction. This series needed more focus and direction and what these two episodes have done was simply necessary. But boy, how I wish that the series would actually look good doing all that. I don’t talk about animation that often but the 13th episode clearly showed some problems in that regard. I mean, the series had a week off and the 13th episode still ended up looking shitty. Seriously the animation of that 13th episode was more than just cheap, it was rushed as well. You could clearly see how the episode was cutting corners in what it showed. Especially in an important episode like that one it’s paramount to actually make an impression. This is supposed to be the epic plottwist that would set the story on the path for the second half of the show. But the series was certainly let down by the animation here.

It starts with the simple fact that the animation of all the fighting in that episode lacked a sense of physicality. I know, shounen-shows often cut corners in that regard with their “too fast to be seen by human eyes”-bullshit and whatnot but this episode lacked even the most basic element of physical interaction in a battle-situation. There are a lot of moments where characters would shoot at each other and you would see the bullets fly around in bright streaks – and nothing would be hit. Someone would shoot at a Norma-girl and she would just duck and hide behind the corner while every bullet would fly past her without ANY effect (yeah, the sound-design wasn’t that great as well). The most telling moment is when Hilda gets shot and… I still don’t know where she gets shot. She holds her shoulder but we never see any blood or her treating the wound. And she doesn’t say whether the shot just grazed her either. She gets shot, holds her shoulder and talk about having been shot but that’s it! This is a series that showed us the death of a character and how that character’s eyeball landed in the lap of Ange together with blood! By that standards it’s baffling to look then at this episode and notice how cheap that violence has become.

The beginning of that series had at least some style with how excessive its portrayal of violence was. That sense of excessiveness is totally missing from the 13th episode. Even when the soldiers start to kill defenseless girls the series suddenly shies away from showing off the details of what’s going on. And the soldiers are all faceless clones while any of the killed Norma-girls are shown as feature-less corpses that were burned to a crisp. This series always has been blunt in going for the shock-factor to some degree but this is the first episode that was also bland in how it portrayed violence.

Ange’s attack with her mecha was equally bland and the way she took out those ships seemed effortless and irrelevant. This episode did such a bad job in actually creating an atmosphere of desperation for this battle. There’s no dramatic weight behind the decisions made in this episode since it all feels like a foregone conclusion. It isn’t surprising to see Ange dominate the battlefield with her super-mecha or that she would want to hunt down her brother. Embryo’s whole “Hey, I’m not the real bad guy here, you know.”-shtick doesn’t really make his character more interesting. Actually it’s more confusing than anything else that he healed those two Norma-girls. And the degree to which Jill was prepared to escape the wrath of the humans was also not very interesting to watch. It all amounted to this sense that we were just going through the motions with this episode in order to create a new status quo for the show. But the show really hasn’t delivered enough drama with these two episodes to sell this transition as something exciting or entertaining. For all the things this show has gained with its more focused direction, it simply failed to connect this new direction with what it has done previous to that.

Episodes-Rating: 12th Episode: 5.0/10 13th Episode: 4.5/10

Random Thoughts:

  • The particular revelation that the DRAGONS had been shapeshifting humans was simply ineffective. Ange shouldn’t react with such shock and revulsion. After all, she already had gotten a few people killed due to her incompetence and the 13th episode further undermines the whole thing by showing her mindlessly slaughtering hundreds of humans
  • Because of that it’s also pretty ironic how Embryo was keeping Ange from killing her pathetic brother because it would “tarnish her soul” or something like that. I think he doesn’t know Ange that well if he thinks she’s “pure”.
  • Can we all agree that “Operation Libertus” is a stupid name? I mean, the whole DRAGON-thing and calling the non-magic people Normas are stupid naming-decisions as well. I guess, that’s simply a shtick of this series to come up with a really stupid terminology for its setting.
  • For that matter… all non-magic girls are called Normas whereas non-magic dudes are called “Ancient People”…? That’s stupid as well.
  • And why do the magic-people keep around all that mundane weaponry? Wasn’t it a part of the utopia that the magic-people have no need for a military and the Normas are forced to defend the world against the only threat that exists.
  • Ange’s fondness for Tusk is still one of the most unconvincing elements of this series’ story.

About M0rg0th

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

Posted on January 4, 2015, in Anime, Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryū no Rondo, Reviews and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. You know while watching episode 13 a could’t get my mind off the fact that the fight against the Norma and the empire was basically girls in skimpy clothing versus guys in practical military gear , you know something you see in trashy B movies and not in a series that has soldiers massacring teenage girls.

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    • The basic idea behind the situation is just typical Cross-Ange-crassness. And that was exactly the reason why it was so fascinating to watch the show in the beginning. But the visual representation shied away from showing basically anything of shock-value which is very atypical compared to what happened at the beginning.

      It’s not like I say it would’ve been great for this episode to fetishize a massacre but the series’ crassness HAS been one of its selling-points. It should at least look brutal. Instead we get this bland piece of sub-par animation and art-design while the script for the whole thing isn’t that great either.

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  2. TheRealWinston

    “The particular revelation that the DRAGONS had been shapeshifting humans was simply ineffective. Ange shouldn’t react with such shock and revulsion. After all, she already had gotten a few people killed due to her incompetence and the 13th episode further undermines the whole thing by showing her mindlessly slaughtering hundreds of humans”
    Kann dem nicht ganz zustimmen. Die Pilotinnen starben nicht, weil Ange sie direkt aktiv getötet hat sondern durch Anges undisziblinares Verhalten. Die Drachen hat Ange ja bewusst getötet und dann herauszufinden, dass das alles Menschen waren, naja, ist schon irgendwie heftig. Warum sie dann aber ohne Probleme die Soldaten in Ep. 13 kaltblütig töten konnte. Wut und Rache, vielleicht?
    “Because of that it’s also pretty ironic how Embryo was keeping Ange from killing her pathetic brother because it would “tarnish her soul” or something like that. I think he doesn’t know Ange that well if he thinks she’s “pure”.”
    Was das ganze aber noch ironischer macht, Embryo hat ja dann Julio getötet…..
    “Can we all agree that “Operation Libertus” is a stupid name? I mean, the whole DRAGON-thing and calling the non-magic people Normas are stupid naming-decisions as well. I guess, that’s simply a shtick of this series to come up with a really stupid terminology for its setting.”
    Ich nicht, finde eigentlich das DRAGON-Akronym und Norma lächerlicher.
    “For that matter… all non-magic girls are called Normas whereas non-magic dudes are called “Ancient People”…? That’s stupid as well.”
    Wenn man es sich genau überlegt, eigentlich nicht. “Ancient People” sind die Nachfahren der Menschen, die vor den Mana lebten und selber nicht vom Mana gesegnet wurden, weil irgendwo so und Baum…. und selber eine Art leben als Außenseiter führen müssen/mussten. Das es nur Männer bei ihnen gibt bezweifle ich, vielmehr scheinen nur Männer an der Front zu sein, während die Frauen halt in den Verstecken bleiben um die Kinder zu erziehen (und zu beschützen). Klingt zwar sehr Machohaft, hat aber praktische Gründe, irgendwo. Normas wiederum sind Kinder von Manamenschen, die auch kein Mana verwenden können, wegen eines genetischen Fehlers. Wieso das dann nur bei Frauen auftritt macht aber wenig Sinn.
    “Ange’s fondness for Tusk is still one of the most unconvincing elements of this series’ story.”
    Finde ich immerhin noch nachvollziehbarer als Ange x Hilda pairing.

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    • “Kann dem nicht ganz zustimmen. Die Pilotinnen starben nicht, weil Ange sie direkt aktiv getötet hat sondern durch Anges undisziblinares Verhalten. Die Drachen hat Ange ja bewusst getötet und dann herauszufinden, dass das alles Menschen waren, naja, ist schon irgendwie heftig. Warum sie dann aber ohne Probleme die Soldaten in Ep. 13 kaltblütig töten konnte. Wut und Rache, vielleicht?”

      Hab auch nie behauptet, dass sie aktiv diese Leute am Anfang umgebracht hat. Und der Unterschied würde eine Rolle spielen, wenn die Serie zeigen würde, dass sie sich genauso der Ähnlichkeit dieser Vorfälle bewusst ist. Was die beiden Momente vereint ist die Art wie Ange in beiden Fällen verantwortlich für den Tod von Menschen ist. Diese Verbindung sollte Erwähnung finden, finde ich.

      Aber die Serie in dieser 13. Episode verhielt sich ignorant gegenüber den Ereignissen zu Beginn der Serie. Und dieses Vergessen hat Platz geschafft für eine sehr viel normalere, durchschnittlichere Show.

      “Was das ganze aber noch ironischer macht, Embryo hat ja dann Julio getötet…”

      Hmm, Embryo’s Anmerkungen wirkten an sich nicht sehr ironisch auf mich. Es war eher Arroganz und so eine Art Herabwürdigung mit der er Ange angeredet hat.

      “Ich nicht, finde eigentlich das DRAGON-Akronym und Norma lächerlicher.”

      *shrug* Still a shitty name for a rebellion even if the show has done worse before😉 .

      “Das es nur Männer bei ihnen gibt bezweifle ich, vielmehr scheinen nur Männer an der Front zu sein, während die Frauen halt in den Verstecken bleiben um die Kinder zu erziehen (und zu beschützen).”

      Da stimme ich dir vollkommen zu… Die Sache ist die aber… Wir haben bei diesen Ancient People nie Frauen gesehen und die Norma-Girls zeigen doch, dass Frauen nicht unbedingt irgendwo versteckt werden müssen, wenn alle Ancient People praktisch ums Überleben kämpfen müssen. Daher halte ich die Darstellung von männlichen Ancient People und weiblichen Normas für absichtlich.

      “Finde ich immerhin noch nachvollziehbarer als Ange x Hilda pairing.”

      Naja, wenn man sich so Ange’s Verhalten ansieht, dann ist Einsamkeit der einzige realistische Beziehungsstatus für sie. Aber netterweise hat die Serie die perfekte Antwort darauf parat, indem sie Tusk zu einem kompletten “Pervert-lover” gemacht hat, den es nur um Ange’s Aussehen geht.

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      • TheRealWinston

        “Aber die Serie in dieser 13. Episode verhielt sich ignorant gegenüber den Ereignissen zu Beginn der Serie. Und dieses Vergessen hat Platz geschafft für eine sehr viel normalere, durchschnittlichere Show.”
        Macht das die Serie nicht schon von Anfang an?

        “Da stimme ich dir vollkommen zu… Die Sache ist die aber… Wir haben bei diesen Ancient People nie Frauen gesehen und die Norma-Girls zeigen doch, dass Frauen nicht unbedingt irgendwo versteckt werden müssen, wenn alle Ancient People praktisch ums Überleben kämpfen müssen. Daher halte ich die Darstellung von männlichen Ancient People und weiblichen Normas für absichtlich.”
        Die Normas sind dann wiederum eine ganz andere Gruppierung die halt nur aus Frauen besteht. Aber das für den Kontrast bis jetzt hauptsächlich Männer gezeigt wurden, kann ich ihnen zustimmen.

        Sonstige Gedanken zur letzten Folge:
        – Prinzipiell fand ich die Stelle, wo Ange sagt sie mochte ihr Leben auf Arzenal (irgendwie) nicht wirklich schlecht. Embryo sagte doch sogar ein paar Szenen davor, dass man erst weiß was einem wichtig ist, wenn man es verliert. Das was diese Stelle aber dann so schlecht macht ist, dass sie sich für ihr Verhalten während der ganzen Zeit nicht entschuldigte und danach Salias Paramail zerschrottete.
        – bei Salia denke ich mir auch immer, wann sie Villkiss als “mein Schatz” bezeichnet.
        – und wieso werde ich den Gedanken nicht los, dass Salia auch von königlichen Blut ist.
        – und Villkiss wurde rot, Xenogears schon wieder (und als nächstes werden Paramails zu Ragnamails wenn sie mit einem “Anima-Relict” verschmelzen, und die spontane Verwandlung von massen an Menschen kommt dann auch noch)
        – es war die ganze Zeit ein Luftschiff im Keller, warum sind sie nicht früher geflohen?
        – wieso haben sie Emma mitgenommen?

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  3. AFAIK “Ancient People” is just a term for non-Mana/Norma people, the people before Embryo started engineering humanity. There are women among the Ancient People, one was shown in the flashback in episode 12 dead on the floor while the others stole the Villkiss.

    I want to say that perhaps Ange acted with such revulsion at discovering she killed DRAGONs was because she enjoyed it so much (in ep.5, she really got off on stabbing that DRAGON to death lol), but that connection wasn’t made clear. I feel that Ange should’ve been wondering about why she had to fight DRAGONs earlier on, and the series should’ve built up on the mystery of the DRAGONs gradually throughout the series instead of waiting until ep.11 and 12 to start focusing on them and shock viewers with revelations about them.
    And yeah, I do agree that Cross Ange’s inconsistencies are jarring at times.

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    • “AFAIK “Ancient People” is just a term for non-Mana/Norma people, the people before Embryo started engineering humanity. There are women among the Ancient People, one was shown in the flashback in episode 12 dead on the floor while the others stole the Villkiss.”

      Yeah, that seems more logical. It’s just how weird it was to always see Norma-women and Ancient-People-dudes. There’s no reason to not show the Ancient People having both men and women in a more obvious fashion.

      “I want to say that perhaps Ange acted with such revulsion at discovering she killed DRAGONs was because she enjoyed it so much (in ep.5, she really got off on stabbing that DRAGON to death lol), but that connection wasn’t made clear.”

      Oh, yeah, that would’ve been an even better connection than just pointing to how Ange has been responsible for the death of humans before. But it’s like this show has suddenly gottan amnesia and isn’t even aware of what it did at the beginning and how Ange was portrayed around that time.

      “I feel that Ange should’ve been wondering about why she had to fight DRAGONs earlier on, and the series should’ve built up on the mystery of the DRAGONs gradually throughout the series instead of waiting until ep.11 and 12 to start focusing on them and shock viewers with revelations about them.”

      Well, Ange was a complete asshole during the first half for that reason as well. She was so self-centered until around episode 09, 10 or so that the series didn’t get any real worldbuilding done. Also, it was hard to see why anyone should give a shit how Ange’s terrible personality got a little bit nicer with each episode for no real reason. But then you get episode 11, 12 and 13 where this whole show has suddenly transformed into just another generic mecha-action-anime.

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  4. I was really holding out for a relevant plot but I waited in vain. They waste half the series on meaningless drama and then dump the plot (no, not a chunk of exposition, the entire plot basically starts halfway through the series) on us without any buildup.

    A villain with a penchant for eugenics unites his people around the hatred of a harmless minority and sends the hated minority off to a camp where they can be quarantined and executed. Well done writers, you made anime Hitler. So with these new revelations, let’s look at the series from a new perspective. The story starts out with our “hero” Ange growing up as the princess of a nation of Nazis. She considers Jews subhuman and worthy of only death, that is until she is revealed to be a Jew herself and sent to Auschwitz. There she takes a long time to get over her conditioned hatred of Jews, but eventually accepts her station in life (which isn’t hard to do because she’s an extremely privileged Jew). At the camp, Jews are forced to assist in the genocide of other Jews, first by shooting them and then throwing their bodies into a mass grave to be burned. Eventually the Fuhrer decides that the Final Solution isn’t happening fast enough and orders the massacre of the internment camp. But then magic Hitler shows up, kills the Nazi in charge and pays some lip-service to how unfortunate things turned out to be.

    Oh, I get it writers. The Nazis are the bad guys and the people fighting them are the good guys, right? Did I understand that correctly? The themes of this anime are almost too subtle for me to comprehend. It’s a good thing the Jews in this setting are all cute girls constantly showing their tits, or otherwise I’d find this reflection of one of humanity’s most tragic periods rather morbid.

    I’m done with the series. The only reason I made it farther than Akame ga Kill is that Akame addressed its awful plot early on.

    Some bonus things to point out.
    -Ange’s and the objectives of Jill and Salia are essentially the same but Ange rejects them just to be a contrarian and alienates everyone around her.
    -It’s funny how Salia starts off as one of Ange’s strongest supporters but now she’s finally realized that Ange is an abrasive, self-centered glory-hog.
    -Magic HItler tells our protagonist that he didn’t plot the massacre, even though he totally did and he doesn’t gain anything to lie about it.
    -I’m not sure if we are supposed to sympathize with Jill or not. She’s allegedly plotting to overthrow the oppression of the world but she spent the first half of the series being compliant and assisting the evil world order.
    -The human supervisor at the base shouted “Don’t kill me! I’m not a Norma!” but the good guys saved her life anyway. Did you not just hear her? She was totally okay with the massacre and was trying to save her own skin!
    -One of the human soldiers says “I was just following orders!” What a Nazi thing to say!

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    • “Oh, I get it writers. The Nazis are the bad guys and the people fighting them are the good guys, right? Did I understand that correctly? The themes of this anime are almost too subtle for me to comprehend. It’s a good thing the Jews in this setting are all cute girls constantly showing their tits, or otherwise I’d find this reflection of one of humanity’s most tragic periods rather morbid.”

      Well, the series actually isn’t very consistent in that regard. The more you learn about the story of this series, the less it feels like this extreme racist conflict. It simply devolves into this simple war between the good guys and bad guys. I mean, recently it has been revealed that some of Ange’s Norma-buddies have switched sides and are now fighting for Embryo. And the magic of the “bad people” only exists due to a captured special DRAGON. So the “bad people” are actually just the same as the DRAGONS (meaning their genes have been tampered with so that they can wield this “Dragon-magic”).

      Then again, as you’ve pointed out the moralistic writing in this series is all over the place. Although the most recent episodes have settled down to a point where you can clearly distinguish between good guys and bad guys. Ange has become a good guy to such a degree that Jill’s plan to simply destroy the world (which was the same idea Ange had around episode 10) is now portrayed as something bad that Ange has to rebel against (since she’s the hero).

      Another insidious notion this series seems to push is the idea of royalty saving the day and being natural leaders. The only leader-figure in this series that isn’t royalty is… Embryo, the villain. Jill, Ange, the Dragon-leaders, Ange’s family: All royalty.

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      • “Well, the series actually isn’t very consistent in that regard. The more you learn about the story of this series, the less it feels like this extreme racist conflict.”

        Although I’ve decided I’m not going to waste my time seeing how the rest of it develops, I will say that I think it’s the mark of bad writing when the story seems like mostly bullshit until they explain everything much later in the series. You said in your review regarding Ange’s earlier belligerent attitude:

        “I mean, what has been the point of that when the series actually never wanted to commit to this ridiculous characterization?”

        This can be said about storytelling in general. Why build up a bullshit story about a nonsensical race conflict if you’re going to “reveal” later on that things are different? If after half of your whole series you can’t maintain a singular premise, it’s just awful writing.

        “Another insidious notion this series seems to push is the idea of royalty saving the day and being natural leaders.”

        I think the over-saturation of blue blood is probably the least of this series’ problems.😛

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    • “This can be said about storytelling in general. Why build up a bullshit story about a nonsensical race conflict if you’re going to “reveal” later on that things are different? If after half of your whole series you can’t maintain a singular premise, it’s just awful writing.”

      It’s also has gotten rather obvious how the animation-budget has been dwindling as those gory sequences from the start aren’t present anymore and have been replaced by these generic mecha-show-battles. That further adds to this feeling of inconsistency and to how this show has turned away from the rampant craziness of its beginning.

      “I think the over-saturation of blue blood is probably the least of this series’ problems.”

      What makes this aspect so disturbing is how unaware the show seems in doing that. It really feels like the writers actually believe that some princess-character would have a natural aptitude for leadership.

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      • “What makes this aspect so disturbing is how unaware the show seems in doing that. It really feels like the writers actually believe that some princess-character would have a natural aptitude for leadership.”

        Some stories such as Code Geass or Fire Emblem, it makes sense to have the leaders be nobility because they are groomed to be leaders and are in positions of influence. It doesn’t make much sense for Ange to be so adept at everything. Ange is a princess but she’s also the chosen one and gets the best goodies in life, no matter how much she loses. The story would probably be more engaging if she truly lost everything and had to work her way back to the top instead of being handed everything by destiny.

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    • “The story would probably be more engaging if she truly lost everything and had to work her way back to the top instead of being handed everything by destiny.”

      Which is kinda funny because that’s exactly how this series started, didn’t it? And in addition to that you had a gory presentation and Ange actually being kinda reprehensible, both in how she lost everything she had and in how she responded to that afterwards. At the beginning EVERYONE in the series was a terrible person and they also had to deal with gruesome constant battles against those DRAGONs. And the conclusion of the tenth episode seemed logical in that respect as hitting the reset-button for the entire world really does seem like the only way to save it. A smarter series would’ve just added stuff like “Is humanity even worth saving?” and this whole “destiny vs. free will”-spiel and I think you would’ve gotten something interesting out of this premise.

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      • There is a lot of paths they could have taken. Cross Ange’s flaws are numerous but if they could tackle their central theme of racism against Norma, we might have had an interesting anime. We never (as of episode 13) hear a good reason why Norma are hated. I think it would have been cool if Norma were prophesied to bring ruin to the world, were mistreated by the mana users, and then the Norma banded together to destroy the mana society that abused them. It would be the self-fulfilling society reminiscent of Oedipus and some clever irony. Maybe the villain would be some third party that was TRYING to get the two groups to destroy each other. It would also open up the doors for more grey and gray morality instead of the assholes vs complete monsters we got in the actual show.

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    • I think, Cross Ange is one of those shows where one doesn’t do it justice by just calling it bad. It’s bad in such a complicated way. You would think that such a inconsistent series would’ve at least some good moments but instead you get all this hogwash that is bad for different reasons each time.

      And I would just love to see what the creation-process for this show had looked like. Cross Ange seems like the kind of failure with a story to tell.

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  5. The racism is addressed in episode 15. To put it simply without giving too much away, the reason for the discrimination of Norma is essentially justification for slavery that fuels the world.

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