The royal life of Princess Angelise Ikaruga Misurugi was as idyllic as the life of a sixteen-year-old princess could be. Beautiful, talented, athletic, loved by her people, and soon to be baptized in honor of her ascension to the throne of the Misurugi Empire, Angelise had everything. Even her kingdom was in a blissful age of peace and prosperity thanks to the utilization of an extremely advanced technology materialization force known as "mana."
However, everything Angelise has come to know soon crashes to the ground around her after she is revealed to be a "norma," a member of society resistant to the effects of mana and unable to use it herself. Just like the rest of the norma, Angelise is arrested and removed from society. Now she’s being forced to work as a soldier based out of the prison camp, Arzenal, and fly a transforming robotic vehicle called a "Paramail."
To survive, Angelise will have to adapt to several different aspects of her new life in Cross Ange:Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo, coping with prison society, relationships with other "norma" women, and piloting her Paramail against giant beasts known as DRAGONs. Will revenge be a great enough motive to encourage her to overcome these challenges? Or will the hate for those that betrayed her tear her apart in the process?
Cross Ange is a travesty. It's a horrible, stupid, illogical trainwreck of a show with shoddy production values that relies almost entirely on pandering to the lowest forms of human life and waving shallow moments of shock value all over the screen. The series has a narcissistic sense of self-awareness, and in each episode you can nearly hear a subtle narration by the director and other Sunrise execs laughing at how much of a moron you are for watching this garbage that they've put in front of you.
"Ha, I bet those glass-eyed imbeciles are getting bored, let's put in another lesbian threesome."
"No, not yet. Only after we show the loli whipping someone again."
That said, it's one of the best things I've seen out of this studio in years. With a big "Fuck you, Sunrise.", let's go into this.
Cross Ange is a lot of different things. Cross Ange is a magical princess show about knights and dragons. Cross Ange is a prison drama. Cross Ange is Mean Girls. Cross Ange is borderline yuri hentai. Cross Ange is Gundam Seed. Cross Ange is a catharsis for the type of person who has a Fetlife account. Cross Ange is what would happen if you made a Princess Peach anime starring Ronda Rousey. Cross Ange is proof that not only will Mizuki Nana play any role, but that she is also good at it. Cross Ange is anime madlibs where your only word choices are "lesbians", "dragons" and "kill".
The actual premise of the story is that a pampered princess named Angelise, a thoroughly awful person, is thrown out of her castle and put in an all-ladies jail when it's found out that she's a fraud. She's then forced to pilot a Gundam and fight dragons, because. And then she's bullied, molested or beaten up a lot, until she finally becomes "Ange", the greatest main character to ever appear in a Sunrise mecha show. Then the story becomes about rebellion, alternate timelines and dimensions, fighting god, virtual realities, and uhhhhh... Yeah. The story progresses through a flurry of ridiculous plot twists, comically evil villainous acts, and lesbian sex scenes. It's certainly not boring, but you will hate yourself for watching it. One of my favorite things about this series is what they do with the episode previews, where the characters break the 4th wall and banter about how ridiculous all this shit is.
My other favorite thing is that there are dragons in this show. But they're not dragons, they're DRAGONs, and they're called that because they're DRAGONs and not because they're dragons.
But really, the legitimate thing you're watching this for is Ange. Ange is amazing. She's logical, pessimistic, she cheats, she'll insult you and everything you stand for, disarm you and then shoot you through the face, twice. She's so out of the norm for an anime protagonist I can barely deal. She doesn't want harmony, she wants destruction. She wants to demolish everything that's wronged her. She's not a victim. The show is called "Cross Ange" because she's cross about 90% of the time. She is the one who knocks.
The rest of the cast is surprisingly good too. Cross Ange does a competent job at giving you multifaceted, developing characters to feel things about, even if those feelings are mostly hatred and/or pity. The other central females are almost all emotionally damaged in some way or another, and are in contrast to Ange, very fragile people. I thought this was very interesting, because not only is Ange a strong, domineering, unbreakable character on her own, but those qualities shine even more when you slowly see the deep-seated problems with everyone around her.
This series only has like two male characters. One of them is Kira Yamato from Gundam Seed, except that he's completely useless and a stooge 90% of the time. If you're ever worried about Ange being overshadowed or saved by her boyfriend, don't worry, he's the bottom in the relationship. This was also refreshing. Except for near the end where he actually starts doing things, that was lame and subverted a lot of the good things about his character and the show as a whole.
The other major male character is the central villain, Fetus-kun, who is also the most self-aware jab at otaku I've ever seen. The whole premise of his character is that he's his own OC, and is looking for the perfect waifu. It's insulting and hilarious at the same time, just like the rest of the series.
Animation-wise, Ange looks pretty okay at its best, and pretty bad at its worst. Gundam Unicorn this is not. The character and mech designs are also pretty bland, making the series not seem like anything relevant when looked at out-of-context.
The audio's good. Nothing to write home about. You get a bunch of Mizuki Nana and stuff. I can't recall much of the BGM at all even though I watch this series week by week. The recurring insert song sung by Ange is pretty memorable.
Cross Ange is a big damn spectacle with one of the best female leads in any anime. It's ridiculous and stupid, and even Sunrise probably hates you for watching it, so that means you should.read more
The last episode came, many people watched it and at the end one thought was strongly resonating in their brain: "Why did we underestimate this anime so much?". The beginning of this anime may be the biggest hoax in the anime history. Not only it made no sense, but it was like in the middle of night while you were sleeping someone blew up your roof, killed your family and then told you that it was your fault and you should be punished. No sense right? Still, slowly but surely this anime showed that it was a lot more than that. Sometimes surprising by the deep philosophical understanding of the human nature, and sometimes using its main card, the fighting, the best way possible. Many could say the entire premise of this anime was to not judge a book by its cover. No mater how ugly it may be, what is inside could be worth thousands of time more than a book with a cover that shines like gold. Anyway, lets do it the normal way:
Story - 9, The story of this anime centers around a girl, Ange a royal princess, who at her coming of age ceremony is shown to be a Norma, a person not considered human in a society where everyone is using mana to control everything around them, thus making life easier. Everything falls into chaos, many sad things happen around her and after that she is sent to Arsenal, no, not the team, but a place where all Norma are disposed of, or so was believed. A lot of whining, hundreds of screams, enough to make you wish she was killed right on the spot. After a few episodes no one would wish the same thing. Not only because her character became a lot more interesting, but because the purpose of Arsenal is becoming clearer.The story becomes more and more complex as time passes so it should be impossible for someone to try to present the story in only a few words. There are betrayals, there is love, there is friendship, sadness,quite a lot of yuri, and we have an awesome antagonist who appears at the right moment. Still, its not like everything was perfect. There are a few blanks in the story, blanks that not only were not explained but it felt like a railway was missing some parts. For better or worse, we were made to forget about this and move on. I don't know if that part is to be explained in a movie, ova or maybe a second season, but it certainly needs one to explain a few missing parts without going back to the plot of the first season. Its the best ending for this anime and I really do not wish for everything to repeat in the same world as before.
Now, after the story comes the art.
Art - 9, Sometimes I wonder, how should we describe art? Some anime have such an ugly art that it would not be a surprise of everyone to hate that anime, but instead there are fans saying it receives a ten just because they feel like it fits. Sadly, I do not have the same opinion. Art is about beauty, about fluidity, about complexity, about impact. This anime excels at most, but some may say they could be even better just because .. . Anyway, every characters, robot, dragon looked awesome. Especially the dragons which didn't try to fit in the same criteria we were used to. Each battle was like a movie. They can make you forget to blink or breath. The only problem was its too fast pace. They moved to fast from one place to another and because of this it became tiresome to try to take in everything and instead were are left with the decision to only concentrate only on a few things forgetting about the rest.
Sound - 10, extremely enjoyable. The bgm is very important, but its true role is to make you feel attracted to the story, which this one did. If a bgm attracts to much attention, be it good or bad, then it failed in its purpose. Some forget about this and rate it poorly or better only based on this. The ost, op, ed and especially the seyuu's are the most important. And all of them are doing their job perfectly.
Characters - 10, Vivid, strong, beautifully. Each and everyone of them had what you could call charm. Their personalities, feelings, point of view were attractive mostly because there are so many that its impossible to not see at least one that shared your emotions and state of mind. I can say that in my opinion this anime strongest point were the characters.
Enjoyment - 9, there is not much to say about this. It was a gem found in the garbage. If you can watch it with an open mind you will not only not regret doing it but you are also going to remember it as one of the most surprising anime in the entire history.
Overall - 9, The story was not perfect, this is clear. A story that is short but also complex can hardly manage what Cross Ange did. Its divergent points were not only large in numbers, but also had its own characters which had to do their job in a way that wouldn't hinder the progress of the story. I'm going to re-watch it later this year for sure. Until then I can only recommend it to anyone who loves anime. read more
This is possibly one of the most underrated animes from the fall season.
You can read my overall + my final thoughts/notes at the very bottom of the review if you're feeling lazy and just want some quick feedback on the anime.
I can't lie the first 5 episodes was extremely hard to get through for many which lead to the anime being dropped early on, and also given a poor rating due to its evaluation being solely based off of these first 5 episodes. It is now one of the animes I look forward to watching every week, almost as much as "Your Lie in April".
Anyways, on with the review!
The setting of the anime is that of a dystopia, it follows a Princess (Ange) who is stripped of all her rights after being revealed that she is a norma (which are like unwanted humans due to their inability to use "mana"). This is one of the weaker points of the anime, although the story isn't bad, it wasn't done correctly for to be anything too special. Don't get me wrong, the story isn't boring in anyway and is fairly interesting, just not above and beyond (hence the 7).
A plus for the anime would be the unexpected twist and turns they have which sometimes really caught me by surprise, they often leave you wondering what may happen in the future. Overall its a decent story, but nothing too amazing.
Honestly the art is pretty good the characters, background, "ragna-mail", and pretty much everything looks like it was done quite well. The animation is quite fluid and well done, and I honestly have nothing to complain about in this section. The art isn't exceptionally beautiful but it's pretty good, although you can notice the budget slipping in some scenes, but overall the art for all the characters + most of the animation is very crisp.
One of the reasons why you SHOULD watch this anime. The sound track that they have is amazing in my opinion, both their OST and their opening/ending songs. Their use of music is on point for most of the anime, although there were a couple of times I felt that the music could have been used more effectively. I read one of the other reviews saying how the anime's OST + openings/endings were bad, please don't listen to them and give it a chance BECAUSE THE OST IS AMAZING!
Yeah so Ange is possibly one of the most BAD ASS female leads I've seen in a while. She is extremely strong willed and self-righteous and that is the part I love about her. I REALLY like characters that can look strong enough to take on the entire world yet can look really weak and docile the next. The character developments and the revealing of a characters true nature/past is really well done in the anime, although some of the characters story could have had some improvements (cough Embryo).
I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed watching this anime, some parts could of had some minor tweeks, but it was a great anime to watch. To those who are able to watch all 25 episodes of this anime at once, I'm really jealous because you won't feel the pain I had to wait for this every week. :'(
I'll repeat this again, I love a strong female lead that can take on the entire world, but in the next second can be really docile, weak and in need of protection and support. Cross Ange is a mecha anime that is really well made, if you look over a few of the poor things that they have done. I promise all you mecha fans that you will thoroughly enjoy the animes OST, great animation, interesting characters and their unique background story (PREPARE A TISSUE BOX WHEN THEY'RE REVEALING SOME OF THE CHARACTERS BACKGROUND). They do quite a few plot twist and a bit of romance in the anime, however little that romance may be. But with respect to the lifestyle transition Ange has been forced to live in, the romance does feels really 'cute'.
-Please understand that this anime DOES contain mature content.
-This anime is definitely one you should give a chance to (please at least give it until episode 6).
-Review may be slightly biased due to my love for mecha animes.
+Has an amazing OST. Really love their opening and endings + their music choice.
+Ange is possibly one of the best female leads I've seen in a while.
+Highly recommended for those who enjoy the following genres: Dystopia ,Ecchi, Mecha
+The anime has enough plot twist to constantly surprise you & keep you interested.
-Personally I really dislike it when something isn't suppose to happens, not going to say who but when someone is suppose to die, they really should die.
-You may sometimes notice in the animation where the anime was being "efficient" with their budget.
-Although their OST is really good, their timing for their background music could use a little work.
-The pacing of the anime is quite good for most of the anime, but some parts could have been slowed down.read more
To be honest, this was one of the anime I've been looking forward to during the fall season. It looks and sounds interesting but its overall presentation is just so bad.
My biggest gripe is how people just blantantly give this high scores when literally they say a third of it is horrible then gives no solid reason to like it. Not to say that whatever ahead isn't horrible though. As I watched this I realized I saw a lot of plot holes by watching it once. Usually I would watch an anime three times to notice anything but every problem is just so provoking that it's noticeable.
I won't be talking about rape, fanservice, or morality problems as other reviews I've seen have, unless they're problematic in some other way. They're problems in their own right but I'm not one to judge an anime based off that.
On paper, the plot sounds very interesting, enough to drag me in. But the execution is god awful. The problem with Cross Ange is that it tries way too hard and ends up being edgy as hell. There's no coherency because anything it offers is so poorly implicated. The first few episodes were somewhat acceptable but it turns to a lot of illogical dialogue. A few episodes later it plays on a lot high school anime tropes and comedic plays that don't fit the anime's theme. Overall it just doesn't set the tone or setting that it should have. But I've stratched a long and tried to watch it. By the eleventh episodes, I dropped this because of how horribly written it is. At that point it just felt like the creator realized how bad his work and was about to be fired from his job if he didn't do anything good, but he resulted in a cheap product with no good foundation. It has a lot of very interesting concepts but the way it's presented is just so bad.
Now I know I said I wouldn't talk about the fanservice but this is something important. I would be fine if it were used for rape and a prison like environment, but it's used for comedy. It conflicts with the tone and is more annoying than fanservice should be. Only a few anime/manga have been able to be funny and keep a serious story, I.E. Fullmetal Alchemist, but this isn't one of them.
I am more critical of art and animation for various reasons, but let's not get into that. The animation is bad to the point where I actually notice the frames. The CG is very straightforward, it's either bad or not. This is bad. It's very out of place and obviously you can notice it. The CG ddoesn't mesh in too well with the background but that's ridiculous because the background when using CG is usually the blue sky.
The artwork is meh-ish. The designs and concepts arejust so bland and generic. "Yes let's have a blonde princess like every anime. Whatelse sshould we have?" "Oh, I have all these generically designed characters with me." Was pretty much what I thought the creator was thinking. The mech designs are pretty stupid. What's with that royal royce on Ange's mech. They try to look cool rather than practical which is something I prefer in mech designs.
I overall hate it. Nothing stood out and I found nothing powerful enough because of how conflictingly unnoticeable it is. That's a fault on Cross Ange itself because of how it can't keep a good atmosphere.
The voice acting was average to below. The majority of voices sound so artificial that I can't help but be annoyed. Their voices sound like they're being faked. Like a character faking their voice in a cheesy television show I watched as a kid.
Throughout, I have never hated characters so passionately. The characters I do like don't even get screen time. I can't believe how artificial the character development is. The reason is because of the plot contrivances and the lack of solid characterization so that we're given good ideology in the earlier episodes. Any event that provokes development is done so terribly, because there's no foreshadowing nor a natural flow. Everything is planned out like "IT SHOULD HAPPEN" rather than "IT WILL HAPPEN."
Generally, I couldn't come to love this because of how boring it is. I would usually watch something for gore regardless of how badly written it is but the gore just feels cheap and needless, because the presentation is just chauvinistically pretentious and overdramatic, and how the atmosphere is wrongly set through every little moment.
At best I think this would be a six but I won't be here to see it get any bette or worse.read more