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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Cross Ange is the very definition of exploitation. It exploits the viewers in virtually every way possible. It has an all-star voice cast, constantly bombards the viewers with the most pandering fanservice it can, all while failing to deliver any worthwhile material in its BD releases other than a Nana Mizuki concert ticket.
[ Story ]
The story is deceptively simple, a world where mankind has developed a magitech ability known as "Mana" that is used in their daily lives as if it were the most common thing in the world. However, there are a handful of people in the world who are incapable of using
Mana, which results in immense discrimination toward them. These people are referred to as Norma, and they are taken from their homes, treated like literal objects, and forced into a military where they battle enormous dragon-like creatures called... well... DRAGONS.
On paper it sounds like an interesting concept. You have themes of racism, the aforementioned magitech, and the hardships of military life, with giant mecha battles spicing things up. The problem is in the execution.
People say that fanservice isn't inherently bad, and I'm willing to believe that. The problem comes when the writers prioritize fanservice over the work they're creating. Not only can this show not go five minutes without focusing on the bodies of its scantily clad pilots, it also can't go an episode without a mindless lesbian sex scene that only serves the characterize the cast as dominant or submissive to each other. Meanwhile the only relationship in the show that has any real substance (and not by all that much mind you) the one between the lead and the show's solitary male protagonist.
It's also a bad mark on a show when unnecessary fanservice is thrown into moments that are trying to be serious, as seen when a tragic event is highlighted by a blatant underboob shot of the main character as she's restrained to a bed, clad in nothing but bandages.
The show also suffers from a horrendous lack of awareness as to its own direction. Plot details are thrown at the viewer with absolutely no coherence and characterization frequently defies all logic to the point that some have declared the show to be a satire. At one point the main protagonist is suddenly expressing fondness for the horrendous prison that gave her nothing but bullying and abuse, which she outright expressed contempt for and desired to escape.
As mentioned above, the show brings to the table some interesting concepts, but never manages to properly address them. If it does they're usually unsatisfying answers that feel as if the writers simply shrugged off the questions so they could spend more time undressing the main character and panning over her body. The amount of times a viewer can wonder "Why is she naked?" in a single show is staggering.
At one point they went so far as to present the idea of two characters having met repeatedly across different timelines or dimensions, which basically amounted to a whole lot of nothing and only served to either wow the viewer with a shocking plot twist, or pander to them with the enormous shipping potential of these two characters.
It feels like the show doesn't know whether it wants to take itself seriously, when it tries to frame dark and edgy scenes as sexual or when the on-the-next previews lampoon the events that took place before them. It among the other things just reeks of this show not knowing what it's doing, and adds fuel to the belief that the show was meant to be some sort of parody.
A noteworthy scene at the very end of the first episode not only applies to the above, but also has absolutely no impact on the story or traumatic effect on the character it was done to. It was so vague that viewers all over can't seem to even agree what the nature of it was. "This happened. Now we're not gonna mention it again."
[ Art ]
What can I say that hasn't already been said in the many reviews beforehand? CGI is mixed in with animation so awkwardly in this series, that the only thing that lessens the blow is the constant off-model animation thrown in. If it were only distance shots it wouldn't be so bad, but often times a character up close will have a face too small for their head, or their ear will be trying to take over the rest of their faces. Compared to that, badly done CGI dragons aren't so big of a deal.
[ Sound ]
As mentioned above, the show has a large amount of talented and famous people working on it, particularly the lead, Nana Mizuki. The music direction is so-so at best and most remarkable song in the whole show is the OP. With such a good voice cast one would think the constant singing wouldn't grate on the ears, but this is just another example of the show putting style over substance.
[ Character ]
And we come to the big problem, the major deal breaker for this show (aside from the ending to the first episode). The cast of characters is often regarded as the weakest link in the show, and for good reason. The few that aren't completely detestable are either unremarkable or completely annoying.
We have our protagonist, Ange, who starts the show as the very picture of ignorant racist. Her response to a parent having her norma baby being taken away is to blissfully spout that she should try again for a proper child, as if that's easy. Once she's brought into the aforementioned prison camp, her characterization goes from a bratty racist in denial, into a bitter, cynical wannabe-badass who only shows moments of vulnerability around the lead male. For all her hardcore antics it's really baffling when Ange has to constantly depend on Tusk to bail her out of any given situation.
The next most noteworthy character is Tusk, also known as the only male character in the show outside of two of the antagonists. Tusk is the definition of a beta male, the kind of clumsy and passive character you expect to be the lead in a harem show. He claims to not be a pervert, but constantly finds himself face first in Ange's crotch and is ignorant and stupid enough to comment on her being "Blonde down there". It's another hallmark of the show's crass and tasteless writing when this supposed "nice guy" archetype doesn't know better than to say things like that.
The other characters don't fare much better (because let's face it, aside from Ange and Tusk no one really matters to the writers). One of the few characters of note is Hilda, who starts off being the perverse version of that girl in high school who is the leader of the popular cliches, and soon develops into a sexually confused teenager who claims to only be pretending to be a lesbian but then later molests Ange in the shower.
Then we have the smug snake Jill who uses everyone as her tools, the depraved nurse Maggy, Zola the rapist and Hilda's two cronies, Rosalie and Chris, and we have a wonderfully hackneyed trail mix of unlikable characters. Probably the only ones who come off as likable are Momoko, Ange's ditzy maid, Vivian, the cheerful to the point of being oblivious cutesy character, and Ersha, the stereotypical team mom.
And just because we couldn't get enough rape in this show, enter the man who has the stupidest name in the world, Embryo. This character only appears in the second half of the show, where the world surrounding the characters is finally elaborated on. He dishes out the brunt of the show's repetitive exposition, all the while mind controlling women into giving up their bodies for him. He also likes "strong, intelligent women" and becomes enamored with and determined to break the only woman who has ever been able to reject his advances. So basically, a rapist.
[ Enjoyment ]
The only enjoyment people seem to garner from this is either in its immensely sexual nature, or on how off-the-wall the show is, with some seeing the entire show as one big trolling attempt on Fukada's part (see Ep. 22).
For this viewer there was none to be had. Between the excessively sexualized nature of the show, how sloppy the story was written and how unlikable the majority of the cast is, Cross Ange is an anime that's pathetic at best and malicious at worst.
A show where its all female cast is literally treated as objects, forced into skimpy outfits, repeatedly demeaned and violated, while constantly spouting words like "skank" and "whore". It's crass, it's tasteless and as much as I don't like to use the word, it honestly comes off as sexist.
Cross Ange is a bizarre anime. On the surface, it seems to have all the tools it needs to be successful, compelling, and dare I say even thought-provoking.
Unfortunately, that's not what we end up with. Not even close. This realization came over me, not all at once, but very slowly as the series went on. By midseason, I was so utterly confused by what the show had become that I couldn't even begin to take it seriously as a creative work. Now that it's over I think it's time to really explore just what went wrong with Cross Ange.
It's difficult to pin down where
Cross Ange really shot itself in the leg, but the story certainly didn't help its case much. At the start, the setting presented seems to imply it will explore the cost of a utopia, the darkness of humanity, xenophobia and discrimination, and maybe even something on the topic of privilege if the writers were up for that. Early on it sets a dark, almost sadistic tone for itself that really left an impression on a lot of people, myself included. In addition, it featured elements of sci-fi, fantasy, and the supernatural that piqued my interest in a big way.
What we end up with is the story of one selfish and stubborn princess's journey to discover herself by stabbing and yelling her way out of every situation, all while getting molested by men and women alike. The plot elements that assist her violent trek through these lands perverted are creative, to be sure, but most of the time the larger, definitely more interesting narrative is overshadowed by Ange's temper tantrums and wacky escapades, like playing Twister and go-karts for most of an episode. Undue focus is placed on Ange, who is arguably one of the worst main characters of recent seasons (more on that later), and the resulting plot is boring, irritating, and above all unsuccessful at capitalizing on the extremely promising elements it had to work with. Instead we have low-brow ecchi antics (crotch-face-plants are the gag of choice here), a prison that feels more like an all-girls high-school (shoving a bra in the new girl's mech will show her, right?), and a villain who exists simply for the purpose of pissing the audience off (or turning them on, if watching a girl be forced to orgasm so hard she takes her clothes off is your thing). The plot progresses awkwardly, and most of the time it feels like the narrative is being forced to stagger along, like some Frankenstein's monster of cheap shock value, confused motivations, and lackluster plot twists.
Speaking of plot twists, this is an anime that clearly has no conceptualization of foreshadowing. Whenever something new happens, it's completely out of left field. It was painstaking at times to evaluate the quality of the plot because there's always so many unnecessary things going on at once, and what stood out was only the biggest chunks of information that were obviously meant to impress me and keep me watching. As a consequence, Cross Ange feels like it's living from plot point to plot point, dawdling along the way due to a complete lack of narrative direction. Honestly, ass-pulls are not made less insulting when you reveal at the end that they were there the whole time. That's something that should be established way beforehand, without the audience realizing it (looking at you, bullet proof frying-pan).
When the conclusion arrived, possible discussions of oppression were forsaken for a much simpler moral of "People have no right to force me to do things for them." In light of the series' extremely dark content, including but not limited to the gruesome deaths of children, copious amounts of blood/minor gore, and questionably necessary sex/nude scenes, some of which contain things that border on or are rape, its message and execution come off as both childish and unsatisfying. My expectations were raised too high by the series' use of controversial imagery, only to discover that controversial imagery was all there was in the end.
As the final insult, a majority of the answers the show provided for its many questions were largely unsatisfactory for me, but I will leave that to others to decode. I simply may have not been paying attention at an inopportune time.
You can see exactly how little Sunrise cared about this show etched into every frame. The lack of effort put in is almost shameful at times. Not only do characters consistently go off model, at times there doesn't seem to even BE a model in the first place. The art is colorful in an objective sense, but overall it feels boring and underwhelming. Clearly, all of the animation budget went into the breast art, of which there is an abundance.
The mechs look nice and were animated well for CGI, which is refreshing. In fact, the mech fights were usually well orchestrated. The dragons on the other hand, probably would have been better off being rendered like everything else.
As far as actual animation, many times it seems like they took every possible shortcut to make sure everything they animated was as simple as possible. Characters' movements are hollow and lifeless, and it really shows in some of the more "action" oriented sequences. There's nothing praiseworthy here. It's almost depressing to see how lacking every scene is.
The show's soundtrack is a mess. It's not exactly bad, but everything about it feels hammy and over the top. Every action scene is overlayed with nothing but strings and chanting, to the point that it's irritating. The first OP and second ED were fun to listen to, but the the second OP and first ED were underwhelming and did not fit the show in the slightest.
The voice acting is mediocre, which is a shame because there are actually some very impressive seiyuus in the cast. Unfortunately, none of them really get any moments to shine. Their performances are all made forgettable by the equally forgettable characters.
This is where I believe the show hits rock bottom the absolute hardest. The entire cast, no exceptions made, is composed of characters that are irritating, unsympathetic, shallow, immoral, or some combination thereof. Any excuse for character development is ushered in for plot reasons and then quickly abandoned when it is no longer convenient.
Ange above all is the worst offender the show has to offer. She starts out as a sheltered princess who has a habit of being stubborn, and ends up as a psychopathic narcissist who hypocritically refuses to be of use to others while she gets everyone around her killed because she can't break her penchant for ordering people around. Better yet, this same character has an existential crisis when she realizes she's killed a human at one point, only to later on start planting bullets in people's foreheads like it's her day job, or letting civilians get pancaked by debris dropped by the rest of the "heroes" during the climax, because it's not like the villain is capable of manipulating them into acting the way they did or anything, right? Obviously the massacre of hundreds of uninvolved parties is not worth even a raised eyebrow, no siree. Call it development if you want, but I call it a mental disorder. Keep in mind that this is portrayed in a /positive/ light all the while. Other characters are obsessed with her in spite of these behaviors and show inconceivable acceptance of her actions, to the point where it deprives them of all realism as characters. Rarely did anyone try to put her in her place, and I believe the two instances they did were brushed aside immediately afterwards never to be addressed again. Most complaints were always issued by "antagonists", and as such were quickly dismissed. I badly wanted her to be taken down a peg on multiple occasions, only for her to get coddled by her man or her maid and told she was perfect as she was. It bordered on sickening. Other characters still are just as depraved or selfish as Ange, sometimes more so, but no effort at all is made to add ambiguity or sympathy. They are all presented as objects to be despised or hated, not characters to develop and explore.
This includes the villain, who can actually be lumped in with the minor characters in terms of his development. His motivations make no sense. His drastically overpowered nature makes the entire plot seem like a bunch of ants trying to take on a freight train, yet he does nothing with his abilities for purely arbitrary reasons. He's not interesting. He's just a sad, gross allegory for abusive relationships that hits you over the head hard enough to /almost/ make you forget how bad of a character he is.
Of course, a couple characters get redeeming moments at the end, which is why this rating isn't a 1. I have to give the creator some credit, after all. However, this does not change the fact it's too little too late to atone for making me put up with 24 miserable episodes of watching a psychopathic princess berate everyone in her sight, seeing a supposed special forces operative who can slaughter a squad of grunts in only a couple seconds be reduced to a pathetic accidental pervert every time he's near her, and hearing that goddamn maid scream "ANGELISE-SAMA" every time something remotely stressful happens. Development is not unveiled like a surprise at the end, it is a journey you make with the character for the journey's sake.
None. I did not enjoy this anime. You might, others might, but this anime had nothing to offer me but senseless gore, unnecessary sexual content, and an unsatisfying plot and conclusion. It is not exciting. It is not amusing. It is not thought-provoking, and it is certainly not enjoyable. I will admit that for about the first three or four episodes I was totally on board with what it appeared to be doing (I believe my initial rating was an 8/10), but around the beach episode I realized it was all downhill from here on out. Watching each episode was an act of masochistic completionism and a sense of duty to see it through for the sake of this review.
Cross Ange can only be enjoyed if you completely disregard everything about its plot and characters and focus on the mech porn, gore porn, and lesbian porn. Even then the effect is marginal at best.
Everything you can do wrong with an anime, Cross Ange did wrong to some degree or another. It's a crude, immature excuse for a story that has shoddy animation and sound to accentuate just how awful it is. Do not let the weighted rating fool you. Please ignore this anime at all costs.
"Are you a fan of anime?
A fan of well-written and intricate plots which leave you completely speechless?
How about stories which are completely dark and riveting, while completely obscuring the moral boundaries which define human society?
Are you searching for a gem that will change how you view the world and force you to question the value a human life has?
Then look no further - as the masterpiece entitled 'Cross Ange' is the story you've been looking for!" - said no one ever (at least at the time of writing).
Then do you like Sunrise? (taken both ways, since you'll be seeing a lot of both)
If you answered
yes, then please read on for this review of a journey filled with much oppai, BDSM, mechas, and made-up words galore!
Do note that I'm an offensive person by nature, so I do apologise for anything further ahead
If I had to describe 'Cross Ange' in one single word; I'd have to choose the phrase 'Identity Disorder'. Tabling the fact that that's two words for now - I say this due to the fact that you're presented with an absolutely appalling princess of some generic utopia, who is an idol for the citizens and all their ilk. However, all is not well in genericutopialand as you might expect. This is due to the presence of third-class citizens who are termed as 'Norma'.
Now, these 'Norma', or as luck might have it, sounds similar to the word 'Normal'; and are just normal people, in that they are essentially plebeians like us people here in the real world. Meaning, they can't use magic. They are the minority and are thus prosecuted for some sort of obscure reasons, and are the stigma of humankind's evolution (Not our humankind, but the 'Cross Ange' mankind).
As this anime was produced by Sunrise, you should expect the obvious trademarks and troupes generic to everything they produce; like strife between a bunch of factions because reasons deem them necessary. You'll also see island episodes, romance, beautiful filial bonds and the long-awaited revival of Kira 'Jesus' Yamato. (Not that you can ever kill him)
The main character whose name was something along the lines of 'MaiAngelIkaMusumeMizugi,' is forced to join a ragtag group of girls and fight against dragon-esque creatures, which happen to be called DRAGONs because convoluted acronyms sound cool.
I realize I've digressed, but I'll get to my main point eventually.
In terms of characters, there are a bunch of girls to choose from if you're looking to find a new waifu. For example, early on in the story, you see two girls who try to make friends with MaiAngelIkaMusumeMizugi, otherwise known as 'Ange'. These two girls are waifu material in that, they make friends with Ange despite her contempt for them. Not only that, they are definitely crucial to the story since they have hair that is feasible for real-life people and don't appear in the opening at all. You've even got your pick of the litter with girls like Ange's friend no. 1 to 50. Top class waifu material if I do say so myself.
At any rate, just know that anybody who isn't a Norma is basically a bad person. As for the, rejects of society, they're all either full-blown lesbians or are bi-curious. If you're looking for a male relationship, then you're in awful luck, since there's only three male characters around. The most notable of which is pseudo-RitoKira. As you might expect of anyone who bears resemblance to either of them, he is capable of fixing strange machinery like Gunda- oops, I mean 'Para-Mail'. He is not only capable of being beaten up, but is also capable of living despite having a magnet embedded to his face which attracts him to Ange's crotch.
I have nothing much to say about Ange, other than the fact that she seems too good for the show. She's a very likable person for me, but she does seem to suffer from a chronic case of 'falls-in-love-with-king-of-NTR'. At one point, I even worried that he'd steal her position as main character. Luckily, he's as useless as any other harem protagonist. Not in an endearing way though.
I've been ranting too long, so I'll be brief about my main complaint. The plot. The plot started off simple, and I even considered it pretty decent at one point in time, but it breaks records in my book as the biggest piece of 'what the hell is this? I dont even...'. The plot jumps around so much that it seems to suffers from DID in trying to be so many things a la Samurai Flamenco.
Not only that, I even question what the hell went through the staff of Sunrise's minds when they decided on the premise of Dragons from the Nth dimension fighting robots piloted by the girls of Freezing. Whoever they were, I commend them for absolutely ruining what little remains of my good faith in Sunrise. I'm sure all two of them had fun self-inserting themselves in Tusk's place as he smothered himself in Ange's panties to death.
So in conclusion; if I'm asked (not that anybody would ask me) if this anime is worth watching.
I'd tell them 'sure, go ahead if you're a fan of kinky stuff'
If you ask whether it's dark.
Sadly the only thing dark here in this anime are the minds of its director, the lighting and the girls panties (in that case, it's be white censorship).
Fret not though, since Sunrise will always find a way to shine the morning light of their company on all that darkness through the entity of BD, and Ange's glare-inducing coloured hair.
Good job Sunrise!
Don't give up Sunrise!
Learn to CG Sunrise! (Computer Graphics, not Code Geass)
May you never produce anything better than Code Geass.
Curse you Sunrise!
Note that I'm making fun of them not out of spite, but because they're dear to me.
It's also for the sake of their own betterment. See, I'm not rude. I'm just Tsundere!
Aren't I just a great person? (I know I'm not, but just let me revel in my fantasies)
I'll rewrite or edit this review when I have the time.
I have a lot more to say, but I'll do that another time if need be.
Note that I haven't finished the series yet, so I may change my opinion.
Disclaimer: This review is my own opinion, take it for what its worth. I will be breaking this down into the stages MAL uses for rankings as there is a lot to cover with this one. As normal I will do my best not to spoil and keep it to the broad strokes. In addition I will worn you now. Watching this with friends is a no no. YES it is a bit risque, YES there are some very confronting things about this show, but that is not what I am talking about. There are a lot of girls in this one, to the point
wear there are like 4 male characters. And this mas of girls is hot and I mean HOT. I am telling you this now because I will not be held responsible for starting waifu war 4. Why 4? Simple! Because we all know waifu war 3 started when HuniePop was released, get with the times people. Que theme music aaaaaand GO!
Cross Ange: Tenshi to so on and so forth is an action, sci-fie, ecchi... ish anime that dose a splendid job of just about everything. It was a masterfully crafted peace from start to finish with only a small handful of what one might call "glaring" flows to it, but I don't want to scare you off it so I will leave them until later, like right at the end. For now, I must gush like the fan boy I am.
This was without question one of the best things I have watched in at least a year. I was in love with this anime right from the first episode. It was fast paces but was not afraid to slow down the tiniest amount when it wanted you to feel things. It plays with the full gambit of emotions. Love, hate, sorrow and a hole bunch of others I cant seem to name coz well... I'm a guy, but trust me they are there and in spades. Not going to lie, there was a point in time this show jerked a tear out of my eye. Other times I was literally laughing out loud, right before being angry for the same reason. It was like a roller coaster of emotion, not a crazy one but from episode to episode it definitely gets you. Some of the time the feelings are not the sort you should have for animated girls but hey, that's never stopped us before am I right internet? The big kicker to it all though is that its all about the basics of human nature. The need to be in control or how we don't relay function alone. The fact that they tell the story with fuck off robots is just gravy. Ok that may have been a bit of spoils but if you haven't gotten that from the first two eps your likely watching this anime for the wrong reasons. 10 for 10 on enjoyment. Moving on...
This first thing that hit me about this anime was the outstanding use of colour. I am a devout follower of the high and mighty "Lord Vivid Colours" and I can say without a doubt this anime would pleas him. The pallet was vast, all the colours and not just a splash on a brown back drop modern day FSP style. What starts as a peaceful setting drenched in bright pinks, yellows, blues and whites gos down a darker path as the mood of the show changes. The are quickly replaced by blacks, grays and reds but stay with me I am not taking back what I said earlier. It takes an episode or two but the colours return in full force as the disposition of the characters improve and the reality of the world sets in. When the mood is good the colours are bright. When it is bad the pallet changes to reflect it. It is as much a part of the story as anything else and it helps immensely with the fast pacing of the show that there are visual ques like this to help keep the viewer on track. On a less ranty note the art over all was very well done with a lot of sharp lines and easily identifiable shapes, nothing just blended into the back ground. Each peace of furniture and the people on screen were easily recognizable but it very rarely felt cluttered. The distinct lack of copy and paste throughout the show was also very refreshing. 10/10 art team, well done.
Next down on the list of numbers is the characters. Good ol' characters. You know what? There are lots of them and they are good. Not what you might call amazing but considering the pace of the show (fast as hell), I think they have done really well. Almost everyone has at leas a minor bit of character development no matter how short there life span may be or how close to the main story they are. And on the off chance they don't get developed they are acknowledged strongly enough that you know they are real. No single character feels phoned in and aside from the occasional mob there is no mas melding of opinion, people are always butting heads over something. There are plenty of twists in the development of the main toon pile as well and most of the time it is a bit of a surprise. I say surprise and mean it but occasionally there are some ill timed or even impossible shifts in mood. This is another factor the dev team seemingly utilized in the telling of the story that mostly worked in there favor... mostly. As I mentioned before in my disclaimer there is a lot of girls in this one and it IS a touch ecchi so there was bound to be a good amount of.... let us say lesbianism going around. This is not entirely forced though. On many occasions it is in fact used to make a point about the world they are living in or to legitimately build character. Some times it works quite well as a point puter acrosser, but other times it falls short, and then there are times when it is just strait up fan service. It was unavoidable but it is also mostly good..... 8/10 characters let us move on.
SOUND! Not a lot to say on this one. I am not one to pay much attention to the sound in anime, or anything really. Due to my work I have a gift for hearing when something is wrong but that is about it. With that being said I didn't hear anything wrong as fare as the soundtrack went in this one. The action pacing of it did mean there was always some sort of music going so a lot the background was drowned out but the fight noises were responsive and seemed different enough that they didn't just meld into explosion. Normally this sort of thing would only warrant a 6 or 7 from me but in this case its a solid 8 from the theme music. It just fits. I don't know what the words are in English, I didn't have that sub file, but it sounded right. So 8/10.
Now the hard sell. Story. I say hard for what seems like a number of reasons, but relay its just one. I found it SUPER hard to pick up and follow over all. It seemed to take forever for the story to kick in and then it would piss off for an episode or two and come back. The hole thing was just so fast paced that each episode up until the last third felt like individual events that some how strung together. It was a simple mater to pick up on the "foreshadowing" for me but I cant say if that's because it was obvious or just my veteran status picking up the right bits. I know I have already told you how much I loved the different methods used to tell the story and I do stand by what I said. But telling a story well doesn't make it a good story. The problem being that this IS a good story. It is deep and full of emotion, conflict and real issues that face the human race, though it is a tad embellished (meh its anime). They just over paced it. It felt like they had something truly great in the works.... and then they gave it to Michael Bay. All being said there were no plot holes for me to dig out and the last 8 or so episodes saved it hard. I will be re watching this one down the line, probably after its dubbed, just to see if I can follow it a bit better. It dose have a somewhat "Blade Runner" feel to it in that I think I would understand more the second time around. So right now I am going with a soft 6. It was a good story when I could find it and it was told brilliantly and in interesting ways. But I can say it irked me how long it took to kick in and was defiantly not my favorite thing about this show.
So to cap it all off. Right from the start this show goes hard. Balls to the wall. It's speed setting goes from about 8 up to 11+. It throws things at you constantly in what I assume is an attempt to keep you from following the story 100% but keep you entertained enough to keep watching, and it dos it SO well. All is grand with this show and I would say to all seasoned anime watchers to get on it. On the flip side though, if you are new to the sport of anime watching I would let this one rest till you have a winter or two under your belts. I have been at this game for almost twenty years (that's right I started animes when I was 7), and it took me a bit to latch on to this. I mean, I may just be a dumb ass. Stranger things have been proven true. But as a rule of thumb I find I pick up on things in anime quit well. I stand by the Masterpiece ratting I have given and defy any who think otherwise, but that's what the Internets are for and as I said, personal opinion.
I have been Kergen and you have been reading this review. CONGRATS and go forth to bigger and better anime.
I can say with great confidence that Cross Ange is one of the trashiest, garbage series I have watched in quite a while. Its ridiculous amounts of over the top fan service and emphasis on shock and awe scenes are legitimate lunacy. However, after the travesty that is the first few episodes a compelling story begins to rise from the muck that is Cross Ange and give people a legitmate reason to keep watching besides the fanservice and some some good mecha action.
The story begins by introducing us to our main heroine Ange, who lives in a world where magic is a used daily,
and those without magic are a persecuted group of people called the Norma. Ange is pretty unlikable for the first few episodes, as she clings to the fact that Normas are inferior, despite the fact that she is revealed to be a Norma herself, apparently not realizing that not using Mana once in your life is a tell tale symptom. From there she is shipped off to a Norma prison island and told that she has to fight DRAGONs to save humanity, why in all caps? Apparently Sunrise thought it looked cool. From there Ange is introduced to the other Norma, who are all young girls, and the fanservice begins, and it's literary ridiculous. There's some weird rapey scenes, lesbian three ways to keep the plot moving, and Ange is naked for about 60 percent of her on screen time, a trend continues as the series moves on. The first few episodes will test if you are ready for this series, from going for over the top shock affect on issues such as racism, lots of nudity, and little girls getting lopped in half by giant dragons. It is as ridiculous as it sounds, and it sometimes hilarious to watch the over the top nature, and the series seems pretty self aware of just how trashy and bad it is. The cast of side characters initially aren't very important to the plot or are given much attention, besides the leader Salia and the head lesbian Hilda. There is also a guy named Tusk who lives on an island and rescues Ange at some point, and all of their conversations consist of him accidentally bury his head in her crotch or something like that, than Ange shouts "baka" and beats the crap out of him. That is basically a summary of that episode. However Tusk shows some interesting characteristics as well as brings up some mysteries about the world of Mana.
The story starts to pick up near the end of the first half, when the narritive shifts from the island back to the mainland, where we are given a lot more depth into Hilda's character that makes her much more likable and understandable, and we once again see how ingrained the fear of the norma is in the people who use Mana. However a large battle breaks out on the Norma battle island, and during this battle we are introduced to the main villain Embryo, whose main attack as well as the other special mechas is powered by song. I wish I was making some of this up, but it seems like Sunrise started throwing crap at a wall until it stuck. The story starts to get more and more interesting after this point, and has some twists and shows us how exactly the earth has ended up in this state and the true nature of the DRAGONs, and some honestly genuine twist regarding the cast of characters and how they have been manipulated by the great Embryo, and seeing how he played off the weaknesses of each girl makes him a cool character to watch. They start throwing a lot of science jargon around during the end that feels like it could be replaced with a recording of Jesse Pinkman saying, "science bitch" over and over as it seems like they are just sputtering straight nonsense. Also there is a ridiculous deus ex machina near the end that left in tears as it tried to explain how a frying pain stopped a bullet and can also apparently save you from falling into a ravine and getting hit by an exploding car, its like they suddenly realized these characters are integral to the plot and has never heard of the no take back rule. But in all honesty, the second half is a vast improvement and has an interesting plot that can suck you in.
The characters are very diverse, with most falling in the categories of being Ange, wanting to bone Ange, or strongly disliking Ange because they want to be her. Ange falls in the being Ange category, and starts off pretty dislikable, but quickly turns into the chosen one who pilots the special mech with great skill and cares deeply for her comrades and friends. Tusk falls into the wanting to bone her category, and is a skilled fighter and nice guy who helps out the Norma and is considered to be Ange's knight, which as a side effect grants invulnerability. Salia is the leader and falls into the hate us because they ain't us category, and is initially a fairly competent leader who keeps a steady head, but is insecure due to the fact that she was not chosen and Ange was. Hilda wants to bone Ange and starts off unlikable, but as she learn more about her and she softens up she is a fairly likable character who goes through some nice development. Embryo wasnt to bone Ange, is the ridiculous Op bad guy with a justified God Complex, and is actually interesting to watch how he toys with others and manipulates them to accomplish his will. i was also impressed with the later development of some of the other side characters, as it really shows what's going through their heads and proves they are more than just boobs and ass.
Overall Cross Ange is a train wreck, but is one that you can;t turn away from. It's over the top scenes can make it hilarious, and it seems aware of this fact which is honestly pretty funny. the fan service is up to ridiculous levels, and I would advise if you choose to watch this series do it in a sealed room because if someone walks in on you during some of the more fanservicey scenes you are going to have some explaining to do. The plot really gets going as the show completes it's run, but you have to put up with the trash that is the first few episodes and be able to take a ready helping of fan service. Cross Ange is definitely an experience, and one i would recommend giving a try, even if you can hear cackling Sunrise execs counting their money as you watch the literal crap they put out that somehow turned out to be pretty good. Nest year we'll probably have a mecha series featuring fully naked girls fighting GRIFFINs in space while trying to bring down two gods in a separate dimension, with a healthy dose of lesbian three ways, but that goes without saying.
Oh boy this is going to be quite the controversial review to make, The main reason because of how much the show has really made the people who watched it so divided by those who think its good and those who think its bad. Il try to go into detail as to explain what are the pros and cons of this show and maybe dwell why so many people either hate it or dislike it.
The series is either a hit or a miss…it is a hit because it focuses a lot of how society functions especially towards the discrimination of others which are different and
how they threaten the stability and comfort they already have, as well as what it means to find your own since of individuality and since of moral towards around you, especially of the main heroine who developed from a spoiled, rotten and naive individual into a strong, intelligent, wise and caring leader.
But it can also be a miss cause of the highly controversial subjects and the extremities of certain scenes as well plot holes and plot armour some of the characters get.
I don’t know what happened at the studio that produced it but u can practically speculate there was a lot of confusion and divided opinion as to how this show was developed especially towards the beginning of the series.
As a matter of fact if u compare the first 5 or so episodes to the rest of the series, it is like watching two different shows altogether.
The Animation was fantastic at times, especially in the fight scenes but in others the animation looked sloppy and messed up, the soundtrack on the other hand was probably the best thing the show had and the singing of the actors was superb for the most part.
The characters were the second best thing that the series had, as their development throughout the show was something good to see, especially the main heroine as well as few of the side characters, but they are not perfect as there were a few character flaws that were really obvious or just to cliché that sometimes it makes u want to cringe and while the main characters and a few of the side characters did get proper development others were not so lucky in that some of them just simply hid in the background and never got much to say or do at all.
The Sec jokes and fan-service might appeal to those who like it and not so much for those who don’t especially since some of the fanservice and jokes were used were so overused and repetitive that it makes u sick to watch after a while.
thankfully these things dropped as the series went on and were not as much frequent as they were in the beginning.
At the end I would say this show is either a hit or a miss depending on what a person is actually expecting from this show. There is also that old saying that a show is so bad that it is good and this series would defiantly be a perfect example for that.
Bottom line: as an enjoyment I would rate it an 8,,, however as a whole series taken into account actually story writing, plot development, animation and characters, flaws and derps I would rate this a 6.75… as this show really could have been done better…what made it enjoyable despite this was mostly that by the middle of the series the series actually starts to thrive and use it flaws to make it more fun to watch.
This show is so horrible I am visibly impressed. Every other reviewer will have commented on the synopsis (or you may have wondered here due to the debate surrounding this show), so I'll skip straight to judgement.
Sex, Nudity and the like.
Unlike most other reviewers who rated this show horribly, I do not have (many) problems with the portrayal of nudity, yuri elements and rape in this show. The first episode isn't the problem, it is the structure, backbone and texture of the show which got to me. Also, blatant nudity and/or rape scenes do NOT make a show edgy. Read Punpun if you want
a realistic portrayal of the consequences of abuse. The show sits firmly in the harem/yuri/man-child fantasy genre, and while this does not excuse its portrayal of women, it is reality in anime.
Tl:dr for everything below: don't bother watching this anime for character development, unless you think Guilty Crown was deep. In which case, watch, and ignore this review. You would miss the point I am trying to make and then flame me anyway.
Ange as a character is often praised for having mature and realistic plot development. Her character is viewed as a strong female protagonist, and therein lies the problem. Firstly, I find issue with her character growth. Ange changes from a bigoted, ignorant princess to a tough, independent warrior in the space of six episodes. Throughout the rest of the series, she remains said tough, independent warrior. How in the world is this mature character development? Realistic character development occurs when a character changes so slowly you do not realize the character changed at all. Realistic development is when (spoiler alert for HxH) Gon snaps, and you suddenly realize that Gon's fearlessness and conviction is horrible, not heroic. You will then scroll back to the first episodes of Hunter X Hunter, wondering how this cheerful boy snapped, and you see that the author has been building up Gon's view of the world as black and white since the first episodes. You see the ways Gon ignores advice and is constantly convinced he's right. He's so charismatic that you (and Killua) forgets that Gon is a naive 10 year old boy who will be wrong at some point. Then the understanding dawns on you that Gon (and you) have been taught a lesson in how to behave in the world. (End spoiler for HxH). This does not happen in Cross Ange. How has Ange's character deepened throughout the series? She learns humility. She learns that the world is a horrible place. She learns to make decisions for herself. These messages are explicitly thrown at us, with characters saying them outright, repeating themselves over and over. Ange is shallow enough of a character that you can't portray depth in her, hence the need for the show hammering "Look! Ange is now developing (insert moral strength here)!" repeatedly into our brains. So Ange learns humility. Now what? What does she do with it? How is this newly found humility reconciled with her previous arrogance? ( hint: she's still arrogant, only now her arrogance is directed toward the 'evil royal sibling', so it is all okay). So she realizes that the world she knew and had control over is an illusion, easily shattered by a few words and a mana shield cast the the right time. How did she address her helplessness? She became a cold badass warrior (whines in pain as golden opportunity for complex development vanishes). Does she admit that the world is ultimately out of her control? No. Is the world out of her control? No, because she is the protagonist and has the power to change the 'system'. It's certainly a fun trope to watch (remember Lelouch from Code Geass?), but it is hardly realistic.
Secondly, the claim that she is a strong female protagonist irritates me. Why must a strong female protagonist be a gun-toting, independent sexy female? Why does her fighting her own battles makes her a stronger female character? This is coming from a feminist, so it will be hard to swallow. Skip on to the next paragraph for non-feminist criticism if you don't want to read this. Female protagonists are complicated. Make them into male protagonists with a female body and you have Ange. Make them too weak, and you have a non-existent character. Ange goes too far on the macho route. She is physically superior to most other characters in the show, despite being raised a princess. She is a textbook-tsundere, insulting people while (deep deep deep deep inside) sometimes caring for them. Remember Asuka from Neon Genesis? Ange is Asuka. But with more piloting skill and without the beautiful disintegration of the character near the end. She is the kind of female protagonist that makes me cringe whenever people name her as an example of a strong female character. As much as I wish female characters can be badass and invincible, having a strong female protagonist is more than toughness. It is understanding female limitations. It is realizing that we are fundamentally different from men, and embracing those differences. It is about portraying us as people, rather than as a sexualized, 'I will never cry' masculine female. We see none of this in Ange.
So Bad It's Good:
I honestly think the author is making a parody with this. The humor and self depreciation that runs through the show makes it better than shows like Guilty Crown, which are inherently horrible AND take themselves altogether too seriously. The author frequently injects moments that keeps me watching until the end because I am half convinced that he/she is making fun of the audience. Take the last episode, for example. (spoiler alert) What self respecting show will have the female lead shout " I won't let you have me, you lecherous man!" while slicing apart the main villain? Also, the villain's main goal being 'I want beautiful independent women' is so ridiculous I thoroughly enjoyed myself throughout the second arc of the show. How about the younger sister going around with a whip? What the hell is happening? (End spoilers). If the anime had wanted edgy, they would have gone the Elfen Lied route, also known as 'killing puppies' induced feels. It feels like the writers started writing this god awful script, and some drunk guy at a party decided to challenge the writers to put the most ridiculous things they could get away with into the script without alerting the audience to the game. Honestly, it is entertaining. But so are many many other anime without the horrible eechi and yuri elements.
Complex Themes ( 1/10 i.e.: What themes? There were themes?!)
Rather than rant about the complete lack of "complex themes" within this anime, I'll provide examples of other anime where they were executed properly, and you can judge for yourself how well this anime deals with themes.
Rape to break the character's will: I'll give this one to Cross Ange, although honestly, the shock value trumps the emotional reward its resolution brings. I've already elaborated on how horribly Ange grows as a character, and this scene is mainly so we feel sorry for the main character. Also you cannot bring in "realism" and then have crazy things happening. It does not work that way. The prefect way to communicate dread and agony through abuse is perfectly done in Punpun, not in this anime.
Manipulation by powers that be/Discrimination: Watch Shinsekai Yori. That show does not need to use a well loved princess to prove that a certain race can be bred to hate another. You will viscerally feel the hate, I promise. Bonus: yuri scenes in Shinsekai, yay! Psycho pass can be another, though Shinsekai pulls it off better.
Clear communication/need for understanding: This. Good lord. Neon Genesis Evangelion dedicates about 99% of the show to demonstrate that clear communication between actual human beings is impossible. Clear communication is impossible. That is a fact we have to work around, not emphasize that ' if we could all just talk to one another properly, it will be fine!'. That is why relationships are messy and friends end up killing one another. Talking to one another will not solve the problem. Talking to one another while wielding giant robots definitely will not solve the problem. Stop telling me it would, baka anime!
Warning, do not watch. You will waste about 13 hours of your life watching while clutching your head, and a further four hours typing up a review so you can forever expel the anime from your head.
Simply put, Cross Ange is a masterpiece in my eyes. Many will say "But Ruggarell, just HOW? CROSS ANGE? MASTERPIECE? WHAT?". Let me explain.
Before Cross Ange aired last year, I saw it on the upcoming list of Anime that was coming out in the fall and being a fan of Ecchi it seemed like it would have a decent amount, so I gave it a go. I thought that I would have most likely would have dropped it anyway if the Ecchi segments weren't strong, but boy I got something entirely different. From the first 15 minutes of the Anime, it was blowing my mind.
The world that Cross Ange was set in was not indeed an equal or fair one.
The 1st episode of Cross Ange made or broke the entire show for a lot of people but I was one of the few ones who kept going because of how exciting it was. Ange, the Main character, was the daughter of a very wealthy family and pretty much lived a comfortable lifestyle you see. Most of the world used magic as an everyday thing. Those who couldn't were seen as outsiders and thus rejected from society in very unpleasant ways that you will have to watch to find out. Ange, the MC was accused of being an outsider for not being able to use magic(Called normas), and thus sent to a prison.
The 1st episode of Cross Ange was so well executed and so well made that I never missed a single week of the Anime. Each week had me on the edge of my seat waiting for something insane to happen and oh boy it did each and every week. You will have to watch for yourself. The character personalities are just so good and diverse that you will end up loving(or hating) many characters. The story is just so well paced that I couldn't possibly find anything wrong at all.
If I were to write a list of every Anime that aired in 2014-2015 and someone asked me which one I loved the most, it would be Cross Ange. It's an Anime I will love forever because of how each episode was so well made. The story never let up at all. The director and writers always wanted you to be scared of what will happen next. It also had some dark humor in between as well that reminded you of the world that Ange lived in. Along the way she meets very crazy characters as well.
I honestly wish that I could watch Cross Ange all over again for the first time because of how insane it is. You might possibly cry and become depressed because there aren't anymore episodes to enjoy. I know I did. I loved the characters that much.
Thank you Sunrise thank you so so much for yet another masterpiece. Here is hoping for a Cross Ange 2.
I really looked forward to this anime, and when I saw all the good reviews, I was certain it was going to be good, but boy was I wrong! I will go through why I gave this anime as low as a 3, which I very rarely do.
The story sounded very interesting on paper, but when you actually watch it, you notice that its filled with plotholes, and a massive amount of stupid fanservice. If you're into hentai, go watch that shit and not regular anime.
Its not good, but its not bad either.
The mecha and effects are pretty good, the background however feels a little boring.
The opening, ending and songs/Audio inbetween are pretty good, few complaints there, sound is in my opinion the best aspect of the anime.
Boy, do the characters in this show suck, all they do is touch eachother and bitch. + there's the stupid guy MC who's weak and has all these shitty pervert accident moments, hopefully this anime will end in them all dying.
The only enjoyment I got from watching so far was when people died.
This sounded interesting on paper, but when you actually watch it, it lacks a lot. I was suprised how this got so good ratings, but I guess horny 12 year olds like anime too.
This review was re-submitted, its my first one. What annoys me is that people dont rate reviews if they're good or not, they rate them if they agree or not.
Right well let's get to it, Cross Ange was a trainwreck from a start, it starts off happy like "Oh yay i'm the next heir to the throne of a massive futuristic city!" To "Holy shit I am the most hated human being in the entire city." in just one mere episode. I only decided to watch it because the the site I watch said anime on had tagged it with comedy.
The first few episodes were a little weird, some being filler and some having blatant lesbians fucking but I honestly can't say it's bad the art is pretty decent, the soundtrack is pretty amazing
and though the story line was a little weird at first it actually slowly got better as time progresses and you learn that some of the characters who were mean to Ange weren't actually half bad in the end.
Came to watch thinking it'd be like infinite stratos, stayed because of the story.
Let's cut to the chase. ignore the ecchi, ignore the asspulls, ignore the budget on the animation, and you have an amazing anime. The plot was well thought out and good job to the writers. Never have I watched an anime where the characters seem to have more than one dimensional thinking and actually developed like decent human beings.
Loved the unique storyline. It put a real twist on mecha series.
I thought the art was amazing at times. Animation was also great with fluid motions. Only downfall was some budgeted
animation where background trees, buildings, and people looked like potatoes but all is well. Some action scenes were cookie cutted from episode to episode but what mecha doesn't do that??
Character? 11/10 (if only)
I thought the characters were amazing. Each one had their own story. Each one had their own personality. They weren't stuck with one attitude. It actually felt like they had human minds with human emotions. Development was overall fantastic.
Hey guys! This is my very first review so I hope it being long doesn't bother you guys too much but I'll try my best to explain each category and why I absoutely loved this show. I'm not really into mecha, but ironically Code Geass is one of my favorite shows of all time. A few days ago, I stumbled upon Cross Ange and the first thing that caught me was the female lead, no not in a sexual way, what I meant was it's refreshing to see a main female lead, especially in action shows. So I decided to watch (binge watched the whole
day for maximum experience) without really expecting anything, and by the time the show was finished, I just had to write a review.
Now onto the review...
Story: Not the most original concept of stories but the way the plot revolved around its own universe was really thrilling. The world revolved around magic called "Mana" and people who can't use it are discriminated. That's story revolves around Ange, our blonde main female lead, who is the First Princess of her own country and how she copes with the world they are in.
Art: Well, nothing is really special about the art, but it does look great although the quality of the animation isn't very consistent. One thing that's very obivous is the CGI for this show, especially the mecha animations which honestly isn't the best looking, but then it's not just about the mechas, it's more on the story that drove me to look past it.
Sound: Why an 8? The OP is amazing, it's upbeat and thrilling to hear, fitting for an action anime and is sung by Nana Mizuki, also the VA for Ange. Cross Ange has a lot of quality VAs, and I'm not gonna list each and everyone of them, but what captivated me the most are the songs sung by our quality VAs like Yui Horie and Nana Mizuki. The show DOES use singing during the action scenes but you'll understand if you watch why. The EDs were pretty forgettable though.
Character: Oh boy, I don't know whether to hate or love the characters but, mainly Ange's team or "harem" as people like to call it. Ange, the main character, has one of the most amazing developments in any anime I have ever seen and her character was consistent to the very end. She starts out as a bitchy, arrogant princess but she slowly turns into one very fitting of a 'hero'. The supporting charscters are what baffled me because some of them do have great development, like Hilda, I swear she is easily one of the best characters out of the show or any anime at least. However the other characters pretty much zigzagged throughout the show. Like their traits, motives are unexplained and such. But still that's just a minor problem that does not really bother the show unless you like nitpicking.
Enjoyment: Not gonna lie here, this show is one of my favorite shows of all time, and one of the reasons why I enjoyed it is the fanservice. Yes, this show has fanservice dating back even to the very first one. I know this show isn't very well received and a lot have dropped it in 2 episodes only since they saw how shameless the fanservice was or what a "trainwreck" this will be, however, I was not deterred by the early fanservice, and I loved the yuri antics throughout, yes YURI. So, why is fanservice a good factor for the enjoyment? Because it's shameless! It doesn't hide this or that and isn't afraid to show scenes happening and we all know half-assed fanservice is very annoying. But the fanservice alone isn't the only thing that captivated me, the way the story presented all throughout, the hardships of Ange and her team to the very end is what made this show memorable and lovable.
Overall: Every show has its flaws and Cross Ange is no different, but of course nothing is perfect. This show easily gets a 9 because it knows what it is and it doesn't hide that fact. If you enjoy a good story with great character interaction with fanservice thrown here and there, then you're in for a thrilling ride. If you are one of those people that tend to nitpick each and every small detail of flaws or mistake and expect a lot, then don't bother. However, I do highly suggest you give this show a chance.
I haven't written a review in a long while. Mainly due to the fact that MAL got rid of the "Not Helpful" option for reviews, but I digress. Watching this fucking show enraged me so much that I couldn't hold back from throwing all of my pure, unadulterated hatred at it by writing a review. So sit back and enjoy my review of this shitty Sunrise show from 2014 called Cross Ange.
Hope I'm not too rusty.
[There's spoilers all over this review]
I went into this with whatever can be considered less than no expectations. Really I can't even remember why I wanted to watch it
in the first place. Maybe it was that I heard the main character was kind of a bitch (she is), or that I wanted to get my monthly dose of bad fanservice mecha series, fuck if I know. Now despite all that, I watched the first 3 episodes, and was pleasantly surprised. It set up this princess girl Angelise as an idealistic prim and proper dunce who would kill a child if it wasn't like the rest of them, only to tear down everything she believed in, and make her change her ways. Violently forced away from her utopian world, and taken to the unfriendly Arzenal. She was beaten, harassed, defiled, and left with nothing but her self left in the world. With nothing left to believe in, she decided that she indeed would gonna change. She cut her hair and turned into Ange, a straight up bitch who takes no shit from nobody. Now whether you believe that to be good character development or not, it's something at the very least. And it's more than I'd seen in a long while from a protagonist. There was actual change there, and I respected it for happening.
Continuing on now, there's a bunch of lesbian sex scenes, ass shots in the mechs, censored tits and whatnot, blah blah blah, and then Ange wants to go back home. Because her bratty bitch of an Imouto calls for help. She doesn't go back alone though, along with her comes Hilda, fiery redheaded twin tails girl. Another bitch who takes no shit from nobody, but has a goal of her own. She wants to get back home to see her mom who she was separated from years before. They both set their differences aside and set out together, then go their separate ways. When both of them realize that they were fools for even thinking of going back, they get captured, beaten, mocked, nearly die, and then go back to Arzenal. I don't know whether or not that whole sequence was like some kind of social commentary on how society becomes moronic and conforms to whatever they're told to no matter how stupid it is, or like how we insult and degrade those who aren't the same as us, I don't know. I feel like the show was accidentally making sense. Anyway, Hilda and Ange are thrown in a jail cell for a week together for deserting Arzenal. Now, these two really hated each other. But being confined in this tight space together for a long period of time would make them have to connect with each other to make sense of all that has happened. They had both gone home, and befell similar consequences, and they were able to flesh themselves out with each other in that jail cell. I'll sit here and say that was the best scene in the entire show. Then, they go and make a promise to each other that they'll destroy this awful world, this world that has wronged them for so long. And then episode 11 ends. And so ends everything good about this series.
I'll be honest. I loved the first 11 episodes. I really did. Sure there were tons of things that were just all over the place, but I found a way to really like it. Every character put on screen had some kind of genuine motivation to them, and they felt like real characters for once. They all developed in some ways, no matter how subtly, and it was very interesting to watch. They even began touching upon a possible relationship between Hilda and Ange, which would've been very very interesting, due to how they originally acted towards one another, and how they're lives had intertwined since. But alas, everything I could've wanted to happen, just, well...didn't. And there's one man to blame for it.
Tusk, I wanted him dead the entire show. This guy, this fucking guy. He comes in early on and helps Ange out of a jam, and I'd hoped I'd seen the last of him, but knew that couldn't be the case because he was so prominent in the Opening. I knew that he would drag this show down. There was no doubt in my mind. And low and behold, he did. The basis of his character can be summed up in few words. He's a guy (there's only really 2 in the whole fucking show), he falls in love with Ange after meeting her once, he inexplicably falls on her crotch 1534289069 times, and...nevermind that's it. He comes in as this living, breathing, infectious pile of generic blandness that single handedly destroys everything good in this show. Ange had new found morals, a new found goal, and was bound to turn into a regular ol anti hero we could all get on board with. But no, Tusk comes in and ruins everything. If you remove him from the show entirely, it wouldn't make a single difference. If you just replace everything he did, with Hilda doing the same, or Ange just being alone, it would've made the show much better. Rather than delve deeper into this budding relationship between Hilda and Ange, they throw Hilda away for a while in order to "strengthen the bond" between Tusk and Ange. Every time he was on screen I was filled with anger. He could not be more generic, and I've grown to absolutely disdain generic male characters in anime. There was no effort made towards making him into a decent character. If he wasn't so generic I probably wouldn't mind as much.
My main issue with him is the relationship between he and Ange. See, Ange comes off as this strong, independent, fearless girl who can do anything she wants and get anything done. But once she meets Tusk, all of that is thrown out the window. She completely changes her goal, and completely forgets about everything that's happened to her along the way. "Oh I've been beaten and spit on and psychologically damaged and possibly raped and nearly died at the hands of all humans, but I met this one guy so everything is okay now". It shouldn't have gone this way. It could've been something special, but no. Leave it to anime to add generic bullshit to something that was getting interesting only to ruin everything they set up. Fuck. Anyway, later HE DIES. He fucking blows himself up (or at least that's what was implied). All of my prayers were answered. But then, of course, for no explainable reason, he comes back, without even a scratch. Doesn't even tell us how he got back to his house, he must've just teleported there or something I don't fucking know.
And then they have 12 hours of intercourse.
Tusk ruined this show. And, while I may be overstating how good I think the first half was, it still was really captivating, even if for all the wrong reasons. If this had just stayed true and turned into a yuri fanservice mecha series throughout, with Hilda as best girl, than this would've been something I'd hold near and dear. But no. Fucking Tusk. Not only the worst character in this show, but I'd argue one of the worst in anime period. Never have I seen one man bring down an entire show just from his mere existence. Just tragic. I don't know if I'm the only one who feels this, but, whenever a romance happens on screen that I really don't like, it like, genuinely hurts to watch it unfold. Like, you know it's going to happen, and you know you can't do anything to stop it. I don't know man, it was painful. Shows that need no romance and yet have romance thrown into them just to appeal to more of a dumbass audience that appreciates these contrived relationships really irk me. I really wish romance could've just stayed out of it completely to tell you the truth. This originally felt like Akatsuki no Yona without Hak for a while (they both cut their hair too). Though I liked it even more when they isolated Ange as opposed to giving Yona a shoulder to cry on. Ange was left alone, and had she stayed alone, it could've made for better storytelling.
If you made it this far, thanks for reading my review (If this can even be called a review). I was more so venting my steam ranting than trying to make a compelling argument but I hope you had fun reading nonetheless. This felt like by far the most elitist I've sounded in a review, I guess I'm evolving. I'm becoming more and more aware of how bad the anime coming out are, and am starting to lose my faith in the industry as a whole. This show did not help with that. I never drop anime, which leads to me torturing myself with bad shit a lot. And this show just teased me, made me think it was good for a while, only to crumble under itself later. If I ever quit watching anime, I'll look to Cross Ange as the show that really did me in. If that is ever reason enough to tell you not to watch a show, well, then I don't know what is.
Before i even begin reviewing this, let's get one thing out of the way -
This anime at best looks something Clamp would draw on a bad day and at worst, looks like the Gundam animators were trying to draw with toothpicks.
Sunrise really gutted this one in terms of production values; But what you sacrifice in budget, you gain in artistic integrity and auteur-ship.
There's no other anime that's been as daring with it's plot, it's characters and it's sound design as this. The entire anime is almost composed by Akiko Shikata, who honestly should have equal credit with the director considering how much of this anime
is influenced by her music. The tone, the story, the fight scenes, the mise-en-scene are all dictated by and almost conducted by Akiko Shikata's music. The best way to describe this is watching an Orchestra performance, or an Opera.
Which is appropriate, considering how closely this comes to the latter.
Angelise, a princess within the Misurugi Empire lives within a society in which people known as Norma [notably all women] are sidelined and discriminated against. When it is discovered that she herself is a Norma, she is quickly captured, detained and forced to discover a world which she had been oblivious to as a princess - a world in which day and night, she is forced to fight Dragons for people who care very little for her well-being.
Cross Ange, at it's core, is above being an anime about race and intolerance. It's an anime about a woman's sexuality, and her awakening to the realities to the treatment of others of her kind. It should be noted that there's a pretty graphic sequence at the beginning of this anime that signals at sexual assault, and the main character's refusal to be subdued and held down by this. Then, she discovers men, women and faces against a man who would do everything to turn her into a sexual object.
Perhaps one aspect of this which was a missed opportunity was the connection between Vivian and Ange. That one psychedelic scene in Episode 11 [which i consider the best half an hour of anime of the past 6 years] hinted at something deeper between the two. I had imagined that the story would go on from there to explore a deep connection of sorts between the two characters and explore an incredible character arc, but it seems like we didn't have time for those characters. Perhaps this is a way to sell Blu-Rays, by teasing at a second season.
Correction: The "psychedelic" scene referred to above is episode 11, "Dragon Song", not episode 12.
I would be lying if I didn't say this series was dreadful; in fact, it's garbage. I want to get one thing out of the way before we continue, and that's that I don't think the characters themselves are horrible, but that all the effort that did go into this series was clearly from the VA's and nobody else. How does one sit by and watch a trainwreck? Well, aren't you in for a ride.
Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo is what you get when you mix Gundam with the magical girl genre and toss in some bad writing and worse animation. The series
kicks off with Angelise (A princess of some kind) telling the mother of a "Norma" (the people who can't perform magic) that her kid is a freak and to stop giving birth. The next day, the pampered princess is revealed to be a Norma herself (and because her maid did everything magic-related for her, she didn't need to do it herself) and gets sent off to prison. After being bitch-slapped, near-raped, told she's trash, and essentially kicked into the mud, she grows a pair and becomes the equivalent of Buffy cosplaying sailor moon and piloting a gundam.
The problems with the series isn't the characters; I quite enjoyed myself some lesbian relationships. The issues stem from the production standpoint, where the studio seemed unsure of how strong their "strong, female protagonist" should be. This lead to Ange often forgetting how to be strong for her own sake and instead laying down and crying herself silly until someone came by and told her to grow a pair. The other characters often range from silly to endearing and, with the last handful of episodes, just obnoxious. I would suggest first-timers go as far as Arzenal getting wrecked and stop there. You'll thank me later.
The animation is also pretty subpar, and that's complimenting the series. A lack of effort went into the mecha fights (where it should have really shined) and at times you wonder what you're watching. The character designs are, for the most part, your usual fair. The settings and backdrops are unfortunately "okay" despite the attempt at some interesting designs. Also, a lot of the fights take place over an ocean because.
What can I say about the music? It's personal taste, but only the song the protagonist sings is memorable at best.
The issues with this series unfortunately overshadow the pluses. The main gundam of the series, Vilkiss, only exists to move the plot forwards and, perhaps self-aware of this fact it picks and chooses when to do so. The villain is hilariously-bad and suffers from being a horny fuck who has gone a thousand years without. Yes, that's the reason he sucks at his job so bad; he hasn't had any in a thousand years. The protagonist earns her applause by telling him so and to go fuck himself right before doing the deed for him.
In fact, the entire series is an allegory for having sex. The lesson? Sunrise is full of horny, old farts. Now, go watch something better.