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 off that.
On paper, the plot sounds very interesting, enough to drag me in. But the execution is god awful. The problem with Cross Ange is that it tries way too hard and ends up being edgy as hell. There's no coherency because anything it offers is so poorly implicated. The first few episodes were somewhat acceptable but it turns to a lot of illogical dialogue. A few episodes later it plays on a lot high school anime tropes and comedic plays that don't fit the anime's theme. Overall it just doesn't set the tone or setting that it should have. But I've stratched a long and tried to watch it. By the eleventh episodes, I dropped this because of how horribly written it is. At that point it just felt like the creator realized how bad his work and was about to be fired from his job if he didn't do anything good, but he resulted in a cheap product with no good foundation. It has a lot of very interesting concepts but the way it's presented is just so bad.
Now I know I said I wouldn't talk about the fanservice but this is something important. I would be fine if it were used for rape and a prison like environment, but it's used for comedy. It conflicts with the tone and is more annoying than fanservice should be. Only a few anime/manga have been able to be funny and keep a serious story, I.E. Fullmetal Alchemist, but this isn't one of them.
I am more critical of art and animation for various reasons, but let's not get into that. The animation is bad to the point where I actually notice the frames. The CG is very straightforward, it's either bad or not. This is bad. It's very out of place and obviously you can notice it. The CG ddoesn't mesh in too well with the background but that's ridiculous because the background when using CG is usually the blue sky.
The artwork is meh-ish. The designs and concepts arejust so bland and generic. "Yes let's have a blonde princess like every anime. Whatelse sshould we have?" "Oh, I have all these generically designed characters with me." Was pretty much what I thought the creator was thinking. The mech designs are pretty stupid. What's with that royal royce on Ange's mech. They try to look cool rather than practical which is something I prefer in mech designs.
I overall hate it. Nothing stood out and I found nothing powerful enough because of how conflictingly unnoticeable it is. That's a fault on Cross Ange itself because of how it can't keep a good atmosphere.
The voice acting was average to below. The majority of voices sound so artificial that I can't help but be annoyed. Their voices sound like they're being faked. Like a character faking their voice in a cheesy television show I watched as a kid.
Throughout, I have never hated characters so passionately. The characters I do like don't even get screen time. I can't believe how artificial the character development is. The reason is because of the plot contrivances and the lack of solid characterization so that we're given good ideology in the earlier episodes. Any event that provokes development is done so terribly, because there's no foreshadowing nor a natural flow. Everything is planned out like "IT SHOULD HAPPEN" rather than "IT WILL HAPPEN."
Generally, I couldn't come to love this because of how boring it is. I would usually watch something for gore regardless of how badly written it is but the gore just feels cheap and needless, because the presentation is just chauvinistically pretentious and overdramatic, and how the atmosphere is wrongly set through every little moment.
At best I think this would be a six but I won't be here to see it get any bette or worse.