Cross Ange : Rondo of Angel and Dragon (Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo)

(25 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Mecha vs dragons… well, at least that’s the pitch ; the actual series’ content is way more trashy and exploitative than you’d expect. We’re talking Freezing levels of bait-and-switch.

Characters

Angelize, our protagonist, is the First Princess of the Mizurugi Empire. She’s basically the MVP of the Imperial Family : wildly popular among the people, star player of her school’s sports team, and admired by all. She’s also completely drunk the official Kool-Aid : she’s in favour of a zero-tolerance policy against the Norma, the rare mutant girls who not only can’t use Mana (magitek telekinesis) like everyone else, but are actively destructive of it. Imperial policy involves snatching them as young as possible from their families, and detaining them in special facilities where they’re thoroughly dehumanized.

Julio, her older brother, resents her fame… because he knows it’s all a lie : she’s actually (unknowingly) a Norma. He exposes her in the most spectacular fashion possible during her coming-of-age ceremony. Obviously, it’s a huge scandal. I’m sure he’s terribly broken up that their parents get thoroughly discredited for covering it up for 16 years, and he thus has no choice than taking over as the new Emperor. (That his most prominent potential political rival gets summarily gitmo’d is a terrible shame, too.)

Angelize, now renamed “Ange” and stripped of any rights as a human being, is sent to the Norma detention facility where she’s to be trained as a soldier, presumably to pilot mecha against dragons like shown in the opening fast-forward. But because this is a classy series, let’s first spend way much more time than necessary on a gratuitous cavity search.

The OP & ED sequences showcase, among various future members of Ange’s team, a baffingly-prominent male character. Since there’s little chance he’s a Norma (described as a female-only phenomenon), I presume we’re due for some creepy Stockholm-Syndrome-type relationship.

Production Values

Just in case the above synopsis had you confused over what kind of series this is, the opening flashfoward proudly asks the question : how many different angles can we show Ange’s cleavage from as she’s piloting her mecha ? (Six under three minutes, plus three for her buttcrack and a couple more for her crotch.) And to dispel any doubt, the OP features exploding clothes, because of course it does.

Which is a bit of a shame, as Sunrise’s mecha battles are as impressive as ever, and the main segment of the series is perfectly alright and non-fanservicey.

Overall Impression

This is a truly infuriating show, as it wastes a decent premise by applying it to a creepy fanservice series. It really feels like two completely different shows welded together ; unfortunately, I have little doubt which one is going to win out.

I almost gave the series the benefit of the doubt until I got to the gratuitous prison rape scene, immediately followed by obviously-traumatized girls fondling each other. Fuck this crap, I’m out.

via [In Which I Review] New anime, Fall 2014 – Page 2.

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Jhiday

I've been kinda blogging about anime for years... but mostly on forums (such as RPG.net's Tangency) and other sites. This site is an archive for all that stuff, just in case.

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