Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo – 03

Poor Miranda! She never had a chance, and more than Coco
Poor Miranda! She never had a chance, any more than Coco did

Cross Ange is a dark, gritty, brutal, sometimes just-plain-wrong mecha series done right. As First Troop battles a battleship-sized DRAGON and its twenty-odd underlings, Miranda is simply told to keep back and stay alive, an order she cannot follow. Just when you thought, “well, maybe they’ll have Miranda resent Ange for Coco’s death later”, she dies too, just as she’s told not to!

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But just so you know, the show isn’t content just with killing off rookie redshirts, as the highly capable, experienced bad-ass Captain Zola also meets her end in the fiasco of a battle where Ange first tries to desert, then freaks out and flies around, then slams into Zola’s Paramail, preventing her from landing the killing blow on the DRAGON. For her trouble, Ange gets to await rescue as the blood from Zola’s empty eye socket drips all over her cockpit. Frankly, I’m surprised more pilots didn’t lose their lives out there: those DRAGONS are exceedingly efficient at tearing people to pieces.

Everyone hates you. You are the worst.
Everyone hates you. You are the worst.

Even if it’s not all due not entirely to Ange, her selfish actions contributed greatly. She’s also gone and made even greater enemies of Zola’s three lovers: Hilda, Roselie and Chris. And Jill even sent her official petitions to several nations: all were rejected, as no one has ever heard of the Misurugi Empire or a Princess Angelise. She hasn’t just been plucked from her world: that world doesn’t even exist anymore.

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Nice touch that Norma get their full names back when they die

Once healed up and out of her Gaultier Leeloo bandages, Jill has her lug the tombstones of the dead to their final resting places – the duty of the person responsible for their deaths. It’s here she learns her cushy mana-filled world is built atop the bones of the Norma, all fighting to protect a civilization that spits on them. When she learns fallen Norma get their names back, she starts to wish for death, to escape the hell and return to a place of peace, even if it is the afterlife – because she’ll at least once again be Angelise Ikaruga Misurugi.

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Villkiss – Ange’s (old) new ride

With her first paramail trashed, Jill bestows Vilkiss on Ange – while awesome-looking, it’s hard to control and has seen better days; the perfect ride for someone with a death wish. But the Vilk is no lemon; and in giving it to Ange Jill seems to be challenging the voracity of her wish.

Salia is the new First Troop Captain…for better or worse, as she’s extremely rigid and by-the-book leader, probably a better lieutenant than captain. When they find the DRAGON and it’s revealed it’s basically acting as a decoy for a sea-to-air attack, Salia kind of just freezes. She’s only saved from the fates of Coco & Co because Ange lures it away — not because she particularly cares about Salia (or anything), but because she’s trying to die.

Vilkiss, Resplendent in Assault Mode
Vilkiss, Resplendent in Assault Mode

That is, until that DRAGON grabs her paramail and stares her down, and she remembers the dying words of her mother: “Live on.” Her ring, which was returned to her, glows, and when blood from her head drips upon it, there’s a reaction that’s both surprising and utterly un-surprising considering Ange’s natural course from now on. She’s not going to die there, because she realizes she doesn’t want to die.

Ange's not ready to die yet after all
Ange’s not ready to die yet after all

To that end, she does what it takes to live on — wasting the dragon in a heated blaze of gun and sword attacks and ending the battle on an exclamation point, bailing out the tactically deficient Salia in the first sortie under her command. By the end, Ange is flushed with excitement, just as Zola said she’d get when she hit her back. Ange is still ashamed to feel this way, but she can’t deny she does.

I have Nothing. I am Nothing. I will live. Kill and live. That is all.
I have Nothing. I am Nothing. I will live. Kill and live. That is all.

She hasn’t been a knowing Norma long, and having not grown up as one doesn’t harbor the same deep scars, but she’s very quickly starting to understand what kind of living Norma must cling to. Even if it involves killing and a whole host of other nasty stuff, they have to take what they can get and find peace and solace however they can.

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So Angelise cuts her long flowing locks and tosses them into the wind, to join her name, her past; everything else she’s ever had or been. She decides she will live on, as Ange, at any cost; not die as quickly or easily as her mother or young comrades. Then she takes the pudding Coco gave her out of the dustbin and dutifully chokes it down. It tastes disgusting, but it will nourish her soul. When in Hell, you savor every compromised comfort you can get your hands on.

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Author: braverade

Hannah Brave is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

10 thoughts on “Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo – 03”

  1. That was pretty fantastic, honestly. The brutality was at the max — maybe not enough for a 10 — but plenty good where it was. Not much to say beyond ‘this show is why I can’t review Yona.’ It really is!

    1. Honestly, I withheld a 10 partly because, as good as this episode was, I’m confident the best of Cross Ange is yet to come.

      But if you’d gotten to this before me and given it a 10, I would not have complained. It was bloody brilliant.

      1. Oh! No! I wasn’t arguing for a 10. There was a little clunkiness here and there and the princess-rises-to-victory (with the mysteriously awesome mech no one else can fly) is a little cliché.

        If we’d had a major twist during the battle, or if even more of the cast had gone down in horrific flames, maybe. But still! A solid nine!

      2. double self counter point: the eyball falling on Ange after the crash and having ange soak herself in fear urine were bold enough to warrant a hair below ten. Just needed a twist or a hair more polish for a full perfect mark.

  2. The only thing that’s really wrong with this show (and this is definitely a huge one) is the grauttous fanservice. It has a really interesting premise that is ruined by all those boob and crotch shots, which, for the love of me, I don’t really understand why the show keeps on shoving down our throats. If they just leave those off, this series would actually be good.

    1. I’ll agree there is a lot of fanservice, but there’s something to the notion that the skimpy outfits are another tool of domination and control over the Norma. They customize their outfits to a degree (at their own expense), and some are more modest than others, but all their flight suits show a lot of skin, even those of Coco and Miranda, who are (well, were) only around twelve years old.

      It’s disturbing, but it’s supposed to be. I think it’s a stark and intentional contrast with the garb of the higher-ups at Arzenal and in the Misurugi Royal Family, of which Ange used to be a member. They’re all covered up and conservative, making it seem like the more power and privilege you have in this world, the more clothes you get to wear.

      When Ange is discovered to be a Norma, her old fancy clothes are unceremoniously cut and torn away. It’s the death of Angelise and the birth of Ange, and like all of us, she’s born naked.

      At least in this show, the skimpy outfits make sense to me, so I don’t mind them. But that’s just my take.

      1. It’s really not the skimpy outfits that nags me. In fact, I’ve also came to the same interpretation about the suits like you. It’s the other, really gratuitous fanservice that really makes me detest this show at times. I mean, that cemetery scene, do they really even have to emphasize that Jill’s and Ange’s clothes are see through wywhen wet. That just takes away from the somber mood of that scene. And then there is the hospital scene. Good lord! that hospital scene.

      2. My office stream rate is terrible compared to the other reviewers so I sometimes miss details like this. (I really had not noticed the clothes get see through in the rain)

        I can see how that crosses into unnecessary fan service territory!

  3. The show is the greatest beating the likes of the new Gundam mecha designs, the dragons are on par, and overall it is great, and should be aired 5 times a week in hour episodes, if you dislike fan service so much go watch argevollen, and the new gundam.

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