Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo – 07

ange71

From the beginning, Cross Ange has used difficult-to-watch, aggressive exploitation of skin that toes the line of outright adult content to make a point about racism and self-destruction. That skin-fueled message has (almost) always been the point though, and the creepiness has been relentless in forcing us to consider the very meaning of fan service, what it means and why we shouldn’t like it so much.

ange72

Not this week though. This week was just fan service, stretched like lovely skin over an empty plot about team building and waving away all of Ange’s enemies problems.

ange78

To sum up: Ange continues to defeat all the DRAGONs on her own, which means she’s ignoring orders and no one is making money. Team Hilda continue to try and shoot her down but are unsuccessful until Ange catches a cold.

ange77

Then the episode devolves into a cliché-fest where the Salia finally realizes no one has died since Ange came back and that Ange is really good for them, regardless of following orders. Then they go on a mission and immediately get their asses kicked, until sick Ange comes to save the day.

ange74

I would have a whole lot less against episode 7 if it wasn’t full of so much skin. (or ‘steam censorship’ equivalent to skin) There was just no point in having the girls fight in the bath nor have a nude bath party after the ‘we are all friends now’ battle. It was just skin and totally censored skin at that.

ange76

So I’m deeply frustrated at the moment. I’ve enjoyed Ange, and I don’t mind its graphic nature where and when it’s making a point but this makes two episodes that I’ve gotten to review that were utterly cliché, disposable exploitation bits without any value or creative point.

ange75

Sure, we get to know that Tusk is known by the prison’s command team and, during the credits, Ange’s sister some how gets a secret message to Ange that she needs help but so what? The only entertainment was finding out the captain is a cosplayer and Vivi is implied to be her lover…

5_ogk

Advertisements

13 thoughts on “Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo – 07”

  1. This and Tusk’s accidentally molesty island ep were the Gundam G moments of Cross Ange. I actually found both episodes really funny even though I hate how out of place they were with the rest of the series. Weird?

  2. I actually found that Sailor Salia scene more than amusing and is very interesting. If you think about it, Salia must have been a little girl when she got thrown into Arzenal. With that, you could say that the Pretty Salia is a manifestation of Salia’s childhood fantasies and innocence that were unduly robbed from her when she was found to be a norma. Cosplaying could be seen as a means for her to remind herself that she is still that same girl from before. And that is also an interesting irony, she has since accepted her fate as a Norma yet she still fancies herself as a magical girl

    Of course this is just my interpretation. Which is why I hope that they would call back on this part of Salia’s character later on a more serious note.

    1. That’s a neat read on it and I hope it goes somewhere too! We’ve seen so little of Salia’s back story and her leadership growth this episode was so generic I just wrote it all off as random.

      In any event, the magic girl part wasn’t what bothered me about the episode. What bothered me was how straight forward all the other events played out and how much skin we got, without the normal pretext of it being used to express a point. At least, no point that I could make out :(

  3. – Episode 7 delivered some much-appreciated workaday scenes of the First Troop, and I appreciated the Salia’s Captain’s log framing device, weighing the pros and cons of having Ange in her squad. I knew as soon as she took over the command from Zola that she was in over her head, but this episode gave her the chance to work through exactly why she was failing, and circumstances align for her improve, if not totally repair, team cohesion.

    – I wholeheartedly subscribe to flamerounin’s assessment of Salia’s “psychological maintenance”, and Tamura Yukari does a fine job channeling Usagi Tsukino. Following that line of thinking, I think Vivi is more of a bed-sharing little sister than Salia’s lover. It also seems pretty likely, at least from their hair and eye color and rapport, that Salia and Mei are actual sisters.

    – Speaking of lovers, it’s been a few weeks since Salia took over as alpha in Zola’s harem. In an episode that operates in the everyday routines of the squad, it’s good that we got that ten-second scene to remind us that yet, Hilda, Roselie and Chris are still an item. That gives the latter two’s later “betrayal” more oomph.

    – Allowing that it’s a Japanese-style bath, we’re going to get some bath scenes, where the girls are by design naked. Salia running in to attack Ange is that frustrated little girl she has lashing out, because if that private side of hers is exposed, what else does she have? I also like how the sheer impractiablity of their duty uniforms in hand-to-hand combat, as Ange doesn’t even mean to slip Salia’s top off. Salia’s smaller boobs also contribute to this, making the fight a bizarre and clearly well-thought out sequence that takes everyone’s emotional and physical parameters into account.

    – The overall lightweight-ness of the episode is underscored by Salia’s refrain at the end of each log entry: ‘No casualties.’ It’s true that Ange’s rushing ahead to hog all the DRAGON glory is selfish, but also selfless, in that she doesn’t give any one a chance to get hurt any more than she gives them a chance to hurt her. Actually having another casualty in Ange’s brief absense would have given the episode a little more dramatic weight, but this is a 24-episode show and those casualties will surely come in due time. This episode was more interested in healing. Patience.

    – I thought the episode was going too easy on Ange when she caught a cold — wouldn’t they make her fight anyway? — until we learned the penalty for being on illness standby is a million a day. Not so lenient after all…

    – While I shouldn’t be surprised Momoka is still just Ange’s maid, I’m still disappointed in the show’s apparent complacency with keeping her so static. Hell, Ange even goes to the store to buy her pajamas. Why not buy her regular clothes while she’s at it?

    7

    1. I have no qualms with the logistical reality of the fight. (nude = bath time) Rather, that the nudity came off as fan-service only, without emotional point to the show. Between that, the goofie ‘got a cold’ plot, and the fact that everyone (except Hilda) suddenly falls in place by the end is contrived. Too convenient. Like the Tusk episode, this was more cliché than underhandedly thoughtful in my book

      1. It also seems pretty likely, at least from their hair and eye color and rapport, that Salia and Mei are actual sisters.

        Yeah, Mei did mention something about her doing her best for “Big Sister” which I guess refers to Salia. And I would agree that Salia also treats Vivi more like a kid sister than a lover.

        I will have to go with oigakkosan that the bath fight scene was simply over the top fanservice but I do find it amusing how that ended up emphasizing Salia’s distress over her smaller boobs, which is an interesting bit of the adolescent angst that she is obviously going through in this ep.

        Come to think of it, the Pretty Salia thing might not be a one off after all. I like how they subtly hinted about it a few episodes back with Vivian teasing Salia about letting her (Vivi) read all those romance novels she (Salia) has stashed in her drawer. So, I guess we might be seeing more of this one later on after all.

        And going from that, it seems like Hilda is the next one to be given the character spotlight since she, Ange, and Salia seem to be the main trio of pilots for the series. In ep 4, Jasmine made an off hand remark to her about her being the same as Ange the first time she arrived at Arzenal. What Jasmine exactly means about that is probably going to play a role in Hilda’s character moment.

        I still don’t like this this show and its over the top fanservice (which keeps me facepalming every now and then), but I have to yet find that moment where I go “that’s it! I’ve had enough” and drop this one completely. I guess there is some strange draw this series has to me. And I must say that this one is better as of yet than Sunrise’s previous two originals. Valvrave just totally fell apart after ep 10 and Buddy Complex was just downright boring.

      2. There was nothing contrived about Salia solving the conflict between herself, Ange and Rosalie and Chris.
        All she needed was learning Ange’s issues with the team and an opportunity to strengthen her authority. She got both in this episode.

  4. In some ways, I totally agree with you. I really think forced fanservice is detrimental to any anime. Most anime try to force some kind of fanservice by having the female character trip to reveal her panties, or having some convenient gust of wind to lift her skirt, or the “accident” that causes the male and female to collide, landing in just the right position.

    It’s a waste of time in my opinion. Serves no purpose.

    To my surprise, despite my animosity to such fanservice, Cross Ange’s over the top skin show feels rather natural to me. They subtly put out blatant amounts of fanservice without me thinking they’re wasting time. I don’t even know why, but it just feels much more natural than the average gust of wind/accident. Perhaps it’s their lack of focus that makes it feel natural.

    Fanservice is so ‘normal’ that the viewer doesn’t actively think “it’s a fanservice scene”. Every scene is a fanservice scene.

    Interestingly enough, the next episode is the beach episode. How can a show like Cross Ange do the obligatory fanservice episode when their story is built upon 80% skin reveal already?

    1. Yes, next week’s episode even contains the word “bikini”, though black bikini bottoms as part of their normal flight suits!

      The difference won’t be necessarily in the amount of skin show, but under what circumstances the skin is shown.

      The flight suits are their uniforms, and skimpy that they are, they have no choice in those suits other than color.

      In a beach episode, the girls will at least be wearing exactly what they want for leisure, rather than what they must wear for work.

      That distinction is what normalizes most of the fanservice we’ve seen throughout the show’s run. These aren’t schoolgirls or office workers, they’re an oppressed caste of non-magical humans forced to fight and die. I never forget that fact when watching.

      Still, and while I’ve known for a while such an episode was coming in a two-cour series, I don’t have high hopes for episode 8. But I will watch and review it all the same.

      1. well… they will wear “what the animators choose to make them choose to wear,” which is the more specific reason episode 8 will probably rub me the wrong way. Let’s hope Tusk doesn’t show up to fall on everyone’s crotches…

      2. @oikgakkosan
        Oh please don’t remind me about Tusk. The guy had me facepalming too much already in ep 5 (and had me questioning why I even watch this series. Gladly, ep 6 had a good enough answer for me). No high hopes for ep 8 either. Am considering this one as pure filler through and through.

      3. …yeah :( I was really all the way on board until Tusk. Now I’m invested enough to watch, and it’s good enough to watch, but mehhhhhhh. Really close to filler.

Comments are closed.