Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo – 16

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Cross Ange is completely comfortable changing its tone, mood and focus each week and sometimes what it chooses to be can be interesting and other times… not as much. This week, it was an over-the-top comedy, followed by a dreadfully terrible conflict sequence.

If I wanted Cross Ange to be a comedy, I think I would have enjoyed this week a decent bit. Unfortunately, that’s not really what drew me to the show sixteen episodes ago and I was completely un-engaged from start to finish.

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To sum up, this week pitted Salamandinay against Ange at an arena, where we get to laugh at how seriously they take each recognizable earth sport, or how sports-anime-like their rivalry goes.

Then the girls become friends through their rivalry and a space time tornado shows up and destroys things until Ange takes command and gets Salamandinay to fire her world-destroying weapon in a way that saves the day and only unnamed side characters die mostly off camera so all ends well.

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Honestly, nothing worked at all in this episode, so I’m going to hop right into what didn’t and that starts with Ange herself. Ange’s spiteful, confrontational personality felt out of place last week and, while the show desperately tries to sell me on the idea that Ange knows Sala wants to use her as a tool, Ange misses every opportunity to use Sala back… or make any workable alternative plan of her own in the mean time.

Worse, after some sports the princesses become best friends, which makes Ange’s outbursts here and last week feel pointless and plot delaying.

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Even without Ange’s personality draining my interest, the conflict that consumes the final third of the episode was just a drag. Yet again, we as viewers have to sit through a lengthy scene where characters say how terrible it all is but ARE SITTING THERE not doing anything except telling us how terrible it is.

There’s no sense of tension in the tornado scene. It’s there, doing… something… to the Dragon city but it doesn’t seem to be in a hurry. At least, not unless it’s threatening Vivian’s mommy. Otherwise, it’s just there waiting to be solved by our heroines.

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If I had to choose one thing I actually liked, it would be the unintentionally funny scene where we see Vivian’s mother’s family photo where she and Vivian are posed together. Sure, Vivian is younger and happy and we’re meant to accept that this proves that she really is Vivian’s mom.

Except she’s wearing the same clothes that’s she’s worn since she was introduced 2 episodes ago. Which would mean she hasn’t changed in the decade since Vivian went missing…

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Braverade’s Take:

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Cross Anko is a show in search of a higher score, but my conditions for bestowing one depended on whether we’d be past the crossroads Ange reached: would she decide what to do? Yet, for everything that happened this week, she’s not that far removed from her position at the end of last week. That’s not a lot of movement, so 7 it is. Don’t get me wrong, I consider a 7 a fair and respectable score for what we got.

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While Ange still isn’t clear what to do yet, it’s ultimately the desire to protect Vivian that motivates her to heroic action, requiring collaboration with “Salako.” Unfortunately, that teamwork occurs during a spacetime attack, apparently by Embryo, that was very confusing and free-wheeling. If he was capable of wreaking this level of destruction on the Dragon world, why is it even still here, let alone maintaining large sports centers?

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Along with the requisite AngexTusk “Rom-antics”, I actually quite enjoyed Ange and Salako going at it in tennis, baseball, ping-pong, auto racing, golf, etc. Heck, even Twister suggested these two were quickly running out of ways to ‘fight’ each other (and was half-surprised Tusk didn’t find a way to fall on top of them).

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The games improved Salako’s opinion of Ange, just as her cooperation improved it to the point Salako wants to be friends with her once the danger passes. I like the fact we have two princesses, one of whom is trying to get the other out of forced retirement. But is Vivian, dear as she is, really the only thing Ange cares about protecting?

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Author: braverade

Hannah Brave is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

14 thoughts on “Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo – 16”

  1. I must say, that Ange x Tusk “rom-antics” has got to be the tamest fanservice I have seen in this show. Heck, it isn’t even typical Cross Ange fanservice, but more like high school anime-ish. I guess the “accidental fellatio” scene in last week’s ep is the definite low point as far as this show is concerned.

    Buy, hey, I actually found this episode interesting. It had the same vibe as the Festa episode (which I think is one of the series’ best). That little competition part was surprisingly amusing, and the guys at the studio didn’t waste time referencing a host of Sunrise and non-Sunrise anime Cyber Formula, Gundam, Prince of Tennis, Major).

    I find Ange being suspicious of Sala’s (let’s stick to this shall we) courtesies interesting. It really shows that she has become so jaded that she views any pleasantries given to her is just an excuse so that people can manipulate her.

    If he was capable of wreaking this level of destruction on the Dragon world, why is it even still here, let alone maintaining large sports centers?

    Well, he does need the DRAGON’s to power up his civilization. But yeah, this really does feel confusing. Here’s my hunch. Considering Embryo’s keen interest in Ange (and by extension, Jill) and that he doesn’t seem to view her as an enemy, and taking into account his well-intentioned extremist schtick, it might be that the guy simply wants Ange to kill him off as a means of freeing him from his mistakes and resetting Ange’s world.

    1. Lest I forget, another thing that I found interesting is that little difference in design of the paramails of the Dragons and Ange’s [aramail. Sala’s clearly has an enclosed dedicated cockpit even in plane mode, which shows that the Dragons do value the lives of their people, unlike Ange’s villkiss, which has an open, barebones cockpit. This really answers that long standing question a lot of viewers were asking as to why the paramails in Ange’s world seem so impractical when it comes to pilot safety.

      1. these are reasonable points, and kinda what drives me crazy about the show! it’s neat that this level of through went into the back end but GAHHHH! the episode, as a bit of story telling, went all over the place and the final conflict had no weight at all.

      2. I know it’s not saying much, but Ange is still miles and miles more engaging than Gundam G…which is not engaging at all. YOu don’t so much get drawn into Recon as you kind of stare at it like a Magic eye poster, hoping something will come out of the noise…but it never does.

        I think it comes down to managing one’s own expectations for Cross Ange. Both of us had higher hopes when it showed signs of brilliance in its merciless treatment of its downtrodden characters. And with the largely matriarchal society in Dragon world, the feminist element is still in play, if often undermined by fanservice and rom-antics. And you can’t have tragedy without comedy, so both are in ample supply.

        Basically, I see Ange as Sunrise’s opportunity to let its hair down and do whatever it wants with the sci-fi mecha genre, unfettered by the constraints or expectations of their Gundam property. Yet, not knowing what to expect, and it starting out so good, our expectations were artificially inflated anyway.

        I won’t let that change the fact this is still cohesive sci-fi entertainment with a sardonic wit that happens to fall into the very tropes it tries to lampoon. It’s going to stumble along the way, but there will also be satisfying triumphs, too, and I for one appreciate the effort to spice things up.

        Cross Ange has kept me interested, and I’ll be sticking with it to the hopefully-not-bitter end.

      3. Sure and I agree with you. As I said, if this were in a vacuum, I would have enjoyed the silly sports fights. They were silly and fun. Just not what I signed on for when I picked up Ange last season. Even in that, I’d rate it a high 6. I just hesitated giving it a flat 7, because the finale battle really was emotionless and out of nowhere. (in addition to everything else that happened or didn’t in the episode)

      4. That;s my issues with the last few episodes as well. This just comes in too fast and it feels like Ange’s whole journey to the Dragons’ world should have started a lot earlier (such as from episode 12 onward) to give room to Sala’s characterization.

      5. I must admit that I had, and still have, low expectations for this show, seeing that it comes after Valvrave and Buddy Complex (both of which are just flat out atrocious). But Cross Ange certainly trumps those two previous originals in that it actually got me interested in its characters and story far beyond simply waiting to see how ridiculous and trainwreckish it would go.

        Basically, I see Ange as Sunrise’s opportunity to let its hair down and do whatever it wants with the sci-fi mecha genre, unfettered by the constraints or expectations of their Gundam property.

        I guess it is really unfortunate that this show got aired alongside Build Fighters and G-Reco. Sunrise seems to have put all of its production strength into those two shows (seeing that it is the franchise’s 35th anniv), such that CA was left with the scraps to try and bring its concept to the screens, as evidenced by the copious amounts of recycled stock footage and at times horrendous animation.

      6. It reminds me a lot of Valvrave in that I enjoyed both shows at the beginning and, as they shifted focus or spun there wheels, I lost interest.

        Vlarvlarve actually won bonus points with me because I missed the ‘reveal’ after its first episode’s credits and was totally blown away by the second episode. (because: vampires was not what I was expecting) I also appreciated the deeply screwed up sexual relationship between Red and Green. In many ways, because there were fewer characters fighting for screen time than in CA, and that Vervalelr didn’t have a Tusk as a central character, Red & Green’s relationship got more time to grow and warp on screen than CA’s pre/post Hilda harem, which is roughly similar in emotional complexity and interest.

        Ultimately, CA is doing better because stupid high school students facing juvenile space-nazis controlled by condescendingly evil aliens and loli UX/AI has a lot less going for it. That said, was the Federation President’s betrayal that much more eye rolling than Ange’s kid sister’s?

      7. @oigakkosan

        I must admit that Red and Green’s dynamics is one of the few points that kept me watching Valvrave (in fact, I consider Green as the best character of that series and am still dumbfounded as to why she wasn’t the MC instead). But everything just fell apart after that infamous episode 10 (yeah, the one that included that scene), and by the second season, Green was shoved to the background, which was a total let down.

        As for the Ange x Tusk comparison, I don’t know. From what I have been seeing, Tusk is pretty much still a side character when you compare her to, say, Hilda or Salia (though he is still the romantic interest). And dragon lady Sala is obviously a more central character than Tusk, which is why I kinda wished that she was introduced a lot earlier to give some room for her character to grow.

        Going back to Valvrave, Federation President? Maybe you mean the colony president Shoko (MC-kun’s childhood friend cum love interest). Yep, it was as eye rolling as Sylvia’s betrayal (which as I already said back then had a very shabby execution), But, my real issue in Shoko’s betrayal is that it came in way too late to have real weight. By that point, you already know where the story is most likely going that Shoko’s betrayal felt like it was just there because they wanted to do a last minute twist. Sylvia’s betrayal at least had some weight to it in that it was pretty much the turning point of Ange’s character (speaking of Sylvia, I wonder what happened to that loli bitch).

      8. Yeah I really wish Dragon Sala had been worked into the story earlier. I’d even be okay with her as a weird love interest Ange doesn’t want and totally replace Tusk’s place on the roster.

        Actually, I was referring to when the ‘American ish president sets the kiddies up when they all thought he’d side with them as a balance against the space nazis (I don’t remember anyones name lolz) but Shoko is actually a better example. Actually, all of the betrayals in Vlavlavwar were pretty flat… but I shouldn’t expect much from a school kids vs space nazi’s tale of heroics and space fighting.

      9. @Oigakkosan

        I notice that you kept mangling Valvrave’s title. Is that deliberate? I guess that show really doesn’t deserve to be addressed correctly. And no, lets not even get started with Yaoi (Buddy) Complex.

        As for CA, yeah. I wish they had gone with Salako as the quirky love interest instead. They have already shown lesbian relationships (and Hilda is obviously attracted to Ange), so why stop short and not give the main character that?

      10. It’s a little office joke. Zane tried to get me to remember how it was spelled for weeks and it just never stuck. “Vampire Gundam” was what we ended up calling it. Due to none of us being fluent in Japanese, nicknames are actually common for harder to remember named shows around the office.

    2. I also had absolutely no problem with Ange’s caustic attitude and constant suspicion early in the episode. She’s been lied to and used all her life, why should she start trusting anyone now?

      By the end, once they’ve worked together, you could say her change of heart is sudden, but “sudden” describes half of the life-changing events in Ange’s life, and there’s no sign of that changing.

      Ange has cause to trust and respect Salako more now that she’s seen what her people are truly up against, and seen that Salako has people like Ange has Vivian that she must protect no matter what.

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