Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo – 18

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Ange arrives aboard the Libertus flagship and mobile HQ Aurora, with her knight, filled with flowery ideas about convincing her former Arzenal comrades to join forces with the DRAGON to put out the Light of Mana. Unfortunately for her, Jill isn’t going to fight with people she doesn’t trust, and she sure as hell doesn’t trust the DRAGONs; nor does anyone else aboard the sub. Why would they, after all the death and destruction their raids caused?

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The Aurora is shiny and bright and being run just as Arzenal was, but I’m glad the episode shows us that wasn’t always the case. Seeing the state of the Arzenal survivors when they first set off, it’s not surprising that if Jill kept them alive they would rally around her cause, even if the odds were hardly in their favor.

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Jill held the crew together…well, most of them; Salia, Ersha, and Chris deserted and joined Embryo, which will prove telling later in the episode. I was also glad for the “slice-of-life aboard a rebel submarine” after. Momoka’s role as ship’s cook; the three bridge girls becoming mail-riders; a drunk and depressed but still grateful Emma; and especially Hilda, who’s really happy Ange is back, and even happier she hasn’t slept with Tusk yet. Hilda and Ange have had their spats, but they’ve come out of it all as something resembling friends, and it’s clear Hilda wouldn’t mind if they became something more.

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But I knew something about Jill’s mission is off, and we should have seen it coming when Roselie, one of the most oblivious and least informed characters on the show, says “Jill is only one we can trust in the world.” An enraging memory of being beneath a nude Embryo seals it: liberating the world isn’t as important as her personal vendetta, which twists into an obsession within the cramped confines of the Aurora. Whenever she says “Libertus”, she’s actually referring to her own selfish whims.

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She tells Ange she’s changed her mind about working with the DRAGON, but only to use them as cannon fodder, one more tool to reach her goals. Ange refuses to obey, but Jill is ready for that, having endured the bitter taste of the princess’s insubordination many times before, by threatening to toss Momoka out of an airlock if Ange doesn’t fall in line. And now we know: Jill has become Admiral Cain.

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Tusk’s very suspicious late-night visit to the paramail hangar (this is a submarine carrier,  donchaknow) is explained, as he releases gas throughout the ship while he, Ange and Vivian don gas masks. Tusk may be a horny fake-klutz, but he’s also one hell of a knight for Ange, preemptively preparing an escape route should their encounter with Libertus go sour, which it surely did, and in a breathless hurry.

But, again, it’s all because of Jill. The other Arzenal elders didn’t know about the hostage, nor did they know how bad Jill’s obsession had grown. Because this isn’t just about her killing Embryo for some wrong he perpetrated against her. This is about righting the wrong that was her failure. She failed as Vilkiss’ pilot, but she can save face if she makes Ange succeed for her. It doesn’t matter to her anymore how many of her own people or how many DRAGONs have to be sacrificed.

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Jill recovers from the gas and blocks Ange’s path, but Ange puts the still-woozy ex-commander down with a slick-looking kick, obviously the product of her military and athletic training as princess. Ange’s response to Jill’s scheming: “No one knows what’s right…But I hate the way you get things done!” She then takes to the air with Tusk, Momoka, and Vivian, and enjoys the gorgeous blue sky and warm sun, and even flashes a cute Nausicaa pose before Ersha zooms into range…and not to say “Hi.”

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Ange decides she’ll destroy Embryo herself, in her own way. Jill is right that Ange has been through all kinds of hell and torture and has every right to want to destroy the world, regardless of who’s giving the orders. But Ange has changed. She wants to create a world where she can look Momoka, Vivian, Salako, Hilda, and Tusk in the eye without the shame of having used them as tools to satisfy her thirst for revenge. She wants to protect and preserve, not exploit and punish.

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Stray Observations:

  • “If you want to play with your boyfriend in a pink flower garden, do it after our mission is accomplished!” – Harsh burn from Jill.
  • The Opening sequence has been tweaked to include new shots of the Aurora crew, and one interesting still of Hilda holding a nervous Tusk…as Roselie holds Hilda’s hand. I know, these images bear only slight resemblance to actual events in the show, but it’s an interesting choice
  • Tusk casually points out he’s not actually a Norma, but no one is listening.
  • Jill is awful this week, but the show makes sure as villain-y as she gets near the end, she’s far from pure evil, merely incredibly wounded and misguided, with a great weight on her shoulders.
  • I’d say she still has compassion since she let Emma stay with them, but that’s probably because you can never have too many magic-users in your quiver. Another tool, in other words.
  • In the preview, Hilda laments that she only got a little screen time this week, only to be missing from the events of the next episode. Poor Hilda.
  • That same preview shows a naked Salia in what I assume Embryo’s bed, proving Ange’s burn/guess correct.
  • If one considers that at some point in the past Alektra was also in that bed, the romantic web and its resultant emotional fallout grows ever more complex. Like A/Z, Ange has taken a more space opera vibe in its second half: All the conflict begins and ends in bed, or more generally, in people’s hearts.
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Author: braverade

Hannah Brave is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

5 thoughts on “Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo – 18”

  1. similar to death parade, I felt like stuff kinda happened this week. I don’t know, it’s more ‘someone is a gas bag’ and Ange puts ’em down… It wasn’t even terrible, just another shrug for me.

    I know I already called it quits on reviewing but I may well call it quits on watching and just read your reviews to ‘know how it all ends’ oh god, you don’t think it’ll get another season do you??

    1. I’m reasonably sure 25 episodes are all it’s meant to be. Maybe a bonus ep with the blu-ray, or a movie in the works that’s either a year-later kind of thing or a re-telling (though a re-telling might require two movies).

      1. Pretty sure too that this will just be 25 eps (unless, of course, if it’s actually doing well in its own country). But, curiously enough, with all the pacing issues that this series had, particularly with the DRAGON world arc and these latest episodes, it just feels like the story could have been better told as a 2-season series. hey, at least, it wasn’t as bad as what happened to Buddy Complex.

  2. Okay, let’s get this out of the way. Even for this show, this episode is just downright horridly animated. There’s so much off-model frames, it’s as if they ran out of budget and time.

    Still, I actually liked that this returned focus to the Arzenal crew, as they are a far more interesting bunch. So, it seems that Jill is very much a scorned ex. Am not surprised about that, considering her intimate knowledge of Embryo.

    And Ange has now turned Kira Yamato (well, not full Kira). I actually like that part where she tells that she wants to end the war because she wants to open Cafe Ange (a nice call back to the previous episode). It is a passing remark, but is very interesting in that it actually emphasizes how much her character developed. She now has a simple answer for what she wants to do. I guess this one would be referenced at the end of the series, though whether she would be the one opening the cafe, or it would be put up in her memory is still up in the air.

    On a side note, Emma is an interesting minor character that I wish had a bit more screen time. She drunkenly cries about how Jill (and presumably the entire ship) let her into the ship despite her doing terrible things to normas. But if you look back,she barely has done anything beyond her school teacher-ish spats of annoyance. Her switching of sides isn’t surprising, but she could have been an interesting contrast from the mana-users from the mainlands if the series just showed a bit more of her interactions.

    And since you mentioned Aldnoah Zero, I must say that, in my honest opinion, Cross Ange actually gets one up against AZ in that, while Ange is the heroine of this story, the series isn’t all that in-your-face in saying “Hey, this is your protagonist. Watch her! WATCH HER!!” Aldnoah Zero has now been reduced to a one man show, where resident Gary Stu Inaho is pretty much the only one doing everything in the story, and the majority of the cast have been reduced to a praise brigade telling the audience how awesome hero-kun is. Here, at least, there are still some interesting character dynamics, which I guess is the thing that keeps me watching despite all my issues (which is a lot) about this series.

    1. For, ahem, “various” reasons, I tend not to notice jumps or drops in animation as much as some might. That being said, from the first scene in the somewhat hastily-drawn conference room, I wasn’t exactly wowed by the art this week either!

      It was certainly a quick return to the Arzenal crew (as Hilda laments in the preview), but I felt it got a lot done. Ange worked through a lot of stuff in her time away with Tusk, Vivi, and the dragon people.

      One of those things is what she wants, as you said, which is simple but nonetheless something clear and not “nothing”, and now she also knows how she wants to make that happen, i.e. “not the way Jill does it.”

      While Ange was only trying to be mean when she wondered out loud if Salia was boning Embryo, she stumbled on the truth of the matter. Here, she’s probably just as subconsciously aware that Jill is only motivated by revenge and a desire to make up for past failures. Ange isn’t on board with any of that, and she never was.

      I’m with you that Emma is probably one of the nicest non-mana users, despite her frequent prejudiced rhetoric to the contrary. But even Emma is probably so happy Jill let her stay aboard the Aurora, she doesn’t realize she’s just another wrench in Jill’s toolbox. Or maybe she does know and doesn’t care.

      I’ll also point out that unlike Ange or Roselie, I’m not about to dump on Salia for betraying them. Unlike Ange, Salia knew exactly what she wanted all along, and she was never going to get that by staying with Jill or Arzenal. So she went to Embryo, believing she’d find what she wanted with him.

      I doubt it’s everything she hoped it would be, but I can’t fault her for doing essentially the same thing Ange is doing: turning her back on the chain of command and on the ideals of others in search of her own future. I hope the show doesn’t lose sight of these facts and portray Salia as a simple villain to be defeated.

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