Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo – 25 (Fin)

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One of the question marks last week was what, if anything, would bring Salia back into the fold. That turns out to be Alektra, whom Salia brings to the Aurora. All Alektra wants is a cigarette and the chance to say what she needed to say to Salia, whom she regards as a little sister, if not a carbon copy of herself, complete with the same mistakes. But as Aura halts the world-merging, there’s still a chance to beat Embryo.

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And is there some villainy thee vile Embryo hast not committed? Why, forcable rape, of course! His final move is to return to his own timeless “in-betweeny space”, where he gives Ange more of his backstory in between slapping and stripping her. He won’t be refused, and aims to “purify” Ange, who was “sullied” by Tusk. Now Embryo is just pathetic, though who can say this wouldn’t happen to any man kept alive for a thousand years, with the power to control everything?

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But yeah, in it’s last episode, Ange “goes there”, just it has not been afraid to go there throughout its run, for good or ill. He binds her arms and legs with vines so she’s spread eagle, but is kind enough not to gag her, so Ange takes advantage and sings the song of Villkiss. Tusk boards it, and with his tears of love he’s able to activate her ring, and the Villkiss teleports him, Hilda, Salia and Salako to Ange’s location.

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Tusk is just in time to stop Embryo from going too far, and rescues Ange in their now trademark position of his head in her crotch. This time, Ange is too scared and happy he’s there to blush or slug him. And he even has the panties she gave him so she can cover up. I wondered when those panties would come in handy.

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There’s still Embryo to content with, and Tusk crosses swords with him, as is expected of a knight, and we also learn this is Embryo’s original body. He’s still a tough customer, so Tusk keeps him busy as Villkiss upgrades again to a Ange/Tusk combo paint scheme, and cloaks Ange in a crisp, white flight suit.

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Hilda (riding Chris’ mail), Salia, and Salako prove to be a good group to have accompanied Tusk to this place. They’re kept busy fighting duplicates of Embryo’s Ragna-mail. He tries to brainwash Salia and briefly takes over control of her mail, but as Ange and Salako monologue about how they’ll allow themselves to be controlled (by a man, no less) over their dead bodies. Hilda and Salia join their voices.

Salako even figures out why Norma exist—judgment for Embryo thinking in his hubris he could control human genes—and why they’re all women: so they can re-populate the Earth with a population of humans he can’t control. Life Will Find A WayCross Ange-style. It holds together pretty well.

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As Tusk runs Embryo through and Ange delivers that dynamite one-liner in the top-right, she runs his Ragna-mail through, and it’s over. No more dirty old man. Good game; let’s go eat!

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The world Ange & Friends return to is the “true” Earth of Dragons, now freed from Embryo’s tinkering. There, with no one left to fight, Ange declares she’ll build a new nation, and at this point everyone at her side is fine with that. She was born to lead, after all, not to mention she’s the reason they’re all alive.

When Momoka asks what’s to be done about the other world, Ange basically shrugs and says it’s not her problem, which she’s well within her rights to do. The people of that world are humans; they’ll figure it out.

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Sure enough, we see Sylvia embracing the fact that she really can walk, and arms herself with friends and weapons to protect the weak. The show didn’t have to do anything else with Sylvia, but I’m glad they did. She is Ange’s sister, and Ange herself was once an insufferable brat, so it stands to reason Sylvia had that same strength within her.

As the credits roll we get a great epilogal montage that shows us what everyone is up to now that there’s peace: Ersha, Salia, and the surviving rookies meeting Vivian’s parents; Ange opening her dream cafe with Tusk; Momoka and the bridge crew; hanging out with Salako on her time off; paying respects to the fallen, and building their new nation.

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Left out of the end montage, in a rare showing of restraint for this show: Hilda-Roselie-Chris makeup sex, Ange-Tusk baby-making, and other potential bedroom formations, such as Ange-Salako-Tusk or Ange-Tusk-Hilda-Roselie. Gotta leave some things to the imagination, I suppose…but I imagine at some point they’ll want to populate this new nation, and there are only so many men. Gotta watch out for inbreeding.

And on that somewhat inappropriate note, it’s time to say goodbye to Cross Ange, at least until the OVA or film, if they come to fruition. It was a very fun ride, and I’ll miss the show’s shameless raunchyness and shlock combined with genuinely compelling character drama and feminist commentary.

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Author: braverade

Hannah Brave is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

6 thoughts on “Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo – 25 (Fin)”

  1. I kinda wish they gave a bit more screentime to Hilda and Salia finally unlocking and making those ragna-mails truly their own (with their custom color to boot), but hey, there always that movie to hope for. And after 26 episodes of me cringing, facepalming, and questioning why I even watched this series, this one is a surprisingly satisfying close (better than the two other mecha shows).

    Overall, I will have to rate this as a “could have been worse, but could have also been better”.

    Let’s start with the easiest to pick on. The animation of this one is downright terrible. But that’s really the downside of it airing alongside two Gundam shows, with CA obviously getting the scraps as Sunrise puts all the resources on GBFT and Reco. Just imagine if the series had Reco’s budget (On a side note, I miraculously finished Reco, an excruciating self-inflicted mental torture I don’t want to repeat anytime soon).

    The pacing of the second half is also more on the terrible side. But if there is one thing I really love about this series is the fact that the series actually calls back a lot of its earlier plot details to help build the later episodes, making it a tighter series. Even the whoile alternate history/past lives bit in ep 12, which might look like a red herring, actually makes sense.

    And that brings me to the thing I actually like the best about this series: the characters. Love them or hate them, CA’s cast really stand on their own as a unique bunch and never became an attempt to copy popular Sunrise character archetypes, unlike the previous two originals they had (Valvrave was obviously an attempt to try and recreate the Lelouch-Suzaku dynamic from Geass, as is Buddy Complex). And I do like the fact that Tusk stayed pretty much a side character all throughout and not ended up hijacking the series focus from Ange and the normas.

    I guess the challenge with watching Cross Ange is that it pushes all the right and wrong buttons at the same time. All the time. It’s either you or the show who will last through the end. I don’t know if this series would be as interesting had it not pulled off all those crazy stunts. And this one actually managed to get my interest beyond the prurient, such that, while I can gleefully deride it as a trashy trainwreck, I can also appreciate a lot of its elements.

  2. I agree with Flamerounin, the show pushes all the right and wrong buttons. I genuinely enjoyed the show but man do they want to push the envelope at times lol. Cross Ange is basically an exploitation anime with blunt social commentary.

    Embryo is rather pathetic. He never held himself accountable for how his world turned out, which was mainly due to his own cynicism and delusions. He wanted to indulge in fantasies.

    Through internet discussion, I get the sentiment that a lot of people dislike the chars (especially the Norma) in the show, but I sympathise with a lot of them because their circumstances colour who they are.

    1. Embryo is rather pathetic. He never held himself accountable for how his world turned out, which was mainly due to his own cynicism and delusions. He wanted to indulge in fantasies.

      In an interesting irony, the poor guy never realized that the “strong, intelligent women he is looking for are right there in front of him all along in the form of the norma and not just ange. As Salako points out, the norma are strong to break free of Embryo’s control and intelligent enough to live on even without his, umm, guidance.

    2. Like SAO, with its loathsome Nobuyuki Sugou, I did feel like Cross Ange suffered a bit from having too transparently evil a villain. Both of these guys are irredeemable rapist assholes who deserved exactly what they got.

      Though as I mentioned in the review, I find it intriguing to think that if a once mortal, ordinary, albeit brilliant human ended up in Embryo’s situation, he would eventually, and ironically, evolve into a less civilized entity; a rabid animal to be put down.

      As boredom with everything set in over the centuries and as he watched generations live and die he began to devalue them on both large and small scales, and began to see them as nothing but a glorified playset for his whims and appetites.

      While he never overtly let on that he wanted this existence to end, it could be he was too far gone to do so, so it fell to Tusk, Ange & Co. to put him out his misery.

      1. I guess that it wasn’t just boredom that got Embryo cracked. If you think of it, while he is essentially a god in mana-world, the guy still has a physical body trapped in between dimensions. The fact that he can’t physically interact with others with his own body. probably drove the guy nuts, longing for real contact (both socially and, ahem, intimately).

  3. [Cross Ange is basically an exploitation anime with blunt social commentary.]

    1 I agree with all the comments above. But this comment by Andy voices something I’ve been thinking about since the body cavity search incident and again after the introduction of Tusk.

    2 I wish it had been a straight up exploitation anime. Early and briefly, it carried a women-in-prison vibe with a potential for tragic development. After the killing of her mother and unjust captivity, Ange joins Jill, Zola, and Hilda to form a charismatic, violent, sexual, volatile mix of characters very unlike the bores of VALVRAVE. Especially with the hard Jill in charge and treacherous Zola lurking in the hangar, I thought it would turn out to be a rare gritty exploitation anime. When Jill began her probe, I committed myself to seeing the whole show.

    But too early, the show loses Zola and gains Tusk. Tusk single handedly and completely marks an abrupt change in tone for the show. This is intentional. One of the purposes of introducing Tusk is to provide Ange with a guide towards seeing the brighter side of life and giving her a strong reason and the strength to resist Embryo. But the execution in presentation is awful.

    Tusk is basically an inferior imitation of Rito from TO LOVE-RU DARKNESS. Tusk is inferior because neither direction nor animation is able to devise the high level humorous eroticism in ANGE that makes LOVE-RU DARKNESS work. With Tusk, ANGE pivots from gritty exploitation to mecha adventure with clumsy ecchi comedy as significant element. The shift in tone seems to sap the potential power of the drama thereafter.

    And Tusk himself never compensates for this diminishment. Obviously this is because he is a major source of the diminishment. Tusk never really makes sense as a character. I keep wondering what in the story is supposed to make us think that Tusk is able to soften Ange’s cynical heart and make her fall in love. As far as I can tell, Ange falls for Tusk because Rito.

    3 The point about the blunt social commentary is also something I kept thinking about. VALVRAVE was partly really awful for this reason. But it was a factor that made GEASS S1 unexpectedly charming for me. I liked how the commentary fit in ANGE because I saw the show as part exploitation. This allowed me to accept the extreme behavior of Ange’s sister and the others. I thought she was unintentionally a very funny character.

    4 At any rate I think there is great potential in CROSS ANGE and this is why despite my many misgivings I enjoyed the show very much. Perhaps one day the folks adapting KAIJI will remake? :)

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