You know how I bad-mouthed Terra Formars last week for choosing black-out censorship over Cross Ange’s ‘no nipples’ approach. WelI…I don’t know why, but Cross Ange chose to do black-out censorship this week.
Still, I can understand how this happened. I mean, I get it! No nipples doesn’t really change the fact that our fiery princess is being sexually assaulted by her commanding officer as ‘punishment.’ At least, I understand it would have less impact from another angle and nipple-or-not doesn’t change the obvious semi-rape so…maybe I’m getting ahead of myself?
Our princess starts her day stuck in a Kindergarten class of sorts for Norma children being ‘educated’ for life (and death) as combat personnel. However, since reeducation is obviously not going to work, Arzenal’s command team decides to just throw her into front line combat and let life-or-death sort things out.
The horrors of this decision, and this setting, can’t really be blamed on any of the immediate characters though. Arzenal is a prison/military base that must fight or die to survive; its prisoners would be crushed by the mana-using mages that label them Norma in the first place, which means rebellion is impossible, and lets face it: the princess isn’t helping herself here. She’s a total jerk to everyone, especially her ‘fellow’ Norma.
Let’s get one thing straight: DRAGON stands for Dimensional Rift Attuned Gargantuan Organic Neototypes! This is a mecha based Sci-fi, people! None of that frilly magic fantasy stuff here. (except from where the Princess is from… er…ehem)
As you may have guessed from the opening theme, Episode 2 introduces us to a truly dizzying number of characters. Each one of them is distinct and believable in what is basically a women’s only prison (only women can be Norma) but for the life of me, there’s too many to quickly recognize yet.
Still, I don’t think this will be a problem for long. I imagine after a few more of them are killed in brutal, swift and merciless ways, I’ll get used to the survivors’ names…
As for the xxxploitation of its characters, this too isn’t really a fault of the show. Everyone is a powerless prisoner. It seems obvious that the strong, the ones who control a sliver of power, would revel in dominating everyone around them.
Gross? Yes! But understandable and I imagine part of Cross Ange’s point: that the segregation and domination of the Norma has lead to making the Norma more horrifyingly outside the confines of society then they would have been if left alone.
Cross Ange is brutal, nasty, and creepily sexy in the way that Womens’ Prison Exploitation films in the 70s were but maybe — just maybe — it’s got a little more soul than that.
For now, it’s not even that graphic by guro/extreme hentai standards but be warned. Nipples or not, black-out censors or not, Cross Ange is not for the feint-hearted. It’s mecha drama with a vile bite.