First Look: Cross Ange: Rondo of Angel and Dragon

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Alternative Titles: Cross Ange: Tenshi no Ryuu no Rondo, Gundams and Dragons
Anime Original by Sunrise
Streaming on Crunchyroll

Premise

Angelise is a princess beloved by her people and next in line for the throne. Her kingdom thrives on a magic power that can only be negated by individuals known as the “Norma”, who are quarantined and treated as sub-human. On the day of her coronation, she discovers a secret that shatters her way of life. Also, there are robots shooting dragons.

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Jel’s verdict: Unacceptable

Any of my thoughts on this episode are overshadowed by the final scene, so let me get this out of the way in bold, italic text: using sexual assault as a shortcut for your characterization is not edgy or shocking or cool, it’s gross. Presenting such a scene in a sexually provocative way is even more disgusting. I understand the character is meant to be stripped of her dignity, but there are so many other ways that scene could have been approached without playing to the audience’s presumed rape fantasy.

It’s really disappointing that they just had to go there, as I very much liked the premise of Cross Ange. The opening fight scene was nice to look at as it’s tough to argue with robots fighting dragons, and I love the set up for Ange’s return to the throne. It’s a cool enough plot that I am willing to put up with the over the top melodrama and random splashes of gratuitous fan service that certainly didn’t do this episode any favors. But after that last scene, I don’t want to continue on. The writer and director’s inability to keep it in their pants just makes Cross Ange feel like an outdated dinosaur instead of the empowering come back story it could be.

Iro’s verdict: NOPE NOPE NOPE

I was totally on board with the concept of people using transforming jet bikes to fight dragons, but then Cross Ange just had to go and ruin it. The melodrama surrounding the concept of “Norma” was so utterly laughable, any merit the idea has is buried six feet under. The fanservice is somehow even more glaringly gratuitous than Code Geass‘s T&A piloting system, and the ending scene wherein Ange is apparently raped with medieval torture implements was beyond appalling. I will gladly drop this steaming pile of shit and never look back.

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Marlin’s verdict: Horrendous

This show was terrible in almost every conceivable fashion. Yes I know I just said this yesterday, but it doesn’t make it any less true. Idno if I just have a much lesser love of dragons or mecha or both, but the plot premise did nothing to draw me in. That’s why it was only made worse when every scene with Ange had to show T&A of the most gratuitous kind since Code Geass. This did not get better as the show flashes back. I don’t care how awesome your magic society is, calling people inhuman just because they mess stuff up a little bit is just stupid. Also, the idea that Ange would never try to use magic on her own in the sixteen years of her life, despite the fact that it seems incredibly easy to activate, is just plain silly. It just creates this really sleazy plot set up for how she goes to PTSD rape dungeon land to fight dragons. It still boggles the mind to comprehend that people get paid to write this kind of garbage.

Zigg’s verdict: Garbage

It takes serious talent to screw up ROBOTS FIGHTING DRAGONS but that’s exactly what they did here. Even leaving aside the horrifying final scene, this is mostly just a badly written collection of ‘edgy’ cliches trying as hard as possible to be a show for cool, mysterious people but instead coming across as the tortured mewling of a teenage boy. Fantastic racism, gratuitous parent death, implied incest, they’re all here, all handled with the sensitivity of an electric shock to the nipples. The baby kidnapping scene is gratuitous tragedy porn and makes us immediately hate our main character, which is hardly a good way to start, and the revelation that she herself has managed to go her entire life bereft of magic is baffling, as is the fact that apparently coups can happen at the drop of a hat with little to no fuss. Everyone turns on everyone instantly and nobody is presented as honest, likable or interesting in any way. Then there’s that ending, which is so gross, horrible and misogynist that it makes me ill to even think about it. What a thoroughly hateful, despicable thing to close your episode with. In conclusion…

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