Mecha Monday: Cross Ange Impressions

Hey, Kaushik here for another week of Mecha Monday. This week I’ll be covering one of the other mecha series this season, this one considerably more under-the-radar than the previously covered Reconguista in G. It’s Cross Ange, Sunrise’s third mecha series for the season. Unlike Sunrise’s other 2 shows though, this is a totally original IP, so there aren’t really many expectations for it going in. That can be a good thing for some series, but for this show I really wish I knew what I was getting into before watching it.

Cross Ange Title

It’s hard to describe Cross Ange, but if I had to choose one word it’d be ‘crass’. There is a level of absurdity to this show in terms of how some very serious topics are handled that are beyond any anime I’ve ever seen. Let’s start small though, and go with the plot to begin. The plot isn’t actually all that bad insofar as a concept goes. The story takes place in a world that revolves around magic, and the main character is a Princess of an empire. Those who cannot use magic are seen as subhuman. Referred to as “norma”, they are quarantined and shipped off away from the regular magic using citizens of the empire. The Princess of this Misurugi Empire, Angelize, learns one horrifying day that she is in fact one of these “norma”. After some dramatic events, she is shipped away to a facility of other norma, where they are raised to pilot transforming mechs called “paramail” and fight dragon invaders from another dimension. This is a clear-cut situation with the promise of some interesting developments to come.

Two of the main characters, Ange (right), and Salia (left)

Two of the main characters, Ange (right), and Salia (left)

Unfortunately, Cross Ange chooses to forgo a lot of potential development and instead goes through a lot of very odd scenes in order to define Ange’s character. The show is rife with fan service to begin with, which is alright. It’s just something you come to accept when you watch a lot of Japanese animation. However, the show takes a turn for the odd when Ange is sexually molested in the first episode… And then again in the second episode. In fact, I was somewhat surprised that she wasn’t in the third. While sexual molestation can have a place in developing a story, between the situations it’s done to Ange, the shots used, and various other factors in the show, it comes across as fairly tasteless and without any literary merit. This is further compounded by the fact that in the episode previews found at the end of the episode, the characters are quite light-hearted and joking about the events of the episode. It implies a certain level of absurdity and awareness in the producers in the show that really takes away from potential serious moments and chances for character development.

Ange's paramail in flight mode

Ange’s paramail in flight mode

There are a scant few things I can praise about this show though. For starters, the voice cast is actually pretty solid. At least, for a show totally dominated by females. The cast ranges from names like Mizuki Nana, who plays Angelize, to others such as Kitamura Eri, Yukari Tamura, and more. It even includes one of my favorites, Koshimizu Ami. And since Mizuki Nana is doing the main character, she also does the opening theme of the series, “Kindan no Resistance”, while Kitamura Eri does the ending theme. Akiko Shikata is composing for the series, so as far as audio talent goes, the show is actually decently well-off.

Ange's paramail in robot form... Looks familiar, don't you think?

Ange’s paramail in robot form… Looks familiar, don’t you think?

The character designs are pretty similar to the designs from Code Geass, from the sharp features to the long limbs. I won’t say I dislike it, but because it looks so similar I’m getting a lot of flashbacks to Code Geass, some of which are good but insofar as they relate to Cross Ange… Mostly bad. I’m giving this show a chance to turn things around, since I think the opening concept is okay, but the first few episodes have really soured my impression of this show.

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Kaushik

I write about anime and stuff. Giant robots are pretty cool, too.

Kaushik

I write about anime and stuff. Giant robots are pretty cool, too.

One Comment:

  1. Brief thoughts on the first three episodes: I should not be continuing, yet I cannot stop watching. It is not “So bad, it’s good”, not even “I do not know why I like this show but I do”, it is like I just want to see where it is all going and how many more bumps the show will make before its end.

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