CROSS ANGE: Rondo of Angel and Dragon
Angelize (or Angelise, as crunchyroll uses, and what I will, too) Ikaruga Misurugi is the oldest daughter in her family line, a beautiful blonde princess beloved by all. On her 16th birthday she is to be crowned Princess and participate in politics now - until her ceremony reveals she's a Norma. Normas, who are all female, are girls who have rejected the Light of Mana and are branded as monsters in society. Angelise, who's never even seen a Norma until the day before in an incident involving a woman and her Norma daughter taken away, is taken away to Arzenal, where she will be forced to fight enemies known as DRAGONs as a soldier of war.
For the past eight or so years, we at THEM Anime made a decision to from now only review anime we have fully completed before review, so as to counter all the "it gets better" claims we've gotten over the years. And normally, I follow this myself. But CROSS ANGE: Rondo of Angel and Dragon is such a mean-spirited, disturbing series, I couldn't compel myself to watch more than a few episodes.
The series actually fast forwards for a bit as we see Angelise, er, Ange out in battle with her hideous CG mecha, while her teammates with equally awful CG mecha are fighting also hideous CG dragons. This lasts for about 3 minutes before we get our lame opening theme, a very disappointing song from the usually great Nana Mizuki. (Speaking of Mizuki, she also plays Angelise, sounding eerily like her performance as Fate from the Nanoha series. It really doesn't help this series.)
After the opening theme is done, we flash back to... an odd game of space lacrosse involving hovercars. The only reason for this scene is to show how wonderful and beautiful Angelise is, and how even the other team gushes at all her Mary Sue wonder. She then rides home with her brother, sister, and maid as they stop and see a big scene involving a mother and her daughter.
And... well, if you want to abandon ship at this point, I can understand. The next scene I am about to describe is a tough one to swallow.
The mother is having her daughter taken away from her because she is a Norma. As I explained in the synopsis, Norma are female-only humans treated as sub-humans. So what's going to happen to the mother's little girl of no more than 3 or 4? They're going to, and I quote the official subs here, quarantine her.
But oh, it gets better. Angelise gets out of the car, goes to the mother, explains about Norma to her, and then tells her to her face that she should try giving birth to another baby, a proper one.
What. The. Hell.
After that incredibly unpleasant scene, we have fluff involving Angelise and her mother. At this time Angelise mentions that she wishes to rid the world of Norma to make an already beautiful world even more beautiful. Or, in other words, Angelise has absolutely no remorse whatsoever for a little girl being taken away earlier from her mother to be killed as long as she can sit on her fluffy royal cloud and think happy thoughts. And she would gladly do it again if it meant she would stay happy.
Remember, dear readers, this is supposed to be our heroine.
The next day it's Angelise's 16th birthday, where she'll be crowned Princess and thus be allowed to partake in politics. But like my synopsis mentioned, she's actually a Norma - oops! And her older brother Julio knew the entire time, and used the ceremony to reveal this, as well as usurp the crown for himself. Angelise's mother dies protecting her daughter as Angelise herself is taken away. And there there's a very, very unnerving scene of Julio looking to his littlest sister Slyvia. He casually remarks how they're "going to repopulate the kingdom together". Mind you, Slyvia is 12.
So after a disgusting display of pedophilia AND incest, we see that Angelise has been taken to Stereotype Dungeon, or Arzenal. Lightning, heavy rain, very dark colors, dank, murky atmosphere - everything opposite of imaginative is what Sunrise chose for this place. Angelise, now called Ange, is removed of all her belongings (including a ring her mother left for her the day before she died) and is then kicked in the gut by another Norma, who strips her of her clothes and forces a giant tube up her ass. All while Ange screams.
Our final proper scene of the episode is of Ange on the ground, crying, beaten up, and naked on the shredded remains of her dress.
And that's just the first episode. Episode 2 has Ange meeting the rest of her Technicolor hair crew, all of whom are bitches (except for the stereotype Team Mom girl Ersha, who has barely any lines of dialogue in the episode). Chief among them is a blonde woman named Zola. Her character can be described in two words: fondling time. Near ever scene with her has her either fondling other women, or having sex with them. She also tries to rape Ange at one point because she's still horny after having sex with one of her co-workers, because why not? Ange otherwise spends most of the episode being a whiny brat.
Three more character deaths later, in episode 3 Ange learns what happened to her people, and is not so happy by it. She also tries to commit suicide (to the happiness of some of her co-workers), but after she gains magic powers from her late mother's ring, her mecha transforms into a more powerful version, and she easily destroys the DRAGON in the episode. Ange ends the episode cutting her hair, throwing away her old heritage and no longer whining like a little baby for the first time since her mother's death.
I already don't care for Sunrise as an animation company in general, but CROSS ANGE: Rondo of Angel and Dragon is just a terrible show as a whole. Not only is it obnoxiously chatty, its sexual content and heavy violence serve only to remind one how desperate Sunrise was to just throw whatever on the wall to make it stick in a pathetic attempt to get people to continue watching. Like mecha? Here you go! Like females fondling one another? There's that, too! Like blood? We got that covered as well! It's terrible. It also tries to make you feel bad for Angelise, which doesn't work because for the good part of three episodes she's a selfish, loud, irritating bitch. The fact that it takes a buttload of deaths to make her open up really shows how strained for ideas Sunrise was to develop her character.
CROSS ANGE: Rondo of Angel and Dragon is not a good show. It's exploitation, period. The characters are detestable, the mecha and DRAGONs look hideous, and the animation, while quite good at times, is utterly wasted on drab environments. Unless you don't mind exploitation in your mecha series, just fly on by this show.
A downright hateful series with a terrible cast of stereotype characters. A complete waste of time. — Tim Jones
Recommended Audience: Between the first two episodes alone we have a mother getting beaten while her daughter is taken away from her, implied incest with a preteen girl, two very bloody deaths on-screen, a sex scene, an attempted rape scene, and Angelise herself getting beaten up, stripped of her clothes, and having something shoved up her ass. I can't recommend this to anyone, really.
Version(s) Viewed: crunchyroll.com stream, Japanese with English subtitles
Review Status: Partial (3/25)
CROSS ANGE: Rondo of Angel and Dragon © 2014 Sunrise / Ange Project
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