FringeBenefits's avatar


  • Roanoke, VA
  • Joined Apr 8, 2011
  • ? / M

Cross Ange is trash. It's not even enjoyable trash like Valvrave the Liberator, the previous entry from Sunrise. It was quite clearly greenlit by some executive rubbing his hands together and chortling "Think of the CONTROVERSY! We'll make millions!" Therefore, the best way to deal with this series is not to give it any of the attention it so desperately craves. Life's too short to waste on this garbage.

I've got nothing against anime that thrive on mature themes and shock value. Madoka Magica, for example, is one of my favorite anime of all time. But there's a difference between skillfully using mature content and shock value and simple ugliness.

Cross Ange is ugly. Very ugly. I'm not talking about ugly on a visual level, I'm talking about ugly on the level of basic conception. It's also cruel, sleazy, relentlessly cynical, and hideously misogynist.

By now you've probably heard about THAT scene in the end of the first episode. Many things have already been written about it, by better writers than I. So I'll just say that it takes quite some doing to make a rape scene even more unpleasant than most hentai anime can manage. And yes, it is rape. Argue that it's a "cavity search" and you're only kidding yourself. Arguing that it's "justified by the story" is no better: not that I'd assign the production team any level of taste or atristic integrity at this point, but if it were really dramatically neccessary to rape the story's heroine, if it was really supposed to be played for drama and not titillation, then the gratuitous shots of Ange's wiggling butt would have been excised, as would the hideous shot seconds later of her lying broken on the floor with blood pouring from between her legs.

As hard as it may be to believe, the series only gets worse from there. I stomached four episodes before I quit, and in that time I saw sexual assault implied and carried out (complete with a hamhanded attempt at censorship, the better to sell those uncensored BluRays, right?), vile racism, blatant incest and pedophelia overtones, a gratuitous shot of Ange peeing herself, and two twelve-year-old children being brutally torn apart on-screen... the second of which is followed seconds later by a wiggling ass.

I don't have any idea why talented voice actresses like Nana Mizuki, Yukari Tamura, Megumi Hayashibara, and Eri Kitamura needed to participate in this. I wonder if they're as sickened by the content as I am... but hey, you've gotta eat, right?

Back to Valvrave for a moment: Valvrave, of course, also tried to draw in viewers with cheap shock value. Perhaps the most distateful thing about it, aside from the thinly-veiled revisionist World War II allegories, was that it did its rape scene and then promptly forgot all about it. It was included for shock and titillation, nothing more. After the first episode of the second season, it was never mentioned again.

By contrast, Cross Ange won't let the viewer forget. There's no humor, unintentional or otherwise, to be found here... especially not in the episode previews, which by refusing to take the dark content seriously are somehow more vile than the rest of the show put together. The ugliness and misogyny are constantly shoved in the viewer's face, sometimes literally, and after four episodes of sinking deeper and deeper it was quite enough for me.

Anime has a bad enough reputation without series like Cross Ange. You don't need to watch this shit. You don't need to give it any attention. Avoid it like the plague, and hopefully it will go away and be forgotten.

EDIT [04/02/2015]:

So apparently some of you are Cross Ange apologists. Apparently, some of you also can't read.

Here it is again, for those of you in the cheap seats: I enjoy anime with mature and controversial themes, so long as those themes are implemented with the respect that they deserve.

If your main character suffers being brutally raped and your series is not intended to be porn, then you'd better damn well take the subject seriously. Taking it seriously does not mean including exploitative shots of the heroine's ass waving back and forth, nor does it mean treating the rape as one big joke in the episode previews. Ange wasn't raped because the story needed to establish its mood... it had done that already by showing the sickening racism against the Normas. Ange was raped to titillate the audience and to make money. It was masturbation fodder for people too squeamish to look up actual porn, and it was done to create controversy and drive up ratings, which is the most cynical and mercenary reason to include scenes of that nature.

That's sickening enough, but what's even worse is making light of it immediately after it happens. Ange breaking the fourth wall and giggling about how "I sure went through some rough stuff in this episode, hee hee!" should offend anyone with a functioning conscience... which excludes a lot of you who have been leaving comments, I'm guessing.

I was willing to give the rest of the series a shot after that. Despite my disgust over the use of shock value as a cheap money-making gimmick, I was willing to see if the story justified itself. Instead, what I saw was more of the same: shock for the sake of profit. Did the audience need to see a 12 year old being torn apart and eaten, with one of her severed limbs sent flying for good measure? Did we need to see Ange peeing herself in fear? Did we need one of the other Norma pilots molesting Ange and attempting to rape her again in order to "put her in her place"? No. None of those things were remotely necessary for the story. They were all included for shock value and ratings.

A series that includes graphic violence, racism, and sexual assault isn't bad by default. Look at Game of Thrones, for example. There's purpose there behind all of the grimness and darkness. Madoka Magica is incredibly violent in parts, not to mention depressing and horrifying, but there's purpose to it.

In the hands of the Cross Ange writers, I'm confident that Madoka's famous scene of Mami being decapitated and eaten by a Witch would go something like this: there would be no cutaway or long-shots of the Witch devouring her, the full extent of the gore would be shown to the audience. Nothing would be left to the imagination. This would then be followed by a shot of Madoka's panties from below, followed by her cringing in fear and peeing herself. Homura's rescue moments later would be accompanied by lingering shots of her ass and more upskirts, and when the Witch exploded, the audience would see Mami's mangled body in as clear detail as the censors would allow, probably with her chest intact and strategically torn to display cleavage or nipples. In the preview for the next episode, Madoka's voice over would be making puns about "losing your heads" or "heads will roll".

That's Cross Ange. That's what it does.

Those of you complaining that I didn't finish the series before reviewing it... in other circumstances, you might have a point. If it had something worth saying, if the violence and sex served a purpose, if it had enough dignity and intelligence to set up such an awful world and then treat it with the seriousness it deserved, then I would have stuck it out. Instead, in four episodes I saw no evidence whatsoever that there was any plan behind the series except to pander to the most disturbing parts of the otaku subculture.  Cross Ange made me angry, angrier than I've been at a series in a long time, not just for how low it sunk into filth but how it pretended it was above the filth, like there was some shred of artistic integrity behind it all. I didn't need to watch the rest. It had made itself perfectly clear by the time I quit.

Panty and Stocking knew it was filth, and reveled in it by pushing it as far as it could go. That was the joke.

Kill La Kill made its audience look at its sexual content and violence in a very different way by the ending.

La Blue Girl and other hentai anime knew exactly what they were and what they wanted to accomplish, and made no secret of it.

Cross Ange doesn't want to say or accomplish anything. It was made only to sucker you in with sex and violence and then take your money. It's violent porn pretending to be art. If you think otherwise, well, you're entitled to your opinion... but I think you're only fooling yourself.

If you like Cross Ange, and I mean, really like it, not just "like" it ironically, good for you. More power to you. That tells me way more about you than I want to know.

I've said my piece, and that's all I'll say.

0.5/10 story
6/10 animation
5/10 sound
0.5/10 characters
0.5/10 overall

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MoondripLuxo May 6, 2021

You're mad about barely any sex scenes, most of which don't even show much of anything.  Though you liked mature shows, well, this is a mature show.  Segregation, ethnic cleansing, bare skin (with no nipples), some sex scenes, a god blinded by his ideals, action, death, like seriously, grow up.   You think an anime should be canceled because of a little scene in the first ep?  Isn't that just straight denial of open conscience for plot potential?   It's a series with a dark plot.   Of course there's gonna be 12-year-old girls ripped apart, Of course they're going to show limbs flying in the air.    IT'S A MATURE SHOW MEANT FOR A MATURE AUDIENCE.    If you can't handle blood, gore, ecchi, and other suggestive themes like things that probably happen to every prisoner when they go to jail, maybe you shouldn't watch mature-themed shows.    Maybe you shouldn't even write reviews on mature shows if you can't handle the mature themes it has.   Every anime needs to rake in cash for it to continue and for those who produce and create anime for us viewers, if giggles at the end of an episode put you off, don't watch the previews.  Oh No! It's not serious enough for the mature themes it has, what ever are we going to do!?!  Less-serious mature-themed shows tend to add things in the show to lighten the load, it's a thing that tends to happen.   This isn't "Rainbow: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin". They both have scenes with prison inmates being "searched". Yes, Rainbow is more serious than Cross Ange when it comes to their prison and inmate themes but that doesn't mean that either one is a bad show that needs to be avoided like the plague.   Let's look at "86" and how it tries to set the mood and bring in the viewers with the dark segregation, ethnic cleansing, and racism themes, look at how that played out, there's not much talk about "86" now is there.   When an anime has the "Ecchi" tag, there tend to be some sexual scenes without purpose, the anime "Gakuen HxH" is similar in that regard, like many other "Ecchi" tagged anime with similar themes to Cross Ange.  Shouldn't you as an anime watcher expect a little less purpose regarding sexual scenes in an "Ecchi" anime?   7 years have almost passed since you wrote this review, let's hope you give Cross Ange another chance with a little less expectation of how "serious" the episode previews are and how they reflect on what happened in their respective episodes.   It's not that hard to "sit through" and watch an anime that doesn't necessarily suit your tastes and preferences, that is, if you're mature enough to do so.   Maybe you shouldn't watch anime with the prospect of needing to review them, is this your occupation?    Sit back, relax and enjoy the show, it's really not that hard.   

mourning Oct 2, 2019

lol you mad becuase of a few tittes and muh rape

literally triggered :^)