ThatAnimeSnob's avatar


  • Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Joined Dec 22, 2011
  • 41 / M

In 2006 Sunrise gave up on trying to make serious mechas, after seeing how something actually good like Zegapain doesn’t sell shit, while something as absurd as Code Geass makes enough to buy your own small country. So ever since it tries to top itself again and again, by making progressively more absurd and heavy on fan service shows. Starting with crazy Code Geass, it moved to super crazy Valvrave, and eventually to super duper crazy Cross Ange. The only way to enjoy these types of anime, is to shut off your brain to logic and accept everything they throw at you. This way the complete randomness will translate to fun, because you have no idea what the hell is going to happen next.

On a very superficial level, the show manages to never become stale, by constantly introducing characters and throwing plot twists in almost every episode. The story is nonsensical and the characters are straight out of an eroge, but hey, it keeps you watching, and, supposed, entertains you. I could waste a few paragraphs trying to mention what it going on in the story but by the time I finish you will only remember something about discriminated lesbian witches in mechas, fighting dragon chicks from an alternative dimension, while a rapist god is torturing naked girls into submission. Who cares about the story? Oh, and they included Gundam SEED mechas and characters as Easter eggs, because why not. It’s fun… apparently.

The first thing most people will notice about Cross Ange though, is not the random storytelling, as is the extreme amounts of sexuality. For a non-hentai show, it is very heavy on fan service. Aside from the occasional sex jokes, you get constant nudity, lesbians, sadistic torture, and male rapists. Very cringe-worthy stuff if you are not into that sort of deviance.

It becomes twice as unbearable if you listen to how people who like that shit try to defend them as meaningful and deep. No sir, it is not deviant fan service, it is means to show the character development of the main heroine, it is about female empowerment as she fends off her assailants and grows stronger, and it is about finding the will to stand on your own feet instead of letting yourself being controlled by men. Now stand still as I chain you naked on a table and shove a stick up your ass to make sure you are not hiding anything in there. I mean, that is how cavity search is done in real prisons, right?

I have lost count of how many tasteless casuals kept telling me how the sexuality is not too much, and is even very realistic, since such stuff happens all the time in real life. Torture and rape is an every day event in many parts of the world, so this anime is in fact far more real than all the other anime which DON’T show such things. I mean come on, look around you, you will find naked lesbians being tortured into submission in every street. So real…

It’s not like these topics are not addressed; it’s just that you can’t possibly take seriously the way they are presented. They make sure to switch from dramatic to comical as soon as they can, so you will never think about something for more than one minute. Nothing lasts long enough to matter and the little bits which do, are ridiculed by done to death ecchi slapstick. This is why the show is pretentious, and those who defend its deviance, are pretentious overthinkers.

Then we have the other side of the spectrum, where other people defend it by dubbing it self-aware. Like, if something happens all the time and in such volumes, it ceases to be ridiculous or sexy and becomes its own thing. Ok, that is true, meta-commentary works for shows that revel in their style and clichés. It’s like shows animated by SHAFT; they are heavy on self-indulgence. But does that make them deep or serious? No, it makes them a circlejerk of people having fun with something so bad, that it becomes good. There is no gravity or theme exploration, since nothing lasts more than a few minutes before it gets replaced by something completely different.

Not even the production values are that good, since the CGI robots and dragons are meh, and the character designs are bland. The only thing that stands out, are the Gundam SEED Easter eggs and the very revealing Norma uniforms. That’s stuff you use in bondage sex. But don’t worry, it’s not like they wear them all the time. Because half the time they are completely naked. I guess the themes of racism and female empowerment do not look real enough if women are dressed.

Despite all this bullshit though, there is something that Cross Ange did right, and that is starting off very low, and gradually building upwards. This is a major contrast to what most other shows are doing; they try to hook the viewer with an amazing first arc, only to fail at delivering in whatever follows it. Cross Ange’s first episodes are meant to make the viewer believe the show is nothing but sleazy fan service and deviant torturing of women. It made most of the audience to drop it right away.

After that though, it begins adding more layers to the characters and to the setting, making it more complex and flamboyant as it goes on. Meaning, it deliberately makes you have very bad first impressions of it, and gradually makes you like it more as you keep watching. Just like Steins;Gate and Shinsekai Yori, it aims to get popularity and prestige as it goes on. It’s a risky move to not to aim for the approval of the majority right away, but it pays off much better in the longrun, if it works out. The few people who follow it to the end, will tell the rest how better it becomes later on, making many to watch it after it’s over. When you marathon a show with the reassurance that it gets better, your opinion of it improves considerably. Having most of the new revelations in the plot affecting the personality of the main heroine, is making it even easier to like it.

Of course the heroine going through lots of changes does not equal amazing character development (as many believe it is) if the script is trash. And it is trash; you can never take it seriously, you are just laughing at it harder and harder, as it gets dumber and dumber. It is still very weak in theme exploration and to the most part it remains fap material with very bland characters and low brow dramedy. This is why it is nowhere as smart or as deep as many of you make it seem to be. Of course, if you still disagree, you are free to think otherwise; it’s not like I am going to stick something in your ass and force you into submission by labeling it realistic cavity search. But it is going to be deep.

2/10 story
6/10 animation
6/10 sound
3/10 characters
3/10 overall

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frankstleBilly Apr 1, 2015

Sums up the entire show perfectly ^_^