In a utopian society, people are can wield magic, allowing them to easily obtain anything they desire. Occasionally girls known as "norma" are born unable to use magic, who are collected and exiled. Princess Angelica was next in line to the throne in the Mitsurugi empire, but on her day of baptism it's discovered she is a norma.
With her mother killed while assisting her escape attempt, Angelica is captured and sent to a remote island with other norma. She is given the option to fight invading dragons, or die. Previously her every whim was met, but now she is left with nothing but the scars of humiliation. Still, the burning desire to survive pushes her onward.
Angelica is reborn as Ange, and a prodigy among her group. She carves a new destiny for herself but will never be her own person until she confronts her betrayers now at the throne. There's also the question of what the dragons are, and why they fight.
Cross Ange is like a beautiful woman who pulls up in a brand new Ferrari, rolls down the window, pats the passenger seat and says "Lets have some fun." But something isn't right. She's wearing an eye patch, missing many teeth and her disheveled hair is wrapped in bandages. The car already has many dents and flames periodically erupt from the engine bay. It's hard to say if it'll be fun ride, but it will be an adventure; probably painful, and you're unlikely to make it to the end. So it went with me and Cross Ange: an adventure, often painful but it was.. something to experience.
With considerable nudity and fan service, I figured this would sink fast. During the first episode I realized one genre I'd never seen anime tackle were sleazy womens' prison movies. I began to regret picking this one up, but became disturbed by a show so tacky, yet strangely entertaining. If you're not into gratuitous nudity, you'll have a lot to ignore. This is heaviest in early episodes with hardcore sexual assaults and fairly brutal violence but there's always an excuse to show skin each episode.
By never resting on its laurels, Cross Ange can be fairly entertaining by always progressing. Every episode I'd be curious to see what Ange was up to. Maybe she's on a deserted island, or getting publicly flogged, or challenging the dragon princess to a game of twister wearing a bathing suit - she's always into something new. That works for a while, but by the middle it comes off the rails.
Cross Ange tries to do EVERYTHING (and does nothing well). The longer it goes, the more is thrown in, until everything becomes a mess. Plot details make little sense, with sufficient explanations never given. It seems like it will grow into the story, but eventually it's clear Cross Ange makes up whatever it wants as it goes. This pissed me off with Ange's liberal use of the "ring of plot convenience", used to bridge story gaps requiring thought. Can't figure out how to get to the next part? *poof* the ring makes it happen. The writers for Cross Ange are simply lazy and very sloppy, and it feels that way with the story.
Most characters are one dimensional, although a few of them show another side when the story demands it. I thought that was disappointing in the case of Ange who was a princess most of her life, but after a few episodes it's like she was never one at all. One thing I did like about this anime is that Ange doesn't take shit from anyone. For someone who'd become a victim of society, and thrown away like trash, I liked that Ange found her strength and didn't relent, nor forgive those who did these things to her. In key points she could have done the "nice" thing, but Ange seriously does not give a fuck and is perfectly happy to use her gun to solve problems that look like too much effort.
There's probably more wrong with Cross Ange as right with it, with the story being on the wrong side. Also, why do the ships transform into giant robots? It makes no sense! Anyway, Cross Ange is like a pile of everything, including the kitchen sink, and that sink loaded with T&A. It's maybe a decent watch if tolerant of the poor construction and prepared to throw up your hands and say "Sure, why not?" a few times per episode.
Ange: I'll kill you until you die, then I'll destroy the world.
Embryo: So dramatic!
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