Fall 2014: On Cross Ange

[Ohys-Raws] Cross Ange Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo - 01 (MX 1280x720 x264 AAC).mp4_snapshot_10.38_[2014.10.05_00.28.32]

On the first draft of my post, I said something about Cross Ange resembling an exploitation film, I decided to scrap that post because while that is true…that’s just part of what makes Cross Ange the controversial show that it is.

I’ve seen five episodes and don’t get me wrong, it’s still as trashy as ever but it doesn’t pretend to be anything more than that. The show is all about pushing buttons and yes, it does take it too far.  So much that I almost wanted to drop this show from the first episode alone. This is coming from the girl who laughed at Dio (Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure) making a woman eat her own baby.

And yet, here I am. It’s been five weeks and I still haven’t dropped Cross Ange. Why?

[Ohys-Raws] Cross Ange Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo - 03 (MX 1280x720 x264 AAC).mp4_snapshot_05.49_[2014.10.19_02.24.33]

Because stuff like this keeps happening.

At the very least, I can commend Cross Ange for not coddling the audience. I just doesn’t care. It has the audacity to repeatedly humiliate its protagonist in the most dehumanizing ways and kills its characters as brutally as possible. If Cross Ange were a person, it’d be the guy who tells a dead baby joke during someone’s baby shower. The joke itself isn’t funny, but the callousness itself is so shocking that you just can’t fathom why someone would do that.

Every season, we get a whole bunch of cookie cutter shows filled with nothing but tripe. These shows lack ambition or any sort of conviction. We also get shows that are nothing but con artists. They’re excellent at pretending to be something they aren’t, but once you look into them, you realize that they’re filled with vile undertones and unearned smugness.

While Cross Ange might be the nasty and shameless show that it is, it’s doesn’t belong to the two categories I mentioned just now.  Every week, I keep wondering if there’s a way for the show to top itself. It just keeps catching me off guard. It draws a response out of me.

[Ohys-Raws] Cross Ange Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo - 04 (MX 1280x720 x264 AAC).mp4_snapshot_09.56_[2014.10.26_00.53.31]

And it has an angry pilot dog for God’s sake!

It’s upfront about its true nature and that’s why I can easily buy into whatever scenario they decide to throw at me. Does that necessarily make it good? Well, no. Not really. Up until now, I wouldn’t dare call Cross Ange ‘good’. However, as bad as it is, it doesn’t quite upset me like– Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso.  But that’s another tale for another day.

Cross Ange is a fine enough time killer if you really want to see a show push the envelope in the worst ways imaginable. I think for that alone, it’s worth a watch.

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  1. I find myself seeing the show the same way, though I’m not really finding the “shocking” stuff this show is doing to be shocking enough to warrant the whole “waiting to see what they do next” response (except with the exception of the gross stuff that occurs in episode 1). I’d say Valvrave/Geass probably pushed the stupidity button a bit better, so this show isn’t really coming off as that special to me.

    • Geass had more than 50 episodes to push the stupidity and Valvrave had 26? While those shows certainly had a lot of crazy twists, Ange has only had 5 episodes to prove itself. If the rumors are true and this really is getting a 2 cour, I can’t see the show deflating as it is so I wouldn’t count it out just yet. Seems like a wild ride.

    • I can’t speak for Valvrave, that’s it’s own thing, but for me Code Geass actually had genuinely interesting content to go along with its silliness. Even if there was anticipation for what craziness happened next, there was also some actual level of investment in the characters and their situation. Your mileage may vary.

      In contrast, from my point of view Cross Ange just seems like exploitation for the sake of exploitation. I like reading blog posts on it, for whatever reason, but there’s no way I’m going to continue watching it.

  2. The more recent episodes have done a lot for improving some of the problems I had with its first couple episodes, I think. I agree with you that it’s this almost ignorant audacity that keeps you invested, like you’re constantly thinking “No, they can’t go there… no, that would be stupid… oh, so they DID go there…”. But those episodes did feel a bit aimless with its narrow focus on Ange and all those other Normas learning to be BFFs. Naturally it also didn’t work because Ange isn’t likeable at all.

    When the series finally continued its main-story of the Normas dealing with the rest of the world, it improved by basically committing itself to this absolutely absurd world where every person instinctively hates and fears Normas. And Ange’s solution to this situation is apparently simply to tear it all down. That really sounds like a bonkers-storyline but hell, it does sound kinda interesting to see where they go with something ridiculous like this.

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