Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo Episode 11 [This show now deserves a full title]
I am going to sum up this episode as best as possible for you in one sentence: Cross Ange is not an adequately amazing enough title on it’s own, and henceforth to do the show itself justice I have to add it’s full subtitle: [Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo].
How do I explain what a show did right when basically all of it was right? How do I elaborate on a concept when the concept was both something we could see coming and yet wholly welcome and fresh. The show had nothing but bad feelings from episode one and has evolved into something greater: A story capable of making us excited and happy to view it. Even when we can see something coming, it isn’t the sense of ‘predictability’ we all think of. Instead it was welcome, exciting, and refreshing from everything.
We see my predictions are wholly true: Sylvia and Julio are not the true evil. Yet what I thought would be a cop-out was something far better: They were being manipulated by the parts of the series that would prove to be the most interesting. Julio, for instance, was being brainwashed and poisoned by his attendant. . .who just so happens to have dragon wings. Yes, we are finally seeing the realization of the question: Why are they capturing dragons, and why are the dragons attacking? And incidentally, nothing is more satisfying than having Sylvia scream for her sister to save her after what she did to her.
The dragons aren’t just appearing, they’re fighting on purpose. There is some unnamed war the Norma are fighting on behalf of the rest of humanity, and it seems like after this episode they might end up being forced to feel the consequences. Julio is manipulated into opening some kind of singularity, which means that these noble families have had the sort of power to do this all along? He is used to launch an attack on Arzenal.
What follows is amazing. A para-mail descends from the new singularity and destroys half of Arzenal, eliminating the teams fighting it almost thoroughly. Perhaps it’s lucky for Ange that she and Salia went AWOL, because their team couldn’t fight in that moment thanks to it. The most frustrating thing about the episode though is we see much of why Salia fights and she can’t stand, absolutely refuses, to give up the Villkiss to her.
Why? Well, as it turns out Salia has always wanted to pilot the Villkiss and avenge Jill, who lost her arm piloting it. Jill, who is actually named Alektra, has always told Salia she’d never be able to pilot it. Furthermore, Salia resents that no matter how hard she works she can’t pilot it and that Jill won’t acknowledge her: It goes beyond Senpai noticing you, Salia refers to her as her beloved, and this show makes no secret that many of the women have lingering affections for one another.
So what happens? Ange and Hilda manage to save Salia from the Villkiss as it falls, and Hilda and Salia fly off while Ange perfectly pilots the Villkiss to fight the mysterious mobile suit. This results in her charging up an attack that could probably destroy everything, but Ange fires her own. The catch? Both of their suits utilize a song as the final key for powerful attacks. Their beams neutralize each other and the two seem to shift dimensions momentarily, surrounded by stars.
Ange comes face to face with the pilot, a person that all of us have seen in the credits. The woman is strikingly beautiful but once the two meet, something more important happens. We see visions of Ange and the woman and I hypothesize, as it’s very clearly showing, that the women are connected by destiny. It would explain why Ange can mysteriously use the Villkiss and is connected to it, and would take away some of that ‘I’m super special for no reason’. No, if this show is going where I think it is, Ange and this mysterious woman are destined to meet again and again in different ways. Sometimes they clash, sometimes they’re friends, sometimes they’re even lovers. But it’s not an accident the two met here.
The woman calls Ange a false citizen, and I’m guessing that means that the world the people live on right now is not actually the one they rightly deserve. Maybe the DRAGONs and humans once lived alongside each other and eventually they were forced off once mana was created by using DRAGONs as a fuel for it, something a ‘norma’ could not utilize because it interferes with their life energy. It definitely makes something clear, if the Norma and the DRAGONs are the ones fighting the war, the Normas are not causing it. The humans who selfishly live ‘perfect’ lives are doing it, and probably deserve to be smited.
I feel bad for Salia this episode, but I also love Ange. I have this feeling her whole ‘destroy the world’ stuff is never going to happen and she’s probably going to end up saving the world in a sense. But I have no idea the conflict that happened or what made the war go on so I can’t even hypothesize that far, so fuck. But I’ll say this: I have always wanted a flashy giant ass mecha battle between two chicks who don’t lack feminine qualities, emotions, or ability. These women are clearly women and yet they fight headfirst and with no shame. And, as stupid as this is, I like the singing. Fuck all of you, I love the singing. The songs are really beautiful and if Kira Yamato can go berserk mode just because he got some artificial enhancement then ANGE AND HER BEAUTIFUL DESTINED PRINCESS LOVER CAN USE SINGING TO DESTROY EVERYTHING. FUCK YA’LL.
I love it all. Intense mecha battles, real characters, growth everywhere and interesting dilemmas. I have nothing but hope that Ange will continue to grow, as she has done so much since episode 1, and we will finally understand everything. I don’t normally see the best show of the season get passed up by the big players, but this one has been licensed by one of the smaller companies and all I can say is: I can’t wait. I must own this. This was perfect. It was all perfect.
I’m going to go shed tears of happiness now, see you Sunday.