Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo Ep 19 [ STRANGER DANGER ]
This episode contains a lot of nudity. And I mean, damn, never has Cross Ange contained so much nudity. Normally I contest that nudity in the show serves a theme, that when a woman is naked it’s done in order to show she is being opressed and used. To a degree we can use some of these scenes and show that context, but this is one of the times I really just have to go, naw some of these are just boobs. Yet before the episode is over we see that theme again, so reiterate: Cross Ange is a show with fanservice that both uses nudity to gratify a male audience and to also remind the viewers they should feel guilty and wrong for enjoying that nudity. There are harmless scenes of pink lingerie, then there is a woman being forced to strip for a man who intends to assault her. That is the only reason Cross Ange is different from other titles with fanservice.
Salia manages to tranquilize Ange, though I have a sneaking suspicion she might have killed her and Embryo brought her back and maybe in the finale it will be revealed she will die when Embryo dies because of it??, and takes her to Embryo along with Momoka. Momoka is the only one with Ange and it seems Vivian and Tusk escaped, which is a pretty good fact for Tusk since Embryo always seems determined to kill the men around him. If the Norma women with Embryo are any indication he has a love for seducing the hearts of women and making them submit to him.
We see this episode why each of the three gave into Embryo and Ange’s reactions are pretty much mine. Salia it seems went to Embryo because she was abandoned on the battlefield and discarded, Embryo told her she was worth so much more and gave her the love she wanted. It’s pretty clear he is replacing her love for Alektra with himself, and the dialogue clearly indicates they’re sleeping together and Salia is in love with Embryo. Her ring was given to him basically as an engagement ring. Ersha is a little different, as all the children that were killed Embryo brought back and allowed to live in the Misurugi Empire, and she makes it very clear she’d kill anyone to let those children be happy. Finally, Chris spoke about how no one cared about her and Embryo risked his life to save hers after her friends left her to die.
Out of all of them, Ange reacts to the following: Chris and Ersha, silence and understanding, the kids and Chris’ death were legitimately silencing and emotional experiences she can’t relate to. Salia?
YOU’RE EMPTY AND A WHINER AND REPLACING ALEKTRA. She gets slapped, but then Ange retaliates for the slap by punting Salia pretty effectively. God, Salia’s reasons just look so meagar in comparison. I’m not as good as Ange so I have an inferiority complex. Not, the kids I view as my children died, or, I died as all my friends watched me die. Kris’ is the lesser of the two but she freaking died, she doesn’t even realize how huge being under Embryo is. We see even more clearly, he fixed all their problems then gave them anything they wanted. He makes sure Salia has a wardrobe made of magical girl things, and is affectionate with her.
Now the biggest up and down about this episode is what happens next. Yes, learning the motivations of the characters is essential and vital. Yes, seeing how Embryo influences them is a big deal. It’s sort of even implied he’s only sleeping with the ones who need him to, with the way he just seems to be close to Ersha and Kris being an exception. Then again what he does next leaves some room there, as he uses some of his powers to basically try and rape Ange.
Using the term rape does not properly explain just how creepy this scene is. He literally uses his powers to make her go blank in the mind and strip for him. He goes on this long sophisticated rant about how she should give up her individuality and instead submit to an easier life. The way Embryo talks is genuinely so creepy and disgusting, and the worst part is he is almost unkillable. Prior to this Ange actually shot him repeatedly only for him to reappear, dubbing himself the tuner of time. ‘Do the Norma even want to be freed?’ he asks her and then has her take off her underwear for him. He describes her body grossly, perfectly, and kisses her.
And she bites him. It’s amazing, as once again Ange’s personality is shining through and for once I’m glad she’s so harsh. How easy could princess Angelise have been molested and manipulated by this creep? Ange isn’t. Embryo becomes enamored with her even more declaring she is dramatic and the one he must have waited for all these years. We cut then to Jill and discover. . . she’s got a complicated history with Embryo. He didn’t rape her, she actually seems to have loved him.
Well fuck me sideways. So many new theories from me- mayhaps that Embryo has been reliving the timelines we saw Salako and Ange experience together and has been seeking Ange in every timeline only to fail? Embryo seems to hate other men and view himself as the most pure male. Think of it, he didn’t hesitate to kill Julio but he kept the beautiful DRAGON woman alive and chained to be Sylvia’s plaything. I don’t think describing him as misogynist is right, Embryo seems to view the world as his and as the ‘tuner’ who can disagree with him? It makes sense he’d become captivated by Ange, one of the only things that isn’t his.
I’m terrified of what’s to come. Jill apologizes to Embryo in her sleep and it seems like by defying him, turning away from his idealistic peace, it led to her losing her arm? Part of me speculates Jill was working with Embryo and something went wrong, Libertus itself probably ruined by her, and Embryo likely threw her away thus her anger with him. Maybe she leaked where Libertus would happen and that’s why everyone died, she lost her arm, and Embryo eventually let her go? Something dark like that is happening and I’m terrified to see what it is. Either way, Jill isn’t out of the cards yet like it seemed she would be last episode.
So where are we going now? I’ll bet you money Tusk and Vivian are going to rescue Ange, Meanwhile Embryo, once rejected, seems like in the preview he’ll be telling Ange things. We will see Jill next episode and I guess even more will be revealed, holy crap in less than two months the show will be over. And as usual, it does nothing but get better.