Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu No Rondo Ep 25 [ Final Impression ]
Holy crap. It’s been two days since the ending of Cross Ange and I’m still reeling from the magnitude of stuffage that this ending offered. There is no simple way to define this series because my feelings are extremely complex, so the best thing I can do is get to it!
First and foremost. We were wrong! We expected far more death than we all got. I think Hilda, Tusk, Momoka, Chris, Salia, and Jill were all up for the chopper in our predictions. Two got a fakeout and only one died. Let me reiterate, Jill dies from the injuries she sustained in episode 24. Let me say that I’m still kind of reeling from this because the way it was done is incredibly sloppy. With 25 episodes to do it, setting up Salia and Jill’s reconciliation the way the show did is just absolutely poorly done. Long story short, Jill/Alektra dies in Salia’s arms and comforts her. The words she says to her push Salia to rejoin Libertus.
The only problem? Despite it containing the death of a major character, the execution was absolutely underwhelming. Alektra just seemed to be in pain but never to the extent of dying until she did, and Salia’s motivations recently didn’t make this seem scene powerful enough to sway her from Embryo. All in all this was the biggest flaw of the finale because it left two character arcs in the dust with almost no meaningful resolution: Salia still looks weak and isn’t redeemed, and Alektra died for little better reason than to give Salia a resolution.
Aside from Jill however the rest of the cast really nailed it in the end. Primarily we see just how far Embryo sinks and how strong Ange is. I have to say though this ending gets pretty graphic because Embryo literally enacts a hentai doujinshi scene on Ange and forces her arms and legs down with bondage (in the form of vines he controls) and is very close to raping her before Tusk and the girls come to save her. I have no doubt this will inspire many doujinshi where he completes the task and I think those people are missing the point but it’s still going to happen.
I think this is a great time and place to discuss what I think the theme of the show is: Consent. I know this might seem out of left field but from the beginning I’ve mentioned the nudity in this show and the sheer nature of it being slightly different. For the most part, most of the nudity and skimpy themes were illustrating something. Sometimes women were just having sex, but those were always presented a little more ideally. Oftentimes the women would be shown resting afterwards, or being content with their choices. Many other times, however, it was very forced and the show made it clear it was.
Even Tusk’s consistency to land on Ange’s crotch is played, to an extent, straight. At first he is severely punished for the trope and it only becomes an outright gag once we see it over and over again. And where does it all get the worst? When Embryo shows up. Everyone’s nudity takes a little worse of a turn once Embryo is around. There are suddenly less fun gentle lesbian scenes and more nudity in bad situations, nudity in horrible places, nudity when someone clearly doesn’t want to, sexual torture and lack of genuine emotions. Salia is shown in her underwear in one scene and it’s done during a dialogue to show how Embryo is manipulating her.
People get raped, and the show does not make it comfortable. Unless you have a fetish for that kind of thing the show doesn’t paint it to be flowery or to be accepted by anyone. No, the theme is to freaking reject it ! When women in the show have a choice, everything is better. Everything turns out more fair, they’re naked in a much sexier way, and people develop more. A cold, heartless bitch at first- Ange had all her choices taken from her and revolted. Then what? Once she fought for more choices and obtained them, she opened up.
Even if the creators didn’t mean to, they certainly made a show with a theme: Just because someone is different than what you expect, you cannot treat them differently. You can’t take away someone’s rights simply because they aren’t what you think the ideal should be. And even more, you can’t be surprised when people who have no rights respond with animosity. All people have to fight to live, but cooperation makes all the difference. This can be applied to many things, the struggle of women, the struggle of race, and it’s hard not to give the show more credit than it is due when the series seemed to shame any character and outright vilify them if they refused to respect the Normas or their rights as women.
So what’s my overall opinion? Mostly good. I can’t deny that every step of the ride was fun, hilarious, and eventually rewarding. Ange used to be so unlikable that seeing her finally adjust to becoming a good person again was heartwarming. To say I can look back and always say the nudity couldn’t overstep itself, or the plot couldn’t be too vague until the last second would be a lie. Really, the best thing this show ever did was it’s characters. It’s hard not to appreciate a show that can make a character so unlikable and then turn them into a protagonist you root for. It’s hard not to like a show that made Hilda and Ange bitches only to make them fun, or Vivian and Ersha one noted to making them cool. Even Emma becomes something, despite that they DON’T SHOW ENOUGH DETAILS ABOUT IT!!!
I’m happy with what it did. I think an OVA might be good for it, but the ultimate theme and the ultimate fate of everyone was good. At least Tusk lived because otherwise every male character of note would be a terrible person, thanks Julio and Embryo. Ugghhhhhh. I give the show an 8 / 10 and I’d say any fan of mecha and any fan of a female cast with growth should check this out. It is most definitely one of the best recent Sunrise productions and one of my personal favorites. Also…SYLVIA.