There’s no idyllic island paradise life.
What They Say:
Angelise is the first princess of the Empire of Misurugi. She is the celebrated ruler of the Empire until one day she finds out the shocking truth that she is a “Norma” – an irregular being who cannot use “Mana”, and are treated as “things” rather than people. Having her name taken from her, Ange isolates herself on a remote island. There, she finds a group of Norma women who spend their days hunting dragons that have come to invade.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Cross Ange’s movements have been a lot of fun so far as it’s moved quickly with how Ange has fallen from grace, dealt with the humiliation of it all and been forced into some utterly terrifying situations. While she’s starting to come out the other side of it with a harshness and confidence to make it now that she has the Vilkiss to pilot and a sense of a mission, she’s still largely on the outside of things when it comes to the other Norma’s she has to deal with. The conflicts are predictable to be sure, but they work well and we get some solid sense of threat about it all, particularly as some are filling the void left by the recent deaths and gaining new power and status. The show has definitely moved things along well in just the first four episodes in that we’re not just spinning our wheels.
Things take a different turn here after Ange had crashed and now has woken up in some island hut with a man watching over her, the first man we’ve seen since she was sent to the Norma world. The meeting doesn’t exactly go well since his clumsiness has him landing on top of her in some utterly predictable sexual ways, even though he did help save her after she crashed. Ange just isn’t having any of that and because of her upbringing and what she went through since coming to this place, well, she’s been abused pretty well and her shame level is high. Of course, it also has to go really awkward and gratuitous later on as the young man, Tusk, has to rescue her when she runs off into the island and gets poisoned, right at her inner thigh which makes for some highly sexual imagery as he sucks the poison out. The show has a craving for these kinds of moments and they’re definitely a turn-off for a lot of people, even as it establishes more of what Tusk is like as a person.
The first half works through the finding of a balance between the two, though Ange does tie him up at night a lot in order to make sure she’s safe. The montage material is decent and you see more of Ange learning to do things on her own and establishing herself, almost seeming like someone normal. Naturally, a little danger must enter the picture as well, which has one of the dragons coming to the island that gets into a hand to wing kind of battle, showing just how many shots one of those things can take. What’s useful about it though is that we see that Tusk is able to fix the Vilkiss in the heat of battle and the two as a team provide a very, very bloody death for the creature. Ange’s loss of the paradise she slowly discovered is brought out in full here and it takes a huge toll on her. Which also makes it easier to go back once contact is reestablished with the base. But we also see that Tusk, having been told to stay, has a connection to these pilots as well that will likely be explored in the future.
Cross Ange continues to be a divisive show among fans and I can’t see this episode easing that at all. If anything, it’s just going to ramp it up more with the way it operates and the kinds of things that Tusk will bring to the dynamic as he gets more involved. With this being the island retreat episode where Ange gets to survive and do a lot of things that are new to her, we see her soften up a little and realize that she can function, something that she struggled with since being removed from the palace and her soft life. But she also realizes that she’s very much tied to the bloodlust side of her life and that she can’t deny it, which we see in full force when it comes to the fight with the dragon here. I’m still digging this show a whole lot, flaws and all, as it’s doing a lot of things and really screwing with the characters in a way that most shows are afraid to do these days.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Apple TV via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.