Searching for family, Ange and Hilde hit the road.
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 certainly was a lot of fun the last time around as we seemingly got a bit of a quiet and unimportant episode overall that instead took a very different turn as Ange orchestrated her escape to go after her sister and help her. Hilde got caught up in it along the way with her own plan and while Ange was intent on ditching Hilde along the way, the two actually worked together for a bit and Ange was more human than she’d been for a bit. Putting both of them back in the real world, with Ange having Momoka with her as well, the two went their separate ways with their own goals in mind. That offers up some good potential that will come circling back to each other and the larger story itself as it goes on.
The cold open here is pretty good as we get to see some of Hilde’s childhood with the kind of very good upbringing her mother was giving her and the bond between the two. Shifting it to her being taken because it was discovered she was a Norma was done traumatically, which explains some of how she shut down and became who she is now – a thief in the night pursuing her goal. Ange and Momoka are continuing their journey, as we see, but the focus here is on Hilde, to good effect as she’s returned to her hometown, dressed as the locals do, and is hoping to reconnect in some way. While she’s not child-like, there are moments where she becomes a daughter again, just wanting to see her mother, and that helps to really humanize her beyond what her days on the island are like.
Unfortunately, as she finally does encounter her mother, she realizes that she’s not all there anymore. She doesn’t recognize Hilde and views her as one of Hilde’s friends instead, telling her that Hilde will be home soon and she can wait. Though it’s not the time she wanted, she does get to have a little taste of life with her mother and enjoy it, but it all comes crashing down in a very hard way as it turns out that her mother had another daughter and named her Hilda in order to cope with her loss and move on – if not some outright reprogramming of her. When Hilde reveals who she really is, it’s a crushing moment for her mother because of what her being there could mean for the life that she has built. Hilda’s curious though, but it all turns pretty bad and is heart wrenching to watch with what Hilde has to go through after having fought so hard to get there. You can understand her mother to some degree, especially the social pressure that likely came having given birth to a Norma, but it’s painful for all involved.
Ange’s story is an interesting one as she makes her way back to the school in the dead of night with Momoka and we get the reinforcement of how feared Norma’s are, such as when she comes across Akiho and she basically falls apart in fear of her former best friend. Ange’s attempts at finding out more about her sister lead her down some violent paths as her former friend rats her out quickly, leading to a confrontation with the police that keeps Ange from going after he goal in a stealthy way. Interestingly, as she gets closer to her goal, we see that Tusk is out there as well watching her and commenting on her poor approach. There’s a great moment though as they finally reach the house and see Sylvia being held under armed guard and how it sets off Ange as you’d expect. It goes in its own difficult way but it also mirrors Hilde’s story with how Sylvia reacts, though you get a sense that there may be something different about it as it all goes down and her brother is orchestrating something.
Cross Ange works a pair of stories here as the two characters focused on went their separate ways the last time around and what they do here is pretty good. There’s similarities to be sure that will likely have them bond closer when they reconnect, which should be good to watch. Each story stands on its own though and there’s a good exploration more of what people think about Norma’s, the ostracization that occurs and the levels that they’ll go to in order to excise that from their lives, whether it’s Hilde’s mother or Ange’s former friend Akiho. Neither situation ends well and there’s some real brutality here, especially with Hilde’s end scene that makes you cringe and really empathize with her in a way that you pretty much refused to do in all the prior episodes. Good stuff all around and I’m curious still to see how Tusk will factor into things.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
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