SPOTLIGHT: Cross Ange Episode 1

Princess Angelise comes from a world where most everyone can use mana. In fact, those who aren’t capable of using mana are seen as dirty, violent and less than human. So much so in fact that they are forcibly removed from society as soon as they are discovered and imprisoned or destroyed. Angelise sees no problem with this and even dreams of finding a way to improve that system so that Normas as they are called are eliminated entirely. That is until her birthday rolls around and it is discovered that she is actually a Norma herself. Stripped of all her royal power and privilege, she is sent to a remote island where she is treated as worthless and forced to join an army of other Normas.

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The first episode of Cross Ange has been taking a lot of heat and criticism this month for various reasons. Some people called the first episode of the series outright trashy and low class. I’m here to tell you why I disagree with this sentiment and why, after one episode, Cross Ange is off to a good start.

I’m going to start with the obvious… Sunrise did a good job producing this first episode. The first couple of minutes where we see Ange in a battle against a dragon just looks amazing and really draws you into the scene. Even beyond that scene though this episode is filled with wonderful character designs and little details that will catch your eye around every corner.

The best part about this premiere though is the world that they manage to build in only a few minutes. Within twenty minutes, Cross Ange manages to create a very interesting world that makes you uncomfortable. On the surface it appears to be a happy and peaceful world but in reality it’s cold and heartless. Everyone smiles because they can use mana but then we see a harmless baby taken away from its mother because it is discovered that the baby isn’t capable of using mana. This world is cold and cruel but no one seems to care.

And then you have the prison scene at the end of the episode which has to be addressed. This is the scene that seemed to lose the most amount of people who were fine with the series up until this point. Once again though I have to come to the defense of Cross Ange and say that this is one of the most powerful scenes of the episode.

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Not the prison scene… No spoilers here.

Many people complained that it was pointless fan service but I disagree. This is the cap that brings everything together. While I won’t go into gory details on what happens within this scene, I will say that this is what really brought everything together and truly emphasized just what this new world that Angelise finds herself in is like. She is no longer a spoiled princess… she is lower than human. She is a worthless thing that can be abused without a second thought. This wasn’t pointless fan service, this was her world being absolutely destroyed.

I have no idea if Cross Ange is going to be able to keep up with the pace and standard that it has set for itself in the first episode but I do know that I want to see more and will be anxious awaiting the arrival of episode 2!

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