Cross Ange Episode 16 - Interspecies Intramurals

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Well finally the show is getting somewhere. After two episodes of world building and exposition, Salamandinay gets a chance to shine as a character instead of be this enlightened figure of wonder. So what does that mean for the audience? It means it is time for a bonding episode! A DRAGON Princess dedicated to the fall of Embryo! A disenchanted former Princess cum Paramail pilot! Now unencumbered by the necessity of explaining what the shit is going on, they can now move forward to an ever greater union through competitive sports battles spanning from tennis to Twister!

Surprisingly this is not as a crazy bad as it sounds, unlike the exorbitant price the facility is asking to pay for golf. Ange as of yet has never really come across somebody who not only is her equal in all-around prowess, but also holds a very divergent viewpoint of the world. Ange is skeptical, cynical, and wary while Salamandinay is poised, dutiful, and determined; and when the two meet it makes for a nice clash of ideals. Setting it in the backdrop of competitive anime sports tropes is markedly odd, but it works in a way that could not happen in the backdrop of a battle. Think of it as Salamandinay’s way of verifying that Ange is just as formidable outside of combat as she is inside. Had they just went off to the final part of the episode and bonded through some long drawn out combat scenario it would not have been as effective. The last part where they used their ultimate weapons to save a world than to destroy each other works as a coda to what happened beforehand. I know I initially complained about how Salamandinay was not much of a foil in the last episode given her attitude to Ange’s indignation was solely no-nonsense, but she changed it around nicely this episode. She not only revealed her competitive, playful side, but also her moments of vulnerability. Yay, dimensions I guess.

How this goes about vis-à-vis what happened during that Whoremonic Convergence with them throughout multiple worlds remain to be seen, but as usual I will just bide my time. Womanly bonding is not the only highlight this episode, as we also catch a glimpse of Embryo’s power, a power that Not-Kira has experienced beforehand. Embryo not only can open singularities with the world, but severely alter it in a way that causes the reality to shift, causing anybody caught in it to be fused into rubble somehow. Begs more questions than answers anything for sure, but in light of how the climax turned out it was effective in not only bringing Ange and Salamandinay together but also Vivian and her mother.

Thank goodness I’m finally engaged once again. We’re now familiar enough with the DRAGON Earth, and from the look of things it is time for Ange, Not-Kira, Vivian, and Salamandinay’s crew to get back to Ange’s Earth and start up a ruckus. About time really, there’re only nine more episodes left to go, so I expect a big roller coaster ride after the lull that was the last two episodes.

Rondo of Notes:

  • I should probably care about how Ange could will Vilkiss to heal itself, but this show is so out there I’m just letting it slide. It is not much a transgression unlike SEED/Destiny where it tries to ground itself in some science or technological standard.
  • Don’t lie, you also find Vivian calling her mother “Mrs. Mom” (Okaa-san-san) adorable too.
  • Another episode, another moment of me thinking why Fukuda does mecha shows when he’s more interested in people and their actions. Compare the way the entire sports montage was handled to the actual mecha combat. Leagues of difference when it comes to effort given.
  • Note the Gundam cameos.