Cross Ange as a social convalescence plotOne way to interpret Cross Ange is as an example of the "convalescence/recovery plot" anime genre, which centers on the (usually female) protagonist's struggle to overcome a major trauma sustained early in the plot (other examples include The Garden of Sinners and Claymore, specifically Clare's arc). Ange's trauma is mainly psychological: being betrayed by her whole world in the first three episodes leaves her a bitter, cynical shell with zero regard for fellow human beings. From there on, the series chronicles the reforging of her social bonds with other people, as she gradually recovers from her horrific Trauma Conga Line and learns to trust again:
- In episode 5, Ange meets Tusk, the first human being she acknowledges as such following her transformation. However, since the two of them do not form a proper personal bond at this time (beyond basic teenage physical lust), it is more of a false start and a foreshadowing of Ange's Character Development.
- Episode 6 is the first time Ange recognizes the worth of another human being—quite literally, when she gives away everything she had earned by risking her life earlier to buy out the life of the one person who has unwaveringly treated her well. Momoka reeducates Ange in the value of devotion and, thus, serves as a catalyst of her return to humanity.
- Episode 7 is, ultimately, another false start: Ange's almost-successful attempt to bond with Salia and their squadron is negated by Sylvia's message, which prompts her to betray everyone but Momoka. She thus fails to learn the value of camaraderie this time around.
- In episodes 7 through 9, however, Ange forms her second personal bond with the most unlikely person, Hilda. By opening up to each other and realizing their similarities, they two of them manage to transform their hatred for each other into a shared hatred towards everything else. A relationship based on hatred is not healthy (and fortunately doesn't last) but it does teach Ange the value of having an ally in a shared purpose.
- Episode 14 is Ange and Tusk's episode, where Ange basically re-learns the value of romance and, more importantly, the readiness to make sacrifices to maintain her relationships (even small ones, like apologizing for things she said).
- Episode 16 sees Ange meet her equal for the first time in the series. Salamandinay teaches Ange the value of friendship, as well as of friendly rivalry based on mutual respect. This way, Salamandinay single-handedly brings about what is likely the most character development Ange experiences in the entire series.
- In episode 17, the prolonged stay in a foreign world, combined with the trauma of watching Arzenal burn in episode 13, makes Ange realize (on her own) the value of home.
- In episode 23, Ange re-learns the value of taking responsibility for others when she officially takes charge of Libertus. In the same episode, she tastes the romance with another girl, taking her formerly hate-based friendship with Hilda to a new level.
- Finally, by the end of episode 25, Ange comes full circle and contemplates creating her own kingdom and ruling as queen. She, who had rejected authority all along, finally recognizes the value of facilitating society and is ready to shoulder its weight on her own terms (even if not immediately, as her initial plans seem to limit themselves to opening a cafe).
Thus, Ange starts off scarred and traumatized, with nothing and no one, but by the end of the series, she has forged strong bonds with her most loyal retainer (Momoka), her bestie-slash-worthy rival (Salamandinay), her man (Tusk), her willing mistress (Hilda), her comrades (the First Troop survivors), her new home (Cafe Ange), and her future kingdom.
- The literary term for this kind of plot, in fact, seems to be "The Armless Maiden".
Cross Ange's plot is a reference to The Revelations, with rapture involved.
The endgame climax in particular showcases this on quite a bit:
- Unlike what he'd like to think for himself (as a Creator/God), Embryo is more like the Devil or The Anti-Christ or the False Prophet as he was the one who gave the 'substance' of Mana to the Mana community and made them decadent and worshipping him while making the Norma suffer (And by that, we can also refer the Mana as the Mark of the Beast, a product of The Anti-Christ). By the end of the series, he initiated The End of the World as We Know It, concentrated in the World of Mana, but his efforts were put on a halt by the true benevolent God figure (Aura) and the heroes.
- The world was invaded by what would look like Eldritch Abomination (DRAGONs) but there is more than meets the eye.
- Once Embryo is disposed of, that is when 'rapture' happened:
- The Norma and DRAGONs, beings that suffered throughout the series and persevered while managing to find friendship, reasoning and understanding with each other, surpassing their flaws and making up for their mistakes (Salia, Ersha and Chris' HeelFace Turn, Jill discarding her General Ripper attitude, even if she died for her past mistakes), were rewarded by being put on the world of DRAGONs, which was mostly protected and still have lush resources that they could use to rebuild. In other words, it is the equivalent of Heaven.
- The Mana society, other than Momoka and Emma, were punished by staying on the old, now-apocalyptic world, since they spent all their lives in luxury and also advocating crimes such as racism and bigotry, not acknowledging their faults (like, demanding Ange to help them even after all they've done, without even apologizing for their lynching on her in the past) or even try to be a better person like Momoka and Emma (sinners that managed to repent at their actions). The Mana-less world has become the equivalent of the eternally burning Hell for unrepentant sinners to weep. Sylvia could be seen as an example of a sinner that realized her sins, but it was too late to repent.
- In a way, DRAGONs could be representative of the Angels and combining the 'humans with wings and halo'] look and the default Eldritch Abomination seen in the book. After all, the benevolent God figure (Aura) is a DRAGON. The female DRAGONs like Salamandinay, Naga and Kaname represent the 'humans with wings and halo' angels (except their wings are draconic), while the monstrous DRAGONs that served as the earlier monstrosities that attacked Arzenal represent the Eldritch Abomination type angels. Their goal have always been to defeat the 'evil' that was amassed by the Anti Christ figure (Embryo) (while also saving their leader), but they faced resistance against the followers of the Anti-Christ, who used the Norma as their own Cannon Fodder.