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  • Alas, Poor Scrappy:
    • Some people actually felt sad for Sylvia towards the end of the series, especially after she realized that Embryo killed Julio and the fact that she's never going to see Ange again because of her actions. She has no one to blame but herself. It's also a sad, yet touching moment to see her follow in Ange's footsteps.
    • Some fans also felt sympathetic to Jill after being used and ultimately killed by Embryo. Not only did she lose her comrades, but her Roaring Rampage of Revenge turns out to be All for Nothing.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
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    • Was Sylvia's jerkassery her own fault or instilled by Julio's emotional manipulation of her?
    • Was Embryo a formerly well meaning individual as presented in the backstory by Jill, or given how good he was at hiding his evilness at present, already evil even then? Additionally, his decision to restart the world: Is it because he's being an egomaniac as usual and also made it part of his eventual plan, or he realized that the decadence and rampart racism and bigotry of humanity majorly represented by the Mana society that he created were genuine failures in his part and he wanted to do better next time?
    • Tusk is also viewed as either an incompetent comic relief that Ange needs to hold his hand for, or a smooth operator who does these fanservice hijinks deliberately.
  • Angst? What Angst?:
    • Ange recovers amazingly well from the traumas she endured in the first episode, namely her mother being killed before her eyes, her father being imprisoned and herself bent over a table and given a "physical" from a mechanical hand, spending much of the second in complete denial of her situation, convinced her people will return her home while continuing to express prejudice toward Norma. In fact if one hadn't seen the first episode, they might not know these things even happened—although, of course, it's all a mask. She simply converted her angst into anger and hatred towards the world that discarded her. As such, she remains a deeply broken individual until the final episodes.
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    • Sure she was shocked that she was a DRAGON all along instead of a Norma, but Vivian is still as cheerful as ever. Even when told that her tail and wings had been surgically removed long ago, her reaction is less "How could you do that to me!?" and more "Oh, that explains it!"
  • Arc Fatigue: As much as the DRAGON/Earth arc was interesting, fans felt it dragged on for a long time. It didn't help that Word of God stated that Episode 14 (at least the second half) was a filler.
  • Ass Pull:
    • We're initially shown Ange as a privileged princess who cannot even dress herself yet after a series of extreme trauma, she suddenly becomes stoic badass, she is cutting up another of the girl's pilot suits with enough precision as to not even graze her skin, and using weapons she likely didn't even know existed a few days ago. You'd be forgiven for assuming there was a time skip the writers simply forgot to mention.
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    • Momoka and Tusk survive with Momoka apparently surviving thanks to a frying pan blocking the bullet. Tusk's reason for survival is not stated in show, however the preview and Fukuda's Twitter state that he survived because he is a ninja.
  • Awesome Art/Scenery Porn: The backgrounds, courtesy of Final Fantasy regular Kusanagi.
  • Awesome Music:
    • "Kindan no Resistance", the first opening of the series sounds like a typical Nana Mizuki song. Suffice to say, it's awesome. The show's soundtrack is composed by Akiko Shikata. In other words... also awesome.
    • "Towagatari" note  in all of its incarnations.
    • "Villkiss ~ Kakusei", the main activation theme for the titular Para-Mail's asskickery. The fact that it uses Ominous Latin Chanting will induce goosebumps upon playing.
    • "Shumatsu no Love Song", the second ending theme, also sung by Nana Mizuki, gives off similar awesome vibes as the first opening, combined with a more hopeful, uplifting feel.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: The most well known thing about the show is the very attractive females, couple that with the revealing outfits that are shown in almost every episode and the softcore amount of Yuri. There's a lot more to the show other than that though.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Depending on the viewer, Ange is either loved for her fierce independence, developing sense of justice and hotheadedness or is an entitled, self-important bitch who only works alone and steals kills and the subsequent monetary reward despite not caring about the money.
    • Salia is either a sole voice of reason trying to do her best in a lot she didn't ask for while trying to do her leader proud (and for some, hopefully find her true love), or an envious egotist who can't get over her idolization of a mentor that has since admitted to using others, or losing the Villkiss and perceived role as her idol's protege to Ange, a person who she often comes to blows with and in particular refuses to be played by Jill. Salia trying to force Ange to sneak out via the sub and play her role in Libertus instead of staying behind to stop the Arzenal siege, to the point where she went after her when Ange already deployed in the Villkiss to do so which ended in Ange knocking her into the ocean, split people even further between the two. And then there's Episode 17. Asking "who won" will cause an argument so loud that can drown out a jet plane.
    • Fan opinion is split with Tusk, Yuri Fans see him as the former for being a guy in the main cast full of women, while some see him a Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass Knight in Shining Armor, and others find Tusk's clumsiness resulting in him diving on Ange's crotch to be pretty annoying.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • Granted the point of the scene was to get Ange acquainted with Sala and the DRAGONs, however some of the scenes in Episode 16 are just bizarre even for the series that viewers could be forgiven for thinking the series underwent a Genre Shift.
    • The parallel universe vision shared by both Ange and Sala after their beams clash in Episode 11. Aside from fan theories about alternate universes and a destined rivalry, nothing comes of it in series.
  • Bile Fascination: A large portion of the viewers in the show's initial run were people who remembered Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny and were hoping to see a train wreck. Afterwards, a not insignificant portion number of people checked out the series to find out what all the complaining is about when they hear of the series.
  • Broken Base:
    • Mitsuo Fukuda's involvement can make and break it for people. For some viewers, especially in the West, his work in Gundam can turn people off due to the obvious influence. Then again at the same time his work in Gundam is also immensely popular, so his named tagged onto it also draws attention to it for viewers to be interested in it.
    • The second opening can have this reaction from fans, especially the opening sequence used in Episode 13note . Some love the music and hate how the opening looks more like a fan made animated music video, some hate that the opening song itself isn't as energetic as Kindan no Resistance, and some think that the opening and the ending should have been switched. And then it turns out they only added a few scenes while recycling the rest and the ending unchanged. Cue the fans accusing Fukuda of lying and rampant Lazy Artist accusations ensue.
    • There is a noticeable divide among the fandom as to whether the first half of the show was better or the second half. Fans of the former point out noteworthy episodes such as 9-10 and favored the absurdly gratuitous content. Fans of the latter believe that the show began Growing the Beard once Ange left Arzenal and became friends with fan favorite Sala.
  • Cargo Ship: Salia is very fond of the Villkiss. Unfortunately for her, it was sunk by Villkiss who refuses to use its full power for her.
  • Catharsis Factor:
    • After all the crap Julio was responsible for, it's exhilarating to see Ange finally have him on the receiving end and almost kill him.
    • And again, after they betrayed Ange when she was exposed as a Norma, when Ange refuses to rescue them when they, being Dirty Cowards, forcibly demand her help after they have they have lost their ability to use mana and the world is collapsing. "You bunch of selfish pigs", indeed.
    • And in the final episode, with the slight exception of Sylvia, these Mana-using people, who grew so decadent, lazy and selfish, having everything handed on them on a silver platter, now reduced to having nothing and had to do all the shits they imposed unto the Norma previously just to survive in the Mana-less world. Meanwhile, the Norma that they prejudiced to hell and back, and the DRAGONs, whom they mark as monsters to send the Norma in as Cannon Fodder? They live together in peace in the DRAGON world while rebuilding in a quicker pace, basically enjoying the peace the Mana users took for granted previously. This turn on karma fortune might attract some of the audience to say "Serves you right, you pigs in human skin."
    • After all of Embryo's crimes, including rape, Mind Rape, mass murder, torture, omnicide and not caring about children dying the show makes it extremely satisifying for him to get Hysteria destroyed and to see Embryo get chopped in half in a brutal fashion by Tusk and Ange with him finally being slain.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Prince Julio Ikaruga Mitsurugi, heroine Ange's evil brother, betrays her at a ceremony to expose her as a "Norma"; Normas are humans without magic who are shunned and sent to become glorified Cannon Fodder in a war against interdimensional DRAGONs (alien beings). Their mother is killed by a cop trying to evacuate Ange from this fate. Julio has their father arrested (later leading to his execution), to seize the throne himself. He manipulates their crippled sister Sylvia into baiting a trap for the now battle-hardened Ange, so Julio can capture her, torture her and murder her himself. When she escapes, Julio, taking advantage of a proposal from the mysterious Embryo to destroy and recreate the world, eagerly decides to simply "purify" all Norma and launches a brutal attack on their home of Arzenal to kill all of them, especially Ange.
    • The aforementioned Embryo, the "Creator" of the world, was a scientist who grew tired of warfare and kidnapped the mighty DRAGON Aura to power the creation of a new world. Embryo creates a system where those without magic are oppressed and used as Cannon Fodder to kill DRAGONs trying to recover Aura, while discarding and recreating humans when they fail to impress him. Embryo seduces many of the pilots to his side, using Salia sexually while lying about how he loves her. When Ange herself refuses his advances, Embryo tortures her by forcing her mind to undergo overwhelming pain and then physical need. When Ange tries to escape, Embryo shows his true colors by taking over the mind of her faithful maid Momoka and even tries to fatally shoot Momoka when she resists. Upon the final battle, Embryo simply decides to obliterate all of humanity again, coldly rebuking one of his subordinates for caring about others, and tries to sacrifice his loyal followers to buy himself time. When he is through trying to seduce Ange, Embryo tries to beat and rape her before trying to kill her for not "accepting his love".
  • Crazy Awesome: Ange has done so many crazy things after her Important Haircut moment. She's crazy enough to force feed someone via kissing, buy her mana user best friend and maid by Arzenal rules and thus giving the first middle finger of the racism between mana users and Norma, kill all DRAGONs all by her lonesome self to buy said mana user, tell the person running Arzenal as to whether she's embarrassed by a bug or not, pilot her Para-mail despite being sick, break out from prison to save her sister by kidnapping a princess and buying out Jasmine's guns, takes on an entire police squad and win with nothing more than guns, a hoverbike, and her maid (though it ended with a Pyrrhic Victory), sing to shut up people, finish the job of her rescuer, free fall with no parachute to get to her Villkiss, and toss the person who was on Villkiss and tell Hilda to catch her. This is even acknowledged in-universe by Hilda who thinks she's crazy but she should have expected that.
  • Crossover Ship: Quite a few fans enjoy pairing Hilda with Junko Enoshima of Danganronpa.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Between the outright cruel nature of the Mana society towards the Norma, and even the long-suffering DRAGONs are by and large a little too self-serving to be outright heroes to the point the setting becomes a case of Black and Gray for a lack of sympathetic or trustworthy people, to the point some fans have expressed the desire to see the whole setting be burned to the ground. It actually happens near the end.
  • Die for Our Ship: Tusk has been reviled by the yuri fans for even existing. It doesn't help that all of his appearances so far have been him digging himself deeper, getting his face in Ange's crotch, and isn't as interesting as Ange. The fact that he's billed as a main character despite being only in a handful of episodes at this time of writing hasn't helped his case.
    • Escalated even further after Episode 14, where almost the whole episode is dedicated to Ange and Tusk. It cultivates in them sharing a kiss and very close to making love directly after had it not been the timely arrival of Sala's minions to answer their earlier distress signal. Needless to say, the yuri fans are practically begging for him to die.
    • The heat may die down a little after Ange kisses Hilda.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • With his entire first scene, fans already were clinging towards Embryo despite being a really nasty man, proclaiming that "he's god."note  It probably was thanks to him being a really nice friend to animals and the fact that he legitimately cares for humanity as a whole. Even the Norma concept itself was something he didn't see coming and was an accident. The fact that he is very disturbed at the slaughtering of Normas and threw a few Pet the Dog moments for other people makes viewers really question whether he's evil or not. And then there's the entire thing he did at Episode 19, save for brainwashing Ange, only for the latter to overcome it. And then Embryo bows down to her. Even after this is all revealed as simply acting on Embryo's part and after he attempts full genocide of humanity while trying to rape or murder Ange out of spite, he still managed to retain fans.
    • And in a more Well-Intentioned Extremist sense, we have Liza, who has gained a bit of fandom lust, and following her capture by Embryo, pity, even though she was responsible for enabling Julio to engage in his plot of taking over the empire, the death of Ange's mom, and Ange's resulting struggle, which included instigating a siege on Arzenal that decimated half the island and resulted in many Norma deaths. That she was helping the [DRAGONs] as a mole doesn't completely absolve her. (Sala apparently didn't approve of the methods being used.) There are even fans who hate Sylvia for whipping her in Episode 19, even though for ruining her family and torturing her, she did kind of ask for it.
    • The DRAGON race as a whole, with the exception of Sala. Remember that with the exception of the former, all of them agreed to execute Ange upon making contact with them for the first time (Of course, Ange was an unknown entity who showed up out of nowhere at a time when they were embroiled in a costly war, but still). And this was after they tried to destroy her former homebase, Arzenal, along with all the other Norma, even though they were all pawns and victims of Mana society and Embryo, which might as well count as a war crime. They also don't seem to care that returning Aura to their world will bring about immediate societal collapse for the denizens of this world. They are also this in-universe for Ange, who has begun to trust them very quickly, even when they haven't completely stopped suspecting her.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Vivian seems to be quite popular due to her cute design and cheerful personality despite the circumstances of the show's setting. Even the staff has admitted to liking Vivian since she's such a Genki Girl even in the darkest of times.
    • Hilda became a sudden favorite for many after it was revealed she wanted to get out of Arzenal to reunite with her mom. The tragic results earned her even more sympathy points.
    • Momoka also is this when she shows how loyal she is to Ange when she stood up against the crowd of people who wanted Ange to die. A lot fans do wish that she pilot a Para-mail so she can finally fight alongside Ange. The fact that she was a lot helpful to Ange despite not being able to fight certainly helped her case. Though in hindsight, her piloting a Para-mail may be a bad idea.
    • Sala has a huge fanbase as soon as she showed up in the opening. Then her appearance kept getting teased till she was shown in Episode 11 and even only for a few lines. Her formal appearance made her more popular when she curb stomped Ange (if one-sidedly so via flying dropkick) and her popularity hasn't dwindled down since. It helps that the Yang Dragon has a pretty sweet design that is a bit more plausible due to having an enclosed cockpit instead of being exposed like a Para-mail, have seat belts, and generally safer to pilot than a Para-mail.
  • Epileptic Trees: Whoever was SFHHHJG GFTHK that was shown during the graveyard scene in Episode 3 really had a very special name.
  • Escapist Character: Ange, in an unusual overlap with This Loser Is You. She expresses very well the many hardships that youths today struggle, such as a lack of time to grow up properly by being forced to act as an adult way too early, overly eager and reckless behaviour which leads to fatal mistakes, an inability to talk about their problems with other people, because it is liable to get one labeled as wangsty, both by the environment and one's own conscience, or an overwhelming sense of frustration with the world.
    • Hilda probably fits here as well, especially for those people confused as to their sexuality.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: The Norma and DRAGONs are finally rid of Embryo, the epicenter of their respective struggles, and finally get to live in peace. The surviving Mana people however are forced to struggle in the aftermath of the dimensional fusion, which has left their world in ruins, and fight amongst each other for survival. While this may be considered by many to be their just desserts, this did not sit well with others who saw that many of the people were Unwitting Pawns of a sociopath with a god complex and left in the dark regarding the truth behind why Norma were discriminated and where the Mana came from, and blamed them for being rotten and complacent while doing nothing to help that complacency in the first place. This argument definitely has a point regarding a few of the Mana users who were or became privy to the truth, namely Ange's own parents, Momoka, Emma and perhaps also Misty Rosenblum, who proved that Mana people could be equally kind towards the Norma if they were enlightened enough. Although the majority of these Mana users that got their just desserts tend to fall into the "unreasonable ones" category rather than the enlightened ones.
  • Evil Is Cool: Embryo is the villain of the series. Considering he made his pilots wear cool looking suits, awesome weaponry, treated them more of a human than the other factions, himself wearing a nice suit, and then there's the entire Draco in Leather Pants treatment and you've got one awesome villain.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: The final episode implies that despite the fact that humanity's world is now in ruins, they are actually supposed to be better off than before since they no longer have mana to solve all of their problems and now, like Ange at the beginning of the series, they have to learn to live on their own strength if they hope to survive. While Embryo might have had a point with his observation that humanity had become decadent, to treat the entire world as rotten to such a degree that they deserve such a fate and that Violence Really Is the Answer is basically promoting anarchism.
  • Foe Yay: A one-sided part on Julio towards Ange as Julio is so obsessed with killing her while Ange herself doesn't care about him or Sylvia anymore.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • The "friendly fire" incident in Episode 5. A lot of fans laughed at how stupid the pilots and the staff were when they encountered a DRAGON and just basically killed themselves. Now that Episode 11 aired and it turns out that anyone who can use mana and hears a DRAGON's roar gets overcome with a dose of Berserker Rage, suddenly the entire sequence made a lot of sense now.
    • The Episode 11 preview after the events of the episode itself. While none of the named characters died, Sala's attack on Arzenal vaporized more than a few Para-Mail pilots, as well as half the island itself!
  • Genius Bonus: All the Ragna-mails are named after historic queens and princesses, with the sole exception of Embryo's Hysterica. This may seem random, until you realize that the word "hysteria" is derived from the Ancient Greek word for "womb".
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Ange proclaiming in Episode 1 that she wishes to wipe all Norma in hopes of helping the World of Mana, after Julio himself shows up with fleet in tow at the end of Episode 12 with the intent of doing the deed himself, even if he's doing the bidding of Embryo. Even harsher now that we the viewers, along with Ange herself, now know the reality of what the Norma have to deal with over at Arzenal note . Julio by contrast has known and wants to obliterate everyone, especially because it means he can get rid of Ange, the bastard.
    • Also the Norma baby comment from Ange in the first episode. Guess what Hilda's mom did after Hilda was taken away from her?
    • Embryo's Fan Nickname became one as well when he makes Ange strip for him in Episode 18 and actually makes her disappear with the intent to rape her.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Informed Wrongness:
    • Early Ange was reflected on by the story (as well as herself) as spoiled and racist. Both are debatable, at least when compared to her once-fellow residents in the World of Mana. The worst that can be said was that she had other people groom her, and yet, she was looking forward to becoming a Politically Active Princess. Being forced into becoming a soldier certainly damaged her there. As far as racism goes, she didn't care for norma, but didn't openly call for their deaths like everyone else did, and had been kept in the dark about it.
    • Her tenure as a dragon hunter at Arzenal was a case of "Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don't". Jill coldly forces her to "fight or die" even though she was forced into combat before she could even adjust, a move that also cost the lives of two fellow new recruits, and the squad's leader. Also, she's disgusted at the thought of killing dragons and finds it violent, but only gets used to it after starting to do it. Later, she's put into detention for "deserting" Arzenal, even though as forced conscripts on order of the World of Mana, they really have no moral duty, with no indication of Jill doing it to keep appearances. A few episodes later when she ends up in the True Earth, she is treated like an enemy, albeit somewhat understandably, and beckoned by Sala to quit killing DRAGONs... even though it was never by Ange's own choice and that Ange had already infact very recently learned the dragons were modified humans, but rather because she and all Norma were all pawns of Embryo and the Mana leaders, not to mention the DRAGONs' own spy in the Misurugi palace, Liza, was largely responsible for sending Ange down her present path, and also opened a portal above Arzenal annihilating half the base as well as the Norma in spite of the Norma just being pawns. Not to mention that while holding Sala hostage may have been a step too far, she truthfully couldn't be faulted, because this was what she had to cope with and learn as well in order to survive in Arzenal, not to mention that she had been either betrayed, lied to, or threatened with execution almost every step of the way, and seeing as this was how she had just been given yet another execution threat (even if it was dropped). As such, she had far from adequate assurance to let her guard down. On top of this, Sala has the gall to call their world violent, even though again the Norma are forced to fight the DRAGONs and she and her comrades just pulled the siege over Arzenal, even though a strike over either Misurugi or Rosenblum (the administrators of Arzenal) would have been far more apt.
  • Internet Backdraft:
    • Suggesting that this anime is in any way sexist is an easy way to get you labeled a Social Justice Warrior and told to go back to Tumblr.
    • What happened to Ange at the end of the first episode is also a subject of heated debate, and whether or not it counts as rape despite being justified as a "physical".
    • The entire First Troop not participating in the final battle did not sit well with fans as only Ange, Salia, Hilda, Salamandinay, and Tusk participated in it.
  • Jerkass Woobie: No matter how unethically she has acted, Jill deserves at least some pity; her backstory was even worse than what Ange goes through. She was exposed as a norma at age 9 and discarded by her family (Ange's parents tried to protect their daughter, by contrast), and her attempt at Libertus ended in horrific failure, as she had been raped in both body and mind by Embryo while her comrades all died, and lost her arm, along with the ring she needed to pilot the Villkiss, in her escape and retreat, leaving her a secretly self-loathing empty shell of her former self. She does make up for her attempts to hide away from her past in the final episodes, but loses her life in the process. She still comes across as more sympathetic than the cowardly mana society masses who try to have Ange rescue them.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: The first BD volume, for the Nana Mizuki event ticket.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Ange has been paired with almost all named characters from her six other teammates in First Troop, Momoka, Tusk, Embryo, Julio, and Sala.
  • Les Yay: Has its own page.
  • Love to Hate: Embryo. He's a Manipulative Bastard that is very enjoyable to watch but his actions are absolutely disgusting compared to everyone else.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • Ange thanks to Word of God stating about a minor but significant animation error.note 
    • Momoka is also seen as this by fans thanks to her hilariously awesome moment in Episode 13 when she suddenly became a Ninja Maid. Some fans even claim that she'll pilot a Para-mail one day and these people are convinced that she's the better pilot compared to Ange.
  • Memetic Molester: Embryo. Only one girl has stopped his advances on her: Ange. Then came Episode 20.
  • Memetic Mutation: Everyone is "merely pretending".note 
    • That, or they "did nothing wrong".
    • "Nana wills it!"note 
    • "______ my ass!"
    • Embryo's no-face in Episode 13, along with his almost fourthwall-breaking "what a boring plot". Also his twitter bird in Episode 12.
    • *FALLS INTO CROTCH*
    • Gas the sub!note 
    • STRONG, INTELLIGENT WOMENnote 
    • Crossed over with Gundam:
      • Embryo, he is A RAU!Note 
      • What is Jesus Yamato doing in Cross Ange?!note 
    • THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS Note 
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Ange's brother Julio crosses it in the first episode by exposing Ange as a Norma at the worst possible moment (her royal baptism), which ends with their mother dead, their father imprisoned and Ange exiled with the rest of the Norma, all so he could usurp the throne and "purify the royal bloodline".
      • He gets worse trying to execute Ange.
      • He finally reaches irredeemable territory when he leads the attack on Arzenal, leading to the deaths of numerous Norma.
    • Embryo already crossed irredeemable territory ages ago in the past and cemented it when it's revealed that he mind-raped and physically raped Jill to insanity while causing all her squad to die all because he didn't like the love she had for him. He then just keeps on crossing the lines onwards later on.
    • The attempt to execute Ange by Julio also counts as one for the whole Mana community, who chose to cling onto bigotry and racism instead of developing decency beyond that when it was possible for Momoka. Ange even agreed on this, it was at this point that she came to the decision that the Mana community is beyond redemption, and no longer gives a damn when Embryo severed their links to Mana and rendered them helpless. And they had the balls to demand her to help just because. As far as Ange and most likely the audience are concerned, they haven't done anything to escape the Moral Event Horizon so they do not deserve forgiveness or help.
  • Narm:
    • The numerous amounts of unnecessary fanservice shots in very serious scenes ends up as this.
    • The racism towards norma from mana-users, particularly in Episode 10. Makes the Number racism in Code Geass look downright understated. It Makes Sense in Context as soon as we learn that mana mostly renders people not privy to outside knowledge easily influenced, and worse, controlled by Embryo.
    • The Downer Ending of Hilda's part of episode 9 when she is beaten by cops looked a little too hilarious for some. The fact that she's smiling while on the ground doesn't help.
    • The entire burning scene in Episode 12. It should have been a very serious scene and the delivery and execution was decent. Unfortunately, it was ruined thanks to the character models being off.
    • The uncensored version of Coco's death is this as the animators changed the blood from the shocking red thanks to the filters to pink.
    • Sala in Episode 15 describing her race, the DRAGONs, as peaceful and civilized in contrast to the "barbaric" inhabitants of the world created by Embryo, is too hard to take seriously when one remembers Miranda's death via getting devoured by dragons one cour earlier.
    • The knife fight in Episode 18, already a goofy-looking episode in its own right. Let's just say there's a lot of hilarious moments in that one even if the scene was very serious.
    • Momoka surviving the gunshot because the bullet hit the frying pan she had under her clothes.
    • The butt-spanking Embryo gives to Salia in Episode 22. His absurdly stoic pose doesn't help.
    • When Tusk rides his mom's Para-mail and his round 2 showdown with Embryo. There's just one problem: the color of the Para-mail is pink.
    • The Aurora's take off. Not that one, the one after that at least. To be more specific, it's at the part where after Ange orders the entire Para-mail to take off. Aurora's back in the sea for some reason.
    • Even though it's supposed to be treated as a shocking moment on the whole, Embryo teleporting the Diamond Rose Knights into the midst of the dragon crossfire and leaving them to die momentarily loses a bit of the effect when the first victim, Tanya, collides with a DRAGON and causes blood to splatter. One can too easily imagine a pie splat sound effect.
    • Jill's death has so much Melodrama surrounding it that it becomes more hilarious than anything else, particularly since Jill doesn't actually appear to be wounded in any way.
    • Embryo's forceful attempt to rape Ange in the final episode becomes this as soon as you notice his eyes looking in different directions in some shots.
  • Never Live It Down: Although many fans will argue that the show has come a long way in Growing the Beard since its first episodes, most people probably still won't forget some of the more... divisive scenes from it.
  • OT3: Most Yuri fans really had no choice but to accept Ange & Tusk's relationship, and figured the alternate solution was just pairing the two with the likes of Hilda and Sala.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • For many who saw her as a one-note Alpha Bitch with a grudge against Ange, Hilda was redeemed the moment she explained she did what she did to survive long enough to escape Arzenal and reunite with her mother.
    • Salia has been redeemed by some fans in Episode 20 when she can finally think for herself instead of leaning towards a pedestal, which was the fans biggest problem with her, by telling Ange to escape because she couldn't stand Ange's pitiful state. All while playing up her Tsundere aspect. Ange shows off her respect by giving her a choke hold.
  • Ron the Death Eater:
    • Ange gets hit with this hard. Some fans will twist themselves into pretzels just for the sake of painting her in the worst possible light. Barring some rather grievous translation error, Ange only proclaims a desire to investigate why a significant portion of her country's population is being born as Norma, and put a stop to it. (Note: She's the heir apparent to a mana based society at this point, doesn't know about Arzenal, and has good reason to believe the lack of ability to use mana automatically causes violent, anti-social behavior.) This is interpreted to mean that she desires the complete extermination of Norma, to the point of calling her "Hitlerina." Alternately, Embryo, despite explicitly stating "Option 2: Exterminate the dragons" is interpreted as merely wanting magi to fight the dragons themselves instead of using Norma as proxy. A fan on Animeshippuden explicitly disregards over a century of legal precedent concerning extenuating circumstances, and the fact that Ange's actions fit very nicely in Zola's order "Try to stay alive" to try to justify demanding that Ange get a harsher punishment because of what she went through at Zola's hands with Jill's permission while claiming to not be a misogynist, and calling anyone who points out this contradiction as being infected with Insane Troll Logic. Episode 23 had some fans completely overlook the fact that rioters were pointing rifles at her and preparing to fire because Ange refused to help the very same people who tried to lynch her less than a month beforehand just so they could complain that Ange fired at the rioters. Then there's the Family-Unfriendly Aesop entry.
    • Heck, Ange gets a bit of a bad rap for her bitch attitude. While she isn't always the sharpest tool or most pleasant person, her life is among the most egregious cases of Mood Whiplash cases in anime history, leading her to become incredibly paranoid and distrustful, one oft-cited example being her first encounter with Sala. But after you've been treated like slaves by another race (Mana society), and this other race admits to have targeted you (see: the dragon invasion over Arzenal) even though the other race (Mana society) was the one more culpable, can one really blame her?
  • Scapegoat Creator: Fukuda is seen as responsible for everything wrong with the show. The writer and director are apparently non-entities.
    • Partially justified in that as the creative producer, he actually does have the right to creative control of the show if he so wishes.
    • Episode 6's next Episode preview implies much of the show's vulgarity and sexual nature comes from its director's ideas, and not its producer.
      • At least until Fukuda's Twitter comments revealed that the writing staff was okay with the decision to have Tusk survive a fatal explosion with what amounts to Kira Yamato-level plot armor, but not the director. This implies that the latter has no say in the matter.
    • The revelation that the original script did not cast Tusk as a love interest for Ange isn't going to endear him to Yuri Fans anytime soon.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Do not let hatred consume you. Even if someone did you wrong in the past, cursing and wishing the worst for them will end up causing you to regret it later. Jill learned this the hard way.
  • The Scrappy: Jill gained quite a bit of negative reception thanks to her starting the Broken Base of the series, hitting Ange for no reason, withholding a lot of information from Salia and Ange until it's too late, pulling off the biggest Idiot Ball moment in the series, and the only one not to approve of Ange's suggestion to side with the DRAGONs and in fact suggested using them as decoys to kill them alongside the Ragna-mails via bombarding the entire battlefield all for Libertus.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: A lot of people are ready to ship Ange with AngexTusk and fight off against any of the Les Yay pairings, the biggest being either AngexSala or AngexHilda.
  • So Bad, It's Good: Like fellow Sunrise production Valvrave, but Cross Ange's production shows more explicit self-awareness, mostly thanks to next episode previews. The actual main content of the episodes usually doesn't though.
  • Special Effects Failure: The series' CGI ranges from decent (the robots and Mana-based effects) to rather suspect (pretty much everything else).
    • The reuse of the Aurora's takeoff animation in Episode 23 can also count as this.
    • The game meanwhile, has a tendency to make the (now fully CGI) cast move more like robots than the ones they're supposed to pilot, with a heavy dose of Lip Lock to boot. See also the Uncanny Valley entry before for more information.
      • On top of that, the animators seem to have trouble animating breathing. As several characters (this is most noticeable with Hilda) pull this off by simply shrinking and growing the model below the neck and making them bob up and down to achieve the "effect".
      • The hair dynamics in the game seem to be unevenly applied to characters. Some, like Vivian and Naomi, have an obvious swing to their hair whenever they turn. While neither Salia or Hilda's pigtails do.
    • Combined with Stock Footage Failure, bits and pieces of the anime were used in Super Robot Wars V (and subsequently, X), which jars horribly with the in-game footage due to the games having a completely different style and framerate to the anime.
  • Squick:
  • Strangled by the Red String: Tusk has been accused by many of being a self-insert for the sake of getting together with Ange. That Episode 14 was written in halfway through did not help things.
  • Take That, Scrappy!:
    • Jill gets knocked down by Ange in the finale of "Conclusive Ocean".
    • In the final episodes, Ange violently forces Sylvia to walk to give fans satisfaction and pity at the same time.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Almost half the crew of the Aurora, given how a lot of them had names and promising characterization, but very little screentime, but the most outstanding example is probably Zhao Mei, the ship's mechanic; Childhood Friends with Salia, trusted advisor of Jill (for a given measure of trusted) despite a glaring age difference between and her colleagues Marie and Jasmine, and the only other person in the series apart from Tusk who has a proper understanding of Ragna-Mail mechanics (a fact that the two of them even had a short conversation about at some point). Nothing ever comes of any of these relationships. Nothing.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Plenty, making it unclear whether many (or indeed, any) plot elements were meant to be explored in the first place.
    • The "magic" powers that almost everybody in the world apparently has. You'd expect to learn a bit how they work and what you can do with them (and what prevents Norma from having them), considering that most of the plot revolves about a group of people not having them, but instead they remain "Momoka's personal superpower". Not to mention, the entire reason the plot gives is that it's nothing but "an accident from Embryo".note 
    • The idea of the Mana/Norma racism never expands beyond "All Norma are monsters". Outside of Sophia, Jurai (to some extent), Momoka and Mistynote , there are no other supporters of Norma. Nor does the Mana society at large ever make amends to them after Embryo cuts off their abilities (And one has to wonder if any of them even know of his existence in the first place).
    • We never do find out what would happen if the secret of Arzenal was exposed to the general populace outside of a few very vague mentions.
    • The backstories and motivations of several characters also remain unanswered. Including how Vivian joined First Troop (and also how she was, until Ange joined, the only one with a completely unique para-mail with her Razor unit), Emma and how she got involved with her job at Arzenal and pretty much everything regarding Tusk's parents.
    • The Para-mail/Ragna-mail units were given a brief explanation in Episode 12. But how exactly Embryo built them, or how the dragon species were able to acquire three of their own (the ones used by Sala, Naga and Kaname) are never explored.
    • The other main Arzenal troops, who never get any screen time outside of Episodes 11 and 13. And who never interact with any of the cast, nor are even seen together outside group shots.
    • The idea of male dragons not being able to turn back into human form was also never touched upon.
    • The multiverse/alternate realities angle was only touched upon in Episodes 11, 14 and 25. It is never explored beyond the existence of it, and the episodes which explored the dragon's alternate world.
    • Momoka and Tusk coming back from the dead as a cheap plot device just to show Ange's broken self. Could have been a lot better had Ange avenged the both of them instead of coming back from the dead just like that. And it wasn't even an entire episode since they were gone.
  • Ugly Cute: The mascot Perolina does look ugly at first glance, though it does really look cute.
  • Uncanny Valley: Most of the characters end up as this in the game. Not helped at all by the overly stilted, yet fluid movements of their CGI or the fact that their lips just open and close with the dialogue (without much attention paid to it either). There's also times where a character's expression during a line of dialogue will revert back to its default setting after speaking.
    • While their designs weren't all that suited for animation purposes to begin with (due to their quasi-realistic facial construction, which makes them more susceptible to going Off-Model than the others). Both Jasmine and Embryo do not translate well into CGI. That they're also the only ones animated in CG that barely move (in comparison to everyone else, at least) makes it worse.
    • The CG model for Hilda in Episode 25 also lands smack in the center of the valley due to its choppy movements.
    • The first half of "Conclusive Ocean" in its entirety is a quality fubar with many of the characters dipping in and out of the valley at will.
  • Unfortunate Implications: The show has been widely criticized for its sleazy, tasteless use of Gratuitous Rape in the first two episodes. The ANN review team's first impressions are representative.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: The World of Mana displayed extreme Fantastic Racism against the Norma due to their lacking magic, thus the ending where they lose magic and have their civilization destroyed forcing them to go though what they imposed on the Norma is treated as Laser-Guided Karma. But this belief was created by the omnipotent creator of the world, Embryo, who programmed them to be hostile to the Norma, which the few who learned the truth were shown to be able to overcome. In short they're being punished for what was imposed upon them as opposed to anything they brought on themselves.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: While it was assumed that male DRAGONs cannot transform back into normal human size, Episode 16 reveals that Aura is a she.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Jill physically dragged Ange out of orientation, early, despite the fact that Ange was taking notes, thrust her into the squad completely unprepared, and then gave Zola permission to take her into "the room". Although the ending of episode 3 implies that she wanted the sortie to go badly. Which has a whole different level of idiocy to it.
    • Zola somehow expected sending out a raw rookie with severe denial issues, whom she just sexually assaulted, and who made it abundantly clear she'd peace out at the first opportunity, was a good idea. Unsurprisingly, it proved a deadly lapse in judgement.
    • And crossing into Unintentionally Unsympathetic territory, Liza opening a portal over Arzenal, because Ange along with the other Norma "were seen as threats". Even though they were forced by the mana leaders and Embryo into fighting them. And also right after Ange herself had just escaped an assassination plot by her brother that Liza herself was in on, on top of the fact that she aided Julio in every other part of making Ange's life hell. That it was to aid in getting back one of her kind, it's still little excuse, and almost offed one of their major would be alliances, which, much sooner rather than later, would have resulted in Embryo annihilating her kin.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: It's a shonen and it's rated TV-MA. It has loads of fanservice and nudity in general, loads of Yuri, there's multiple scenes of rape and all the girls wear as much if not less than Ryuko Matoi. There's a scene where one of the girls gets touched in a certain area and she blushes and has a case of The Immodest Orgasm. There's also scenes of masturbation although this is made to disgust as her mind is being broken. There's also some mentions of sexual intercourse and two characters are stated to have had sex and you can see it starting before it cuts away. The show is filled with Gorn and lots of blood in a non-comedic fashion always comes out whenever someone gets injured. The second episode also contains Coco getting blasted in half with loads of blood and the main villain dies by being dissected. The show in terms of violence is as bad as JoJo's Bizarre Adventure and in terms of sexual content as bad as Kill la Kill if not worse. It got rated 16+ in Quebec which is the same as Saw and Game of Thrones. In comparison most R rated films get 13+ over there.
  • Woobie Species: The Norma are treated like crap for existing, and are sent as Cannon Fodder against DRAGONs. The fact that Embryo admits that he had to cater to The Needs of the Many when confronted with the Normas' condition and treat their ostracization as a necessary evil, gives you an idea how shitty the series' setting is. And yet this turns out to be a poor excuse for Embryo, for whom the World of Mana is the latest phase of an indeterminate Vicious Cycle where he has tried and failed to create his ideal humanity, and left it to die, and its latest soon to be casualty, when Embryo becomes disgusted with its complacency. Not to mention that he caused the DRAGON invasion in the first place by stealing their most revered figure, in order to power the World of Mana. The Mana which, as it turns out, mostly renders its users incapable of independent thought. And yet, Embryo refuses to take the blame or the responsibility, and forces the Norma to bear the brunt throughout most of the series, and yet expects to be revered by the ones he rescues or takes special interest, before the inevitable rape attempt or abandonment.

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