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Even though this series is usually considered So Bad, It's Good at worst, to me it is So Bad, It's Horrible.
First, the Fanservice. I am not offended by it, necessarily. I like fanservice when done right. But the liberal use of Nipple and Dimed and Barbie Doll Anatomy render it unappealing, and the series shoving it into what are supposed to be serious, dramatic scenes turns it into Narm.
But I could overlook that if it had a good plot and engaging characters. Instead, what we are given is a Cliché Storm full of unlikeable characters. The plot is “Fallen Princess learns to connect with lower classes she originally scorned, then leads them in a rebellion against the Evil Empire that oppressed them.” As if that plot hadn't been done a million times already. The characters are no better, as most were either completely obnoxious or bland. Ange, the princess, is a whiny, hypocritical Jerk Sue Designated Heroine who beats up her eventual boyfriend for comedy; Tusk is a Satellite Love Interest harem-lead-wannabe/Kira Yamato-wannabe; Hilda starts out as a bog-standard Alpha Bitch; Jill and Zola are the utterly depraved leaders of Arzenal, and the latter only gets away with it because both she and her victims are female and it's played for fanservice; the DRAGONs are equally callous about human life; and don't even get me started on Sylvia, the wretched, abusive little sister of Ange. Pretty much all of them were Unintentionally Unsymapthetic, no matter how hard the story tried to get me to sympathize with them. The only characters I actually liked were Momoka and post-Character Development Hilda.
They say a story is only as good as the villain, and the villains of this series are among the worst villains in all anime. The Mana people are an unrealistic Always Chaotic Evil caricature of racists, Julio is a generic and petty evil emperor, and Big Bad Embryo is a generic evil god who spends the series mind-controlling and raping women just to show how evil he is. They're cardboard-cutout baddies with nary an interesting quality. Of note is that they are all male, while the heroes and sympathetic characters aside from Tusk are all female- the implications are rather insulting, to say the least.
And finally, the ending of the series is the icing on the crap-cake. After finally defeating Embryo and freeing the Mana people from his programming and the evils of magic, the now-selfless heroine Ange decides to... abandon them all to die. Seriously? An anti-bigotry series ends with the message that bigots can never change and should all deserve to die, even when, in this case, the Mana people were essentially forced to be bigots against their will?
This is what I meant when I called Ange a hypocrite. An anti-bigotry show depicting bigots as Always Chaotic Evil shoots the message in its own foot.
Overall, this is one of the worst anime I have ever seen. The fanservice is unappealing, the plot is cliche, the characters are unlikeable, and the moral is hypocritical.
And do not even get me started on the series' inclusion into Super Robot Wars V. That is another review.
Bottom line: if you want a good fanservicey mecha series, go watch Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle instead.
I don\'t have a problem with anyone disliking this show, but it is in no way worse than the sore fest Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle. Even the lamer second half of Cross Ange sails over that garbage heap.
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