The Series (4/5)
Cross Ange: Rondo of Angel and Dragon (Referred to going forward as Cross Ange) is one of the more recent anime series to come out of Sunrise Studios, who are most well known to fans for producing Cowboy Bebop, Witch Hunter Robin, and many other titles. Cross Ange is at it's heart a sci-fi/mecha anime which is fine by me, but it does cross another genres though at a more minor level, which keeps things quite interesting for this series.
Cross Ange is set in a world where poverty and hunger have been abolished. Humans are now able to use a power called "mana" to produce whatever they desire to survive. However, humans being humans, there is a dark side to this. Not everyone on the planet can tap into mana, and those that can't are shunned by society and dubbed "normas". These people are considered lesser, and treated terribly. They are made to live and work in places and in jobs that are considered terrible by this Earth's standards.
The story of Cross Ange follows a Princess named Angelise who on her 16th birthday is about to be baptized when she is betrayed by her brother Julio and is exposed as a "norma". After her betrayal she is set off to a militaristic mecha camp, where she is forced to become part of a contingent of soldiers that protect society against dragons that threaten survival of humanity. She must learn to give up her spoiled princess ways, and learn to fight for mankind's survival.
Cross Ange is a pretty damn awesome anime series from Sunrise. I've seen mixed things that the series starts slow, and picks up later, but I was right on board from the start. The princess is a whiney immature princess to start, and has to quickly find her bearings, but this offers a lot of room for character development as she evolves into a team player, and someone who learns to start caring on a more global level.
The action scenes in the series are handled quite well, and are quite intense for the most part. The animation in the series is solid, not bad, but nothing so amazing that it truly stands out beyond what most viewers have seen before. The series is quite fan service-y, but there is no full nudity. The series does have quite a sapphic drive to it that does make it stand out quite a bit.
Cross Ange Collection 1 is presented by Sentai Filmworks in a quite solid 1080p AVC encoded transfer. Detail is solid, color reproduction is nice, and banding is minimal. The audio is presented in either DTS-HD MA 2.0 in Japanese or English, optional English subtitles are included. The dialogue and score for both come through nice and clearly, and I did not detect any issues.
Most of the Sentai Filmworks Blu-ray releases don't have extras of note, and this one does so YAY! There is a totally bizarre 30 minute interview with the creators of the show. We also get Japanese commercials for Cross Ange, a clean opening and closing, and trailers for other Sentai releases.
Cross Ange is a quite solid action packed sapphic minded mecha anime series from Sunrise, that I found irresistibly fun. The Blu-ray from Sentai Filmworks looks and sound fantastic, and has a nice slate of extras RECOMMENDED.