The setting of Cross Ange takes place in a world where everything is controlled by Mana. Humans use it for everything, from cooking and cleaning to police and military actions. However, there are some cases where someone is born and they cannot use the power of Mana. These people are called Norma and are shamefully looked down upon in this society and treated as slaves of the military. In this world, if you are found out to be a Norma, then you get arrested and removed from the rest of society, are relocated into a military camp where they train Normas to risk their lives to fight Dragons that continuously invading their world from a singularity and causing destruction in their wake. The main character of the anime is a Princess of the royal family named Ange, who is revealed one day to be a Norma herself gets arrested, stripped of her royal name, and is thrown into the military encampment where she learns to not only fight the Dragons, but to come to terms with the fact that her life has completely changed.
This anime feels like it borrows several things from so many other anime, games and just stories in general that it makes Cross Ange seem like it’s hardly original before. The design and color schemes of the main mech suit, The Vilkiss looks WAY too similar to The Lancelot, and the idea of a main character from a royal family falling from grace and swearing vengeance upon those who spurned them are both things you see in the anime Code Geass. Fighting dragons that invade from another world is in the same vein as Dragonaut: The Resonance. Cross Ange even manages to bear resemblance, or at least could strongly remind viewers of other animes and video games such as Gundam SEED and at one point even Tales of Symphonia. Because of that, the anime can at times feel completely unoriginal if you’ve seen any of the above mentioned before.
There are some unique spins that you don’t see very often in series, or storytelling in general for that matter. For the longest time, the main character, Ange isn’t very likable. She’s snooty, rude, and still carries herself like she’s royalty despite losing her status at the beginning of episode one. But she holds this attitude up for nearly two and a half arcs. Ange’s transformation as a character takes it’s time, but it’s well worth it. By then end, Ange still wasn’t my favorite character, but she was nothing at all like she was at the beginning of the series.
In the end, Cross Ange was still a good show to get into. It wasn’t anything amazing, but the show itself wasn’t at all bad. Whether you’re a fan of either mecha anime, action or fan service, it’s still worth at least a look at to see if it could hold your attention.