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CROSS ANGE Rondo of Angel and Dragon
Episode 19

by Theron Martin,

With all that she has learned, Ange figured to have a proper meeting with Embryo at some point. That comes about here, and it pretty much goes as viewers of the series might reasonably expect. In fact, nothing that happens in episode 19 is too surprising. That's good in the sense that the series' internal logic remains strong, and it does confirm a few suppositions about what happened while Ange was on the original Earth, but that also means that this is not one of the more thrilling episodes.

After being shot by a tranquilizer while defending the Aurora from Salia's squad, Ange wakes up back in her old room in the Imperial castle in Misurugi, with Momoka, who was also captured after she fell from Tusk's motor bike, also present and being a little too happy about getting to dress Ange in silk underwear again. (Granted, this could just be the typical “happy to serve” shtick, and the scene is doubtless played as a joke, but I have to wonder if Momoka wouldn't happily be up for a more physical relationship with Ange if Ange but gave the word. It seems unlikely to ever come up, though, as Ange has given every indication of being straight.) Ange soon shows that even though Salia and Chris are the definitive authorities here as Embryo's bodyguards/lapdogs, they really have no capability to handle the tenacious Ange, though they do reveal to her what we could reasonably interpret from episode 12: that their loyalties to Embryo are born from feeling abandoned by their Arzenal compatriots and from Embryo both rescuing them and filling the voids in their hearts, something which a late scene suggests also happened with Jill/Alektra at some point. Ersha, meanwhile, was won over when Embryo saved the young Norma by apparently bringing them back from the dead.

That revelation raises a whole new batch of questions. We had known before that Embryo was frightfully powerful, but if he can do even that, what's to stop him from just periodically popping over to the original Earth and taking what he needs? Or does he just delight in manipulating people to do his bidding? Whichever the case, he is certainly intent on winning Ange over with his charm (both literally and figuratively) and comes very close to doing so. Unlike the others, Ange is able to resist, as all of the interpersonal connections that she has established over the previous several episode – with Vivian, with Hilda, with Salamandinay, and especially with Tusk – give her a resistance that the others didn't have. That Embryo seems more delighted by this than angry suggests that Ange is falling into the “long-desired independent lover” role villains like Embryo commonly seek.

Oh, and Sylvia shows up, too, and she's still into venting her anger with a whip, only this time Riza (who apparently tried to poison her) is on the receiving end. Yeah, nothing sympathetic is left there.

While there's not thing exactly wrong with the episode, as the plot is advancing apace and the characterizations are all clear and consistent, it just does not feel like the series is at its best here. The series has been rolling along well for a while now, though, so a minor stumble like this should hardly deter it on its path.

Rating: B-

CROSS ANGE Rondo of Angel and Dragon is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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