Saturday, November 22, 2014

Cross Ange Episode 8

Episode 8 begins with a flight drill, and Salia is doing a quick preflight sitrep, which goes well, but Vivian's helium voice grates on Emma's ears back at HQ. Meanwhile, as Mei telling the engineering team to get ready for Salia's squad to return, Ange is still thinking about the frightened communication she got from Sylvie in the previous episode, understandably worried about her. We then cut to takeoff, where her spaceout causes her to stay on the flight deck, understandably pissing off everyone else behind her like Rosalie (who has a legit reason to be annoyed). Oddly enough, Hilda seems to be in a world of her own as well.

Anyway, Emma is wondering WTF is going on and orders an emergency launch (basically, the flight deck has a slingshot rail system that flings the Paramail into the air), and Ange snaps out of her cloud to realize her situation just barely in time to avoid flying into the ocean, and as Ange finally joins the formation, it seems fleet HQ staff (with military Mana users approved to see how Norma live without being shot if they try to leave) is inbound via transport planes, with someone important named Misty aboard, who is amazed DRAGONs are fought in Paramail.

Later, the festival mentioned in the previous episode has begun (basically, it's BEACH EPISODE TIEM!) , and as the camera pans around to show all the food stands and beachgoers, Ange is amazed they actually get a day to just screw around, which turns out to be one act of kindness actual humans extend Norma (strikes me as a backhanded way of trying not to look like total assholes IMO) , and all of them basically just get to chill for a day with no military crap to deal with. Ange decides to call it what it is ("slaves getting a chance to vent steam"), but drops the issue, instead wondering why the hell they all have to wear fanservicey swim wear (which is actually in better taste than I expected), and Salia explains "duh, it's beach wear.", to which Ange decides to troll Salia a little by making a allusion to Salia's lack of bust, which causes Salia to cover her chest in obvious envy/embarrassment.

TBH, Salia doesn't look too bad actually (she's far from flat), but she's pretty average compared to the Standard Gag Boobed Female Anime Characters most of the cast is.

Meanwhile, we cut over to what looks like a formal residence for visiting dignitaries, where Emma is welcoming Princess Misty Rosenblum (who basically is in the role Ange once had before her disgrace, with more authority and less ignorance' albeit not from the same kingdom), and Emma is doing a good job of sucking up Misty, who has been officially baptized and thus recognized as legit royalty.

Misty then decides insert the record scratch question of "I heard Angelise is here"(who Misty still regards as a human being apparently), and even though she makes it quite clear who she is talking about, Emma denies anyone like that is at Arzenal (technically true, Angelise is "dead"), but Misty isn't buying that and insists she wants to meet her no matter what.

We then cut back to the beach episode antics, where a bunch of piglets are in a race (and Rosalie has apparently plunked down some serious cash on her favorite to win, but Chris is more wondering why Hilda seems to be in another world, feeling like Hilda is avoiding her, but Rosalie is too absorbed in her gambler frenzy to notice, until Chris yells her name to get her attention, then points out "Uh, Hilda's not here, isn't that, y'know, odd?". Chris is trying to convince Rosalie something might be wrong with her, but Rosalie can't be bothered to really care (I loled when she said it might be because Hilda is having a period).

We then cut to Ersha getting an oil massage (turns out she was in an animal costume handing out balloons to kids earlier), then we cut to Salia watching what looks like, strangely enough, a French romance movie (French is apparently an in universe language), and while most everyone else is snoring through it, it seems Salia is big fan of soppy romance movies.

We then  cut to Hilda wondering around, not being all that happy looking, who looks over at Ange, who is sitting in the shade with Momoka, being about as happy as Hilda, and Momoka figures out rather quick what is on Ange's mind. Ange tries to put on a brave face and goes to toss the fruit drink she was nursing in the trash as Momoka get's a call from Emma, apparently about how Misty wants to talk to Ange PDQ.

Turns out Ange's remembers her (Misty was a bit of rival to her). Ange immediately assumes Misty wants rub in her disgrace, then grabs Ersha's ridiculous animal costume and puts it on so she can walk around incognito, then tells Momoka not to blow her cover as she heads off, with Hilda in the background, suspicious as to what is going on.

We then cut to Vivian pigging out on squid barbecue as Mei chides her about eating so much, but Vivian tells her she needs the energy for the upcoming sports festival event, that's when Ema walks back, holding her nose (squid stinks in her opinion). She then zeroes in Momoka, obviously flustered because she's trying to appease Misty's request, and Momoka is following Ange's orders and says she lost track of her charge, which prompts Emma to try tracking down Jill to get Ange, who is currently chilling with Jasmine and Maggy in the medical tent, and all three feign embarrassment like she walked in on them changing (and they don't give a shit about what she wants, it's their day off, after all), prompting the even more flustered Emma to stomp off.

Amusingly enough, she walks right by Ange in the costume in the next scene, then we cut inside the costume, where Ange is realizing it's hot and stuffy as hell. A girl on the carousel in the background almost falls off due to a malfunction, and Ange's PTSD over her childhood with Slyvie kicks in and she does a last second save, barely managing to keep her cover as "Perolina" (the name of the animal costume).

Later, we cut in on two Norma in a shady abandoned spot on the flight deck about to go down on each other, and in barges Ange, who usurps their lovers spot to hide, to their obvious upset. She finally gets some air and decides to chill in the quite breeze. Meanwhile, as she has a little more flashback happen, she glances over at one of the transport craft, realizes the imperial crest is the same one as her own family (remember, the coup d'etat essentially seized the symbol as their own, and given they transported Misty to Arzenal, she must know more than the average human), and Ange finally realizes she just might get some info on Sylvie via Misty if she pulls her head out of her own ass.

We then cut to Momoka wandering around, calling for Perolina, and as she walks by Hilda, she gets a Click, Hello as Hilda is planning on figuring out what's going on with Ange.

After the midepisode intermission, we have Jasmine on a bullhorn, announcing the huge cash prize for the sports festival (with Rosalie wanting to make up for the loss in the earlier race), and the first event is basically a bun eating contest where they have to eat the buns while trying not have their swimsuits dissolve (basically, Cheap Fanservice Excuse.txt).

Meanwhile, back at the dignitary residence, Misty's female guards get their asses kicked offscreen, and Ange hilariously wearing the Perolina costume head barges in on the obviously surprised Misty, and as Misty recognizes her once she takes off the costume head, Ange is back in military hardass tough bitch mode as she says her hellos.

Turns out Misty was actually a secret fan of Angelise, with the whole Norma thing coming as a shock, and she was so "this shit can't be real" she came along with the military transport just to find out the truth. Ange's is like "yeah, I'm a Norma, satisfied now?", and as the obviously stunned Misty is still trying to make that compute, Ange stashed her combat knife in her bikini bottom (yeah, with the flat side of the blade against her skin, but don't worry, I cringed too), and then holds it up as she asks Misty to help her escape with a "do you really want to refuse me?" smile on her face.

We then cut back to festival, where cheesy fanservice event #2 is taking place, where they have to race each other while not spilling  or cracking a bunch of eggs stuffed in their cleavage. Salia barely has one egg stashed in her unimpressive bust (and is noticeably flustered), Rosalie is dropping hers, and Chris snags it and hauls ass across the beach, keeping hers intact surprisingly well.

We cut back to Ange, who has loaded up on a ton of military gear (and has Misty tied up as a semi-cooperative hostage), and we find out what's left of Ange's family is destined for the chopping block for deceiving the people (hiding the fact Ange was a Norma, confirming that was the linchpin of the coup d'etat), and as Ange hauls ass with a screaming Misty and shitload of guns (we get a brief cutback showing Ange left money to pay for them all), we see Hilda holding Momoka at gunpoint as they head for the transport vessels, and Hilda basically tells Momoka to use them to escape. Momoka tells her she only does what Ange wants, and Hilda tells her that she's screwed if she continues to stick around, and as Ange shows up, turns out Hilda wanted to bail on Arzenal herself.

Cue Mexican standoff between her and Ange, where Hilda reveals she isn't going to stand in Ange's way, but explains two very good flaws in Ange's escape plan:

1. The transport plane is locked down to the flight deck with arresting clamps for maintenance, and forcing them will trip an alarm.

2. Defeat those, and the transport will be damaged if an emergency takeoff is attempted, possibly fatally.

After posing this, Hilda drops the drama bomb.

She'll defeat the locks, and proposes they join forces in exchange.

Meanwhile, the now exhausted Emma heads back to the residence to find the guards KO'ed and assumes the worst (not being completely incorrect either).

We then cut back to the setting sun over the sports festival where Chris is hailed the winner (a rather unlikely one), as Vivian mangles a Muhammad Ali quote. Chris reveals to Rosalie she won so they could buy a really nice meal for her, Rosalie and Hilda, and that's when fireworks go off.

As they do, we cut to Hilda taking out the only person in the control tower who could screw things up, then uses a bobby pin lockpick to defeat the emergency clamps. Hilda then winds up getting stiffed by Ange as they are about to get lifted off, and Ange reminds Hilda of all the bad faith she built up Ange has remembered, and as Hilda tries to argue 'let bygones by bygones", Ange just tells her she doesn't (reasonably enough) trust someone who tried multiple times to shoot her in the back.

Ange orders Momoka to close the hatch, and Momoka, being the inherently decent person she is, pauses just long enough for Hilda to barely grab on to the edge, just as Jill, Emma, and Maggy show up, faces in 0_0 mode, and that's when Hilda, still dragging herself into the cockpit, drops drama bomb #2.

She never gave a shit about Zola (aside from the benefit it played in helping her survive), and she had no true loyalty to anyone but herself, all she ever wanted to escape her shitty situation because dammit, she wants to return to her mother.

In short, she's not much different than Ange in motivation, and upon realizing Hilda is basically her, Ange's conscience kicks in and she helps Hilda in before the hatch closes. Momoka is happy with this, and as we cut back to Emma fainting because Misty was apparently kidnapped, Jasmine chides her dog for being lousy at guard duty (Ange bought him off good), and Jill had put everything together and tells Jasmine to give Tusk a ring.

We cut to what a day or so later, where a bunch of military SWAT guys surround the downed transport guns ready to kill the Norma and rescue Misty, and they find the plane empty except for Misty (stuffed in the Perolina costume).

Meanwhile, at an gas station some ways away, Hilda reveals she's good at hotwiring vehicles as she ganks a motorcycle and parts company with Ange and Momoka, telling her rival (who seems to have finally forgiven her) not to die on her as she heads out. We also find out the Misurugi Empire has been crossed out on a road sign (as if it wasn't official enough), and Hilda is going in the other direction to a place called the Elderant Union.

Next episode looks like it'll be action filled, with Ange doing action movie stuff to save Sylvie, and Hilda apparently gets a royal screwjob, judging by the next episode preview. We also get Ange pointing out how the fanservice was rather abbreviated for a beach episode in the post ending credits.

Looking forward to the next episode, and just to close this post out, I'd have to say, in hindsight, Hilda's actions make perfect sense.

Her intense hatred of Ange stemmed from two causes: One, she was pissed Zola died because Zola was her meal ticket and her getting over Zola's death and making Rosalie and Chris her groupies also fits because they were, in her mind, pawns to achieve her goals. Her intense hatred of Ange makes sense as well given the latest revelations because Ange was basically "Walking Reminder Of Herself.txt", so all the animosity was out of envy.

I wouldn't call Hilda totally redeemed for all the crap she pulled, but it now makes more sense her and Ange enemy mined for mutual gain.

Also, bit of a theory before I close out this post: Ange's attempt to rescue Sylvie is going to blow the masquerade the "humans" have thrown up about the Norma being worse than Hitler, or the DRAGONs are gonna show up and do the same thing, as it's very obvious by now the Rosenblums (the ones who seized power) are DESPERATE to keep that a secret. I also suspect Hilda is going to find out she has been trumped up as evil incarnate for being a Norma and won't get as warm a welcome from those she still cares for.

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