Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Cross Ange Episode 20

When we begin Episode 20, we are on the Aurora, and Jill is pissed at Tusk for fucking up Libertus (we also see Vivian is behind bars as well), and as Jill giving him the third degree, Hilda tells Jill if they get Ange back, they can still go forward, but Jill is like "screw that, Ange won't obey orders anyway, and as Jill walks off pissed and smoking (metaphorically and literally), Hilda flashes back to Jill's sleeptalk as the intro begins.

Once the intro is over, we DO get proof Salia is sleeping with Embryo (<sarcasm> what a shock</sarcasm>), and she's all "that's insane" when Embryo wants to induct Ange into his Amazon Brigade, and Embryo reveals he's basically figured out how to keep Salia in line by saying "don't worry, Ange is just a tool, but you're the most vital one to me".

Later, as Salia is guarding the hallway, Ange walks by and wants to pass, holding up an invitation from Embryo. Salia is like "fuck off bitch", and Ange ignores the combat knife waved in her face by trolling Salia with the fact she'll piss off her boss, then basically realizes why Salia is posturing and tells her "don't want to join your Daikon Radish Knighthood anyway"and walks on.

We cut to Embryo trying to be a good host by pouring Ange tea, and she decides to be as snide and hateful as humanly possible about it, and Salia is secretly spying on things from outside because of her insecurity complex.Embryo obliges Ange but cutting the bullshit and flat out tells "Marry Me", citing the standard villain lines about why she's such a prize he's just couldn't do what he needs without her, unaware he's pissing off Salia. As he goes on, he promises to destroy the world for Ange in exchange, citing the first Earth had a bunch of trigger happy assholes that he destroyed and made Earth 2.0 in an alternate universe to do things over, and citing he felt he had improved things with Humanity 2.0 (i'e. - the Mana use he added to Humanity 2.0's stock skill set). However, he concedes it was a mistake in hindsight because he made humanity utterly dependent on Mana and willing to believe any BS (like the Norma prejudice) due to being unwilling to think for themselves, essentially admitted making Aldous Huxley's Brave New World a reality was a crappy idea in practice, and even admitting he wasn't entirely doing stuff like killing Julio and reviving children just to manipulate people, it's because he truly feels humanity because just as shitty as they were the first time round, and then tells Ange he wants to try again, but this time with Ange at his side, and when Ange is like "And how?", he sings the first few bars of the Endless Song in response.

He also reveals his full plan in toto. Basically, back when he caused that dimensional rift on the DRAGON Earth, he was doing a test of attempt to merge the first Earth back into the AU version Earth, essentially creating a new world (which would wipe out the inhabitants of the first two so the slate could start anew again), calling this "Unification Theory".

He then asks her to accept.

She responds by shanking his hand with a knife and pinning it to the table.

In fact, she's basically figured out Embryo is not immune to his own Mana based rules and as she jumps on the table uses her foot to totally pin his now uber bloody hand to the table, she hoists another knife to shank his face as she tells him she figured out how to cut off his Tuner bullshit and that she'd rather die than be caught dead as his wife, and as he tries to plead for her to stop, the other knife gets buried in his neck.

Of course, Embryo isn't dead, as another appears behind her (while his current corpse is still slumped against the table), then she turns as the knife hits the ground, no blood on the table.

As she tries again, Embryo finally drops the nice guy mask, restrains her arm behind her back police style, then uses his magic hax on his right temple, amplifying her pain response times fifty, and as she falls to the ground, clutching her arm in agony, he further reveals his true nature by applying more hax to her temple, and as Momoka runs over to help her, Ange forces her off, and we see what he did next.

Basically, he amplified her pleasure centers times fifty as well, at the same time her pain receptors were going off.

Note: IRL, that much nervous response could easily kill you from shock.

Momoka is a little slow to catch on, and as she tries to stabilize Ange, it only turns Ange on, and Embryo tells Momoka he immediately flipped all that massive pain into massive pleasure, and Momoka gets his smug "fuck yourself" grin in response to her begging he stop, and as he vanishes with Ange, Salia has seen and heard enough from outside.

Back on the Aurora, Rosalie seems to have forgiven Hilda from awhile back and wants to cuddle for a little bit, but Hilda is understandably not in the mood. Hilda then reveals how she promised to help Ange fuck up the current world and wants to honor it, and that's when Rosalie reveals what has been so obvious it's like a glowing neon billboard.

Hilda has it bad for Ange and Rosalie admits she has it bad for Chris, and in a scene that actually adds a little gravitas to what had been lame lesbian cheesecake fanservice bullshit, Rosalie admits she always was the one to keep Chris from being so timid, and that it turned into genuine love, dammit.

And Hilda basically negates any of her former asshole points by tell Rosalie they need to join forces to get Ange and Chris back.

We cut to the bridge, where one of the bridge bunnies is like "all normal here", then turns around to see Jill with a big haunted expression.

Cue intermission.

When we get back, Tusk wakes up in his cell to Hilda straddling him in her underwear, and promising to let him have his way with her if he helps get Ange back since he obviously hasn't had his way with Ange yet (and we see Rosalie letting Vivian out).

Tusk puts his foot in his mouth to the waist as he blurts out his first will be with Ange only (nice job admitting your virgin status Tusk), and as Tusk hastily tries to BS his way out of that admission, the crotch in face gag is brought up, Tusk stupidly blurts out how those were accidents, and Hilda concludes he's a virgin loser. a guy, all I have to say concerning Tusk is "OUCH."

ANYWAY, after Hilda gets a little bit of laughter out of her system, Hilda tells him she wants to help Ange because Jill is hiding something, and a quick scene cut later, we find all the bulkheads have been sealed, and Jill in pilot gear is heading for the Paramails.

Until Hilda appears, asking "Going out?"

Jill metaphorically shits herself when Hilda mentions her sleep talk, tries to shoot Hilda for it, and as Jill tries to start up a Paramail, Vivian  tackles her out of the seat as Tusk fires a grappling hook to restrain her. Jill catches it with her cyber arm, but Rosalie and Hilda were prepared and they dive at Jill's legs. As everyone else like Mei and Jasmine finally get into the Paramail bay, they find Jill on the ground, with Hilda and Rosalie holding her at gunpoint.

We cut back to Momoka looking for Ange, and she winds up seeing Lizardia getting beaten and whipped some more by Sylvia, then as Sylvia leaves, Riza passes out for the torture. She wakes up to Momoka attending to her, and when she wonder why the hell Momoka would help her, Momoka's heart of gold couldn't be more obvious when she acknowledges what Riza did with Julio, but merely asks she apologize to Ange for it, and Riza repays Momoka's act of mercy by spilling where Ange's is likely located.

When we get back to the Aurora, Jill is handcuffed to an infirmary bed, admitting to Jasmine and the other she used to be Embryo's puppet, and yeah, he did do the Paptimus Scirroco tactic of seduction and control power reassurance rape to her to, and yeah, the reason Libertus crashed and burned the last time was because she almost sold everyone out, grew a conscience at the last minute, and he decided to make her pay for it. When asked why she didn't come clean, she's like "what, and admit I nearly became the reason Libertus never happened because I was seduced and raped by a smooth talking bastard?"

In short, Jill comes clean with the fact she has a ton of self loathing and her Captain Ahab tendencies are because she wants to watch the bastard who raped and used her die.

Everyone else is stunned, and Jill bitterly notes Embryo must be using the girls under his current command as his playthings (cut to Embryo calmly sipping tea as he uses his power to torture Ange by forcing her to pleasure herself for his amusement and Salia realizing just how much she was duped as well). This earns her a bitch slap from Maggy, who is rather pissed at this info, but Jasmine tells her to cool off, then relieves Jill of command for obvious reasons, and Jill accepts this, then tells Hilda to take charge since she won't make her mistakes (congrats Jill, you've matured), and Hilda salutes in response.

We cut back to Salia deciding she's had enough being strung along, then back to Embryo gloating over Ange's body, whom he's really pouring the mindrape on to break her will (but it's not sticking, and it obviously makes Embryo mad as hell to hear her muttering Tusk's name)

Later, Salia pops in, tells Ange "look, I don't like you, but I don't have much left if I leave here, so I'll look the other way if you haul ass, but don't think it's because I like you, it's because I'm too weak to run, but you're not." We cut Embryo at the Dawn Pillar about to resume his plan to merge the two world into one, and as he starts sings, the Ragnamail start powering up around Aura's prone form.

We cut back to Ange putting Salia in a sleeper hold as insurance (Salia is surprisingly cool with this) for her escape, and as she snags the Dracunium ring Salia left her and makes it out of there with Momoka, Embryo realizes something is wrong when he pages Salia during his world merge ritual, find her unconscious, and even though he has the other girls doing security, he shits himself when he realizes Ange is AWOL.

Ersha is the first to find Ange, who hauls ass (wearing most of Salia's uniform in lieu of her own), and Ange summons the Vilkiss to her, which causes the Embryo Corps to shit themselves.As Ange and Momoka dodge Chris and Ersha's shots, that when the sky opens above the Dawn Pillar, and it seems DRAGON reinforcements are incoming.

Namely, Sala and her groupies, and the ending credits begin, we find out Riza is earning redemption points big time as it's obvious she tipped off Sala where to show up.

Next episode preview shows more asskicking, Embryo holding a gun on Tusk, and some hilarious banter about how Tusk's luck sucks and worries the previews will be accurate and one of them will die.

P.S. - A little Fridge Brilliance hit me after I watched this. Salia allowed Ange to knock her out so not only did it make Ange's escape look more "real", but it was Ange's way of repaying the favor by making sure she didn't get tortured by Embryo in turn if he found out later. Also, Embryo really didn't NEED Ange for his plans at all, he just wanted to do to her what he did to Jill, but Ange wouldn't play along.

Monday, February 23, 2015

TV Tropes got "phished", and how to defend yourself

Well, I just learned TV Tropes got themselves screwed over via a phishing scam.

Some degenerate cockbag "chaozhide" site is masquerading as them, Reddit, and a few other sites, pretending to be legit. And they do look and act legit, with what looks like blatantly copied source HTML from the sites in question, most likely ripped with a website copier, then modified so if you are foolish enough to enter your login details on them, nothing happens.

Except now your login info is in the hands of some shitheel who will most likely be trying to sell off that info to scammers, hackers, and other assholes. That and trying to fuck up your other patronized websites.

Phishing is the act of ripping off something legitimate and using it as window dressing for a confidence scam to solicit your private information (like login passwords and credit card numbers) for their own illicit ends.

Given what I learned about how innocent TV Tropers got duped, here's some general pointers:

1. Check the URL, even if you clicked in from a Google link. If it has anything aside from in the link, it's bogus.

2. Tip for spotting the fake: I had Noscript on when visiting one of their faked pages, and I enabled only the site itself as allowed (DO NOT TRY TO LOG IN). The Javascript that controls the collapsing sidebars didn't work. On the real TV Tropes, allowing the site through Noscript will make this work. Also, the plus shaped icons for the sidebar items should NOT be visible on the real TV Tropes if blocked by NoScript. If they are, it's a bogus copy.

Now, as any actual tropers may be aware, I run that Orain/Wikia based TV Tropes fork All The Tropes, but I utterly condemn what these phishers did to TV Tropes and have forwarded what I could find out to the TV Tropes moderation staff.

As a final piece of advice, if you were duped by these phished ripoffs, change your passwords NOW.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

To the guys trying to retool TV Tropes, read this for pointers

I paid about 25$ to the Kickstarter TV Tropes had, and while they haven't done nearly enough to fix the multitude of issues and coding fail inherent in that site's custom build of PmWiki in my opinion, they did at least slap on a nice new look that doesn't look like a Web 1.0 abomination, so I don't feel totally gypped. That and the upload interface for images sucks a little less.

But that's just a nice coat of pain on an old car: the engine under the hood is still an aging piece of crap.

That said, pointers to the coders:

1. Enable global Unicode support and other modern web standards - As a fan of MediaWiki, I'm quite pleased to note it comes with full support for Unicode and is fully compliant with modern web standards. Unfortunately, based on summary glance at the source code of most pages, they still lack this. Also, please update the shoddy CSS support, I can still see spoilers partially visible on Darth/SugarWiki pages.

2. Have a "fallback mode" - Granted, I'm a massive fanboy of the Gadgets extension and love sprucing up my wiki with CSS/JS, but over 95% is totally optional, as I want everyone to be able to read my site, even people using ancient browsers or people who hate excessive Javascript.

From what I understand, many of the new changes have made Javascript support absolutely necessary, forcing the user to have it on to enjoy most aspects of the site, which is retarded, since in this day and age of practically every sensible internet user using Adblock Plus and Noscript to filter out stuff for bandwidth or security reasons, it seems insane to force people to enable a ton of JS code just to look at a site that consists of over 90% text.

3. Would a quote button really hurt? - Seriously, the insistence on never having a quote button is just asinine on the fora pages, because they are FORUMS, those things where people discuss stuff. Quoting posts is helpful so you don't have to scroll up or even flip back several pages to see what the hell someone is referencing when discussing someone else's points in a discussion.

4. Fix the nonexistent pages getting indexed - I say this for two reasons. One, since TV Tropes appears to be using a dual flat file/MySQL backend for page information storage, this will free up a TON of nonexistent links and reduce strain on the database, resulting in better site performance. Also, it fraudulently boosts the SEO with pages that have no content, which was something Fast Eddie apparently did out of either laziness or because he figured it was passive form of spamming and he could get away with it.

Either way, it's idiotic and dishonest and needs addressed.

5. Make the code open-source as soon as possible, or set up a bug tracker system at the very least - Either of these will allow the community to submit patches and bug reports, which will make your lives easier. Trust me, I know, bugtesting is tedious as hell, and having the community do at least part of the work for you will save you some sanity in the long run.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Cross Ange Episode 19

Before I begin, my apologies for not doing this sooner, but unexpected illness has left me trying to recover my strength, still trying to recover from a stomach virus at this time.
Anyway, we begin where the last episode ended.Salia and co. are trying to sink the Aurora, whose personnel are still trying to recover from the sleeping gas Tusk set off. Thankfully, Jasmine is on hand to maintain order, since Jill is KO'ed as Ange and co. try to buy the Aurora some time. Unfortunately, Team Salia is doing better, and Momoka almost hits the waters until she activates her Mana powers (giving us a de jure panty shot). Regardless, the Aurora manages to dive again in time.

Unfortunately, that's what Salia was hoping for, and as Ange goes back to get Momoka, Salia surprises her with a bullet (tranq dart) to the chest.

Cue intro credits.

Afterwards, Ange is in dream state mode, bemoaning her screwups, and falls into a bed of roses she remembers from childhood.

Then she wakes up as Momoka is calling for her.

The shocker: Right back in the same palace she was exiled from.

As Momoka is cheerfully gives her the "good news", Ange is "WUT?!?!" mode, and a nearby letter on the bedstead informs her she has Embryo to thank for this (to her aggravation). Later, as Ange is getting dressed (or letting Momoka do it at her insistence), she's still in shock, wondering why Salia spared her and brought her here, which Momoka doesn't know either (she was KO'ed and woke up here too). After getting dressed, it seems Ange has really gotten used to being a badass action girl and starts stashing a letter opener and few other pointy implements in her dress so she can garrote Embryo (she really HATES him at this point, with even more cause than Jill).

And that's when Salia and some other girls pop in wearing black outfits (oh lol, a reference to the Titans from Zeta Gundam, with Salia and her groupies being the female goons to Embryo's Paptimus Scirroco) to make sure Ange doesn't do that, and Salia responds with the most cliche line ever for turning traitor on Jill. We also find out after Ange kicked her ass last time, Embryo resuced her, did the same shit Scirocco did to get women to fall all over him that used to be his enemies to her (yeah, I'll admit it, he's good at the whole seduction thing), and she basically defected because Embryo played on her insecurites and made her a willing pawn in exchange for making her feel needed.

Even better, he basically gave her the evil counterpart to the Vilkiss so she could help him be his own proxy in burning ANOTHER world to ashes.

Before I go on, this is EXACTLY the same shit Paptimus Scirroco professed to believe: that the power to dominate the universe should rest in a woman's hands.....or, in this case, to fuck one up.

And Ange responds with a "Tl;dr, you just found someone else to latch onto and be the willing pawn of.", which earns her a slap from Salia, and which earns Salia and her goons Ange pwning the fuck out of them and more quality trolling as Ange tells Salia she looked better cosplaying as a magical girl. Ange and Momoka then escape via a secret panel (Ange still remembers the ins and outs of the place.

Later, we see Ersha and a bunch of kids, and as Ersha explains, Embryo got her loyalty by using his hax to bring them all back from the dead, letting Ersha being the mommy figure to them, promised her he's going to make a world where all kids can live without fear (without mentioning he'll have to nuke the current one in the process), and Ersha reveals a creepy side to herself when she reveals she traded her conscience for defending said kids on Embryo's behalf. And that's when Chris pops in, cueing next scene cut.

As Chris leads them to Embryo, her reasons for defection are simple:she felt abandoned (remember, Embryo brought her back to life, she kinda owes him big for that) and thus owes Embryo for being there for her. Also, she doesn't realize Embryo wasn't in any serious danger when he revived her, but she obviously can't know the full scope of why.

And, as we pass by the library, we find Riza, trussed up naked and muzzled, Sylvia whipping the shit out of her for nearly killing her, and we basically learn Embryo left Riza alive for the lulz and let Sylvia vent her frustrations on her almost killer. She thinks Ange still wants to watch her die as Momoka and Ange see what's going on, and she incorrectly thinks Ange is here to kill her like the rest of their family.

Before we go on, here's the blood supposedly on Ange's hands:

Mom: Tried to prevent her daughter's murder and got killed in the process.
Dad: Killed off screen without Ange's involvement.
Julio: Embryo iced him personally.

So yeah, Ange is pretty guilt free.

Anyway, Salia and co pop in, and just as Ange is about to open fire, Embryo (who was quietly curled up with a book) pops up at the top of the library stairs looking like that smug smiley face icon used on Something Awful.

Cue intermission.

We get confirmation Embryo brought Ange here because he wants her side of the story (and to answer any questions), then tells Salia to leave them alone, and Salia quickly relents after Embryo dismisses her security concerns.

We cut back to Aurora, where Jill finds out Ange was captured, Tusk and Vivian are MIA, then looks over to Jasmine in the infirmary with a "go ahead, laugh at me" expression. We also find out Jill isn't so different then Embryo in have wanted Ange to be an obedient pawn. Later, as Hilda and Rosalie are chilling in their pink lacy underthings, they are going over WTH has been going on, and Hilda tells Rosalie they'll have to bust Ange out of captivity for Libertus.

When we cut back to Ange, we find out Embryo brought her to Aura, and basically confirms everything she learned from Sala, and when Ange gets pissed, Embryo defends it as necessary to maintain the current order (despite throwing Humanity 1.0 under the bus in the process). Ange puts a gun to his head at this point, and when he assumes she's on the DRAGON's side, she clarfies she just hates his ass for killing Julio, trying to murder Tusk, and yeah, the DRAGON's as well.

Basically, she consider him the reason her life and everyone connected went to hell period, and wants him to die for that. He wonders what happens if he refuses, and a bullet exits his skull in response.

And Embryo is like "feel better?", none the worse for wear.

She shoots him again, he's back up again, and when Ange wonders if he's really God (he doesn't like that expression), we find out he pulled a Doctor Who and turned himself into the Jack Harkness of the current world. Basically, he's the "Tuner", or the fact of the world, and thus killing him is like trying to kill what makes reality possible. He also partially admits Ange is right the Norma are screwed into not being welcome in the world, hence the current setup where they fight DRAGONs as a compromise solution, and basically channels Mustapha Mond from Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World" and tells her the current world was engineered with everyone having discrete roles, and destroying that means everyone suffers.

He also uses his Scirroco like mind hax on her (yeah, he's basically Paptimus Scirroco with even MORE hax powers), and as she tries to resist, he tries to convince her to serve him with a Hannibal Lecture on how she needs some stability in the world, and in a scene that is frankly creepy as fuck, complete with Mind Control Eyes, he tells her to remove everything she's wearing, and she's half naked, her will is fighting back against the hax, so he pours on more mind control, and as he basically attempts to pull off everything in the rapist with mind control powers playbook (yeah, you can basically assume he did this to the other girls, for your extra dose of horror), he tries to kiss her to seal the deal.

And that's when he's tasting his own blood from his bit through tongue as her commitment to Tusk overpowers his mind control bullshit.

In response to Ange reiterating her desire to watch him bleed out, he then goes for Plan B: drop to one knee and attempt to offer to serve her since he can't break her will.

And that's when we cut to the Aurora again, where Hilda is attempting to knock on Jill's door to ask her about their strategy, and we find out via Jill's dream state that mind control rapist shit was pulled on HER (around the same time Libertus was aborted the first time, he basically tried to get her to be his pawn in exhange for abadoning the idea, she refused, and in response, he let her go, minus her right arm, Dracunium ring, or any chance of being a real threat.......yeah, he's an asshole), and Hilda unfortunately overhears where she kinda regrets that (given she apparently almost did become his pawn and only backed out once her conscience asserted itself, she's obviously been tormented ever since) as the end credits begin.

The preview has Rosalie and Chris bitching about the raw deals they've gotten over the course of the show, Embryo trying to win Ange over in a more conventional manner, Ange still not falling for it, and Jill apparently coming clean about her past (the betrayal part she edited out).

.....well, this episode confirmed it, Embryo is a scumbag, in the Paptimus Scirroco mind hax rapist mold, which I kinda suspected, nice to be confirmed, love to see where they go with this.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Cross Ange Episode 18

We begin Episode 18 aboard the NSS (Norma Sailing Ship, my acronym, not official) Aurora, with the bridge bunnies all like "so Ange and Vivian were alive after all", and we cut to a meeting where Ange is giving Jill, Mei, Maggy, and all the other major named characters on the Aurora her account of what happened on the DRAGON side of the dimensional rift, and as Jil lights a cig with "is this shit for real?" look on her face, Ange says the DRAGONs aren't assholes like humans and proposes they form an alliance as the intro starts.

As we get back to show, Ange is spellign out why allying with the DRAGONs is a good idea (if they get Aura back, Humanity 2.0 is screwed into being Norma as well, which will end basically all shit the Norma have gone through. Jasmine immediately warms to the idea, but Rosalie is a little agahast at the idea of cooperating with their former enemy, and Jill surprisingly agrees with Rosaline on teh grounds of their untrustworthiness, and thinks the proper solution is kill Embryo, which admittedly isn't too unsound, as he's the asshole keeping Aura's prison key, and killing Embryo would have the same effect, but more importantly, Jill believes that's the more realistic goal.

Jill further cites that her intention is to screw humanity over for betraying the Norma and tries to play on Ange's desire for the same, then aims below the belt by insuinating Ange was brainwashed, and then just gets downright bitchy in the worst way by insinuating she's become an utter pussy (in the literal and figurative sense, as in she became pregnant by Tusk and lost her will to fight).

Jasmine and Maggy then point out Salia's defection has crippled them, and after confirming from Ange the Vilkiss can go to the other side without assistance, Jasmine asks Jill to keep her options open. Jill still doesn't buy it, but she concedes the point as she leaves to evaluate intel reports, and Jasmine tells Ange that Jill is trying to hide the fact she was worried about her.

Later, as Vivian is eating, Maggy feels her up (not that way, for medical reasons, seeing if she's got DRAGON wings), and Vivian confirms she's good now on the spontaneous transformation front, and Maggy reveals she chopped off Vivian's wings and tail as a child to protect her (wow Maggy, let me add a few points to your guy meter, given the reasons you had NOT to help her keep that a secret. ), and we also get confirmation from a conversing Tusk and Ange a scene cut later the Aurora is the Libertus flagship. We also find out Hilda seems to be jealous of Tusk (apparently she didn't fake being gay as much as we thought), and Rosalie not all that happy over Salia, Chris, and Ersha's defections, and we find out three rookies names Nonna, Marika, and Mary got promoted to fill the blank spots in the fighting roster (and it turns out they are fangirls of Vivian, oddly enough), and Hilda informs us that Jill spilled her past and her goals to everyone during the interim.

And that when it funny as hell when Emma (yeah, she's on the Aurora, she survived with the Norma because Julio's troops weren't being too picky who they shot until Maggy saved her) pops out of nowhere drunk off her ass, both drinking like a fish because her fellow humans tried to kill her and also kinda grateful to Jill because Jill gave her sanctuary on the Aurora, and the shock of both caused her to turn to the bottle, and she gets a few nice points added to her tally when she reveals she wasn't all that happy about being an asshole prison warden, and as Maggy drags her drunk ass out (clutching a Perolina doll) to sober up, everyone else has a ".....the fuck?" look on their face.

The first to recover is Rosalie, who agrees with Emma that the only authority figure they truly trust right now is Jill.

Scene cut to the shower with Ange later, shes noticing the water stings, and Hilda pops up behind her and informs her that's because the water has some salt mixed in, and Hilda puts her hands on Ange's shoulders and asks if Ange gained weight (prompting Ange to panic), then around her waist, bitches about how Ange didn't contact them (with Ange protesting how she couldn't), then Hilda's hand dips below the censor steam (do I have to spell out why?) as she complains Ange was alone with a guy, then asks if Ange and Tusk got it on. Ange is like "uh, no, why the hell do you ask", and then Hilda gives her a kiss on the shoulder and tells her "welcome back" and walks off, with Ange in WTF mode.

Before I go on, yeah, Hilda either developed a thing for Ange or just sucks ass at conveying her relief another woman is okay without turning it into a lesbian groping session. Either way, that was weird as hell to watch.

We then cut to Tusk in the Paramail hangar, reminiscing how Jill promised how she was going to screw over Humanity 2.0 for her fellow Norma's sake, (and we see Tusk was kinda adorable as a kid), and he winds up chatting up Mei,mentioning he was considering sleeping in his Paramail since he's apparently not sure where to bed down, and he finds out Mei is basically as dedicated as he is to working on the Vilkiss. (and on that subject Mei takes a shine to him for doing regular upkeep in her place), and then we briefly cut to Jill's office and we get yet another reminder Embryo's a fucking asshole under all the charm.

Next morning, Jill gives Ange her orders: contact the DRAGONs about forming an alliance.

Cue intermission.

When we get back, Jill is like "why the surprise, I thought it over and it's a good idea", and then she spells out Mei made trackign beacons she secretly attached to Salia and the defectors Paramails, which returned to the Dawn Pillar, which means that is their strike target.

However, the catch is Jill wants the DRAGONs to serve as bait for a diversion op, with the DRAGONS taking the brunt of the assault so the Aurora can sneak in and deploy behind enemy lines and take out the Dawn Pillar while the DRAGONs keep their heavy artillery occupied, and Jill is like "that's the price of diversions" when confronted with the causalties this will place on the DRAGON forces, which means Jill still doesn't trust them and wants them to be meatshields, which is an admittedly rational but utterly coldblooded plan, and Jill also reveals she all "fuck Salia and the defectors, they made their choice, like hell I'll try getting them to reconsider", which is again rational yet coldblooded, and when Ange objects, Jill explains she's seeing everything in terms of pawns on a chessboard for Libertus, and her basically boils down to having the pawns and knights of the DRAGONs slapfight with the rooks, bishops, queens, and pawns of the enemy so they can put the enemy king in bloody checkmate, thought to be fair even Jill considers herself a pawn on the board.

Regardless, Jill reveals ultimately, she doesn't give a fuck about the DRAGONs despite their usefulness as a diversion/meatshield and wants Ange to land the killshot on Embryo.

Ange is like "fuck that coldblooded bullshit", and that's when Jill plays fucking dirty and shows Momoka bound and gagged on the screen behind her, and further reveals she's rigged it so Momoka will immediately be vented into the ocean, which, at their present depth, will instantly kill her via the water pressure. Even Jasmine is like "the fuck is wrong with you" in Jill's direction over that one, and as even Tusk is fucking horrified at this one, Jill is in total ruthless bitch mode as she tells Ange to cooperate or else.

.....before I go on, wow, Jill is basically the lovechild of The Baroness and Captain Ahab at this point.

 Ange is like "do you even have a conscience?!", to which Jill is like "like I give a shit about anything expect watching you making Embryo's bleed out across the bricks". Ange whips out her pistol to this, and Jill disarms her and chokeholds her with the cyber arm. Tusk tries to stop her but he's punched across the room, and as Jill reveals she's gone full blown revenge crazy, Tusk activates a dead man switch he had stashed away as Ange spits on Jill in response to her demanding Ange help her.

As Jill about to beat the shit out of Ange with her free hand, that when she and everyone else start to gag on what appears to be sleeping gas, and Tusk tosses Ange a gas mask. We find out Vivian was in on it in the mess hall and dons her own mask. As Ange and Tusk leave, Jill tries and fails to get Tusk to do his duty as the Knight of Vilkiss (since he's now pledged himself to Ange), which has Jill pissed at Tusk as she whips out a knife as she tries to fight off the the gas' effects. Meanwhile, Tusk has the Aurora blow its ballast to surface so they can escape.Unfortunately, this gets the attention of Salia and the others, who have been reconning for the Aurora.

As Ange and crew are about to bail, Jill reveals she was hardcore enough to shank her own leg to keep awake (adrenaline is a hell of a stimulant), and as Ange tries to get Jill realizes she's having a serious He Who Fights Monsters problem, Jill has completely come unglued from her reason at this point.

It's then, as the Aurora surfaces, Ange tells Jill (as she whips out her own knife) if Jill wins in a knife fight, then Ange will do her bidding, telling Tusk and Momoka to haul ass with Vivian.

As the fight goes on, Jill's anger is clear: Ange is basically a mirror of Jill herself, so she should understand why they need to burn the entire fucking world to ashes no matter the cost, and it's pissing Jill off Ange isn't running off blind anger at humanity anymore. This leads to Ange getting the upper hand, knocking Jill ass over tea kettle, and as Jill is in despairing "why won't you see it my way" mode, we find out Ange really does want Tusk's sappy vision to come to pass.

Jasmine and Maggy pop in at that point, and Jasmine tells the defeated Jill to swallow her pride and admit it. Later, as Ange is about to take off, she tells Jasmine she'll get Libertus done, but her way, without being a soulless bastard sacrificing lives and using people in the process.

As Ange is abut to get either Tusk or Vivian to take a potshot at her to get the Vilkiss to enter super mode (it responds to combat as a sign to do this), that's when Salia and crew show up to save her the trouble, and as the end credits roll, Salia and Ange prepare to kick each others ass.

As the next episode preview begins, it seems Ange lost the fight and returns BACK to Misurugi, where we discover Embryo pulled strings and all of his defectees basically get to live cushy lives in exchange for being Vidkun Quislings, and Ange is not all that happy being bird in gilded cage again.

Before I end this, I have to say this episode has shown Ange's character has come full circle, and while the beginning was badly paced, the rest of the character development from episode three onward has changed Ange from a selfish bitch into an actual heroic figure, and based on that preview, she's come to accept that being a better person and remaining disgraced is preferable to having all the privilege she once had and being let off so long as she holds the whip against those like her, and hopefully, we'll get to see her call out Embryo (whose nice guy facade is starting to crack pretty bad) for all the bullshit he's pulled.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Cross Ange Episode 17

We begin Episode 17 with Ange and Salia in the hot springs, discussing the pending invasion of Misurugi and the liberation of Aura, info courtesy of Riza. Ange is wondering if Sala wants to draft her, and Sala tells her she's free to make her own choices, but that would be really nice. Further, just before the intro starts, Sala points out they owe Ange for saving her peoplke, and Sala wants to repay the favor.

When we come back, Tusk is doing his handyman thing as he advocates kicking ass alongside the DRAGONs, as he has obvious personally reasons to want to screw Embryo over. Ange wonders if that's morally correct, and when is confused, Ange recaps all they've learned and understandably wonders if joining Sala's cause just means they will get jerked around by someone else with a hidden agenda, and Tusk just tells her "don't worry about that, just follow your conscience".

And that's when the series running gag hits, just as Vivan pops by with thanks from her mother for the other day. Vivian blushes, Ange is pissed, and Tusk gets sent over a cliff.

Later, Tusk (looking like a mummy) is being spoonfed at a BBQ by some DRAGON girls, Ange sees this, makes a loud crunchy noise as she bites her kebab (prompting Tusk to shield his jewels), and that when she goes all Tsundere again and does the same thing the other girls were doing (yeah, jealousy), and we see Tusk's hands are fucked up (must have hit the water pretty damned hard).

Sala and her groupies show up soon after Ange decides to go back home, Sala's cool with that, even if that makes her and Ange's enemies again, and Kaname and Naga get into a pissing match over the wisdom in just letting her go. Ange confirms "chill, we not enemies anymore", and Sala accepts this at face value, despite the shock of her groupies, and then they promise to finish their competition with karaoke next time (this is a shout out to the uber hilarious official 4-koma gag parody of the series, which can be found here: )

Later, at Lamia's place, Vivian wants to go with Ange, but her mom gets up and walks out without a word, prompting Vivian to have second thoughts. However, turns out Lamia just wants to show Vivan her baby clothes, points out Vivian grew up a lot since then, and that she has friends and memories she has to return to (basically, she's an understanding mom).

The next day, a crap ton of DRAGONs are gathering, and just as Vivan comments on this, Dr. Gecko shows up to hit on Tusk, and Ange is like "back off bitch, he's spoken for". Gecko's all pouty, Vivian snarks they need a room, then we cut to the High Priestess giving the "let's go rescue Aura speech", and we finally see the High Priestess is friggin short.

As they all take off, Vivian muses about invites the girls from Arzenal over for a house visit, and Tusk just wants to open a small cafe by the sea, and as his monologue starts getting more mushy than Salia's favorite romance movies, Ange wants to gag (but as the portal to their world opens, she privately admits to herself Tusk's ideal life sounds nice).

And that's when the DRAGON forces realize they are nowhere near Misurugi.

Me, I figure Embryo has caught on ahead of time (like the last episode wasn't enough foreshadowing) and screwed up their plans.

Sure enough, a friggin missile barrage pops out of nowhere, just to confirm they were set up, and yep, we see Embyro's Ragna-mail, as if we needed MORE confirmation, just before the intermission.

As the intermission resumes, Embyro reveals he's got backup as they assault the DRAGON forces, who can do little but respond.

Also, another cut a torture room (and unlike the first episode, this appears to have been ACTUAL torture) shows Embryo with a trussed up (naked) Riza, in trollface mode as he informs her that her info is why her friends are being slaughtered.

Meanwhile, as Sala's forces are getting overwhelmed, Ange decides to kick ass to help her out, but warns her they are screwed and they need to retreat. Around the same time, the pilot in the black Vilkiss seems oddly familiar as Sala is eventually persuaded with Tusk's help to retreat for real.

And soon, we find out why the pilot is so familar: It's Salia, and the forces they are fighting are Ange's own, who were tipped off by Embryo, who apparently convinced Jill (who doesn't know what Ange knows) that they have a common enemy in DRAGONS, using their continued ignorance to force them to fight each other.

........well played, Embryo, well played.

In fact, he somehow managed to get the Arzenal crew on his side (WTF?!?!?!?!), but it kinda makes sense since he tipped them off that Ange apparently turned traitor. Anyway, as the DRAGONs complete their retreat, Salia orders an attack name right out of magical girl anime (to Chris and Ersha's consternation), and they proceed to close in for the kill by using grappling hooks to paralyze the Vilkiss.

Or they try, until Vivian does a midair cord cut with a bomb and Tusk pulling a variant of what Ange did with Salia a few episodes back, to Ersha's shock.

However, Salia still has a hold on the Vilkiss, and Ange gets tired of hearing Salia speaking of the creepy narcissist Embryo like she's nailing the guy (creepy thought IMO). As Salia tries to the formation attack again, Ange, after a few threats to kick the Vikiss' ass, finally gets it teleport both her and Tusk away.....

.....back to the blown up shell of Arzenal.

Later, as they are hiding out in one of the half destroyed lower hangars, that's when several figures in wetsuits pop out of the water and head toward them, scaring the shit out of them.

Turns out one of them is Momoka (to Ange's relief), another is Rosalie, and one is Hilda, who finally meets Tusk, and nearly rips his balls off to confirm he's a guy, and as he's turning purple from understandable shock, end credits roll.

The post credits have Ange and Salia bitching about who is hated more by the anime production staff, Jill and Maggy getting briefed by Ange (and pissed at what she learns), Hilda creeping on Ange in the shower (yeah, been awhile since we had some lesbian fanservice, lol)

Anyway, little theory before next episode:

After the teleport to the other world, Embryo (remember he brought Chris back to life in Salia's presence and a dead child back to life in Ersha's) got ahold of the three of them and sweet talked them onto his team. Salia was pretty easy, he just handed her a Dracunium ring, her own Vilkiss, and a chance to show up Ange. Chris, well, he REVIVED her from certain death, and Ersha....well, he can't be all bad if he brought a dead kid back to life, can he?

Everyone else got out of Arzenal.

Meanwhile, Embryo isn't stupid. After Episode 13, he realized Riza was still around (her exit from Julio's ship wasn't as discreet as she thought) and thus captured her when she thought her cover was still intact, and a little torture later gave up the plans for the DRAGON invasion, and Embryo used her info and some creative BS to get his three new sycophants to do his dirty work, which is pretty brilliant if you ask me, and suggests that even if he isn't a total bastard and has some standards, he sure isn't above using any goodwill he engenders with people for his own gain, which still plants him in villain territory, but he's still not as much of an asshole as Julio was, at least, not yet.

Meanwhile, Jill has been in a holding pattern, hanging around the general area of Arzenal since the linchpin of Libertus was MIA, which also makes sense, since no one would expect them to double back there for awhile.