Super Dimensional Cavalry Southern Cross – episodes 8-14

April 17, 2006 on 11:42 pm | In Southern Cross | Comments Off on Super Dimensional Cavalry Southern Cross – episodes 8-14

Southern Cross has become a fairly compelling program, replete with several conventions of the genre and some other aspects that I can’t recall having seen before. Southern Cross is not without its surprises and, while it may have been better served with a more open-ended structure, is actually quite enjoyable.

Spoilers beyond

The Southern Cross Army discovers that the forces that the Zor have employed against them are actually captured and brainwashed humans: bioroids. In order to advance their military plans, the Zor place Seifreit, the red bioroid, amongst the forces of Glorie.
The military acknowledge Seifreit as a recovering bioroid, but still place him as a member of Squadron 15. In the process, Jeanne comes to realise that the Zor are actually the original inhabitants of Glorie.

One of the best strategies that a war anime can take is to portray the governmental decision making process of both armies. For the majority of this series, the Zor High Councils have been shown and the audience have been given clues as to the Zor’s existence. While some of their “insights” echo Macross very strongly – the Zor abhor the idea of “emotions” and such primitive human detritus – the most important aspect of their opinions becomes obvious: the people in charge are idiots.
Neither the Southern Cross Supreme Commander nor the High Council of the Zor wish to discuss matters and therefore act at cross purposes all the time. The Zor have the defence of supreme cold logic behind their decisions, but Commander Leon has only the rash impulses of a filthy human being.

The decision to incorporate Seifreit into the army is highly suspect. The Southern Cross Army has been ridiculously intemperate in every single decision made before this one, so why they would choose this juncture to show some mercy, I’ve no idea. My opinion is of course swayed by the information revealed in the Zor segments, but I still believe that Seifreit should have been discharged or held; regardless, he interacts well with the rest of Squad 15 and is a generally nice guy.

It’s not all wine and roses on every front, however: the relationship between Marie and Charles, such as it is, is really awkwardly written. The screenwriters fell back onto the old safeguard of having a female character have a sudden change of heart mid-scene, which on paper equates to a page of nonsense. It doesn’t fare well on screen, either, and I wish that this aspect of the story could have been developed more naturally and less painfully.

The follies of women are not up yet, either! The preview for episode 15 reveals that it will be an episode about womanly relationships … with men! Also, this is the anime that taught me “A woman’s face is as important as her life”.
There’s even a “Jeanne falls in love” episode before her crush on Seifreit blooms. It’s a good episode, and doesn’t make Jeanne’s character stupid (her enthralled “Look! He’s walking! And he’s talking!” comes off as hilarious instead) – but it does that one thing that I can’t stand in anime: don’t have a montage of clips from the same episode! It’s just foolish, in my estimation.

Southern Cross is at the point of compulsion, that only good SF can unlock in me. Sally forth, Jeanne! Reveal unto me the secrets of the trinity!

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