code geass akito the exiled 1

“If you want a place for Elevens, are you going to create a country?”

After spending the past week battling the second hack of this website in three years, what better way to come back than with some Code Geass? Four long years after R2, the struggle between Britannia and Area 11 is back. But is it better?

There’s been some changes since 2008. Gone are the old Code Geass staff: Akito brings a completely new staff with Kazuki Akane helming and a new writing team. Also, Sunrise has shifted away from their typically train wreck fare (somehow not responsible for Guilty Crown) and actually produced a few solid comedies including Danshi Nichijou, Tiger and Bunny, and Binbougami Ga!. But has Code Geass changed?

The Ugly: I had no clue what was going on in the first fifteen minutes. Any new fan? Good luck figuring this shit out. It wasn’t until I saw the caped knightmare frames before I knew, “Ah, so those guys are Britannia!” Tossing the viewer into the middle of random mecha combat without any exposition is so Code Geass-like. Reila’s conversations also made no sense to me at the beginning until I looked up it that she is working for the EU as a defector from Britannia. Ah. Okay, shit makes a little more sense. And then it would be 30 more minutes before it’s explained that Area 11 kids are basically cannon fodder for the EU since no one in the EU wants to die. Do I dare make a joke about how this subplot is like rich white families and poor black families in America during Vietnam?

The Good: We have a lunatic in an overpowered knightmare frame. I hope Akito and Reila become a more dysfunctional version of Sagara and Chidori. Also good and Code Geass-y? Jazz music (crappy jazz music) that starts playing whenever his knightmare frame is on screen. It’s almost like they’re trying to imitate Cowboy Bebop or Samurai Champloo and then realizing, “Wait, we don’t have the music chops to pull it off.” Though I felt like if Akito the Exiled was basically Sakamichi no Apollon with knightmare frame battles instead of fisticuffs, it would be a huge win for both franchises.

The Good: Robot crotch explosions. I hope we get more of this in Robotics;Notes.

The Ugly: The animation. OH MY GOSH. Back in the day, OVAs typically had better animation than the TV series… nowadays, it’s basically flipped. The animation is lower than the level of R2, and R2 wasn’t exactly the setting the world on fire (especially when compared to other 2008 series such as Clannad, Darker than Black, or Boku no Pico). Characters for Akito are not drawn well or consistently, animation is sparse, and the CGI is below average. It’s not even Muv-Luv level let alone thinking it can compete with Hyouka or Eureka Seven AO (or 2010 OVA Break Blade). And, oh, what is with Akito’s rat tail? It looks terrible. Rat tails should only be on Canadian hockey players and no one else.

The Good: Strong train wreck potential. Suzaku and CC in the preview? A potential brother or half-brother to Akito? I’m all for full-blown train wreck– bring on the Cheese-kuns, Rolos, and whatever terribleness we crave. This franchise is the Honey Boo-boo of anime. Though for people wanting a clean, solid story out of Code Geass: how many clean, solid stories are there this season? One? Two? Out of thirty shows? Those aren’t good odds. Might as well cater to the lowest common denominator, ain’t that right Glitzy?

The Ugly: The Alexander frame… ugh. A bit ugly. The plot point where the Japanese pilots kamikaze? A bit ugly as well. Though I’m not sure why Japanese pilots have a reputation for kamikaze in this timeline… WW2 wouldn’t have happened as the US never came to be, and Britannia and Japan wouldn’t have fought until knightmare frames were in existence. And even if the Japanese pilot’s lives are cheap, I’m not sure if self-destructing the latest and greatest EU knightmare frames is the smartest idea– the EU has older and cheaper frames like the Panzer-Hummel model that they could use, but, nah, let’s blow up our newest and most expensive models.

The Bad: Code Geass is not a franchise that has been historically good to women characters. How badly will Reila be treated this time around? I don’t know. But she does look like Usagi with that haircut, and she has a black cat like Luna… can’t be a good omen for a female character when she resembles Sailor Moon and is cast as a major heroine in a franchise that made one heroine hump a table, made another massacre a bunch of people, made another witness the death of her brother firsthand, and made another dress up in a bunny outfit.

(Style points for Reila to be commanding a squadron wearing a mini-skirt and thigh high socks. When Roy Mustang and I run the military, this will be the universal dress code.)

The Bad: Hey, I don’t know you; and you just tried to kill me… but hey sign up for my suicide squad maybe. Reila’s logic is top notch: these Japanese terrorists tried to kill me, so I’m going to recruit them and give them powerful weapons. This won’t turn out badly at all. Though I do like that Ryo has his requisite amount of flair… I see a rising sun, the “R” for R2, and the mask from Darker than Black… and his gang reminds me of a gang form Baccano!— hey, it’s a lady who is slashy! It’s a guy who likes bombs!

The Good: Dat smile.

7 Responses to “code geass akito the exiled 1”

  1. Appart from teh great review, I feel obliged to tell you that the site has been flagged as an attack site, so you might want to check into it.

  2. Reila looks like mind wiped CC. Just she has clothes. For now.

    Waiting for the real C. C. to show.

  3. Akito’s knightmare frame reminds me of a Refrain-boosted Tachikoma.

  4. I’m worried about the ability of the new staff to uphold the high standards of the previous two seasons. I
    counted no emo facial distortions or OH GEASS NO moments over the entire 45 minutes!

    Akito’s so inconsistently drawn. One minute he’s a 20 year old psychopathic Lulu lookalike, then next he’s Lulu and Suzuku’s 12 year old love child.

  5. hey Jason, google is listing your site as a “attack site”.

  6. So basically we’re done with the code geass franchise ever returning to something as good as the first season :(

  7. i don’t know if loeuch is dead or not but at the end of CG R2 you see C2 talking to him but C2 can to talk to people that have died with the code power
    but than again loeuch may have took his father’s code of immortality
    and another thing is that susakue is alive too!!!!!!!!!!!! and he cant die because of the code he has on him and i don’t think that he can until leouch truly dies
    also him and C2 have a contract and i think that they cant die until that is fulfilled I don’t know but i cant wait until the next episode

    LONG LIVE JAPAN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    (hit me up at [{}] if you wana talk code geass)

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