Posted by psgels on 30 September 2012 with categories: Anime Reviews

So, I did not like Code Geass. The first season just shattered my suspense of disbelief and even throughout the second season it just wasn’t able to restore this, making it a chore to watch. So when another sequel was announced, I was mostly indifferent to it. And then it got announced that it would be directed by Kazuki Akane, my favorite director ever. Yeah, my opinion changed.

What I love about this guy is that he understands action like no other, and he manages to combine this astonishingly well with his storytelling. His stories are always awesome to watch, he knows how to flesh out settings really well. It’s just the total picture of everything that comes together so wonderfully in his series.

Now, Bokuko no Akito consists out of four movies, so this first movie was just a lot of build-up, so whether the characters and plot will work is still a bit hard to say at this point. I will however say that as a build-up movie this was really solid and it did everything that it was supposed to.

It still takes place in the setting of Code Geass, but on a completely different location. It’s still about a bit of an anti-hero, it still is about the military and it still is about the discrimination of Japanese people, but it removed all those ridiculous elements that the Code Geass TV-series had. There is also no school whatsoever, which also helps. The discrimination issues are also done much better than in the TV-series: the movie added some depth to these issues. In Europe, they’re turned into immigrants and these issues are fleshed out with a slight bit of subtlety that the TV-series completely lacked. All of this together really helped in making me take this series seriously again, something that at the end of the second season, I never would have expected.

And then there is the action: and it really is really well done. The animation is very crisp and clean. The CG stands out, but it’s really well used with intense movements that are all over the place, and are filled with energy. All action scenes just have this sense of power behind them, typical of Kazuki Akane’s action scenes, and they can only get better over the next bunch of movies. The action scenes are also quite grounded for an action series: the creators put thought in their use of explosives and used different ones depending on the situation, and they studied the human anatomy so that when someone is disarmed, it actually looks painful.

Most of my issues were with the characters. The main cast is fleshed out well, they’re likable and interesting, but there is this mindset in this series that I don’t like: the “young people rock adults suck”-mindset. Nearly everyone in this series over 25 years old is incompetent and badly portrayed. This show looks down on them and does not provide an adequate enough reason for it. I hope that this will get fixed somehow in the later movies, but I’m afraid that that will be quite hard to do.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Build-up, but solid build-up.
Characters: 7.5/10 – Some badly portrayed minor characters, but the main cast is solid for the next movies to use.
Production-Values: 8.5/10 – Excellent animation for the fight scenes. It’s a build-up movie, so it’s definitely saving the eye candy for later, but there is a lot for the eyes to admire.
Setting: 8.5/10 – They took the Code Geass setting and removed the ridiculous aspects. The result is quite interesting and it’s good to see this show take itself seriously this way.

21 Responses

  1. Litho says:

    Ooh, finally someone who dislikes Code Gay-Ass as much as I do!!

    How long is each ‘movie’? I’m not willing to commit more than 30 min for any ep of this trainwrecked franchise.

  2. psgels psgels says:

    Each movie is 50 minutes long.

  3. Aidanak47 says:

    “Code Gay-Ass”

    Oh that’s clever, did you come up with that all by yourself?

    Figured you wouldn’t like this Psgels. It’s just not your thing I think. I thought for a start it did really well. My issues with it are the use of CG. The CG looks fine but they really need to work on the movement. I always found that with anime CG. The movement of the models is jerky and unnatural.

  4. Hououin Kyouma says:

    Mhm, it seemed to me a lighter version of Code Geass dosed to numerous new characters … A little bit of C.C. and a pinch of Euphemia for Leila, a bit of Lelouch’s plans to change the world and Suzaku’s abilities for Akito, a bit of Schneizel’s aura and Toudo’s temperance for Lord Falneze…Well, at least the build-up was very down-to-earth and the OST was a buffet of sounds. However…it only made feel nostalgic for THE REAL BOSS that is Lelouch. I hope it will manage be able to stand on its own and be memorable as sth different from the original Code Geass.

  5. Marvel says:

    As someone who actually does like the original Code Geass despite acknowledging that it isn’t perfect, which means strongly disagreeing with your review even to this day because it seemed to be rather lazy and full of double standards in my opinion, at the very least I can say this OVA/movie was certainly a good way to provide a change of perspective and tone while still fitting within the same universe.

    The fact that like yourself I’m also a fan of Kazuki Akane helps, of course, so on that level we’re relatively closer to an agreement. I suppose that’s nice, in spite of everything else, since he really did a good job bringing his own personal touch to this production.

    The CGI worked very well most of the time and the music was different yet still somehow appropriate for the material as well as the action sequences. The traditional animation was a little uneven though, with some frames lacking in quality during certain moments. Finally, I would say the background art was also a highlight.

    On the other hand, I don’t have such a big issue with portraying many of the less important adults in a critical, negative or at least questionable light. Even Yoshiyuki Tomino, the creator of Mobile Suit Gundam, has long used a similar theme in his own works. In this case, I would say there are still a couple of adult characters on each side whoe are either shown or implied to be competent enough and might play a more significant role in the later chapters, so it’s not entirely valid as a generalization. Admittedly, a lot will depend on how they ultimately resolve the narrative.

    Overall, I would say this first episode does manage to present an effective alternate take on the Code Geass universe that could theoretically stand more or less on its own, at least for the time being, but I do believe those who liked the original series will also find interesting elements as well, particularly if they have an open mind and aren’t excessively fond of Lelouch, since he doesn’t need to be present in this situation. Other existing characters will show up, going by the obvious highlights of the preview, but in their case that makes sense.

    • Bjorn says:

      I think you’re being biased with both the reviews of CG and CG: Akito the Exiled. The review here is likely to be biased by the fact that the one who directed it is your favorite director, obviously it would automatically biased. “..And then it got announced that it would be directed by Kazuki Akane, my favorite director ever. Yeah, my opinion changed.” OH GREAT.

      You should’ve wrote for the good and bad sides of the anime rather focusing on its flaws. DAMN YOU.

  6. Reverse says:

    that city (during the highway fight) look somewhat similar to heat guy j

  7. over_seer says:

    Hopefully they can make something decent out of the rest of the OVAs, given this reasonably-okay setup. We’ll see.

    I’m not particularly a big fan of the Geass franchise, but I think that incompetent adults definitely fit into the narrative.

    *original series spoilers below I guess*

    A central theme throughout the series is a rejection of the old-world structure (that is controlled by large corporations and aristocrats, according to Lelouch in S2 ep1), corruption, and stagnation that the adults have developed and are handing over to the kids.

    Despite being an ambitious mastermind, Lelouch is ambivalent about future career plans, classes, and so on. Recall Lelouch’s purpose for the Black Knights and how his goals change in the second season, how the series ends. Think about how the different Knight of Rounds–the three with any characterization at least–and how they and their fortunes change as they switch allegiances and what they’re fighting for. The approach that succeeds in the end is to blow up the adults’ system, not reform it from within.

    The party in this first Akito OVA is a clear reminder about this power structure. Furthermore, we have adults imposing their authority on Leila.

  8. synkronized says:

    Holy crap psgels didn’t like Code Geass? Finally I meet a kindred spirit who thought a lot of the Code Geass hype was silly. Who found the Japanese are persecuted themes to be nauseating. Thank heaven someone else felt like they got beaten over the head with the themes.

    In any case I suppose I’ll check out this movie. It looks like it has potential.

    • Marvel says:

      The hype might have been silly, but the anti-hype was/is often just as bad. That’s one reason why I find it so hard to trade one for the other.

      If you don’t really like the idea of the Japanese being persecuted, period, be prepared or else I doubt you’ll enjoy this much. There is a change of setting, but the concept is still present and ties into the same basic theme.

      • synkronized says:

        Delivery is everything. One side can play the bad guys while the other side plays the victim. But how they approach things makes a big difference. Un-go and Eureka 7 Ao hit the mark. Japan in those series does not get portrayed as some innocent victim that now righteously smites its foes.

        I keep a similar standard for all nations though. I can’t stand patriotic gun wank bullshit from US media and likewise I can’t stand “We’re the victim” bullshit from Japan. You could say my tolerance for straw man portrayals of the evils in the world aggravates me because what happens is far more nuanced.

        I’ve found Code Geass to be a block buster that ends up being one of the worst perpetrators of that sort of flawed over simplified good/evil story telling.

        I’m loud about that problem with Code Geass because I like a lot of what it does and touches upon. But Code Geass is like strong Salt’n Vinegar potato chips. I love eating them but they leave my tongue raw and sore far too quickly.

        • Marvel says:

          Hey, you did originally say that the theme was what bothered you. But then again, I still happen to disagree with parts of your previous description and, just as well, I also think the show provided enough nuances in other areas.

          Pre-occupation Japan obviously isn’t the focus of Code Geass, both as a property and as a story, but the limited information available does indicate that most of the country’s past leadership wasn’t exactly good or innocent either. In fact, Lelouch/Zero himself more or less explicitly separates his efforts and discourse from a mere return to the past, so things are a bit more complicated than that. I won’t bother you with the details at this point though

    • Joaquin says:

      Ja bin gespannt auf 3 safftel hatte zwa gehofft das 3 safftel mit lulu wfcrd aber ist wohl nicht we4r aber mf6glich das er mal einen auftrit hat oder das die eltern von lulu wieder kommen den die sind ja net wirklich tot also gibt es viele mf6glichkeiten falls man kan nur hoffen das code geass 3 das gleiche niveau wie die vorge4nger besitzt

  9. Pax says:

    Some people (actually quite many) took Code Geass too seriously, either like psgels or like all of those who consider it a flawless masterpiece. For me it was one of the most fun experiences I had while watching anime, R2 is the only anime I ever watched as soon as a new episode was released, that says a lot about how addicting it was.

    Anyway, I hope this movies will be just as fun, ridiculous and over the top as the two previous seasons :)

    • Jack says:

      Yeah, it wasn’t a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination, just a very good, sometimes very silly, thriller… but really addictive. This OVA feels very different, more serious and “grounded”, but I bet that it’ll be equally as good as the original.

  10. Puran says:

    I am…. Disappointed.

    Kazuki Akane needs to do something else.

    Here are the things that I enjoy in Akane’s works that are missing here:

    -Strong Characters (Escaflowne, Noein) – I uhhh, didn’t like any of the characters in this.
    -Awesome use of sound (Noein, Birdy the Mighty Decode) – I can’t stress this enough, Noein had some very original and amazing sound effects. Birdy too, but less. It’s completely absent here.
    -Cool fights (Noein, Birdy the Mighty Decode) – Ok, so the CG was good, but that’s not why Akane’s fights were good. There was something missing here.
    -Character Driven Plot (Escaflowne, Noein, Birdy the Mighty) – All his other series had a character driven plot and made me care about what happened to the characters. This one is way too focused on politics as of now.
    -Crazy Sci-Fi Elements (Escaflowne, Noein, Birdy the Mighty) – The settings of all those series were really, really, creative and had a ton of interesting ideas (bungee jumping through time is way too awesome), here the settings is like “Code Geass – Lite”.

    And also… One of the aspects of Code Geass that I actually enjoyed is how Lelouch was applying scientific methods to learn the limits of his power. Like how he did tests and timed the results and found exactly the limits of his power. It also helped define his power within a ruleset for the viewers. Here we have none of that.

    • Marvel says:

      You’re entitled to that opinion…but it’s clearly a very bad idea to decisively judge any of those aspects, such as characters and plot, from what was basically an introduction. The same thing goes for the other elements.

      Every project is different, especially in terms of format, but only time will tell. However, I personally found the characters, setting, fights and sounds to be at least more interesting than you did.

  11. onrop says:

    You guys are fools. Why are you going into so much detail about how these ova’s are supposed to be and what they are lacking from the original? These are OVA’s for godsakes.. There are FOUR episodes for them to make this series good. They wont have the time for the main characters to test out their skills and time to show everyone how he learns of his powers.

    This is a well done first OVA. Packed with action scenes and bringing in characters you would like from the start already. The fighting of the Knights are a lot better also with more cg and movements. The use of music was just incredible in this too. It fits the scenes. This is talking about Europe being on the brink of being taken over by Britannia so it should be more series. They cant really incorporate funny scenes in here and joke around while trying to fit everything in a 50 min OVA.

  12. Anna says:

    I am one of the few who didn’t like Code Geass either…it has such a high rating on myanimelist and I never understood it.

  13. banagherlinks says:

    There’s the issue of plagiarism, code geass will always be a sub genre anime. There I said it. Is there anything the code geass writer managed to come up with something original????

    Speaking of the ova, cg is okay. Though I would never compare it to the likes f gundam unicorn and evangelion 2.22 cause ot really staggers so bad.

    • Fer says:

      I disagree. I think the CG is as good or better than in those two movies. It doesn’t really stagger at all, but has more dynamic motion instead.

      It’s also weird to talk about “originality” when almost every shows has external influences. That’s not “plagiarism” and doing something different even with familiar elements, which Code Geass did, wouldn’t fall under that category either.

      More on the topic, Code Geass Akito 2 was pretty nice.

Leave a Reply

Shoutbox

Name:
Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • swa
    (Monday, May 30. 2016 08:24 PM)
    Meh… Can you really be disappointed with anything Wii U related anymore?
    I am waiting for my Fortisimo Edition to arrive, and I will enjoy it no matter what, even if I have to hypnotise myself to do it.
    PS: I’m quite positive you could even get a whole new Wii U for 150, after all I got mine new for 200 more than 3 years ago.
  • Vonter
    (Monday, May 30. 2016 08:20 PM)
    Have you tried Star Fox Zero. That one demands the gamepad. Although IMO more because of the gyroscope than the dual screen. I mainly swap screens according to my needs.
  • K-Off
    (Monday, May 30. 2016 08:46 AM)
    How pissed off will I be when I purchase Mirage Sessions and it turns out to relegate the gamepad screen to some map like so many other WiiU titles. It already seems like it’s incompatible with offscreen play, so that’s not a good sign.
  • K-Off
    (Monday, May 30. 2016 08:35 AM)
    Looking at my bill to fix my WiiU gamepad, total comes out to $150 at a local game shop…This is why having an overly high-tech glorified remote controller with a thousand things that can break is such a shit idea.
  • K-Off
    (Monday, May 30. 2016 08:26 AM)
    @Spike Good point, wordpress already has good plugins like wp-recaptcha that I’m pretty familiar with and it does seem to work well. In the past I’ve had to deal with spambots that could retrieve emails from sites and it took a while to figure out how to tinker with javascript to get that shit sorted out over the course of a month. With this site I’m just a writer hence I cannot install entirely new plugins, hence I was looking for alternatives on my end.
  • Spike
    (Monday, May 30. 2016 07:31 AM)
    Most decent Spambots have IP and MAC address spoofing, you will never be able to ban them effectively. Board needs a string re-CAPTCHA to prevent bots posting all together.
  • K-Off
    (Monday, May 30. 2016 07:04 AM)
    @Aidan Can you somehow give me the ability to ban devices, apart from IP addresses? I get a message every few hours telling me I’ve got a message from that fucking spambot in the Primerose review, whose IP address changes with each new comment and every time I ban one.
  • SuperMario
    (Sunday, May 29. 2016 10:38 PM)
    @Bam: I just glanced over the lightning in a Bottle 2016 and it’s quite impressive. Grimes, Chet Faker, Hundred Waters, Jamie xx? Yay. Yoga & meditation class? Count me in!!
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, May 29. 2016 09:40 PM)
    @afgm, positive. DS2 relies too much on mobbing your character and the bosses are terribly unimaginative. DS3 has faster combat that DS1 but I still think DS1 one bosses are better and DS3 had less interesting level design than DS1. Plus DS3 also focuses a bit too much on Mobbing and referencing DS1 instead of making it’s own lore.
  • afgm
    (Sunday, May 29. 2016 07:49 PM)
    @Aidan are you sure you aren’t looking back on DS1 with rose-tinted glasses?

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Bungou Stray Dogs 08a

Bungou Stray Dogs – 08

I have to say more than anything this is Bungou Stray Dogs’ special episode, in a sense that in one hand, the show produces one of its most brilliance ever, but on the other hand, there are still many shortcomings along with the greatness, producing an episode that mostly entertainment but uneven. The introduction of […]

Joker Game - 08 1

Joker Game – 08

Well Joker Game managed to pull a twist I didn’t see coming and what makes it rather amusing is that it did it unintentionally. For you see it took the entire episode for me to figure out that I wasn’t watching the antics of another spy of the D-agency only to figure out that this […]

Flying witch 07b

Flying witch – 07

One of the thing that Flying witch always does it right is how it establish the chemistry between any characters, while at the same time maintain the consistency in their personalities. It feels like if you give them any random characters in any random situation, pretty much the show can hit it off. Last week […]

Re Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu - 08 1

Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World – 08

I feel bad for the artists and animators who made the opening and ending for this show as they don’t seem to be getting much use. Not that I am complaining of course as if the choice is between a catchy theme song and more content then content wins every time. Though it is a […]

Kiznaiver - 07 4

Kiznaiver – 07

To some this may be the strongest episode of Kiznaiver to date. However to someone like myself I find myself mixed on what I just witnessed. I have said before that what I like about this series are the aspects which are distinctly Trigger which would be it’s sense of wacky humor and character chemistry. […]

Mayoiga 07b

Mayoiga – 08

Again this week Mayoiga succeed at bringing a big screw-you to us audience. The cliffhanger last week is quickly revealed, and we come to learn that Masaki is not a ghost, nor is she a witch, but simply that… she had visited the Lost Village before. Big surprise! It really is a ridiculous anti-climax, but […]

1

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress – 06

If you haven’t heard by now, the second season of Attack on Titan has been delayed till 2017 because Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress is far too awesome for Studio Wit to handle in a single year. I really couldn’t care less about the delay since I already know what’s going to happen in season […]

Bungou Stray Dogs 07d

Bungou Stray Dogs – 07

This week the plot revolving the Azure King was resolved and it raises the conflict of sense of justice between Dazai and Kunikida. Like what I suspected last week, all the new characters are in play in this episode and now I get the hang of Bungou Stray Dogs storytelling now. The new characters will […]

Joker Game - 07 3

Joker Game – 07

You know, I am beginning to wonder just how do those lessons go at the D-Agency. Is it something like “Ok, class. Today I will teach you how to summon dolphins with a whistle. After that we will go over the magic rituals of Aleister Crowley and finally have a refresher on the finer points […]

Latest Reviews

20160513001913_1

Lucid9: Inciting Incident Video Game Review – 85/100

It’s not often I pick a game up without prior knowledge. I abhor the act of pre-ordering and at least do a google search on the title to get a general idea of it’s overall quality. Gone are the day you walk into a game store and buy something purely on a whim or the […]

The Totem Warrior

Chinese Animation Guide – Part 3: Haoliners inputs

This part we explore one Chinese animation studio’s works. I choose Haoliners partly because they are independent studio, and their works are not hard to find. Just established in 2013, Haoliners is an indie studio but gathered more reputation in the last few years in their homeland. My experience with them through those titles below […]

Cover

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress OST Review

This will be the first time in my anime blogging career that I have ever done one of these anime OST review. It should be known that I have a complete bias for Hiroyuki Sawano as he has become one of the biggest composer for anime in recent years in some of my favorite anime […]

Nüwa’s Growth Diary

Chinese Animation Guide – Part 2: Chinese Anime shows

As much as I hated the term Chinese Anime (Anime stands for Japanese animation, strictly speaking), this is the exact term for those shows. Their influence from the Anime was so heavy that apart from the voice cast and some scene settings, you can’t tell those apart from the original anime. With that said, judge from […]

If anyone have been followed animation closely for the last few years, they will notice a recent rise of Chinese animation (call it a wave if you like), both in feature and in series. While it does not have much of an impact in any English speaking world like anime has been, they are really popular in their mainland and some parts of Asian countries. With the success of Kung Fu Panda (half-produced by China) and its power on movies industry (China IS the main market for feature films now), it is worth it to take a look on this current trend and see how they are different from anime.
While my fellow bloggers are the ones who more specialize in Games and Manga, I will be the one who cover World Animation (by that I mean anything animated other than anime and American big studio animation – they got way too much coverage already). Like majority of you guys I am not from China, my Chinese is as good as my Japanese (which is to say NONE), so this is actually goddamn difficult to look for titles, and the information I could find are sacred here on top of that find a suitable sub for it, most of them does not even have an English name, thus the title and the synopsis that I give you here are just a rough translation. So behold. This is our very first attempt to cover the animation of china.

Chinese Animation Guide – Part 1: Computer Animated Wuxia shows

If anyone have been followed animation closely for the last few years, they will notice a recent rise of Chinese animation (call it a wave if you like), both in feature and in series. While it does not have much of an impact in any English speaking world like anime has been, they are really popular […]

asagao to kase-san

K-Off’s Ongoing Manga Recommendations (embedded links)

If you frequent the frontpage of Imgur or r/manga often, you may have seen some of my past manga recommendation lists before, but here’s some ongoing manga that I’ll recommend for now. This is in no particular order of best-worst, I’ve also embedded the links to the scanlations into the images for your convenience. 1. […]

New Manga Spotlight – Konya wa Tsuki ga Kirei Desu ga, Toriaezu Shi ne, Shoujo Fujuubun and Shimanami Tasogare

New Manga Spotlight – Konya wa Tsuki ga Kirei Desu ga, Toriaezu Shi ne, Shoujo Fujuubun and Shimanami Tasogare

Konya wa Tsuki ga Kirei Desu ga, Toriaezu Shi ne Two chapters so far. Ah love, that sweet nectar which all seek to experience. And truly there is nothing more romantic than gathering up your courage, inviting the girl you love up to the roof, taking her by the shoulders and proclaiming with all your […]

kQtrlYU

Langrisser Re:Incarnation Tensei video game review- 35/100 (avoid it like the plague)

To preface, I’d call this the poor man’s Fire Emblem if it wasn’t so damn expensive for its quality, not to mention so difficult to find. Here in New York City outside of lower Manhattan, there’s game stores in Brooklyn, Queens, Flatiron, and Newport, to a total count of 12 game stores in a 20 […]

413420_20160420220647_1

DanganRonpa 2: Goodbye Despair Video Game Review – 90/100

There may be those of you who know this series more by its anime adaption instead of it’s video games and if you haven’t watched the anime of this I highly recommend that you don’t watch it. Instead play the games which have been recently ported to Steam. The reason I say this is that […]