…That awkward moment when you remember how complicated Code Geass actually is.
The year is 2017. A team of Elevens belonging to the EU Army are sent out by the resistance government to rescue a unit surrounded by the Britannian Army, with an extremely low rate of success. The only soldier sent out who survives is Hyuuga Akito, who accompanies commander Leila Malcal to the celebration party full of aristocrats. The next day, a team of three terrorists led by Sayama Ryou ambushes the car carrying Leila and her general before being stopped by Akito, who nearly kills them until Leila invites them to join her unit. At the same time, somewhere in Britannia an Oriental named Hyuuga Shin kills his superior with the power of Geass.
Whew, it’s been a while hasn’t it? They say that all good things must come to an end, which is exactly what happened with Code Geass R2 – I missed it, but it ended where it should have and didn’t drag out past its expiry date, unlike certain other series. This doesn’t mean that Sunrise should abandon such a popular series though, and that resulted in both the Nunnally in Wonderland parody OVA, and this new Akito the Exiled series, going on at around the same time Lelouch was wrecking havoc back in Area 11. And after such a long time without R2, you get that awkward moment when you realize how much you have to actually pay attention to what’s going on, especially during that first fight scene when everything was muddled up in my mind.
Let’s talk about Akito. He didn’t really appeal to me as much as Lelouch did despite their similar looks, and that might be because Lelouch was amazingly intelligent and only started going insane later on, while Akito seems to be your typical dark guy with low social skills. He doesn’t seem to be able to pass his sanity test just yet, though he might just have an intense hatred for Britannians in line with his traumatic childhood or past situation. His Knightmare skills are amazing, though, and I think the Alexanders the EU uses are sub-par to the Sutherlands the Britannians have, so being able to beat loads of them plus a few custom ones is pretty sweet. I’m almost sure he used some form of Geass in battle, however there’s no telling what it is nor who his contractor was. Him mentioning he died before right at the end of the ep hints at immortality, however that’s supposed to be a trait of having the Code, which only ex-Geass holders can have. Actually, that pic looks more like Akito’s under the influence of Geass instead of using it, and I’ll point the blame towards his older brother (assumed, since they both have Hyuuga as a last name) for now, having a confirmed Geass similar to Lelouch’s. He seems to be trying out the Suzaku method of bringing down the empire from the inside, or just rebelling for whatever reason.
The resident hot female protagonist appears in the form of Leila Malcal, who I’m sad to say will never replace C.C. in terms of awesomeness though Leila is cool herself. Sakamoto Maaya was a decent seiyuu choice, and I remember her for her Ryougi Shiki performance in the Kara no Kyoukai movies as well as Shinobu in Nisemonogatari. Anyway, you can draw lots of parallels between Leila and Lelouch, most namely the sadness at seeing the Elevens treated as crap despite taking refuge in a country opposing the Britannian Empire. Leila herself is of Britannian birth, which obviously gave her some bad blood with the EU aristocrats as well as her own family, who seem to have taken her in for the lulz. I instantly hated her brother Johann by the way. He’s a nasty little shit just like Matou Shinji who acts all high and mighty until they’re cornered, and then start squealing for their life. Hopefully he meets his sorry fate before the end of the series.
Personally I also find it disgusting how refugees are probably treated worse in an asylum providing country rather than Area 11 itself. It’s true that back in Area 11 many Elevens are homeless, but there still is resistance, and a chance to conscript and rise up the ranks like Suzaku did, provided you have the skill. Here, the EU protecting Elevens seems nothing more than a facade, and in reality they’re segregated, conscripted and sent off to die in suicide missions which have a survival rate close to 0%. That army guy setting the Alexanders to self-destruct showed perfectly how little they cared, and to them, they all turn up to the after-party and leave the Elevens to sort out the dirty work. Normally, the public would have exploded in revolution by now, but because the public are all Europeans, I doubt they give a flying fuck either. Cue the terrorist group who blew up the Mafia.
They’re quite like the Black Knights, who got a cameo mention I was quite happy about. The lead guy, Sayama Ryou looks eerily similar to Tohdoh, though he’s nothing in terms of Knightmare prowess after being taken down by an unarmed Akito. At the moment I’m unsure of whether both these people and Akito can be called protagonists as such, as I have absolutely no idea about their agenda. I’ve seen the girl, Ayano in a military uniform though, so it’s safe to call them allies for now. With the entire W-0 unit dead apart from Akito, Leila can’t really be picky about who she wants to reform the unit with.
It’s a good setup, despite it taking some time to kick off. However I don’t think I enjoyed it as much as I did the original Code Geass, with absolutely no hint of a school or a slice-of-life theme like last time. There’s just something really cool about an exiled Britannian prince rebelling against the world, which isn’t exactly what Boukoku no Akito is offering us. The support characters didn’t really tune in as much with me compared to Kallen, Nunnally or even Lloyd, nor were the Knightmare battles as slick as they were in the original. Well, it’s more Code Geass, so I really should stop complaining and wait for the next one – I’m sure the heart-stopping epicness will start once shit goes down. I definitely have high hopes, since Suzaku and C.C. will be turning up!
OMG C.C. MY WAIFU It’s 2017 and Lelouch regained his memories in 2018 for the start of R2, so it wouldn’t be far off to say that this is what they was doing during that one year gap. It’d certainly be a nice tie-in, and I will RAGE if we get cockblocked.