Code Geass: Akito the Exiled Episode 2: The Wyvern Divided
Although the Wyvern Squad gained three new members in Ryou, Yukiya and Ayano, they are by no means united – the former underground terrorists make multiple rebellion attempts, and their allegiance to the EU is shaky at best. The mission orders given to Leila brutally test those allegiances – her squad are ordered to land right in the middle of enemy territory as a “diversion” for the main front line forces to advance, with an expected survival rate even lower than that of their previous mission. Intercepting their advances are Akito’s estranged brother Shin and his subordinates. Forcibly pitted against top-class Knightmare pilots with superior skills and weaponry, Akito is forced to push his abilities to the limit. And meanwhile, Kururugi Suzaku arrives on the Eastern Front with a certain person in tow…
Yo, it’s been ages! Seems like forever since I last watched Boukoku no Akito – and it’s been even longer since I’ve looked at the Code Geass franchise at all, so you’ll have to forgive me for any missteps! This has been a long time coming (nearly a year and a half has elapsed in real life since the last episode) but wow, it was satisfying. Things have gotten a hell of a lot crazier now – allegiances are everywhere, everyone and their mother has a personal agenda and somehow, the only person I feel safe enough to trust is Leila.
Let’s talk about our group of underground terrorists, who clearly hold little to no love for Akito and Leila. I don’t blame them, to be honest – Leila’s a high-ranking bureaucrat, while Akito is pretty much an expat in their eyes (as he’s an Eleven happily working for the EU). Having faced a lot of segregation and discrimination over the years, I’m not surprised that Ryou, Yukiya and Ayano attempt multiple escapes with the knowledge that they’ll be sacrificed like lambs to the slaughter – in fact, it’s more of a surprise to learn that they didn’t mount one sooner. Because after all, a suicidal sacrifice is exactly what the EU has planned for them, being “mere” immigrants who won’t be missed if they die (and whose death won’t rouse public protest). Hostility and distrust is, I think, the right sort of attitude for people in their position to have – although it was sort of a dick move to suddenly turn on poor Leila the very moment they landed in enemy territory. Out of the three, Yukiya easily creeps me out the most. His smile really scares me, sometimes even more than Akito’s maniacal grins. I know his warped personality is a result (at least in part) of all the crap he’s been through, but all that morbidity makes him seem far too unstable. I couldn’t even tell how genuine his joint suicide threat to Akito was – he brought it up so spontaneously, and gave up on it just as easily. It’s definitely more comfortable around the other two, who express themselves more openly like how Ayano easily wears her heart on her sleeve.
This episode’s suicide mission really showed political bureaucracy at its finest – from a politician’s point of view, it’s a win-win situation. If they succeed, then great! If they don’t, then they’ve gotten rid of three Eleven criminals who escaped the axe, which is perfectly fine too. Acting as a “diversion” actually means acting as a sacrificial pawn – realistically, the odds are pretty bleak with just four sub-standard Knightmares and one operator. I really like how Leila decided to prove her determination by joining her squad on the front lines, despite being weaker at piloting than the others; she’s surprisingly strong-willed! I must admit, I have a thing for Leila… especially when she’s in those wonderful twintails, hehe. Thank god she didn’t die, she was far too vulnerable at some points out there.
Sunrise’s depiction of space and Earth was absolutely beautiful. Even Yukiya had nothing too cynical to say about the view. I was actually really impressed by how they handled the animation in general, including the mecha combat throughout the city. In particular, what they did with the Alexanders was great – I can’t remember whether they were featured in the original Code Geass, but I thought it was pretty innovative to have them swap fluidly between a spider-like form with multiple legs and an upright, humanoid one as they fought Ashley Ashura and his group. That Ashley guy is a nasty piece of work – you could sort of tell with his casual Russian Roulette games, but he’s really into conflict and violence. A warmonger if I ever saw one.
The events of that battle really did raise a lot of intrigue, and most of it revolves around Akito. While I previously thought he was under the influence of someone’s Geass last episode, I don’t think that’s quite right any more. I definitely saw Akito issuing a Geass command – only after that did Ryou, Yukiya and Ayano fall under his complete influence and fight in that same frenzied manner Akito himself exhibited before. I don’t know what’s causing Akito’s own frenzy (probably Shin’s Geass, to be honest) but it seems like his Geass ability allows him to link certain brainwaves into a network, and control them remotely – which, at this point, is speculation at best. That doesn’t really explain why he didn’t do the same with his deceased friends at his previous battlefield, nor how he managed to survive after supposedly dying once. Ah well, I’m sure we’ll get answers once he next meets Shin and his giant golden horse.
Even after all that, the most magnificent bit of mindfuckery came at the very end. Sunrise, you glorious, wonderful bastards. I was happy enough seeing Suzaku again, to be honest – but the train’s other passenger is someone I never dreamed of seeing. The moment he announced his motive was something I reacted to with genuine surprise… I was not prepared for that at all. Behold, it’s Julius Kingsley everyone!
Yes, that’s right. This guy doesn’t only share an uncanny resemblance to Lelouch, HE IS LELOUCH. It makes perfect sense – this spin-off occurs between 2017 and 2018, spanning the one year before R2 in which Lelouch had his memories wiped by his father. Of course, it would also make perfect sense for his father to be able to install him with a fake identity, and put him to good use. Lelouch’s presence as an advisor on the Eastern Front, with a fake name, can only mean one thing.
Akito is going to have to go up against the most brilliant strategic mind he’s ever faced – a tactician whose genius-level intellect will allow him to destroy an entire empire one year from now.
And to that, I have two words.