Set in the Victorian era, Cardia is alone in a tower when the military come for her. She’s then kidnapped by a thief. Turns out she has some weird poison in her that burns pretty much everything and there’s some terrorist plot to destroy London and then the world. However this is based on a game and at times that probably shows.
There’s a lot about Code: Realize that makes you think this anime feels it should be more epic in nature than it actually is. Firstly, the overly grandiose and punctuation filled title. Secondly, the scale of the conflict. Finally, the large and mostly under-realised cast of characters. Basically this story has a lot going for it but ultimately ends up pretty mediocre as it plods through introduction episodes of the cast of pretty-boys who seem to exist only in reference to source material before we finally get around to a fairly run-of-the-mill defeat the bad-guy kind of conclusion with a bit of romance thrown in.
That isn’t to say there is a single thing wrong with any of that. It actually works fairly well and as a story and an anime it remains highly functional. It is visually fairly appealing and while the sound track is forgettable it isn’t bad and even the characters work well enough even if none of them are particularly exceptional. And that’s where reviewing this show is challenge. Everything is there and works well enough and yet nothing stands out or makes you want to take note.
I would have liked more of Van and Drac’s story. Learning more about Fran rather than one episode of focus and then fade into the background would have been great too. Less of Nemo (and there wasn’t much) would have been fantastic. A narrative more focused just on Cardia and Lupin could have been amazing. Yet, what we get instead is superficial skimming over a range of characters’ and a plot that will get us from A to B but not make you want to remember the how or why of it.
I could continue but basically the end result is everything about this story was pretty average. The one complaint I will level at it is a personal one and that is Cardia’s personality. She starts almost completely blank and it takes about four episodes before she’s really exhibiting anything close to a personality and then she essentially stalls for the remainder of the series wavering between damsel in distress and tragic heroine. Neither is particularly appealing though her interactions with Lupin remained fairly entertaining.
All and all, if you really like this style of story with the girl who is loved by all the guys and you happen to be a fan of kind-of Victorian settings, than you will have some fun with this. If you are after a deep and meaningful story line or characters with some depth and substance, look elsewhere.
Affiliate Product Link:
- Episode 1: Back in Victorian London
- Episode 2: Keeping it Simple
- Episode 3: Well I Guess We Had To Expect Vampires
- Episode 4: Just a Few Holes in the Plan
- Episode 5: Fran Get’s His Angsty Back Story
- Episode 6: What Did They Do To Nemo?
- Episode 7: Is Finis Relevant?
- Episode 8: The Enemy of My Enemy
- Episode 9: Rallying the Troops
- Episode 10: I Guess We’re Building to a Climax
- Episode 11: Save Cardia, Save the World
- Episode 12: A Neat Package
Thanks for reading.
If you enjoyed this post and would like to see more great content on this blog, consider becoming a patron for as little as $1 a month.
Another way you can support the content here is by buying a copy of ‘Thoughts on Anime 2017‘ as an ebook. It contains a selection of reviews, features and top 5 lists from 2017 and while the content is available free on the site, this is a great way to give a one off show of support for the blog. It is available for $3.99.