Cardia has a deadly poison residing in her body, and as a result, gets called a monster by others. One night, she meets a mysterious man calling himself Arsène Lupin, who leads her to Industrial London. From there, she meets various people uncovering the truths and real stories behind the strange people and land, in an attempt to recover her memories and search for her father who holds the keys to her memories in London.
Being the lesser known of Fall 2017, Code: Realize (CR) has been one of the underdogs of this season. One of the main reason is the decreased of otome game fans in this last few years. Being left fall behind with a low mean score also reflects MAL's demography. Realize probably won't become popular, no. "It won't be popular enough." in MAL. (since male viewers avoid large cast of bishies), and the fact that it has been adapted from otome game also join the cause.
As I see the poster, I thought Realize will be another of one of those reverse harem with cute
bishies and a little 19th-century vibe to it. But after the first half, I realize Realize:
"This show is underrated."
If we imagine it, Realize can be depicted as a new recipe to make a fresh topping for pizza. Bringing a fresh idea makes this anime unique.
The story is about Cardia Beckford, a girl with a deadly poison in her body, everything she touches can be melted, and thus she lives alone sheltered until she met a man named Arsene Lupin, a thief who brings her to London.
"Classical but fresh." also another phrase for Realize, it can be done well. The only big matter of this kind of anime is how to make a proper adaptation from this 30+ hour of gameplay. Realize pacing can be much better if it planned to be a two-cour so it can justice that hours of gameplay. Realize story revolves fast, but not in the condition where we confused to understand its story (like Occultic; Nine for example). But despite the lack of pacing, the anime drives its plot in the right direction.
The animation has been handled by M.S.C. studio (which is a quite less-known studio who works only for Tennis no Oujisama). One thing I adore is the character design, they've been done beautifully (especially for Cardia and Hellsing), the animation is not as fluid nor perfect as modern anime these days, but it manages to meet its standard.
In case of sound settings, voice actors did a very well job to bring every character alive. Background sound was decent, not a top-notch. While the opening (kalmia by Mia Regina) & ending (twinkle by Saori Hayami itself) really matching with the story atmosphere.
In terms of character, Cardia Beckford really shines as a heroine. Why? It's because she can break the sacred rules of a useless heroine. She can come in handy for the rest of the team instead always acting like 'damsel in distress'. While the rest of the bishies are cookie-cutter, they are somehow related to Cardia's past and some of them have their own past as well.
In the end Code: Realize has proven its worth until this episode. Last but not least, I would say that this show isn't for everyone. But I would comfortable to say to the readers (especially Josei and Otome Game fans) that:
"Don't trust the mean score, trust your own feelings and give it a go."
To be very honest, I've never liked a majority of otome games (since as a guy I'm not the intended audience), and even less of the anime adaptations (Sengoku Night Blood, Ikemen Sengoku) because they are outright trash.
But for some reason, this show compels me to keep watching because of its vibrancy of the situation that keeps me coming back to find out week after week.
Cardia Beckford is a girl, a highly-priced one because she has the power to poison anyone with just a touch of her skin, and with just that, she is labelled a monster (misunderstanding) for people who are targeting her (the
organization called Twilight). On a fateful night, she meets Arsène Lupin (a thief) who leads her to Industrial London to find out the mysteries surrounding this travesty, as well as to find her roots to understand why she is brought up this way.
Yet again, the story kinda peaked my interest because I was NOT hoping for another otome adaptation, but something that's at least worth watching, and it did right so with that. So think of this as a otome-fied Princess Principal with less action.
Aside from our poisonous girl Cardia, all the other otome guys are references towards the real-life characters we know that the characters are simply anime copy-and-paste renditions (Lupin, Frankenstein, Van Helsing, Barbicane, Sherlock Holmes). They are generic at best, and only show the best versions of themselves, similar towards the human counterparts.
For a studio like M.S.C whose fame to work is only on the Prince of Tennis, I'm not surprised that since that series was outdated by the time all the sequels ended, that was the only sole purpose: An unknown studio only known by one of the best works done, with due credit for years of production.
So they tried something new with this series, and um...everything is decent, if not mediocre at best. I assumed what they were trying to do is to replicate the PS Vita version of the Idea Factory game onto the big screen, while sacrificing on quality. Art is here and there in places, while the fluid animation doesn't help much.
I personally felt that Mia Regina has ran her course in creating music (after the obvious less-than-stellar Sin: Nanatsu no Taizai). Not to say that her music isn't bad, but it isn't good also. The OP "Kalmia" is OK on the settings of the show alone, ED is also kinda good, the BGM fits surprisingly well with the action.
Verdict (after Ep 4):
I personally cannot recommend this to anyone who doesn't have an affection for otome games. That said, this show is not for everyone either, especially with the onslaught of better shows this season, this one can be passed up easily.
I thought Black Clover would be the nothingness show of the season, but Code Rrealize won this title. I can't say it is bad, but seriously, what strenght does this anime have on the good side? Almost nothing, I would say.
The characters are just the every show kind and pretty bland girl with tragic past, some guys which the most remarkable features are their names and different kinds of "coolness" plus some irremarkable villains.
The main plot is a bit interesting, but half show in and almost nothing happened. I guess the last arc will solve this, but come on. The plot should develop since
the beginning and relevant things should happen. Every episode something that looks important happens, but in the end nothing changes, I cuold skip from episode 1 to 6 (maybe more, the last one I watched was 5) and the only thing I would lose is the presentation of the vampire boy, mad scientist and "Herlock Sholmes" (really?), but the first one is irrelevant and you can easilly guess the other two's roles.
Animation and sound aren't anything remarkable.
In the end, I would say this show is like "neither stinks nor smells". It goes to the bad side since since any enterteinment is supposed to be good.
The source otome for this anime was the first otome I've ever played, and I just finished it 3 weeks ago. If my boyfriend is right about animes based on otomes, this show is not unique in that it is a hollow shell of its source material. If you are even somewhat considering watching this anime without having played the otome, I'd strongly urge you not to. The source material was ridiculous, ludicrous, utterly insane - but that was what was so good about it. I loved every ridiculous storyline of the game. However, this anime series was utterly disappointing.
I had high hopes after watching the first 2 episodes, but it quickly proved it couldn't live up to any aspect of the game. The characters are all soulless versions of the source material, same can be said of the story. Not to mention the insane plot of the source otome was condensed in an intelligible way, and without the prior knowledge gleaned from playing the game, the story is choppy, crazy, and just seems like random anime bullshit.
If you're interested in a ridiculous but interesting story that takes place in industrial age Britain, with strong steam-punk influence, that stars almost exclusively real-world famous literary characters and unfolds in an intriguing and insane but satisfactory way, play the otome. Otherwise, I suggest not wasting time on this story.