After discovering the face of their true enemy—someone who is related to Akito and responsible for the Geass placed upon him—W-0 attempts to return to their base at Castle Weisswolf. However, stranded in Warsaw due to a complication involving their military identification, they are forced to accept the help of local gypsies, allowing the squad to take some time to deepen their bonds.
Meanwhile, Britannian advisor Julius Kingsley and his guard Suzaku Kururugi begin working together with the Knights of St. Michael in order to crush the European resistance once and for all, armed with the destructive power of a giant weapon known as the Ark Fleet.
This was very boring. I can believe how long it was push back, in fact I could not remember what had happened before, so I re-watched the previous episodes in preparation, all for nothing.
The first half: it is totally inconsequential, the characters lose their money in the most irresponsible way imaginable, as one bureaucrat shuts down the entire squad. If the European military is run like that they deserve to lose.
The whole gipsy sub plot is pointless. I get they were trying to flesh out the characters and give them relations beyond just fighting, but it serves no purpose, except fill time. In fact
the entire episode is drag as much as possible.
The second part: yes Lelouch appears, but not really. The great character from the series is gone and what is left behind is a shell, a cartoon. He acts smart, because we are suppose to know he is smart, but in the context of this story he does very little. Then there is some dumb plot about a guy betraying Britania, and trying to use Lelouch's identity to force a rebellion, but it makes no sense. As his action are mostly random and he has no clear motive, just the usual anime trope of he is disappointed with humanity so he is just going to kill everyone.
In conclusion the characters are dull, the plot meanders the entire run time, and the beloved characters of the original series are reduced to caricatures of their former selves.
Despite it's release being pushed back for over a year, I would venture to say that this was worth the wait. Why? Because enter the true heart of the Code Geass franchise: Lelouch V. Brrittania! ALL HAIL LELOUCH!!!! I won't offer any spoilers about the context or situation, but I will simply say that the first half is a bit slow, but then it picks up tremendously and ignites the classic Code Geass personalities and battles we have come to love (if you love Code GEass, that is, haha). But it unbelievably brought me back to the feelings I had in the
original series and has set up the last installment of Akito the Exile Episode 4 to be EPIC! I'm not going to bother to rate the categories individually as they tend to be very similar to the original series, but I will say that I am pleased with the new melodies in this series as it is unique, but reminiscent of Code Geass's melodic style. And their is an awesome battle at the end that will bring you back to the good ole' days of the original series.
As long as you are willing to embrace something new or unusual with patience and an open mind, Akito the Exiled continues to do a good job at combining a series of small scenes that gradually provide characterization, moments of political intrigue, great mecha action in 3D and various hints about future developments.
The third chapter gives our current cast of characters the opportunity to relax after previous events and get to know each other a little better. It might seem boring if you're only here for the action and don't have any appreciation for using a little humor as an interlude, but I think
this detour was absolutely necessary if you want to understand the narrative structure as a whole.
No matter how many complicated personal issues Akito, Leila and the others have to deal with, whether in the past or in the future, they are still human beings at heart. This is a story about people struggling to survive in the middle of a rather bleak part of the world, where democracy is not a guarantee of freedom. That being the case, we can't have them fighting the enemy or each other all the time.
Once that is out of the way, we should discuss what is happening on the Euro-Britannian front. Politics and backstabbing take the center stage this time around through internal divisions due to the arrival of Julius Kingsley and Suzaku, along with some setup for over-the-top plans that aren't particularly realistic yet seem oddly fitting for the larger-than-life world of Code Geass. The chapter's single mecha combat sequence also happens here, remaining as exciting as one can expect from this production.
In short, this was a transitional period with a turning point that might have interesting consequences for both new and old characters.
While the size of the cast feels relatively large for the running time and many of them tend to have a low profile, I think we are finally starting to get used to the newcomers.
In particular, it's worth mentioning that we learn about Leila's past and why she struggles against the status quo even from within a military organization. This also prompts a certain interaction with Akito that also manages to show his vulnerable side beneath an aloof and occasionally cold exterior.
Then we come to the question of Lelouch, or rather the person officially known as Julius Kingsley. It is fair to say he isn't remotely the main focus of the story here, which means his portrayal is less detailed than during the original TV show. He is playing a different role as an envoy from mainland Britannia sent to the European territories who wants the Emperor's wishes to be followed, no matter the cost, in order to quickly conquer the continent.
However, beneath all of his bombastic speeches and outright villainy, which is probably still entertaining to watch if you are a fan of Code Geass in one way or another, there are a couple of hints about the true nature of the character that contrast with the superficial simplicity of the individual currently known as Julius. His interaction with Suzaku also matches the state of their dynamic at this point in the original story, though certainly in a less direct manner than usual. In other words, you may need to read between the lines.
Another character who gets some much needed time in the spotlight is Shin, the main antagonist of Akito the Exiled. He actually didn't have a lot of opportunities to act before, outside of meeting Akito in battle and previously engaging in murder behind-the-scenes, but now we get to see him as a truly manipulative individual who can be surprisingly dangerous. It is he, not Julius Kingsley, who ends up in control of the situation. This is not a person you want to cross.
We also briefly meet a mysterious entity connected to the Geass, who is apparently involved in some sort of conspiracy, but since nothing else has been revealed yet there's no point in worrying about it too soon. I hope this subject receives a proper explanation within the next two chapters.
Just as an aside: I found the old ladies at the start of this chapter kind of silly, if you must ask, but not too problematic in the grand scheme of things.
Art and Sound
As expected, production values remain high quality here. There isn't much to complain about as long as you're not expecting something on the level of the visuals for Gundam Unicorn. It's easily as good or better than the best episodes of the Code Geass television series in terms of quality, with the backgrounds being a lot more detailed now.
The music seems to be divisive because of its unique brand of jazz, but I think the chaotic sensation it transmits has a certain charm once you get into the right mood.
It's another version of Code Geass with its own brand of storytelling and entertainment. If you want something exactly like the original show, this isn't going to be same. Which makes me happy, since I think we need more variety and less repetition in order to avoid some of the problems with the second season of the previous work (leaving its excellent ending aside).
So far, I admit it's taken a while for the audience to warm up to Akito the Exiled and perhaps it will only be fully appreciated when all five chapters can be watched one after the other. Even so, I think it's existence is a valid way to expand the Code Geass universe in a creative manner. I'll continue to look forward to where the rest of the story takes us.
"What the hell is going in this episode" you say? Well it's definitely a filler... but at least it serves its purpose in giving the characters more development. We get to see how they interact and how they've changed from past episodes. And it's not entirely a filler, no, that'd be a waste of a one-hour episode series. This episode continues the mystery of Code Geass; unlike the first, this is about the mysteriousness of Geass and not about the changing of the world by our characters. What is Geass? Who are they that wield the power to take and
give to the humans of this world? This is what I like best about Boukoku no Akito.
The story continues with the refreshment of our wZERO squad, who are taking a little, well-deserved break from fighting behind enemy lines. Though their break is short-lived, at least we got to see the characters in happy mode. But it also continues, as I like to say again, the mysteriousness of Geass. What is Leila's Geass power? How and what did General Smilas do to upset the Order? Why did Shin murder his "family"? And, the biggest question of all, how did Shin Shaing obtain his power?
Art is the same as ever by CLAMP, but everything looks much smoother than the original, which I must admire because this is 2015 after all.
The sounds are amazing, but the music is kind of questionable. The jazz-like music playing during the fights sounds hilarious but it somehow resonates with the chaotic speed at which the battles progress. I get hyped up from watching the battles as they are, by far, the best 3D CG animated battles I've seen in anime so far. However, there is none of that; instead we get music that fits these nomadic people (I forgot the name for them xP)
Akito - still a psychopath hell-bent on killing and suicide, but at least he is changing little by little with Leila's influence. Leila - the innocent commander and, lo and behold, rich-girl-who-can't-do-chores-for-shit. The trio of juveniles - actually quite nice kids after they've opened up, after realizing that there's someone else with a more twisted history than them who is facing it alone, though it's slightly unrealistic how they did a near-180 after the 2nd episode. At least we got to see them as who they are when they're having fun (FOR ONCE).
I'd have to say that this was an enjoyable episode; it's a good break from the fast-paced mecha action the first 2 episodes had. Though there is a little bit of action, it's toned down far enough to level with the calmness of the episode. Lelouch's rousing the European people into rioting was very nicely done; it seemed realistic enough to be applicable. There's none of the loud jazz-like action music in this episode.
Some minor flaws to make it the perfect episode, but then again, perfection is hard to achieve. Also, you CAN'T compare this to the original Code Geass because Boukoku no Akito takes a completely different approach to the series; instead of the typical boy-meets-girl-and-gains-superpowers, its about a boy-trying-to-reconcile-with-his-past, more similar to Ranpo Kitan. And I'd like to say that Ranpo Kitan pales when compared to this OAV series (Who the hell was the main character in that show again, Kobayashi or Akechi?). This series has been great so far.