While W-0 is away, Leila and the remaining crew at base find themselves surrounded by Britannian Knightmares. Piloting the Vercingetorix, Shin Hyuuga leads the enemy charge, having usurped the position of Grand Master in the Knights of St. Michael. With her core members unavailable, it's up to Leila to protect her comrades, but this may be much tougher than she realizes: a spy lurking among them is finally ready to reveal himself.
Left with no choice but to surrender, Leila arranges a meeting with Shin in order to ensure the safety of her squad. But as negotiations begin to fall apart, Akito and an unexpected ally return in the nick of time to turn things around.
*Spoilers for Boukoku no Akito 4 - Nikushimi no Kioku Kara*
It's at this point that I realize that there's no hope for this sub-series whatsoever. There's no way it can salvage its convoluted and contrived excuse of a story, nor can it salvage many of its generic and poorly written characters. Both this film and the last film did things that jeopardize R2's ability to canonically exist, and the series as a while as inadvertently damaged the integrity of the franchise with its terrible main character, awful new script, and lack of charisma. It doesn't really feel like Code Geass, nor does it feel like
a worthy entry to it. This is the second to last film in the sub-series, and nothing aside from the CGI, animation, and OST has improved to any significant degree. It's cheesy, trite, and laughable. So, why does it have a higher score than the rest of the films? Yet, like the last one, at least the ride was entertaining in how wrecked it was.
Basically, Akito and crew end up in an abandoned ship in which they are attacked by Ashley and his drones, except Ashley can't shoot for shit despite having 6 giant machine guns strapped onto his Knightmare. For some reason, he wants revenge for Johanna, a guy that not only get bullied by Ashley, but sacrificed himself for him in the name of war and saving his superior officer. Obviously, revenge is moot in this case, and obviously, Akito takes him down, but not before the blood-lust geass effect controls him and the others before they somehow snap or of it and make him stop via cheesy images of them hugging him. Already I wanna give up taking this seriously because it's just plain laughable.
We get multiple plot twists and betrayals that lead to nothing, a scene in which after Shin meets ghosts in the woods (somehow, as if the only reason is to add to how he values death), he gets fouled on his attempt to kill himself, a scene where Lelouch and Suzaku are in the brig for seemingly no reason (which should mess with his title of Knight of 7 that was both in here and R2), and Leila somehow activating her weird geass (that we don't know the effects of) to not only stop Shin's geass from making her kill herself (because this film confirms that's what it is) but hurts his eye temporarily. There are some rather generic greeting and emotion scenes as well, and all the while, Akito, Ashley, Yukiya, Ayano, and Ryou, are trapped in a sinking airship that had inexplicably placed bombs on it. Then, they make it out, some bad slapstick between Ashley and Jean (the girl who betrayed him for Shin), and then our heroes prepare for a new battle. Again, it damages the story of the main series, and it still has plenty of issues, but it's not as horribly written as the last two films, albeit that doesn't say much, given how trite this is.
I know development doesn't necessarily matter, but that being said, we should know more about these one-note cardboard cut-outs than we do by this point. We are four movies in and at best, we got backstories and one-note traits that get contradicted or abandoned. Shin isn't fleshed out that well either, and ultimately remains a horribly generic character with the only interesting quality being how he seems to value death. As for Ashley, I already addressed why his character falls apart here (wanting revenge for someone you didn't previously care about sacrificing himself in a battle to save you while the one who killed him fights someone else), and he later goes to being a hyperactive character when rescued but that doesn't really affect anything. The two traitors, Warrick (whose attempts literally amount to nothing) and Smilas aren't good either and their betrayals are not foreshadowed whatsoever. Honestly, I really don't have much to say here about them as I've already spelled it their personalities and they haven't really grown, so I'll leave it here and move on.
Remember the improved CGI from the Suzaku fight in the end of movie 3? Well, it's here to stay and thank the maker for that. The fight directing is still borderline incomprehensible but at least the mechs look better, especially the modified version of Ashley's knightmare, with the amazing level of shading put into it. There isn't as much movement with the characters this time around but it's not as static as the first two films at least. Also, there's this one great-looking scene with Shin in the forest where it all changes to some interesting colors and angles to show this ghastly setting, the ghosts that haunt Shin and the universe's logic, and how warped his psyche is. Again, moments like that look awesome and are signs of good direction On top of that, despite my gripes with it, the combat is at least better than the other films, even if it doesn't beat the main series. It's a shame since the rest of the visuals would at least be on par, if not superior in terms of model quality. I just wish the action direction would improve so that the fights are more comprehensible and that there weren't moments of bad airship CGI.
While the OST still isn't memorable, I'm at least glad that we got some new tracks as well as a brand new and superior ED theme, even if some of the tracks get replayed here more than ever (namely the one with the flaring trumpets which is still not fitting with the scenarios they put it in). I'm still glad that it's hanging on less and to the shadow of the Kotaro Nakagawa OSTs of the main series, even if it still only barely works.
At this rate, this sub-series has done a bit too much harm to Code Geass and some of its concepts to really warrant being considered tactful at handling the continuity of the main series. It's also too deeply flawed to be considered a narratively sound series if you haven't figured both of these things out by movie 3. At this point, you're probably continuing on "because Code Geass" like I am, and already know that this is a bad set of movies, even if these last two have been enjoyable, both ironically and unironically. Either way, can't wait to see how the last film screws things up since people keep saying that's the worst one of them all. With all that said, I bid you adieu.
**Please note that this is simply a current review status as of episode 4, since on MAL they split up the episodes into 5 different sites. And yes, I know I don't have any reviews on the previous 3 but this is simply done for the sake of the final**
Alright, fourth episode of a 5-part OVA series in the Code Geass: R1.5! Onto the criticisms.
This episode seemed... odd. Why in hell did you need to send your attack squad in a rocket? What with the advanced technology they had, they could've analyzed the blimp for any defensive AA and just simply fly them in
instead of rocketing them in.
Why did the three (Ryou, Yukiya, and Ayano) try and stop Akito from killing Ashley? Were they feeling sad for Akito because he had already experienced the death of his entire family, save for his brother? They didn't want him to go insane? He's only insane at times due to the effects of his brother's Geass so I guess this is... plausible.
The amount of times I heard the music played over and over... is it really that limited? Then again, sometimes it seems to fit alright, and it's not like the old Code Geass series didn't reuse their soundtracks repeatedly.
Other than those three outstanding errors, I can't really find much wrong with the story, art, sound, and characters. Story progression seems fine so far, the art is... the same as ever, the sound is nice especially with the fights and gun sounds, and the characters... still seem alright.
Again, this fourth installment didn't disappoint me. My, it feels like I'm watching Code Geass all over again (though the parent series is still way too awesome to compare to this). The episode is as epic as the previous ones that it took my breath away. To be honest, I like the plot twists and the hints in this episode. I never thought that thing would be possible. The story development is well thought (and I must say well executed too). Wow. Just amazing. But the writers are somewhat teasing the audiences again. They seems to be (well, in my perspective) stirring up chemistry between
Akito and Leila. Ugh, they made me remember Lelouch and C.C. But still, it's just my opinion out of my observation, it can be I misinterpreted it or what (but I'm hoping that there would be a romance in this mini movie series though).
I would like to praise whoever draw those Knightmares. They were absolutely beautiful. Esp the gold one (Lord Shaing's Knightmare). I really really like the design. But Akito's stunning too. Actually, all of them are amazing. In terms of the individual characters, they are drawn pretty well. the animation is good (but I can't say it's flawless but nevertheless it's still amazing).
I love Yukiya hoho. I like him the very first time he made his appearance. He's such a genius and a tease. Akito here is as amazing as usual. But what I really like is his character development. I knew it. That kid is too softhearted. Then there's Leila. My, my. She's really a reliable leader, isn't she? She, once again, showed her strong merits here. But what really shocked me in awe is her character development. My, my. I don't want to spoil so if you want to know then you better watch it.
I once again heard "More than Words" which is one of the movie's featured songs. Ah, I really adore that song. Kudos to whoever sang that one. But seems likes I've taken a liking to the new song at the closing credits too. Still as mellow as ever, but it's touching and sweet.
Truly entertaining. I never once taken my eyes off the screen because I don't want to miss any crucial scenes in the movie. Hopefully, the last installment wouldn't be disappointing. I had enough of lame endings already.
I am getting doubt about this, reviewing every one of these Ova-movies. Maybe i should have just done one at the end of all 5 episodes, but i am in too deep now to break the pattern. So here it is, the fourth entry of the misfortunes of leila and akito.
Story: From a story-standpoint, i think this is the strongest part so far. There is a lot of betrayal, schemes in general and Akito's brother gets more and more threatening. It starts with a nice action-sequence, but then it removes a good chunk of the main cast for the greater duration of the movie and
leaves us with Leila and her merry band of sidecharacters. I enjoyed that, i was never that fond of Akito to begin with. That said, while the story did improve, i still didn't feel it at all. Engaged is not the word i would describe when i talk about my feelings for this plot. It was okay, i can't quite call it good yet, as much as i try. Also, how the hell did Hyuga capture Lelouch and Suzaku. Last thing they showed us, the knight of seven kicked the butt of Hyugas red-haired subordinate. But whatever, that is just another sign of the time-constraints, maybe this whole series could be really good, given a regular show with 20-something episodes. Maybe.
Art: It's the same art. Apparently i called it "very good", given my score. I don't know, that might be a little much, but i can't back off now. Also to note: less fanservice, they pretty abandoned it for this part. It was getting ridiculous, i gotta say.
Sound: Nothing new to report. The Ending is growing on me, but nothing to warrant a higher score.
Character: I think the Characters improved a little, especially the main-villain. I don't quite understand his motives yet, but there seems to be something. Maybe it's just raging madness, they still got one more chance to explain it. I don't like this ashley-guy. Was that his name? He is all over the place, first a violent psychopath who pulls the trigger of a 1/6th loaded gun on people, than he goes on a vengeful crusade and in the end, spoiler, by the way, he becomes the buddy of akito, just because he was out of bullets to shot him. Well, okay then, now i kinda want to lower the score.
Enjoyment: I'm being to soft, i don't actually enjoy myself that much watching these movies. I want them to end, i just want to get them over with, but not because i think they are bad, only...not that interesting. It's only a six, i can't give it an eight anymore.
One more. Then i can close the chapter of Code geass. I'm repeating myself. But it won't be a tearful goodbye. But hey, i don't want to jinx it, maybe the last movie will completely blow my mind. I just doubt it.