Code:Realize -Guardian of Rebirth-
Episode 11

by Rebecca Silverman,

How would you rate episode 11 of
Code:Realize -Guardian of Rebirth- ?

That's one theory confirmed! It looks like Cardia is in fact a recreation of Isaac Beckford's dead daughter. More surprising is that Finis wasn't lying or being metaphorical about being her younger brother – the family photo we see clearly shows a young, human Finis alongside Cardia and her parents. The question of course becomes what happened to kill both children and presumably their mother (unless she's in an asylum being treated for hysteria or some other Victorian ailment), because whatever it was, it clearly soured Isaac Beckford on life, humanity, and the world in general. If nothing else, Code:Realize has done a good job of making it absolutely plausible that Victor Frankenstein would have worked with Beckford given his literary inspiration.

Speaking of literary inspiration, who would have thought that Abraham van Helsing would turn out to be Lupin and Cardia's cupid? It may not make much sense if we get stuck on the whole Bram Stoker thing, but in terms of the character in the show, it nicely illustrates how far Abey has come – from a dour young man seeking only death, he's once again become able to care about others. He clearly likes Cardia himself, but he also recognizes that she and Lupin may actually have a chance to be happy together with their mutual feelings, and therefore he's going to help them. His focus has shifted from death to life, something brought home by the fact that before he boards the Colombiad to go fight Nemo, he actually listens to Dracula's admonition to return alive. Before he might not have cared if there was someone who wanted him to come back. Now he's willing to at least consider it.

Despite these two good bits of character and world building, there's almost too much going on in this episode. Doubtless that's due to the fact that we're almost at the end here, but it would've been nice to spend a little more time on each section, from Cardia and Finis' actual pasts to Impey's plans for taking out Nautilus. (In Jules Verne terms, I wouldn't bet against the president of the Baltimore Gun Club.) Fran is likely to get his big moment when Cardia is actually rescued, but poor Impey's relegated to the background again, even though this episode should be his time to shine. In the meantime, Saint has upped the ante on being mysterious as he brings in what I can only assume is Idea to help fight Nemo's warship. Given that he was kicked out of the group, I'm not sure how he pulled this off – Guinevere seems fully aware of what's going on (and she appears to have his dog), but why she's allowing it after her previous warnings isn't clear. Does it have to do with the Mysterious Old Writing Lady? I can only hope we find out.

All of this aside, there's another thing that this week's episode does well: the reunion of Cardia and Lupin. It isn't gushing and maudlin, but instead feels measured in a way that fits both the situation and the characters. Cardia isn't an emotive person; she clearly loves Lupin, but she's not going to shout it from the rooftops. Lupin is willing to wear his heart on his sleeve, but he's only just come to understand how deep his feelings for Cardia run, so he's understandably still shy about it. Thus having them walk toward each other rather than running into each other's arms suits both the characters and the moment, to say nothing of Lupin's earlier statement to Van about how he doesn't have to be able to touch Cardia to enjoy spending his life with her.

Given that Finis' red gem seems to have increased Cardia's poison, that's probably a good thing. Fran may have some ideas about how to cure her, but right now things are decidedly dire. While I doubt we've seen the last of Lupin despite his plunge from the walkway, it's certainly not going to be easy to stop Finis and his buddies. It's a good thing Cardia has learned not only how to fight, but how to be human. That may be one of her greatest strengths as we head into the final battle.

Rating: B

Code:Realize -Guardian of Rebirth- is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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