Code:Realize -Guardian of Rebirth-
Episode 12

by Rebecca Silverman,

How would you rate episode 12 of
Code:Realize -Guardian of Rebirth- ?

This was the final episode of Code:Realize, and I have some questions. Why did Isaac recreate his dead children as teenagers when they were definitely little kids when they died? Did he not care enough about his wife to bring her back as well? (And if the two answers are related, ew.) Who was that random old lady in the wheelchair, apparently in charge of Idea? And shouldn't everyone still be worried about Alastair's plot? Much as I appreciate the happy ending, I definitely could have done with a little less cheese and a few more answers.

I suspect that this vague feeling of dissatisfaction is largely due to the fact that this is a Cliff's Notes version of the original game. While there have definitely been a few episodes that felt suspiciously rushed prior to this week, it wasn't too much of an issue – we still had enough information to make things feel somewhat complete. Sadly, this week does not – there are just too many loose ends left flapping around to make this finale really work. It's a shame, because up until this point, Code:Realize was a fun show that deserved a more solid ending.

On the positive side, getting to see what happened in the past to turn Isaac Beckford into the man he became was a nice bit of backstory. Fear and superstition have been ongoing themes in the show, and seeing where they originated and how that shaped Cardia and Finis, to say nothing of providing motivation for Isaac, fleshes the characters out well. The idea that science is only harmful shaped Isaac's actions after his family was burned alive by superstitious villagers, especially since he was trying to help them with his research. That experience twisted him into the man he became, and Cardia overcoming her programming in that regard makes her character growth that much more impressive. She went from being a blank slate to being afraid of herself to finally accepting that she's a worthwhile person and allowing herself to be happy. That's a journey Finis was incapable of making, and it makes Cardia a stronger character than she was at the start.

She's really the only one who shows such growth, although van Helsing and Dracula also arguably show evolution over the course of the series. Impey could be said to get increasingly close to his literary roots as the story goes on, and somehow the fact that he couldn't be bothered to put on a full shirt for Lupin and Cardia's wedding fits with the joke in his name – it sounds very like the word for “impious” in French, the language of his source material.

Overall, there was just too much happening for one final episode. Over the course of this twenty minutes, we defeated the bad guys, resolved Cardia's past and family issues, saved London, de-poisoned Cardia, saw that Isaac was the ghost in the machine all along, faked a couple of deaths, had a wedding, and learned that Lupin has more lives than the proverbial cat. Just half of those plot points would have made for a good episode, and stretching this out over two would have made it work better. On the other hand, as an advertisement for the game, this might turn out to be kind of brilliant, since we're obviously not getting all of the answers. At least we do get that happy ending, cheesy as it may be. After watching Cardia struggle to realize herself, that's not a bad note to finish on, even if it isn't perfect.

Rating: C+

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

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