Code:Realize -Guardian of Rebirth-
Episode 3

by Rebecca Silverman,

How would you rate episode 3 of
Code:Realize -Guardian of Rebirth- ?

There's something delightfully amusing about a vampire with the surname “de la Croix.” I presume that it was chosen because it sounds noble (having “de” in it), and because a Japanese pronunciation makes it sound a little like “Dracula.” If only someone had done their research and realized that it means “of the cross.” Of course, it could be a deliberate irony, given that adorable little teen Dracula is the sole survivor of his family, but I'm not sure if this show is quite that smart.

Luckily, it doesn't need to be. In its third episode, Code:Realize is beginning to integrate its cast more fully, with a focus on Cardia becoming less of an aesthetic fixture and more of an actual character, while doing the same for broody ol' Abey van Helsing. It's a welcome and even necessary change in both cases, although to be fair, van Helsing only came into the cast last episode, so there hasn't been much time for him to out-stoic his welcome. Cardia, on the other hand, is badly in need of humanizing, and she begins to get that through more interactions with the guys. It makes perfect sense, really—she's been playing Sleeping Beauty for so long without any human interaction (which she has good reason to be afraid of anyway) that she's probably retreated into herself and doesn't know how to express herself around others. Part of the process of being with Lupin, Fran, Impey, and the others is relearning how to be with people. It's clearly not an easy thing for Cardia to do, but she's trying—perhaps that's also the reason behind her willingness to show just anyone the Horologium on her bare chest, although to be fair, it doesn't show more skin than the décolletage of an evening gown of the time.

In any event, hard as Lupin and the others try to help her (and kudos to Impey for that driving lesson!), it's really Dracula who helps Cardia the most. When the gang decides to make money Scooby-Doo-style by capturing the mysterious thief who's been terrorizing London after dark, Cardia insists on coming along for the ride—only to discover that the “monster” is only about twelve or thirteen years old. She jolts when she hears him called a monster because of his vampiric heritage, which continues to bother her when van Helsing heads off to possibly kill him. Ultimately it's Cardia who saves the boy, through a newfound compassion and understanding of what it means to feel ostracized, and she offers him a home with her own saviors. It's the most character development we've seen from her thus far, setting our heroine up to be much more favorable in the future.

Van is the other player to take center stage this week, as we learn the tragic history of his time with the de la Croix family and the evil machinations of the British Empire. I'm sure we can all pull colonialist metaphors out of Britain's decision to attack vampires for no reason other than to prove that they can, and van Helsing is unfortunately caught in the middle of this plot, being a friend of the de la Croix family. Finis proves himself utterly irredeemable when he threatens to kill van Helsing's wife and child if the man doesn't comply—and then does it anyway when he murders the de la Croixs as commanded. While this is truly terrible, it also feels a little like the actions of a mustache-twirler rather than a villain we can take seriously. How is killing the van Helsing family going to help to ensure Abraham's loyalty to Twilight and the crown? If anything, it's destined to do the opposite, which doesn't mark Finis as a great schemer. Given both Frankenstein's and Saint's academic credentials, he'd better improve his tactics quickly, or this could be a very short series.

Either way, it's worth the watch to marvel over Cardia's weird skirt and the fight choreography between Van and Dracula. This isn't the best show, but it definitely has its moments.

Rating: C+

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

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