Code:Realize -Guardian of Rebirth-
by Rebecca Silverman,
How would you rate episode 6 of
Code:Realize -Guardian of Rebirth- ?
The halfway point of Code:Realize may not have much important plot (at least until the shocking post-credits scene), but it sure is a lot of fun. It's also Impey Barbicane's episode, which might explain why – Impey's inspiration was a member of the Baltimore Gun Club in post-Civil War America, who constructed (or perhaps “concocted” would be a better word) a cannon to shoot people to the moon. To modern readers, it sounds awfully ludicrous, but it was awesome in 1865, and Impey's enthusiasm for both engineering and things that go boom are undiminished in his anime incarnation. All of this allows the show to devote an entire episode to Impey modifying an airship to win a not-so-legit race so that they can hopefully get their hands on Cardia's dad's legacy.
It's also a chance for the series to pack an episode full of Jules Verne references. Not only does Impey make plenty of references to the plot of his original novel, he also unveils a version of his Columbiad Space Gun, which he has designed to shoot poor Abey over to enemy ships in the worst surprise attack ever. (Between the cannon thing and then retrieving van Helsing by noose, Impey had better not sleep with his door unlocked for a while.) Along with this, Impey meets yet another literary figure who's run amok in the story's world: Nemo, of Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Nemo's still working on the Nautilus, which makes sense since his book dates to 1870, five years after Impey's, but he's still got tricks up his sleeve—and a mouthful of shiny gold teeth, lip piercings, long purple hair, and the most insane laugh I've ever heard. Nemo's definitely one of the series' bigger stretches as far as characters go, but it works, and whoever is playing him in this anime (it's Shinomiya Go in the game) does a fabulous job. Mostly he contrasts well with the more staid crew of Impey's ship and makes a fun adversary for them.
While most of this episode feels like a romp laced with Jules Verne jokes, it does eventually bring us around to a major plot point while helping Cardia show that she's more than just a poisonous vessel. Given what we learn, that's more important than ever, and although she still speaks with little emotion, we can see that Cardia is definitely becoming her own person. This week she not only proves her intelligence by acting as Impey's first officer and navigator, but she also demonstrates her physical skills with a new kick van Helsing's taught her (scaring the crap out of Lupin in the process), and she continues to form very real attachments and friendships. These are all things she'll need to remember in the coming episodes, because what she finds out is going to make her question everything. It also opens the door to many more themes from Frankenstein's story (note the torches and pitchforks brought by what looks an awful lot like an angry mob in the preview), and the question of monster versus human is likely to take on much more prominence going forward.
Cardia still may not be the most active heroine, but she's slowly been coming to take a place in her own story. The men of her harem have definitely been helping with that, but ultimately I feel like it will be Cardia's own thoughts and actions that must move things from here on out. It's all well and good for the guys to have a goal, but Cardia can only be led along so far. With the truth in front of her, it will be up to Cardia to make her own decision. Hopefully seeing how the others have stuck with what they believe in will help her to make the right choice.
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