Code:Realize -Guardian of Rebirth-
Episode 9

by Rebecca Silverman,

How would you rate episode 9 of
Code:Realize -Guardian of Rebirth- ?

Saint might not be so immortal anymore. At least, that's my current hypothesis based on Guinevere's reaction to him deciding to let Cardia live. His choice is in direct opposition to what the history-protecting organization of Idea stands for – in their eyes, Cardia and her siblings are a threat to humanity and must be eradicated. But Saint has come to know Cardia as a person (always a risk when you're supposed to be eliminating someone from existence), and now he can't bear to see her die. Unfortunately for him, Guinevere is well aware that he merely went through the motions when he offered Cardia the poison, and the result is a seemingly harmless broken pocket watch. But what if that watch was the device that granted Saint immortality? With it cut in half, is he now rendered mortal once more? Given the emphasis on him in the preview and his newfound determination not to shorten Cardia's life, that feels very possible.

It's also important that Saint referenced multiple Beckford siblings. While it's entirely possible that he's talking about all of those entombed Cardias in her father's secret lair, it's also likely that there's a third sibling floating around out there – or maybe even two. Given that Nemo and Victoria both have similar coloring to Finis, I wouldn't be surprised if they were also part of Code: Realize's nefarious goals, and the brief scene where we see someone (Guinevere?) watching an older woman write may support this, since she appears to be the age Queen Victoria ought to be at this point in history. (Plus if Victoria is a Beckford, I'll feel better about those weird yellow feathers apparently sewn to her eyelashes.) Whatever the case may be, Finis is unlikely to be the only one the gang has to confront.

It's a group that feels much more united now, as befits the stage the story is at, and I'm glad that little Drac gets to do more than hang out at home with the dog. He's going to be integral to keeping van Helsing's more suicidal urges in check, because the way he's talking right now, it sounds like he feels his life will have no more purpose once Finis is eradicated. While both Cardia and Dracula disagree, Drac is more likely to be able to reach Van, because he has ties to the man's past. Plus Van has known for some time that he never had a romantic chance with Cardia, even before Lupin himself figured out the depths of his own feelings for her.

With this episode, that all comes to a head, and pretty much no one but Lupin and Cardia are surprised that their feelings are mutual. It's sweet, and it also leads to Frankenstein's great line about how he'll fight for Cardia, but he won't die for her. That's a much more powerful statement in this context than even he may realize – if he dies for Cardia, she lives on with that guilt. If he fights and lives, she has more to keep living for herself. This ties in with the soldier she briefly meets before his own death in a scene reminiscent of nurses' diaries from almost any 19th-century war. The soldier is looking at a picture of his family, anticipating being done with death and able to return home to them to continue living. That he dies of his wounds shortly thereafter drives home to Cardia that life is uncertain, but ultimately striving to live is what matters. He wanted to live for his family; she is finding that she wants the same, and for her loved ones to go on living as well.

Issues of life and death have always been part of Code: Realize's plot, but they're really coming to the fore now as our heroes head into what may be the final battle. I hope that all of them make it out alive, but I'm not sure that will be the case. No matter what they say, all's rarely fair in love or war.

Rating: B

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

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