|This post is written by Gilimandra|
Title: Code Geass: Akito the Exiled
Alternative title: Code Geass: Bōkoku no Akito (Japanese) / コードギアス 亡国のアキト (Japanese)
Type: Original Animation Video (OAV)
Genres: Action Drama Sci-fi Mecha
Running Time: 51 minutes per episode
Current Episode: 1
Total Number of Episodes: 4
Opening Theme: “More Than Words” by Maaya Sakamoto
Official Website: Code Geass Gaiden: Bōkoku no Akito Official Website (Japanese)
Original Creator: Sunrise
Animation Production: Sunrise
Age Rating: 17+
Rating: 8.7 / 10
Isn’t freedom painful? Just a little.
Isn’t freedom painful? I’m alone now.
Isn’t freedom painful? Now you’re alone, aren’t you?
Isn’t freedom painful? Endlessly.
The side story takes place in 2017 a.t.b., around the time Lelouch took on the alter-ego “Zero” and built up his “Black Knights” rebellion army. The setting is in Europe, where the Euro Universe (E.U.) allied nations are being invaded by the overwhelming forces of the Holy Britannian Empire. On the verge of defeat, the E.U. army forms a special division known as “W-O″, of which a young pilot named Akito Hyuuga is a member. Layla Malcal, a former Britannian Aristocrat comes to the E.U.’s aid, commanding the “Wyvern” Knightmare corps comprised of Japanese teenagers. They recklessly plunge into a battlefield, where the survival rate is extremely low, at about 5% only. They fight for their freedom, and for a “home” to which they can return.
Being the latest work added to Code Geass Series, the OAV starts off with an almost totally independent storyline that is very friendly towards first time audiences. So you don’t have to worry of being clueless about the previous two Code Geass television series.
The overall atmosphere of “Code Geass: Akito the Exiled” is still a bit gloomy and rather depressing, however such nuance is appropriate to lay groundwork for a possible darkly enthralling story packed with emotional roller-coaster, and indeed, Goro Taniguchi and Ichiro Okouchi (the original creators of the Code Geass series) are successful in setting a tone of approval from the viewers. The first episode is, at least, a pleasant start that appeals for both avid Code Geass fans and new audiences alike.
The pacing of the plot so far has also been sufficient to give a general feel of the main characters. “Sunrise” is smart enough to flesh out a protagonist that gives off a vibe similar to that of Lelouch Vi Britannia, but actually veers away from the malicious tactical mind that the Black Knights rebellion army leader has. Being a soldier, Akito Hyuuga is simply deadly and twisted. His life in the military shapes him to be so effective every bits of his ‘shock and awe’ action is sharp and threatening.
¦”Did you know that all elevens are extremely skilled with blades? If you’d like, I can cut up your face here and now.” The scene in which Akito threatens Layla Malcal’s big brother, Johann, is one notable example of the aforementioned effective deterrence.¦
¦”Die, Die, Die!”¦
¦”But if you don’t like it, shall I erase it for you? That whole world.”, said Akito to Layla Malcal.¦
“W-0” commander, Layla Malcal, strikes like a lottery prize for fans who’ve been dreaming about a character that’s a fusion of Karen Koudzuki and C.C. Inheriting the wits and subtle calculative nature from C.C., Layla also displays an elegant bravado equals Karen through her mastering a traditional Japanese martial arts, Aikido. Honorable, compassionate and rather straightforward of a person, Layla is proven to be quite likeable.
¦Layla Malcal, another quality heroine to join the ranks of Code Geass Girls.¦
Maaya Sakamoto, the driving force behind Layla’s solid character, has proved for once again the power of a person who had been in charge of numerous famous characters such as Alphard of “Canaan”, Lunamaria Hawke from “Gundam Seed Destiny”, and Mari Makinami Illustrious of “Neon Genesis Evangelion Movie 2.0: You Can (not) Advance”. Besides a commendable voice acting, her ending song for the anime, “More Than Words”, strikes a chord with the whole gloomy theme. It’s a longing, emotionally stirring piece.
The soundtrack takes almost a hundred and eighty degree turn from the previous works. Rather than pumping the scene with loads of majestic, overwhelming classical orchestra, Ichiko Hashimoto breathes Jazz music into the stage, which racing and whipping beats tally very well with its stunning battle scenes, as well as wildly emotional ones.
¦Akito, shines ominously in the battle.¦
In terms of incorporating 3D CG technology into anime, which often makes the overall picture seems a bit off in many cases, “Code Geass: Akito the Exiled” deserves our compliment. The Knightmare and other modern armaments display very smooth motions. Consequently, the awkwardness of having 3D built mechas speedily moving about is clearly absent in this OAV.
The actively fast changing camera play from one angle to the other, in addition of an engrossing, well-planned choreography and two other aforementioned elements above had successfully make for excellent action scenes. The battle between “W-0” and Britannia forces in the early minutes really packs a punch and powerful. It is a breathtaking spectacle. As an opening, it grips and boots us up for the building tension and the plot ahead.
On the other hand, Knightmare frame designs seems to have never been the focus of entertainment value in Code Geass. The same applies to “Akito the Exiled”, where the Knightmares presented in the first episode are far from appealing, especially Akito’s “Wyvern” Knightmare. It’s an embarassment.
¦What on God’s green earth is this?¦
First episode has landed smoothly in viewers’ hearts, now let’s patiently wait and see whether the second part, which is scheduled to be released in November 2012, will be able to follow up with a significant development that rises the tension even further.
¦A glimpse of Suzaku in the preview for the 2nd episode.¦
¦You just can’t get enough of C.C. Episode 2 please come quickly!¦
 The plot summary is taken from Anime News Network.