This Code Geass Akito The Exiled review covers all 5 OVA movies. It is not an individual review for each movie, but of the home complete release series set.
Code Geass Akito The Exiled is a side story, made up of 5 OVA movies, each around an hour in length. The story is set during the 2 year period between season 1 and 2 of Code Geass. Where the core series followed the Britannian and Japanese forces as they did battle with one another and the Chinese front, Akito The Exiled is told from the European perspective as they do battle with the encroaching Britannian army trying to invade.
As the European side starts to be overcome, they create a new task force wZero, made up of Elevens (The title given to Japanese people in the series, please watch season 1 first at least) who have their own reasons to push back against Britannia. These battles are often suicide missions, as they result in a high percentage of the Japanese not making it through. The squad are led by military officer Leila Malcal, a former Britannian aristocrats and her Lieutenant Akito Hyuga, the titular character of the series and normally one of the minority that survive the wZero missions.
By the end of the first movie, what will be the core cast of Akito The Exiled is assembled into a better functioning version of the wZero and is referred to as the Wyvern squad. A group made up of some likeable rebels, Akito and continues to be lead by Leila.
During the confrontations between the EuroBritannia and the European army a figure from Akito’s past rears it’s head and threatens to bring Akito’s demise. This kicks into motion the overarching narrative of the 5 movies, that are packed with great mech action, political tactics and Geass manipulation. It wouldn’t be a Code Geass show without a few supernatural elements now would it?
If you’ve seen the previously released seasons of the show the first thing you may notice that is different between that and Akito The Exiled is that the Knightmare Frames and their combat scenes are now 3D CGI rendered. While it is noticeable, it does blend in with the backgrounds and standard look and feel of the show quite well. It doesn’t have the over the top play-doh appearance where a 3d model has just been thrown into the scene and instantly draws your eye because of how bad it looks.
By using 3D models for the Knightmares, it has allowed the animators to have a bit more flexibility in Akito The Exiled by not having to hand animate the combat scenes. This has resulted in battles that look spectacular. They are full of action and the choreography is much more detailed than any of the fights we got in the two prior seasons of Code Geass.
While these 5 movies tell a great story once it all comes together, I didn’t feel like it matched the original series when it came to the lead protagonist and their intellectual and combat ability. Part of what drew me into the Code Geass series was Lelouche’s character, he was incredibly smart, able to think 5 steps ahead and when combining that with his Geass perk in the right ways, his character shines as one of the best of any anime series. While both Leila and Akito are great characters and have strong story arc’s of their own throughout the films, I didn’t find them as compelling and likeable as Lelouche.
The pacing of the series starts of a little slow, until it really kicks in during episode 2. From then on there isn’t really any extended dull scenes. Each movie does have it’s own plot beats you really need to watch them all as it’s the overall narrative that comes together as a solid Code Geass story. There are movies in the set that are better than the others, which is why i’d recommend if you can setting aside 5 hours to enjoy the set together if you can.
With it’s strong, likeable cast of characters, amazing mech combat scenes and a great narrative that further fleshes out the time gap between seasons one and two of Code Geass, Akito The Exiled is a fulfilling side story that every fan of Code Geass should pick up and watch. While it is missing some of the magic that made season one so great it still has the rest of what drew fans in. Amazing character designs by CLAMP, smooth animation and tells a well contained story that stands on it’s own while also being full of easter eggs and cameo’s for existing fans to enjoy.
The home release Code Geass Akito The Exiled set includes all 5 movies and has audio commentary for episode 1 and video commentary for episode 3 with the line director accompanied by Aaron Dismuke (Yukiya) and Jeannie Tirado (Leila). I watched a Blu-Ray copy of the set which popped with the vast array of colours used in the Code Geass universe and the Knightmare Frames. I’d definitely recommend picking it up for yourself, but at least watch the first season of Code Geass before you do. While Akito The Exiled mostly stands on it’s own, having the extra knowledge of some characters and the world setting will make the watch far more enjoyable.
If you liked our Code Geass Akito The Exiled Review and want to pick up the series yourself you can do so from Madman Entertainment.
All images ©SUNRISE/PROJECT G-AKITO Character Design ©2006-2011 CLAMP·ST
A Blu-Ray review copy was provided by Madman Entertainment for the purpose of this review