They’re the best Anime that 2018 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Full Metal Panic! Movie 3: Into the Blue, Mutafukaz, Penguin Highway, and more!
5: Full Metal Panic! Movie 3: Into the Blue
Japanese: フルメタル パニック！イントゥ ザ ブルー
MAL Score: 6.96
Shikidouji, the illustrator of Shoji Gatoh’s Full Metal Panic! light novel series, revealed that production has been green-lit on a “director’s cut” version of the first Full Metal Panic!! television anime series from 2002. The director’s cut will consist of three films. The announcement does not state if the film trilogy will add new footage.
Japanese: ムタフカズ -MUTAFUKAZ-
MAL Score: 7.08
After a scooter accident provoked by a mysterious woman’s vision, Angelino, a deadbeat like thousands of others in Dark Meat City, starts getting violent migraines that are accompanied by strange hallucinations. Along with his good buddy Vinz, he tries to figure out what’s happening to him while threatening men in black seem determined to catch him.
Let’s talk about anime movies for a second. There are three kinds of original anime movies:
B. Over-produced trashy teen romances for the lowest common denominator that could’ve been live action
C. The rare, totally stand-alone anime film that dares to take full advantage of the medium and delivers art, animation and story concepts that would’ve never been possible in a TV series format.
This movie, MFKZ, is solidly in group C. This is a Movie with a bold, capital M, and it’s one of my biggest contenders for favorite movie of last year. Not just anime movie, not just animated movie, favorite Movie. It’s bold, insane, beautiful, fun and encapsulates everything cool about anime and animation in general. It’s fucking awesome. Of course, only like 10 people know it exists.
However, maybe that will change because it’s ~ ~ NOW ON NETFLIX ~ ~, and this review is goin’ up to tell you why you should watch it like two or eight times.
Let’s dig in.
MFKZ is a Japanese movie that is based on a French comic, based heavily around American culture and mythos – There’s really nothing else like it, it is a wholly unique experience in this dead-dry industry full of perpetual garbage that’s spun off or mutated from other garbage.
The first thing you notice in this weird mishmash of a visual feast is, well, the visuals. If you’ve seen the trailer, or even any screenshots, you’ll notice that this movie doesn’t look like anything else out there, except for Tekkonkinkreet, which you likely also haven’t seen (but should.) Character designs vary wildly from realistically proportioned to being complete caricatures or talking animals. These designs all do something only animation can do: directly reflect the characters’ personalities or just be generally absurd. This is all played completely straight – the main character’s best friend has a flaming skull for a head, and this is acknowledged and played up in certain scenes, but there’s never any “explanation” – he’s just like that. Born that way. The characters’ animations reflect their weird designs too. The main characters being like 2ft tall makes them more apt to
The show-stopper here though is the background artwork. Every scene in this movie is beautiful. Every single shot. Close up of dirty bathroom tile? Drawn by God damned Rembrandt. All the time. Every mundane thing is meticulously brought to life and depicted with personality in extreme detail.
And then when it’s all combined together, you get one of the most fluidly animated, stylishly directed animated movies of all time. What Into the Spiderverse did for 3DCG movies, this film does for 2D. The ice cream truck chase (yes, correct) sequence alone redefined what I thought was possible in an animated sequence, featuring wild camera shifts, time slowdowns and speedups, and just all-around cooky action.
Next, I guess we can talk about the story. I’ve had friends and people on forums say to me that the story is confusing. This movie isn’t that complicated: it’s an action movie. The main kids beat up the bad guys and chase after the girl, it’s very Hollywood Blockbuster Action. That summary is definitely a simplification, but MFKZ takes you through a pretty linear chain of events and explains everything to you as it happens. The insane visuals and the fact the movie doesn’t spoonfeed this to you is where people are getting hung up. One of the cool things about this film is that the main characters are total losers – destitute, incompetent, weak everymen living in a bad apartment in a bad city. There are several other parties hunting them down and aiding them, and while our main boy is the catalyst for a lot of things, the bigger events that transpire barely involve him. He just gets hit by the dump truck from Sonic Adventure 2 and then dodges lunatics with bullets while fawning over a girl. That’s him. Then you have the demons, the mafia hitmen, the scientist, the roaches, the Shakespearian gangman played by the RZA, and the fucking luchadores. They all sort of crash together to make the final act happen, and the main boy is just there, sorting out his literal personal demons, not there to save the world. It’s refreshing and everything has a payoff, coming together seamlessly for a strong finale. I’ve seen much weirder, much worse in movies than this. MFKZ is very tight from start to finish, not a scene or shot is wasted and everything contributes to the narrative.
Last, let’s have a look at the audio in this movie. The English voice cast, the only relevant voice cast, is just stellar. This movie was made to be in English, voiced by Americans. You have have a pretty strong who’s who of famous TV actors filling out the cast, like villain dude from Breaking Bad and the guy from The Shield. Performances are stellar all around, delivering fun, witty dialogue that feels like real people are talking, rather than the usual Google Translated dub scripts. “Shinohara-san, will you go to the Obenkyo Dojaimazisu with me?” / “Nnn-hn! Y-yes, big brother, I will! It makes me so happy!” – no shit like that, you hear?
The soundtrack and general sound design are quite solid. Not a lot of memorable vocal BGM or anything, but sometimes you’ll get an insane dubstep drop beat during an action sequence. Essentially, the sound in the movie is very much design to emphasize the action and mood, rather than be any kind of flashy distraction. It’s a good, simple sauce on a complicated dish.
So yeah, go watch it. You probably have a couple months before it’s arbitrarily rotated. And then go watch Promare, Lu Over the Wall, Night is Short Walk on Girl, Tekkonkinkreet, the works of Satoshi Kon, and all the other incredible original anime movies you slept on due to Director-san McSparkleskies hogging the spotlight.
When it comes to the plot and narrative which i need to re-watch the film. I do believe the pacing is pretty good to an extent which i mean its somewhat fast past a well, also make the story less flesh out in some certain area such as character, agenda and execution meaning climax. causing the story to be somewhat absurd sometimes which i wish i spoil but nope. Characters traits are brilliant they have there quirks and there irony which there ignorant teenager humor and some *spoiler* –political conspiracy–.
The problem when i see altra violent art in anime or films. Its how they portrayed. I more likely ranting but ima make this quick and simple you can’t just add voilent and bate the viewer by adding simple or cutie design or personality traits and smash them into piece. They tend to get a huge mass of view when it comes to show like … re zero but overall in this film its really organic such as action, body gesture movement, caracter and characters, making them feel believable when you bring them to a gritty poverty slum setting.
the soundtrack is great. u get dat french house shit. i think some track are good and some are abit ehh.. But don’t worry theres orchestrated tracks as well.
First you get the redline 2009 then you the the devilmane and now you get the mutafukaz. You see where im getting at. I felt like we need to promote more traditional animation being release in huge popular theaters to help domestic sales and gets some fucking oscar awards not no fake ass asian big hero 6 winning over princess kaguya
Interesting that a quite niche-anime like Mutafukaz gets a two-days cinema screening in Germany thanks to Peppermint. There were just around 20 people in the movie when I was watching it, so financially it may not have been that good for the cinema. Still for me it was worth it.
For me, the only bad thing about the movie was the story. Without doing any spoilers, it’s just senseless and hilarious, especially in the second half of the movie. It fits to the movie in general, but some things just happen randomly and you think “why the hell is this part of the movie?” or “what’s going on here? that doesn’t make sense”. It’s just hangling around from joke to joke without a proper point to reach at first, and everything is happening too fast to think about it some more. Well, the movie doesn’t take itself too serious, so it’s okay, but I didn’t like it. The comical absurdity made me give it 3 points for story, otherwise a 2 or 1 would not have been far away…
The source material for the movie is a French comic strip, so don’t expect an Asian art style here at all. Everyhing looks like a mixture between European and American culture (it plays in America somehow, so that’s fine). It doesn’t feel like an anime, more like a normal European animation movie. The animation is well-done and there are so much details in the pictures that you won’t be able to get all at your first watch for sure.
A cultural mixture of French hip-hop and house, and Latin music (for example Reggaeton). For me the best song was the Reggaeton song running during the credits. The songs perfectly fit to the background, but are completely different from most anime soundtracks. You may be disappointed if you like the pop/rock/metal-oriented soundtracks of Japanese anime movies.
Most characters in this movie didn’t really make sense or were just hilariously exaggerated (clichès / stereotypes ahead!), which absolutely makes sense concerning the story. The two main characters are the only ones acting fairly normal. Sadly only one of the two gets a real characterization, while the second one acts more as a sidekick that stumbled into the whole thing by accident. Does he even have motives? We don’t know…
In addition to that, it’s not explained why some of the protagonists look as they look. This may be some reference, too, but I didn’t get it then.
I was just laughing all the time (except for the parts where I was thinking “what the hell is going on here?”). The movie features lots and lots of Western cultural references. The humour of this movie is REALLY black. They don’t fear to mock about anything: brand names, conspiracy theories, people, politics and many more. This is why the movie was so enjoyable for me, and I’m sure I didn’t find all the hints and references at first watch. Some senseless stuff made me sigh because I didn’t find it funny, but the rest was really worth it.
Well, I’m sad that the story was not really fitting for me. The rest was very good and I would have given an 8/10, but this more or less patched story doesn’t allow it. I gave a 6/10 because the movie overall is exactly what this number means: “nice”.
I recommend tha movie to everybody from a Western audience who wants to laugh about cultural jokes. I fear many Asian viewers or people who like anime may be disappointed when watching it.
3: Penguin Highway
Japanese: ペンギン ハイウェイ
MAL Score: 7.61
For a child, Aoyama has knowledge comparable to an adult. As such, he is often teased by his classmates. He also has a crush on the friendly woman he recently met at a dental office. One morning, penguins start mysteriously appearing around his neighborhood. Nobody knows where they came from and how they managed to get there. Aoyama is determined to find out more, and he joins his new crush in researching the penguins.
As time passes, they discover a levitating sphere which they nickname “The Sea.” Whatever goes into The Sea does not come back out, and the only things that can destroy it are the penguins. However, something horrifying is created when the penguins do…
Penguin Highway follows Aoyama and the woman’s research on the mysterious penguins’ origin, as well as the many difficulties Aoyama faces throughout his investigation.
Adapted from the most finest work since Tatami Galaxy, The Night is Short, and The Eccentric Family
“As the wind blew, the grass sparkled, wet from the morning dew. There was a squeaking noise that sounded like the school’s floors creaking. In the middle of the huge empty lot, there were a number of penguins waddling around.”
Going embark into superstitious child-oriented but with eccentric wholesomeness from within every sense of direction and far detail like in most avant garde Satoshi Kon’s films. The Mindsets of capturing the essence by it’s captivating caricature can leaves a very own boundary. Visuals are usually vivid and featured through of such memoir abstract detail through surrealism.
Despite all the connections between the two, both The Tatami Galaxy and The Night is Short Walk On, Girl
Penguin Highway are also self-contained stories that can be enjoyed on their own. That said, they really are best enjoyed together. Each one provides its own nuanced perspective on the contrary between life and youth, and the fact that those perspectives are sometimes lightly contradictory just makes their insights that much saturated. The similarities are pretty obvious, and both stories arrive at similar places by the end, with the protagonists breaking out of self-precognition cycles and learning to live more emotionally fulfilling lives.
As if that wasn’t enough, The Studio Colorido and his team went and recreated all of the stylistic flourishes and ambiguous format between providing the reluctant art for Morimi’s original novels and often the lightning-fast absurdist monologues and ideologies.
A heaping dose of surreal imagery and cartoon exaggeration, matching and at times surpassing the visuals of the TV series. When watched back-to-back, it’s probably the closest animation could get to the feeling of reading both books, in that the stories are different but the pacing, dialogue, and artwork all feel like they sprout from the same mind.
This movie is about a pretty smart and curious kid who happens to fall in love with a dentist. The dentist is an actual mystery as the little boy happens to unravel that mystery. The kid is not like super genius but your above-average kid with keen scientific experiments.Do watch the movie with good quality. Because the visuals will blow you away. Don’t want to spoil the awesome experience by saying more.
Do watch this if you have spare time.
The reason I liked this anime is because of the smooth story, slight feel of romance ( hardly any romance here), awesome visual and good action. Very pleasant experience for me as I was able to fetch a good copy. I liked the characters and the story build up. Normally anime don’t have morals or messages…but I felt like the movie made me remember that we all have to leave the world one day.
The animation is decent for the most part. There are moments of extremely fast motion and travel that are depicted in this film which ends up being poorly animated. The animation in these select few scenes felt lazy and sloppily animated. The animation still deserves some praise.
The soundtrack is quite good. I liked the transition from the introduction to the opening theme. The songs used throughout this film fit the scenes’ moods and added a sense of joy. I love the ending theme as the credits roll after a satisfying ending.
The characters were written and developed well in this anime film. The sense of the boy’s determination and excitement of further developing his research is portrayed well. Some of the characters’ actions felt a little forced but there was one scene where there was a conversation with the boy and his sister which tied up to the ending and connected all the dots. This film doesn’t fully explain itself until the very end but it is satisfying to see the films ending scene nonetheless.
To be honest, there were moments that I didn’t enjoy watching but I did enjoy the ending quite a bit. The lead up to the ending wasn’t enjoyable and this film takes its time to fully explain itself. The humour in this film along with a lot of the dialogue didn’t feel like it quite fit in the film which impacted my overall enjoyment of this film.
I’m not sure if I would recommend this anime to anyone but I do have to say that it’s an anime film that has a lot of metaphors and imagery that can be analysed and interpreted differently to discover a completely different and beautiful meaning behind its message of growing up, the reality behind maturity, and overall life events that occur when maturing and growing up. You might like this anime film if you like interesting coming-of-age tales.
2: Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch II – Handou
English: Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion II – Transgression
Japanese: コードギアス 反逆のルルーシュⅡ 叛道
MAL Score: 7.65
Having achieved miraculous victories in a series of battles against the Britannian Army, Lelouch Lamperouge has brought the Black Knights, his paramilitary organization, to a more powerful state than ever before. Nothing seems impossible for him when he utilizes his military strength, intellect, and Geass power of absolute obedience.
However, obstacles in the face of the uprising never cease, putting Lelouch in a difficult predicament. Most worryingly, Suzaku Kururugi’s combat prowess and the appearance of a mysterious child named V.V. threaten to put an end to Lelouch’s great rebellion.
This was inevitably going to be a weaker product than the first. Not only is this because of the problems inherent in the 3 film recap structure and what had to be cut, but also because the messy nature of the original material at this point, with the final ⅓ of Geass 1 being its shoddiest portion and R2 in general being incredibly clumsy. I could accept that. I could accept the fact that the nature of Geass 1 having to do as much and cut out as much as it did would make Euphemia’s death scene with Suzaku, and therefore Suzaku’s vengeful drive, less effective. It did remove most of Euphamia’s scenes with Suzaku, gutting their relationship. I could deal with all of this if they found a way to treat this issue with tact instead of skipping important scenes, relegating explanations to offhand dialogue in conversations, making baffling decisions on what to keep and what not to alter, and forgetting what a fucking transition is!
This goes beyond the typical failures of the second recap installment! Why would they still try to act like Euphamia’s death hurt Suzaku as much as it did in the original series given that they did not establish these two as lovers in this trilogy? Why make it so Suzaku can magically sense C.C’s presence inside the Gawain? Why alter and remove Lelouch losing his composure and haphazardly telling his subordinates to take over after Nunally was kidnapped? While they thankfully didn’t go as hard on Nina’s bomb insanity at the school given what was cut out, why didn’t they remove that entirely or at least alter it so that she decided to start making bombs for the Britannian military? Who thought removing the entirety of the events of R2 episode 1 was a good idea! That was essential to making the second half of this film even remotely function, and they skipped it and tried to justify it with two throwaway lines. Now there are several damning questions regarding that integral moment and afterwards, none of which were an issue in R2. Why would they not show what made Jeremiah go turncoat? Given their alterations, all they had to do was have Lelouch reveal himself to Jeremiah and have the original scene play out as it did but with new context. Why was the new footage of Oghi confronting Viletta handled with the level of tact you’d expect from trash like Darling in the FranXX? Why did they not let scenes have breathing room to transition? Why when V.V crashed and everyone was standing by, did they immediately follow up with him already at the door that was likely far away, with him about to die? Why didn’t they have a scene in between of Lelouch going to and entering the door that led to the Sword of Akasha? So many of these were simple fixes, some of which were integral to making this film even remotely function with the broken pieces of what it was adapting.
Now we must move onto the problems I originally anticipated, and what else would have only been natural issues given the structure. The Eupheminator section was even worse now that the context of Lelouch and Euphemia meeting at Kimine island, and the Mao arc’s foreshadowing of the already disgustingly convenient Geass breakdown in the Eupheminator section, were both removed. They made the scene of Charles somehow observing the Eupheminator incident get delayed by a few minutes for little reason; they could have just removed it at that point given that it didn’t serve much of a purpose. I did anticipate Suzaku’s role in that part not changing, but again, this was a simple fix: just make him act more like a friend than a lover to Euphemia and make him angry that Zero was such a manipulator who tainted his partner’s noble goals. This was part of why he was angry in the original so they only needed that. The entirety of the collapse of the Black Rebellion was truncated, but that didn’t excuse the poor editing around this point that massively required transitions -such as Lelouch departing and telling his people to fend for themselves-. The scene of Lelouch’s reveal and capture was far less effective given the structure of this film. Simply put, it’s basically two truncated films merged into one, given that the most climactic portion, the finale and subsequent cliffhanger of R1, was placed right before the middle. It inevitably led to a terribly awkward structure that made the movie feel like it began again in the middle, establishing what the beginning of R2 did with some changes here and there. Every new character introduced here is as lame or even weaker than you remember them, except for Bismark, who actually gets more focus here than in the original. Even Lelouch got downgraded due to their surprisingly malicious and sadly rushed interpretation of him. Given that Lelouch’s bomb in the final act of the film was there to blow up Rolo’s mech in order to take down V.V once he landed, the fact that what appears to be the exact same button was used in order for the Gawain to shoot out mirrors in order for Lelouch to Geass Charles, is disconcerting. They still kept C.C’s mental regression into the slave girl she was before getting the Geass, for no good reason. Lastly, they did not need to go to episode 41 of the original material, effectively covering 25 episodes worth of content, half the episode count of the original. This was far too much to cover, hence why this film felt like it was 2 films crammed into one. Adding onto that, this meant they had ended up diving into the part where R2 began truly crumbling into pieces. It honestly should have been two films in order to salvage everything past the 30 minute mark, and so that most of this would not have happened.
————————————————————————No spoilers beyond this point—————————————————————————–
In spite of all this, I cannot be too angry at this film. The primary reason being the new footage present. These films do an exceptional job at plugging up certain holes from the original story, cutting out certain portions that were unfavorable, strengthening the core narrative, and bolstering the relationships of every family member of Lelouch, sans Euphemia. This film is especially exceptional at that. For starters, it addressed Lelouch’s lack of structure with the Black Knights by outlining each important members’ roles and whatnot. Lelouch and Suzaku’s lack of punishment for frequently ditching school for their roles in the grander narrative, was addressed as well. The writers added scenes of Lelouch’s family members talking to each other, either casually, about what to do about a recent event, or about their disagreement with each other’s goals -specifically Charles and Schneizel remarking negatively about each other’s goals to their subordinates-. There was so much new content added in, with almost all of it going out of its way to fix some of the issues present in the original material, even outside of what was mentioned. Despite how bad this film may be, the new scenes and what they did deserve to be commended, proving that the team did know what they were doing sometimes. As such, there no further mention of them in specifics or in influence here, beyond the direction they took with Shirley being a nice gesture that saved time, and the continuation of their more intimate and loving interpretation of C.C and Lelouch’s relationship.
The visuals are even better than they were before. The new scenes manage to blend in even better than those of the previous film did, and R2’s inferior production values did not hinder the film as much, given that next to no badly done CGI was present until the final 20 minutes of the film. The directing by Gorou Taniguchi excelled here, with far more usage of interesting camera angles and movement -next to none of which were present in the original beyond possibly one moment towards the end with C.C- to ramp up the conveyed tension present in the new scenes in particular. Said new scenes were even more plentiful than before, often shining a light on the modified direction the narrative took here. It’s just a shame the rest of the narrative wasn’t handled with such care.
What was taken care of was the music. While the mediocre first ending theme of Geass was used as the opening for this movie, the ending was an entirely new song (The Moon” by Sakura Fujiwara) which not as good “Only Red is Missing” from the previous film, is still a good song. There were a few tracks I wish I heard but the soundtrack is still as wonderful as ever. On top of that, there were some new tracks added in that also worked well, both vocal and instrumental. That’s only to be expected at this point so I’m glad the film didn’t underwhelm me there too.
Code Geass Movie 2 was a massive disappointment. It not only had to deal with the typical issues of a second recap installment, but the ways it botched up its already wrecked material obliterated this film on a structural and content writing level. Every concern I had and more came to pass. After the first film did such a wonderful job adapting the first ⅓ of the show, this had no excuse to be this subpar, material quality aside. Given that the final film only needs to cover 9 episodes now instead of 13-16 or up to 25, maybe there is potential for this trilogy to be salvaged. Given how badly this one panned out, what this may do to the next installment, and what it has to adapt, we best pray for a miracle.
*In any case, minor spoilers alert if you still insist on watching my review without watching the original series*
That said, the compilation movies seem to heavily hinge upon the original series, which I should say, makes it quite boring to watch.
The story is subpar, due to the huge modifications made. It has no plot holes, but it is not interesting as such. And due to these changes, Euphy’s death carries no meaning in the compilation films. Similarly, they wasted the romantic potential of Shirley, which would piss off Lulu x Shirley fans. Same could be said for Kallen x Lulu fans(or Kalulu in short) , and while Shirley’s character has had not much impact on Lelouch, Kallen did, and she played a pivotal role in Lelouch’s development to the end. Especially the scene with the Refrain, which actually made Lelouch a stronger character.
I would also note that due to the changed continuity, Rolo’s character is also heavily wasted and his eventual death looks like it will cease to mean anything for the decisions of Lelouch. It looks like the only character given any attention is CC(even preceding the development of Lelouch), so much so that they are trying to make CC’s ship with Lelouch sail away in R3. I find it superficial and contradictory, given that CC acts as Lelouch’s mother figure.
Most of the characters are not given any context and are just squashed in the middle of nowhere. Eg: Gino, Milly to name a few. Even Nina’s arc doesn’t make sense and it seems like she is only there to light the FLEIJA.
For someone quite acquainted with the Code geass franchise, I say that character interactions form the crux of Code geass. Hence, the lack of characterization in the compilation films bother me a lot.
As for the plot, it is confusing and not in the good way. The original series were also quite confusing, but they served to provoke the curiosity of the viewers in a good way and not leave them hanging in the middle with huge loose ends. However, the film makes its own loose ends and they present some minor problems of their own .But they are thankfully not badly executed as the characterization and it seems that the compilation films can pull of the plot.
However, if you can forgive those aspects of the films (it is only a compilation film after all, there is no way you can fit 25 hours worth of series into 6 hours of compilation films), you can find the movie to be quite enjoyable in and out of itself. There are some original and nice moments, which make the film quite enjoyable.
Overall, I rate this 7/10. Not as good as I wanted it to be, but not bad either. Let’s just hope that they don’t make the same mistakes in the R3 series that they did in the compilation films.
What did this movies do? Nothing it’s loosely linked chain of events, we get no character developement, important acts like kamine island is completely cut, so is the whole escape from Japan and liberation of china, suzaku is in Europe the whiole time btw, there are bullshit asspulls to fit the holes that this creates to the point it is no longer believable. The whole of the first half of R2 is fitted into around 20 minutes, I don’t think anyone from the school is even shown, the relationship between Ougi and Viletta is reduced to single sentence, Lelouch actually gives Rolo the phone-chain thing, just before the attack the geass stronghold, but still says later that he wanted to give it Nunally, even though he previously said it was only to manipulate him. The whole movie is an iconsistent clusterfuck, the events’s chronology is often messed up, while characters forget stuff that happened just before.
The plot is a mess, lots of scenes just doesn’t fit, the characters lack any depth and they often contradict themselves, and the problem of voice and quality change still persist from I.
1: Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch III – Oudou
English: Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion III – Glorification
Japanese: コードギアス 反逆のルルーシュⅢ 皇道
MAL Score: 8.01
Lelouch Lamperouge’s dreams of destroying the Holy Britannian Empire are slowly crumbling. His sister, Nunnally, has been kidnapped by Schneizel el Britannia, and Suzaku Kururugi is ignoring his desperate pleas for assistance. The Black Knights are slowly losing faith in Lelouch as their leader, and the United Federation of Nations has declared global war on Britannia.
Having suffered numerous betrayals, a significant loss of power, and an ever-growing resentment towards Emperor Charles zi Britannia, the crippled Lelouch makes a final decision: if he can’t destroy the Empire from the outside, he will take it for himself from within.
I’m sure many of us were worried, both after the announcement of these movies and after the performance of the second installment. As someone familiar with how rocky the material was later on into the series, I was petrified. However, they made a miracle happen. Here’s how.
With only eight episodes to adapt, the pacing of this film is arguably the best of the trilogy. No more drawn out four-act structures or movies that feel like two films crammed into one. This means there’s arguably even more time for new scenes and other alterations to take place, both subtle and blatant. As expected, nearly all of them work perfectly. Certain tertiary characters got more screen time than in the series proper, and the student council side characters had some wonderful new scenes to make them more relevant this time around. Adding onto this is that nearly every major payoff in the third arc still hits its mark, arguably even more so than before due to some of these changes. This includes the finale, which they somehow made even better than before with alterations in the epilogue that make more sense than what was presented originally.
On the audiovisual side of things, the new footage was as crisp and marvelous as before, barring the baffling decision to keep the Avalon airship in grotesque CGI. Barring some awkward moments from both this movie and the series proper that could use some major touch-ups, this is still a well-animated project spearheaded by Sunrise. Adding to the audio elements, the added and reshuffled music choices were all brilliant. Reincorporating the final opening and second ending themes was a glorious decision, and the new tracks hold up just as well. Special mention goes out to the ending theme “NE:ONE” by Survive Said the Prophet. No amount of bad writing could withhold the glory of this series’ music.
Sadly, this film’s material could have been a lot better. This certainly isn’t the film’s fault, but not only was it slightly hamstrung by the films that preceded it, the world-building comes crashing down horrifically at this point in the show itself. The Sword of Akasha arc was the point of no return for this series’ writing quality as a whole, if the infamous betrayal scene not long prior didn’t fulfill that role already. Even the visuals began faltering with the atrocious CGI that this film only added more of. Every absurd death retcon in R2 was preserved here and not altered to make the fake-outs believable. That said, not only were the music and the sharper moments of the show spectacular even back then, but by some miracle, the finale managed to be worth everything, especially in this version.
Due to all of this, Geass III – Oudou actually works as a retelling given the material it had to work with. The first movie is still superior, both in terms of adapted content and in terms of being a remake, but this was still better than the second film. As for whether or not I’d recommend this trilogy as a whole, that’s a bit tricky. The second film wasn’t quite up to par and this really should have been a quadrilogy instead of a trilogy, but ultimately the first and final installments are worthy of their original counterparts. Starting the series proper and watching these films for a refresher or for comparison is the commonly accepted route. Despite this, I’d say to watch the first movie to test the waters. All things considered, this series certainly ended on a high note. So as the rain of roses and applause begin to storm, it’s time we bid this trilogy adieu.
Written by: CodeBlazeFate
Proofread by: Peregrine
Story – 9/10
Before watching any of the movies I was under the impression after talking to a lot of people about them that a lot of stuff would have been changed. I’m here to reassure everyone that nothing of terrible importance changes (I’m especially happy that the ending is the same because I’d heard that it changes somehow but that is not the case) and the story is treated about as well as possible given the limitations of the movie time frame.
The story picks up where the second movie left off, with the Black Knights preparing for another assault on Tokyo Settlement after allying themselves with Xing-Ke and the Chinese Federation. The plot from there follows the OG series plot pretty much point for point, some scenes are left out because there are only 2 hrs 20 mins to fit everything in. Some new scenes and dialogue are added that help explain some things from the series that might have caused confusion if one did not stop and think terribly hard about it. Other than that one can just sit back and enjoy Code Geass’ story once again. However I can’t rate the story 10/10 because of the scenes that are cut but that’s not really anyone’s fault; it was about as good as it could have been.
Art – 10/10
I will only address the animation for the new scenes because if you’ve already seen the OG series you know that the animation is fantastic and there’s nothing more to be said.
Some scenes are reanimated and those along with the new scenes are sometimes obvious because the animation is actually better than that from the series. The colors are clearer and the animation is smoother. On a few rare occasions the characters looked slightly different than they do from the rest of the animation but it was hardly noticeable and not enough for me to care in the slightest.
Sound – 10/10
Code Geass’ has a fantastic soundtrack and the movies, especially this one, don’t flinch from taking full advantage of it. They take the liberty of adding insert songs in new places, including new insert songs, all of which I loved and thought fit perfectly. In some places I would have preferred the OG music choices but that’s just personal preference and it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the scene.
Character – 10/10
One of my favorite things in Code Geass is how good the characters are. Unlike in the first 2 movies, each character receives enough screen time to keep their…uh…character intact as it is in the OG series. That’s about it, nothing really changes in terms of how amazing the characters are in this movie.
Enjoyment – 9/10
Like I’ve said, the movie limits how Code Geass’ story can be treated but it does about as good a job as possible. I’m rather satisfied with the recap movies overall, I think this one was the strongest one of the 3, with the second one being the weakest having lost a lot of the emotional heart of what makes the events in it great. However, I absolutely recommend watching these three to prepare for season 3 because as far as I know s3 does pick up from where they left off and there are easily enough new scenes and events/dialogue that changes/is added to warrant watching these.
Code Geass has finally concluded retelling itself and this review covers all the movies.
Background info for those who do not know what Code Geass is: Code Geass is basically known as the “dumbest show to ever take itself seriously.” It’s essentially a story about this dude who has a Jesus inside his eyeball and this Jesus can do indeterminate things inside somewhat understandable limits and whatever it is, it all goes according to this dude’s plans until there are lots of other characters who have different (or similar) kind of Jesuses inside their eyeballs, too, but it all goes well for him anyway. To sum it up, this is keikaku doori the anime and apparently it is really smart and awesome.
To give some background info about my experience with Code Geass before we start talking about these movies specifically (just to point out that I didn’t always hate this show). Originally, I saw the first 2 seasons in my younger days when I had no basic understanding of things such as plot device, the willing suspension of disbelief or “good anime”. In fact, I believe R2 was the first anime I ever hit with a 10/10 on MAL and the entire show itself the first anime I bought on DVD. That’s right, we are talking about ancient times when blu-rays didn’t even exist yet. The show had such a huge impact on me that I had to take a six month hiatus from all anime because everything else seemed shit compared to Code Geass. Few years later when I had left the casual anime watcher stage and was already leaving the elitist circlejerk shits as well, I made the mistake of rewatching Code Geass, and thanks to my realization that 95% of all anime is shit and the rest piss, I came to see what a terrible show Code Geass is. Third time’s the charm they say, so naturally, I spend 7 hours marathoning these 3 movies, and yeah, it still sucks balls.
The entire thing has a highly dramatic start where our main character, Le Douche, is put in a nasty place where his mom dies, sister goes blind and paralyzes for life and his father quite literally tells him that “I am” the evilest person on the planet ps. fuck you, you lil kid. Good for Le Douche, he is real strong willed and smart kid, so he carries on. *boom* A timeskip rolls in and we see a truck carrying the biggest plot device known to mankind that takes a resting place inside Le Douche’s eyeball while he beats people in chess games effortlessly because he is smart and simultaneously curses people because they all are the same sheeplets and not smart, unlike Le Douche who is very.
The actual story takes place inside this royalty-ruling world which is pretty much a sad and fucked up place, so this anarchist movement is committing acts of terrorism for reasons that are still quite unclear to me – other than to be acts of terror and symbolization of opposition + dad issues. Of course, Le Douche soon makes these anarchists his minions, but the important thing to know here is that all of this is just an excuse for the military tactics where the preferred party wins every single time, and what is even further important to note is that the military side is essentially just an another excuse to create confrontation between different ideologies that our characters represent.
The entirety of Code Geass’ cast is pretty easy to sum up. Le Douche is the single biggest inspiration to modern isekai anime, our 4 harem girls pretty much the very first harem that was used in a “plot heavy” narrative as a plot element. Perhaps the most well-known series that followed Code Geass’ use of harem is Steins:Gate. Almost all of the other characters are archetypes that follow their core purpose in the storyline in the most generic sense possible. Suzaku is the single most unreasonable and braindead character I have personally seen in anime. His technician on the other hand is exactly like Orochimaru from Naruto, the main difference being how Suzaku is exponentially worse than Sasuke ever was because he is a “chaotically good” person who never questions his own purpose, motives, reasons or in generally never accepts anything that would prove against his own thoughts or actions. That’s also pretty much how all the other “politically active” youths work in this series. It’s painfully realistic and accurate recapturing of narrow-minded ideologies from characters who all would have the opposite view on things if they were 5 years older.
The entire cast is also used very shamelessly in the series. Almost every time with eyeball Jesus, but occasionally with random memorylosses that occur to escape the current “dead end” that has been reached thanks to the writer cornering himself without any planning on how the thing should play out, so lots of these “devices” are used not only to advance the story, but to use the characters itself as plot elements in the narrative. In generally, the entire story relies on characters becoming puppets controlled by the super powers of geass, much like Madara’s plan in Naruto.
The way Code Geass’ story works is also very simple. Whenever we ran out of things to do in the current setup, a new plot element or plot related event is pulled out of the author’s butt or alternatively the existing storyline is extended with a plot device that pushed the story onward in whatever direction is preferred no matter how unlikely and improbable the event itself is. Plot holes are nothing but numbers in this narrative which wants to thrills its audience by relying on the shock effect of unexpected events that are only unexpected because a) there is no foreshadowing and b) the twists simply do not make any logical sense. This applies with everything from CC’s character introduction to any operation where Le Douche pulls a new truck-sized device out of his butt because – just to quote Le Douche – “Every messiah needs to be able to provide miracles.” Cool excuse for lousy writing, bro. This is literally said in the series after another asspull and this is perhaps my favorite part of the series. Whenever I ask questions such as “how the fuck is this possible?” The answer given (if there is an answer) could always be replaced with “because Le Douche is my self-insert.” and the reason would make as much sense.
The series also terribly suffers from the Nasuverse effect where every single character lives within a small radius from each others and even the opposing party members are essentially all part of the same “big family” scheme. Majority of the series’ characters are classmates in the same school or blood relatives to Le Douche. The school settings and school grounds play enormous role in the series. As a whole, the series is an absolute mess because it tries to be a political thriller with supernatural powers while relying on military tactics while its characters are high school students and new things pop out from every direction for whatever reasons. Meanwhile the whole thing is filled with slice of life content and relationship drama. Enormous amount of irrelevant filler. Chaotic mess is what we have here.
Whenever I end up having a chat about Code Geass and how terribly written its story and characters are, an argument about its technical achievements is brought on the table. The character design is made by CLAMP and every single character looks like deformed spaghetti in the series. CLAMP characters’ are memed to be “noodle people” for their long limbs and skinny design, and Code Geass cast is a prime example of this. The mecha fights itself are lacklustery if anything. There is one highly impressive part about this show and that’s its directing which does terrific job creating atmosphere and making the whole thing entertaining to watch. There are hardly any scenes where music is not playing in the background and in generally the pacing is a mysterious combination of fast as fuck boiii and new events that don’t add anything to the overall plot. Yet, for some weird reason, it feels smooth and important while it is neither.
When it comes to enjoyment, these movies did remind me why I liked the show in my first watch and also made me better understand why I hated it on the 2nd. To talk about the differences between this and tv series, the movie adaptations clearly have less filler in them, which the tv series is absolutely filled with. The cat zero mask part is gone as well as the lesbian table rape, the blonde rescue scene, Karen trap scene and the underwater hotel entrance part, so that’s kinda cool improvement. The CC pizza obsessions plays practically no part in the series this time around. However, stuff like the cat festival was not removed of course because important addition or whatever. Good thing they didn’t out-write such important characters as the anti-love interest and mini- Le Douche. I am not saying their names because they are 100% objects in the narrative and objects don’t need names. One more thing that wasn’t abandoned are the intellectual wisdom, poetic quotes and other thought-provoking philosophies, thank god, and they, indeed, are quote-worthy:
“Le Douche, do you know why snow is white? — Because it has forgotten what color it used to be.”
“There’s a scientific reason that snow is white. Light is scattered and bounces off the ice crystals in the snow. The reflected light includes all the colors, which, together, look white.”
“My story is way cooler.”
Honestly why shit like this exists in this series is beyond me.
As a bottom line: Code Geass has a bit of everything, but the outcome is a whole lot of nothing. Except mess. There is lots of mess here. The more you think about Code Geass, the less it makes sense, but given, the same applies with most things. It’s a great series to watch before you have reached the part of giving a fuck or alternatively after you have stopped giving a fuck. I would not recommend watching this show anywhere in-between because it is pretty bad to say the least.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch III – Oudou
2. Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch II – Handou
3. Penguin Highway
5. Full Metal Panic! Movie 3: Into the Blue