If this were a book I never would have finished it. I just know I wouldn’t have. It made me think of those romance novels that try so hard to be something other then a romance novel when they aren’t, while also fully realizing they are romance novels. Yes, that just went in a big circle. Romance novels are like snakes eating their own tales.
Generally I don’t even read romance novels of any kind. I have to really be in the mood and they have to be pretty straight forward. I won’t read about how a cowboy has to come in and clean up a town only to also find love, its pretending to be a western. I won’t read the historical fiction novel that has a half naked guy on the cover. I want straight forward romance or very little romance at all and it must be sweet, not sexy. Of course I make my own exceptions. Comedy. Awesome comedy can always be an exception.
Code realize is about a young woman, Cardia, who can’t touch anything due to the acidic poison in her body. This poison makes her a coveted weapon against the British empire and pretty much the whole world. In order to protect her a man name Arsene Lupin, a master thief, steals her away and vows to protect her along with a whole group of interesting men. During her time with them she begins to fall in love with Lupin.
The basic elements of the story, Cardia and her inability to touch anyone and the thief, Lupin, who is fighting for a good cause, made me think of one of my favorite comic book couples. Rogue and Gambit from the X-men comics and 90’s animated series. One of my biggest complaints regarding the X-men movies was the relationship between Iceman and Rogue. Anyway, this inherent similarity is the reason I actually picked Code Realize up. The Steampunk elements were another reason.
I continued to watch Code Realize because the plot was fairly engaging and it had some interesting concepts. It wasn’t pussyfooting around too much and the couple of episodes that didn’t really have much to do with the main goal were still interesting and moved things forward. Unfortunately it is first and foremost a romance and it’s the type of romance that I really don’t care for. It’s not surprising since the series is based off of an Otome game.
Was it worth it? If I got nothing more out of it then the series and its visuals then I would say the answer was no. Fortunately I came away with a list of awesome reading material.
The best part of Code Realize was its characters. Every character except for Finis, Cardia and some other small exceptions came from pre-established written works. Its very telling. I found Cardia to be a completely forgettable heroin and Finis grated on my nerves.
The remaining characters are, for the most part, taken from various pieces of European fiction and lore. Having all of them in one place working together made me think of The League of Extraordinary Gentleman, one of my favorite action movies (I want to note the graphic novel is no where near as good).
Arsene Lupin is from a series of detective novels and novellas written by French author Maurice Leblanc in the early 1900’s. I was only familiar with Lupin by name and didn’t know anything about him. Leblanc wrote three Arsene Lupin stories which featured Sherlock Holmes, but the name was changed to Herlock Sholmes in the first of these. In the anime, Holmes is also featured under this altered name as a antagonist to Lupin.
Abraham Van Helsing and Delacroix the II are both from the Bram Stroker Novel Dracula. Of course both of these characters, Van Helsing and Delacroix, who is of course Dracula, are so heavily used in other media and general pop culture that everyone knows who they are. In the anime Dracula is an annoying child and I really didn’t care for him, Van Helsing was really awesome though. Probably my favorite piece of eye candy.
Victor Frankenstein from Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein. Most people know Frankenstein as a mad scientist. In the original novel however he is more of a tragic figure that simply became obsessed with creating life. He was actually somewhat based off of Shelly’s own husband. In the anime, Frankenstein is again portrayed as a more soft spoken and troubled man, whose aspirations became too grand. As a result he has drawn back from his ‘questionable’ work and is wanted by the government. I’m still not really sure about his entire story, I would have to watch the series again. I don’t think he has created his monster, at least not yet, but he may have helped in creating something similar.
Impy Barbicane is apparently from the Jules Verne novel From the Earth to the Moon. In the novel his goal is to build a cannon that will shoot a projectile to the moon. Of all the characters Impy seems to fit the best with the steam punk theme. I really want to read the Jules Verne novel in order to see how much of Impy’s energy was transferred from the novel to the anime.
Saint-Germain is from a series of novels by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, the first of which was written in 1978. The character in the novels is based off an actual mysterious historical figure of the same name from 18th century France. After reading Saint’s wikipedia page a lot of things about him make a little more sense. Apparently Delcroix isn’t the only character who is a vampire. Saint is a centuries old vampire, though not quite the traditional kind, and it seems that no one else is aware of this.
All of these novels and series sound absolutely amazing and they are definitely going on my tbr list. I haven’t read any classics in a while so I’m a little bit excited at the prospect of enjoying these. Its kind of sad that I haven’t read any of them, considering these include Dracula and Frankenstein.
I very much doubt I will ever come away with a list of amazing treasures like these after watching another similar anime. Because of this I will run away in the other direction the next time I see an anime like this. Unless its cleverly disguised… I’ll have to be careful.
Alright, that’s it then! Off to the Library!