Reviews: Code Lyoko
The first 7/8,Very Star Trek Movie Like
Code Lyoko Year:2003-2007 Grade:B- ....Albeit milder,but like the Star Trek movie and their infamous dilemma,the odd seasons have a way of being vastly inferior to the even seasons,although I can't say much about the 4th yet,but I have heard it is better So starting with first season,..it too suffers from being a little slow paced and a helluva alotta' Early Installment Weirdness. Supposedly Aelita was supposed to be a kickass character and there were supposed to be a lot of diverse characters and Xana was supposed to be this ominpotent HAL-esque character. Instead Aelita was just The Load who literally couldn't do much of anything herself,almost to [[Super Mario Bros. Princess Peach]] levels,sure she could create walls and stop XANA,but only the cost of everything else being handed to her. And except for Odd,all the characters are introverts,of The Phlegmatic type,Jeremie helps by being smart though and developing. Then finally every episode is pretty much just "XANA posseses X,stop X" with a Reset Button to end it. In contrast,the second season really is like The Wrath Of Khan,even for the eye does it improve. This is where Aelita starts to come into her own,XANA starts to become The Chessmaster and the character interactions start to really take off,sometimes it doesn't even have the Reset Button. It even ends with The Bad Guy Wins. It also introduced William,as a Foil and dare I say it he's definitely a better character than Ulrich,but he got almost no time And then comes the third season which like The Search For Spock is appropriately worse than the second,but miles ahead of the first. The character interactions go back down,something bad happens to Jeremie's voice,and Odd gets Flanderized,but Aelita finally becomes a full on Action Girl and the plot thickens,still the return of the Reset Button and predictable plots are egregious and it gets resolved too quickly Now for the general Pros and Cons
- Odd,Aelita,William and Jeremie are great characters
- The UST between Ulrich and Yumi kept the first season afloat and developed William
- Great animation and writing
- Decent plot
- Sissi's and Jim's Butt Monkey status and Hidden Depths help a lot
A Good, but Frequently Disappointing Series
What Code Lyoko does well, and better than many shows in this genre, is characterization. The primary cast is diverse and relatable, and I'm confident most people watching the show could find at least one character to empathize with. And the concept allows for interesting plots and ideas that can't exist outside this genre. Actually handling dramatic character based plots, however, is not something the series handles well. The action scenes are pretty serviceable, but a transparently low budget results in a lot of scenes copied wholesale from episode to episode. Later seasons were able to avoid this most of the time, but it doesn't appear any less glaring when it does show up. Ultimately, though, I'd say this series suffers from the same problem that Tron did, (Which is fitting considering the genre and basic premise) in that it frequently offers glimpses into intriguing ideas, and sets up interesting plots, but then doesn't have the necessary finesse to follow through, and as a result, many conflicts on this show get established or resolved by contrivance, and the ones that don't follow a predictable formula. The writing is occasionally brilliant, frequently good, but usually poor. I suspect a case of miscommunicating writers, where the person in charge of writing a particular episode isn't in sync with the people writing other episodes, and as a result, the continuity is a big mess. The lack of a technical expert also shines through, with mathematics being confused with physics, both of which get confused with actual Computer Science terminology, none of which is ever realistic, even for a speculative fiction series. Having said that though, the moments where it is good really shine through, with individual episodes alone being able to stand up for the surrounding, often crappier episodes. And the few times they've actually processed a complex, mature theme through the show's demographic filter have yielded very satisfying results. The recently announced fifth season gives me hope that they have a more manageable budget, such that the animation quality of the CG parts will be better. (The real world to be done live action, as I understand it) I'd like to see the series age with its fans, moving up to more mature plots and themes, but I wouldn't expect it.
Code Lyoko is fantastic!
Code Lyoko is one of my favourite animated shows of all time, and I’ve watched a lot of animation. First of all, the blending of CGI and 2D animation works really well here, and isn’t a combination you see frequently in cartoon series. But probably the best aspect of the show is that, throughout its four seasons, it maintains a good balance between drama, comedy, romance and action, all whilst being safe for kids to watch. There are moments that are really heartwarming, moments that are really sad, and moments that are downright epic. Though it’s worth noting that season one is almost totally different to seasons two onwards – season one consists mostly of formulaic, standalone episodes until the season finale. But don’t assume that makes it bad – it’s still great fun to watch, and all the charms listed previously are still there (“Ghost Channel” is particularly epic). But season two is really where the ball starts rolling – the show becomes much more plot-focused and centred on character development, whilst still having enough filler episodes to provide a solid balance. This continues for seasons three and four, and all in all I would definitely recommend this show to anybody out there, regardless of age. What seems to be a quirky animated show ultimately turns out to be much, much more.
Code Lyoko is a really weird show. But I mean that in a good way. It's easy to get hooked to it, too; I went in there when season one was still new, determined not to like it (based primarily on the unusual character design), but not a minute had gone by before it had charmed the heck out of me. It's mainly plot-driven, but the characters are a highlight; their behavior is very realistic for a clique of animated children, for one thing, even in the midst of the decidely fantastic dilemmas they're habitually faced with, and the adults in their world aren't all idiots or monsters, they're properly fleshed out, and have their own agendas and motivations that may or may not interfere with our kid heroes' adventures. Code Lyoko also proves not only that animation just as good a vehicle as anything else for quality storytelling, but that swearing and gore do not weighty issues make. I recommend it, at the very least because it's a nice change of pace from the American and Japanese styles of animated storytelling. But that's selling it far short of its merits.