Summary: When a group of four boarding school students discover a supercomputer housed inside an abandoned factory, they find a virtual world called Lyoko and awaken a sentient multi-agent system virus that tries to take over the real world.
As this is a TV show, I haven’t really reviewed one (I’ve done thoughts and stuff) before but since I just watched this show in its entirety for like the fourth time, I decided I had to talk about it. So, this review will be similar to how I do my movie reviews but a little different. As this is a finished show, I won’t really do “thoughts” as it’s not ongoing but a complete review. I will also do a review of “Code Lyoko: Evolution” which came after this version. I will go into more detail about that in that particular review.
I came across this show randomly maybe in high school, I’m not sure exactly. I’m always online and maybe I saw a picture and I thought the characters looked cool. I don’t know, but I did my thing, I found it online and watched it. Obsessed lol. I’ve watched it quite a bit. I learned it came on Cartoon Network but I only caught it on there one time. But I love this show and it’s uniqueness. This is also strictly for the English version of the show. Oh and there are gonna be a few spoilers ahead, mostly in Aelita’s part.
Aelita Schaeffer (voiced by Sharon Mann).
History: Known as Aelita Stones. She is the second smartest of the group, right behind Jeremie. The others nickname her “Miss Einstein” and “Princess”. She first meets Jeremie when he turns on the supercomputer in the factory. He wakes her up as she is living on Lyoko. Of course, they all think she is just a computer program that they want to eventually virtualize in the real world. But as the show goes on, more and more is learned of her story, she is actually human. She is the daughter of Franz and Anthea Hopper, Franz being the creator of Lyoko and X.A.N.A. Aelita’s mother disappeared and she and her father escaped to Lyoko after a group of suited men came to their home. X.A.N.A also stole a part of her memory that kept her from being fully human. Once they rescued that missing part, she became fully human and no longer linked to X.A.N.A and the supercomputer. But it is revealed that Aelita has premonitions and nightmares of the future and her past.
Personality: Aelita is very smart beyond her years, also very wise. I guess in reality she is technically 20 something. She shows a lot of generosity and compassion for people, especially her friends .She is very quick-witted (Aelita throws some heavy burns at Sissi, it’s great!), and can outsmart monsters on Lyoko (she mostly had to do that when she didn’t have an active abilities to fight back. She is the most naive out of the group (the second youngest physically) and in the beginning of her time on earth, her feelings were hurt easily and she was easily pressured. However she does mature, to the point where she can be a little mean lol. Aelita loves music and has become a great D.J.
Appearance/Abilities: She has pink hair and green eyes. On earth she wears a lot of pink in general. On Lyoko she looks like an elf, probably inspired by her toy elf Mr. Puck. In season 1 and 2 she can attack, but she deactivates the towers. In season 2 she gains the ability to use “energy fields” which are pink spheres made from energy/plasma. She can use “creativity” to create platforms (handy for when characters are falling towards the digital sea), and holes in the ground. In season 4, Jeremie created a new outfit (which I really liked, pictured with the wings) and the ability to fly.
Jeremie Belpois (voiced by Sharon Mann).
History: He is the smartest of the group and nicknamed Einstein. His name is also spelled “Jeremy” sometimes. He is the best student in the school and he finds and starts the factory’s supercomputer while searching for parts to build a robot. As he is not a physical Lyoko warrior, his job is to lead the group through technology, figure out ways to defeat XANA and monitors the group while on Lyoko. He is not athletic and has only been to Lyoko a few times and never actually shows up virtualized as a warrior and he never wants to do it again. Jeremy has a great family, especially his father, who is very supportive. He also has a crush on Aelita, that everyone knows about, he has harbored it since he first turned on the computer. He also seems to be the one that XANA tries to get rid of the most being that he’s the smartest.
Personality: The stereotypical nerd, with his book smarts but often lacks common sense and knowledge. Sometimes he can come off a bit elitist in that he forgets that others aren’t as smart as him, like when he tries to teach Ulrich, Yumi and Odd how to use the supercomputer in case both he and Aelita are out of commission. Often times he needs Aelita to simply translate to the others because he doesn’t say the easiest thing. He also has a bit of a time being hot-headed and a workaholic, he has snapped at the others and jumped to conclusions quite quickly. However, while he is the youngest, he appears to be the most mature most of the time.
Appearance/Abilities: As Jeremie never goes to Lyoko, he doesn’t have a warrior outfit. His ability is his super brain. He’s blond, has glasses and wears a blue turtleneck and tan pants in the first few seasons, then he wears a brown turtleneck and tan pants.
Odd Della Robbia (voiced by Matthew Geczy).
History: Odd shares a dorm room with Ulrich, also his best friend, and has a dog named Kiwi which he has to hide as pets aren’t allowed at Kadic. He comes from a large family, he is the only boy. His parents are cool and sometimes he feels awkward about it because they’re so cool and he’s never had to fight with them, though he often gets into it with his sisters. Odd has great potential in school, Ulrich even says how Odd understands physics but as he is a slacker and doesn’t study, he doesn’t get good grades. He is very interested in the arts, being that both of his parents are artists, he loves to make films and music. Very much a ladies man but has some bad habits that causes it to not work out. He is also the least computer literate of the group.
Personality: The comic relief of the group but he is also very nonchalant and casual which is shown in his dress appearance. He is the loudest of the group, the most outgoing and probably the most crazy. Odd is always in good humor and usually keeps a rather cheery disposition. While he is the smallest and most light-hearted of the group, he can also be very mean and cold. There really is no middle ground for Odd. Though it does unnerve his friends when he’s sensitive.
Appearance/Abilities:On earth, at the beginning Odd wore his blond hair down, he has a purple spot in the middle but after going to Lyoko for the first time, he styled his hair upright like his Lyoko look. He wears purple. On Lyoko, he looks like a giant purple cat. He can shoot “laser arrows” to attack his enemies. Sometimes he uses “shield” to block attacks. Due to him being a cat, he has great agility and can climb on walls. He rides the Overboard on Lyoko.
Ulrich Stern (voiced by Barbara Weber-Scaff). He’s my favorite.
History: A laid back student whose parents expect a lot from him. He’s German. One of his main hobbies is that he practices Pencak silat, often times with Yumi. Often he’s the one who stays behind on earth to handle whatever problem is happening while the others go to Lyoko to deactivate the tower. He often has to deal with Sissi Delmas (the principal’s daughter) who harbors a massive crush on him, but he can handle it in different ways. Whenever she’s involved, he really does try to help and save her. He got involved in Lyoko when he went with Jeremy to the factory and he’s the second one to get virtualized on Lyoko.
Personality: Ulrich is laid back, the son of wealthy German parents but he rejects their ideals of wealth and the pressure they put on him. He is also the introvert of the group, he’s very secretive about his personal life and has a hard time opening up to people about his feelings and whatever’s going on with him (I can relate) which sometimes allows him to channel his feelings when he’s fighting. He can be very self-deprecating, whenever something happens to someone and he feels it’s his fault, he can blame himself harshly. He sometimes seems to be emotionally strong but that’s a facade. He also can get jealous very easily and quickly when it comes to Yumi, and sometimes he tries to be the median between his friends when arguments happen, or he’s willing to take the fall for Odd due to their friendship. He’s quite loyal.
Appearance/Abilities: On earth, Ulrich is the tallest boy but shorter than Yumi (though he does get taller in the last season), he has scruffy brown hair and dark eyes. I definitely prefer his clothes in the last season, with the dark green army jacket, he just looked much more mature. He also can physically hold his own on earth whenever XANA attacks. On Lyoko. he wears a yellow and black samurai suit with a single katana. Later, his suit becomes a yellow and brown body suit with twin blades (I love both of his clothes for different reasons). He seems to have the most use for his abilities such as “Triplicate” to create two clones of himself, and a related technique “Triangulate” which he uses to confuse enemies. He has “super sprint” which allows him to dash at high-speed. He is the best fighter, the most skilled, usually lasts longer than the others before being devirtulized and has had some great fights, like with Xana’s Ulrich clone, a possessed Aelita and when he took down the Kolossus. He uses the Overbike on Lyoko.
Yumi Ishiyama (voiced by Mirabelle Kirkland)
History: Yumi’s family is from Japan, she isn’t a border but she attends Kadic. She is the oldest of the group and has a younger brother, Hiroki. Due to her parents and culture, she must maintain good grades and observe family values. While at home, she has to deal with her parents’ marital issues. She practices pencak silat with Ulrich and due to the on and off tension she concludes that she and Ulrich “must be friends and that’s it.” Yumi is the most knowledgable using the supercomputer besides Jeremie and Aelita. She often has to take over whenever something happens to Jeremy and Aelita has to go to Lyoko to deactivate a tower.
Personality: Fairly reserved, she is very mature being the oldest of the group. She is a good observer and generally understands what’s going on around her, even the people, sometimes not trusting others quickly like the others sometimes can. She is athletic, smart and seems to expect a lot from people, sometimes to an access… but she is a teenage girl. She can come off cold and distance at first but she gets a bit better when she becomes friends with someone. She has a sarcastic humor and can be very ironic.
Appearance/Abilities: On earth, Yumi wears all black, in the later seasons, she still wears black but her outfit changes a bit. Her hair is black and her eyes are dark. On Lyoko, she wears a geisha-inspired outfit with a large bow. Her main weapon is a pair of fans. In later seasons, her clothes are changed to a purple body suit. She also has the ability of telekinesis which comes in handy a lot. She rides the Overwing on Lyoko.
William Dunbar (voiced by David Gasman).
History: He’s a transfer student, known to be troubled at his previous schools. He appears tone a loner at first, but quickly develops a friendship and feelings for Yumi. He showed himself to be adept at helping the Lyoko warriors in times of need on earth, but he often forgets it due to the “Return to the past” program. He also shows that he’s stubborn and a bit overbearing, which is evident when he tries to protect everyone from the zombies and he wouldn’t let Aelita and Jeremy escape. Later, the group wants to invite him into the group due to how much he’s helped, especially when he was willing to sacrifice himself to defuse a bomb XANA planted. Everyone but Yumi voted for him but later it becomes necessary to have him. On his first mission, due to him not listening to Aelita and being overzealous, he is captured and possessed by XANA. He becomes XANA’s general against the warriors. The team works to free him so Jeremy makes a clone to pose as him in the real world, but the clone is either really stupid or really unpredictable and dangerous… though I liked him way more than the real William and he was very helpful. The clone started to develop human like traits which helps the warriors at times. Eventually, they were able to free William before shutting down the supercomputer.
Personality: Overconfident, often going toe to toe with Ulrich for Yumi’s attention. He appears to be a loner at first. He has a very strong personality, often ready for a fight, though he does have some moments of wisdom, like in the episode where he speaks to Ulrich about telling Yumi about his feelings because she won’t wait forever and William won’t wait forever either. He can be a bit childish and overbearing which is why Yumi didn’t trust him to join their group, she noticed that he often did things for attention… but they ended up trusting him because he’s ultimately brave. He is also preserving which kept him wanting to come back to help the others even when they rejected him after they freed him.
Appearance/Abilities: William has black hair and dark eyes, he’s tall, and on earth he wears a red long sleeved shirt under a black t-shit and blue jeans. On Lyoko he carries a giant sword that can release shock waves and a white outfit. When he’s possessed by XANA his outfit becomes black. He also gains the ability “super smoke” which allows him to travel at high speed in the form of black smoke.
XANA: The villain of the show, he is without physical form. A sentient and dangerous computer program that is wanting to take over the world after destroying Lyoko. The only visible knowledge of his presence is when there is pulsing energy in the wires of Lyoko, not to mention his awesome theme. He was one an obedient computer program created by Franz Hopper but it became chaotic and malevolent. The attacks are pretty random at first, but as the warriors grow better and smarter, so does XANA and his attacks increase in strength, intelligence and personality. It becomes more accurate in calculations, goes after large goals and gets a better understanding of human behavior (but it’s not human so he makes major mistakes)
Its attacks are random and not very well thought out in the first season, but it gradually evolves in strength, intelligence, and personality in season two with the constant time reversions. It will grow to be more accurate in its calculations, pursue larger goals, and gain a better understanding of human behavior, allowing it to predict their actions, use their feelings to its advantage, and manipulate others. XANA also never retries the same plan if it failed the first time. It can’t show any emotions inside the computer but it has been known to get upset and frustrated. The only time he’s ever really been in physical form was during Ghost Channel when he took on the appearance of Jeremie and once Jeremie thwarted him, he spazzed out. He definitely sees all of the warriors as obstacles but he goes after Jeremie and Aelita the most. Jeremie because of his intelligence and his control over the computer, I think XANA also respects Jeremie’s intelligence. For Aelita, she’s mostly a valuable tool, though she can thwart him by deactivating the towers, which he uses to his advantage later by using her to erase the sectors. He goes after Yumi a lot on earth, I guess XANA recognizes that she is the most mature and that she’s important to the group but I think it’s overkill sometimes lol. Odd of course is annoying to him and but it’s interesting to see the level of respect XANA has for the warriors because in Marabounta he allows his monsters to take orders from Odd. I definitely think that XANA knows Ulrich is the best fighter, it comes at him pretty hard sometimes, and usually tries to outnumber him to defeat him. As for William, I guess XANA thought he had potential to be the strongest out of the group but I don’t see it, I just saw it as William being the easiest to manipulate and the most overconfident which made it easy for XANA to get him. XANA was a worthy opponent.
The theme song is catchy that it didn’t take me long to learn the words just from watching the show. Not to mention, watching it again recently, I surprised myself at how I remembered it. The music is great in this show. They have this fake band called “The Subdigitals” and they are the source for a lot of music in episodes and every time the music is so great that they should release “the music of Code Lyoko”, outside of nostalgia reasons and it being a show, the music is legit good. Characters have themes that come on when they’re on Lyoko: Xana has a great theme, I believe William has a theme in season four when he’s possessed by Xana. It’s all very fun and entertaining to hear.
Action scenes. The action scenes are awesome. One of the things I thought this show handled well was dealing with these kids being literal warriors on this virtual world. They each have their own style of fighting, weapons, abilities etc. but the way the show allows them to use them I thought was really cool. Even watching it again as an adult, I quite enjoyed watching them fight the Xana army.
Favorite Fight Scenes
So there is a scene in Revelation (season 2) where XANA makes a polymorphic clone of Odd, and he goes up against Ulrich to fight. Ulrich taunts XANA saying that “Odd has never beaten me yet”, so XANA shifts into a clone of Ulrich “Oh well yeah, that changes things” and they square off and have this awesome fight. That is still probably the best fight of the entire show. It’s so well paced, the choreography is intricate and amazing and even the juxtaposition of Ulrich’s yellow gi compared to XANA’s black gi, oh man. Also, when XANA gets the upper hand, Ulrich does a little homage to Bruce Lee. It was so great.
Link for your viewing pleasure:
There is another fight in episode Lyoko: Minus One Xana possess Aelita, and she and Ulrich have an awesome fight too. It was like payback from Xana’s first fight with Ulrich. There are videos of this fight but it’s not the English version, or it’s all to music people added and that’s annoying.
Note: Ulrich has a lot of good fight scenes.
Mature/Dark/Tense. Watching this show again, I realized some of the mature themes and storylines in this show. Not to mention dark moments. I love when animated shows don’t try to cater to little kids or to their parents and just lets the story unfold. I mean sure, be aware of the age group (but parents should also not get upset at a show if their kid is watching it, just don’t let them watch it). But the relationship stuff between Ulrich and Yumi was pretty mature, while also childish in how it was handled at times. Some of the choices and the reasons behind those choices were very mature. It also had some dark moments, there were many times where characters almost died, especially our heroes. In episode End of Take Yumi and Ulrich are almost choked to death, in The Trap Ulrich breaks his arm, he gets stuck in an elevator with Sissi and they almost drown, Ghost Channel (one of my favorite episodes) XANA traps Odd, Yumi and Ulrich in a virtual world that they think is the real world, Jeremie virtualizes himself into that virtual world to save his friends and this is the first and kind of only time they come into a human version of XANA (he took the guise of Jeremie in the virtual world) and he tries to kill them… it was so intense. I enjoy how dark the show could get because these kids were really doing things that could potentially kill them and others. It was risk they often took and the show pulled no punches. Even when XANA would send specters after them in their world, the specters were strong, fast and powerful, it was a challenge trying to fight them even Ulrich and Yumi’s real world experience in Pencak Silat.
The Relationships. One of the best things about this show is the friendships between the main characters, and even their relationships with side characters. The relationship between Ulrich and Yumi being one of the most prominent ones in the show, they have a “will they won’t they” kind of thing going on. I have a love/hate thing with their relationship. I want them to get together, I think they’re cute and that they are meant to be together even if it’s later down the line. Jeremie and Aelita are probably the show’s second relationship thing, Jeremie immediately falls for her when he sees her after turning on the supercomputer, they have their arguments but in the end, they often work together and have their flirtatious moments as well. Yumi and William is a relationship that I don’t really buy or like, it is a friendship but also a one-sided romance. William is just a bit too much for Yumi and she says it at some point to him but he still has his thing for her. I think on Yumi’s side it’s definitely interesting. Odd and Ulrich have a great friendship too, being that they are roommates and best friends, we see them together a lot. Ulrich has done a lot for Odd, like taking the fall for a bad picture of Yumi being given to the school paper. The entire friendship of the group is great.
The animation. I quite like the animation in the show. Each of the main characters, or the ones we see the most, have distinct looks to them, easily identified. The 3D animation on Lyoko is beautiful in which each character gets their own style of costume and how their fights scenes are animated, how they use their abilities, it’s very cool and it feels like a different world.
The Story. The story grows as the seasons continue. It starts out pretty basic, this group of kids go to this virtual world to stop an evil entity who wants to take over the world, while also trying to find a way to bring Aelita, the mysterious computer program who lives on Lyoko into the real world. It becomes much more sophisticated as the seasons continues. Aelita begins to learn more about her past and that she’s actually human, not to mention watching the other characters grow and mature throughout the show.
The mystery. One of the greatest things about this show is that you never really know what Xana wants. Sure, it wants to control the global network and be free of Lyoko but outside of that, we never really know why it wants those things, It’s quite amazing just how intimidating Xana is and no one truly knows what it’s after. Not to mention, the mystery behind Aelita’s family, we learn more about her father but we hardly know anything about her mother. Not to mention, some of the stories of the other characters and their families.
The animation. Also here because it is a bit jarring at first considering how the characters all have extremely large heads, well the kids do anyway. It is weird, I thought so when I first saw it, but it grew on me. However, I can see how people can be turned off when watching the show due to how they look. Plus, one thing I can say is I also really disliked Ulrich’s eyebrows for the longest, I don’t know if they did the little triangles because he’s German (lol) or because he’s the stoic, quiet one… but I never liked it. I mean, I didn’t mind as much this time around but I did go when I started to watch it again “there are those friggin triangle eyebrows again” lol.
Dumb Moments. This show also has a lot of dumb moments, sure they’re kids but sometimes it’s moments that JUST happened a certain way and they still question how to do something. It’s dumb. Or they forget they have something that can help. There are many times when characters are falling and Aelita can use “Creation” to save them, she does it sometimes but there are other times where she just watches and THEN maybe uses it. Yumi has telekinesis, sometime she uses it but there are also a lot of times where she doesn’t, especially for herself. Later, when Aelita gets wings, sometimes she’s falling, or hanging off a cliff or something and someone has to pull her up, I’m like “girl you got wings!” Also, they’re friends and pretty loyal to each other but there are times where they’ll just turn on each other, or snap at each other and it’s so stupid. Yes, they’re preteens but still it’s so dramatic. When Ulrich initiated a return to the past to help Yumi’s family stay in France, they all freak out at him, yeah I know that it makes XANA stronger but no one freaked out at Jeremie when he did constantly for some project he was doing. Or when I think it was Aelita and Ulrich who were around when the Kolossus first showed up, it stepped on them. I’m trying to figure out why Aelita didn’t fly away or why Ulrich didn’t super sprint… OR when Ulrich defeated the Kolossus, I think it’s corpse fell on him… again, why didn’t he super sprint?? There are also times when Sissi’s character gets involved when there is no reason for her to be, there is an episode when Ulrich is trying to escape or something and Sissi’s like “don’t leave me…” but the specter wasn’t after her and she just put herself and Ulrich in danger because now he’s worried about protecting her. JUST GAH!
The relationship drama. I also totally get why the relationship drama is annoying between Ulrich and Yumi. It’s the “will they won’t they thing” and most times when they do, people get bored and sometimes the “won’t they” part is annoying because you KNOW they like each other. They even almost kissed once and they never really said aloud how they felt about each other but the audience knows and so does everyone else. But Ulrich can get really jealous and he can jump to conclusions about stuff, same goes for Yumi. She gets snappy and Ulrich is mean. It’s definitely annoying but because I like them I noticed the bad stuff but I like when it’s good between them.
Overall, I looove this show. I think it’s fantastic, the animation, the action, the characters, the relationships between them, the villain, the tension, how mature it is. It’s such a great show and so underrated. I think the way it was handled was not childish and the nature of the show proved that. My favorite character is Ulrich and I wish the show did do a bit more episodes that focused on him but I liked his characterization along with the others in Yumi, Odd, Aelita and Jeremie. Even the side characters are pretty good, annoying but good. The mystery in the story is also handled very well. While there are many positives, the animation can definitely still be looked at as a negative, for some reason the children all have huge heads lol, the romance between Ulrich and Yumi can definitely be annoying to watch and see play out and there are a lot of dumb moments and choices the characters make. But of course, that’s part of the charm lol.
Rating: 4 out of stars.
Have you ever seen Cody Lyoko? If not, check it out! It’s all on YouTube. Literally. The first episode is called “Teddyzilla”
What is your favorite animated show from your childhood? OR even currently? Let me know in the comments below!
Also, stay tuned, I will be doing a review on Code Lyoko: Evolution.