Code Lyoko: Evolution (2013) TV Review

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Summary: A sequel to the original 2003 series when the famous bandit of secret heroes we know are back and fighting the evil computer virus XANA in the live action sequel.
If you want to read the review for the original Code Lyoko animated show, then click this link here.
I think I’d watched Code Lyoko for like the third time when I did my thing on my google and I found out they were reviving the show. I got so excited but then I found out it wasn’t technically the same thing. Instead it was going to be a live action/animated hybrid of a show. I wasn’t upset with that really because I wanted to see how they were going to do it. Then they started to reveal the casting and I didn’t have a problem with anyone, at least not that really bothered me. I did think that the actor for Odd looked to young but he technically was the right age so I got over it, I thought the actors for Ulrich and Yumi were spot on and then of course I was curious about Aelita and her hair lol but this show was going to be in French as the animated show is originally a French cartoon. I didn’t mind as it would probably be the only way to really enjoy it. I don’t really like dubbed voices over live action because the lips don’t match up and it bothers me. But anyway, I finally watched this entire thing, I don’t think I ever did when it came out but after watching the animated show, I went right into watching this one, most of it is also on YouTube but there is some weird audio issues, so I had to have two videos up, the French version and video in another language with subtitles and I would play them at the same time but mute the other language so I could have the subtitles.
Now, ONWARDS!
Pros:
Cast and Characters. I’m just going to talk about the Lyoko Warriors as they’re the ones that really matter here. Also, I’m not going to go into detail about the characters since I did that in the first one, I’m just going to talk about the actors and their role in this show.
  • Quentin Merabet as Ulrich Stern. I think he is the best casted live action actor because not only does he look like his animated counter part but he just felt more like Ulrich then the others felt like their characters. He’s still kind of awkward, in love with Yumi, still not knowing how to tell her, still brave and the introverted one. He does say some insults to Odd but he doesn’t talk a whole lot which fits in with his character. I liked Quentin Merabet, he is first male to play Ulrich since he was always voiced by women. He was stoic, quiet, awkward just like he had to be and I enjoyed how he felt a little more “free” voicing his character on Lyoko. He just sounded more happy.
    • Now, on Lyoko, I kept wondering why he looked different. I finally noticed it like four episodes in… they got rid of the triangle eyebrows, made his eyes yellow instead of black and they widened his eyes too, they darkened his hair, made him look older, reshaped his head and they widened his mouth, not to mention the slight color and design upgrades to his suit. I like it. It’s been a year and while no one comments about it, Ulrich has become taller than even Yumi (who was the tallest, not counting William) and obviously older so they made his Lyoko form older.
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  • Leonie Bertonnaud as Aelita Stones (Schaeffer). She is the one I think seems the most different while also being the same in ways. Aelita seems just a bit more somber here, I don’t know if it’s because of the actress and she doesn’t give this naivety that Aelita is supposed to have but she seems like she’s lived in this world. She still can be very stubborn and still deliver some harsh burns (mostly to Laura as Sissi is not a factor here). Her chemistry with Jeremie though is still really good. She wants to know more about her mother, after they find her on the screen in the lab where the other supercomputer is. She can be a bit too stubborn about certain things, like dang girl, you want to stay in there forever?? Sometimes I’m like, girl calm yourself.
    • On Lyoko, I noticed that she also looked different from her animated show counterpart. She keeps her pink hair, elf like appearance from before, but her eyes have been widened, her eyebrows are longer and of course there are color and minor design upgrades to her suit. It’s more a mixture of pink and purple and her little skirt isn’t sheer anymore. They also got rid of her face paint. She looks more human on Lyoko.
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  • Marin Lafitte as Jeremie Belpois. Jeremie is ultimately the same here, he looks like the animated version but there were some things that was very different about him. I’ll talk about it more below, but he’s still the smart one “Einstein” and he runs things in the lab while the warriors are on Lyoko. Sometimes he does snap at people, or get irritated when everyone isn’t following orders, like when William tries to get himself devirtualized to save Yumi, Jeremie was so irritated, I thought Marin Lafitte did a good job handling and balancing out everyone. The times when Laura showed him up or she did something to betray him, I thought his emotion was handled well because Jeremie seemed a bit less emotional in the show but here, maybe it’s because of all that’s happened but he also felt more human.
    • As Jeremie does not go to Lyoko, again no warrior form, but whoever dressed him did very well because he always looked nice. This picture below with this shirt, amazing.
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  • Gulliver Bevernaege as Odd Della Robbia. My first thought about him is that he looks too young but I think he was the right age for the character technically. He was still kind of loud, funny and always running his mouth. He still managed to feel like Odd, though he focuses most of his romantic intentions on Sam in this version. He was energetic and still quite loyal to his friends and to the things he wanted to do. It was always funny though whenever Ulrich was hurt and had to lean on him because Quentin was so much taller than him that it looked like he almost doubled over just to lean on a short Gulliver. The only purple he really wears though is his hoodie and his hair isn’t that blonde or upright like it is in the show. I didn’t mind his more realistic looking hair but I do think he should have been a bit more blond or his purple streak should have been way more pronounced.
    • On Lyoko Odd’s face looks a bit younger than he does in the animated show. They got rid of his cat ears that he gained in the last two seasons, not to mention his face paint over his eyes. They also widened his eyes and colored his eyes as well. There is also some minor design and color upgrades to his suit. They also changed how his laser arrows appear, instead of just coming from somewhere on his paws, he has little gauntlets that appear when he’s loaded and disappear when he runs out of ammo.
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  • Melanie Tran as Yumi Ishiyama. I think she is a bit interesting, I think she also looks the most like her animated counter part and I think she had the potential to be really good but it seemed like she was holding back a lot in the beginning. When she was with Ulrich, she felt like Yumi because they had really good chemistry. But there are other times when she’s more…indifferent. I think she’s much better when she does the voice on Lyoko. I think she got better by the end of the show, like maybe she wasn’t holding back so much or maybe they told her to relax a bit, I don’t know, but I definitely noticed a change in her acting towards the end of the show. I did like how she was always the first to react whenever something happened to Ulrich, or the first really react anytime.
    • On Lyoko her style is also the same with a few design upgrades. They changed the shape of her eyes and eyebrows. Her hair has a bit more length and movement and it doesn’t have the “tucked behind the ear” look anymore. I think they took away her “geisha bow” and sometimes she got a bo staff alongside her fans.
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  • Diego Mestanza as William Dunbar. I have to say that I liked William here way more than I did on the animated show. I never really liked him all that much but I actually liked him here, he had his moments that I’m like “yep there’s the annoying William that I know” but other times he was really cool. I think a lot of it has to do with Diego Mestanza (he looks nothing like William though), but just oozed coolness. The faces he would make though were the best, he would always make this lopsided smirk, it was great.
    • On Lyoko his outfit annoys me the most. I can’t help but wonder, did Jeremie program him a new look like he did the others? I mean, obviously it’s very different from his original (white) uniform but when he was possessed by XANA his uniform turned black, so I thought it was strange that he maintained the black uniform, not to mention, he just looked really pale sometimes and it looked like he’s wearing black eyeliner, sometimes. It just really annoyed me because it’s just so different without explanation. At least the others at least still look like their previous uniforms with upgrades. William’s is so different (I like it though). Also, I didn’t get why he maintained his “super smoke” either. Why would he? It wasn’t something Jeremie programed for him, or something he just gained on Lyoko, it was from XANA so why can he still do it? Annoying.
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The 3D animation. As always the 3D animation was beautiful, it looked even a bit better than the original show, but it was easy to tell that they put the money waaaay into the warriors being on Lyoko. But I liked the new looks of the characters, and their costumes, I liked how bright and clear Lyoko looked. I liked the designs of the new towers. I kind of liked how the monsters got destroyed, how they exploded and then like sucked back into each other like a contained blast. The money definitely went here.
The story. I think the story is good, it’s a direct continuation of the animated show. It’s set one year later, but XANA reappears even stronger and dangerous than before, which prompts our warriors to turn the supercomputer back on. Basically, they try to find out why and how XANA was brought back, of course to stop him. They also begin to discover more about Aelita’s past and her mother, and there is a new villain as well which was interesting. The story had a lot of potential at least for what they building up.
The Chemistry. I think it’s always a good thing when a group of friends actually feel like a group of friends and I think these actors did. Quentin and Gulliver actually seemed like they were friends, I don’t know about best friends like they are in the animated show but they were friends. Same could be said for Melanie and Leonie whenever they had their “Girl time” it was cute. I think the only one who felt like an outsider was Diego but that’s probably because William doesn’t really “fit in” with the others, they all might still be a bit wary of him because of what XANA did but they’re a lot better about it now then they were. But they all feel like friends.
Jeremie and Aelita were always super cute, but here Marin and Leonie had really great chemistry. They had little moments together where they would share looks, and I just thought it was so cute. We never saw them kiss or anything like that but if they did it would be so adorable.
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Whenever Laura would get in there and be around Jeremie, Aelita’s face would be like “girl if you don’t back away”, it was hilarious actually. I think Laura had a crush on Jeremie, or at least she just wanted to be around him because he was smart. Aelita would refuse to stay away or leave if he was alone with her. I think in this scene with this picture, Jeremie reassured her of something and it was just a cute tender moment and there wasn’t enough of them.
Now, in terms of Yumi and Ulrich, I know there’s a lot of negatives going on in their relationship but I think they could work especially as they get older. They both seemed a bit more mature, not as jealous, at least not as often as they were in the animated show. There is a moment in the first episode where Ulrich is trying to tell Yumi how he feels about her and she’s looking up at him like “is he finally gonna say it?” since neither of them ever truly said it aloud. I was like wow. In the same episode, Ulrich gets hurt and Yumi is leading him to the sewer, and there’s this really cute moment and I was like O.O wow, are you two dating in real life? Sure seemed like it.
Then were just some other little moments like the one where she puts her head on his back. Or in the second picture, she gets scared about something but she immediately grabs his hand. I don’t care what anyone says, I like Ulrich and Yumi lol.
Cons:
Characters. Outside of Jim, I wonder why they changed how the supporting characters looked. I would have no idea who any of them were supposed to be if they never said their names. Sissi has dark hair, when they showed her, I was like “who is this blonde girl?” I mean, I get it if it was in reference to Odd telling Sissi she would be great as a blonde but I can’t imagine her actually doing it. Or Mrs. Hertz looked so different, I thought she was their math teacher instead of their science teacher. Principal Delmas was way younger then he was in the animated show, and Aelita’s mother looks like Aelita, she should also have pink hair. What’s the point of having Aelita keep her pink hair if they weren’t going actually give her a reason to be so different? They could have made a comment about it being because she lived in Lyoko for so long but her mom was a blonde… so weird. Oh and they changed Sam from being a black girl to a blonde white girl, I don’t understand that. Odd liked Sam and she liked him, she was a cool black girl (albeit she did try to steal from the school in her first episode) but still, why change that? Lame.
The look of the real world. Like I said before, obviously all of the money into the design of Lyoko because the real world was lacking. Obviously they don’t have to go anywhere but Kadic, we don’t even need to go to Yumi’s house, though it would have been nice, but obviously they only shot on location in a few areas, or it was a sound stage. The factory’s supercomputer design changed, instead of being massive the way it was, it was changed to some little thing where they needed to input a key or something, I don’t get why they had to change it. Just build a huge styrofoam computer and spray that thing (I like I did in 5th grade).
The animated version is on the left and the Evolution version on the right. I mean, the pillar is the same but it was so weird to see only have the supercomputer come out of the ground then they had this little control panel kiosk thing… it was just weird. Also, their gym, it was so tiny, how could they do anything in there? We never saw the cafeteria, they didn’t really explore the school like they could have. Bleh. Also, the look of the sewer entrance, that opening looked dangerous. It worked for when they would meet there and sit and talk but I feel like it would be super hard to get in there, it looked like if they slipped, the opening would kill them.
Laura Gauthier. Oh my gosh.. this girl is so annoying. The actress is fine but I disliked her so much. She is very smart, tech savvy and curious, she follows the warriors to the factory (it was terrible that they never even made sure no one was following them) but she was a busy body and she did stuff behind their backs, I mean Jeremie how did you not notice that she altered the back to the past program…I mean come on. I was so irritated every time she was on screen. Not to mention, her little smug look, that’s why I liked when Aelita served up so hard burns to her. Pauline Serieys was good, I didn’t think she was bad at all, but I hated her character and outside of becoming a future villain (I think that’s how she would have become in the next season) she added nothing. NOTHING.
No Stakes/Tension. This show was lacking serious stakes and tension. Anytime XANA attacked, it would just send specters to try and steal the codes it implanted in the Warriors in order to become stronger once it was resurrected. It never possessed anything, it didn’t make any lasting damage or damage that could be. It never almost killed anyone. It just would send specters and they weren’t dangerous, sure if they touched one of the warriors and started to steal codes, it would make them sick or give them some sort of side effect but nothing really happened. In the animated show, the specters would run super fast, were really strong, they would growl, they could shoot lightening out of their hands, I mean they were dangerous… in this show, I’m like, you guys can just run. I only saw the specters run in one episode but outside of that… it was so lame. I never felt that there was any danger, I always knew the characters were going to be okay because the show never created any reason for me to be worried.
Nerfed Characters. Another big problem I had with this show is that the characters were super nerfed in their abilities. Jeremie is a genius, I did not like how often they had him messing up, or how he needed Laura to look over his coding/programs, or how he needed her to do it instead of him. It was so stupid. I get people freeze up every now and then, like the moment in the classroom when he forgot how to do a problem, but the many times he needed help, Secondly, on Lyoko the warriors got defeated way to easily. It seemed like one or two hits from certain monsters would defeat them when that should not be the case. There was an episode where Ulrich gets hit by one monster and he is devirtualized. I was so upset because he’s usually the last one to go but they often had it where they could barely hold their own. It got a little better towards the end of the show but it was a bit late. Also, barely saw Aelita use “creation”, or Ulrich use any of his abilities, he only used Triplicate once and I think I saw him use super sprint once… ugh it was so annoying. But they let William keep his super sprint and as we never really got to see him fight before he was possessed he just seemed so overpowered compared to everyone else. I don’t buy that he had the most potential out of the group because there’s no reason for it, so it was just weird to me.
Overall, I liked this show, I mean don’t get me wrong it had a lot of issues and stuff wrong that didn’t feel like Code Lyoko but it was an interesting idea, it just wasn’t executed well. The mature feeling that the animated show had was gone here, yeah the characters were older and obviously not all of the actors were probably the ages of their characters but it felt juvenile. The actors were okay, they got better as the show went on, the animation on Lyoko was fantastic and beautiful as it always is. The story was interesting, it did continue from the animated show and it did feel like there could have been more to explore but unfortunately it did go past this one season. Now, the supporting characters looked like new people minus Jim. Laura was a terrible character, probably set up to be a villain but she was terrible. XANA hardly felt like the villain it once was even if it was stronger. It could have been handled way better. But I still enjoyed myself. I did laugh and I did enjoy certain episodes. It’s okay.
Rating: 2.95 out of 5 stars. 
Have you heard of Code Lyoko: Evolution? Did you watch it?
It’s also on YouTube but be aware there are audio issues. You might have to watch two versions, have the French version (with no subtitles) and another version that’s in another language that has the subtitles. I think it happens about episode 18, not sure but really weird. It may not be worth it but I was able to do it without problem.
Hope you enjoyed this review!
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