The more of these they make, the more I worry about the upcoming R3.
Spoilers for Code Geass: Boukoku no Akito 3- Kagayaku Mono Ten yori Otsu
Akito Movie 3 is stupidity at its finest. The Akito sub-series is already filled to the brim with utterly ridiculous moments in the first two films alone, but this movie takes it up to endearing levels of stupidity, despite what it does to the series' canon and how it makes the whole geass stuff even more convoluted than ever before. People claim that this was the start of the fall of the series when, honestly, it was horrible to begin with. All of the same problems (except bad CGI because it's improved here) are on full display, like dumb character decisions, poor usage of Geass in terms of justifying it and how it works, edgy writing and MC, and bland characters (though the main protagonists are far less dull here). However, the writer managed to become even dumber than before which is quite an accomplishment, and the pacing really ruins itself.
Absolutely nothing makes sense in this movie. Somehow, our military protagonists get financially locked out and unable to get into their military building and then a group of old ladies tries to hustle the group, and then the group works for them for a while. We don't know how we got to this point. We also learn plenty of backstories, like for Akito, Leila, and that one scientist lady who keeps her lover in some kind of stasis in hopes of him recovering, however, each of these backstories is rushed beyond belief, making it hard to process them. The pacing of this movie is terrible because of that; things rarely get to breathe and flesh themselves out properly. We then see Julius, Shin, SpinZaku, and others coming together, and then Julius enacts his fake terrorism plan, and it works. After a game of chess against Shin, we see him flip out after saying "your majesty" because somehow that triggers his actual memories as Lelouch now despite him saying it a lot beforehand. He flips out, passes out, and Shin tells them that he killed him (though he obviously didn't, since if he did, R2 couldn't exist), as well as some stuff shot killing people we never heard of and this Euro-Britannia stuff we never heard of until minutes prior in this film with no explanation of what it is. Then this weird geass lady shows up from the TV somehow to tell Gene Smilas what to do, and we end on a hokey fist fight. What a mess. Things are just thrown in there with no proper explanation and the pacing goes far too fast. It only added more problems to the already broken Akito narrative and has potentially jeopardized the continuity of R2.
Aside from boring Akito, the other 4 major protagonists actually get to show off their fun side, even if it makes the rebel trio in particular feel like completely different people if not for their singular trait from before that occasionally appears. Ayano has the biggest personality change, and it all comes out of left field, though for her, it compliments her beauty more. Let it not be said that these three aren't more likable and that they aren't less generic now, because they are. The lightning-fast pacing doesn't let the backstories tell themselves well either, especially for Leila. Plus, the gypsies are annoying and not well written. Now to the other side of this conflict. Julius is pathetic. He's just an arrogant man who goes crazy for the most ludicrous of reasons and is reduced to someone pathetic, almost like a sick parody of the man he was in the TV series. His plan is compared to what the real Lelouch did despite him never doing something like that in the original series, and I can't explain why he is so pathetic about water. Shin is every bit as one-note as ever, but it's interesting to see how the other guys are dicks to him behind his back. We luckily only get to see the badass side of Suzaku and not the abhorrent and hypocritical side of him, but he can't help much. Then we get this hot but disturbingly one-note lady of Geass who we know nothing about, in the second to last scene of the film and apparently we don't see her again in the next one. Just...why?
Yet with everything I said, it seems like the movie did learn something, as its visuals are a massive step up from the previous movies. For one, the characters move quite a lot, at least thrice as much as the first two films combined, which shouldn't have been as big a relief as it was. Also, the CGI in the second half of the film has vastly improved, notably in the battle between Suzaku and Shin's forces. Sure, they would look more appropriate in a PS3 video game, but the CGI is far more fitting for a mech given how metallic they all look now, like the kickass Lancelot. Sure, the action directing still needs work, but everything, including the looks and effects of geass, is a major step up from before. Still doesn't beat the original series, but hey, it's still better than what came before, including the CGI in the first half of the film.
There's a surprising number of new songs in the first 40 minutes, and they work much better and are more varied than the other ones. Unfortunately, we still have to put up with the other generic tracks and the generic ED, and even the new tracks don't stick out, but there's at least some flavor coming from these new tracks, flavor that actually fits, unlike the flaring trumpets track. It's a step up here as well, and I hope to hear more interesting tracks from this sub-series in the future, especially since it makes the OST actually have its own identity for once instead of just sounding like a lamer version of the main series' OSTs.
I wonder why people call this film worse than the other two and the start of Akito's decline. It's not much worse than the awful second film in terms of writing, and there's actually a sense of charm here, even if most of it came from unintentional hilarity. Is it because the first half felt weird and out of place? Perhaps, but it at least had characters actually doing things and actually trying to get more fleshed out. Is it because it's boring? I'd disagree and say that the first film is far more boring, but hey, opinions. However, you can't really say the series is starting to get dumb since it has always made absolutely no sense, especially during the second film. It's just that the ball of suck keeps rolling, even if this time around, it manages to be enjoyably terrible. Plus, the CGI and music improved, and there is actually a lot of character animation. Perhaps an in-depth discussion can lend me some insight, but for now, this is as entertaining as this sub-series has been so far, quality notwithstanding.