Older members of the French Code Lyoko community, who were around when the series started airing, will remember a time historians once called, "Le péril ricain," or "The American peril." Indeed, during the era of season 2 and all the way through season 4, a number of rumours spread about the will of the Americans and Cartoon Network purchasing the Code Lyoko licence. At the time, we all trembled as we imagined the effects of clichéed Americanisation on our truly French cartoon, with Yumi going up 3 bra sizes and Aelita being renamed Kimberley.
That never came to pass and if memory serves, the last episodes of season 4 of Code Lyoko were never even aired on CN because of a "commercial disagreement."
Later on, following the end of the series, many thought that the series may one day be taken up by Americans... We only got Code Lyoko Evolution.
Even later on, I long thought that CL's great success would one day in 2030 lead to a reboot or a continuation of the series by Americans or someone else...
What nobody saw coming was that the Americans would take the series up again someday...its content...its concept...its characters... But under another name, so as not to confuse copyrights or intellectual properties.
Indeed, we're here today to announce the upcoming release of a Netflix series which seems, not to be a continuation, but to be a reboot/complete rip-off of Code Lyoko under another name. Here are some details on it:
(This first bit will be treated a little lightly. Unlike Moonscoop or Dargaud, we don't answer to Netflix, so we can finally let loose a little and call them out on their crap! A more formal analysis will come at the end of the article, after the video).
This series is called, "Reboot: The Guardian Code."
The title already sounds familiar.
A quick overview of the synopsis:
“Four teenagers at Alan Turing High School are recruited by V.E.R.A, a "virtual evolutionary recombinant avatar," to protect cyberspace”
In it, we find teenagers attending a "school specialising in computing technology."
On a casting level, we've got: a black guy (black Ulrich), a comic relief character... (In the end, there's only Yumi who seems to be missing, logically replaced by a blonde girl who takes selfies).
They meet a virtual artificial intelligence (well then...). She ends up arriving at their school in flesh and blood (Oh...).
But before that, she trains them to defend the virtual world (!!!)...
To do this, they use a very simple process: virtualisation. (You may think that it's performed differently to in Code Lyoko, but....no!).
Once in the virtual world, you'll find out heroes in their virtual outfits with superpowers (On my mother's life!). But because Cyberspace is vast, they also need to explore a place that looks a lot like a certain global network, like two peas in a pod.
They fight different threats on the world, spawned by the malicious virus created by an evil computer genuis hidden in the shadows behind his screen.
I think we've arrived at the stage where you should believe me a lot more, so here's the video trailer:
Back to a more pragmatic view.
Effectively, at first sight, this trailer seems to be a mix of 70% Code Lyoko, 20% Tron and 10% Iron Man. To an extent that with serious reservations, it's incredible to wonder how far Netflix will go before they're afraid of a plagiarism lawsuit.
However... This series, as its name indicates, is a reboot. But it's not a reboot of our cartoon, rather another cartoon called, "ReBoot".
If that doesn't mean anything to you, that's normal.
It was a Canadian cartoon aired between 1994 and 2001. It was broadcast in the country of the maple leaf. It tried to spread to the USA, but it had very little success due to competition between the big animation channels. It then tried to export across the Atlantic to the United Kingdom, but it was very quickly censored due to complaints from parents who thought the cartoon and its characters were too violent and crude for their young children.
So in the end, it retained very limited notoriety among cartoon lovers. Here is its synopsis:
"The story takes place inside a computer. Bob is a Guardian who is charged with maintaining the security of the Mainframe system, in which can be found a virus named Megabyte. The virus tries at all costs to infiltrate the SuperComputer, another much more powerful system that Bob originally comes from, in order to infect it. Bob also has allies in the form of Dot Matrix (a young woman who manages a large part of the system and is at the head of the restaurant Dot's Diner), his particularly reckless little brother Enzo who's always accompanied by his dog Frisket, and Phong the "old sage." They do all they can to fight against Megabyte's offensives, but also to take part in games hosted by the user of the system, which manifest as violet cubes that fall from the "sky," and in which they must battle the user at all costs: if they lose the round, they will be deleted and will provoke the destruction of a sector of the Mainframe."
The new series you just watched the trailer for was pitched in 2013, commissioned by Netflix in 2015, filmed in 2017 and will release on the 30th of March 2018 on Netflix.
It will be both a reboot and a continuation (in the style of Code Lyoko Evolution) that notably ignores the fact that the fourth and final season of the original cartoon ended on a cliffhanger.
So, the new series may both continue the cartoon (yet to be seen!) and renovate the concepts of the series universe. It will keep the old characters from the cartoon and introduce new ones. However, visually, in the reboot, we can't help but notice that they've borrowed extremely notable elements from other series, notably Tron and Code Lyoko... The new series is indeed very far from the original cartoon, visually speaking...
Now... How should one react?
- First of all, if you're not afraid of huge American clichés (because even the opening swamped us) and if the theme of the battle between humanity and cyperspace is still a passion of yours, throw yourself into this series.
- If you're more outraged like the CL.fr writing team, you can watch the first few episodes and see if our first prejudices are true or not.
- In a lighter manner, you can also content yourself with looking at this series in a more curious manner: indeed, due to its format, the series will address an older audience and as a result, it's possible that a number of "taboos" of the Code Lyoko cartoon in terms of humour, romantic relationships, etc...will be touched on in this series, and that it will include gags or lines that we'd hoped to see at the time of Code Lyoko.
As for us, we'll remain prudent but we'll try to keep an open mind about this little series, and maybe we'll end up doing some more extensive work on it. We'll see...
To be continued...