I can think of no better way to indoctrinate you into this very first episode of Code Lyoko than with the show’s theme song, the very same way the show’s producers began it all:

 

The episode opens with two young girls (Millie and Tamia) touting themselves as ace reporters for Cabot Junior High. The pair is reporting on a dance that isn’t happening from outside the room where the dance will take place later that night and interviewing a girl who hasn’t yet been crowned beauty queen. As if this future-news report wasn’t confusing enough by itself, we watch it from the point of view of the young reporters’ camera, which for some reason constantly registers a time code of zero. Maybe they’re time travelers, which is why they’re reporting on future news.

They attempt to interview this would-be beauty queen, who turns out to be Sissi, the principal’s daughter. She and her nameless lackies (we’ll call them super-nerd and franime Shaggy) make sure to belittle the two girls’ contribution to the school news program, then start making things personal by telling them they’ll never be able to find a date to that night’s dance. This prompts Millie to stare at Ulrich in a creepy fashion as he helps decorate for the dance.

In a soul-crushing moment of pure awkwardness, Millie asks Ulrich to the dance, but can’t even complete the question without crying. Ulrich, being a paragon of sensitivity turns down the crying girl, pointing out that he’s too old for her and then adding that he’s already going to the dance with Yumi. Why couldn’t he lead with the answer that spares her feelings? Lord knows, but the rejection gives Sissi another prime opportunity to be callous.

At this point we finally start trying to have a plot, as we cut to Jeremie’s dorm room. There, Jeremie uses his computer to speak to the pink-haired Aelita in the virtual world of Lyoko. He tells her he’s making progress on learning the key to materialization, so that some day she can leave Lyoko and live on Earth. That way she’ll be safe from Xana *cough*andhecandateher*cough*.

Back to Millie, the crying reporter, who is now crying on her teddy bear. It doesn’t take long before her computer turns itself on so a mysterious red eye can watch her sob into her teddy bear. I think this school needs a firewall or something. Millie begins talking to her teddy bear, saying that the other kids would respect them (”them” being her and her bear, of course) if they were much older than everyone else. Can’t imagine how this could go wrong. Then again I don’t have to. Moments later she leaves the bear unattended in the tool shed where they were just having a heart-to-heart and a semi-liquid spirit leaks out of an ominously flickering lamp and into the teddy bear.

Are you scared yet?

Sissi returns to her dorm room and dismisses her lackies in the most insulting fashion she can manage, but it quickly becomes apparent that something is watching her from under her bed with what appear to be beer goggles from the Matrix. This wouldn’t be quite so unsettling if it weren’t for the fact that Sissi immediately strips to her underwear to change for the dance (pilot…fan…service?).

Whatever manner of beast is watching her enacts a sinister plan of toppling her shelves full of beauty products on her. That will teach her! She flees the room, causing enough of a scene to catch the attention of our heroes, who decide they’d better check on their old friend Xana. Funny, I thought I was the only one  who believed friendship means possessing childhood toys and exploiting them for evil. The group does a quick scan of her room and determine that the problem was a simple short circuit. I guess her shelves were held onto the wall by electricity?

Millie and Tamia put their investigative skills to use (finally) and take some photos of the crime scene. They then head to the maintenance shed where they learn that Millie’s bear has gone missing! Before she even has time to overreact, they’re confronted by Jim, the school’s coach of…everything, I guess. He is also perpetually wearing a Band-Aid on his face, and while I’m morbidly curious about it, I’m sure I don’t really want to know what’s under it.

Odd sees Millie crying about both her missing bear and Jim’s scolding. At this point, Tamia notices that the missing bear is in a photo she took of Sissi’s room earlier. Odd offers to help take care of the situation so the girls don’t get in further trouble with Jim, but when Odd investigates Sissi’s room the teddy bear is absent.

Where could the bear be? Well it looks like he’s found Jim. Have you ever wondered what your gym teacher would do if he was terrorized by a giant teddy bear? Evidently he would threaten it with karate moves and then cower in fear. Sensible. To make matters worse, he turns around and draws a picture of his attacker for the principal. Way to blow your job security!

Odd stops by the nurse’s office to learn what exactly happened to Jim. He runs into the principal as he throws away Jim’s drawing. Odd does the only sensible thing and digs through the trash to retrieve the sketch.

He brings the drawing to Ulrich and Jeremie, proposing they split up so someone put a stop to Xana and someone can protect the school. “Even going back in time, if there’s an accident, it’s all over,” Odd adds casually to the conversation. That’s some life you guys have. How exactly did they find that out, anyway? Did they let someone die, use  their loosely explained time travel and then move on with their lives when that person was dead? That’s messed up. Anyway, Jeremie reluctantly agrees to the plan and Ulrich volunteers to keep an eye on the school.

I'm sure someone would just leave this lying around.

We’re treated to an extreme montage of Odd and Jeremie making their way to the factory where the Lyoko supercomputer is held,

complete with skateboards and anime action lines! Jeremie takes his place at his comically complex computer terminal while Odd enters the scanner, a sort of upright tanning booth used to digitize a person and send them to the world of Lyoko.

Ulrich realizes that the titular Teddygozilla (no, I don’t know why it’s not just Teddy Godzilla or even Teddyzilla) has left school grounds, and he heads to Yumi’s house where she’s preparing for the dance out of concern for her. Way to protect the school, Ulrich.

Odd appears in the desert sector of Lyoko and quickly joins up with Aelita, who senses an active tower nearby. The pair are quickly ambushed and surrounded by a number of small bug-like creatures. Aelita wants to escape down a treacherous, cliffside path which prompts an unestablished premonition from Odd, of Aelita falling off the cliff and into the lethal digital sea. Of course rather than stopping her from running straight into harm’s way, Odd merely follows her without even mentioning his vision.

Back in the real world, Ulrich gets to Yumi’s house just in time to interrupt her bath and also save her from a giant rampaging teddy bear. Bystanders begin to notice as Teddygozilla smashes cars in his wake. Ulrich and Yumi take shelter on the steps of a nearby building, and freak out when the bear’s heavy footsteps shatter a nearby window. The two share a look and Yumi blushes and stops to fix her hair. Women.

On Lyoko, Odd continues to fend off the bugs, now with only 50 lifepoints left (out of 100, I guess?). One of the monsters falls off the edge of the cliff and lands near Aelita on the path below. She loses her footing and the premonition comes to pass. Odd uses the instincts of his purple-cat-half and catches her, using his claws to hold them up against the canyon wall. Luckily for them, this perilous fall led them to a secret path which seems to hide the tower they’ve been searching for.

Ulrich and Yumi head back to the school to evacuate their schoolmates, a plan which seems a little less than inspired considering that they seem to be the bear’s targets. Ulrich warns the school about the giant teddy bear. Unfortunately he’s too late, and the bear comes crashing into the auditorium as he’s trying to warn everyone.

A peculiar black sphere chases Odd and Aelita, leading them to the activated tower. The sphere opens up to reveal some really gross fleshy innards, as well as an ability to fire massive wall-sized lasers. Odd has trouble dodging the massive attacks, but eventually scores a hit on the thing’s weak spot, a massive conspicuous eye that all of Xana’s minions have, clearing the way for Aelita to deactivate the tower.

Seriously, Teddygozilla is about to kill Ulrich and I still just want to give it a hug.

The giant bear is about to step on Ulrich, just as Aelita enters the code to shut down the tower (you get three guesses what code deactivates a tower on Lyoko, and the first two don’t count). A flash of light fills the world as Yumi and Ulrich hug. “Ready for a trip into the past?” He asks her. I wish my pick-up lines were that smooth.

Cut to tomorrow, which is now yesterday, Millie asks Ulrich out and this time he agrees. Sissi’s head nearly explodes, which Ulrich makes even worse by calling her stupid right to her face. The reporters get the whole incident on tape. What a lovely and only slightly mean-spirited way to end our first foray into the world of Lyoko!

 

I don’t know about you, but I feel I’ve learned a lot today:

-When you’re too lazy to do your job, blaming the problem on a short circuit seems to placate everyone involved.

-You really can get used to anything, even casual use of time travel.

-Sometimes it’s best to subject your friends to life threatening situations so that they can conveniently discover the solution to your problems.

Join me next time as we see what other life lessons Canada has in store for us!

Advertisements