Code: Breaker is a standard superpower shounen and one should get into it without having many expectations. Proof of which is the very opening song. It’s a nice dynamic piece, but it shows nothing besides the main characters doing a demonstration of their superpowers. No context besides that; it’s just what it seems. There is enough bravado and flashiness to keep the average viewer somewhat interested to see what will happen but in the long run it is nothing memorable or special.
You get Sakura, a high school girl in the role of Ms Pacifism. She is presented as a Mary Sue, perfect in anything, grades, sports, martial arts, and with a perfect morality that makes even boy scouts to feel ashamed. Everybody loves her, everybody wants to be like her, her life is perfect. Until a transfer student named Rei enters her life.
Rei is in the role of the Bad Boy, and has the bad habit of killing people by incinerating them with magic blue flames. Meaning, he is a vigilante who fights fire with fire, an identity hidden by everybody besides Sakura. Who, of course, will do her best to bring him back to the light side. Although the people he kills are unredeemable scumbags, Sakura is still against killing and tries with all her might to stop fights, and make sworn enemies to be friends, and is full of friendship speeches, and I WANT TO STRANGLE HER!
She is so bloody annoying and nags like an old maid all the time. You almost think she is in desperate need of a good c*** to calm the f*** down and leave people alone; jeez! And sadly the show doesn’t kill her right away because she is plot-armored with a magic barrier that makes her immune to death and a secured way to stay alive forever and piss us off for infinity. The saddest part is that the show is not about her realizing that the world is not a perfect place that can turn into a fairyland because she nags a lot. She never develops and instead tries to turn the others into irritating bitches like herself.
Rei seems cool for a protagonist at first, for being amoral and willing to kill his enemies instead of letting them go or trying to befriend them. He is also willing to kill innocent witnesses just for the sake of not letting others know what he does. Not that this is taken as far as it sounds sadly, as he gets pretty mellow after a few monologues by Ms Pacifism and turns fast into a mediocre shonen lead who just wants to protect his friends. Also, despite his awesome power at first, as soon as others like him appear, he is in constant need of getting stronger with new power-ups. Meaning, all the development you get from this guy is turning from powerful amoral youth to sappy shonen who wastes his time in getting stronger. LAME!
As for the rest of the important characters, we get half a dozen more psychotic dudes with superpowers, who have a similar demeanor with Rei, and are also fond of Ms Pacifism. And that is all you get from them; shallow ambiguous morality, big explosions, excuses for fighting each other… and the Beautiful People’s Club. Seriously, there isn’t a single ugly important character in this whole show.
Made by Kinema Citrus, a minor studio with good budgets that has created the esteemed Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 and flashy brain dead fun titles, such as .hack//QUANTUM. Nothing particular great in their roster but at least they try a bit to make their works to look interesting. There is nothing bad in the show; it has fairly clean outlines and nice coloring but also nothing particular great to stand out from the lot. It’s just that most are dressed as typical high school kids, with the bishies being trendy just to stand out. There are also lots of scenes where the characters look too cartoony, crudely drawn and with stiff motions, as if the animators didn’t bother much with them.
This anime really blurs the boundaries of shonen and shojo, since the protagonist is not Rei but Sakura. The whole plot unfolds through her eyes… and damn does she have big shojo eyes. The other dudes have narrow and sinister ones, which makes a very big contrast that feels almost comical. And since they are all pretty-looking bad boys in love with her, the whole thing could easily be seen as a date sim for girls. Which is lame since it’s nothing much in terms of both the demographics it aims for.
The story is based on the manga by Kamijou Akimine, who made the very good Samurai Deeper Kyo (manga, not anime). He is good when it comes to action but in terms of storytelling he tends to kick around a lot just for the sake of staling progress. Also, despite the big build-up that escalates for several episodes/volumes, the resolution is a typical brainless superpower showdown, which is what you could get right away and it wouldn’t make any difference despite the attempts at fleshing out. Also, Code Breaker is far more basic and commonplace than Samurai Deeper Kyo, having a very typical setting and a mostly generic cast of commoners; thus far more boring despite being made after it. I mean, for how long can they stretch the “Oh she likes him” misunderstanding gimmick? Sorry Akimine, you won’t be remembered if you keep acting like that.
The directing is done by Irie Yasuhiro, who is somewhat famous for his work on FMA Brotherhood. His roster is otherwise pretty short and full of forgettable titles; the current one being not something different. Sorry mate, you can’t make a good omelet with rotten eggs.
As far as hooks go, the series is supposed to attract you with ambiguous morality, flashy action, and steamy romance. And guess what, it offers very little since there is close to no actual or meaningful development.
- The moral dilemma is completely shallow and never goes beyond “might is right”. Sakura will start by bitching about something a criminal does is bad. Then the villains will start laughing and attack. Then Rei will pop in and trash them all. BIG DEAL!
- The action scenes are very simple and short. To the most part the fighters stand still and just throw energy beams at each other, with no choreography or tactics.
- And the romance part is to the most part just fascination and big misunderstandings. Sakura stalks Rei for making sure she won’t kill again and everybody immediately assumes she is madly in love with him. This becomes a running joke that gets old pretty fast.
Even if you try to see this as a basic story, there are lots of derp moments which easily reveal poor writing and directing. The hero will constantly be killing and destroying yet nobody around him will be giving a damn. He incinerates a whole gang of thugs, and you see nobody even noticing they existed in the first place. He trashes walls and windows, and nobody cares to even ask what happened. Why is he even doing all that if nobody cares? The only one who notices all those obvious events is Sakura, and she doesn’t even have heightened senses to excuse all that. She will also be the only one who constantly yells like an old maid and trying to prevent things far above her capabilities, with her shallow morality just making you to bitch slap her. Shut up and go back to the kitchen!
The ending is complete BS. Some super villain is about to blow up Japan, Sakura nags, Rei will get a convenient power up to beat him, the villain dies with everybody forgiving him for having killed thousands… and then nothing. We are back to square one like absolutely nothing changed after such a world shaking event. WHAT WAS THE POINT OF ALL THAT?
I also am not fond of the directing, or the storyboard. Most of what happens is presented in a very crude way, too slow or unexciting. So many people die, so many places get trashed, everybody acts like a retard, and nobody seems to care. Not even the protagonists. By extension, not even the viewer. Nothing much to see here; a watch once and forget show. I suggest you watch the much similar Full Metal Panic instead of this trash.
And now for some excused scorings.
ART SECTION: 5/10
General Artwork 1/2 (generic)
Character Figures 1/2 (generic)
Backgrounds 1/2 (basic)
Animation 1/2 (basic)
Visual Effects 1/2 (basic)
SOUND SECTION: 6/10
Voice Acting 1/3 (retarded talking)
Music Themes 3/4 (not great but dynamic nonetheless)
Sound Effects 2/3 (ok I guess)
STORY SECTION: 2/10
Premise 1/2 (typical)
Pacing 1/2 (erratic)
Complexity 0/2 (none)
Plausibility 0/2 (none)
Conclusion 0/2 (completely pointless)
CHARACTER SECTION: 3/10
Presence 1/2 (generic)
Personality 1/2 (cheesy)
Backdrop 1/2 (generic and simplistic but it’s there)
Development 0/2 (none)
Catharsis 0/2 (none)
VALUE SECTION: 1/10
Historical Value 0/3 (none)
Rewatchability 0/3 (no reason to rewatch)
Memorability 1/4 (generic and forgettable)
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 1/10
Art 0/1 (looks typical)
Sound 1/2 (nice songs)
Story 0/3 (horse shit)
Characters 0/4 (irritating cardboards)