Code breaker made me fall in love. I wanted an anime with action, cool fight scenes and lots of awesome powers. This satisfied my craving for violence while having an interesting storyline and great characters. As an anime I loved it. Then I read the manga. I still love the anime but I realize they kind of destroyed the manga. Not that they were completely different but they seemed to have chopped it up and spliced parts together to introduce all the characters even if in the manga they weren't part of the arc they decided to make into anime. Also it's over 200 chapters; this short anime had nothing on the manga. Its good but in the same way the movies for resident evil were. Enjoy the links to the game but don’t expect it to match it. Choosing to look at it from that point of view I enjoyed this anime, I even watched it more than once. I did however curse the ending so badly that I decided to read the manga (as I hadn't yet) just to find out if the ending was different (because I am so hoping it is). The ending didn’t surprise me but the romantic/humanitarian in me was not satisfied. Then again this anime is not romance based so I shouldn’t expect a happily ever after, still can't blame a girl for hoping lol.
Code:Breaker for me wasn't all that fantastic but at the same time it wasn't all that bad nothing really stood out to me in amazement but it was still enjoyable to watch. For this review sound and animation will not be commented on as far as I could tell there wasn't really anything wrong with them but again nothing really sparked any excitement.
The story ran along at a reasonable pace, it leaves itself open at the end which is typical of short based anime which sucks while some other animes continue onto their three hundredth episode where the story is either becoming dull as hell or it's using filler for some pointless reason. One of the things i didn't really get was why it was some people were born with these powers and this wasn't very well explained all I got was that some people are born with it and some are not and that's that which doesn't really seem like a good explanation. Another thing which didn't really add up was why sakura was this thing called a "rare breed" There was no explanation for this and it wasn't even explained on what a rare breed was, all that seemed to happen was she could negate special abilities that these code breakers and other people may have.
Most of the chrarcters in the show were good, you had your crazy bad guys, your minions for the bad guys with their twisted motives and your good guys with their sense of justice and stuff. However Sakura kinda stuck out like a thorn in this mix up of good versus evil. She has the paragon good attitude where no one should hurt anyone and that doesn't really work when all the code breakers are all about eliminating evil, not to say that she should have supported everything they do, but it did get annoying for like the hundredth time where she shouted to Ogami telling him not to kill the person and then he went and done it anyway, Burning them to nothing.
One more thing to add onto Sakura is even although she's a fantastic martial artist in her school she kinda sucks when it came do defend herself from the villians in the show, whether if it was just getting captured or getting strangled to death by someone she really didn't do much about it.
All in all Code:Breakers should be on people's list on things to watch for action or supernatural genre types but probably not on the first page anyway.
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)
I started watching this anime later than most of the other fall 2012 ones, but fear not! I shall update as I catch up!
Story: While nothing we haven't heard before, "Code:Breaker" breaks the generic shounen mold by making the lead a girl. Whoopdeedoo, what a concept!
Bitchmeister Sakurakouji Sakura (what kind of a name is that?) is adored by all, but is nonchalant about this and just goes on with life. That it, until she sees a boy burn to death a few men. Instead of running for the hills like she should, she swears to stalk this boy (who just so happens to now go to her school) and stop him from killing anyone else. (Of course, he still kills plenty of people, but now he has a popular girl following him around like a puppy.)
Speaking of puppies, Sakura feeds this one dog because its owner died. She goes to the park and ends up surrounded by a bunch of guys and blah blah blah, stuff happens and Oogami Rei (YAGAMI LIGHT WANNABE) saves her. Turns out, Oogami is a Code:Breaker, meaning he has cool powahz and can quote shtuff while emotionlessly murdering people. We meet more Code:Breakers and whatever, and yeah.
Say it with me: ORIGINAL.
This also suffers from what I am going to call "Potato Chip Syndrome." It tries to make every scene as epic and badass as possible (like the "I'll take a potato chip... AND EAT IT!" scene in "Death Note"), thus hindering the actual impact (and it isn't nearly as funny nor as epic as either the potato chip scene or the actual anime of "Death Note").
Around episode six, the story starts getting more interesting, mostly because of a cliffhanger and new concept. The quality does not improve, but the entertainment value certainly does.
Animation: The budget must have been pretty low: Fight scenes are mediocre and the magic is generic. The characters look stiff, and some of the character designs are questionable. Sakura is a "pretty girl" with a large chest, Oogami's hair has to grow on you, etc. Overall, nothing special. (Oh, and there are plenty of bishounen with TINY eyes, in stark contrast to Sakura's eyes. Observe (pun not intended): -.- vs. O.O (every guy vs. every girl).
Sound: The OP doesn't have as much spunk as the OP of "Togainu no Chi" (another anime with an opening song by GRANRODEO), and the ED shows less life. As far as visuals go, it seems like half the budget was spent on the themes alone; they are the prettiest moments in the show. However, the bishie-fest ED might not appeal to some people. (Then again, this is basically just a bishie-fest show.) The insert music is varied to the point of ridiculousness. Cheery, upbeat j-pop is played during happy scenes, whereas much darker music is played at other points. The contrast is beyond jarring, and feels more like a "we tried" than a "we know how to create a coherent soundtrack."
I'll try to find a picture later.
Sakurakouji Sakura: She has been cursed because of her name...
... Which of course makes her a complete Mary Sue bitch. I HATE Mary Sue characters, in case you didn't know. I DESPISE them. Sakura is no exception. Her constant "Don't kill him, Oogami! He's really a good person, even if he just killed 932974751320475 people by stabbing them and then hanging them from the ceiling!" ideals are crazy annoying, and she serves no purpose as a character. "Why, then," you may ask, "does Oogami not kill her?" That, good sir, is an excellent question with a simple answer--deus ex machina. The cliched plot device of "she's special, so I am unable to kill her" just reeks of BS, and it makes her even less likable.
Oogami Rei: He wants to be Yagami Light so bad that it's painful to watch. He quotes something (was it the Bible?) as his battle cry. His ruthless, slightly egoistic badass persona made me see a beacon of hope for this anime, but that light was smothered, beaten and drowned in the Pacific Ocean. It's quite obvious he nurses a soft spot for Sakura, but hates that he thinks that way. I think the creators intended for this to be hidden, but it couldn't be more obvious (maybe he's just tsundere).
Fugiwara Toki: He's your typical playboy--he's good-looking, flirtatious and charming. That, and he can manipulate magnetic fields. Yes, Toki is a Code:Breaker, and he joins Oogami and Sakura on their romps. In short, he is 100% fanservice, and 100% an archetype.
Tenpouin Yuuki: He often has his head in the clouds (both metaphorically and truthfully) and believes that Nyanmaru will save everyone, and that he is Nyanmaru. (By the way, Nyanmaru looks like an odd, animalistic portrayal of moe.) Actually, he is practically just moe.
Heike Masaomi: The first we see of this guy is when he's reading (aloud!) erotica in the school hallway. Other than that, he is a pretty stock character: He is certainly powerful, but it's a little confusing to try to find out where his loyalties lie.
Hitomi: The wonderful, fabulous, good-natured bastard of the series. As far as evil goes, he really isn't. Heck, he isn't even good as a villain! Villains going good or having been good can be a blessing or a curse. Hitomi is more of a curse. His backstory is tragic enough to let the fangirls not feel guilt by liking him, but not fleshed out enough to make his motives seem true.
Yukihina: He controls ice. He is stoic. I think he is Nyanmaru in disguise... no, he's just not a fleshed-out character at all.
Hachiouji Rui: The only female Code:Breaker, which is both good and bad. The good: There IS a female Code:Breaker. The bad: There is A female Code:Breaker. She doesn't do much (except for speaking one of the most badass lines ever), and is there mostly for the feminists. However, she unintentionally cosplays Celty from "Durarara!!" by riding a motorcycle and wielding a black scythe.
Since I haven't seen more of the anime, I'll cut this section short. I'll try to fill in more characters later, so be patient!
Overall: Judging from the very short episode list of this anime (13 episodes, I believe), it doesn't appear that many improvements will be made to this irritating "Death Note" wannabe.
I almost dropped this show after the first episode, due to Sakura's exceedingly awkward behavior. What this show had going for it was the whole "limits of justice" theme, and I was hoping it would develop more strongly in that direction. After all, first episodes are tough to pull off (a good example of a good first ep would be Ouran HSHS).
Story: Well, I definitely wished I had dropped it early on (and the only reason for continuing was hope and the fact that the subbers released it during my few slow days for the season). What a crock of crap. In fact, it was so hokey and fakey and terrible that, as I write this review, I have yet to watch the very last episode, and I can tell you with 100% certainty that I do not give a flying hoot about what is going to happen. In fact, I will probably read a book and glance up at the subtitles an average of 17.5 times throughout the 22 minutes of agony which lie in wait for me.
What was so bad about it, dear reader? Nothing was believable. Convenient twists happened way too often. The whole school dynamic, which was awkward but at least somewhat interesting, was ripped away for the second half of the show, which consists of a bunch of people chasing each other around the city to disarm bombs, make showy manuevers with their telekinesis powers, and drone on in long monologues about why they are victims of the man and shadowy government research organizations. Yawn fest.
Animation: Didn't personally care for it, felt a bit flat, but it wasn't completely awful.
Characters: Did nothing to help the weak story.
My advice? Stay very far away from this show. It is not worth your time or your hoots.