29 January 2015 | totalovrdose
Entertaining Characters, Fight Scenes and Soundtracks Failed to Make Code: Breaker Last as Long as it Should Have
Although I've read manga, Akimine Kamijyo's Code: Breaker is not one of the collections I ever procured. At the same time though, it's not required that you read the manga before watching the anime, although it would potentially be great to compare one product with the other.
Sakura, a high school student, is riding the bus one night, when she witnesses an inexplicable event: a young man, later identified as Ogami, is setting a number of people alight with a flame produced by his own hand. Coincidentally, Ogami is a new student in her class, and despite those he attacked been revealed as criminals, Sakura takes it upon herself to make certain the death count is kept to an absolute minimum, a task which she later finds is more difficult than she imagined.
A popular student, her decision to act as Ogami's unconventional conscience causes the entire male student body to become wracked with jealousy, believing the two to be engaged in a romantic relationship. Although this allows for comedic scenarios, this particular brand of humor is clichéd when contrasted with a wealth of other anime. These moments, alongside occasions when Code: Breakers become 'lost', are obviously designed to provide some degree of cuteness to a show that often appears quite dark.
Code: Breaker is a series which questions whether death is a justifiable punishment for those who have severely wronged society. Alongside Ogami, there are other Code: Breakers, including Heike (whose character resembles Fuduo and Touma from Aquarion), Toki, Yuki and Rui, each with their own unique abilities, whose mission is to defeat the evils in this world. At the same time however, Code: Breaker contradicts itself. There are moments when the creator's aim is for the audience to feel sympathy towards an antagonist after they have committed a horrific crime, the combined soundtrack and character dialogue suggesting this is an emotional moment. Yet, this goes against the general directionality of the plot, where Code: Breakers punish the wicked who would otherwise get away with their offenses.
Yuki and Rui, who are two of the most interesting characters, are provided with the littlest screen time, and though every character's ability efficaciously commands the screen during fights, it is Ogami who more often than not steals the show. Though there is nothing wrong with this decision, Ogami mainly appears as very two dimensional: his mission is to stop evil, that's it. His lack of restraint or empathy causes him to appear as heartless as many of the enemies he faces, and though he could hardly ever be described as an anti-hero, Ogami lacks many complex emotions that would render him more interesting.
Originally, Ogami appears to be randomly targeting villainous characters over the course of the first few episodes, until Hitomi, the enemy pulling all of the strings emerges. Unlike the other villains, Hitomi is calm and fearless, and appears far too likable, which in a way fails to cement him as an authentic enemy, despite his awesome powers.
Visually, Code: Breaker is occasionally as dark as the subject matter, causing the show to lack the brightness of others. The fight scenes are terrifically produced, each character's attack been a separate color, while character animation is executed with a similarly high standard. Each episode's opening theme from Granrodeo is as equally addictive as the song from Kenichi Suzumura, played during the credits, which compliment the series by combining relevant ideas and images.
Occasionally, Code: Breaker bears some resemblance to Eden of the East, while at the same time employing ideas that many would have viewed previously in the fantasy genre. With this in mind, although the series doesn't offer the most original concept, the conclusion, or lack thereof, clearly suggests the show was destined for a longer duration. Despite the inconclusive end, and many questions remaining unanswered, the characters and action scenes combined make this production worth considering.