Final Review: CØDE:BREAKER

DISCLAIMER: Anime reviews on this blog will attempt minimal to no spoilers unless otherwise noted. If a review seems dull or shallow, it’s because I’m trying to make sure not to go into too detail for those who are actually interested in the show before or after reading the review or those who have yet to finish the title. If you want further details, there are usually tons of reviews that can be found elsewhere on the internet. Furthermore, anime reviews in general are the sole opinion of the author writing it and thus differ across the users. There is no such thing as a “right answer” only a majority agreement. You are free to have your own opinions and thereby free to state and/or argue/debate in the comments section below or on the Fansub TV Forums. The review is not necessarily meant to serve as a recommendation but rather a personal opinion of having completed the series.

Code:Breaker is a based off a manga of the same name that began in 2008. Code:Breakers are special types of assassins with unique supernatural abilities that operate as part of a secret unit of the government. Each Code:Breaker has a different ability but as a result of becoming one, they become “non-existent” to the society. Sakura Sakurakouji is a normal high school girl trained in martial arts. One day, she encounters Rei Ogami, a Code:Breaker. As a result of their encounter, Rei now attempts to erase Sakura’s existence in order to keep the existence of Code:Breakers non-existent. It turns out, Sakura is a unique “specimen.” Code:Breaker premiered during the Fall 2012 anime season and was simulcasted and licensed by Funimation. The manga has licensed by Del Rey and 23 total volumes have been published/announced to date.

Code:Breaker can be summed up in a few words: shounen supernatural showdown. The show initially starts off what seems like a “hero of justice” show where Code:Breakers are the heroes that nobody know about and dispose of “evil” such as gangs, mafia, and drug traffickers. The show then moves on to a more overarching “plot” where Code:Breaker 01 (The Ace) is the mastermind of some of the larger scale “evils” as of late as he considers to enact revenge on the government that “killed his comrades.” It ultimately turns into a typical shounen fight where Rei is the “hero protagonist” and so of course he has an ace up his own sleeve to take out 01, Hitomi. For a show with 23 volumes of the manga, I’m more curious as to how much this actually covered (and whether it was faithful) and why only 1 arc was only covered. The arc overall is pretty lame. It sheds significant light on who/what Code:Breakers are and what are their fates but at the same time, it seemed so shallow. There is also a lack of development on the other members as well as why Heike continued to switch back and forth between sides. Conclusion is pretty much obvious and also incoming yaoi doujins? I should also note one thing that continued to bug me the entire show is how Code:Breakers are actually non-existent. Maybe that will be a story for another time, but this time around it definitely lacked any significant clues.

Background art is mostly average. It has some greater details thanks mostly due to CGI. Character designs are drawn very bishounen like. Why that is is beyond me but who cares. Designs are mostly average. Animation is by Kinema Citrus, a studio that hasn’t done many works but most of the quality is generally basic. Key works from them include Busou Shinki Moon Angel, Higepiyo, and .hack//Quantum, of which I really only considered the last to be decent. Code:Breaker’s animation is not much better and remains a really average in terms of quality when you remove all the CGIs.

OP is okay by GRANRODEO but I think it’s one of their weaker songs, especially as of late. ED is by Kenichi Suzumura, who is still average at best when it comes to singing compared to his voice acting skills. Background music and sound effects are generally average. Seiyuu is generally average with Kenichi Suzumura and Toshiyuki Toyonaga being the more interesting voices of the show, especially the latter.

Enjoyment? Bland and dull show overall. Started out mediocre and stays mediocre. There is a three episode OVA planned but can’t say I’m looking forward to it. In terms of similar titles, PSYCHO-PASS is definitely the closest thing this season. One that uses some method to judge evil. In terms of Code:Breaker, the Code:Breakers themselves judge evil while in PSYCHO-PASS a sibyl system is used. The latter is far more interesting at the moment but may be too early to call. Death Note is also similar but uses a book instead of the flashy supernatural powers. Action wise, Darker than Black should be the most obvious choice. Some have suggested Full Metal Panic, but I really only see it in the similar lead duos for the two titles.

Overall, with 23 volumes of manga, Code:Breaker has failed to convince me at all in the span of 13 episodes of whether this title could even be remotely close to redeemable in the future. It doesn’t really have a point that differentiates itself nor  does it capitalize on any concepts it attempts to present. It’s got stuff there but nothing that makes me go “this could be interesting if they elaborated on it.” I’m not saying one should stay away from it but I wouldn’t try digging for gold here if you are looking for a gem to watch.

 

Story and Character:

  • Premise (0/1): Uninteresting but has 23 volumes of the manga
  • Character Personalities (0.5/1): Ogami is lame, Sakura is annoying, Yuuki and Heike are amusing, and Toki is SHINN ASUKA
  • Character Development (1/2): Good development on Code:Breakers are but still at ton of holes.
  • Character Usefulness/Presence (1.5/2): Small and memorable cast. Some Code:Breakers feel really useless.
  • Pacing: (1/1): Nothing wrong. Gets straight to the point (but somehow with holes)
  • Reasonable/Plausible (0.5/2):  We don’t really know what “Lost” is still or what Code:End is. Why are Code:Breaker’s non-existent/forgotten? Lots of other plot holes
  • Conclusion (0.5/1): Expected and yaoi doujins incoming?
  • Total: 5/10

Art and Animation:

  • Backgrounds (1/2): Average (excluding CGI)
  • Character Designs (1/2): Basic bishounen
  • Fluidity (1/2): Basic
  • Visuals/Special Effects/Flashiness (1/2): Flashy effects but not really colorful
  • Art and Animation “Expectation” (1/2): Average for Kinema Citrus
  • Total: 5/10

Sound and Music:

  • OP/ED/Insert Themes (1.5/3): Average OP/ED
  • Background Music (1/2): Average
  • Sound Effects (1/2): Average
  • Seiyuu (1.5/3): Average cast
  • Total: 5/10

Enjoyment:

  • Amusement (0/2): Nope
  • Weekly/Next Episode Anticipation (0/2): Nope
  • Presentation: (1/2): Linear and easy to understand
  • Re-watchable (0/1): No
  • Recommendation (0/2): Darker than Black, PSYCHO-PASS, Death Note, and I guess Full Metal Panic
  • Value (0/1): None. The manga has 23 volumes and couldn’t convince me in 13 episodes?
  • Total: 1/10

Preliminary Score: 5/10

Final Score: 4/10

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