Code:Breaker is quite an anomaly as while it may be a shounen series, it’s not entirely predictable – packing cringing brutality, alongside a story and characters which are unclear on where they stand.
In respect to the lack of clarity, it’s not that anything is convulsed – rather, there’s a prevalent uncertainty in the atmosphere. Yet forget that for now – one will notice themselves as they watch.
Riding a train home, the heroine of the series looks out a window to notice some impossible to miss abnormalities. A series of several roaring blue flames suddenly burst up within a forested area – and upon seeing this, our heroine’s reaction is quite strange. This isn’t to say she’s a weirdo – yet instead, her response isn’t what one would have anticipated. She immediately views the matter as a crime in progress and quite assertively gets law enforcement involved as she apparently saw some people being burned alive.
The girl is notably very adamant on justice – however, her efforts amount to nothing. No victims are found, and neither are there any suspects in the area. There is one mentionable detail, yet our heroine keeps it to herself – she’s certain that she managed to receive a clear and solid look at the presumed assailant, a highschool kid which a few may recognize as the male protagonist as per the PVs.
Her life continues onward however – the following day at school, it looks like the start of something interesting. Code:Breaker has generic shounen elements, such as that the heroine is a perfect and popular girl, loved by everyone, and seemingly flawless in every way – yet the series doesn’t actually indulge in any of this with sincerity. It feels almost as if Code:Breaker were mocking shounen series as the tropes of the genre are delivered in a comical manner – rather than with any actual plot significance, and one will certainly recognize this themselves.
A transfer student is introduced into our heroine’s class – and indeed, it’s the suspicious character she saw standing amongst burning corpses the night before. The kid becomes instantly admired by everyone and surrounded by girls – yet our heroine remains questioning of this fellow, and a gag ensues in which while she chases after the kid for clues regarding the strange sight she saw, others of the school recognize it as a love affair between a trending transfer student and the queen of the school.
Ironically, while her reason for hounding after this male character, Ogami, isn’t one of romance – there’s sure to be an inevitable love angle at some point later on.
Leaving that for when it happens however, our heroine fails to find any evidence to support her believed sight – even as some time tarries by. Eventually, she even comes to accept the situation – and simply figures that perhaps, she misjudged Ogami as being a villainous fellow when that’s not the case, but the opposite in fact.
From here on, the series starts to pick up and accelerate – our heroine happens to meet Ogami in a park, and while an oddball, he doesn’t seem to be too evil. More of interest however, we learn that a criminal organization is seemingly have their way within the city – and our heroine is particularly against them as they eradicated a homeless man who seemed like a fine person in the eyes of our heroine. That homeless man cared after a dog – and here we pause.
Back to school, a subsequent day later, there’s merely one very specific detail to mention – the male protagonist is affiliated with a shady organization, and he makes a euphemism for assassinating some individuals before then also explicitly mentioning he will eliminate our heroine whilst he speaks to an unspecified individual over the phone.
That portion is self-explanatory – and with that, we resume a day at the park. It’s a separate day – albeit with circumstances relatively similar. Our heroine is enjoying herself with the dog before the evening is interrupted by screams of terror. A homeless man is being assaulted by a pack of thugs – and our heroine makes an effort to rescue him, only to figure that the thugs are seeking information on a few of their friends who went missing a while back. Assembling the pieces, our heroine comes to realize that what she saw was indeed real in that case.
Seeing that she knows something, the thugs start to harass our heroine before beginning to outright beat her viciously – giving no respect to the fact that she’s a female as they kick her around. When the dog comes to the rescue, it receives unforgiving pounding by the thugs as well – harsh enough to require some censorship to keep all appropriate for television.
Luckily, or perhaps not so, our heroine needn’t hold out much longer as Ogami arrives – the mystery protagonist. And as for his first order of business, he gently chokes the dog to death before then unleashing massive streams of searing blue flame straight at the head of one thug, and then all of them. The first shoots out like the explosion of a propane canister or similar – and it definitely looks like an instant killer, preceded by some torturous pain.
And in the final seconds of the episode, the protagonist then steps up to our heroine – and it doesn’t look like he’s come to save the day so much as he’s about to obliterate her as well. Tension fumes up as the episode ends on the edge of a cliff.
Adding onto what was already said of Code:Breaker, now having seen this first episode’s end, the action scenes are incredible in more ways than one – a few go all out, such as when our heroine was taking down thugs one-by-one through pure physical combat as seen from a bird’s eye view. However, the lesser moments may not be as magnificent to watch as they’re seemingly more simplistically composed. In fact, Code:Breaker looks to actually shift dynamically in animation technique and style depending on what is occurring.
Lighthearted scenes have more vibrancy and rounded corners – darker scenes are truly sharp tipped however.
That said, the animation is also immensely impressive in some areas – such as the flamethrowing of our leading male. The fire is fluid in its motion and materializes with a truly felt impact.
Furthermore, for a “shounen” series, Code:Breaker certainly didn’t mind showing its heroine receive a violent beating within the first episode – something which even some seinen works attempt to avoid, not to mention, the animal abuse. The story is looking fairly deep enough thus far that one will have some level of interest – the concepts may seen conventional at first, shounen protagonist with magical power for instance, yet when one actually sees the scorching fire in use, it becomes a whole different feeling.
And another fantastic aspect is how it’s not entirely clear what team, if any, the leading male is on – the actual foremost main character is our heroine, meanwhile the male protagonist looks to have hints of both virtue and evil in him.
It may prove that he’s actually of the G-Falcon crime syndicate – meanwhile, those thugs were simply posers.
The truth awaits, and the anime has captivated enough that it’s worth waiting to see – this premiere was raw and well-presented, making for an all-around exquisitely spent 20 or minutes. And as a side-note, knowing that new characters still await to be introduced leaves one all the more eager.