OP: 「DARK SHAME」by (GRANRODEO)
「大いなる神の審判」 (Ooi Naru Kami no Shinpan)
“Grand Divine Judgement”
**Before starting off, I’d like to first thank BakaMochi for helping out with the screenshots. 😀
And without further ado… from producer Kinema Citrus (.hack//Quantum, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0), comes the adaptation of Kamijyo Akimine’s shounen manga CØDE:BREAKER. And what a fiery start it is (literally), as the ball gets rollin’ with some good old human barbecue, with our heroine Sakurakouji Sakura (Hikasa Youko) witnessing a boy seemingly burning people to a crisp on the way home. Upon further investigation however, there’s no proof that the event ever happened in the first place… until the same boy, Oogami Rei (Okamoto Nobuhiko) transfers into her class the next day. Suspicious of his involvement, Sakurakouji confronts Oogami, ultimately leading to a chain of events the reveal him to be “one who is above the law (codes)”—a CØDE:BREAKER. Possessing supernatural powers, Oogami is one of a select few who judge those whom the law cannot, abiding by his creed of: “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and using evil against evil.”
And for the most part, the first episode is your standard introductory affair. It takes a few liberties in terms of the events compared to the source material’s beginning , but the major points are maintained, and we’re given some glimpses into our main characters and their first interactions with one another. Sakurakouji and Oogami don’t necessarily scream innovative from what we’re given so far, but one must also keep in mind that the series is an action-oriented shounen. And if we use the typical series of this genre as a base, then it’s probably safe to say the characters themselves (and especially their development and complexities) likely won’t be as much of a focus compared to the action and fighting, which did admittedly pique my interest a bit. Don’t get me wrong though, there’s still the potential for great development in terms of the characters, especially when your heroine’s capable of kicking such butt in school and Oogami’s wielding epic blue flames reminiscent of Ao no Exorcist, but if my impressions from reading the first few chapters are right, chances are that this likely won’t take the forefront on most nights. As such, whether or not you like this series will most likely be determined by your aversion to the action/shounen genres.
Moving on, Kinema Citrus does a fairly decent job with the animation for the most part. Their choice in terms of how they animated the dog’s movements this episode was quirky and the decision to censor a few of the scenes of it being beat up somewhat strange, but there wasn’t much here to have qualms about. The background themes were however, admittedly spotty throughout, as many scenes were combined with songs that didn’t quite fit, or were just overly dramatic for the scene in question.
By now, you’re probably wondering, well darn Zephyr, “you certainly didn’t have much good to say about this premiere.” And well, it’s because CØDE:BREAKER didn’t necessarily wow in this initial showing. There is however, a definite potential within this series. For one, if the flames this episode were an indication, there should be plenty of action and fighting worth writing home about in the future. Furthermore, the philosophical concept of “justice” and how it should be handed out seems to be at the forefront of the story, and is something that could potentially shape the series into something rather complex. Also to note, are some of the series’ similarities to Ao no Exorcist and DEATH NOTE, which were both immensely popular during their respective runs, and the presence of Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood’s director Irie Yasuhiro. There’s obviously a foundation here for something good, or at least decent, though as I mentioned above, your aversion to action/shounen may play more of a role than anything else as to whether or not this series is right for you. Overall though, I’d say that CØDE:BREAKER still does enough this first episode and has enough of a foundation to be worthy of a watch.
Note: At this time, continued coverage of CØDE:BREAKER has not been confirmed.
ED: 「シロイカラス」 (Shiroi Karasu) by 鈴村 健一 (Suzumura Kenichi)