I guess a gang name as dumb as “G-Falcon” needs a tattoo to match.
Code:Breaker is something I had interest solely because it’s taking up a spot on my Fantasy Anime League team. I knew nothing about the plot of characters or whatever going in, and after watching the episode, I wish that were still the case. To be fair, the basic plot points and setup aren’t really different from any other anime, but . . . well, that’s exactly it. There’s nothing to set this series apart from other series with loads of mysterious pretty boys with magical powers. Except dog murder, apparently!
Apparently dog murder is the villain cliche du jour this season. Well, sort of. I’ve seen it in just two shows: this and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, where it’s used to gather immense hatred in Dio’s direction from both JoJo and the audience. It’s basically the fiction equivalent of a wrestling heel mocking the city/country in which he’s wrestling. If we’d actually seen the effects of Dio murdering JoJo’s poor dog, then I’d probably have a much bigger problem with it. At least you can tell that Dio is going to be a big-time villain, which means that the dog murdering is not wasted.
What’s the point of it here, though? I’m guessing these G-Falcon jerks are small fries in the grand scheme of things — they exist solely to show that Sakura cares about justice, and that Rei has a sensitive soul and can make the tough choices. Then he roasts every gang member alive. And that’s that! I guess those assholes get their comeuppance, but I don’t really care yet whether they get punished. As far as I’m concerned, they’re a bunch of plot devices kicking around another plot device until the story makes me believe they’re more than goofballs with stupid tattoos.
The only semi-intriguing thing is that Sakura is Rei’s target, although she undoubtedly survives in the next episode due to some convoluted reason or another. That’s the only hook that made me even slightly interested in watching the second episode (well, aside from some brief bursts of decent action), but not enough to actually do it. Otherwise, this episode wastes a ton of time with school life bullshit (OMG IS SHE CONFESSING TO THE TRANSFER STUDENT?????? I’m glad I didn’t go to a high school that actually gave a shit about this nonsense.) and a mystery that isn’t a mystery at all to the audience. I get the need to have Sakura figure it out for herself, but that doesn’t make it any less boring to sit through.
My main problem, though, is that it’s just a bunch of stuff with no reason to care. We’re shown all these people at the end, but I have no idea who any of them are. Presumably they are people with super powers. OK. Compare this to Zetsuen no Tempest, which I admit up front does not have a perfect first episode. However, it does say clearly, “This is what we’re doing, and this is why you should care.” We know the main players. We know what’s driving them. We have an idea of the main conflict (which will undoubtedly become messier later). With this type of story, isn’t that what the first episode should do? What I know after watching Code:Breaker‘s first episode: 1) Rei is used by a government agency to kill people. 2) Oh, shit, that’s all I know. There’s a fine line between “mystery” and “giving the viewer nothing to care about.” Code:Breaker crosses that line.