14 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Shinmaru /

Code:Breaker 1 – Anime:Dropper

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.

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14 Comments

  1. Noname
    Posted October 9, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    One’s man bullshit is anothers mans treasure.

    I think that Tempest anime is the most boring generic stuff that have been laid before my eyes in a while all whilst Breaker gets a passing grade. Mostly because of that scene that you hate about the confession.

    You might hate it because it was so overplayed but that is what made it so hilarious for me to watch.

    I would say that Breaker is more concerned with looking cool while Tempest is more concerned with looking mysterious. While a show like K is visual sex on steroids.

    I care about this show because it looks cool. It may be shallow but that is the gist of it.

    • Posted October 9, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

      Hey, your reasons are your reasons and your time is your time. If it works for you, then you don’t really need to give a shit what I think!

      • Noname
        Posted October 9, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

        But I care that is why I read. I am trying to decide what my watch list will be this season seeing the points other people make are very interesting to me.

        I just happened to be in the mood to share my thoughts on the show that you wrote about. I hope that I didn’t offend you by doing so. It wasn’t my intent.

        Some people love shows that I hate with a fiery passion of a thousand suns and this is fine by me. Because probably somewhere exists a person that feels the same about the show/shows that I like.

        Also wanted to comment about how in the Breaker the scene when they beat the dog was censored while at the same time a human girl was beaten and they didn’t bother to censor that.

        Wat the fuck? Beating other people is apparently OK while god forbid if you kick a dog. That is just facepalm inducing.

      • Posted October 9, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

        Oh no, no offense taken at all. If I got offended by people calling out my views, then I’d be a pretty shit blogger! I just wanted to make it clear that I’m not interested in trashing individual fans’ tastes even if I don’t like a series is all.

        As for the censoring, well, people respond strongly to different things. I did notice more than a few people react quite (understandably) negatively to the dog beating scene. People love animals! Especially animals that appear scared and defenseless like the dog in this episode. And not that it excuses it, but at least Sakura shows that she’s capable of defending herself. She’s not a helpless damsel. At the same time, though, the scene is a bit extreme to a cliche degree to sell a group that gets destroyed pretty easily by Rei. I facepalmed when they took out the belt to tie up Sakura and start kicking her, haha. So edgy!

      • Noname
        Posted October 9, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

        I facepalmed far more when they decided to attack the guy who could conjure blue flames out of nothing burning their comrade to ashes instantly.

        And he even gave them the chance to surrender. I mean like they didn’t ask him one question like: How did you do that? What the hell are you? Maybe we shouldn’t attack a walking napalm flamethrower?

        Nope. They charge right at him. Hindsight would be great in this situation bet they are all dead now. Keheheehehehe.

        Ah….

        Even with that I liked the show. I feel dirty for it.

  2. Scamp
    Posted October 9, 2012 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    The whole dog thing: I figured the point was to show how mucked up this guys morals are. He thinks he’s doing the right thing by killing it, even when the girl is screeching at him to take it to the vet. Then he goes and kills the thugs, because that’s the only way he knows how to deal with things.

    Cliched it certainly is, but considering the show seems to be taking a few cues from Death Note, it makes sense in that context. I never thought I’d see the day that Death Note did something with considerably more subtlety though…

    • SQA
      Posted October 10, 2012 at 1:41 am | Permalink

      There’s the “Save the Cat” trope. It seemed, to me, to be used as the subversion of that trope (like Dio kneeing then burning JoJo’s dog), but also, at the same time, contrast Sakura and Ogami.

      Only problem is that Sakura has already shown horrible tactical thinking (phones do not beat 30 Armed Men) and a lack of understanding of situations she caused. I know the passionate cries for the dying dog were supposed to be heartfelt, but I could only think how stupid she was being. When the cold-blooded assassin shows more compassion, you’ve screwed up the scene…

    • colaholic
      Posted October 10, 2012 at 7:15 am | Permalink

      I think what happened is Sakura trying to scare the gang by claiming that she had called the police (or will call the police) while the gang simply don’t care because they’re backed by a powerful syndicate that not even the police can touch.

    • Noname
      Posted October 10, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      Killing the dog was a bad thing to do? He already said that his bones and internal organs are crushed and there was no rescuing him. If he brought him to a veterinarian and the vet did the same thing only with drugs would that be acceptable?

      I cannot see this as his wrong way of dealing with things.

      I think that the fact that he refers to the criminal band as trash and his job as trash collection says more about his demented worldview then the dog thing. By referring them as trash he essentially is depriving them of being viewed as human beings, they are like objects in his eyes. Dirty useless things.

      Now that is demented.

      Also about the girl surviving I think that he simply wants to erase her memory (maybe he has that kind of ability) as he did repeatedly said that they should get along as Classmates. It’s a theory and I don’t know if it is true but it seems likely to me. =p

  3. Posted October 9, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    I felt the same way. Though I didn’t drop it yet, the lingering trace curiosity over how the girl will survive is literally my only reason for checking out the second episode.

    Which is pathetic.

  4. Lanf
    Posted October 9, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    Dem Cliffhangers eh? I’m not dropping this until I see that menacing looking guy with a teacup in action. Too many shows this season are operating juuuust above my dropping threshold so that better not take long. Ho, but at least I’ll have all these DEEP MORAL THEMES to keep me engaged until then.

  5. Shadow
    Posted October 9, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    Generally speaking, manga based anime tend to be better than light novel based anime, since they are released on a constant ratio while light novels release around 3 or 4 times a year. I will give Breaker a chance only cuz ive read far into the manga and it does get better as chapters progress, but if this series is only going to be 12 or 26 episodes i think it wont enter the interesting Arcs, but since Bleach ended i think TV companies are trying to bring a substitute, and since Breaker is around 200 chapters and still ongoing, i think it might become the next big long running anime, specially since the next 3 or 4 years will mark the end of Naruto.

  6. eternia
    Posted October 10, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Why the hell with showing all the bishounen around during the last several minutes of the anime? Some of them don’t appear in the manga until much later! This is purely the animation company’s stupidity. So. Rage and trash them, shinmaru.
    :-D
    A fellow commenter once said that Code Breaker will become good later on, because Sakura won’t be just a damsel in distress. My only reason for watching this show.

  7. Posted October 10, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    Hey, isn’t that symbol on his chest from Legends of the Hidden Temple?

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