I remember back in the day I read Code Breaker’s first chapters just to be put on indefinite hold once there were no more translated releases in months ending up being forever forgotten with all other manga that took too long to be picked up by any translation groups, or really anyone. I can tell you I’m glad I stopped reading it back then because the animated version is a real treat.
A show like Code Breaker was sure to be on the drop list but is isn’t. Truth is, Code Breaker is still one of the many generic shounen shows Japan dishes out like a broken tennis ball machine. Truth is, one does not expect Code Breaker to blow you away unless you’ve just found the wonderful world of anime last year, and are being especially obnoxious. Truth is, anyone who thought Code Breaker was going to be another season of Code Geass based on the name when they were reading the title halfway was sorely disappointed. Truth is, I like Code Breaker for what it is. I cannot drop something as absurd as Code Break because it is so ingeniously dumb.
Let me start by saying you cannot produce something Code Breaker unless you are doing it deliberately.
Regardless of the idea the fictional Japanese board of Education should’ve caught up with the running transfer student fiasco. Regardless that this is not what they meant by taking the trash out after school. Code Breaker goes on. The warm story of Code Breaker is about a young cold guy who works for a secret group by taking out criminals and no-good-punks around the city while bringing down the burning flames of justice, like an edgier teenage version of Roy Mustang having a very very bad day and with powers I expected from Black Rock Shooter’s left eye to do.
The first episodes of Code Breaker could be poorly summarized into : overpowered teenager taking on (and out) regular criminals, resulting in said OGAMI ending all the fights in a matter of seconds. All of this after a brief reminder society is helplessly messed up, of course. The spectacle was similar to seeing a bull wresting a kitten. Sounded and looked repetitive for the first episodes. But then – it got better.
So we come to witness a show about crime, justice, and society. What is right and what is wrong. Topics extremely sensitive and a thoughtful approach to such story would be highly encouraged and appropriate. We’re probably in for advanced sociology lectures. That about right? Code Breaker is not deep like that. But tries to be like that. It presents the worst parts of society creating doses of drama and feeling of powerless from the good citizens, however, also with enough goofiness to counter itself before anyone else has the chance to do so.
Code Breaker is its best critic. You don’t even have to criticize Code Breaker when it does so spectacularly.
When Code Breaker is not being a vanilla version of insufferable self-righteous drivels like Akumetsu, it is no stranger to clichés and the like. Never mind the transfer student routine has been repeatedly done to death. Does CB ever go down the transfer student path. Does it ever follow the special guy with super powers plot. Code Breaker what it’s doing.
It knows what it is doing. Don’t be surprised by Code Breaker’s ingenuity then when it knows school plays an important part in downplaying the matter of underage students involving themselves in criminal activities. Code Breaker knows its stuff. Purifying the scum of society requires necessary relief, unmistakably. We confirm that there is nothing disconcerting about switching from dark to light scenes back and forth at the drop of a hat. Some examples here. Just the other episode I was sure Sakurakouji was potentially secretly an oversized dog that fought for friendship according to Code Breaker #03. An episode before that I was starting to buy into Ogami being actually a misunderstood tsundere. Just an episode before that I was positive all Code Breakers got their super powers from their catchy rhymes. Guess what, none of them confirmed. Code Breaker always always has ways to keep the audience guessing.
As any self respecting shounen Code Breaker also has more multiple characters so it’s possible to spend time on them than more on the actual story. Code Breaker has the perfect foil for Ogami functioning as both a sidekick and possible future love interest when the story is over, because really all stories eventually point to that. An energetic, a pure hearted, strong gal with some moments of Sagara Sousuke’s denseness, who saves both people and stray dogs from local thugs. And more importantly than anything – someone to remind Ogami what his name is so he doesn’t ever forget it.
I can tell you one thing : It’s quite effective. I never forget Ogami’s name.
All in all, Sakura is a good person, however, one given a crappy treatment as a sidekick character being limited to stalk Ogami so he can do no evil. Or so that’s the idea. Reasoning being when she isn’t there she can’t stop him. But when she is there she also can’t stop him. A real pickle I know. It can get kind of confusing, but keep in mind Sakura knows best. In reality because of the show doesn’t let her do anything other than to stand around Sakura spends a lot of time not doing anything, so little one can easily forget she is even there. Sometimes I am only reminded Sakura is present because the camera goes back to her whenever she calls out Ogami’s name. Does this happen very often.
Sakura’s naivety (by far not her ability to remind Ogami of his name) makes her an amusing character to a degree endearing, sadly, still useless in the cold brutal world of Code Breaker thanks to a story filled with bad guys with dangerous weapons, bad guys with guns, bad guys with super powers, and bad guys surrounded by more bad guys that won’t let her do anything. Sakura just can’t compete. Code Breaker just won’t let good people (or dogs) have a nice day. Yet she tries. No doubt Sakura got her strong values from her honest, peace loving, law-abiding parents.
It was no exaggeration that the ingenuity of Code Breaker keeps going. Its abundance is what makes it a hard to drop show once you know what they’re doing. Or how they’ve doing it (very badly btw). The sloppiness, the irregularities, quality. Such as expecting the audience not to notice that every guy who stands out is a Code Breaker not yet properly introduced. Such as making any sense of a mom (or dad’s, who really can know) with a school uniform fetish sporting it around the house for no apparent reason. No apparent reason. Such as why does it take so long for them to realize the weak point of an enemy with supernatural abilities that is not a Code Breaker, is the suspicious tank they’re carrying behind their backs.
These are the things one notices when following Code Breaker. One also notices the majestic irony of Sakura’s dad being a prominent Yakuza boss. It’s a common belief that random gangs are bad news everywhere. No one wants random thugs in their cities. Sakura’s dad is the way to go. Code Breaker knows the yakuza keep the streets safe. With Sakura’s dad we know for sure the right criminals are on the streets.
It’s just common sense.
You have to love it. Love it because Code Breaker’s idea of lackeys are some sort of reminiscent of Yugioh’s Paradox Brothers. Love it because no one points out the irony of Sakura fighting for peace and justice yet her dad is in the mafia. Love it because Code Breaker keeps giving.
Sakura is not only a main character she is also a character who is “special” so she is immune to Ogami’s fiery power. Who really knows for sure but presumably also resistant to other Code Breaker’s powers. This is the secret of how one masterfully keeps a character from ever leaving the show early by making her resistant to Code Breaker powers. Coincidentally, the matter is proven when Ogami got tired of Sakura stalking him (and constantly repeating his name) without his official permission and found he could not get rid of Sakura with his power. Sadly (for the mysterious CBs, everyone else is ok with it) Code Breakers can only use their supernatural powers to get rid of people, ruling out other methods. If only it was possible for Code Breakers to know how to use layman’s weapons.
It cannot be emphasized enough how absurd Code Breaker begins to be, where it starts and where it ends. There is one Code Breaker, we need more Code Breakers. Did the story ever. But this actually a good thing.
One would think Code Breakers are some sort of hardass trained soldiers or highly trained international spies. They are not. What Code Breakers tend to be in reality are young, slender, pretty looking guys who go undercover at public schools reading erotica books while drinking tea, Code Breakers tend to be obsessed with cartoon dog shows, and they also tend to be brothers of girls obsessed with fondling breasts. Code Breakers are just that unique.
However, the most crucial part behind the Code Breakers’ powers is the unspoken rule they are unable to use their powers without reciting the phrase “an eye for an eye” and “a tooth for a tooth” in addition to a last prose that is left to the discretion of the Code Breaker (hard to argue with such logic).
But what really makes Code Breaker such amusing show are their tactics. This alone deserves recognition : When in dire situations against a more powerful enemy regardless of the number of Code Breakers present they attack in maximum of groups of two. After that, the remaining attack in groups of one so the next Breaker gets his turn as soon as possible. The tactic eliminates the downtime between the number of Breakers being defeated. It is uncanny.
Code Breaker just might be the show you want when you want absurdity. The whole handling of topics of justice, crime, good and evil are meshed into an unholy shounen-ish mixture constantly reminding you why you can’t take it seriously. For the serious individual, Code Breaker is much a story of youth nonsense with an incongruous too-serious-of-a topic to match its goofiness. In such cases it is best to stay clear. For the individual who can spare twenty minutes of lunacy, shounen action, and comedy in the tired world of shounen – Code Breaker is welcome. Do not be fooled by any seemingly negative stance to persuade you from following Code Breaker. If there’s anything that Code Breaker does right is comedy, consequently a genre up there with shounen and action. You’ll be laughing non-stop upon realizing half of what it does cannot be taken at face value outside the fantasy world of Code Breaker.
There is incentive in watching Code Breaker that can come and go. One that might be there and be lost the next one. More often than not, you will be watching just to see how ridiculous it gets. Because does it ever.