Apparently Japanese teenagers are terrifying.
Not going to lie, I really wanted Code: Breaker to be good from the start. After all, it’s about High School students with special powers who work as assassins for a mysterious branch of the government. Sounds pretty spiffy, right? Well, to a certain degree it is kind of neat. Except that it’s too stubborn for its own good.
Code: Breaker follows six people with special abilities that kill the evil that is untouchable by the law. The protagonist of the series is the cold hearted Rei, which is ironic because he controls flames and burns away his enemies. He finds himself caught up with a fellow high school student named Sakura who wants to stop him from killing due to some outdated ethical code, which gets really, really annoying after a while, especially when she tries to stop him from killing the likes of organ traffickers and murderers. The series follows them as they try to stop a former operative from attacking Japan in order to make his kind known to the world.
The series is based off the manga by Akimine Kamijyo, and was adapted by Kinema Citrus and distributed by Funimation. Director Yasuhiro Irie manages to keep the series geared for a younger audience. However, that means that the series is almost childish at certain points. I wouldn’t say that it’s on the level of Pokemon, but it’s definitely one that tries to make itself accessible, but loses part of its audience because of exactly that. The characters are all archetypes that wear their motivations on their sleeves and the group dynamic never really grows or changes as the series progresses. Not that it gets to progress too far in its 12 episode run. Though, I will admit that I was rather fond of the character Yuuki Tenpouin who pretty much acts like a lazy cat all the time. Essentially the characters became too predictable too quickly, and the series was about watching the events unfold.
That leads me to the plot itself, which doesn’t make a lot of sense. The entire series seems to be filled with events that are solely meant to drive the story forward, which means that there’s really no depth to what’s happening on screen. Altogether, it’s disappointing trying to watch things play outs.
Now, I’ve never been above watching anime that was clearly designed for a younger audience, but I feel like Code: Breaker has a hard time being accessible by all ages. Instead it holds itself back from being a truly great anime, which is made all the worse since Yasuhiro Irie was the primary director on Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (which was an amazing series). Unfortunately, this series hardly holds a candle to Fullmetal though.
Honestly, the series isn’t really that great. It’s entertaining enough, but never really takes advantage of everything it has at its disposal. I mean super powered assassins? That seems like something that would be awesome! Unfortunately, it’s just another series that will get lost in the shuffle of the weekend, especially since it’s only about 12 episodes long. It’s not terrible, but it lacks any true flavor and only makes other better series look all that better.