From producer Kinema Citrus (.hack//Quantum, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0), comes the adaptation of Kamijyo Akimine’s shounen manga, CODE:BREAKER. The story revolves around Sakurakouji Sakura (Hikasa Youko), a high school student who witnesses people being burned to ashes by blue flames. Near the scene, she witnesses a boy of a similar age, the same boy who transfers to her class the next day. Despite the fact no evidence of the crime remained the day after, Sakurakouji pursues the transfer student in an attempt to find answers. He reveals himself as Oogami Rei (Okamoto Nobuhiko), a CODE:BREAKER—“one whom law codes cannot judge”. Using his powers, he hands down judgment to those that slip through the system, criminals who have avoided rightful punishment for their crimes. Convinced that his definition of justice is flawed however, Sakurakouji embarks on a mission to stop him.
After reading the first few chapters, I’ll admit that was slightly intrigued. Not only does the series starts off with a fiery opening (literally human barbeque), it gives us an interesting heroine to boot, full of strong beliefs and the ability to hold her own as a martial artist. There’s a resemblance to popular shows Ao no Exorcist and Death Note as well, and with the director of Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood onboard too, it normally wouldn’t be hard to label this series as potentially awesome. But the fact remains that the series is an action-oriented shounen, a genre that lends itself to reusing a variety of tropes and scenarios. From what I’ve seen, the action portions should be great… but the confines of the genre and potential pitfalls involving Sakurakuoji’s development as an atypical heroine have me tempering my expectations a bit. In addition, the source material gives off a feeling that it may take a while for the story to unfold, which usually gives itself to various pacing issues. In the end, CODE:BREAKER is a series I have low to moderate expectations for. It should at least be worth watching in the beginning, but it just might not have enough strength to hold viewers through the adaptation of all 19 volumes of material.