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Code: Breakers Complete Collection (anime review)

Code: BreakerTitle: Code: Breakers Complete Collection 

Director: Yashiro Irie

Studio: Kinema Citrus

U. S. Distributor: FUNimation

U. S. Release Date: June 24th, 2014

Format: DVD / Blu-ray / 13 Episodes / 325 Minutes

Genre: Sci Fi, Supernatural, Crime Drama

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Grade: B

Synopsis:

Rei Ogami doesn’t have a problem with killing. As a Code:Breaker – a super-powered assassin employed by a secret government organization – he works outside of the law, existing in the gray area between right and wrong. When Rei gets an assignment, criminals are cremated in a blaze of blue fire. That is, until a classmate named Sakura witnesses his fatal flames in action and makes it her mission to keep him from killing again.

As Sakura becomes entrenched in Rei’s world of cruelty, mayhem, and violence, the line between good and evil begins to blur. When another Code:Breaker goes rogue and the remaining assassins assemble, murder might be the only way to make things right. Or is it? The more Sakura stays with Rei the more we discover about Sakura and it just might be possible that Sakura was meant to be part of the world after all. The further you go the more you will question so, get ready to be amazed and baffled at the same time.

Commentary:

I realize that it is somewhat normal for artist to get their ideas from other artist and there are plenty of copy cat series out there in the world just trying to sponge some money of an idea that capture plenty of attention and provide the be full of imagination. Code: Breaker manages to entertain while at the same time make you think about all the other series it has in common. The first one that jumped out at me was Darker Than Black, next I was whisked away to the world of Full Metal Panic lastly there is X-Men. I’m not going to go into all of the reasons why Code: Breaker reminds me of these series because it would spoil the plot and series for you. Just take my word for it, Code: Breaker was built on the backs of giants and it almost pulls it off.

There is plenty about Code: Breaker that made we want to root for it and continually come back for more.  At first I thought it might be similar to other crime dramas of the last few years that left me wanting for more or rather wishing I hadn’t waisted my time.  I kind of expected the over the top melodrama that was presented in Psycho Pass or the lack luster writing of Guilty Crown.  After a few episodes I was pleasantly surprised that both the drama and writing held their own against a story that  feels a little contrived. Even with the contrivance of the plot the characters and general writing stood up and gives you reason to keep coming back. I was a little concerned about the Sakura at first but once you get into the heart of the story her character stands out and doesn’t become some week cliché. On the other hand the Rei Ogami comes very close to being that overly hyped anti hero with some grudge against everyone and everything. There just so happens to be a few moments that bring him back from that dark hateful world that sucks all too many main characters into that pit of waited leading men. The rest of the cast holds their own and end up bringing plenty of solid diversity into the plot and in the end really do make a difference.

Overall Grade: B

I wish there had not been so mush reference to older classic series. I guess it is sometimes hard to avoid, but for Code: Breaker the similarities are at its core and if they are taken out all you are left with is nothing at all. I guess that my grade is at this level because the series does pull it off and gives you a product that is both easy to watch and enjoyable at the same time. One point of contention though, the set is called the Complete Series, but there are 3 OVA’s that go along with the 13 episodes and I have a feeling that those will come out later with a silly name attached and a high price tag. For a few extra buck I thing people would have rather seen it all together. If you are a fan of Darker Than Black I know you will enjoy Code: Breaker.