Code Breaker - 02
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After a decent start, Code Breaker comes back to bite me in the ass with a less than stellar second episode.
First off, fans of the manga will have noticed by now that this isn't a faithful adaptation of the manga. Hardly the most surprising news, especially after I saw the 13 episodes it supposedly has on My Anime List. Now long-running anime are rare nowadays, so I'm not here to vent frustrations over unfaithful adaptations but I am here to vent frustrations of slight boredom.
Code Breaker's first episode was, in my opinion, not bad. You could tell it's a shonen series from the start and it may have been a little clich but it was good nonetheless. The second episode on the other hand, failed to deliver any excitement and at times was either pointless or downright boring.
There was some development in the story and I loved how Rei came off as a prickly character, however this felt a little bit shojo for my liking with the impending softening of his character because of Sakura. There is still no clear objective in the plot - kind of - and it looks like it'll be kept under wraps - a trend with anime this season - though I have to admit there has always been a mystery element to Code Breaker. There were some pretty good moments in this episode, but for the most part I thought it didn't deliver.
My issues surprisingly enough weren't with the idea of the script composition, but the execution. I didn't mind that the plot was being progressed in the background whilst the relationship between Rei and Sakura was being developed in the limelight, but there was a disequilibrium. There was too much focus on Rei and Sakura and very little on the plot and the other Code Breaker (Code 3 Yuuki Tenpouin) which made it boring for me. It was a pity that Yuuki didn't get any screen time because he looked like a fun character! On another note, Yuuki's appearance in the Code Breaker manga is much later which does bring some worries with how the story is unwinding.
This disequilibrium stems from the odd mix of source material and original content. A lot of the scenes involving Sakura and Rei are straight from the manga - even if I only read 20 chapters, I can still remember - but the main plot of the story is original/doesn't appear in the early stages of the manga and this leads me to believe that the script writer is still confused as to what he's meant to be doing.
There were other dull moments in the episode, but a few artistic choices didn't sit well with me. The constant focus on Rei's eyes throughout the episode for a single moment of reflection from Sakura felt a little too amateur and obvious. This was pretty much the only flaw in the direction of the episode, with everything else being up to standard and at times pretty damn impressive visually.
Not much to say about what has happened thus far in the story, and there are some problems with the composition and script but that doesn't mean Code Breaker can't bounce back and deliver something better than average.