Wednesday, 6 August 2014
FIRST IMPRESSIONS: CODE:BREAKER
I'm not joking when I say this show is on fire!
I had the opportunity to see the first two episodes of Code:Breaker this morning and I must admit that despite the weird title, the show really lights a flame under it's audience. I'm sorry, but you'll be hearing more lame flame jokes during this article. Can't be helped.
The premise of Code:breaker is as follows: While riding the bus one day, Sakura Sakurakouji looks out the window and sees people being burned alive with a blue fire as a boy her age remains unharmed and stands over the people. When she goes back to the site later, there are no corpses or evidence of any kind of murder, just a small fire. When Sakura goes to class, she discovers the new transfer student is the same boy she saw the day before. Sakura soon learns that he is Rei Ogami, the sixth "Code: Breaker," a special type of assassin with a strange ability and a member of a secret organization that serves the government.
"Rei makes burning people alive look so relaxing."
What sets any series apart - regardless of format - for me at least is the inclusion of some kind of psychological or philosophical question directed at both the characters and the audience. In this show it's answering the question of is it justified killing a person, whether they are good or bad. Most times you'll hear people go 'nobody has the right to judge another'. These people are hypocrites as we all judge: Who we want as friends? Our morality? Our religion? Even the food we like to eat. It may seem insignificant, but in every one of those cases, you made a judgement call. Ogami's morality is simple: An eye for an eye. If you do bad things, then you should be punished. This I agree with.
Opposing him is Sakura, a strong individual. I don't just mean strong mentally. She is physically tough as well, managing to defend herself against multiple attackers for a time. She however feels that by killing people, he's robbing them of their chance at redemption some day. This is a rather naive viewpoint. At least to me. In fact, it really burns me up (see another one). My own life is filled with instances where I followed 'the right path', yet my enemies always seemed to survive to take it out on me. I'd spare them and then they'd punish me for doing so. In fact, straying from the topic a little, a principal once asked me to disregard a bully's teasing because it would mean expelling them and ruining their education. I folded in the end because back then I was a real sucker. Two days later I was attacked and beat up after school by him and three of his friends. Happy ending eh?
"Why would you be so against burning the people who are planning violate you?"
So I'm with Ogami on this one, but I've also matured to the point where I understand where Sakura is coming from. True there are some really sick selfish bastards who will never redeem themselves, but there are also people who feel genuine remorse for their actions. Not all mistakes are on purpose. Not every life taken is out of greed or anger. So if you don't spar people, how would you know which is which? Good question.
The first two episodes mainly deal with Sakura discovering Ogami's secret and trying to cope with that information. Ogami comes across as very evil as he stalks her at school making sure she doesn't try to expose him. This leads to a few awkward moments and a lot of spine-chilling ones as well. You can feel her fear through the television. Imagine it for a moment: living with someone you know is a heartless killer, but you can't tell anybody because they'd kill you and them on the spot. This is brought to light in the second episode where Sakura brings Ogami to a public place so that he can't use his powers on her with so many people around. It doesn't work and Ogami demonstrates that he just doesn't care who knows. He does however promise to kill anyone that does learn of his abilities. This understandably scares Sakura to the bone and I can't blame her. She is rendered helpless. Feeling completely helpless? That's something everyone has experienced at some stage. It's a deep, dark hole you can't get out of.
"You have the right to be terrified of the serial killer burning people alive before you."
Micah Solusod voices Rei Ogami and gives a really spine-chilling performance. I couldn't help but wonder how this can be the same voice as Touma Kamijou from A Certain Magical Index. In fact, his portrayal reminded me of his portrayal of Midnight from Fairy Tail. Solusod has really captured the inner flame of Ogami (last one I promise) and puts audience in a state of excitement and grief because the rest of the episodes won't be released until 24 June! Jackie Ross provides the voice for Sakura. I will confess that the first time she used the whole 'power of love' speech, I thought this was gonna suck, but Ross manages to make it not sound cheesy at all. You actually want to believe in what's she's saying and depending on your personal experiences, you might. I've only seen Ross in Steins;Gate as Miyuri (a character I'm a little iffy about), but I feel like she's captured the very essence of Sakura as well.
Lastly, here's a neat drinking game for you guys planning to watch this show. Take a shot every time you hear Ogami say: "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth and evil for evil."
Finally, rating the first two episodes: 9/10. Making us wait till June to see what's to come is definitely a form of torture!