Code: Breaker 1 by Akimine Kamijyo

With Code: Breaker, we have a fairly typical urban fantasy that never really hits any high points in this first volume. The main characters are irrational and poorly written. The story is inert and has far too much tell over show. And the illustration work is very unimaginatively ‘seinen’. Honestly, I was bored.

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Story: Sakurakoji is the perfect girl at her high school: highly interested in martial arts, beautiful, lively, and smart. But when she witnesses thugs being burned alive at a park – she sees one boy at the center of the conflagration. A boy who shows up at her school the next day and acts quite oblivious to her accusations. But soon she will discover he has a strange power and even more chilling mission.

What Code:Breaker tries to do is create an edgy, morally ambiguous tale. What we have, unfortunately, is a a nearly misogynistic story of the perfect girl overreacting constantly and creating scenes with her ‘suspicions’. it got old watching this supposedly smart and proactive girl being lobotomized by the mangaka.; I began to wonder if the story was written by a 12 year old boy as a Marty Stu.

The characters were odd, unlikable, and irrational. Anti heroes can be fascinating (e.g., Death Note) and make you want to follow them. With this story, I was kind of hoping the thugs succeeded and took both main characters out and ended our misery. This is standard shounen-manga fare here – fan service, stupid ‘smart girl’, and mysterious guy with super powers. Marty Stu ensues.

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