Friday, July 15, 2011

Code Breaker #1-130 (Thoughts so far)

Here's a series that I wish had more exposure! Code Breaker takes place in a world where special, superhuman powers exist, such as pyrokinesis, magnetism manipulation, sound manipulation, etc. Those with these gifts are inducted into a secret organization where they are given the title, "Code Breaker," and charged with destroying evil wherever it may be and whenever they see fit. One of the main characters, Oogami Rei. is one of these Code Breakers, with the power to generate and control blue fire (thus indicating a flame of great intensity). He uses it frequently to burn criminals to cinders, so that there's no evidence of any wrongdoing. Bad. Ass. He's also merciless as hell, and is even willing to kill bystanders should they jeopardize his mission or his cover. His costar and eventual foil is Sakura Sakurakouji (clearly, her parents had a lot of trouble naming her), a young girl with exceptional physical and intellectual abilities who despises Oogami's violent sense of justice. She frequently tries to impede him after finding out what he does for a living, which irritates him so badly he tries to kill her later. Fortunately (and very coincidentally), Sakura has inexplicable ability to completely negate his powers upon physical contact. Thus, her action of choice is to hug power users when she wants them to stop killing people.

Eventually, the two graduate from foiling each other's plans of justice to much more complex, and sinister plots. Later on, more Code Breakers join the scene, who are increasingly more dangerous and more powerful than Oogami himself. Masaomi Heike, #2 and a manipulator of light, Yuuki Tenpouin, #3 and a manipulator of sound, and Toki Fujiwara, #4 and a manipulator of magnetism. Of course, regardless of that, they still get the ULTIMATE FRIENDSHIP HUG OF POWER NEGATION from Sakura when they get out of line. Naturally, in spite of their misgivings with Sakura's meddling, they all become friends/allies (aka NAKAMA) and end up falling in line to her inescapable flow. So yeah, totally a shonen, even if it's much darker than most. The first mission the collected group of Code Breakers get is to defeat one of their own, and former number 1 of the organization (called Eden btw), Hitomi, a manipulator of electricity. He's the typical well-intention extremist, who wants to bring the Code Breaker's more heroic exploits to light. For him, he just couldn't take his young allies all dying in the line of duty, but never being remembered for it. After his eventual defeat, the Code Breakers promise to never forget him.

Then, the shit hits the fan. The Re-Codes enter the storyline, who are power users like the Code Breakers, but are acting against Eden. They are all much more powerful, and much more ruthless than the Breakers, proving to be the most formidable set of foes for the heroes. To make it personal, their leader, enigmatically known as the "The one being sought," was once Oogami's mentor and surrogate parent, while Kouji. Re-Code #3, was the one who killed Toki's sister. Fortunately, they get one more ally to balance their strength, which comes in the form of former Re-Code, Rui Hachiouji, an adorably shy tomboy. This arc is one of my favorites, as the ever powerful Code Breakers are always on the ropes, desperately resisting annihilation. Then, after the Big Bad is defeated and all is won... IT WAS ALL FOR NAUGHT. As it turns out, Eden is the true enemy here, and the battle lines shift. Heike ends up being one of the FOUNDERS of Eden, and a primary antagonist, while a large chunk of the Re-Codes decide to ally themselves with Oogami, per their leader's wishes. Toki and Yuuki end up siding with Eden for their own reasons, with Yuuki needing to protect someone under Eden's "care," and Toki refusing to ally himself with his sister's murderer (understandable).

Currently, the group is in the thick of Eden, counting down to their final confrontation. I really enjoy this series, and wish it got more exposure. It has some great storylines and great character development, as well as very creative uses for powers that have been tried and true by almost every other work I can think of. It would definitely recommend anyone who enjoys a good action read to check this out.

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