Code: Breaker Review

Code BreakerStory:
Rei is not even close to ordinary. He’s a government secret agent with deadly powers. When Sekura witnesses the tail-end of one of his assassinations, both her life and Rei’s alter.

Violence:
Pretty high stuff. This show openly advertised its connections to Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood‘s director and other action shows in the same violence category. While it never gets worse than FMA (actually it’s a bit less so), blood, gunshot wounds, broken bones and dead bodies are shown.

Language:
Again, pretty typical PG14 stuff. D-mns, sh-ts and a few b-words here and there.

Nudity:
Shockingly, there’s nothing to put here.

Theology/mythology:
The assassins in this show use a modified version of a Biblical passage as catch phrases before a kill. Conversations on morals, however, leave out any religious discussion so these quotes are simply that: quotes taken out of context.

Personal impression:
I enjoyed this show on and off and, by the end, have some mixed feelings about it overall. As far as their bragging rights of being related to FMA go, I can see where that came from. There are some heavy tones that reminded me of that anime quite often. Even the animation and movement recalled that show here and there.
That said, this anime’s biggest failing was in having a far more simplistic world compared to FMA, yet not fully resolving the issues presented in that world. I understand condensing things down when you have a shorter series, but if that’s going to be the case, things should properly conclude. Unfortunately, it seems the creators were hoping to be funded for another season and thus held back. It was a poor choice as the ending feels cut off and frustrating.
On the plus side, while none of the characters were too unique outside of our female lead, they weren’t horrid either. The animation remains consistent and the music is decent. But decent and “not horrid,” aren’t exactly great complements for an anime. The ending arc brings up some great ethical questions and thankfully the main heroes all stand firm in their beliefs for what was right. But the very end still ended up leaving a great many innocents at the hands of evil people and the heroes don’t seem to… do anything about it. The series closes with a near cliffhanger that seems to contradict the good ethics that were discussed only minutes before.
Honestly, if you don’t get too hung up on “open” endings, you might like this title just fine. But if you prefer to have more closure, you might wanna pass on this one.

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 13
Languages: Sub and dub
Official rating: TV14
Genres: Action
Company: FUNimation
Official streaming: Hulu

Warning Zone: Charlotte

charlotte_animeThe What:
This hyper violent show follows Yu, a young teen who has the ability to temporarily take over someone else’s body. When a girl named Nao discovers this, he is forced to transfer to her school and comes face to face with others that also have unusual abilities.

The Why: 
Gonna be real here and admit that I’m far more willing to slam a show for having sex and rape than I am to call out violence levels. If you’ve been around for awhile, you’d know that I’m pretty conflicted with this as some shows, such as Trinity Blood, FMA: Brotherhood and the recent Legend of Arslan contain very high amounts of violence yet avoided being WZ-ed. Looking back, perhaps they should have been. Regardless, this show was so hyper violent that I cringe at the fact that it has been left as “Not Rated.” Knowing next to nothing about the show myself, I went into it thinking, at most, the violence would be fairly regular TV14 fare. And, for much of the series (aside from an early flashback of torture) it is. It stays within safe TV14 bounds for over half its run. But as the series drew near its end, the violence sky rocketed. Characters were tortured to the point of loosing all their teeth and fingernails, eyeballs were sliced and then there was the screaming…. It was all quite graphic and disturbing and there was little warning that the show would venture into such an extreme. Especially considering how light over half the series was.
That said, this series was overall rather unique in that the creators clearly didn’t shy away from showing the very ugly (sometimes violent) nature of grief. More than once the MC gets so lost emotionally that he goes pretty psychotic. It’s done well and for that reason is often just as disturbing as the torture scenes. Good writing and directing (as far as the grief goes. The plot itself was a real cop-out there at the end), but a bit too real for me.
I would never recommend this show to anyone due to the level of violence and how unnerving it can be on and off. The end episodes defiantly gave me a bit of anxiety (and were depressing) to watch, so be well warned. Because I certainly wasn’t.

Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto Review

SakamotoStory:
Sakamoto is exceptional high school student. Very exceptional.

Violence:
Once or twice some characters get beat up and there are bloody noses and cuts and whatnot. While it’s not frequent, the way it’s done can be a bit violent as it is not often done for comedy, interestingly enough.

Language:
Some sh-ts and d-mns and b-words. Nothing too excessive. Typical PG14 stuff.

Nudity:
Aside from some bare chests (males only), nothing constant to note here. That said, there is one episode where Sakamoto is recruited to get a hold of porn for some friends. Nothing is shown. Also, there is a mother of one of the side characters who is very… attracted -no obsessed- with Sakamoto. It’s a very uncomfortable element so be warned on that one.

Theology/mythology:
Besides shrines seen now and then, there is an entire scene where some girls play a “summoning” game. Nothing really happens, but it’s there.

Personal impression:
Some comedies just don’t hit the funny-bone quite right. This is one of them. At first I wasn’t sure why I wasn’t laughing at this. Ever. Then I watched a few re-runs of some of my favorite comedy anime titles with a friend and it struck me. This show has no straight-man characters. None. Every extreme, over-the-top scene passes by with no comment as to the ridiculousness of the event. And while this occasionally happens in some other comedies, there are usually some moments when someone, somewhere, reacts more reasonably. A counter-point, you might say, to the zaniness of the jokes. But this show didn’t have that and it made a huge difference. Perhaps the creators thought the audience could be the straight-man? If so, I don’t think it worked. All the jokes, with punchlines waiting to hit, just…. die in midair.
Overall this was another title that I felt really underperformed this past streaming season. It was clearly a parody, yet action shows like FMA have more comedy than this.
The art was decent and the music was actually rather catchy (kinda jazzy, a pretty good choice for this sort of show). But the characters and story were dull and the jokes, which should be funny, just never landed. If you hate straight-man characters in your comedy, this is for you. But don’t underestimate the power they have. Because without them, crazy can be rather… dull.

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 12
Languages: sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Comedy, slice of life
Company: TBS
Official streaming: Crunchyroll