Code-E

Title: Code-E
Genre: Drama/Comedy
Company: Studio DEEN
Format: 12 episodes
Dates: 3 Jul 2007 – 23 Sep 2007

Synopsis: Chinami Ebihara is an ordinary high school girl with an extraordinary talent: the ability to emit electromagnetic waves. Unfortunately, she cannot control this ability; consequentially, it becomes difficult for her to live a high school life. However, several people are interested in her ability, from the benign to the more malicious.

The Highlights
Audio/Video: The only decent aspect.
Plot: Horrible.
Characters: Absolutely pathetic.
Comedy: One joke for the entire series.
Clichés: Too many to count.

I begin this review with some trepidation due to the magnitude of this anime’s rating. When I started watching Code-E, I truly expected it to be a relatively bland anime, with nothing fascinating and exciting, but conversely nothing truly horrendous. However, as the episode count increased, I became truly aware of how horrific this anime is. I’m not one hundred percent certain of exactly where the anime began to nosedive, but from the first episode itself, I could tell that this anime was headed down – little did I know exactly how low it would go.

Though I disdain the idea of rating an anime so low, giving this anime any higher of a score would be an insult to the titles that have received higher, as even Tekken is better by comparison. Though it may seem tempting to give the anime the benefit of the doubt due to its relative modernity and decent production values, neither aspects can even come close to redeeming this anime, and at the end of the day I can’t see how anyone could find enjoyment from this series given the nearly infinite number of superior anime readily available.

The characters in Code-E give the first indication that this anime truly fails on multiple levels. Though superficially they only reek of mediocrity, as the series develops, their glaring personality flaws become painfully obvious. The protagonist Chinami is the perfect anime stereotype: clumsy, glasses wearing and prone to screams of surprise and shock. The three supporting characters also fall into the most generic of anime stereotypes: the oblivious geek, the childhood friend of said geek, and the aloof, cold miko complete the cookie cutter quartet. It’s not specifically that a generic character premise is a bad thing per se (after all, Evangelion managed to create compelling character interaction from archetypes), but when the entire series lacks any character development whatsoever, the result can only be described as a massive failure.

Throughout each episode, no character development is even attempted, and by the end of the series, there is no progression within the interaction of characters. Whatever romantic elements are tossed into the show feel contrived, and the comedy consists of Chinami freaking out every time her EMI ability is invoked, and little more. A drama/comedy anime such as this requires both character development and entertaining comedy, and when both are botched so massively, it’s hard to find merit in the series.

With the characters failing to such a horrible extent, the series defaults to the plot to deliver. Unfortunately, Code-E also fails at this aspect as well. The beginning of the anime simply consists of investigating Chinami’s ability, but by the end of the series we learn nothing of the mysterious talent. Two characters are introduced partially into the series to act as spies investigating Chinami’s ability, but they are barely mentioned at all, and there isn’t even any information given concerning the duo’s background or motive. Then, at approximately the three-quarters mark, a mastermind villain is introduced. For the life of me, I do not understand why this character was introduced. He is never named, his purpose is completely obfuscated, and he leaves at the end of the series without any explanation whatsoever. It’s simply frustrating to see so many plotlines attempted when they all fail miserably – the sheer incompleteness of the anime leaves little room for forgiveness, and by the end of the series none of the major issues are resolved to even a minor extent. A second season has been confirmed, but even if Code-E could resolve its convoluted plot in the second season, it still wouldn’t make up for the monstrosity that precedes it.

To Code-E’s credit, Avex (as always) does an outstanding job with the soundtrack, and the animation is reasonably crisp. However, even if the series had phenomenal aesthetics, it simply could not compensate for the painfully horrendous story. After watching this series, I tried very hard to find any positive aspects of this anime – unfortunately, I found none worth mentioning, let alone any that redeem this abysmal series. This truly is an anime that nobody should watch, and I can only recommend this to the most masochistic of anime viewers looking to see the new benchmark in terrible.

The Rating: 0
0/10

Reviewed by: royal crown

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