Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Code-E: About token conspiracies and sock puppets

Code-E episode 8: Nice nose
(Progress: Complete, 12/12)

Eleven episodes later, I still can't let go of the fact that I'm watching a puppet show a good amount of the time. And people complain about Escaflowne noses. Try no noses.

There are two somewhat major components to Code-E's story. The first is coping with being different (an understatement). The second is a typical love triangle with teen angst which, when combined with being different, leads to cheap special effects attempting to depict the disruption of anything that utilizes electrons.

Notice how neither of the above include anything remotely cool or novel. Sure, being a walking EMP weapon is kind of neat in a sadistic sort of way, but the number of instances where it was used for neat is exactly three, all of which involved restoration of well-being. Last time I checked, electromagnetic radiation may or may not increase the risk of developing cancer, so even that is a bit of a stretch.

This is hardly a comparison, but two things that Read or Die (the OVA) and Code-E have in common, besides being produced by the same studio, is that they have glasses-wearing female leads with special abilities. And maybe a spy-type soundtrack. The similarities end there.

Yomiko Readman manipulated paper for seemingly mundane uses like making a paper plane. Did I mention it was a giant paper plane? Capable of supporting two adults, one of whom was carrying a rifle? Now that is neat. Also neat is creating a blade out of paper currency, and a crowbar to swing around pipes. Paper kills people! Who would have thought?

Chinami Ebihara is insecure but not so easily pushed around, because anyone putting the screws on her backs away when they see every single electronic device around them go haywire. Unless you're the resident stereotypical socially inept science nerd. Intense electromagnetic radiation disrupts electronics! Who would have thought?

Sorry, but watching a weak lead freak out and create QUALITY sparks day in and day out gets old fast.

Love triangle. Awkward adolescents suffer copious amounts of teen angst. QUALITY sparks! Behave immaturely. Incredibly juvenile. Running out of synonyms. Repeating self. Moving on.

If there was a second season and if that second season gave some answers and background on a slew of mysteries, then go watch this series. There is no closure at the conclusion. Chinami is pursued by shady foreigners and…? Some guy sabotages (my own impression) a new town development because…? The development had a violent resonance response to E/M because…? And so on.

Code-E just leaves viewers dangling. It could use that second season, but I question whether it deserves one.


Anonymous said...

It really needed one more episode--it would have been enough to explain 1.) the motive behind the conspiracy and how Chinami got her power back; 2.) Sono's sudden change of heart/lack of jealousy. In other words, the two main plots of the show would have had some sort of resolution. As it stands, it's actually not a bad little modest show, with some good humor and ok angsty drama, but I certainly wouldn't give it any awards.