Code-E: First Impressions

Is that a new designation on the Terror Alert Scale?

The Read or Die team strikes again with another show featuring a megane-ko. This one, though, looks like it’s more focused on the humor in the plight of Chinami, the bespectacled protagonist, with the promise of quirky romance.

I actually first tried this show out several weeks ago, when only the first episode had been fansubbed. I put it down after 5 minutes–it was slow and I was in a hurry to get somewhere else. The premise didn’t seem all that interesting to me–a high school girl who gives off EMP waves when she’s agitated and disrupts electronics around her? I should have seen the first episode all the way to the end, as I did when we showed it at our last anime club meetup. I then would have realized that the relatively sedate first episode is really just setting you up for one of the very best punchlines I’ve seen in a good while. It rivals the last line of Full Metal Panic Fumoffu in sheer, succinct humor.

I ain’t giving away that line. No way.

Chinami, as a protagonist, is cute–she’s definitely Yomiko Readman’s little sister, and Yomiko is the patron saintess of humanities geeks like me!–but the nature of her power forces her to be rather passive as a character. She spends a good amount of time either running away, or being “experimented” on by the computer/science geek who is shaping up to be a potential love interest. Sooner or later Chinami needs to learn to harness her powers, and it looks like it’s heading there with the arrival of a blond German couple who are interested in using those abilities (probably for evil).

It's a sign of the times when even blackboards need upgrade cycles.

One of the more appealing things for me is the plausible near-future technology, especially in the school. The show is set about 10 years in the future, and overall the future doesn’t look all that different–the main thing that stands out is the even greater ubiquity of LCD panels. The entire classroom blackboard, for instance, is a LCD computer panel (we see its boot/BIOS screen several times), as are gym scoreboards and even the floor layout; live TV is on the bus and train schedules are posted on screens. Class attendance is taken entirely electronically as well. I remember my reaction was, I want all this stuff when I become a professor! (Which, if all my plans work out, should be in about 10-15 years, the time frame of this show.)

Plus, I can’t forget the awesomeness that is Kannagi’s machine room. It looks just like the machine room I worked in when I was a sysadmin at University of Maryland–rackmount servers, rows and rows of Blinkenlights. The computer nerd side of me says: must…acquire…this…awesome!

Hypnotized by the blinkenlights.

Of course, a world with ubiquitous LCDs and computers is a nightmare world for Chinami. Kawaisoni!

This is an interesting, if low-key, comedy that I’ll keep an eye on. It may even replace Hayate as my regular comedy watch if that show continues on its rapid descent into endless mediocrity. Maybe, if the creators decide to go the route they took in R.O.D. the TV, we’ll even get some real action and drama too by the end of it. That’s always a good thing.

Author: gendomike

Michael lives in the Los Angeles area, and has been into anime since he saw Neon Genesis Evangelion in 1999. Some of his favorite shows include Full Metal Alchemist, Honey and Clover, and Welcome to the NHK!. Since 2003 he has gone to at least one anime convention every year. A public radio junkie, which naturally led to podcasting, he now holds a seminary degree and is looking to become Dr. Rev. Otaku Bible Man any day now. Michael can be reached at You can also find his Twitter account at @gendomike.

3 thoughts on “Code-E: First Impressions

  1. I’ve seen up to episode 6, and although it hasn’t taken off and become awesome, it has not disappointed. The character development and interaction has been great. The director did Full Moon wo Sagashite; the lead writer, Sato Takuya, wrote F/SN and directed Ichigo Mashimaro and NieA_7; Hanada Jukki, who wrote Rozen Maiden and sola is involved; and so is Nishimura Junji, the director of Simoun.

  2. “the arrival of a blond German couple who are interested in using those abilities (probably for evil).”

    What, because they’re German? heh heh heh…Just kidding.

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