Genre: Romantic Comedy / Sci fi Action
Length: 12 episodes and 12 episodes
In a world of computerised bus stops, electronic black boards and uniquitous cell phones, Chinami has an unfortunate affliction: she emits EM that disrupts electronics. Worse, she isn’t able to control her emmissions – they’re linked to her emotional state, and she’s constantly nervous. Her family have had to move repeatedly to keep her condition a secret, and her father’s computers stay in a lead-lined cellar. But when she starts at a new school, her science-minded classmate Kotaro notices and determines to unravel the science behind it.
CODE E is a school romantic comedy, with the usual misunderstandings and things unsaid, love triangles and cluelessness. It only gently hints at the greater forces in play, the agencies that would like to make use of a Type E power. Two semi-independent agents feature in a minor role, mostly as comic relief – they spend the first half of the series arguing with Japanese bureaucracy. The end story involves another agency moving to control her power, but still Chinami and Kotaro stay largely isolated from the real machinations.
Mission E is set some years later, when Chinami has gained confidence, learned to control her power and works with an agency to find, contact and rescue other Type E people. The style is more action based, and the plot takes a much darker turn. Much of it focuses on Maori, a younger Type E girl who works with Chinami but isn’t sure of where she belongs.
The two parts of the story are really quite separate, and in a way the change is jarring – I’d have preferred to see more of the transition. Still it’s an interesting tale, and probably the most realistic ‘super power’ story I’ve seen – both in the science, and in the way people behave.
Note: I still haven’t seen the last two episodes, but since they seem to have stalled I wrote this review while I could still remember the rest.