Code Breaker Vol. 1
Enter Sakurakouji Sakura, one of the most popular and certainly the prettiest of girls at her high school. She also happens to be an extremely powerful martial arts expert. (Which is obviously very unbecoming of a young lady!) Armed with her uncanny strength and powerful sense of justice, she clashes with Ogami Rei, who has an equally powerful sense of justice - but one that is very different in philosophy. His goal is to use his power - an incredibly destructive blue flame he produces from his left hand - to judge the wicked by burning them alive and thus removing their evil from the world.
Another series I’ve read pretty far into, looking back on the first volume, I remember first being enthralled with the moral battle in this story. On the one hand you have Ogami with his “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, evil for evil” philosophy, and then Sakura who believes that killing those judged “evil” solves nothing. What I love about this is that it so thoroughly explores, in the course of the series, the concept of good and evil - Just what is “good” and “evil”? Who has the right to judge so? And just what should become of those deemed “evil”? I always admire a shounen series that can be badass and provoke some deep thought at the same time. ;)
On the flipside, this series can also be surprisingly lighthearted and funny. Sakura and Ogami’s disagreement causes them to pretty much troll each other all through volume one, and their classmates, meanwhile, remain totally blind to their rivalry. In fact, the entire school is convinced they’re crushing on each other, which makes for plenty of entertaining misunderstandings. Even without their classmates’ suggestions, their interactions sometimes seem very playful and cute - despite the deadly game they’re playing. I must say, their chemistry caught me from the start and part of the reason I so loyally follow this series is that I’ve become so enamored with Sakura and Ogami as a pair. (That and the cute boyzzzz, but that’s another review.) xD
I actually see this as a very well-rounded shounen series, sans the massive cast of characters brandished by other flagship shounen series (Naruto, One Piece, etc.)
Cover image source: barnesandnoble.com
Scanned image source: Mangafox / Mangaddicted