A major theme of the past season is fooling the viewer: going into an entirely different direction than what would be normally expected. Mission-E definitely has these themes: its predecessor (Code-E) was a cute little love-triangle set in a high school, so naturally you’d expect something similar for its sequel. As it turns out: I can’t remember a direct sequel that was more different from its predecessor than what Mission-E showed us.
Mission-E takes place five years after the end of Code-E: every character has grown up, and changed and matured significantly. Annoying love-triangle? Gone. High-school-antics? Gone. Lots of quiet moments? Gone. Instead, Mission-E focuses much more on action, and much less on slice-of-life. The pacing is much, much faster, and the overall storyline has a much larger focus, now that the characters are openly fighting the bad guys.
And therein lays the problem, though. Because five years have passed, the characters have developed tremendously. And because Code-E has already fleshed them out, they become really fun to watch. If it weren’t for those bloody bad guys that keep GETTING IN THEIR WAY. These guys lack so much in terms of development, they are evil because this series simply needs a villain, but they’re uninspired, stereotypical and generally useless.
The characters are at their best when they’re just interacting with each other, but too often they’re just busy fighting against this useless organization of bad guys. As a result, a lot of potential that was in them is never really realized, because the series is too damn busy in a desperate attempt to flesh out its story a bit. In addition, the new main character of Mission-E is someone who only appeared once or twice in Code-E, thus she doesn’t really live up to the others in terms of development.
Thankfully, the production-values are still solid, and the creators know how to make fun action-scenes. The graphics are typical Studio-Deen, with nice poses and simple but very stylish character-designs and nice poses. Everything gets accompanied by a spunky and energetic soundtrack, and the ED is probably the best ED of the past summer-season.
Overall, if you liked Code-E, like myself, then Mission-E is going to disappoint, because it takes the focus away a bit from the character that were so much fun to watch in the first season. However, if you hated Code-E, then you’ll have much less reasons to hate Mission-E, because it’s a lot more accessible than its predecessor with an increased pacing, no silly teenaged love or angst, and enough fun action-scenes to last through 12 episodes. This really is a franchise with a lot of potential, but due to its crappy villains, not all that potential got realized.