Anime Review: Coppelion

By K. Hopson


The city of Tokyo has been exposed and left to fester as a ruin of seeping radiation for two decades
following the major meltdown of a nuclear facility in 2016. The government has just debuted its latest experiment in genetic engineering—high-school children, inoculated with immunity to the radiation, who make up a special unit of the government’s Self-Defense Forces.

These cloned children are called Coppelion, after a French comic ballet, and were also gifted with unique superhuman abilities to aid survivors of the nuclear accident and combat the spread of contamination. Our three main characters, Taeko Nomura, Aoi Fukusaku and Ibara Naruse, are part of the group’s rescue unit. This dour chain of events serves as the backdrop for Coppelion, the highly-anticipated series directed by Susumu Kudo.

Studio GoHands definitely delivers with their beautiful renderings in this series. Audiences may find themselves just a little blown away at the soft, detailed backgrounds that add just the right amount of eeriness to the abandoned city. The show is also filled with awesome action sequences. Sadly, the animation just isn’t quite enough to help Coppelion live up to its full potential. What should be a somewhat dark sci-fi/action tale lacks the much of the gravity and depth it takes to really hit home with its audience. In later episodes, the series is also marred by bad timing and a lack of character development.

I have several issues with the show in general. Besides the rushed nature of the episodes, I found myself rewinding constantly to see if I’d missed something with characters that seemed to randomly drop out of the script and then pick up again wherever. There were also a lot of very unrealistic moments that took me away from the story as I tried to figure out how the characters were able to realistically manage some of these feats. For example, toward the end of the series, the 1st Division antagonists, coupled rogue Coppelions, the Ozu Sisters, randomly unveil this…big robotic spider thing in a moment that feels a lot like a cut scene from an early role playing game. And not in a good way.

The more serious, sentimental moments in the series also felt a bit forced. Or maybe misplaced is a better word. I found myself rolling my eyes at many of the cheesy, unnecessary comments that did nothing to add to the scenes.

Coppelion also doesn’t explore the main characters well enough initially to provide a suitable base for events that happen later in the series. Ibara and Haruto, the only male Coppelion thus far, develop a relationship out of thin air at some point in the story. It’s all very strange, considering that their flashbacks never really indicate that level of closeness. Also, Aoi (the most useless character) seems to “suddenly” discover her special abilities in the nick of time. But shouldn’t she have known of her powers already, seeing how the rest of the Coppelions are aware of their given abilities? Considering that she had done nothing to contribute to the plot during earlier episodes, her random usefulness in the last two episodes made me raise an eyebrow. Mostly because I couldn’t understand how her newfound powers actually helped the situation.

But don’t completely give up on the series. It’s not all bad. Coppelion presents some interesting questions about the fate of future generations who may have the shoulder the burden of our excesses. The final episode also leaves the story on interesting cliffhanger. Perhaps next season’s continuation will be a little more cohesive?

I only wish that the creators could have done a little more with this series, if only because the premise of the show is so relevant. (i.e. the Fukushima Daiichi disaster in 2011) Coppelion is still worth a watch, if only for the detailed environments and cool fight scenes.

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Comments (2)

Thing is, season 1 was written entirely before Fukushima. I’m reading the manga at the moment, and I’ve been told that what comes after the first season is much darker, with stronger political themes.

The most fucked up, useless, shitty, retarded, stupid, idiotic, nonsense, shithead anime this season. The plot doesn’t add up, the “heroine” is a fucking retard that “does not understand that difficult stuff” and similarly doesn’t understand that efforts to ‘save’ two villain retarded girls put in hazard not only her, her friends, entire train car full of people and animals but also newborn baby/babies and a woman in the middle of delivery. Nope – that fucking shit doesn’t matter – she has to save everyone.

The guy who goes around shooting people and who orders his soldiers to fire a tank missile straight into him (and unsurprisingly doesn’t suffer any major injuries) suddenly converts because he got a talk by a teenage boy and got shot. Fucking retarded shit right there. Even better – he lives in the radiated zone for years and what he gets? Pieces of face coming off. No – no radiation disease, no vomiting, nausea and what not – he gets to be a fucking zombie. And he is apparently the only fucking guy in all SDF who wears a CAP for fuck sake.

Aoi is other retard with a vacuum instead of brain. USELESS. Completely and utterly. Her ‘powers’ that spring suddenly do nothing to contribute to the plot. And who the fuck deploys useless, skill-deprived idiot to the danger zone? And really – half the crew tries to get the fucking retarded hikikomori out of the storage room and who manages to do that? A fucking robot. The only explanation for that is that he had similar intellectual level as the dumb girl so she felt some fraternity with him.

Two villain girls can be shot, beaten, blown up etc and they don’t die. Teenage boy gets couple of gun wounds and dies. Probably the only Coppelion in the anime that doesn’t possess any ‘extra’ power and who, in addition, is given a death sentence by being sent with two super-powered teenage girls. Fucking useless and feeble-minded as they are – they are also insane and NOTHING (not even serious bullying of schoolmates) give a hint to their supervisors than maybe their deployment is not the best idea. But no – they are cleaners who clean what exactly? Nobody fucking knows. And of course it doesn’t matter they are clones of a serial murderer – they should be saved, even for the price of hurting other, totally innocent people.

The vice principal is another story. Guy without backbone gets to be ordered by some prime minister, who apparently is scared of the zombie guy and not only doesn’t want to get involved with him himself, but refuses others to get involved as well. The reason? Who the fuck knows. And it is apparently more important for Japan to do a dick measuring contest rather than save examples of costly and long term experimentation, which MUST’VE cost the country hundreds of time more than the fucking conference. And really? Not even ONE copter to send to the zone? You really think world “leaders” will do just good with 300 copters in the dick measuring contest but 299 will show them Japan is weak? Who do you think we are, brain-dead USA politicians?

High-level toxic spills couldn’t be just put back inside the barrels. With, oh I don’t know, a shovel or something? No, we need the car to go around the whole fucking city because if not then we don’t have anything to put in the damned episode.

Giant spider robots coming out of fucking nothing, their intestines being blown up but don’t worry, electricity will do just fine in place of clogs and other mechanical stuff that was blow the fuck away. And don’t worry – there is always a high speed racing car nearby so you can chase your pray. Unless you’re a protagonist, of course – in that case you have to go by foot. Because you know – you’re deployed to the zone to help save people a.k.a move as fucking fast as possible to save those lives, but it’s cool – you don’t need any vehicle, you can just enjoy your fucking walk.

Not to mention that whoever depicted a pregnant woman probably only heard about them or watched them in some bizarre tentacle prego hentai. Cause she looked nothing like a woman in labour. Rather – she looked as if someone stuffed inflatable boat up her vagina and pulled the wire.

Also romantic relationship, that springs out fucking blue, is strong enough, that after the girl learns that the boy died and is in deep despair because of that – it’s enough to say couple of nice words to her and enough for some vague memory to surface – and suddenly we’re all up and ready to action.

Action … she is fucking operating the fucking TRAIN! There’s no steering wheel or any complicated machinery inside. Go, stop and maybe some buttons you need to push in order for the train not to stop. But don’t worry – she can handle it…by professing a deep, profound and spirit rising speech to people locked with a bunch of cattle in a lead-covered train. Which reminds me – The train has couple of cars that are heavily armoured with lead plates (and some spikes to spice the train up) – and yet doesn’t have much problem with accelerating and breaking. Obviously lead in that anime is made of air. Which is proven by the fact, that it’s enough for one grenade to blow up a top of a pile of scrap metal for the whole pile to magically become useless.

Next thing – the power substation works for dozen of years without any problem and suddenly breaks after they safely leave the base and board the train. And the electricity is very heavy – the poles start crumbling and falling down the moment the electricity goes up.

Honestly – it pains me I lost so much time on this shit. I hope they don’t do a 2nd season cause it’s pure shit written by alzheimer alcoholic zoofile. Shithead.

And yes – rage much.

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