Friday, 19 December 2014


Catastrophe. Rescue. School girls.

Last week I tested the new equipment at the gym which uses screens and USB ports to help people on the elliptical trainers feel more relaxed. Coupled with this, I decided that this would be the perfect time to watch the first two episodes of a very unusually title anime called Coppelion. 

The short and the long of the plot is this: A disaster from a nuclear meltdown has devestated Tokyo. It is uninhabitable thanks to radiation naturally. However, the Japan Ground Self-Defense Forces recieve a distress signal some 20 years later and send in 3 teenage girls from the Dispatch 3rd Special Force Coppelion, who comprise the "Healthcare Team". Thanks to some genetic engineering, the Coppelions are immune to radiation while also possessing special skills. In layman's terms, Coppelion is a seek and rescue tale with 3 school girls at the heart of it all.
From left to right: Taeko, Ibara, Aoi 

The characters in question are the determined Ibara Naruse (Erica Lindbeck), the energetic Aoi Fukasaku (Cassandra Lee Morris) and the responsible one Taeko Nomura (Shelby Lindley). Of the trio, Aoi and Ibara seem to have the most personality with Aoi's spirit and playfulness being rather infectious. I attribute this to Cassandra's superb voicing of the character, though all three VAs do a fantastic job with the material. 

Another usual thing about Coppelion is the art design and animation which is styled to make the characters "pop" out of from the backgrounds. This feels very much like Hyakka Ryƍran, but Coppelion avoids highschool girl anime cliches which is very welcomed. I quite enjoyed this new-ish animation style. Speaking of which, the overall animation and detail of the background is one of this series' strongest points.

"You do realize that is a tranquilizer pistol you've shoving in his face right?"

The first episode does a terrific job of introducing the plot, the characters and provides most of it via exposition and witty dialogue that does not bore a viewer to tears. It's the second episode that disappoints as it establishes that this series is going to be 'Monster of the Week' except with rescues and not monsters. This is kind of a letdown as there doesn't seem to be an overarching plot woven through these events. The opposite is true: W are watching 3 girls go on a bunch of random, separate missions.

"Smell that radioactive, poisonous air ladies. Smells like...death. And check out that view."

This series focuses a lot on the characters, not just the main ones, but the people these girls try to save. If th first two episodes are anything to go on, Coppelion is one of those shows that breaks the viewer's heart at least once per episode. One particular moment occurs with Aoi in episode 2 in which they promise a little girl to save her father and then fail to do so. It's scenes like these with Aoi breaking down and apologizing for raising someone's hopes that redeems the somewhat repetitive plot.

First impressions: 7/10. Decent everything else save for the Rescue of the Week story structure.

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