Coppelion is an anime series based on a manga series written and illustrated by Tomonori Inoue. The anime is produced by GoHands, and is directed by Shingo Suzuki. Coppelion began airing in Japan in October 2013, and at the time of this writing, the series is available for viewing as a simulcast in North America on Viz Media’s website.
Coppelion is set in a postapocalyptic setting, where a disaster has taken place in the capital and the people had to be evacuated. While it’s never blatantly said during the first episode, it can be guessed that some kind of nuclear disaster took place from some of the dialogue that is said in the episode.
During the first episode, three girls from the National Defense Academy technical school are sent to the capital to investigate the city and to determine if there are still any people there. The girls (Ibara, Aoi, and Taeko) are actually Coppelion, who are genetically engineered children born with a strong resistance to the environment. The Coppelion are the only ones who can walk through the capital, which has become the world’s largest ghost town.
Episode one was by and large an establishing episode, so the pacing can feel a little on the slow side. There’s a lot of exposition that takes place, with only some occasional action here and there to get the story going. I don’t look too badly at that, though, because this is meant to be an establishing episode. I should be able to get a better handle on the series’ normal storytelling when I watch the second episode.
When it comes to the animation, I can say that the backgrounds are lush and very well-done. The helicopter that appeared in a few scenes also looked pretty good. Unfortunately, the character animation can be a little rough at times, especially when it comes to the Coppelion characters. The black lines around these characters can stand out too much against the background and draw too much attention to themselves at times. There are also times when the Coppelions’ movements can look a little rough and clunky. Yes, I understand that these characters are genetically engineered and perhaps the intent with this animation style for these characters is to reinforce this idea; however, this animation style for the Coppelions can be a bit distracting at times.
I can say that after watching episode one, I believe an interesting premise has been established for the series. I will definitely continue watching Coppelion to see if the storytelling will be able to continue the promise that I see in this series.
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