Genre: Adventure, Drama, Mystery, Psychological, Sci-Fi
Summary: Many years after a great tragedy killed 90% of the people in Japan, three girls arrive in the ruins of Tokyo. In the devastated capital, their unusually clean clothes set them apart. But that’s not the only strange thing about them – they also each wield supernatural powers. They call themselves “Coppelion,” and are on a mission to save the people of Tokyo.
Review: There are a lot of anime that come with hype. Some of them live up the hype and some fail miserably.. Coppelion was the latter. I couldn’t believe how fast the anime fell after have such great promise. They had everything laid out in front of them from beautiful art to gripping story line. Even the soundtrack was attractive. I couldn’t understand why I suddenly lost interest in the anime series until I looked at the characters. Soon it all became clear why I went from heart wrenching to eye gouging.
I mentioned that the art style for Coppelion was actually quite good. Even during my first look I mentioned how much I enjoyed the different hues and bold lines. The action scenes were definitely entertaining from start to finish just as expected from the creators of Project K. It had good reasoning to have the characters wear the same clothing day after day. One being that not many days actually passed in the twelve episode anime series, and the fact that they were in an apocalyptic Tokyo. Speaking of which, I absolutely loved the environment and backdrops of nuclear Tokyo. They did a wonderful job showing nature slowly taking back the concrete jungle and crumbling buildings. The action scenes were absolutely brilliant and they did a great job mixing in CG with the hand drawn style. I loved the multiple camera shots and fluid body motions. Unfortunately I did notice a slight drop in art quality as time went on so I can’t give it a perfect score in the styles department. I also grew tired of was seeing the same crying facial expressions over and over again.
Coppelion did do some things right and I wont scoff at them for that. The idea of an apocalyptic Tokyo inhabited by convicts was an exciting thought. I was happy the creators didn’t want everything to be picture perfect. The writers decided to sacrifice some of the characters in the series making death a common occurrence. These were good points because it made the anime slightly more realistic. Not everyone could get away with a happy ending. However, the amount of time they spent shoving the bitter side to this tale into your face voided all emotions. You grew tired of them continually mentioning how their lives were so awful and that it’s never good enough because not everyone was saved. Everything about the series screamed confusion. The storyline ended up being all over the place because they couldn’t decide how the characters should interact. They tried to create the righteous Ibara convert everyone to her side instead of creating an obvious split in views between the two factions. The creators imagined a rather decent villain and made it seem like he’d gone insane with a no-holds-bar attitude. It would have been much better if he decided to stick to his guns and follow through till the end. Even the berserk Ozu sisters decided to become wishy-washy with Ibara’s constant monologues. If all it took was some inspirational speech to change people’s life views I’m sure there would be a lot less wars. What the anime really came down to was a decent plot watered down by terrible writing and character development.
There are ways to make the audience feel a strong surge of emotion, and if done correctly it can pull someone in and attach them to an anime on a much deeper level. Anime like 5cm per Second and Clannad will make someone cry waterfalls of tears and still be entertaining because of how attached people become with fictional characters. Just as there are anime that make you feel an emotional tug, there can also be ones that push you away. Coppelion was one of the latter. I was thoroughly enjoying myself, but that’s when the character development attacked. It only took four episodes to realize where this anime was going and how poor the characters were going to be. As I mentioned earlier Coppelion did the absolute worst thing to make you feel for the main characters. Instead of relating to the characters they instantly made them cry after every little thing. The number of tears in this anime could have filled the Atlantic ocean twice over. As cynical as this may sound, watching someone cry all the time gets annoying. After establishing that the girls were going to be an emotional train wreck they also chose to make two of them completely useless. Aoi was not only useless, but complained about being useless and shut herself in a room for hours to be even MORE useless. The only good thing that happened from that was the characters completely ignoring her because they have much more pressing matters on their hands. The third ‘main character’ of the group, Taeko, was almost never to be seen. She did basically nothing till the very end of the anime, and even then she required help from someone else. She was the biggest throwaway character in an anime. They couldn’t even give her a useful skill so it was as though the only good thing about her was that she didn’t take up a radiation suit. If you’re going to establish that the anime is following a group of three girls, don’t make over half the group simply follow around their leader like drones.
Final statements: I was very disappointed how Coppelion turned out and it definitely be avoided. Even if the story had some good points they couldn’t outweigh the horrid characters. I’m sorry to say but this makes two for two anime created by the Project K team that started off brilliantly but turned out to be complete disasters. I really hope that they don’t come out with a second season for their sake and ours.