Coppelion (Fall 2013) – A “Fancy” Show Gone Straight to the Bottom Line


The disaster of nuclear reactor leak in a specific country very inspired “Coppelion”. It revolves around Japan experiencing a nuclear reactor leak in Tokyo. It’s caused thousands of residents to be evacuated. After twenty years have passed, Tokyo has now become a haunted city. However, it’s thought there is still living inside. To investigate the radiation city, the authorities sent three Coppelion teenagers. They are Ibara (Haruka Tomatsu), Aoi (Kana Hanazawa), and Taeko (Satomi Akesaka). Coppelion is a genetic human, created anti-radiation. They have superior cells, different from humans in general.

Each of Coppelion has an ability. Ibara, the leader, is very strong and athletic, skilled at shooting, and so well-fighting. Taeko is the “glasses”, can see from a distance with her super senses. Among them, only Aoi was still unknown. They arrived in Tokyo without having to wear protective clothing. When a middle-aged man is about to commit suicide, he is just shocked. The main task of the three teenagers is to evacuate the human left behind. There are many humans besides animals that have been dumped by the owner.

“Coppelion” is hard to explain. How not, this show has the potential in embracing the theme. Of course, the post-apocalyptic genre isn’t new at all. Still, I expect a lot with this anime. It went downhill on its way to the end and even ended with one of the corny endings I have ever seen. It even reminds me of Andrei Tarkovsky’sStalker” too, about three people who are trying to explore the Room who can grant a wish. The atmosphere and the scenery immediately reminded me of the film. Even though it’s like that, it sounds silly when you try to compare “Stalker” with this show. It’s ridiculous indeed, I know.

This is one of the great shows if they don’t ruin a premise and potential from the start. Ibara, Taeko, and Aoi are Coppelion. They are the only hope in saving humanity. But, what distinguishes them from humans, in general, was their emotions. They don’t need to eat and their endurance is very strong. The theme of dehumanization also exists in this anime. I love a story about people who are wasted and want to get their redemption. If only the themes of dehumanization and the stories of the wasted people were truly united, it might be one of the philosophical and character study anime.

The potential began to be seen when the main lead, Ibara, was introduced. I don’t know of another reason why Aoi and Taeko exist only to accompany the main character. I like it when they manage to save just one person because most of their trips and missions, one person is always sacrificed. Ibara studied how emotions arose, how to understand humans with each other, and how to become normal humans. The problem is, they aren’t humans but they are just puppets, Coppelion. This is the potential seen. It’s just that, there is an endless cycle.

The show starts spinning when these three main characters meet with other characters. They learn about their past, their experiences, and they try to save them just because the character wants to correct their mistakes. From one to another, every character always has regrets, but they start to get their redemption to the end of the wether they would die or alive. It’s tiring to see this kind of pattern besides I just watched a generic science fiction action series.

And don’t get me started with the antagonist, God. They are the worst of all of the characters including the ending. I don’t know what about the manga because I heard that the manga was completed. But, the antagonist has no right to get their redemption after what they have done before. I don’t understand the emotions and characters in this show like they work as nothing happened. For example, you hit me in the face and suddenly you ask me, “who dares to hit you?”. It’s just so freaking bad. And what’s wrong with these kinds of high school costume designs, like these characters not acting as characters in general? They fight the military without wearing any combat costume. They only use a short skirt with school children’s clothing. I mean, is this a fantasy of young people now? I don’t understand.

We all know how the story. At the end of the day, heroes always win and villains have no right to speak. It’s simple to be honest, considering how other media besides anime teach us if heroes always win. Evil will always be evil; period. I don’t mind if this show can pull a thing about “who did it” or “how it all started”. It’s too innocent for me. But, the redeeming quality of the show lies from the artwork. GoHands did a great job with this aspect. Yeah, it’s pretty decent. The thick line style in every design of the character, the color palette, like the show has a soulless tone, no pun intended. Of course, for many people, this is an odd choice for the director and other animators. But, to be honest, it’s not like which. For me, the artwork stands out pretty much.

“Coppelion” is decent and average enough in all of the aspects. There is a comedy as well and the action is a little bit worthy. The opening song reminds me of all Foo Fighter’s riffs. The ending song is also so tragedic. For me, this show is just trying so hard to be a well-constructed post-apocalyptic anime with a lot to talk about. It’s trying too hard to be as depth as possible and trying so hard to insert many layers. There is a potential, moreover, the show has little character study and dehumanization theme. The bottom line, I don’t much to say if this is an achievement for an anime, and me, as well. I just don’t know.

Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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