Courtesy of Viz Media, we have a new show based off a manga series coming to is this fall, but can it manage to stand out? Spoilers Ahead!
In 2016 a catastrophe struck Tokyo, leaving the city completely uninhabitable. 20 years later, 3 young girls: Ibara, Aoi, and Taeko find themselves entering the outskirts of the ruined capital. Dubbed the “Coppelions” the three girls are there to investigate an SOS that was received by the Japan Ground Self Defense force. As the girls enter the city and rummage through the wreckage, they find out that the city may not be so deserted after all.
Coppelion is an action title coming to us from studio GoHands and while they don’t have too many titles under their belt since their inception in 2008, they look to break out of the mold with Coppelion, and judging from the first episode they seem to be on the right track.
Coppelion is certainly one of the best looking anime this season in terms of its world setting. The scenery is gorgeous to look ar even if it mostly half or fully destroyed buildings covered with overgrown weeds. The ruined Tokyo sort of has a vibe to the ruined NYC in the I Am Legend movie which is pretty nice. We are introduced to are three main heroines in the first scene and o it pretty much establishes their character traits. Ibara is the stubborn leader who wants to heal everyone they find, Aoi is very bubbly and happy go lucky, and Taeko is basically the worrier of the group. Each of them have been genetically engineered to survive in the harsh environment the Tokyo has become, giving them each unique abilities. While we don’t know Ibara or Aoi’s, we do find out that Taeko has the ability to communicate with animals die to some sort of enhanced senses.
Speaking of animals, it is revealed that despite the radioactivity animals are still able in Tokyo kind of giving the city a jungle like environment. This is evident when the girls see birds flying overhead, as well as a dog that had been following them. While the incident isnt fully explained we do get a better look at the devastation in the form of a newscast given by the girls “vice principal”. Due to science, a thick layer of mist covers the epicenter of the incident in Tokyo.
The whole episode keeps a pretty creepy and suspenseful atmosphere about as the girls explore the city and take everything in, no real action happens until the end and it is pretty welcome. While Taeko talks to the dog that was following them, Ibara and Aoi go investigate a radiation reading they get from a nearby hotel. When they make their way to the back, they see that the person giving off the readong is dead and they are certainly attacked by a rabid wolf. Ibara manages to kill it but then the two girls surmise that if that wolf was feral that dog might be as well (this is confirmed when Ibara tries to contact Taeko and she doesnt answer but we get an overhead slow zoom out shot of Taeko’s walkie on the ground in a small pool of blood).
“Coppelion” is a pretty good opener for the series. The world is set up, we get a broad introduction into our main characters, and there is an pretty thick air of suspense and mystery. While the animation is good it can suffer a bit in places (some shots the character models are heavily outlined) it doesn’t distract from what could be a good series.