Thursday, 3 October 2013

Coppelion - Episode 1

Seeing three school girls wandering into a desolate wasteland of a city is an incongruous one at the best of times.  It is, however, entirely more so when that city is Tokyo.

As this opening episode of Coppelion progresses, it becomes clear that this trio are no ordinary school girls, but rather genetically engineered children designed to be immune to the radiation... errr, sorry, "unexplained bad stuff" (for reasons you can imagine, there are no references to radiation or anything nuclear here)... that has destroyed Tokyo and most of the city's populace with it.

The job of these girls, referred to as nothing more than puppets by the regular humans that created them, is to seek out distress calls from anyone left alive within the city walls in an attempt to aid anybody who is in a state worth saving.  At least, that's the official line, although the head of this trio, Ibara, is determined to save anyone and everyone that she finds no matter what.  Then again, in this Tokyo jungle (I don't think we need to play "spot the video game reference" there) it might just be that these girls will need to save themselves first and foremost.

As you might expect, this first episode of Coppelion is really all about setting the scene - something it does rather well in the literal sense of showing us this overgrown, desolate and ruined Tokyo, which is creepy enough for someone who has never been there and I imagine may be even more impactful for those that have.  These lavish backdrops occasionally feel a little at odds with the character animation, perhaps deliberately so but still in an occasionally jarring way thanks to the characters thick lines and their separation from the eerie lighting of the world they inhabit.  Still, I have a soft spot for fictional post-apocalyptic settings, and there are all sorts of interesting directions in which the series might head, so this opener has me very much intrigued so hopefully it can do something suitable fascinating with the world it's now created.

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