Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Coppelion - Episode 2

With wolves on the prowl and Taeko missing, things seems to be going a little awry all of a sudden for Coppelion's genetically engineered high school school girls.

Indeed, things quickly go from bad to worse as they find their colleague only to discover that she's been taken hostage by a man demanding the return of their daughter.  Luckily, Ibara is both skillful and quick-witted enough to both diffuse the situation and treat the man for any radiation sickness from which he might be suffering, before getting some more comprehensive details about what's going on.  Having led them to a basement room in a hospital that doubles as his home and introducing his wife, they explain that their daughter Miku has gone missing, most likely to visit the grave of her actual mother from a previous marriage.

As this couple's criminal past comes into the conversation, so the possibility rises that at least one of these survivors isn't telling the truth - although they do indeed have a daughter, their reasons for her disappearance are very different, and tied to the freedom of her current parent and guardian rather than their well-being, as a scenario unfolds which quickly becomes impossibly stressful for Ibara in particular as she takes the lead with a determination to save everybody she comes across once again.

For a little while, this week's Coppelion was threatening to lose my interest - its drama was threatening to become so heavy-handed and overblown that it was courting stupidity for a while there.  However, ultimately this episode managed to redeem itself, mostly by shifting a lot of its focus onto Ibara and her two comrades as the true psychological impact upon these girls comes to the fore - genetically modified or not, these young women are in no emotional state to handle the intense trauma and despair that comes from handling survivors of a nuclear holocaust.  This fact is delivered in an impressively powerful way that affected me more than its build-up, and if the series can continue to examine this facet of proceedings while also providing some more subtle and thoughtful story-telling in other aspects of its narrative then it could be on to something truly fascinating.

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