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Coppelion: The Complete Series
When I had first seen some screen caps for Coppelion, I was blown away. The animation looked absolutely stunning, the show had a solid team behind it, and it wins points for the simple fact that I absolutely adore a good dystopian/apocalyptic setting. The sad thing is though, is that apocalyptic anime are extremely hard to pull off correctly, with Now and Then, Here and There being the only one I seen that I'd consider excellent. There were others that I'd call above average like Blue Gender and Desert Punk, others never rise above mediocrity like Casshern Sins, and some are below par like the title in question, Coppelion.
At the start of the series, we're thrown right into the middle of the plot as we pick up in an apocalyptic wasteland in 2036. We don't find out too much about past events that have caused this new uninhabitable world because the show chooses not to flesh out its past that much, but in a nutshell with the info we're given, 20 years prior to the placement of the story, a catastrophe occurred after a nuclear meltdown from the nearby nuclear power plant contaminates Tokyo, forcing the inhabitants to evacuate, never to return.
Occasionally the government will receive notice that there are still the occasional straggler left behind enemy lines. To combat this, they will send in the Coppelion unit, a group of 3 genetically engineered women, Ibara (voiced by Erica Lindbeck), Aoi (voiced by Cassandra Lee Morris), and Taeko (voiced by Shelby Lindley), who are immune to the radiation, to investigate. Throughout the course of these 13 episodes, we watch the bio group charge into the contaminated Japan to save the lives left behind.
There are many faults with this series and only few positives, to be quite honest. The two biggest problems with this show is that it has a wealth of untapped potential and a major lack of development. Some shows are just fine and benefit from the episodic approach, with a new case of the week with just a little bit of story sprinkled in. In fact, my favorite anime of all time, Cowboy Bebop, takes this approach, sadly though Coppelion doesn't benefit from this approach. It had a vast world and unique characters that could have benefitted from being expanded on. Instead the show has the girls come into the hot zone, spend 15 minutes looking around for someone who triggered an alarm of sorts, save that random person, everything is wrapped up in a neat and tidy bow. Repeat for 3 episodes, interject some story, and then go back to that same formula. That shouldn't have been what this show is.
Included with the box set are all 13 Episodes:
1. Puppet (Coppelion)
+ Beautiful animation.
+ Solid voice work.
+ Unique spin on an apocalyptic setting. I love a dystopian setting, so that helps the show out just a bit.
- Some of the most wasted potential I've ever seen in a show. Guilty Crown comes to mind as the last anime that wasted this much potential
- The characters and setting were both unique. Instead of fleshing out the characters, or delving into what exactly happened with the apocalypse, it glosses over it all for an episodic "save of the week" approach, which instead should have been the backdrop of the show, not the primary focus.
- Starts off OK enough, but quickly gets worse. The point of no return for me is when one of the girls gets shot point blank by a tank, and somehow is alive and well in the next episode.
Video and Audio:
This is where Coppelion stands out, the quality of the animation is absolutely stunning. The color palette is simply stellar, it's strong, bold and varied. Quite honestly, it's some of the best animation in recent memory in fact, it's just a shame that the studio that anime has a thing for only working on average shows.
There are two audio options for the release of Coppelion, the default track is that of a newly created English dub with a TrueHD 2.0 audio track, which serviceably gets the job done. The second is the original TrueHD 2.0 Japanese audio. As per usual, I watched the English dub while sampling a couple of episodes of the original track. Both tracks are solid across the board and are enjoyable. There were no signs of any kind of dropouts or distortions throughout the set.
- Art gallery.
- Trailers for other Viz series.
- Clean open and ending themes.
Man, it is such a bummer when I'm excited for a show that has a wonderful concept, excellent animation, and a solid team behind it working on the show, and it completely falls apart. Coppelion could have been amazing, a stellar show had it gotten proper writing and direction, it had everything it needed to be a success, but instead it settles for mediocrity, if not worse at times. For me personally, Coppelion was a huge let down. It's worth a rental at best for its stunning aesthetics and solid (yet wasted) setting. Rent it