Recaps for Coppelion

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Coppelion Episode #13 Anime Review

It’s interesting to hear the amount of time that supposedly has elapsed over the course of the Planet arc of Coppelion. From arriving at the Planet to evacuating all of the survivors, only four days are supposed to have passed. It certainly feels like a lot longer than that, and it makes me wonder what rewatching the series in a single sitting will be like. But for now Coppelion has come to an end, and with no second season in sight, it decides to wrap up every loose end so that there is nothing left to speculate about. But the problem with trying to tie up everything is that sometimes things are better left unsaid, and Coppelion doesn’t let any of those moments be. For every poignant moment, there’s an eye rolling cliche. It’s kind of a shame, but I still feel that I’ll miss these characters. Fortunately Crunchyroll has the manga available, so that shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Read More... //

Coppelion Episode #12 Anime Review

This is the episode where our heroes finally break free of the final “zone” of radioactivity with their passengers, but there’s no catharsis. Some of this is certainly intentional, like Saving Private Ryan, the question of what sacrifices must be made to save a mother and child. But there’s also a structural problem: This is merely one arc of a long-running manga. So there is no final showdown at the gates of the Sarcophagus, as that may come in a later volume. Victory here is circumscribed and tragic. And it’s not quite what I was looking for from a conclusion. Read More... //

Coppelion Episode #11 Anime Review

In last episode’s review I spoke about the tonal shift of the show, from contemplative post-apocalyptic sci-fi to comic book super-heroics over the course of the season. Over time, the changes were easier to take. But this episode whiplashes like a beheaded snake, back and forth, front and back with no rhythm but death rattle. One hopes it gets the bad blood out of the system for the final two episodes, but it takes its toll on this week. Read More... //

Coppelion Episode #10 Anime Review

The tonal shift that has occurred over the course of Coppelion is really nothing short of stunning. The first episode was a quiet, transfixing exploration of urban wilderness. This episode features a chase between swan paddleboats on a lake. But, perhaps surprisingly, I still enjoy it, because the setting and visuals are still something that enchant me, despite the flights of fancy. In the last episode, it was decided that the Ozu Sisters would not be killed, because killing is bad, even when serial killers out for the death of all mankind are on the scene. The action this episode focuses more on the Diversion Team, while the Maintenance Team works on repairing the train off camera. Luckily for us, the diversion is perhaps more than we could have reasonably hoped for. Read More... //

Coppelion Episode #09 Anime Review

At this point, perhaps the only people getting any enjoyment out of Coppelion are the ones who have abandoned attempts for it to make conventional sense. The Ozu sisters are defeated, but only knocked out. The wind is bringing a massive zone to The Planet, requiring evacuation on an accelerated timetable. But with the Ozu sisters still alive, escaping becomes even more dangerous. In such a situation, the idea that one might KILL the Ozu sisters would seem to present itself. In the show’s dramatic logic, they are mere dolls, doomed to a premature death. They are clones of a serial killer. The weight of nine lives outweights those of two in strict utilitarian logic. Heck, the weight of the planet earth’s lives outweigh the lives of two who would kill all of mankind in a fit of psychotic pique! Read More... //

Coppelion Episode #08 Anime Review

One of the most difficult questions Coppelion has posed thus far is, “How seriously is the series itself taking the material, and how seriously is the audience supposed to take it?” The manga is far more clear on this point, as the cartoonier artstyle and lapses into comedy make it clear it’s not hard sci-fi. The anime’s photo-realistic backgrounds make this more difficult to parse out. The first episode is stark in its beauty and minimalism. Here we have a girl who shoots lightning from her hands. But at this point, why not? Read More... //

Coppelion Episode #07 Anime Review

They say time heals all wounds, and after the initial shock fades, I’ve come to accept that Aoi is pretty much no good at anything. The feeling of disappointment has got to be even worse for her. Imagine you were an expensive government genetic engineering project and you were kind of a screw-up. That’s got to be way more depressing than just being a normal human screw-up. She’s really kind of a tragic character. Even more so when she fumbles with giving Ibara first aid, after Ibara has just had a tank shoot at her. Poor Aoi. All is forgiven. Read More... //

Coppelion Episode #06 Anime Review

There’s a lot of interesting stuff happening in this episode. However, it’s kind of difficult to focus on this interesting stuff because of a terrible logical lapse that left me just stunned speechless for three-fourths of the episode. I understand why it was done. The Coppelion are resting up in the planet, presumably safe from outside, and if they can stay there for three days they can be rescued. But outside are the Division 1 guys and they have a plot that needs development. So you somehow need to draw the girls out of the planet to face them. Maybe there’a a malfunction in the planet, or some kind of victim that needs saving outside and they take a calculated risk. Read More... //

Coppelion Episode #05 Anime Review

I always enjoy soaking in Coppelion’s atmosphere, as though it were some kind of post-apocalyptic Mamoru Hosoda series, but this week’s episode reminded me strongly of the old Hideyuki Kikuchi/Yoshiaki Kawajiri OVA, “A Wind Named Amnesia.” And since I love that almost-forgotten gem from 1990, this episode clicked with me a great deal. The Coppelion girls continue their search for survivors, aided by the book left to them by Dr. Shiba, listing everyone he was supplying with fresh air and food. This leads them to JASA, Japan’s old space program, where they run across a tipped-over vehicle. Inside, they see a man and his adult daughter, named Ibuki, who just so happens to be pregnant in the middle of a nuclear wasteland. What’s worse, the family is being chased by soldiers, apparently from JSDF’s Unit 1. The head of the unit wears a cape straight out of Akira and rides around in a tank covered by grass, though whether it’s camouflage or the deposits of time isn’t really clear. Despite the age of the weapons and apparent madness of this “ghost” unit, their bullets still kill, so the girls try and shield the pregnant woman and take her back to the JASA base. In the process, Taeko is wounded, and though she will live, she’ll need at least a week, even with her enhanced healing abilities. Read More... //

Coppelion Episode #04 Anime Review

At the end of the last episode, the girls were preparing to give chase to a B-52 Stealth Bomber that had attempted to kidnap an elderly survivor. Here, the episode follows through will a well-animated chase sequence. Ibara fires a rocket at the plane from handy shoulder missile-launcher, but it’s able to drop a bomb to detonate it at a distance, and begins to fire at the jeep on the ground. To take evasive action, the jeep drives through an abandoned shopping center. Finally, Ibara figures out its weak spot is its underbelly, and tells Dr. Shiba to brake. Now, finally behind the B-52, she’s able to fire a rocket that damages the jet, and it tries to make an emergency landing at the speed boat racing pond. Read More... //