Keywords: , , , , , ,
Notables: AKESAKA Satomi
In 2016, a meltdown of a nuclear power plant creates a big catastrophe in Tokyo. 20 years later, the city has become a ghost town due to the high levels of radiation. From that area a distress signal is received. The Self Defense forces dispatch three girls from the special unit Coppelion to search for survivors. But why aren't they wearing any protection against radiation?
(Summary Courtesy of

[TV series, 2013, 13 episodes, 23 min; based on an ongoing Seinen manga series with 19+ volumes since 2008; animated by GoHands]
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch 9 7 7 6 6 6 Ggultra2764 [series:2783#1552]
Coppelion is set in a future where the city of Tokyo has been left abandoned due to the city becoming inhabitable due to the high levels of radiation contamination that plague it. In the search for surviving inhabitants of the city, a trio of genetically engineered teens called Coppelion are tasked by the Japanese Self-Defense Force to track down survivors as all of them are immune to the negative effects of radiation and each have their own unique special ability.

On the surface, Coppelion offers some storytelling themes that would make it seem like a solid sci-fi adventure title on paper. The series is set in a "what if" future showing what could happen if Tokyo was ravaged by nuclear radiation as a result of the nuclear reactors that powers its society. Within this future, Ibara and the members of her Rescue Unit are tasked with tracking down survivors within the nuclear-ravaged Tokyo that offer up their moments of genuine suspense as the girls are often at risk when rescuing survivors between preventing victims from being exposed to high levels of radiation they can otherwise survive to enemy threats exploiting their survival efforts to stir up terrorist acts for their personal gain. The series also dabbles into questioning the humanity of others, which those among the Coppelion and whomever is left behind in the radiation-infested Tokyo dabble into as characters feeling like outcasts or not human due to being different from other people cope with these developments in varying ways, both good and bad.

Unfortunately, Coppelion gets hurt greatly by the limited run time of its series length. At only 13 episodes, it felt like the series was trying to compact whatever storytelling it had to tell. Many of the characters get limited depth, mostly being reduced to character archetypes and not getting enough fleshing out to make their motives and developments relatable for me. Some major plot developments do get tacked on with melodrama that make emotional moments hard to take seriously at points and others that do not seem to get enough fleshing out, due to a mix of both the anime's seemingly compressed feel and the series also lacking a proper ending.

Visually, things are a mixed bag for Coppelion. While sporting highly detailed and vast background shots of the barren Tokyo landscape, the quality of animation shots and character designs tend to vary. Designs of the various radiation suits worn by human characters have variety to their designs, but character designs often looked unrealistic in their bodily proportions and some shots inconsistently depict their designs with a thick outline that stick out prominently from the gorgeous background shots. Animation is hit-or-miss as there are some moments where shortcuts are relied upon to conserve on budget, while others feature some great animated sequences such as some later fight scenes with the Coppelion and a final battle involving a giant spider robot.

Overall, Coppelion is a series that seemed like it wanted to explore quite a bit in its run, yet suffers since it is handicapped by its limited run time in how much it can explore within its 13-episode run. Perhaps if the series were given a longer run time, it could have had more time to convey its ideas and provide more fleshing out of its characters. But as it is, the series offers a solid premise on paper that is sadly crippled by the amount of time it has to tell its story.

Last updated Monday, February 20 2017. Created Monday, February 20 2017.
Rent 10 9 7 6 7 8 Devil Doll [series:2783#752]
[4/13 episodes watched; temporary score: 74% = "Rent-"]

This one is certainly too soon to be judged after one episode. The potential might be in the character interaction of the girls (and maybe their superiors) as well as in the background story, finding out what exactly happened here (and how the protagonists react when they find out about it) while the "being non-human" issue may only be a minor element. The plausibility issues (such as the girls not being armed but carrying a lunch packet instead, and showing little professional attitude so far given their potentially dangerous task) cause me to be sceptical though. But the Art is outstanding, and watching an adventure story without fantasy elements may be interesting enough.
  • Episode 01: (0+) Entering the city. Only little information is provided, both about the main characters and about what exactly happened to Tokyo. But the decent mix of character interaction, the adventure of advancing into the unknown (for which these girls are insufficiently prepared), and occasional pondering about the exact status of these girls is nice.
  • Episode 02: (-) The missing child. This one was pretty horrible, not because of the melodrama but because of all characters doing stupid things, and the building breaking down in the most unnecessary moment. My hopes for this show are sinking even though the girls needed this wake-up call, making them aware they're not on a holiday trip.
  • Episode 03: (+) The delivery man. The exact opposite of the previous episode: This time all characters make reasonable decisions, we learn what happened to this city, and the real story has begun with the appearance of the crow. I just wonder what Glutton Girl is necessary for after we now know what Class Rep and Glasses Girl are capable of. Did Stretch once again choose the weakest episode of the season to quit?
  • Episode 04: (0) The crow. Melodrama once again and Naruse acting super-heroic, but with two decent stories about the crow and the professor that's okay.

Last updated Thursday, December 26 2013. Created Sunday, October 13 2013.
Unevaluated Stretch [series:2783#628]
(Two episodes watched):

Three schoolgirls wander through a deserted Tokyo in search of people who might for some reason or another be within the irradiated city. Some sort of selective breeding has rendered them immune to radiation poisoning, so they need no protective suits.

...and that's about it. The greatest peril the girls encounter is a wolf. I was struck by how little happened in this opening episode. What, exactly, happened to Tokyo? Why would anyone still be within the city? Why is such a lackadaisical rescue mission--three girls, on foot, who haven't even changed out of their school uniforms--mounted? Most of all, why does a show which I had thought would be highly controversial leave me so unexcited? You would think that the girls would discover something intriguing and mysterious, but so far I'm not seeing it. We have yet to get any hint of what the main conflict will be. The show is about as exciting as the latest news story about problems with radiation containment at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant. There is a hint that the girl's radiation immune 'Coppelion' status makes them feel like outcasts from society, but nothing more than a hint. So, one question which has definitely gone unanswered is 'why should I watch this'?

And I thought episode one was a disappointment! Even though I had lowered my expectations a good deal, episode two was a total letdown. 'Melodramatic' is the word which sums it up. Although little has been done to develop the main characters, we are apparently supposed to be brought to tears by the plight of a family which the three girls discover within the irradiated city. But they, too, get little or no development (other than their 'shocking' secret) and are in a thoroughly implausible situation. This show seems to think that it can play with our emotions at will; but I for one cannot get excited or sentimental about characters that remain little more than strangers to me. At least one good thing came out of this episode: I am confident that I can drop Coppelion from my viewing list without fear of missing much.

Last updated Saturday, October 19 2013. Created Saturday, October 05 2013.

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