Coppelion Episode 1 Anime Review

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Well, it is being managed by a large profit-hungry company.

It’s interesting that Coppelion came out at this time. Still trying to recover from the earthquake in 2011, toxic water is still leaking from the Fukushima nuclear plant. There are estimates that the radioactive water has reached the Pacific Ocean. What’s worse is that, as of writing this review, six hours ago, AFP has reported that a new leak has been found at the plant.

Enter Coppelion, an anime about three girls who are walking through the remains of Tokyo, after a nuclear incident. The Old Capital has been cleared out and there isn’t a single person to be found, except for those who have straggled behind. The three girls have been genetically engineered to withstand radiation and can walk around freely.

The interesting thing about this setting is that, from a documentary I watch on the Fukushima incident, there was actually the choice given to the Prime Minister to extend the evacuation radius around the nuclear plant. But that choice wasn’t taken. If it had, Tokyo would have been included in that zone, which would mean 13 million people evacuating. Where would they go? Japan’s economy would have been finished.

The girls walk around the city with Geiger counters, which detect radiation and help them to locate the one or two people left behind. What’s fascinating is that they clearly modeled the environment on Chernobyl years after the incident. Buildings are dilapidated and crumbling. Grass and trees still grow, flourishing even more without humans to tend to them. Animals run wild. It’s a stark lesson that humans are the ones who will pay for opening this pandora’s box. Nature gets along just fine without us.

While the environment is stunning, what’s kind of grating is one of the female characters who’s voice is just overly cheerful. I get that she’s trying to be brave and be happy despite the depressing circumstances but it’s just… really too much to take. I do like the leader, Ibara, though. She has a good head on her shoulders, except when the writers screw up and split the group.

That was a really stupid move by the writers because I can’t see why Ibara and annoying voice couldn’t wait for Taeko to handle the dog so the group could carry on with their mission. I mean, really? They did it to introduce drama, but it made the whole group look like they can’t think. Maybe they’re more affected by the radiation than they thought.

Maybe they’ll patch the hole up in future episodes.

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2 responses to “Coppelion Episode 1 Anime Review”

  1. Artemis says :

    Gaah, I was so pumped up for this series judging by the synopsis, and yet I was left disappointingly underwhelmed by the first episode. I found the thick black outlines for the characters distracting and annoying, especially since as you pointed out, the backgrounds are so gorgeous and don’t gel with that well at all. More significantly though, I just feel like this episode lacked any kind of real punch, even if I’m unable to put my finger on exactly why. (Annoying Cheerful Girl with Annoying Voice probably had a little to do with it though.) Here’s hoping episode two makes more of an impression.

    • mushireviews says :

      I agree wholeheartedly! I don’t know why there’s a trend for thick black outlines. I’m guessing because the colours are more natural and the girls blend in with the background more so they made the lines so thick. Here’s hoping it is better.

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