Coppelion Review (Anime)on December 19, 2015 by Mitch Jay
Coppelion is an anime I’ve been interested in for a while, despite hearing some less than flattering things, but the unique art style and synopsis peaked my curiosity.
And Coppelion proved to be pretty decent, if not a particularly strong show with many, many tears being shed by the main trio of girls. Tokyo is fogged in radiation after a nuclear power plant suffers a meltdown, and the three girls are dispatched as they’re immune to radiation in the hopes that they can rescue any survivors. It sounds serious and it is, with some lighthearted humour drizzled on top but there’s no time wasted on showing how dangerous and awful the world has become, and how little hope there is to make the world properly habitable again.
It’s rather slow-paced and struggled to maintain my attention, but I realised when watching it that I was mostly enjoying it – I just wished it got to where it wanted to go faster. There’s a fair bit of character development for the main girls although you get a good feel for how they are within the opening moments of episode one, and there’s no particularly massive, gasp-worthy twists. I liked how dark the story was although it’s not the story that helps Coppelion to stand out, rather it’s the art.
Visually it really stands out with thick character outlines which almost seem as if someone’s coloured in the manga and put it to screen, and detailed, apocalyptic environments with a focus on muted colours. It’s almost comic book-like and, whilst the art appealed to me for being so unique, I can easily understand why it would work against itself and turn some potential viewers away. The characters designs aren’t as stand out as their ability to survive the radiation without gas masks, etc, but I like their school-inspired uniforms and how they look rather normal in such a different world.
The environments are the stand out point regarding visuals, as the filtered environments reflect the bleakness of the world after the radiation incident, and do a good job in setting the mood. The muted colours make for a nice contrast in comparison to the somewhat brighter, more vivid art of the characters. Being a mostly dead world, there’s not a whole lot to look at past the surviving nature and abandoned, decrepit buildings that are just managing to keep standing. Of course, this isn’t a problem considering what the show is about. I’ve reviewed this on DVD and whilst this is fine, I think the environments would have really benefitted by being in HD as they really are gorgeous.
The English Dub is solid despite my not being very familiar with the majority of the cast, but I had no glaring issues with it. Erica Lindbeck fits perfectly as the stern and mission-focused Ibara, Cassandra Lee Morris as the sympathetic and caring Aoi and Shelby Lindley finds a balance between making Takeo sound perky and the one who’s most prone to crying and despairing. I really like the OP although the ED didn’t leave as much of an impression on me, and the OST as a whole is one I struggle to recall – it worked for the show but it’s not something you’ll find me chilling out with when I’m kicking back and relaxing.
As a reviewer I shouldn’t be so readily to admit this but I’ve found it difficult to review Coppelion. When something is great, it’s incredibly easy to gush and when something is bad, it’s just as easy to have a lot of ammunition in your vocabulary but Coppelion is neither – it’s flat in the middle of average. I don’t recommend it although I don’t wish to put you off of it if you’re interested, but I can’t see anyone being blown away by this. The art style certainly stands out and is worthy of a look on its own. Coppelion had a tough time getting off of the ground due to events in Japan at the time of its development, and it had a lot of hype surrounding it which it evidently did not live up too but it’s far from the worst anime around – it just so happens to be far from the best too.