Where the hell are my color filters?
I feel compelled, before going any further, to touch on the title of the show itself – ‘Coppelion’. Its a reference to the French romantic ballet ‘Coppélia’, in which an inventor, Dr. Coppelius, makes a human-sized doll he names Coppélia. A young man in the village becomes infatuated, not realizing that the apple of his eye is a doll. It is up to his sweetheart Swanhilde to show him his folly, as well as rescue him from the evil inventor, which she does in part by dressing up as Coppélia so it seems that the doll has come to life.
So, here we are, with Coppelion, and its obviously no coincidence that our protagonists make a couple of statements about being puppets during the course of the first episode. Of course, unlike the doll of the ballet, these girls are of flesh and blood, genetically engineered specifically to be able to withstand radiation that would kill regular human beings. Whatever for? Well, because we really need to be able to have some schoolgirl uniforms in our dystopic Tokyo of the near future.
Curiously, I was actually able to get over the fact that we’ve got teenaged girls prowling post-nuclear meltdown Tokyo in their school uniforms instead of in something more practical (although it did bring to mind Mai-Otome having its young women doing a grueling, 30+ km hike through the wilderness in bloomers). Of course, it helps that Coppelion is leagues and leagues ahead of K, Go Hands’s last TV series, when it comes to direction and storytelling thus far. I felt we got just enough information about the world of the show to give me a decent feel for their world without laying all the cards on the table, so I was drawn into it, and I want to learn more. And while our trio of girls does start off as somewhat standard types, there’s just enough detail added over the course of the episode to set them apart slightly already from their kith and kin in other shows. Ibara does stand head and shoulders over the other two, but I liked, for example, that Aoi, our resident food lover, is shown to be so big on enjoying her meals because she fears that to not do so would prove she isn’t truly human.
Out of all the shows I’ve watched so far, Coppelion is far and away my favorite, and its a pleasant surprise as I’d been more or less expecting K, but with radiation-repellent girls instead of sky Nazis and cat girls. Now, mind you, that isn’t to say I didn’t like K (I loved it), but, well, sometimes you want something a little more substantive to sink your teeth into.
Oh, and, by the way, this was visually gorgeous. Too bad no getting high on filters like K did – OH WELL.