Coppelion – 01


90% of Tokyo has been reduced to the “world’s largest ghost town” by the fallout from a nuclear disaster. The Self Defense forces send three girls – Naruse Ibara, Fukasaku Aoi, and Nomura Taeko – into the city to respond to SOS calls. Immune to the radiation, the girls travel without protection suits or masks. They find a severely irradiated person in a riverbed, who is airlifted out by the girl’s superior, Vice Principal Mashima. The girls continue on in search of others, and end up encountering wolves.

“People don’t belong here anymore!” cries Aoi, who had been reticent about their mission from the beginning. And as we watched the three otherwise normal-looking high school girls walking casually through the deserted streets of a Tokyo returned to nature and off limits to those with ordinary DNA, we couldn’t argue with her. The ruined city is gorgeous and tranquil, but it’s also foreboding, and profoundly sad; as one of the greatest cities ever constructed reduced to a husk, and only a privileged (by their genetic makeup) few are able to enter. Many have compared the harnessing of the atom to the power of the gods, as there are few human achievements that can match it in terms of the risk of destruction. We take a risk by using it, and in the case of this series, a heavy price was exacted; Tokyo itself.

This first episode starts during girls’ first foray, but doesn’t try to do too much, letting us gain our bearings and gradually take in its world. Those who watched K will recognize the bold character design and immensely rich background detail. Character-wise we have the tough maverick (Ibara), the exuberant foodie (Aoi) and the animal lover/whisperer (Taeko). Tomatsu Haruka gives Ibara a strong leader’s voice, but we were a little disappointed and irritated by Hanazawa Kana chose for Aoi, it can be a bit shrill and she says a lot of useless stuff. We don’t know Taeko’s seiyu but she had a nice gentle, nurturing voice. Vice Principal Mishima is your typical straight-laced military man, who is the episode’s spokesman regarding how things ended up like this. Accompanying his exposition was his flyover of an eerily beautiful Odaiba, the epicenter of the “accident.”

Rating:7 (Very Good)

Stray Observations:

  • We’re digging the premise, the setting, and the production values, so we’re definitely continue with this. But K had an impressively gorgeous beginning too, but its story couldn’t quite keep up. Here’s hoping that’s not the case here.
  • When that dog first appeared we were apprehensive, as it sure looked a lot like a wolf to us. The girls may be immune to radiation, but not fangs…
  • One of Aoi’s few salient points: why don’t the girls have access to a car, or more precisely, a truck of some kind? Is this their minders’ way of keeping them in shape?
  • No doubt the series will explore how the girls see themselves: heroes with their own will, or tools/puppets by reason of their DNA?

Fall 2013 Season Preview


It’s been a year to the day since our preview for Fall 2012, which owns the highest weighted average of any season we’ve ever covered. This was due to a quartet of excellent series in Sukitte Ii na yo, Tempest, New World, and Kamisama Hajimemashita. Chu2Koi was no slouch, either.

It goes without saying, then, that this Autumn has some rather large shoes to fill. We’ve taken our quarterly skim of the upcoming works (kudos to Moetron for providing a very handy visual guide). We’re unsure if any Summer series will continue into the Fall, or take a season-long break like Valvrave,  so we’ve selected twelve new series (though we’d sure like to limit the final total to ten.)

As always, we prefer to know as little as possible about what we’re going to watch, and depend on the promo art, studio, and people involved to determine what tickles our fancy. Click on an anime’s title for more details, courtesy of MAL. This time, the anime are simply ordered alphabetically. We’ll determine which ones we like more than others once we actually watch them.

506251. Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio: Ars Nova

(Arpeggio of Blue Steel: Ars Nova)
SANZIGEN (Action, Sci-Fi, Seinen) – Oct

We’re intrigued by the concept of a ragtag crew on a stolen submarine fighing a “Fleet of Fog.” Directed by Kishi Seiji (Angel Beats!, Kamisama Dolls, Danganronpa) with a script by Uezu Makoto (Kamisama Dolls, Katanagatari, Danganronpa) The silver-haired girl will be voiced by   Fuchigami Mai (Nishizumi Miho from Girls und Panzer).

519972. Coppelion

Starchild, GoHands (Action, Sci-Fi, Seinen) – Oct

The three main leads are short-skirted girls voiced by Hana-KanaTomatsu Haruka, and Akesaka Satomi. The title is also the name of the special unit they’re in, which suggests all three are probably pretty tough lasses.

532393. Galilei Donna

Aniplex, A-1, Fuji TV – Oct

The premise of three of Galileo’s female descendants being on international wanted lists is enough of a hook for us. The only seiyu listed so far is Hidaka Rina, who shows up here and there, usually voicing little sisters. Directed by Umetsu Yasuomi, director of Kite, of all things. Character design is by Adachi Shingo (Sword Art Online, Working!!), whom we like.

500174. Kill La Kill

Aniplex, Aniplex of America, Trigger (Action, School) – Oct

Stars two warring girls, both voiced by mature veteran seiyus. Looking at the art, our thoughts first went to Black Rock Shooter and Panty & Stocking. As it happens, director Imaishi Hiroyuki worked on both, as well as FLCL, Abenobashi, Gurren Lagann, Star Driver, Samurai Champloo…etc. Scriptwriter Nakashima Kazuki wrote Gurren Lagann. The bad-as looking schoolgirl in the foreground is voiced by Koshimizu Ami (AKA Holo/Maou).

534175. Kyousou Giga

Toei Animation (Action, Fantasy, Supernatural) – Oct

All we can say is, Finally! We’ve been waiting for an actual Kyousougiga television series for years, but all we’ve got were (very) short ONAs, which were gorgeous and thought-provoking, but left us wanting more. And more is on the way.

535496. Nagi no Asukara

Geneon, Universal, P.A. Works, Rondo Robe (School) – 3 Oct

This has the look of a lighthearted series in the same vein as Tamayura or Tari Tari. It’s directed by Shinohara Toshiya, who also helmed RDG, which ended strong, and Bantorra, which we loved once it got going. Kana-chan also lends her voice to this, though the character she voices is a “crybaby”…so we’ll see.

534897. Neppuu Kairiku Bushi Road

Bandai Visual, Kinema Citrus, Nitroplus (Action, Fantasy, Mecha) – Oct

As a collaboration between four fairly large companies, there’s a good chance this could be one of the eye candy specials of the season. But production values aside, will it be any good? With scant details and a director and writer we aren’t familiar with, who knows.

538178. Samurai Flamenco

Aniplex, Manglobe, Fuji TV (Action) Oct

Our first reaction to the title and Manglobe involvement was HOLY SHIT CHAMPLOO SEQUEL. This is not a sequel to Samurai Champloo, and doesn’t seem to have Wantanabe attached to it. Instead, its director, Omori Takahiro, we know from Baccano!, Durarara!! and Kuragehime, both solid shows about communities. Screenplay is by Kurata Hideyuki (God Only Knows, Oreimo, Sasameki Koto).

493959. Strike the Blood

Silver Link, Connect (Action, Ecchi, Fantasy, School, Shounen, Vampire, Supernatural) – Oct

Very simple premise and just two leads: one a male vampire (Hosoya Yoshimasa, Arata from Chihayafuru), the other a female mage (Taneda Risa, Saki from New World) who’s supposed to observe and destroy him. We think Arata and Saki would have good chemistry (Arata’s kinda Shuu-like), so maybe they’ll have it here too.

4904510. Valvrave the Liberator

(Second Season)
Sunrise, Anipliex (Action, Mecha) – Oct

The first season barely touched on such things as L-elf’s Dorssian quasi-girlfriend, and the fate of New JIOR has yet to be decided. This series was at its best when the students weren’t rubbing their freedom in their families’ faces and characters wouldn’t wildly change their personalities at the drop of a hat.

5356111. White Album 2

Satelight (Drama, Romance, Slice of Life) – Oct

If you’re familiar with this franchise you might say “Wait! There already was a White Album 2!” That’s true, but it was merely the second half of the first season of 2009’s White Album. This is a true sequel, with a new cast and setting, starting with a triangle of a guy and two girls. Unfortunately Hirano Aya voices neither of them.

5256312. Yozakura Quartet: Hana no Uta

Tatsunouko (Shounen) – Oct

This seems to be a retelling of the first season which aired way back in 2008. Unlike White Album, the cast is the same. We really dug the OVAs that followed and enriched the first season, and look forward to how they end up re-telling that tale, even if we’re not quite sure why they feel the need to re-tell it.