Anime Review: Coppelion The Complete Series
Coppelion The Complete Series is a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack that features all 13 episodes of the series on two Blu-ray Discs and two DVDs. Audio options include the original Japanese audio with English subtitles and the English dub.
Coppelion The Complete Series
Publisher: VIZ Media
Format: Blu-ray/DVD Combo
Release Date: February 3, 2015
Order a copy of Coppelion: The Complete Series (BD Combo) [Blu-ray] on Amazon.
Coppelion is set in a post-apocalyptic city, where a disaster took place in the capital and forced the people to evacuate. Genetically engineered children called Coppelion were created with a strong resistance to the environment so they can walk through the capital without hazmat suits in order to look for survivors.
At the beginning of the series, there are three Coppelion who are focused on: Ibara Naruse, Aoi Fukasaku, and Taeko Nomura. They are sent to the capital to investigate the city and determine if there are still people there. The series shows the Coppelion finding several people still in the capital, and each encounter has them questioning what they are or revealing information regarding the disaster that took place. While it’s never outright stated anywhere in the series, it’s strongly hinted that it was a nuclear disaster that destroyed the capital. The stories in Coppelion also raise some ethical questions that make the viewer think about them and how they could affect the characters and the world that they inhabit.
Admittedly, the story can be a little slow to get going right at first. However, as the Coppelion started to develop as characters through their interactions with the humans, I became emotionally invested in the characters and the ethical questions that they found themselves facing.
Overall, the writing and execution of the story was well done. However, I did discover a couple of continuity errors while watching Coppelion in bigger chunks than I did when I was watching the series as a weekly simulcast. For example, around halfway through the series, a reference is made to a wall surrounding the city that trapped some of the military inside. But when the Coppelion entered the city in the first episode, the audience gets no indication that such a wall exists. Fortunately, the continuity errors are few and far between and ultimately don’t destroy the story that’s being told.
By getting to watch Coppelion in bigger chunks the second time around, I was able to see just how smoothly the show flows from episode to episode. I never felt like the pacing was awkward or that anything was added to the episodes to kill time. Coppelion successfully told its story over the course of the series’ 13 episode run.
The weakest point of Coppelion, though, is its animation. The backgrounds looked incredible in the series, and there were times when they looked rather realistic. However, there were issues with some of the animation of the characters, some of the use of computer animation, and with some of the stylistic effects that the animators tried to use.
There are times in the series when there are thick black lines that are noticeable on the outlines of the characters, which could distract me at times when I watched the series. Coppelion has a very distinct style to its animation, which can be jarring to viewers at first. Over time, though, I became accustomed to the series’ animation style and it didn’t bother me as much.
The computer animation tended to stand out too much compared to the rest of the animation surrounding it. Trying to use computer animation for scenes that needed fire just didn’t work that well, and the computer animation for the Iron Spider didn’t look as impressive as it could have.
When it comes to the actual Blu-ray/DVD Combo release, VIZ Media included a few bonus features. The Blu-ray Discs include a little more in the way of features than the DVDs did.
The Blu-ray exclusive content is a Bonus Art Gallery. This section is split into three parts, with each part including Production Art and Promotional Art. The Production Art usually included character settings, background settings, and colored pencil sketches. The Promotional Art usually included the original Japanese Blu-ray and DVD jackets and the booklet art. This feature was actually rather extensive and should be a real treat to viewers who enjoy looking at the behind-the-scenes art for a series.
The remaining features appear on both the Blu-ray Discs and the DVDs. There are six Japanese trailers for Coppelion included, which run for a total of six minutes. The first three trailers are simply accompanied by an instrumental, while the remaining three have narration. Unfortunately, there are no subtitles for the trailers with narration, so it’s hard to understand what’s being said unless you understand Japanese.
There is a Clean Opening and one Clean Ending included; the alternate ending that appeared in Episode 13 was not included in this feature. Both the opening and ending have options to see them with English subtitles, Romaji subtitles, or no subtitles. This extra should appeal to viewers who want to be able to see the animation of the opening or ending without the credit text covering any of it up. There are also trailers included for other properties that VIZ Media was promoting at the time Coppelion The Complete Series was released.
I would recommend Coppelion to anime viewers who enjoy watching post-apocalyptic stories that might make them think as they’re watching them and can overlook any weaknesses in the story’s animation. And to viewers who are already familiar with and enjoy Coppelion from watching VIZ Media’s simulcast should seriously consider adding Coppelion The Complete Series to their anime home video collection.
The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media