Coppelion

June 22, 2014

Once again, disaster strikes the heart of Japan. Tokyo in particular. And no, this time we cannot blame it on invading aliens or powerful demons from other realms. Instead, it is mankind’s own doing that has caused the biggest nuclear meltdown and in result the once thriving and vibrant city of Tokyo has been turned into a ghost town. You cannot survive in this highly radioactive area unless you are wearing a very high protective suit and gear. But who wants to live in such devastated place? Well, there are those who cannot escape or evacuate in time and are thus trapped. What is the only hope to bring those survivors out? According to Coppelion, 3 genetically engineered high school girls who are resistant to any form of radioactivity and each with their own special set of special abilities are sent into the capital to search and rescue survivors. Unlike normal humans, they don’t need any sort of hazardous material suits and can just walk straight into radioactivity like as though they’re taking a stroll on the beach and the wind carrying the radioactive waves are like the soft breeze blowing in their face. Of course their journey will have them not only find human survivors but about humanity and ultimately themselves.

Episode 1
Ibara Naruse, Aoi Fukasaku and Taeko Nomura just entered central Tokyo. As instructed by their superior, Onihei Mishima, they are to find and locate survivors in Japan’s largest ‘ghost town’. While taking a break at the bridge, they hear cries of a man below. Ibara disregards whatever regulations to go help him (they were only supposed to find and not make contact). She injects a soothing pre-emptive drug before Mishima’s helicopter team arrives to take him into custody. Ibara makes it a point that if she is going to find someone, she will help him no matter what. It is partly explained that the trio of girls are Coppelion, modified ‘dolls’ whose DNA can withstand high radiation levels. Trekking deeper into the old capital, they notice that animals like birds are still thriving. Have they gotten used to the level of radiation? Mishima is also on TV and giving rare footage to the media because he wants the people to see what it’s like the highly contaminated epicentre of the radiation. However the thick fog surrounding it prevents us from seeing everything clearly. As the girls continue their journey, they notice a dog following them. Taeko has this ability to communicate animals so she stays behind with it while the rest go ahead. When Ibara detects an SOS signal, it comes from a dead man. She is suddenly attacked by a wolf. Rather, a wild dog. She manages to neutralize it with her tranquilizer. Noticing its wild fangs, they think the dogs may have evolved and suddenly they are worried about Taeko. They try to communicate her since she has no weapons but there is no answer. Only a bloodied walkie-talkie. Aoi fears the worst but Ibara is adamant of going to rescue her.

Episode 2
Actually they find the dog wounded and Taeko being held hostage. He thinks they have taken his daughter hostage and wants her returned. Ibara easily apprehends him. Taeko rushes to the dog’s side to treat it. It protected her. Once Ibara injects the Aether drug and he calms down, Mitsuo Kawabata brings them to their little ‘home’. This small place can only fit for 1 family. His wife, Yukiko and daughter, Miku. They manage to live here with the air purify and a mysterious supply truck that delivers necessities every week but it stopped coming last week. Why continue to live here instead of somewhere else? They are all convicts. Leaving this place means risking getting arrested. Miku may have gone to see her late mom at the race course graveyard. Yukiko is not Miku’s actual mother as Mitsuo remarried. Mitsuo is desperate for them to save his daughter. Ibara, Taeko and Mitsuo head out to find Miku while Aoi stays back with Yukiko. Although Ibara finds the graveyard, Miku is not around. Aoi learns that Yukiko killed her first child. She regrets doing it. Yukiko gives excuse to go to the toilet but ends up missing. Aoi reports she may have gone out to look for Miku. Ibara senses something amiss. They may have not seen Miku before but is sure she is not a ghost. They conclude Miku needed help but the parents argued if they should send an SOS. Thus Yukiko may have kidnapped Miku. Using the dog’s smell, they trace Yukiko’s whereabouts to a tilted hotel. Ibara heads in. She sees Yukiko taking Miku as ‘hostage’. Yukiko wants them to leave them alone because they can live freely here. But Ibara gets emotional. She is not really human but a doll trained to rescue people from the old capital. If she rejects her, it’s like she is robbing her reason for living. Let us help her. Just like that, Yukiko feels remorseful for what she has done. Before she can hand Miku to her, the building starts collapsing. Ibara cannot hold on to Yukiko’s hand any longer. Yukiko wants Ibara to take Miku instead. Then she lets go and plunges to her death. Miku is taken in by the rescue team. Ibara finds Mitsuo lying at the graveyard and tells him what happened. However he doesn’t want to go and be left behind. As long as Miku smiles, he is okay with everything. Ibara respects his wish.

Episode 3
The girls are now tracking the mysterious supplier. Thanks to the dog, it brought them the car keys believed to be the delivery truck as the perpetrators are also looking for it. When Mishima learns the emblem on the car key that resembles tiger stripes and 3 stars, he wants the culprit captured alive, top priority. He will be heading there too. Ibara confronts the suppliers, Denjirou Shiba and his assistant Kamata. They admit they are the ones doing the deliveries but until last month new high level radiation Zones have been formed and it restricted their movement. He then lets them try an underground grown apple. Tasteless. That’s what happens if you don’t grow things under the natural sunlight. But with most of the elderly residents now ‘residing’ at the graveyard, the only survivor left is granny Ayame. Shiba also knows about the Kawabata family and although Ibara laments she couldn’t save the parents, Shiba is glad Miku is still alive. Meanwhile Mishima gets information from his scientist, Mushanokouji about Shiba. He was the one who developed this radiation suits called Barrier Suits 35 years ago and an expert in nuclear physics at Mitsuboshi Heavy Industries. He is also the lead design engineer for the plant that caused the disaster. The girls begin their walking to reach Ayame since radiation level is too high for Shiba and Kamata to advance. They hear cries from Ayame about a big demon crow attacking and that she has taken shelter at an art museum. Everyone scrambles there but no grandma but only her walkie-talkie. Shiba feels guilty and responsible. Had he not build that thing, all this would never have happened. His hands are soaked with blood that could never be washed off. Ibara remains positive. He did his job as required as a scientist and should be proud. Science is her ‘mother’ after all. They see the demon crow flying above but it is actually a stealth bomber. Since Japan’s military doesn’t have such craft, they wonder who the trespasser is. One way to find out. At the air base where it lands, they see a couple of black suit guys trying to haul away Ayame. Ibara releases smoke screen. The guys leave Ayame and take off. With Ayame in Kamata’s care, the rest go off to put that crow back in its cage.

Episode 4
Although they have a bazooka, taking it down won’t be easy since the stealth bomber has chaff. It even goes round and chases after them. Shiba must be a great driver avoiding all its bullets. It can even penetrate through the building walls! And then Ibara wants Shiba to slam the brakes and her count. When she does so, they are soon directly underneath the stealth bomber. Ibara fires the bazooka and it hits. It is going to crash land but they anticipate at a nearby boat racing pool. As the area is very hazardous, Shiba is dropped off while the girls push forward. They are horrified to see the dead bodies of the pilots. Trying to boat to the jet, they see barrels underneath the pool. They are highly radioactive waste. This pool is filled with it all and leaking the contamination to the surrounding area. The people in the jet must be here to dump more of it. Aoi picks up a logo that spells Yellow Cake. Mishima explains it is a company that handles disposal of hazardous wastes. Foreign countries whose dangerous radioactive wastes are hard to dispose, pay a sum to this company who will dump it here. I mean, what are a few more radioactive contaminations, right? Ibara is upset that these people think nothing of this city and have forgotten what happened. They realize Shiba has not returned to base yet. Seems he has heard it and now knows what to do to atone his sin. But where are the girls going to find him? Ayame thinks he will be at the shrine where he usually brings her. They find him there but he has taken off his mask. Ibara injects her final Aether into him but it will only last 10 minutes. Mishima must get here by then if he wants to capture him alive. Ironically, Mishima’s helicopter is running late and the girls are anxiously waiting. Is Tokyo that big or did Mishima start late. In the dying minutes, the helicopter is spotted. Ibara rushes to retrieve the Aether and manages to inject the drug into Shiba. Phew. Not a second to spare. Shiba couldn’t face Mishima because he knows the incident killed his wife and daughter. Ibara doesn’t think Mishima is that kind of man. He is part of the army and knows his job to protect civilians. Mishima extends his hand to help Shiba. The old guy still regrets that they cause the mess and forcing the children to clean up. But Ibara doesn’t care about such complicated stuffs. She knows that today’s sky looks beautiful. Shiba gives Ibara a book that contains names of those still living here. The girls continue their journey to find them. They should have requested for some sort of transport at least. Taeko and Aoi don’t want Ibara to push herself. They are like her too and will be by her side to help her so she doesn’t need to cry alone anymore.

Episode 5
The hazardous wastes are being taken out by special helicopters and placed in the middle of the road. It’s like nobody is going to drive around, right? Ibara and co find a toppled truck. The old man, Gojirou Kaiji inside is more concerned about his pregnant daughter, Ibuki at the back. Ibara gets a call from Mishima that their special helicopter has been shot down and the wastes disappeared. Ibuki adds that the ghosts of SDF are here and they are the ones who attacked them. Looks like the 1st Division is back and orders another attack. Ibara uses all she’s got to escape. Reporting this to Mishima, he is bewildered because that unit was supposed to be wiped out during the disaster. When the roads were clogged with people trying to escape the city, some believed government will come to their aid and hid in several safe zones. Since SDF dispatched some of their units to save them and the 1st Division was the core in protecting the city. The government feared suffering huge losses and abandoned the rescue before sealing the old capital behind a high lead wall. The 1st Division may have survived the trap. Although the 1st Division sometimes make their rounds, they have never attacked them before. It is not long before Ibara’s party is found by the 1st Division. But thanks to their comrades, Kurobe Oyakata (the chief) and Gennai Ishikawa (the repair man) coming into the picture, they are rescued. However Taeko is shot in the stomach when she tried to protect Ibuki. Although she can regenerate, it will take a week so she’ll be out of action.

Meanwhile Mishima is summoned by Prime Minister Natsume. Because tomorrow is the start of an international conference, he wants Mishima’s team to be there as security. Ibara calls in to report Taeko’s condition. But upon hearing the 1st Division’s name, Natsume orders their elimination. Ibara couldn’t care less about this old geezer and wants a rescue team. Besides, they’re not combatants. However Natsume says it’s either they eliminate the enemy or they won’t get any rescue. As Natsume leaves, Mishima tries to get more from Ougai the cabinet secretary. However he doesn’t say much and mentions he is prioritizing the conference. Besides, Coppelion costs them a lot. Mishima thinks if they can’t mobilize themselves, they will use personnel who are already in place. He’ll send in the Cleaners. He calls Ibara that they need to hold out for 3 days, the duration of the conference. Ibara and co are taken to their hideout, which looks like some giant futuristic spherical home called Planet. It is the biggest safe zone. Gennai even created an indoors robot named Nosense. He should work on his naming sense… Taeko is put in an oxygen chamber to speed up her recovery. The rest are shown around the place that is mainly powered by water. A hydroelectric dam was built as a stable source of energy. There is even a room that imitates like the real life outside. Grass, trees, the sky. Even the sun. Mushanokouji is reluctant about Mishima’s request to contact other teams because it is a clear violation and he needs the Prime Minister’s consent to do that. But after being bribed for sukiyaki, Mishima contacts the Cleaners to meet up with Ibara’s team.

Episode 6
There are intruders detected at the gate. Since nothing is showing up on the monitor, Aoi thinks it’s the dog and goes out to get it. Then on visual it shows… The 1st Division is coming! Guess what next? Aoi is taken hostage. She relays the message from their general, Kunikida. They want them to join their side and that they are not the enemy. All they want to do is to protect their territory. Then Kunikida orders to withdraw. Ibara knows that the army is trying to get Coppelion, that’s why they attacked Gojirou to bait them. Kurobe knows where their hideout is and takes Ibara there. It is at the park and their base is a big pile up of junk. When Ibara sees Aoi in chains, she dashes out to save her. She threatens to fire but Kunikida is not cowed and dares her. Ibara is surprised and this allows the army to beat her up. That’s when Haruto Kurosawa, the Cleaner guy drops in to attack the base and fight with Kunikida. Kurobe picks up Ibara and they escape in Haruto’s tank. Ibara wakes up and is appalled Haruto purposely left Aoi behind (partly I thought she was too slow in running). He also stuck a transmitter on her to hear 1st Division’s conversation. Yeah, Aoi is one mad girl stuck in a cage and thinks they have abandoned her. But food shut her up. Because Haruto damaged their base, he heard they are moving to another base. They will make their rescue move when they relocate. That night they go into action when they hear 1st Division moving. Following them leads Ibara and co to a water treatment plant. Now it’s just contaminated water. It was once low in radiation level but it’s gradually getting worse. They see the army removing drums with low radiation waste. The pools must be filled with them. As part of Haruto’s plan, Kurobe and Gennai distract some of the army. Those left behind, Haruto will take them out. Ibara is horrified that he is going to kill them. That’s what a Cleaner is all about, right? He reminds her they are puppets and have no reason to show humans any kindness. Haruto gets up and starts putting bullets into the men. Ibara is about to ambush and save Aoi but Kunikida knows of her move (because they were trained in a similar fashion to protect their country) and strangles her from behind. Ibara breaks free and notices he is not wearing an oxygen tank. Kunikida takes off his mask and shows him half his face is decayed and only bones. However she is relieved that his eyes are still human and wants him to come with her. But he grabs her and orders his men to shoot at them. Aoi tries to escape and surprisingly, the soldier lets her go. When she reunites with the rest, they are stunned to see Ibara gunned down.

Episode 7
Ibara is not breathing and bleeding like crazy. Haruto takes charge to save her life while Aoi could only cower in fear. He does the best he could before they have to bring her back to Planet where Taeko does her surgery on her. Her life is saved after Haruto gives his blood to her as transfusion (Coppelion’s blood differ by the year and grade so Haruto is the only person whom Ibara can receive from). Aoi locks her in the room and feels guilty for causing all this. I know Ibara wants to motivate her and get her out of the doldrums but she could have picked better words. Now Aoi thinks she’s as bad as a shut-in or NEET. Because that is what those people who don’t work and laze around do, right? Haruto then returns to the police station where Kunikida is being kept imprisoned. He questions about the wastes from a foreign company they’ve been taking out from pools. Kunikida replies that they don’t care about Yellow Cake and they’re not merchants either. Because he is cocky, Haruto threatens to kill him. He pleads for his life! As Haruto deduced, if he wanted to really die, he would have killed himself. That way would have also been easier to protect the 1st Division’s secrets. Since he isn’t, there must be a reason he is alive. Kunikida replies that there is no leader in the 1st Division and the rest are heading to the sarcophagus as they speak. Their plan is to gather all the waste there and let the world cower in fear. As the sarcophagus is the epicentre of the radiation, so high its level that nobody in whatever protective suit could get near it, it is like a bomb filled with radioactive material. That’s why the army was targeting Coppelion as they are the only ones who can get near it. Haruto relays this to Ibara but it seems Ibuki is going into labour. Ibara calls Mishima to send a helicopter now but his hands are tied. Natsume wants to show off Japan’s military might to the might so they’ll have to wait. They can’t even spare one stinking helicopter? Kurobe remembers a hospital in the old capital. Ibara contacts Haruto to inform they’re going there and to look after things. Especially Aoi who is still locked in. She hears Haruto trying to contact his other Cleaner members who often go missing by themselves. It seems there are new Zones popping up along the way and they have to take a detour. Actually the odd thing is, how can anybody dump such high level radioactive waste in the middle of the street? Just when they find a way through, they are surprised to see before them 2 girls without any protective gear. Waited long?

Episode 8
Hearing Haruto trying to contact them, they realize they must be from his Cleaner team, the Ozu sisters, Kanon and Shion. Shion has super human strength and wastes no time in throwing a barrel at them. They are forced to retreat but the sisters chase them and made them crash their truck. They continue to attack but Ibara drops a flash grenade so they can escape. Then they contact Haruto to find out more information. He explains about Coppelion being injected with modified DNA. Therefore they are actually clones of real people and inherit much of their characteristic. The sisters though were cloned from an actress, she was secretly a serial killer. The sisters find them so Ibara becomes the bait so the rest could escape. The sisters have allied themselves with 1st Division and know about their plans to blow up the world and contaminate it with radioactivity. Because once humanity is wiped out, Coppelions will rule the world! Ibara drops Haruto’s new grenade, an ultrasound grenade that temporarily deafens them to escape. They then hijack a tank from the 1st Division but the sisters are hot on their tail. Shion jumps on the tank to fight Ibara but the latter punches her off onto Kanon’s bike and in good timing they fire a tank bullet into them. However only Shion is passed out because Kanon used her as a shield. Now we will get so see Kanon’s super power: Electricity. They put DNA of an eel into her. Zap! Zap!

Kanon is not amused at Ibara’s ideal of saving lives. She tells them about the truth about being Coppelions. She overheard Haruto and Mishima talk that the way they are made, they can drop dead anytime. In that way, humans won’t feel guilty over their deaths. Ibara wonders if that is what they were talking about. Kanon says this is war and a race to see which side gets eliminate first. Will the Coppelions just drop dead first or will they annihilate mankind. She wants Ibara to join them but of course she rejects. Even though if she knows she won’t have much time to live, she will live to the fullest. Kanon rejects that. This old capital is the kind of world humans fear. They world should end up like this. Ibara knocks her out with a single shot. Just to be safe, she tranquilizes the sisters and ties them up. Meanwhile Nosense talks to Aoi about feelings (I guess she gave in to some snacks). Ironic for a robot, eh? Although he was created here, he has never left this place so he is envy that Aoi who can go outside and feel the skin. Aoi notes it’s better not to know what is outside. Once the gang are back, Gennai fears that the sisters may have been placing radioactive wastes all around and radiation at those places are climbing to a dangerous level. Including the observatory area. Haruto is taking a walk when he is ambushed by several 1st Division soldiers. However they have to flee when their natural sensor (a bird in a cage) starts acting strange. Because of the storm picking up, the wind is shifting and carrying the radioactive.

Episode 9
The wind is blowing towards Planet and will reach it within 2 days. It must be devastating since the birds that are caught in it drop dead. You can even see animals crossing, running away from the wind. But the worst part is that the wind can change direction. The only solution is to ‘fly’ and they’re going to use the old train to do that. So Kurobe explains his plan to fix the train. Because they have the Ozu sisters on their tail, there will also be a diversion team to draw them away while the repair team fixes the train. Speaking of them, they’re back up and ready to kill. Haruto explains that Kanon’s ability isn’t just lightning but she can use the ions around her to sense others (the reason she can find them so fast) albeit it is only limited for a kilometre. Right in this important mission, Ibuki is experiencing further contractions and may not hold much longer. Gojirou leaves it in Taeko’s care to help deliver the baby if that time comes. However she is not confident as she is scared in touching a life and seeks Aoi’s help. The recluse only gives lip service to try her best. Good luck. Gennai and Kurobe note if that old nurse was still around, it may be possible. However she was rescued by Coppelion. She is Ayame. They manage to contact her for help and she is more than happy to guide Taeko on it. Yeah, she was dying of boredom in the nursery. Ibara confronts Haruto and wonders if he is on their side. He is not sure but if she needs an answer it would be that he wanted to find out more about people. That night everybody has a feast since it is going to be their last stay at Planet. Aoi doesn’t know what she’s missing out. Oh, here she is. Welcome back. Aoi learns from Gennai that they are transporting animals out too since if left behind they will die from the Zone. It feels like Noah’s Ark. Nosense will stay back since he is a robot. But Aoi wants him to come with them because he is a kind hearted living thing. He argues he will only be in the way. Seriously, Aoi got so emotional about it that she throws a tantrum and runs away. Ibuki has a request for Coppelion to save one more person. He is a soldier in the 1st Division and the father of this baby. Aoi thinks she has met him and the person who let her go when she tried to escape. On the day they leave Planet, Aoi is happy to see Nosense coming with them but thanks to Gennai, he has been upgraded to combat mode and padded with armour. Ibara sends a message to Mishima via a secret email address. Why not use the radio? Because the Ozu sisters are also using it. Upon hearing their name, Aoi faints. That scary, huh? And she’s part of the diversion team with Ibara and Haruto.

Episode 10
Aoi’s trauma of the Ozu sisters was because they always bullied her. Always. The diversion team finds the sisters and the soldiers and manages to distract them. They signal to the repair team to get started. As Gennai fixes the power line, Ibuki goes into labour. Haruto showcases his several designed weapons including a bomb that multiplies into many and a mine that emits electricity that will confuse Kanon’s searching power. The sisters got bored with this hide and seek and decide to head back. Ibara needs to divert their attention and what better way than to use Aoi. Here comes the trauma again. Against her will, Nosense takes her before the sisters and they are really looking forward to lose some steam. Haruto detects a change in the wind again. This time is stronger and they have to be quick. Aoi hides in the boat at the lake and laments she shouldn’t have come out. Nosense lectures her that the world is grim because she puts up that face. Then Shion beats him up to a pulp. Find you. Aoi is mad. But can she fight super strong Shion? Well, not really. Nosense holds her back to let Aoi back but gets beaten up further. Then it descends into a swan boat chase… If you’re wondering why Kanon has not intervened it’s because she is scared of water. She is afraid of getting electrocuted. Nosense manages to pick himself up and in his free will decides to go save Aoi. The slow (and comical) boat chase ends with Nosense blowing Shion out of the picture. The soldiers pick up a radio. Since they hear a woman going into labour, they’re not interested and leave. However Ibara notices one keen on listening to it. He must be Ibuki’s husband, Itsujirou. She goes out to persuade him to come with them but the other soldiers and Kanon surround them. She takes Ibara hostage and tells Haruto to show up. Join them or taste her electricity. Haruto tells her there is no need to seek revenge against mankind because from their history, they’re already on the path to destruction. I guess that means he chose the electricity. Kanon is not pleased with his crap because he used to hate humans. Itsujirou fires back as diversion to let them escape. At the park where they take shelter, he mentions this is where he met Ibuki but their love was a forbidden one. He views he has lost his heart a long time ago and turned into a ghost but she is different and is not supposed to be here. Ibara believes their encounter changed him and he is human. Gennai has finished fixing the power line but there is no power flowing through. It could be the substation problem. Gojirou will go fix it since he used to work in an electric company and he hopes this will be his last chance to atone for his sins. Ibara’ side meets up with Aoi’s side but are overwhelmed by the enemy’s firepower. It gets even worse when the soldier releases a huge spider mecha.

Episode 11
Fire away! Don’t want to get in its path, do you? It is believed the spider’s weakness is its access hatch at the bottom between the legs. Although Ibara fires her bazooka directly beneath under it, the hatch is not even scratch. The spider crashes into the building where Kunikida is imprisoned to rescue him. If that isn’t a lot of trouble, wait till you see the Ozu sisters coming into the scene in a dragster! There is a button on top of the spider that will open the door’s hatch. Ibara will distract the sisters but somebody needs to climb up there and press the button. Aoi is tired of being useless enough so she volunteers. However the glass is thick. Ouch. Kanon electrocutes Shion so she could fight Ibara with some electric powers. Kanon then zaps Aoi. However it’s like something awakened in her. She changed into a different person and is more powerful. She smashes the glass and press the button. Enough time for Ibara to shoot her bazooka into the hatch. Then the spider just blows up. Wow. It’s like there was a self destruct button on it. And what do you know? Aoi is flying! Once she brings Ibara to safety, she collapses. When Ibara wakes up, the sisters are gone and they are waiting at the train station but the train isn’t coming. Something is wrong. As Ibara is injured, Haruto will go to see himself what’s holding the rest up. Ibara wonders if she will see him again. He reminds her there are 2 sides to science. He believes she is on the bright side. That didn’t answer her question. When Haruto arrives, he sees Gennai and Kurobe steeling up the train. Then he heads to Gojirou who is having problems with the substation power. Haruto offers to help look for the root of the problem as Gojirou explains his secretive past. He was an employee of Mitsuboshi. Although the country funded them generously, the safety department experienced budget cuts. As a result, they outsourced this to third parties. All their personnel left the dangerous area. It was when he realized this country is a broken. The gears were already broken and he is part of it to let this accident happen because independent checks became less frequent due to cutbacks. He wonders if humans are worth saving. Haruto thinks they are because no matter how dangerous it gets, they don’t run away. He needs more brave people like him so there won’t be another accident again.

Although the power is back on, it is short-lived because a power pole just fell. Gennai and Kurobe rush to fix it. Meanwhile Kunikida shoots Haruto. Why is he going so far? Kunikida feels he has devoted himself to save the world and mankind. When the 1st Division was heading into the capital for a search and rescue, he wanted to find an old friend. It was Natsume who was then the Minister of Defence. When he is found, he sounded like a true hero that he can’t abandon his people but had to put the Prime Minister’s safety as priority. Once they left, they never came back. The government left the people and ran. Since the poor and brave get left behind, he doesn’t approve a future built on such disgusting sacrifices. Haruto argues why he didn’t do anything but watch like a ghost. It’s because he still believes in people. Kurobe comes by to check things and fires random shots. Kunikida orders the retreat. Haruto doesn’t want him pursued or hurt since he is only human. Kurobe tells the current problem and he sounds like as though he’s not going to make it. Gojirou don’t want him playing the hero and wants him on the train when the problem is fixed. Though the power is fixed, Kurobe and Gennai rush back to the train but the wind is going to catch up on them. They won’t make it back. Kurobe gives the last Aether drug to him but Gennai stabs it back at Kurobe instead. Kurobe carries almost-dead Gennai back. The train cannot start because the battery is not recharged. Just great. Now this sh*t. You can’t be serious. Because Kurobe is praying so hard that probably God heard him and started the train. Think they’re scot free yet? The pillar ahead is going to fall! WTF?! Is God enjoying screwing with them? Problem after problem. Haruto leaps out to hold it back despite heavily injured. He gets help from Kunikida in holding the pole. The train zooms past them and they can’t stop as the wind is picking up. Kunikida said Ibara called him a human despite his hideous face. He feels grateful to them because he can now die like a human. The wind engulfs them.

Episode 12
The Ozu sisters are already at the train station so Ibara and the rest have to keep them at bay before they destroy the train. Ibara wants them to surrender and come over to their side so they can treat their wounds. However Kanon refuses and accuses her of not knowing anything, the reason Coppelion were created. I know, I know. It’s that doll being manipulated thingy, right? The train is coming but they can’t let the sisters or the 1st Division close to the platform. Thanks to the trap set by Haruto set, Ibara fires at the ceiling to collapse it on Shion. Though she is strong enough to lift it up, however she loses her strength and crushed herself. Ibara is saddened by her death but has no choice but to jump on the train. The rest of the 1st Division also hops on. What? Change of heart suddenly? As they are approaching the Zone, Ibara orders everyone into the safety shelter (it’s going to be cram with all the animals). As she is wondering where Haruto is fooling around, she is told about his death. She breaks down and unable to continue. Aoi tries to bring back her spirit. Thanks to her, they gotten this far. Thanks to her smile, they got the courage to keep on living. So don’t be sad. Ibara feels better know and is going to break through the Zone by driving the train. Meanwhile complications arise in Ibuki’s labour. The baby isn’t coming out and she is in immense pain. Ayame deduces that something is hindering the baby to come out and it could be the umbilical cord wrapping around its neck. She needs Taeko to make a decision to save either the mother or child because the only way is by Caesarean and surgery in the hands of an amateur means only one may survive. Ibuki says she has already prepared for the worst and wants her to save the baby. However Taeko says she will save both since she did take up surgery classes before. The train heads into the Zone as everyone prays for the best. Thankfully they emerge unscathed. Gojirou hands over the bomb left behind by Haruto to Ibara. Taeko is still in the midst of surgery and assures the rest she is working to save both the mother and baby. Gojirou gets mad when he learns who Itsujirou is. Meanwhile Kanon pushes the slab off Shion. She is still alive. She would be dead if she was a normal human. Shion wants her to kill her because it is so painful. They’re going to drop dead without warning one day, right? So what differences would it make if she dies now? Kanon says she is lucky to feel pain. All she could feel is electricity flowing through her body and does not even know what pain feels like anymore. And so Kanon uses all her electricity power to revive the giant spider and chase the train. She’s one freaking mad lunatic…

Episode 13
Aoi makes a panic call back to Mishima for help but his assistant, Ibuse picks up. She doesn’t care if help arrives 12 hours late (if they start now, that’s how long it will take to reach them), just come! Eventually Mishima manages to get away from all the protocol so they can begin their journey to the old capital. Kanon’s body is taking a toll. Her electricity is draining her life and she’s vomiting blood. However she is prepared to die and feels the need to settle this once and for all. Once it’s over, she’ll die with her sister. Because there is nothing for them. They have no future in this place. Kanon latches the spider onto the train. A building is threatening to fall on the tracks. When Ibara gives the signal to hit the brakes, she fires the last bazooka shell left so that the water reservoir on the building top will ‘cool her down’. Unfortunately it did not break and sits nicely on top of the spider. Ibara is exhausted from that move. She almost gave up when she remembers Haruto’s special bomb. She throws it at the reservoir to explode, giving Kanon the ultimate shock of her life. Ibara reaches her hand to save Kanon but the latter wants her sister saved first. Aoi helps Shion in. Although she hates the sisters, she is through seeing people die. Once that is done, Kanon is going to kill herself as she views she has no right to get on that train. She jumps off but Ibara catches her hand. Kanon wants her to let go. She believes there is nothing good waiting for them. So what is the use of continuing to live? Ibara might not know that answer but at least she learnt something: They have become friends. And with this power of friendship, Kanon is pulled in and the sisters somewhat repent their actions and thank their saviours.

Gennai is on the last leg of his life. As promised, the train passes the part of town whereby the sunset causes everything to soak in beautiful crimson red. Gennai passes away peacefully :'(. Finally after all that hell roller coaster ride, Ibuki finally delivers a healthy set of twins! Mother is also fine. Wow, Taeko can be a delivery nurse. Everyone rejoice at the bundle of joy. Everyone arrives and meet Mishima’s rescue team. The 1st Division soldiers surrender themselves. Since no handcuffs were brought, I guess they just have to hop onto the helicopter. The Coppelion trio say their goodbye to the rest. Nosense gives parting advice to Aoi that she is an adult now and must get her act together. Wait a minute. The robot is crying? Before Ibuki boards the chopper, she hopes Taeko can be the godmother of the twins. Ibara takes the liberty to name the twins Riku and Sora. Ibuki finds the name lovely and hopes her babies will take a good look at this place. The place where they were born. The rest didn’t know that the Coppelion girls will have to continue their field trip in the old capital. They hope they can come visit them sometimes. They’ll always be waiting. And so the trio go back down to the ground and continue their search for others. I suppose the Ozu sisters too tag along.

World’s Biggest Tag, Hide And Seek!
Yawn… Oh my! Sorry, if that word made you conclude my sentiments for this anime. I don’t want to say that this series was a bore and a disappointment but it seems I share the same feelings with many of the viewers out there. At first when this show started, it had great potential. However as the episodes go by, it started losing its shine and in the end, it has this feeling that it failed to live up to its potential. You see, it was a great idea about sending genetically modified high school girls into the highly contaminated area to search for survivors. It’s like playing a big hide and seek game, right? However, you can’t be doing this for every episode, right? It gets boring and repetitive. So for the remainder 2/3 of the series, they turned it into somewhat a giant tag game. Yup. This ‘huge’ arc of the Coppelion trio running into the Ozu sisters becomes the bane of the series. Our heroes try to get away but the sisters and the remnants of the 1st Division are always on their tail. And so what do we get at the end of the cat and mouse game? Humans are safely brought out and the Coppelions return to the playground. What the heck? Nothing else explained. The big issues are still not resolved. Minor side characters that appeared previously ‘vanished’. You won’t hear of them again. Viewers these days have so high standards that we would have cursed for a better ending although we ourselves can’t come up with a better ending.

Although the devastating setting of a post nuclear Japan would make people think about the dangers of having nuclear power plants in their backyard and how a moment of carelessness and selfishness from dumb authorities can make millions suffer, the more important aspect of this show is the irony of the Coppelions who are sometimes more human than human themselves. Especially with Ibara who really gets to her nerve when she sees humans nonchalantly wasting their lives and not trying to live to the fullest. Coppelions may be clones or creations close to humans but despite all that, they can never be totally humans. That’s why they feel clashed and conflicted with their existence. It is as though they only live to die. That’s why they sometimes feel envy for humans who take things for granted because despite the real emotions they have, they don’t completely understand what it means to be human. Although I believe that they ironically understand what it means to be human more than us humans do. Thus Coppelions are like the chicken and egg situation. If not for this disaster, Coppelions would not have been born. It would have saved the world a great deal of anguish from the calamity. Because of the catastrophe, they now exist and have touched the lives of many and get to experience what it is being human. I wonder how many Coppelions are there actually in addition to the ones that have appeared here. So when they talk about that ‘graduation day’, could it be the Coppelions survived some sort of test and ‘qualify’ to go out there and to their deaths?

Because I read that the setting of this anime takes place 20 years after the nuclear meltdown disaster happened, it occurred to me how come there are still quite a number of survivors in the area. I mean, where do they get their fresh water and food supply from? Shouldn’t the water be contaminated? It doesn’t matter how high or low the radiation level because as long as it is contaminated, it is not safe for consumption. Sure, you can say that there are good people going around weekly to supply those stuck. But then again, Tokyo as painted here is such a big place, how can those people make their rounds in time? What about fresh air? Everyone is forced to wear the suits when they go out. Even in them, they have to beware the Zones. Besides, why wouldn’t the survivors just leave? I supposed with Tokyo being all abandoned, people like those with criminal records or with no place to go can call this their home and they have the freedom to do anything they want. The law doesn’t reach them here and if they go out back to society, it’s game over. Another thing that boggles me is how come animals can adapt to the place but not humans. I thought only cockroaches can survive a nuclear fallout. Trees are even growing! Unless of course it’s the Zone. But seriously, humans must be that weak as they can’t evolve and adapt like animals and trees. I suppose it’s to give us a convenient setting that Tokyo is a big ghost town rather than a big dead place. It gives much visual pleasure to see the green trees and some fauna amidst the rubble. Yeah. All man-made things are destroyed. Noticed that? Behold the wonders of nature!

The characters play an important role in trying to make this anime live up to its potential and although the Coppelions each have their own abilities and personality, it still somewhat feels it has fall short. Ibara as the leader of the rescue team is your typical serious and no nonsense when it comes to saving lives. She is kinder than any humans and puts the lives of others before anything else. I feel that Ibara is sufficient enough to go it alone and doesn’t really rely that much on her comrades. I’m not saying that she doesn’t but help from them is so miniscule that I don’t really remember them. Heck, most of the action sees Ibara as the action girl. Because Aoi seems to be like the joker and comic relief of the pack. Besides loving to eat, she loves whining and complaining. She is perhaps the most negative person in the series. But that is what makes her funny. She doesn’t do much and when she turned into a shut-in, she just earned herself the useless character award. The only grumble I have about her is her unexplained awakening. The anime did not explain about it and left it as a big mystery. Which of course left a bad taste in my mouth. If I had not read in summaries around the internet, my heart wouldn’t be at such an ease to know that awakening was some sort of her other split personality in which Aoi has no memories of when she is in this mode. Also why I considered Aoi as the most useless one is because among the Coppelion gang, she does not have any sort of powers. Or at least not shown in the anime. Again, I found out that later in the manga that she does have some power but suppressed. As for Taeko, because of the Ozu sisters arc occupying a big chunk of the series, she has been reduced to a mere labour nurse for Ibuki and her presence is confined to the safest room. So you see, without these 2, Ibara can pretty much get by all by herself, no?

The Ozu sisters were being made the antagonist of the series and they certainly have that insane and maniacal looks to play the part. After all, you can’t blame them for wanting to destroy mankind because it is this disaster that created them. Will you not lose interest to find out what your real purpose of existence is? Imagine this. If cows, chickens and pigs could understand humans and they learn that they are bred for consumption purposes, born to be slaughtered and fed to humans just because they occupy the top spot of the food chain, who would they feel? You’d definitely go on a rampage, right? You’re going to die so might as well bring down as many as possible. This is the case with Kanon and Shion. I think in actual fact all they wanted was just a place to call their own. They were so warped in their hatred that they lost sight of everything and thought they could ‘win’ by defeating Ibara. I guess fate was not on their side. In the end, the pros of living outweighs the cons of dying and I suppose to prevent any more deaths and cute high school girls from dying (only old people and handsome boys die XO), they made them survive. Whether they are officially part of Ibara’s team now is another matter.

At first I feel stumped how can a Coppelion like Haruto die when he gets engulfed in the Zone. I mean, no matter how high and dangerous the radiation level, Coppelions can walk in and out of it like as though they’re taking a stroll on a windy beach. Then I concluded, perhaps it is because Haruto has been injured so much, it takes time for his injuries to heal and in that point, his immune system must be weak and thus succumbed to the Zone. But then again, we are shown and believed to be dead because we didn’t actually see him die, right? There seems to be hints of some sort of relationship between Haruto and Ibara. The latter seems to care a lot about him and even got emotionally broken down after learning his death. They must have been real close. We would love to see some romance blossoming between the duo despite the gang in a crisis situation. Too bad they had to kill him off. What a bummer. He, like the Ozu sisters were averse to humans at first. Then after reuniting with Ibara, it seems that he softens his approach. Maybe that’s why the Ozu sisters ‘left’ him and doesn’t listen to him subsequently. Or else how did Haruto retain his Cleaners team in the first place?

The other amusing character goes to Nosense because just like Coppelions, he is more human than humans. Heck, this robot can even have emotions that humans don’t. He can feel for you. I don’t mind if the entire world is replaced with this kind of artificial intelligence because they do a much better job being humans. He becomes somewhat Aoi’s companion and perhaps her ‘sifu’ too. He is the one who brings Aoi out of the doldrums and imparts lessons of life. Ironic for a robot to do that, huh? I wonder what kind of programming and software was installed. The only reason why this robot is not joining Coppelions is because he has found his new purpose to become Ibuki’s twins’ babysitter. I hope he won’t be a substitute mother. Other characters are okay but lack any impact. Like Mishima is a strong person and he does show remorse and guilt for the disaster but because he is always not on scene and mainly communicating with Ibara via walkie-talkie, you won’t feel much about him. Kurobe, Gennai and Gojirou do have their part to play but it feels insignificant. Of course working together as a group as you can see it pays off. I believe Ibara and Haruto could have fixed things themselves if not by the fact that they can only be at one place at one time. Ibuki spends most of her scenes going into contraction and labour and partly to blame why Taeko’s appearance has been reduced. Ayame also ‘returned’ but that is just to give advice and guide Taeko on how to do her part. Otherwise, other saved humans like Miku, Shiba and Kamata once they’ve been rescued, they never come back. It is mind boggling that the 1st Division army was so bent on destroying the world. In the last minute, they changed their mind. I guess when you’re so close to death, you have second thoughts about it. Life is indeed precious. And while people are dying and trying to survive, Japan’s own Prime Minister and the other nations seem to be fooling around with high table talks and whatever useless conference that gets everybody nowhere. It just resonates like in the real world, huh? Make them get on the ground and do the rescuing themselves to see what it’s like. Then again, why would they?

My biggest complain about this anime is the colouring and the hue. If you have watched the anime K, then you will know what I am talking about. I am not sure if they want to portray this is what it looks like in a radioactivity area but heck, scenes outside the radioactive area also have this sort of feel. You see, the colourings of the scenes are so off that it is just, how should I put it, irritating. At certain scenes, everything can go shades of greenish or bluish. And then the next it may become purplish. It is like they ran out of colours while colouring one scene and then when they replenished that colour, they got too lazy to redo the colouring again and perhaps even decide to use up the rest of the newly replenished colour on the next scene. What the hell? It is like as though the art department is trying to screw with us and didn’t put enough effort to put more colours in the scene. It’s like they think they can pass it off with this ‘uniqueness’. I agree that while using such dull and drab colours would evoke the sense of gloominess and the devastation of the surrounding, however I feel like they were just plain lazy to put in other colours. Then again, it may be radioactivity interfering with everything. Not. Otherwise, the art and drawing are pretty cool and in some scenes, cell shading is done. They capture the devastation of Tokyo pretty well.

In the voice acting department, Kana Hanazawa as Aoi once again plays the kind of lively characters that makes them cute-cum-silly. Like Kobato or Lana in Freezing. Well, it’s better than those brooding yandere types. Haruka Tomatsu as Ibara is just like her strong willed female characters such as Shizuku from Tonari No Kaibutsu-kun and Asuna in Sword Art Online. The other casts include Satomi Akesaka as Taeko (Arsene in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes), Kenichi Suzumura as Haruto (Sougou in Gintama), Yui Horie as Kanon (Nanami in Valvrave The Liberator), Maaya Sakamoto as Shion (Ciel in Kuroshitsuji), Rikiya Koyama as Mishima (Kiritsugu in Fate/Zero), Koutarou Nakamura as Gennai (Naoyuki in Clannad), Koutarou Nakamura as Oyakata (Kinzou Momoyama in Ginga E Kickoff), Mamiko Noto as Ibuki (Enma Ai in Jigoku Shoujo), Masahiko Tanaka as Gojirou (Ryuunosuke in Shaman King) and Masahi Nogawa as Nosense. Both the opening and ending themes are sung by Angela and they somehow remind me of her style as she sung the Shikabane Hime anime themes. The opener is the rock outfit Angel while the slow rock of Tokumade serves as the ending theme. The very weird thing of this ending theme is a part whereby she was saying her words very fast like as though she was rapping or they fast forward her lines. It gives off that WTF feeling. Or else it could have been a rather sad song especially if you listen to the meaningful lyrics of what it takes to remain as a human. The ending theme for the final episode, Bye-bye is a rock and doesn’t sound too bad since it tries to give off that feel good factor.

Overall, Coppelion as I have said has lots of great potential but the way the story was executed and many events and things not properly explained and as though they were made out for convenience (do you remember Yellow Cake? I thought that company would have some sort of impact in the series later on but unfortunately, that name was forgettable), it ends up being a big meltdown, oops, I mean letdown. Trying to put in some tear jerking dramatic moments didn’t help because you would feel pity of the situation the characters are in and not the anime in general. Everything was almost tragic despite they tried painting that there is hope amidst despair. Sighs… They could have ended this tragedy by blowing up the entire Earth, killing 99% of the human population and turning the world into a new ice age called the radiation age. Hah. Tragic. It will then indeed by a lonely planet for our Coppelion gang. Then there will born a new race of super humans and the start of a new chapter in the history of mankind. Absurd as it may sound but ironically that would have been a less tragic perspective and scenario for this series than how everything had turned out.