Coppelion: Future- A second episode discussion
October 10, 2013
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Coppelia actual, this is Coppelia zero-one. Ojective Neptune is secure; we are at grid coordinates tango whiskey zero five six six two eight. Requesting immediate extraction. How copy?
Coppelion turns out to have been named after Coppélia, a French ballet where a life-sized doll created by Dr. Coppelius, ensnares the heart of Franz; he is saved only by Swanhilde’s hand, his one love. Anime is draws inspiration from Western elements, weaving it seamlessly into the plot. Coppelion is no exception; the Coppelion team take after the ‘living doll’ aspect, being genetically engineered and built from the ground up. Well aware of this, Ibara and the others nonetheless express very human emotions throughout the course of the episode as they attempt to save a young girl and react to mention that they are not human. Thus, this second episode acts as more of a demonstration that the Coppelion team, though capable, are still high school girls at heart and struggling to deal with their existence as genetically created beings.
- The Coppelion team might be similar to Spartan IIIs in age and performance, Taeko is strong enough to throw someone larger off her, and previously, we’ve seen Ibara jump down a four metre drop without sustaining much injury.
- It turns out that the unknown man is Mitsuo Kawabata; bringing the girls to his home, he and Yukiko asks for their help in finding their daughter, Miku.
- It’s somewhat unexpected to see that there are no discussions on what constitutes as a human and the moral implications of genetic engineering. While familiar with the materials, having taken a genomics and society course a year ago, I don’t particularly feel inclined to argue about the benefits and detriments of introducing accessible genetic engineering to society.
- Instead, most talk has now turned to the unusual art style in the series, encompassing the character outlines and filtering on the scenery. I guess most of those engaged in complaints about the series can only apply fancy words in forum conversations and posts using MS Office’s built-in thesaurus, but actually may not have the background to talk about anything beyond that. All I can say is look on the bright side- at least there’s absolutely no rotoscoping in Coppelion!
- I’ve heard many individuals say they’re planning on dropping this anime if things don’t shape up after episode three. The three episode rule is one I generally observe: if an anime doesn’t hold my interest after three, I probably won’t invest any more time into it unless something catches my eye midway into the season or at the end. For now, I’ll stick around, since things could get interesting: it’s not often that we have an anime inspired by Pripyat and The World Without Us.
- The leaning hotel turns out to be relevant: Yukiko reveals that she and Mitsuo were criminals who escaped following the nuclear meltdown and have been living as a family ever since: Miku left on her own to visit her biological mother’s grave, leading to the events here. Declaring that she won’t abandon her family as she did previously, fearing arrest will lead to them returning to jail: a standoff between her and Ibara ensues.
- In Metro: Last Light, players had to replace their filters every five minutes but didn’t have any cumbersome oxygen tanks. The Hazmat suits recovered from survivors turn out to be more effective at minimising exposure to the radioactivity than the latest barrier suits fielded by the military; I’m wondering if this will be relevant in the future.
- Ibara breaks into tears mid-negotiation about her status as a Coppelion, managing to save Miku but not Yukiko. I’m still not absolutely certain as to whether or not Ibara’s reaction is genuine or not, but I’m inclined to believe it might have been staged to play on Yukiko’s emotions.
- Despite rescuing Miku, Mitsuo and Yukiko lose their lives. The entire Coppelion team is disheartened; whereas trained soldiers would probably remark that there was nothing more they could have done, having a team with the mentality of high school students does allow for more drama. I recall a scene in Battlefield 3 where Commander Cole says that “things happen in a war” after most of their squad is wiped out in a valley against Russian forces.
- The future directions in Coppelion can’t be predicted beyond what the previews provide, so I’ll hold off on the speculation and remain content to merely watch things as they progress. This episode is called “Future”: I remark that this anime might not have a future with other viewers unless they make some defecation hit the oscillation, and soon.
The second episode ends up feeling like a mission right out of Metro: Last Light; upon finding a family who remained behind owing to their status as criminals, Ibara, Taeko and Aoi are fielded to go rescue the family’s child. They succeed in rescuing the child but are unable to save the mother or father, reminding viewers that death is not considerate or fair. Death is impatient, and that in a post-accident Tokyo, anyone can face death. The Coppelion team may have training and genetic enhancements, but they nonetheless can err. Discussions elsewhere have focused on the plot so far; at the current rate of progression, it is not dissimilar to an open world adventure, allowing the girls to explore old Tokyo and helping any survivors they encounter. Of course, it’s still early in the game, but I do hope that the plot is pushed in the direction such that there are unifying elements to make the girls’ actions significant in some way. Other than that, with little discussion on the morality of genetic engineering or the use of nuclear power, I’m probably going to stand down and return at the halfway point to do a mid-season reflection, given that there isn’t much I actively need to append thoughts to (or dispel).