DVD Review: Coppelion – The Complete Series
23/11/2015 Leave a comment
It’s been a relatively short-time-coming but we take a look at KAZE’s latest DVD Release known as Coppelion; and as you can imagine we are in for a few surprises. How do i rate this particular release however? Well you are going to have to find out in this DVD Review of Coppelion.
In the not-so-distant future, a catastrophic event has turned the old capital of Japan into a wasteland, forever changing the lives of its people. Decades later, three schoolgirls set foot into the now forsaken city.
They are the Coppelion, genetically engineered humans created by the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force to operate under the lethal conditions of the contaminated city. Trained since birth, the girls must use all of their skills and resources to carry out their one and only mission: to rescue those left behind.
It’s not often i get deceived by an anime series but unfortunately for me that’s what happened with Coppelion. Truth be told I never looked into the series; i just assumed it was some sort of story that saw three high-school-girls fight for survival in a wasteland of a city while fending off attacks. In actuality it’s a story that sees three high-school-girls sent as a ‘rescue’ unit in order to save people from the wasteland. Ironically i wasn’t far off the synopsis; and yet i can’t help but feel unentertained by the story that unfolds within the episodes contain within this set.
Based upon the manga by Tomonori Inoue, and animated by Studio GO HANDS, the studio most known for their work on K and Mardock Scramble, we have the thirteen long series known as Coppelion. The story here, albeit untold to the viewer, is that an accident on a toxic scale occurred at a plant in the central of Japan and in an attempt to rescue people from ‘ground zero’ of this explosion a genetically engineered set of humans – known as Coppelion – were created.. and this is where our story begins to unfold.
The three girls, known as Ibara Naruse, Aoi Fukasaku and Taeko Nomura, are part of the Coppelion Rescue Team for the Japan Ground Self-Defence Force, otherwise known as JGSF, who have been sent to the capital in order to retrieve any survivors still residing in it. For the most part this is exactly what they do – finding people and extracting them from the location. Theres no real sense of danger involved and its a real ‘rinse and repeat’ process for each episode; but upon finding a large group of survivors holding out in a scientific dome known as the planet the girls find themselves attacked by an unknown army fraction. You’d think the series here would get more intense, action packed and interesting to watch which, to a degree at least, it does but with no real purpose or incentive to watch i couldn’t help but feel bored. Interestingly however the series does open up to introduce a new group of enemies, other Coppelion members which have opted to turn their back on their duty and destroy the world; and as you can imagine its the duty of the rescue team to put a stop to it.
Cue long-lists of dialogue, short action sequences and nothing of interest and you will eventually find yourself at the series end; which is a real shame as i was looking forward to what this series had to offer. Annoyingly i can’t pinpoint why i didn’t like it; at first it was due to the ‘uninformative’ nature of the events that transpired – but once informed it was simply a purpose of watching the events unfold. I guess in retrospect theres no backbone or solid story to be had; it’s simply “see how this team rescues people” which, after watching the events unfold, doesn’t seem to be that well.
As this is a KAZE release then theres not a lot to expect from bonus materials as other the textless opening and closing animations, which are located on the third DVD discs, there’s only a selection of trailers on offer – all of which are located before the disc menu itself.
The trailers themselves are located before the disc menu and consist of Tenkai Knights, Black Lagoon and Berserk; all of which have been seen many times on other KAZE releases. It’s worth mentioning that Tenkai Knights has still yet to receive a UK announcement; so its still unclear why the trailer was authored on the discs. A selection of French trailers are also available for your viewing pleasure; as upon selecting ‘french’ at the start you will gain access to french content. Yet again there’s not a lot really to see but it is interesting seeing their promotional activity.
Media: DVD 9 x3
Running Time: 1:54:57 (Disc 1), 1:30:48 (Disc 2 & 3)
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 192kbps (English & Japanese)
Subtitles: English & French (White)
Resolution: 720 x 576 (576i)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
Frame Rate: 25 fps
A fight for survival in an unhabitable land was potential on offer; instead we see a group of school-girls, which have been scientifically created for this particular task, venture off to rescue people but along the way encounter resistance in the form of a old army regiment and other Coppelion members gone rogue. On paper it sounds interesting; but in actuality its a rinse and repeat process that steadily becomes tiresome and if it doesn’t then the ‘far-fetched’ ideals of the story will.
What exactly am i referring to? Well explosions and gunfire don’t seem to keep people – sure enough the Coppelion have special abilities, of which we rarely get to see, but the everyday regular humans can somehow survive missle blasts and toxic gas. In a world based thats sees people unable to survive in bio-suits i do find it bizarre how soldiers that have been inhaling the fumes for years are not only alive but survive tank rounds fired at them… I guess its part of the charm but it spoils the realistic values the show had placed at the very start; excluding the Coppelion themselves that is.
In regards to this DVD release by KAZE Entertainment then theres not a lot to say; sure enough GO Hands unique animation style – which i’m still not a fan of – would’ve looked better in High Definition on Blu-ray but as KAZE have opted to use three DVD discs instead of the usual two the overall picture quality has improved. Both Japanese and English Audio tracks are clear and audible as well and while the English Dub ain’t half bad i found the Japanese audio track to be that slightly bit better; especially in the latter stages of the series. Annoyingly KAZE’s DVD format of having the title menu revert you back to the start of the disc is still here and upon an episode ending the dvd menu will be brought back up.
In short it’s basically your typical KAZE DVD Release; good presentation but questionable menu layout authoring. In regards to the series itself then it’s an interesting concept but poorly executed. The progression of the episodes are unbalanced and while some events are realistic and believable, such as the toxic gasses, they are later thrown out by ridiculous situations that shouldn’t have existed in the first place. Of course if you are looking for something different to your usual anime experience then Coppelion is worth a shot; just do not expect too much from it and you ‘may’ like it.
Coppelion – The Complete Series is now available on DVD within the UK via KAZE and Manga Entertainment UK.