39 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Scamp /

Coppelion episode 1 – God sent a messenger in his image


And God’s image seemed to not be wearing any panties.

As much as I appreciate anime not going full skeevy and flashing underwear in our faces, when the alternative is to pretend there isn’t anything there at all, it just comes off as looking weird as surreal. The above image is just an instance where the legs actually joined, giving us the unfortunate impression that schoolgirls like to tackle the nuclear disaster while going commando. Also that the process they go through to become radiation resistant involves them giving up their reproductive organs, which adds a whole other layer of weird and creepy to their existence.

On other occasions though, the skirt flies right up to reveal that their legs never end. It’s just legs all the way up. Probably another part of the biological process of creating radiation resistant schoolgirls. Besides, why do they have to wear school uniforms anyway? They’re going into a destroyed barren city with difficult terrain and dangerous wild animals. Shouldn’t they wear more comfortable climbing gear? Shouldn’t they be carrying more efficient bags that can be strapped around both shoulders rather than carrying them over one shoulder? Or is dressing like a schoolgirl a requirement of their nuclear forcefields?

Coppelion - 01 - Large 28

Another great idea when sending young girls into a dangerous nuclear wasteland is to make sure they are armed to the teeth. And by armed to the teeth I mean given one measly tranquillizer gun and a pair of knee-high socks. Let’s also make the military commander be called ‘Vice-Principle’ because that is sure to make the nation respect him when he broadcasts to the entire world.

If you have never read it, I highly recommend reading Short Cuts. Now more than ever, because Coppelion feels like an extended gag from that manga. It’s like the author originally wrote a deadly serious post-nuclear disaster that was intended as a severe criticism of Japan’s nuclear energy programmes but the idea was rejected. You can still see that concept lying underneath the schoolgirl story. But upon being rejected the author went “fine, what do you want, schoolgirls? Fuck it, they’re now all schoolgirls” and that idea was the one that was accepted. Instead of being a criticism of toying with powers beyond our comprehension, Coppelion seems like a satirical piece on Japan’s adoration of schoolgirls. When the world is destroyed and Tokyo is left in ruins, who will come save us? Schoolgirls!

Coppelion - 01 - Large 14

I feel the scene where the man dying of nuclear radiation sees the schoolgirl and wonders if he’s just seen an angel is a metaphor for Japan’s society at the moment. It’s slowly dying so they cling to their saviour: The schoolgirl. The schoolgirl doesn’t actually save them. They merely give them tranquillizer so they experience temporary relief from the pain. But that’s fine because do ho ho I can see up her skirt ooooh she’s not wearing any underwear this sure is my lucky day.

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  1. Posted October 3, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Well, at least the animation and backgrounds were beautiful.
    I would go with them having to be teenagers, because they were only able to manipulate DNA a few years ago, but everything else is just plain stupid.
    And I agree, Short Cuts is awesome, but so is everything ever done by Furuya.

    • SCV
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      I liked the backgrounds too. I had high hopes when I saw the first scene with the truck which had grass growing through it, and the city in the background, and how the light dynamically lit it as the camera panned across. It was really well done.

      I didn’t like the character art though, they seem really undetailed. I also found the thick black lines of the blush and character outlines looked dreadful.

      • Posted October 3, 2013 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

        Those stupid black lines bothered me so much. They were extremely distracting.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

      Ya but this is GoHands so the animation quality will plummet after episode 1

  2. SCV
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    I don’t have an issue with the premises, I find I can accept ‘girls join the military’. I consider various other anime have used similar premises well. What I find I like is that, vulnerable people (girls) are put in dangerous situations and the characters develop and somehow adapt to cope.

    So far the issue I have with this anime is they put Little Ms Hardboiled with her vulnerable and boring friends in a dangerous situation and I found I was left wanting a maturer or vulnerable character in her place. Originally I did not understand why they had this girl who was unphased by the danger, there seemed little scope for character growth anymore.

    I came to the conclusion that this anime will be aimed at a young demographic who are seeking independence from their parents and who can therefore relate and aspire to be like Ms Hardboiled. I can see there being a convenient backstory that only females could be genetically modified and their age was a result of them being born after the technlogy developed.

    As a result, I currently doubt Coppelion will be saved by being plot driven, even with its bland characters, which is the last hope I initially had for it.

    • Cirith
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      Why should “girls join the military” be the hard to accept part? o_O What is hard to believe is them dressing like high school girls instead of functional clothing. Neither working for the military nor going through a wasteland lends itself to standard anime high school girl uniforms.

      • SCV
        Posted October 3, 2013 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

        I agree, but this wasn’t the main issue I had with it. They wore school uniform in girls und panzer. I didn’t have much of a problem with it there.

      • Hanasra
        Posted October 4, 2013 at 3:12 am | Permalink

        GuP have already established the premises as highschool extracuricullar activities, so using higschool girl is much more justified and “grounded” than this.

    • Hanasra
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      Girls joining military doesn’t mean they should wear highschool girl uniform while on duty. This is not “Military Girl” action, this is highschool-girn-action-with-guns-in-nuclear-wasteland. Get the difference her? It seems like your premises on this completely off the mark.

  3. mwp
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Maybe they’re wearing thongs, I wouldn’t put it past Japan.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

      Thongs have more fabric on the front, unless these are just micro of the micro-est thongs

    • Posted October 5, 2013 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      You seem to be very knowledgeable about this, scamp.

      • Scamp
        Posted October 5, 2013 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

        Why yes I am very knowledgeable about thongs of all varieties

  4. Cirith
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    You know even if they don’t want sensible clothing they could just make the skirts a bit longer to avoid the endless leg problem.

  5. TenesMilanesasGracie
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    What do you think of this stalker-type camerawork? It seemed like everything was being shot from the POV of a sweaty fat dude with binoculars and security cameras.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the Male Gaze.

  6. Posted October 3, 2013 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, schoolgirl outfits have their place, but in this setting, in a serious military operation? Shouldn’t they be wearing cargo pants, military boots, a jacket for weathering the environment, and military backpacks for their equipment instead of school bags? No wonder they were getting so tired from walking. I feel I can look past that if the underlying direction is strong enough – eg Girls und Panzer – but so far… They’re actually using their lack of equipment as a plot point, which isn’t so great.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

      There’s a big difference in Girls und Panzer: That was a joke. Them treating panzer like it’s an afterschool club was part of the joke, so making them wear uniforms emphasised that. Coppelion is played straight, which is why it comes off as so weird.

  7. Wodes
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    I swear to god there’s a shot in which we see one of the girl’s pink panties
    i knew it

    The legs are stupidly long though. Like unnervingly long. Maybe it’s the genetic engineering?

    Honestly, if you can get past the schoolgirls, I think this series has potential. There’s the whole “am i human?” angle they’re working in with finding a dismembered doll etc. The lack of equipment could be related to how disposable they are? From what I understand so far they’re basically redshirts. The characters so far are pretty annoying but i’m still willing to give it the benefit of the doubt for now.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

      I did see that shot, but are you sure there’s underwear there? I couldn’t see any myself and I looked really hard. Really really hard. Really really…[cough]

      • Wodes
        Posted October 3, 2013 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

        I feel like if I zoomed in really closely and sampled the colors there would be a slight difference between the ones in the region i’m seeing panties being present in and the region the panties are not present in. It looked clearer to me in motion though than it does in the still frame. Maybe my mind simply can’t comprehend the notion of these girls not wearing underwear and i’m just hallucinating.

        Although, when you think about, maybe it’s on purpose? The point is these girls are distinctly non-human, although they have a human facade. They’re simply puppets. That’s why the look like schoolgirls. But underneath the facade, they are nothing. The lack of underwear and reproductive organs is meant to highlight the farcical nature of their existence. The whole training program more or less exists to amuse and assure the citizens of japan that progress is being done to reverse the effects of nuclear catastrophe, hence the use of the school theme and the absolute lack of equipment in dealing with a post-apocalyptic world. They’re basically the recon corps of their society.

      • Cyber-Kun
        Posted October 4, 2013 at 6:25 am | Permalink

        You are trying so hard that you have my never ending respect.

  8. Shikamaru
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    Why school uniforms? Why teenage girls? Why send a scaredy cat instead of someone more suitable for mission like this? Why don’t they use car, scooter, bicycle or something? My favourite part was when one of the girls asked why they don’t use a car and they didn’t answer that question. Saying out loud that your story is stupid doesn’t change the fact that your story is stupid. It only makes the writer look bad, at least in my opinion.

    I still enjoyed this episode a lot. It didn’t make a lot of sense but it was still interesting. I want to know what happens in the next episode.

  9. Nazaren
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    I’ve already thrown away any hope of getting a satisfactory explanation for the “schoolgirls” premise… it can’t be done. I am not condoning it, however. Bad writing is bad writing, even if it’s meant to be so.

    It’s great for post-apocalyptic scenery porn and it’s accompanying atmosphere.

    The overall premise is shit, the characters are annoying / nonsensical, and the threats are feral dogs, (possibly) crazed and desperate survivors, and the Vice-Principal’s authority. The last point is predictable but it has potential, I suppose.

    I was more stoked for “K” after its first episode than I am for this…

    • Scamp
      Posted October 3, 2013 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

      K had a good first episode though. It didn’t really have the story to match, nor did it do a good job of keeping up that tone, but I hold out that the first ep was pretty cool.

  10. Nagisa33
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    So fantastic experiences with Kill la Kill and Pokemon: The Origin eh, Eh, EH? Hahahaha!

    Right, about this show:
    The one thing that bothered me more than the high school outfits was that they were acting like normal high school girls. Shouldn’t they have had extensive training, mentally and physically as they seem to be an elite and valuable team? The scene where that one girl was scared of the wolf suspended my already waning belief too far.

    • AG
      Posted October 4, 2013 at 1:10 am | Permalink

      This. Even if you ignored the choice of schoolgirls (because… you know…. anime) they’re still awfully unprepared and are really shitty scouts

      • Hanasra
        Posted October 4, 2013 at 10:10 am | Permalink

        It is bad writing. Almost like Coppelion being a satire of itself.

  11. Pusswookie
    Posted October 4, 2013 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    You know what? Maybe the Military initially had plenty of choice as to who they wanted to engineer into a Radioactive Resistant Rescue Squad and eventually switched over to schoolgirls for the sake of morale. Like, maybe they’re there not just to help survivors but to offer a semblance of familiarity and reassurance that, despite their situation, The Schoolgirls ARE OK. Not all is lost.

    The benefits of this are clearly evident upon seeing the poisoned man’s reaction to his miniskirt-clad savior. I mean, think about it: Perhaps these girls aren’t all that new, as we’ve been led to believe, but are instead the latest in a line of unassuming saviors genetically engineered by Militant Moe Industries in the hopes that they will instill confidence that Things Are Going To Be Alright; and the newest model will sport thigh-highs.

  12. Posted October 4, 2013 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Now that you mentioned about the no-panties thing….

    But I missed it the first time around since I’m bothered by the thick borders the characters have once in a while. Not exactly “this is shit I don’t like it” but more on “hmm, this could look nice… maybe???”.

  13. jherb33
    Posted October 4, 2013 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    i loved k-project. cant wait for the second season.

  14. Canary Paint
    Posted October 4, 2013 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    It’s obvious. Samson got his strength from his long hair. Schoolgirls get their survivors-of-the-apocalypse powers from short skirts. Samson lost his strength when his hair was cut, so these girls lose their powers if their skirts are lengthened.

    • Pusswookie
      Posted October 4, 2013 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

      Does lengthening the socks do anything?

    • Wodes
      Posted October 5, 2013 at 12:28 am | Permalink

      The equation for calculating http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ZettaiRyouiki
      is inversely proportional to the length of the clothing articles and directly proportional to the power of the wearer, so I’d say yes.

    • Ken
      Posted October 5, 2013 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

      You’ve discovered the secret! It’s clothing power. Just like in Kill la Kill.

  15. Someone Else
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    Not sure if really a metaphor or the author just succumb to capitalism

  16. Grey
    Posted October 6, 2013 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    Ok this is actually terrible, and not fun terrible but I this-will-become-stupid-and-boring-in-3-episodes terrible.

    I started to be scared when i saw the uniforms. Then the OH I’M SO KLUTZ girl was flailing around screaming something about being late. Then the picnic. No thanks. This is not a disaster movie (I loved tokyo magnitude 8.0), this is an boring action schoolgirls movie casually set in a ghost city.

  17. beleester
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 2:10 am | Permalink

    Well, aside from the school uniform thing, it actually looks pretty nice. Nice backgrounds and a good bit mystery over what’s actually going on in the zone. And the second episode has them do a bit more than walk through the wasteland and look cute. So yeah, if you can suspend your disbelief about school uniforms (and I’ve suspended my disbelief about far worse), this might be a good series.

  18. Count Monty
    Posted October 16, 2013 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, well, I like it.

    If you put the whole schoolgirl thing out of your head, this is pretty good actually.

    But yeah, I really wish they’d stop with the schoolgirls in everything. It’s gotten so bad I have no choice but to have 14 year old as one of my favourite characters. A 14 year old is not gonna have a strong sense of justice and an over-protective nature to her, Kamachi Kazuma! GOD DAMMIT!

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