This could broadly be described as another of those “Girls Who Save the World” shows, but it is handled in a slightly different fashion, in that there are no transformation sequences, but their goal is not much different than “Sailor Moon” or Symphonia”.
“Coppelion” tells the story of (left to right) Taeko Nomura, Ibara Naruse and Aoi Fukasaku, who are not what they appear to be. Are they high school girls, on a class trip to Kyoto so they can look at the temples and take advantage of the cuisine there? Not hardly likely.
In 2016, a ‘incident’ at the Odaiba energy plant contaminates all of Tokyo and everyone has to leave (and they never say that it was a nuclear meltdown, although all the Hazmat suits, Geiger counters and radiation symbols plastered everywhere are enough to make it so). But not everyone leaves, for whatever reason. Twenty years later, a distress call is heard from Old Capitol and these girls are dispatched to answer the call.
So these aren’t even real girls. They are clones who have been biologically engineered to be able to withstand massive levels of radiation that would turn the rest of us into instant goo. They are to render immediate first aid and then get those people out of there. The story details their efforts, but it is more than a “Who can we save this week” approach, as that would get boring really fast.
It seems there are major efforts afoot to keep people from leaving, with the arrival of the 1st Division, who will subjugate all in some insane bid to keep them from gaining their freedom.
Then, there is a second Coppelion group and they are bent on help 1st Division realize their goal, which could lead to Armageddon or something just as nasty and unpleasant.
The standard Two Beefs: The first is why are they primarily girls (there is a guy in the bunch, but overall) to do this. That is never explained and with fan service to a minimum, it really makes no sense…..unless you are one of those types that like girls in their high school uniforms. The second is why stay in Old Capitol? It’s like having a house near a sewage treatment plant. Sure, you got it for a great price, but the neighborhood! Has the 1st Division so blockaded you in, you might as well stay?
There is a bit of a slump near the middle that I feel hampers it from getting up enough steam to complete the show. The closing arc has some degree of interest, when the above Coppelion group has to fight the Psychotic Sisters (actually the Ozu Sisters) who want the whole world to be destroyed. Again, this is another examination into what defines humanity and can a cloned being have and show humanity? And why are the humans so unconcerned about the fate of those left behind? Is the Prime Minister that sinister? Lazy? Up for reelection?
Although interesting to watch, I cannot recommend it too highly, as the political aspect mires down the show and the exodus from The Planet seems to be strung out more than necessary. But if you want a more intelligent action show, and not just endless fighting and explosions, this might work for you.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 9 (Overgrown Tokyo is stunning)
Plot 6 (Rather standard)
Pacing 7 (Can get frantic quickly)
Effectiveness 7 (Sometimes seems pointless)
Conclusion 7 (It reaches a ‘coupler’, but doesn’t really end)
Fan Service 2 (A similar show would be “Okamisan”)
Overall 6 (A little too pat)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. We are here to help.