So in comes the fall season, and I start off with the apocalypse. And while this first ep hasn’t blown me away, I’m definitely interested in this believable post-apocalyptic future. In any case, this sight-seeing tour of Tokyo fallout is gorgeous to look at. 🙂
Really when we get down to it, there is no story so far. The whole point of this episode was to introduce the characters and the world it takes place in. And in that regard they succeed with flying colors. Not much details have been given, but apparently Tokyo has fallen into Nuclear fallout after a power plant erupted, and it’s still actively producing radiation. Most have evacuated and made Tokyo into “the world’s biggest ghost town”.
Rather than go for a world-has-ended approach, we explore just how different one city can be if it’s abandoned. Nature has adapted to the radiation levels and started to overtake the city. Buildings are crumbling, wildlife shows up in roads, and grasslands are becoming the new forests. The fact that the rest of the world is still seemingly normal and the lack of futuristic tech other than medicine make the city seems that much more alien to us.
So far the Coppelion(Ibara, Taeko, and Aoi) don’t have much to them in terms of depth, but they do juxtapose with the ghost town really well. Since the radiation suits only provide 99% of perfection, they were created to be 100% adaptable to the radiation levels. But despite how they repeat to eachother how they are essentially human lab rats, each of them has an individual personality that, while cliche, barely makes their inhuman side noticeable. They have a moral center and clear emotions, especially when another life is at stake.
Continuing from what I mentioned before, this show’s apocalypse is breathtaking. Gohands is relatively new as a studio, but if there’s one thing K and Mardock Scramble showed is that their prior experience at Satelight can be put to great use into animation. They particularly excel in their background art and unique color shading (in this case green).
What really made it great though was how it was presented. Instead of giving tons of exposition, the show follows the show-more and tell-less approach that alot of anime tend to ignore. There’s alot of quiet moments where the Coppelion simply walk through the wasteland, looking at how beautiful the city looks even when it’s gone to hell. And while there is still some background info on how serious the situation is(newscast, self-defense force, wild life), it’s these quite moments where we can just look at the ghost town with awe.
And if you can’t already tell, this story is very reminiscent of the Fukushima meltdown in 2011. Granted, the manga was written way before that incident, but I can definitely see why they decided to hold back this adaptation. From seeing the remnants of a broken city to the desperation the SDF have to task the Coppelion with shutting the reactor down, there’s a sense of realism that connects strongly if you were aware of this situation. My respects go to the Fukuhima 50 and other 530 employees that risked their lives to do the same.
There’s not much to say at this point other than it looks promising. There’s a bit of a cliffhanger at the end once a stray wolf attacks, leaving one of them who’s alone with another dog in danger. However, we still don’t know much about anything, so it’s too early to suddenly get into speculation. For now, this seems to be great as a sight-seeing tour of what happens when a single city ends, but the world doesn’t.