How do you continue a franchise that started on a slow burn, became super popular and to this day has a legion of fans the world over and not trip over yourself? Well, the answer will surprise you because it’s certainly not Ghost in the Shell and unfortunately, it’s not this film either.
I feel ill-equipped to talk about My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU simply because the show talks about school life better than anything I could say. Through the pitfalls and perils of being in school, the show has a handle on what it’s like to be the object of scrutiny and ignorance. Even as the characters fumble around, trying to understand each other, we learn that the show values them figuring themselves out more. Even when it’s being happy or sad, the cast finds themselves learning about an inner reservoir they didn’t know they had.
Sometimes, in the course of doing so, we are confronted by the same questions that every person dreads: why am I alive? What’s my purpose? Who would miss me if I was gone? Add to this the questions that a person who hurt others and regrets it now must also ask: could I have done things differently? Am I causing more trouble by being around than simply going away? Beyond The Boundary has all of these questions and more but we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
In Kancolle, Fubuki, a newly commissioned destroyer girl, arrives at the Naval District on the orders of the Admiral who is in command of the district. Under the secondary command of Secretary Ship Nagato and rooming with fellow destroyers Kisaragi and Mutsuki, Fubuki learns the role and duties of the fleet while waiting for a chance to prove herself against the invading Abyssal Fleet. She secretly hopes that she’ll get the chance to provide escort duty for Akagi, a carrier girl who Fubuki takes an instant liking to.
A hundred years after an asteroid strikes the Earth and leaves the next few generations with special powers, the world’s most advanced city has been founded to settle fights between the academies in the city of Rikka, more commonly called Asterisk, for control of whatever the winner of the yearly competition wants. In the fights, one or more combatants must face off against an equal opposite number of combatants and uses their Genestella powers plus a chosen weapon (called a Lux) to defeat, incapacitate or make an opponent yield. The fight is watched by a crowd and once the challenge to fight is issued, cannot be rescinded. Into this comes Ayato Amagiri who joins one of the academies in search of his older sister who vanished a while earlier after going to the same academy. Within the first day, he sees a girl in a state of undress, proves himself a hero and gets hit on by his student year head. He hasn’t even gotten to the second day yet.
Based on the manga by Tomonori Inoue and directed by Shingo Suzuki (K: Return of Kings, Mardock Scramble, Baccano), Coppelion is one of those more interesting franchises in that the anime is based on a manga that is only around 20 volumes in length. This means that the show runner either could choose to make a short series or pad out the episodes with filler. Even the tight nature of the story and its setting, the producers quite wisely chose to go with the former option. At thirteen episodes long, Coppelion packs a lot into itself but finds the time to explore some topical notions and key character development while the action and glory takes place at the same time.
Raku’s life is getting more complicated by the day. Not only does he have Kosaki Onodera as his object of affection, his fake girlfriend Chitoge Kirisaki is starting to have doubts about whether she’s still faking being in love or if she actually loves Raku. On top of that, Raku gets Marika Tachibana, the daughter of the local police commissioner, who was promised Raku’s hand in marriage by his father when they were five (not this promise stuff again!). So will the path of true love run smooth? Not by a long shot, from the strength of these episodes.