One of the smaller shows from last season, we’re back in the “it’s our world but not quite” mode of storytelling in Japan with this offering from Studio Silver Link. Eschewing the standard setup, Anti-Magic Academy 35th Test Platoon goes for a balls to the wall, comedy, horror, sci-fi mashup and serves it up with dollops of drama and ecchi-style humour. It’s just a shame that the length of the show means that we’re not getting answers to some of its questions any time soon.
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.
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.
I don’t like Mamoru Oshii as a filmmaker. I’ll make no bones about that. While I’ll always love Ghost in The Shell and the Patlabor series, the rest of his work both before and after these two are what drives me nuts about the guy. One of the worst offenders is a title he collaborated on with Yoshitaka Amano which I suppose represents the worst excesses of the animation boom in Japan in the 1980’s and the best example of where some creators were trying to push the industry. It’s called Angel’s Egg and it is rotten.
Raku Ichijo loves Kosaki Onodera but Kosaki thinks of him as a friend. Ichijo is the son of a Yakuza boss and life for the most part is pretty good with the occasional headache from his family. One day, to prevent a bloodbath between his father’s gang and an American gang who’ve moved into town, Raku’s father agrees for the American gang leader’s daughter, Chitoge Kirisaki, to pretend to go out with Raku for the next three or so years. Chitoge is none to happy with this since she’s already gotten off on the wrong foot with Raku by literally landing on his face. In the middle of all this is a locket that Raku wears in honour of a promise he made to a girl when he was five. The girl in question has a key that will unlock the locket and identify her to Raku. Guess which girls in class have a key of some sort? So Raku likes Kosaki but has to go out with Chitoge.
I didn’t think I’d be writing this at all. Today was a pretty good morning. It still is a pretty good afternoon. But I’m a bit down at the mo. See, while I’ve been enjoying writing for other websites and reviving the Capricorn Theater, this site has been severely neglected. The last time I wrote anything for it was..what..March? That was only to update you that I was busy on other websites. Not acceptable.
Just a quick update to say I’m writing but I’m almost exclusively writing for other people’s websites at the moment. Check out my reviews of the first clumps of Gundam Reconguista in G, my Ani-Gamers column is starting its windup with the last few posts coming in the next two months or so. I’m also doing other people’s podcasts, check out my appearances on Dynamite In The Brain with Giant Robo and Lupin the 3rd, Secret of Mamo. I’m also trying vainly to finish multiple reviews for MangaBookshelf.com before the next Trap Door is out.
I’ll get back to writing here as soon as I can. Talk with you all soon.
Please note: this was written in 2011 so hence things like REDLine had just come out and my recent trip to Otakon.
Usually, when you discover a new anime series, it’s a case of “Hmm, interesting, but it’s too generic and samey. Could have used a vampire.” It’s a sad fact that the bulk of shows made today pander too much to a really, really, small niche market. I’m fine with people liking whatever it is they like but once in a while, just once in a while, I like to get a show or movie that I can really start chewing on. So, I heard and then read the central premise of Rideback. I looked for fansubs of it but by the time I did, FUNimation has already licenced it and so I decided to wait for my DVD or blu ray of it. So, when I realised that I’d be at Otakon this year and FUNI would have a sales booth I decided to buy it. And then it sat on my ever widening shelf of anime that I hadn’t watched. But unemployment will make a person want to fill the spaces when they aren’t looking for a job. So, I found myself watching the show. And it might be my favourite show of the year and I’ve had a lot of candidates for the title.