In 2016, a meltdown of a nuclear power plant creates a big catastrophe in Tokyo. 20 years later, the city has become a ghost town due to the high levels of radiation. From that area, a distress signal is received. The Self-Defense Forces dispatch three girls from the special unit "Coppelion" to search for survivors. But why aren't they wearing any protection against radiation?
Coppelion was originally serialized in Weekly Young Magazine until May 7, 2012 (2012 #23). It was then moved to Monthly Young Magazine on May 9 (2012-06).
The series was digitally published in English by Kodansha Comics USA from December 1, 2015 to December 8, 2016. Crunchyroll digitally simulpublished the series from chapter 193 (Act.13) onwards. Their simulpub however numbered chapter 193 as the 200th, leading to an incorrect total chapter count of 233.
Coppelion is a fascinating story to say in the least, with a similar setting to Deadman Wonderland in terms of an earthquake being the cause of the current problem. One thing that Coppelion establishes quickly is the fact that each arc is long and forces the reader to care about the survivors and the Coppelion. Being a story where the characters themselves aren't too sure of whats going on behind closed doors they mainly focus on evacuating the survivors left in Tokyo. The arcs at times do feel like they drag on a little bit but in the long run you end up appreciating the
story even more becuase it went that extra bit further to explain things. You can almost look at each arc as the story of evacuating the different groups of survivors, there is always a story behind the reason why they stayed behind or why they don't want to go back to the world of the living. Coppelion really emphasizes the idea that in the face of death or in the face of salvation past actions will always make the final decision. This makes the characters face themselves and ask the question of is what they are doing the right thing? For a story that somewhat focuses on the psychological aspect of the nature of humans they don't exactly do a great job at it, I often found that the answer that a character would choose was quite predictable and didn't exactly make the characters question themselves as much as I had hoped. The biggest downside to the story would have to be the fact that for a lot of the problems that the Coppelion would face at the most crucial point in evacuating survivors it could always be solved by sending Haruto to the rescue. Overall I give the story an 8/10.
The Characters in Coppelion are detailed and intricate, a lot of characters have a deep back story that gives them more depth. Surprisingly after 186 chapters not every character has a deep back story to have been told. Characters like Taeko you really don't know what they went through, while others like Ibara have hinted back stories. Each survivor has their own stories of the past that shapes the very reason why they stay in the city of death that is Tokyo. Unfortunately Coppelion does suffer from having a main character who doesn't really do a lot. This character is Taeko, sure she has done things in the past that are crucial but other than those she really doesn't play a major role. Aoi is also another character that doesn't play a major role despite being a main until the shelter 109 story arc. Ibara is an unwavering main, for the most part but when she does waver in her goal it is for a good reason, often ignoring what people say in order to save survivors that are still in the city of death. She is also already prepared to either save anyone and everyone or to trust other Coppelion. Aoi is the air head who loves her food, having no powers unlike the other Coppelion she often sees herself as a hindrance on the team, despite this she makes sure to cheer everybody up and keep the mood positive. Taeko is a more quite character compared to Aoi and Ibara but she is also well versed in medical knowledge and procedures. Effectively being the surgeon of the group she also has great eye sight that allows her to be the scout of the team. Overall I give the characters a 7/10
The art in Coppelion is interesting, there are times where the scenery is ignored completely but only to suit the tone of the panel in the action that is with in it. I really enjoyed the art though, the scenery was actually one of the biggest positives in the anime, since there is so much that is explored the scenery had to be kept at a higher quality and it worked out wonderfully. The character designs were nice, they reminded me of Bakuman characters mainly in the way the hair and expressions are drawn. The art helps the pace of the manga and really depicts the flow of movement quite nicely. Overall I give the art a 7/10.
Coppelion is a manga that takes time to read but once you have taken that time it is worth it. My only real problem is that I can't find where to read Volume 20 so then I don't skip any of the story. Either way I recommend Coppelion to those who like long stories and a lot of action. Overall I give Coppelion a total of 7.33.