Coppelion - Life in a Contaminated City

As far as post-apocalyptic worlds go, we've seen a lot of them; nuclear bombs causing human extinction, random weird viruses, and the fan favourite zombie infestation. I've always liked the notion of a post-apocalyptic setting, but most of the time I feel like its used as a stereotypical setting with really shallow excuses as to how the world become so fk'd up.

Coppelion has a realistic and relevant reason for its apocalyptic city. A nuclear accident occurs and ends up contaminating the city of Tokyo in radioactive waste, forcing most of the population to flee, however plenty of people were left behind and forced to live in hazmat suites awaiting rescue from the outside. Whats interesting is how the actual nuclear destruction in Japan back in 2011 is still a concern and shows relevance to the story of Coppelion, kinda showing a "what-if" scenario, even though the manga was released back in 08.

Coppelion is actually the group of high school students who were genetically modified to be immune to the radioactivity, and serve as government workers to rescue those who are still trapped in the contaminated city, as well as clean up the large amount of waste. We follow the rescue team of Ibara, the fearless leader and perhaps the only interesting person in the show; Aoki who is only ever used as a humour scapegoat as we spend more time laughing at her than with her; and then there's Taeko, the girl who can talk to animals and is completely invisible to the show.

The show is 10 episodes in, and so far my opinion has changed about three times. When I first started watching the show I thought it was going to be about humanity and our lack of care for the world. The beauty and melancholic environments gave me an impression of how beautiful our world can be without mankind. The background art and setting of this contaminated city is wonderful and the OST is very fitting and somehow reminds me of Virtues Last Reward. A few episodes in and it becomes apparent that we're merely following Ibara, Aoki, and Taeko as they aimlessly rescue small groups of survivors with no actual plot or deeper understanding for the environment. I started getting bored relatively quickly with the characters, as they weren't really doing anything interesting.

The show started throwing in some government involvement in regards to how the whole city was contaminated and closed while people were still inside. I liked the idea that the remainder of the survivors were mainly criminals who weren't evacuated from their prison, as well as the 1st division government army that was tasked with the evacuation but were left behind and has since turned towards revenge. I started to enjoy the show once more with the whole survival theme as Ibara, Aoki and Taeko have to hold out against an army while their government has to get past a summit meeting before rescuing the remaining survivors.
The first division army ends up being the antagonist that was missing for most of intro, but it was worth the wait as their plan to contaminate the rest of Japan and the world is quite a feat.

After becoming interested once again while enjoying the show a bit more as a casual watch, a few random characters are added into the mix to take the current theme and push it a little to far to the point where I'm just sitting along for the ride and don't really care. It's unfortunate the show kept degrading itself to a more casual watch that has shallow meaning, but it's still fun to see how the cast manages to make everything entertaining a midst the somewhat serious events; it's worth the watch.