Dennou Coil anime reviewstyLIShT Dennou coil is a really underappreciated anime having 26 episodes belonging to the mystery/sci-fi genre that aired on Japanese Television during 2007. It was directed by Mitsuo Iso (well known for his key animation work on early Ghibli movies and Neon Genesis Evangelion) and was produced by Madhouse (well-known for their work on Death Note and Paranoia Agent). It has a rather intriguing premise. This anime is so underrated that I had to submit it to this list.
The story: The year is 2026, eleven years after the technology to turn the internet into augmented reality by the use of immersive "cyberglasses" was developed. Yuko "Yasako" Okonogi, a young girl in sixth grade, moves to Daikoku City, the center of the technology behind the glasses, and is strongarmed by her grandmother into joining her "investigation agency", composed of children with powerful illegal software codes and tools. On her first day in town, she runs into Yuko "Isako" Amasawa, a cold, aloof master hacker chasing a mystery in Daikoku City, that will soon involve both Yukos and their friends.
The story was executed in a really good way, the first few episodes introduce to the virtual cyber-world, and give a good insight on the nature of cybermateria, outdated cyberspaces (also known as obsolete spaces), metabugs and a few other cool materials accessible in the virtual world. The middle episodes are comprised of hilarious, heartwarming and relaxing comedic episodes revolving around the children's daily life involving their cyberglasses. These episodes may seem like fillers, but they actually contain subtle messages that prove to be useful in the later episodes. Around the 16-17 episode mark, things start getting serious and the mystery aspect of the anime takes over the lightheartedness, giving the anime a more serious vibe, which is really good. The mystery plot, which is constantly hinted throughout until the middle of the anime is now the main story.
The final 9 episodes are really well done, the pacing in these episodes were near-perfect. There is the inclusion of philosophical elements towards the end of the anime, which is surprisingly done well in this anime which is based on sci-fi. The ending is really well done too.
If you were expecting an anime like Serial Experiments Lain, do remember that this is actually a kids show (The characters are children, I'll get to the characters later) and this anime does not mindf*** you like how S.E.L. does. S.E.L is a more darker anime, for mature audiences while Dennou Coil is rated G (all ages) Regarding Dennou Coil's G rating, at first, I felt that Dennou Coil deserves more like a PG-13 rating, but the truth is that Dennou Coil is exactly the kind of anime that will frighten you the more you understand it and get into it. Since Children won't understand the 'frightening' material which is presented in a rather subtle manner, I can effectively say that this anime is fit for all ages. This is probably the only kids anime that actually respects its audience, delving into mature material that kids anime usually don't do.
As much as the virtual cyber-glasses seem cool at the beginning, this anime also addresses the problems potentially caused by such technology, which was done in a very good way.
So yeah, I personally feel that the story was excellent.
Characters: The characters are very well written, they mostly comprise of 6th graders, who have interesting personalities and act their age. Isako and Yasako are given very good character development, the main character (Yasako) is somewhat useless in the first few episodes, where she observes the stuff going on around her, but she is established a well-defined role during the middle episodes and plays an extremely vital role in the final 9 episodes. Isako was also given really good development throughout the series, the friendship developing between Isako and Yasako throughout the anime is done in a really good manner. Other characters like fun-loving Daichi, Fumie, Denpa were done well too. The interactions between these other characters were really fun. Some flaws are that Daichi is given very less screentime, he is basically ignored in the serious sections of the anime. There is this one guy, who at first appears as this mysterious kid, but by the end of the anime, he's basically an annoying emo kid who is slowly descending to psychopathy. However I'll let this one pass as it is quite realistic for a kid to behave like that in such situations. The characters' mental breakdown scenes were handled really well. At first, these characters may seem generic, but you'll soon realise that they are really interesting and have interesting personalities.
Animation and Sound: The animation in this anime looks pretty decent at first impression, but you'll soon realise that a great amount of detail is given into animating the virual cybermateria, the animation of Isako's Encodes, particularly were excellently done. Animation is definitely a plus point for this anime, even though Madhouse has done a better job in other anime. The voice acting in this anime was good, nothing extraordinary. The soundtracks were excellent, the opening theme and ending theme were really good and perfectly fits to the plot of the anime.
Conclusion: I really enjoyed watching this anime and every episode had me on the edge of my seat. I would love to give this a 10/10, but the things that prevent me from giving this anime a 10 are - Abnormally low Daichi screentime and Yasako being a bit bland and useless at the starting few episodes of the anime. Other than that, there are not any issues with this anime, this is one of my top favourite anime of all time. Regarding this anime being criminally underrated, it's probably due to commercial issues during its launch, and it seems like a kids show on the surface, which doesn't pull the mainstream anime fans towards it. This is one hell of an anime, and is definitely worth watching.
This anime therefore gets a 9.5/10 rating.
Hope you enjoyed this review.
Almost forgot, another problem with this anime is Yasako confessing her love to Haraken, and then both of them completely forget about it, while I'm thankful that the relationship did not happen, the confession was absolutely unnecessary. This anime still gets a 9.5/10 though - styLIShT
Oooh sounds good - TwilightKitsune