Dennou Coil: A Circle of Children

Genre: science fiction / action /adventure
Setting: Daikoku City / future
Special Groups/Powers: hackers, encoders, kid detectives, illegals, Satchii, pets, glasses, meta bugs, meta tags
Selling Point
: semi-cyberspace world; unique lifestyles

First off, I must say: Dennou Coil has an amazing setting. It’s a futuristic, half-cyber, half-real world that can only be experienced fully when wearing “glasses” — a trend that is popular among kids, but sometimes lost among adults. You can liken this fascination with technology to our present day, in which kids are crazy-computer-savvy while their parents are lucky if they can find the power button on the monitor. Really, it’s a very cool setting. The town that the anime focuses on is Daikoku City, which is known to be the birthplace of glasses and cyber-world technology. However, don’t let all this science fiction scare you; life for the townspeople is exactly like our own normal lifestyles, and the characters are very human. That is the amazing part of this anime: the producers manage to fit in all this technological gadgetry, and yet life goes on normally. Of course, there are some unique qualities of life, which I will discuss at a later time.

Now, the story of the anime unfolds little by little throughout the episodes, though it’s not a clear, clichéd “save the world” type of adventure or anything. Rather, the plot revolves around a young girl, Yuko, who is nicknamed Yasako (“gentle child”), and her friends as they explore the mysteries of the half-cyber world. There are a lot of mini-plots that drive the central plot along, which I will not reveal, because that would totally ruin the fun. x)

Now, there are also cyber-pets in this world, which behave like normal pets and can interact with glasses-wearing humans. Though, strangely enough, they cannot actually be “felt.” Nevertheless, humans become attached to their cyber pets as they would any real ones, and the cyber-pets are loved and loving. Yasako has a cute little puppy called Densuke who gets into all kinds of trouble, especially with Kyoko, Yasako’s annoying little sister. And although Densuke isn’t the smartest pup in the litter, he is fiercely loyal to his owner… and it’s very touching, this kind of loyalty. (see below for picture)

Ain’t he precious? Now, there are also “Illegals,” which are viruses that target and infect cyber pets. There’s actually a lot more to them than just that, but again, no spoilers here. Illegals often exist in “obsolete spaces,” which are older, discarded versions of the cyber world.

Targeting these Illegals are machines called “Satchii” (short for “Search Maton”) who float around and bust things up with their lasers. The problem, however, is that the Satchii are a nuisance to children who wear glasses and do minor bad things, like messing with obsolete space and such.

Moving along. Fumie, Yasako’s friend, is a member of Megabaa’s Coil Dennō Detective Agency, a group of child detectives who basically run errands for Megabaa (Yasako’s grandmother and an expert cyber programmer). Fumie, in contrast to gentle Yasako, is outgoing, take-charge, and very well aquainted with the cyber world and its nuances. She invites Yasako to join the agency as well and introduces such things as “meta tags” (slips of paper with codes on them that do various things: shoot lasers, erect walls, etc.) and “meta bugs” (the basic resource that is used to generate meta tags; also a form of currency among children).

And then there’s Isako (“brave child”), whose real name is actually Yuko, just like Yasako’s. There’s a lot of compare and contrast that can be done between the two girls, but basically: Isako is very independent, very good with encoding, very cold, and very mysterious; Yasako is a little helpless, a little clueless, but always open and friendly. Isako is what they call an “encoder,” a powerful manipulator of cyberspace. Yet she, like all the other characters, is very much human, as you will see.

Ah, there’s a lot more stuff I could describe, but I’ll let you see for yourself… (‘cuz I’m a lazy mofo).

The selling point of this anime is obviously the half-cyber world and all its gadgetry. But it’s not just that — it’s the way it’s presented. Unlike most science fiction, where humans clash with technology, this world simply absorbs the cybernetic matrix, and the people live in harmony with their semi-cyber surroundings. And life goes on. Human lifestyles, emotions, virtues, and etc. are explored alongside the mysteries of the cyber reality, which is not so far from the emotions and virtues of humans as people would like to think.

All in all, this is an amazingly creative, original, and poignant anime. The technology will fascinate you — the emotions, in later episodes, will captivate you. I highly recommend it. There is nothing more I can say to do it justice; so go ahead and see for yourself.

Rating of Truth: 96/100

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~ by sublunaryxsoul on August 29, 2008.

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