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Dennou Coil
Spotlight Preview by Himitsu

Well, it may not be a popular time of the year for new series to debut, but that doesn't mean that they don't. staff has their eyes on recent titles and this time around, it's our very own ASRT Administrator Himitsu speaking up with her take on new favorite of her's. Take the calm serenity and small female casts of acclaimed anime titles like Kamichu and My Neighbor Totoro and then mix in the technical awesomeness of recent series like Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and Freedom to get Dennou Coil, a 26-episode Madhouse Studio anime about a couple young girls who use a detective agency to solve mysteries in their odd cyberspace-laden world.

Read on to see what our resident anime-expert thought about this unique series...

Kyoko, Dennsuke, & Yuko Okonogi (our main character).

A virus, also known as an "illegal".

Dennsuke is a cyberpet, you can only see him through
virtual glasses, and you cannot pet him.

The protagonist, Yuko, gets involved with the cyber
investigation team when Dennsuke happens to be missing.

In the near future of 2020, we live in a world where cyberspace and reality intermingle. Advances of the internet are highly popular and highly used where you can view elements of the cyberworld by wearing advanced eyeglasses. Dennou Coil begins with a girl named Yuko Okonogi who has just moved to Daikoku City to live with her grandmother. Yuko travels with her sister Kyoko, and her cyberpet: Densuke, however, a small dark figure (deemed an "illegal") attracts Densuke, and he follows it into absolute space. Yuko loses sight of him and happens to bump into Fumie, a strong-minded character that is part of the cyberspace investigation team. Fumie ends up helping Yuko in her search to find Densuke, and this is when things get interesting...

Our antagonist, and mysterious encoder, Yuko Amasawa.
She's writing some codes on the ground with chalk.

Yes, her name is also "Yuko." Just what is she discovering

Yuko Okonogi and Fumie are being chased by Satchii!!
Satchii elimantes all cyber material.

They are targeted particularly because of the items Fumie is carrying, and Dennsuke. But don't worry, Satchii does not enter shrines.

The main plot is about Yuko joining the cyberinvestigation team, and uncovering the mysteries of unknown viruses called "illegals" – How are they formed? What do they want? Why do they exist? These black masses interrupt both the cyber- and real-world, but studying them isn't so easy. Yuko and Fumie are constantly being targeted by Satchii, a motorized antivirus program that cleans up virtual messes and dislikes cyberpets. Later on, Fumie and Yuko encounter a competent girl, also named Yuko (there are two character's named Yuko) in which they discover that she's an encoder. In the fourth episode, you are introduced to an enticing battle of hackers and virtual weaponry; it was quite an experience.

Fumie sends in her servant, Oyaji, to find Dennsuke in the
cyberworld. The "charm" smacked on Oyaji is actually
software used as protection from external factors.

Oyaji manages to find Dennsuke, but the wall behind them is
formatting and will definitely get rid of foreign material
like Oyaji and Dennsuke.

A classmate, Daichi, seems threatened by Yuko Amasawa's
strength and so he initiates a hacking battle against her.

Here's Daichi in action, completely absorbed in forming attacks against Yuko.

Yuko is caught by surprise but swiftly dives out of the
way to dodge all shots.

Fumie and Yuko Okonogi watch from behind the scenes while
investigating Yuko's ability.

People have said that Dennou Coil is a mix of Spirited Away and Serial Experiments Lain, and I would have to agree. The main genre and themes involve cyberpunk elements and the existence of a concealed world right under our nose. I also found that the character designs hold a similar manner to Miyazaki's work; I especially see it in Yuko's grandma. Just like most Miyazaki works, the main character is a girl introduced to an unfamiliar setting; their wide-eyed, innocent curiosity drives the storyline, and the events that occur are very whimsical or imaginative. The general atmosphere of this anime sure gives the "Miyazaki feel"; in my opinion, it's because of the adventurous events, and the art style. There's something fulfilling about engaging yourself in this title.

This image screenshot is not screwed up, you'll see those
pixels a lot since they indicate disturbances in cyberspace.

There is a lot of leaping back and forth between worlds. Here, you see Dennsuke entering the cyber world.

"Say, what time is it Fumie?"
"Why, let me just check my handy, dandy digital watch!"
The small technological features are so neat.

"Now it's time for my handy, dandy cyberfishing rod"
"Um... how did you get THAT out of that small bag?"
There are small surprises everywhere which makes watching fun :3

I'm not an avid fan of science-fiction anime, for I feel that they execute their story in similar ways, but Dennou Coil manages to keep my interest with its nifty devices that they bring forth, the technological advances. The tools they utilize are very imaginative and fun, as if coming from an aspiring dream.

Shhh, Yuko is making a phonecall. Even in a seemingly
old-fashioned school building, super-advanced technology
is everywhere.

Yuko's grandmother is quite computer savvy, she holds all the cybermaterial Fumie carries. You may not see much grannies being tech-whizzes, but we'll see this in the future, maybe >.>;

Uh oh, what does Yuko Amasawa have against Yuko
Okonogi? We know sometimes antagonists can be petty,
but let's hope it's not for having the same name >.>;

Don't these fluffballs (they're apparently called "Mojo") remind
you of the dust bunnies in My Neighbour Totoro? or even the
workers in Spirited Away.

The colours they use are quite soft for their backdrops
which give a more tranquil feel opposing their science-
fiction genre.

The lines are very solid in each character art; there's simple
touches in the character-design, and their rich personalities
make them charming.

Look out! Yuko's grandmother is armed!

An illegal materializing.

The art may not seem like 2007 material, but the animation is high quality work. The animation is extremely smooth making the movements very real. I also think that the characters are quite attractive in a cute buttoned-nose way. You'll also notice that there are no funky hair colours, quite rare in Japanese animation. The colours are ash-like and not quite lively, but this all encompasses to the overall mystery and science-fiction theme. I rather like the simplicity in the soft, almost-pastel colours, it's very easy on the eyes and can be quite charming.

Satchii! D:

Dennou Coil opens with a lovely song that portrays the ominous setting, fitting the main premise of the show. The singer, Ayako Ikeda, definitely gives a deep and strong emotion into this song "Prism"; the ending song, "Sora no Kakera" (also from Ayako Ikeda) concludes each episode with a softer, lighter tune.

Watch the OP song "Prism"

Characters have their own charms, and you grasp their personalities quickly.

Yuko Okonogi trying to track down Dennsuke's whereabouts.

Fumie, armed and ready.

Yuko Okonogi is a sweet natured, almost reserved girl that bears the responsibility of always looking after her younger sister Kyoko, a chore she doesn't enjoy too much. They have put some mystery in her past, giving me the impression that she wasn't such a gentle girl in her former hometown. I guess we'll have to find that out.

Kyoko Okonogi is a kid that says whatever is on her mind and causes a lot of trouble. Her current phase is pointing and calling everything "poop!". She's very energetic, and has little manners.

Fumie Hashimoto is strong-willed and knows a lot about cyber material. She introduces Yuko Okonogi to the cyberinvestigation team, helps to find Daiichi the cyberpet, and she becomes Yuko's first friend in Daikoku City.

Yuko Amasawa is a distant and unsocial transfer student that has mysterious strengths when it comes to cyberspace. It is believed that she is an encoder. Yuko Okonogi (the main character) attempts to befriend her many times, even nicknaming her "Isako".

Daichi is Yuko and Fumie's classmate, the prankster. He is always sneakily bothers Fumie, but becomes curious of Yuko Amasawa. He and his friends seem only interested in finding rare metabugs - valuable items of cyberspace.

Haraken is a silent boy that you'll meet later on. His classmates think he's strange. He lost someone dear to him in an accident, but he believes it was caused by an illegal. He now devotes his time to gaining information of these viruses, and somehow drew in Yuko Okonogi and Fumie to do the same.

Yuko Amasawa

Yuko and her little sister Kyoko.

The quirky tools and technology used makes this very fun to watch and the mystery is what keeps me questioning. Overall, the direction of this anime, how things will be executed and how things will end up is quite unpredictable, and that's what I like about this.

This series was a surprisingly good find for me, and I happen to find myself recommending it to many people already. I am definitely watching this faithfully (watching as episodes are released). I think you'll like Dennou Coil if you enjoyed Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Serial Experiments Lain, Hoshi no Koe, and Kamichu!


After interacting with that virus, Densuke becomes sick D:

Downloading some cleanup software should do the trick, however, Dennsuke becomes heavier.

The pixelated wall there is a disturbance in cyberspace.

Kyuu-chan comes along to fix it all up; Kyuu-chan is part of Satchii.

Copyright by Anime-Source.Com All Right Reserved.

Published on: 2007-08-20 (9432 reads)

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