Review: As a child, I often had another imaginary world inside my head and I always imagined things happening in it. Yes, I lived in my own head, in my own little world whenever I was free. I guess that’s why I didn’t have many friends back in my school days. I can’t imagine what my life would have been if the technology of Dennou Coil had existed back then.
First and foremost, the very first thing that will get the viewers hooked to this anime is the cyber technology. Once you put the glass on, cyber world is let loose into reality, overlapping with everything you see. That makes everything possible; anything could be lurking in the dark corner of the streets and there could be a whole new world behind every door. It’s as if the anime is trying to bring children’s dream into reality since in children’s perspective, the world is full of wonder and the unknown. I also love the clash between extremely advanced technology and very old fashioned setting; the old city, the shrine, Mega-bar herself, even the cyber devices are designed as ancient superstitious tags. To add more nostalgic power into the show, earth colors are used extensively, making the whole experience reminiscent of distant childhood memory. The world building alone already set Dennou Coil apart from other anime aimed for children.
Undoubtedly, Most of the main characters of Dennou Coil consist of elementary school children and a seventeen years old girl is consequently called ‘aunty’. The story revolves around the mysterious death of Ashihara Kanna, which is rumored to be related to several cyber-urban legend entities like Miss Michiko, the illegal and the obsolete space, aka ‘the other side’. Yasako, Haraken and Fumie try to investigate these urban legends and find themselves entangled in the world beyond reason and possibility.
Characterization is not the staple of Dennou Coil since they are all quite generic. The character to whom I had the most emotional connection to was Densuke the cyber dog. But then again, considering Densuke’s cute design and voice, who couldn’t love him? Besides world building, the storytelling is another strong point of the series. Dennou Coil can easily be categorized as mystery anime. There is a connection between all these strange events and Yasako’s past which I cannot reveal here lest I’ll spoil everything. The truth is slowly and strategically revealed throughout the course of the show. The memory loss plot-device is used for the thousandth time in anime history but luckily, the show manages to back it up well with a totally unpredictable finale.
Ultimately, I think Dennou Coil’s main theme is the limitation of human perception. There is always something beyond what human can perceive. Even in the cyber world created by human, obsolete spaces remain the mythical, mysterious place. There is always something we don’t know because even in our own minds and hearts, there are still lots of unexplored corners.
With a very high production value and generally good original score, there is hardly anything I can complain about this anime. Dennou Coil is a very fine work with incredible imagination. I felt like I was taking a trip to the past, to the future and to the depth of human soul all at the same time while watching this anime.
Title: Dennou Coil, A Circle of Children
Genre: Sci-fi, fantasy
Released date: May 12, 2007 – December 1, 2007
Director: Mitsuo Iso
Animated by: Madhouse