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Anime has a lot of mediocre shows and movies, some good ones and only a few greats. Until recently my list of great anime creators was restricted to Hayao Miyazaki, Abe Yoshitoshi, Makoto Shinkai and Hideaki Anno. Now that I've seen Denno Coil I have to add Mitsuo Iso to that list. You can really feel the passion, talent and effort that went into creating this anime.
Denno Coil is basically an excellent children's show though by the end even adults will be left scratching their heads and wondering what is going on. The story is not incomprehensible but there was so much thinking and imagination that went into creating into a complex world that 26 episodes are not enough to explain everything at a leisurely pace.
The action takes place in a future where a virtual space coexists with real space and can be seen using special glasses. Children and some adults use this virtual space mostly for fun but as they get more and more involved in it the danger of attaching yourself to things that aren't real becomes apparent. The quality of the script shines in places, for example a monologue where a character asks herself what is reality and after going through different phases comes to the conclusion that anything that can make you feel and think is real. Don't get me wrong, it's not Shakespeare, but this is a show aimed at young people that's more subtle and intelligent than most adult ones. And while I wouldn't call it light-hearted it manages to throw in a lot of good natured humor too. The quality of the animation is another high point. The fluidity of the movement is exceptional, the backgrounds detailed and the animation of the characters shows well what they are thinking.
Maybe I have standards that are too high, but for me Denno Coil was the first great anime show since Haibane Renmei (and it's been 5 years...). No need to say that I fully recommend it.
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