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Dennō Coil

Entry updated 10 November 2023. Tagged: Film.

["Cyber Coil"] Japanese animated tv series (2007). Madhouse, NHK-E. Directed by Mitsuo Iso. Written by Toshiki Inoue. Cast includes Fumiko Orikasa. 26 episodes of 25 minutes. Colour.

In the year 2026, schoolgirl Yūko Okonogi (Orikasa) moves with her family to Daikoku, a city with a hybrid function as both a real-world conurbation and a manifestation of the Internet. Residents of Daikoku can visualize data architecture overlaid on real architecture with the aid of special goggles, which also allow them to hunt down exploitable bugs in the system (which may be used as currency), manipulate Cyberspace for good or ill, and occasionally even disappear off the map.

Dennō Coil's Near Future scenario is largely indistinguishable from quotidian life in the year of its production, but for the subsumption of the physical world into an expansive overlay of Virtual Reality. As such, it offers a striking visual analogy of the way in which the internet has already taken over our lives, pointing to the unseen Economics of the virtual realm and entire Wainscot Societies of users linked by digital communications.

Famously in the pipeline for almost a decade, Dennō Coil was released, through no fault of its own, in the year immediately following Anime production's historical peak and sudden slump. As a result, foreign attention was slow to arrive, although it was well received in Japan to the extent of winning a Media Seiun Award. [JonC]


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