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Thursday, 31 May 2012 10:52
So, Sentai Filmworks & Anime Network have been making a habit out of picking up small, independent OVAs lately - usually stuff that was released in Japan by Comix Wave. Some are good, some can most charitably be described as very experimental - so where does the latest one that I've checked out, Coicent, fit in on the scale...?

It's a quick time jump to the 26th century, where a school trip to a rebuilt 21st century city turns into a wild adventure for teenage boy Shinichi. While chasing a talking deer that's stolen his bag, he runs into a strange girl, Toto, who's trying to elude even stranger pursuers - and that's just the start of the adventure. It's a mad dash through a city of the past as two young people discover a chance at a new future in COICENT!



Official blurb, there, so let's fill in a few of the blanks. For a time 500-odd years in the future, it's not that futuristic-looking a place - cars, busses, school uniforms are all as you'd see them today; 'modern' architecture has taken a turn towards being heavily inspired by Buddhism, and technology has progressed in the area of creating holographic characters, but apart from that you'd have a hard time telling that this was the future. Toto is one of those holographic characters - usually playing the role of Himiko, a character that leads celebrations in a city built as a replica of one of Japan's former capitals, she's recently discovered a sense of self-identity and is trying to strike out on her own - much to the annoyance of her old hag of a creator, who'd really rather she stuck to doing as she was programmed.

It's on her first jaunt out of programmed boundaries that Toto (real designation HR-F12) encounters Shinichi - with a little help from a herd of suspiciouly intelligent and mischevious deer - and "romance", of a sort, begins to flourish. Most of the short (it's 30 minutes long) follows Toto and Shinichi on a chase through the city, with them trying to stay one step ahead of Toto's creator and being thrown into a series of over-the-top but fun situations along the way. Given the running time, character development and in-depth plot isn't on the agenda, but it's a well-produced tale that looks the part and has a genuine, addictive sense of fun about it that makes it easy to get into, and fun to go along for the ride with.

Would I pay for the physical release (bundled as a double-pack with Five Numbers for $30/$40)? Probably not, it's too short to be spending that on. But head over to Anime Network and watch it as part of your subscription, and it's easily worth the time. Good, lighthearted fun.

Rating - ***

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