Dennou Coil (Cyber Coil in English), also known as Coil — A Circle of Children, is an Anime First sci-fi series animated by studio Madhouse and made its original run on Japanese television in 2007.Dennou Coil is set Twenty Minutes into the Future (in 2026, to be exact) in the fictional Japanese town of Daikoku, which is the testing ground for an Augmented Reality project that involves crafting a cyberspace that overlaps the entire town. By using special glasses, people are able to interact with this overlapping cyberspace, allowing them to carry on their normal lives in addition to being permanently connected to the internet through their glasses, essentially concentrating all modern portable media devices (phones, MP3 players, laptop) into one set of non-intrusive glasses. With the appearances of 'glitches' in this augmented reality, a thriving hacker culture soon emerges amongst the children of the city.The anime tells the story of Yuko Okonogi (nicknamed "Yasako"), a girl who moves into Daikoku together with her mother, little sister Kyoko and her virtual pet Densuke (an augmented reality dog that only people with glasses can see) when her father gets a job transfer there. Upon arriving in the town, she finds herself integrated into the glasses community of the local children, and discovers that her shrewd grandmother has become a focal point for a major club of these children, called the Coil Cyberinvestigation Agency. This leads to later encounters with the enigmatic Yuko Amasawa (nicknamed "Isako"), a girl with abnormally powerful hacking skills who seems to be hunting for computer viruses in the system known as "illegals" for her own unknown ends, and discoveries tying the various characters' pasts with the truths behind the city's cyber-network...Dennou Coil could be described as "Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex meets Hayao Miyazaki"; an extremely charming, high-quality story of children, for children, in a sci-fi setting designed to display the effects of this new technology that still manages to keep some 'magical' aspects. Despite winning several prizes, reaching cult hit status and being critically considered to be one of the best anime of 2007, the series was only licensed in 2011 by Tokuma Shoten for use in an iPhone app.
As You Know: Takeru gets one from his brother, Nekome, and we get some late exposition Nekome's motives in bringing down the company.
Badass: Isako, who at one point foils a spam attack by another classmate without even lifting a finger. Yasako gets here in the last few episodes.
Bag of Holding: Fumie has one; justified since the programs she carries in it have no actual physical space requirements.
Belated Backstory: Sousuke and Takeru's quest for revenge for their parents comes in the form of As You Know exposition rather late in the series.
Beam Spam: Satchii's ultimate attack mode. That it's virtual doesn't make it any less frightening, considering the setting.
Beard of Evil: Kinda-example: An illegal beard shows up halfway through the show. It's infectious. And sentient. The different characters' beards eventually start digi-nuclear warfare with each other using Inter-Facial Ballistic Missiles. I couldn't make this up if I tried.
Cool Car: In the second half of the series, Nekome is almost exclusively seen in and around a (left-hand-drive, for some reason) red sports car that looks very similar to the Acura/Honda NSX. He is rarely shown actually driving it, though.
Dummied Out: This is what happens to any plot of Cyberspace deemed "obsolete". They're deleted periodically, but if you get to them before that happens, you might find Metabugs—items no longer considered valid, which by some accident are very useful in Item Crafting.
Early-Bird Cameo: In the first episode, Nekome and Tamako (who are introduced in later episodes) are seen in the Harburger restaurant where Yasako, Kyoko, and Densuke eat. In the flashback scene of the same episode, the Arc Number 4423 is seen at the background. The number is introduced in the second episode.
Empathic Environment: In the sleepover episode, during the scary story telling scene, Daichi's ominous words are followed by thunder and lightning, though this was revealed to be his friend's doing. However, when Haraken tells his story, the lightning appears to be real.
Enigmatic Minion: Isako would be a prime candidate for this... If she was the actual minion of someone.
Hyperlink Story: Oh, yes. With Yasako wandering into Coil Space kicking things off, we have Isako's search for her brother's cure, Tamako and "the incident four years ago", Sousuke and Nekome and their revenge scheme, and Haraken and his investigation on Kana's death. This links to Megabaa and Grandpa Okonogi's backstory and the founding of Coil Space, which loops back to Yasako wandering into Coil Space.
Implacable Man: Satchii, at least from the protagonists' point of view.
Plus, he can be stopped at least temporarily with the use of some hacking.
Important Haircut: Variant: While Isako's hair isn't cut, her hairstyle gets changed at the end of the series to symbolize a break from her dependence on her brother.
Interservice Rivalry: The Satchi are in the employ of the Ministry of Post. Since shrines, parks, schools and hospitals are under other ministries, it can't enter there. It also can't enter private homes and is basically only free to roam the street for "Space" problems.
Instant Runes: The metatags seem to function a lot like this, even though the setting is non-magical.
Subverted with Isako who actually draws patterns that perform all kinds of functions, like dealing with Satchii.
Ridiculous Future Inflation: Parodied in Mega-baa's store. 10 seconds of Megane-beam costs three million yen (roughly 30,000 US dollars.) Fumie pays with pocket change. Mega-baa's idiosyncrasies are many.
To be clear, Mega-baa is just being weird by multiplying all the numbers she says by ten thousand. She asks for a total of 6.2 million yen, but the register actually says the total is 620 yen (about five dollars), and Fumie pays with recognizable Japanese coins that add up to that amount.
Ridiculously Cute Critter: Isako's henchmen, or Mojo, are a sort of terribly adorable virtual fluff balls. The Micet are unspeakably cute as well.
Obsolete Space seems to resemble the strange, otherworldly dimension in the Twilight Zone episode "Little Girl Lost" (or the Other Side in the movie Poltergeist.) It's even said that the souls of the dead wind up in Obsolete Space, making it seem a lot like a realm between death and life). Kyoko's kidnapping and Yasako's having to rescue her with the help of the family dog even resembles the rescue scene from "Little Girl Lost."
Shrines and Temples: Daikoku city has quite a lot of these — handy, since Satchii is forbidden from entering them.
Spam Attack: Daichi tries to attack Isako by spamming her with email. Isako not only deletes the mail faster than Daichi can send it, but she also spams Daichi back, ultimately crashing his glasses and forcing an expensive restore.
Spanner in the Works: Yasako, her encounter with 4423 inadvertently messed up the therapeutic intent of the Coil Domain and created Miss Michiko
Spirit Advisor: Densuke — being a virtual pet, only people with glasses can see him.
Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl: One explanation of what "Miss Michiko" is entails an onryo-ish death and onryo-ish behavior, but as the story is told, a pure black figure is used to represent her ghost instead of typical onryo garb and appearance, probably to liken her to an Illegal.
Taking You with Me: In the last episode, Tama Kamikaze-dives with a Nekome-controlled Satchii 2.0 in negative space.
Again they are only being half serious. Probably closer to a months allowance.
Hard to say one way or the other for sure. The few glimpses of in progress system restores we see through out the series appear to have a rapidly increasing cost shown in one corner as the progress bar fills. This troper distinctly recalls seeing one such restore having a price tag of around 25,000 yen(~$200) nearing completion. If that is accurate, then that really could be about two years worth of holiday-money("otoshidama") for a Japanese elementary school child.
Win to Exit: If you go deep enough into Obsolete Space to notice A Glitch in the Matrix, you really shouldn't take your glasses off before you walk out, or your mind will end up trapped there. And the authorities will not only do everything they can to keep anyone from even attempting to rescue you, but are engaged in an ongoing effort to destroy those spaces knowing that will kill everyone trapped inside, deeming them acceptable losses.
Played with. While it appears to be played straight through out most of the series, the more you learn about Isako, Yasako, and "4423", and how they all relate to one another the more it becomes clear that Isako is really just a very lonely and angry girl. By the end of the series though, each of the three main protagonists (including Haraken) could be said to qualify, especially Yasako.
Your Mind Makes It Real: Normally averted - the primary users of glasses are kids for god's sake. However, there are things in cyberspace that can inflict severe damage. All spoilers, though.