Dennou Coil - A very novel Science Fiction Concept
Dennou Coil is one of those stories hard core science fiction stories where the concept trumps over characters and events. Today, five years after watching the show I hardly remember the characters and have a hazy recollection of the story line but it is the concept that still remains with me. So in my post, I will focus more on the concept that the story deals with – that of virtual reality. It is not an absolutely new concept – some elements of this concept are used in the Matrix trilogy and the Cartoon Network series ‘True Adventures of Johny Quest’. However this series presents a different facet of this technology.
Virtual reality as such is not going to be in the domain of science fiction too long. Right now most of what passes as virtual reality is still very preliminary. But I am sure many of us see the advanced versions seen in science fiction within our own life times. In some ways though technology is not so advanced, many of us are getting used to virtual lives on social media and online role playing games. So some of the issues portrayed in the stories around virtual reality may already be relevant to us.
Coming to the story, here we have a virtual reality that overlaps with the real world. People connect to the virtual reality through a pair of glasses which establishes a direct neurological connection with the person’s brain. In many places virtual versions of real places exist in the virtual world as well. So a person can be walking through a region in the city and instead of experiencing the real version, they can experience the virtual version of the same. Even today we are close to something of this sort if we are to combine Google Glass and Google maps. In the story some people get so addicted to the glasses that they start experiencing life exclusively through the glasses. In some ways this can be said to be a kind of mid-way between Matrix and Johny Quest. In Matrix, the people are fully enmeshed in the Matrix’s virtual world. In Johny Quest, the virtual world is like a video game. People often enter the world and return back to the real world. Here people can be here and there at the same time. That is the novelty factor here.
But then every technology comes with its own caviats. There is an Orwellian authority trying to show people the reality they want them to see, hide things from them and control their lives. In this case it is a corporation that has created this technology. Then there are hackers trying to misuse the system. And then the system itself soon begins to take a life of its own. We see the elements of the three major evils possible with any advanced technology here.
The protagonists are a group of children and their virtual dog. We have the usual dynamics of friendships, romance and other relations going amongst them in the backdrop of this technology. The children are hackers who try to exploit the gaps in the technology in a non-malicious ways for their personal gain. In the course of their adventures switching between the real and virtual world, they encounter antagonists with different agendas. As the story takes the reader along these adventures, the various nuances of the technology and the world in which it exists are revealed. This makes it very fascinating for hard core fantasy lovers. However the science stuff is not heavy enough to put off an initiate either.
I would recommend this series to science fiction buffs and people who liked movies like Matrix and Inception.
Next in the Series: Twelve Kingdoms - An Oriental Lord of the Rings
Picture Credit: http://www.animu.ru/gallery/dennou-coil/1920x1200/animu.ru-dennou-coil-(1920x1200)-wallpaper-003.jpg