Child hackers living in a semi-virtual future looking to discover why children are being kidnapped into a virtual reality world? Not just proof that Japanese kids really get much more exciting television than American children, but the plot of anime Dennō Coil, which completed its run in Japan last month and is available for curious westerners right now via fan-translation on YouTube.
The series - English alternate title "Coil - A Circle of Children" - was awarded an Excellence Prize by a jury in last year's Japan Media Arts Festival, and had the newspaper Mainichi Shimbun suggesting that it would impact future development on future VR technology. A surprising reception for a kids' show, perhaps, but this was the first TV series from Mitsuo Iso, who's previously worked on well-known anime Gundam 0080 and Ghost In The Shell.
The series hasn't been licensed for Western audiences yet, but given the success of the show in its home country, it's only a matter of time. Start watching now before everyone knows about it. Search for "Denno Coil" on YouTube and you'll get several episodes worth.
Dennō Coil [Anime News Network]