Reviews

Dec 20, 2015
Stark700 (All reviews)
No, it’s not what you think. Comet Lucifer is hardly about devil or angels or in fact anything that pertains to religious themes. And the “Comet” part isn’t some catastrophic event like a comet hitting the Earth to set up it look like some apocalyptic world. Taken for granted, I’d see this as a show as a hybrid fusion of sci-fi, mecha, and drama. However, Comet Lucifer doesn’t exactly hit all the right angles with its genres. In fact, its storytelling is barely tolerable and in general, a disappointment.

As an original show, Comet Lucifer essentially had a lot of potential. The first few episodes introduces us to a fantasy world (Gift) where sci-fi elements are evident. From giant robots to animal hybrids, there’s an immense amount of curiosity to see where the story will go. At the same time, Comet Lucifer has the feel of a Eureka Seven-esque type of anime. It’s simple really. We have a young man named Sogo who happens to encounter a mysterious girl named Felia. She also has a mysterious power that links her to the power of a giant robot. Sound familiar? The sci-fi adventure begins there as Sougo, his friend Kaon, and Felia discovers dark secrets in their world.

The series composes a small cast of characters although their roles are all important. Sogo is the easy-going type who can easily make friends with just about anyone. His loyalty is also evident throughout the series as he puts others’ lives above his own. Unfortunately, the guy is really dense and a lot of his actions are questionable at times. Characterization regarding Sogo is generally mild as we barely see his background story. Instead, the show focuses more about his actions in the present alongside Kaon. And that brings up the second point. Kaon can be interpreted as the ‘girl next door’ type. No, I’m not talking about the girl who flashes their bodies around but rather as someone that continuously expresses interest in the main guy. However, Sougo barely notices her messages. In essence, Kaon is someone fans may feel sorry for especially after Felia enters the duo’s daily life. As the most mysterious character in the show, Felia is hard to accept. She has a childish personality although she matures throughout the series, literally. Her curiosity and mere presence leads her into dangerous circumstances. This is because there are others who are hunting her for their own purpose. As stereotypical as it sounds, the show does make a valid point about this plot direction. More than half of the show involves a mysterious group who are trying to capture Felia that often leads up to mecha conflicts, kidnappings, and threats of death. On the other hand, there are also some episodes that feels more like a slice of life and even a bit of coming age. While the main plot seems to focus on the adventures of the main trio, there are also some focus with Gift and its world fiction aspects.

For a series about sci-fi, it’s also expected that we see characteristics that are out of the normalcy. Thankfully, Comet Lucifer knows its purpose with some of its mechanics like the mining town of Garden Indigo. The introduction of rare crystals is also an element that sparks interest. And at the same time, Felia’s little friend Mo Ritika Tzetzes Ura (seriously, how do you pronounce that?) looks hardly normal. There’s a mysterious connection that Felia also shares with the cool looking mecha in the series. We don’t find out much about them later on so the story leans to test the patience of the audience. While all of this is going on, there’s also a nice change of landscapes from time to time. As a series with sci-fi, it’s definitely on the right track initially. The occasional comedy can be a hit or miss though depending on your perspective.

However, when it comes down to it, the characters holds the series back. Most if not all the characters in the show are generic and hardly distinguishable with perhaps the exception of Felia. Sougo is the nice guy type, Kaon’s romantic interest in her friend Sougo is often met with intentional arrogance, and Roman’s crush towards Kaon is returned with emptiness. If romance was really also sub-plot, then the show failed miserably. Thankfully, that’s not the case but the characters themselves aren’t decently written. The Gift government and their troops are also pretty stereotypical. For a quick run-down the main roster, we have Gus, a guy who just seems to enjoy fighting for the sake of it. There’s also Pack, a young fighter with decent combat abilities but a hot-blooded personality to create trouble. There’s even a guy who is chasing down Felia with a rather unhealthy and perverse obsession. Really now? How can we ever like some of these bad guys for their motivations in the show? They are pretty much like puppets doing the devil’s work. The only good parts can be accepted with occasional characterization such as with Gus’ past life. Otherwise, Comet Lucifer’s characters are like fruit baskets without the fruit. Storytelling gets more and more predictable and pulls out generic ideas from the old book. There’s hardly anything later on that will leave fans good memories about the series.

Even though 8-bit is the studio, Comet Lucifer is a good looking show with its visuals. The world of Gift is colorful and adds curiosity each episode with elements it introduces. The towns, although looks normal like a modern world, are equipped with high-tech gear. The flashy space looking vehicles and scooters can also be fun to look at as we see Sougo utilizes them in a cool fashion. Speaking of cool, the show surprisingly carries over a good amount of action. Each time we see mecha clashes, it’s presented with crisp choreography. The smooth movement and fast paced sequences is legitimately nice to follow. Even their designs looks stylish with each mecha having its own modifications, weaponry, or model. On the other hand, character designs looks typically generic. And although the show lacks fan service, it hardly makes it up when most of its main cast looks like kids that is hard grab attention.

In terms of soundtrack, the show has its presence but that’s about it. It balances between light and tense depending on the circumstance and responds to it. Both the OP and ED theme song has a colorful idea of presenting itself but hardly else noticeable. And voice mannerism isn’t overly impressive either. Felia’s voice can be a mixed bag as she expresses the childish innocence with a lack of personality. There’s not much to worry about it though as she does mature later on. But in overall terms, don’t expect something to be wowed by for its soundtrack craftsmanship.

If you came looking for a sci-fi adventure, then there you have it. But if a strong story about a memorable cast of characters is what you have in mind, then it’s better to try elsewhere. Comet Lucifer doesn’t capitalize on the main characters’ roles or motivations in the story. As they face obstacles, their purpose is lacking and often makes us question what if they are heading into no man’s land. While I do like the way this show runs with its world fiction elements, it doesn’t ultimately make it up for its storytelling or weak character cast. And that’s quite a shame, really.